If you really want BUILT and you don't want to deal with getting
around the export only thing and you don't want to spend the
ridiculous dollars for an old Alpha dual 8877 or 8K and you don't want
to start cutting and drilling sheet metal, then you have to be patient
and wander the flea markets with an eye out for something off the
beaten path that most hams won't touch or don't know about. A BTI amp
for example, or something like the commercial Harris 3-1000 amp and
power supply that was for sale at a fest here last summer. the
massive components in the output network put such an animal in a
different zoo from something like an AL-82. No power loss there
because nothing gets hot. No Airdux coils like what you find in some
ham amps. Just don't drop the tube hi hi.
Every commercially manufactured amp for the ham market has some
corners cut. Some are worse than others but they all are lacking in
some way. Look for what the advertising copy doesn't brag about.
There might be a few less diodes in the FWB, maybe the RF hardware
isn't brass or the blocking and output fixed value caps are cheaper
disk ceramics, or maybe the filter caps and blower are of um, economy
manufacture, the shaft insulators are cheap plastic, the cabinet is
thin sheet metal...there are any number of ways to cut costs. The
ham market nowadays pretty much insists on something that can sit on
top of a table and not require a dolly to move around and isn't much
bigger than a breadbox. This is all nuts for manufacturers--they can
call cost cutting measures features. dinky cabinet size, quiet
(cheap) cooling, light weight (cheap transformer)...
Peak power over time in SSB is pretty much meaningless--that's a 20 or
30% duty cycle.
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