I have had some mid-to-low price amplifiers for the last 12 years:
FL2100Z and FL2100B: It gets very hot and the badswitch goes to the outer
space easily. In my opinion it is useless for heavy contest use. Sold both.
Ameritron AL80B: It is a good amplifier but be careful to only run 650w
during contests. I tried to use at full power during the 1996 CQWW SSB (for
many, many hours) but had to replace the tube after the contest. I still
have it and like it very much.
SB220: An outstanding amplifier. I replaced the original transformer with a
Peter Dahl. Replaced the tubes with new ones and I used to run 1200w during
the contests (SSB an CW). It is a war tank! Never had a problem!!!! Sold
it but I regreat every single day :-(
SB200: Gets hot easily like the FL2100´s however it is a well built linear
amplier (good bandswith). you may consider this amplifier if you intend to
run the contest with 350 watts or so.
If you intend to buy a new one, I would consider the AL80B. You will have
all the bands, will run 1kw in pile-ups and will run 650w in contest
operations. If you consider an used ampflier, well, the SB220 and the Drake
L4B are good options.
I hope it helps.
73 Carlos PY1CAS (ex PY4RO, ex PT2HO)
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