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Re: [TenTec] Solid State Amps-- was: SDR 1000 vs Orion vs SDR-X

To: "Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment" <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Solid State Amps-- was: SDR 1000 vs Orion vs SDR-X
From: "Ron Castro" <ronc@sonic.net>
Reply-to: Ron Castro <ronc@sonic.net>,Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 11:09:33 -0700
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
$5k-$6k isn't much for an auto-tune or no-tune 1.5 kW+ amp.  The only others 
on the market in that power level, Alpha and Acom, cost more.  The 
disturbing trend I have seen in broadcasting is that vacuum tubes just don't 
last as long as they used to.  In fact, the cheap re-builds from Econco 
(3CX15000A7's) typically last twice as long as brand new tubes from Eimac. 
SS amps are safer (No HV), require no warm-up time and have design 
capabilities to extend coverage from 160-6 meters.

The broadcast world is going solid state due to several factors.  The price 
is the same or less than tube-types up to around 5 kW on FM, and 50 kW AM. 
Over that, cost of maintenance makes SS cheaper in the long run.  MOSFETS 
have an outstanding long-term life, and I maintain several SS transmitters 
that have been running 10+ years, 24/7/365 with no failures in the finals. 
The big transmitters are made up of multiple modules that are hot-swappable 
and can be run with one or more units missing, and PA module are 
interchangeable with IPA's.  The power supplies are typically in the 
modules, reducing single point of failure problems.

The SGC is a reliable amp, but the IMD specs suck.  It's OK to run it mobile 
into a "dummy load on a stick", but put it into stacked MonstIR's on a 140' 
tower, and you'll hear howling from all parts of the globe!   It also wants 
to see 1:1 SWR and has no auto-tune components.  Not bad for $1,300 without 
a power supply, but for 3+ times power (actually around 5X peak), auto tune 
to 3:1 SWR and a power supply, IMHO Elecraft has another winner that's 
priced right.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rob Atkinson, K5UJ" <k5uj@hotmail.com>
To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2006 4:57 AM
Subject: [TenTec] SDR 1000 vs Orion vs SDR-X

> <<<Unfortunately, many of the old die hard amateurs do not like to see 
> such
> a
> rapidly evolving technology environment. It scares them.>>>
> No, from what I can tell, they just don't like having their golden rig, 
> that
> was supposed to be the rig to end all rigs, surpassed so soon, and by
> another company at that.  If Flex were a JA company there'd be a complete
> melt down.   I'll concede that the idea of a black box run with a computer
> is an alien concept though.
> <<<FYI, The new 1500 Watt Solid State Amplifier that has been announced by
> Elecraft at Dayton, is probably going to be the first amplifier in the
> amateur radio industry that is solid state and runs 1500 watts out. How
> revolutionary is the fact to not have to ever buy an expensive pair of
> replacement Ceramic Tube finals in the future.>>>
> I applaud the Elecraft success but I heard that they told everyone at 
> dayton
> the 1.5 kw amp will be selling for $5K to $6K and the 800 w. version will 
> be
> somewhere between $3K and $4K.    for that money I'll be sticking with
> tubes.   there are SB220s out there still running their original 3-500s. 
> If
> I wanted a s.s. amp I'd get one of those SGC smartcubes--that first 5 x
> power increase over exciter power is what really counts.
> 73
> rob / k5uj
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