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[AMPS] Amp choices for new shack: AL-572, AL-80B, Centurion, QROHF2000

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Subject: [AMPS] Amp choices for new shack: AL-572, AL-80B, Centurion, QROHF2000
From: (Michael S. Mitchell, W6RW)
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 15:58:25 -0700
Hi recommendation for that price range is to purchase a used 3-holer 
76. Make sure it gets full output without exceeding recommended grid current or 
will have to replace the tubes pretty soon. What you should really do is spend 
a little bit more and purchase a used Alpha 77 or 78. It is really hard to go 
with an Alpha (if the tubes are good).

73 es cul de Mike/W6RW

Pat Rundall wrote:

> Ampophiles,
> After nearly a decade of inactivity, I've decided to leap back into
> ham radio with both feet. I'd like any and all input on choosing an
> amp and am hoping this group will give me their rarely humble opinions
> regarding some of my options. If your interested in the dirty details,
> the background is at the end. Sorry if this is a little on the long side.
> Any and all feedback is appreciated! Comments on vendors, new vs used,
> internet vs hamfests, manufactures, etc are all welcome but I'm mainly
> interested in "how much amp can I get for my $1000-$1400?"
> A few of my choices:
>  1) AL-572: To me, this looks like a lot bang for the buck. $1229 at 
> TexasTowers
>     QSK is optional - actually, I'm not exactly sure how badly I'd need QSK.
>     Four 572Bs, a relatively recent design incorporating a number improvements
>     over earlier amps. 1.3KW PEP
>  2) AL-80B: $1159 at TexasTowers; 1KW PEP, 800W CW
>  3) Used TenTec Centurion: 1.3KW PEP, 1KW CW, QSK, 2 3-500Zs
>  4) Used QRO HF-2000: 1200W CW or 1.5KW SSB
>  5) Used Alpha 99... might be kinda hard to find one in this price range.
>  6) Other... Tell me what I'm missing
> My requirements:
>  * Price - I once heard that a rule of thumb was to spend about the same
>    on the amp as you spend on the rig. When I first heard this I laughed
>    thinking that it oversimplified the issue... but the more I think
>    about it, the more reasonable it sounds for some strange reason.
>    Anyway, I suppose I'm looking in the $1000 to $1400 range.
>  * Good reliability/performance for the price point. I'm a little worried
>    about what I've read for Amps like the AL-80 and AL-1500. Should I be?
>    Anyway, I don't want to frequently retube, nor spend a small fortune
>    when it is necessary to do so. Oh yeah, I'm not too keen on having a
>    ton of TVI reports either.
>  * Relatively easy to use - I don't want to go through 30+ steps every
>    time I QSY 5kc. A no-tune, solid-state, computer controlled system
>    like the ACOM would be ideal, it's just WAY out of my price range.
>    I'd also like to invite guest op ham/relatives and friends over so,
>    I'll either need smarter relatives and friends or fairly idiot-proof
>    equipment. :)
>  * Definately CW, some phone, eventually digital modes.
>  * I'm going to try a contest or two without an amp, see what I think.
>    Eventually though, I'll try contesting with it. Kinda hard to tell at
>    this point.
>  * Years ago I was sort of a "casual DXer", so I suppose I will be again.
>  * It would sure be nice if I didn't have to drive it with 100W for >1KW.
> ==========
> The XYL has been encouraging me to rekindle my interest in ham radio.
> On the other hand, she's an accountant, so one of her first questions
> was "how much is all of this going to cost?" With this in mind, I've
> done a lot of research, drove to a ham store to look at rigs, and even
> put together a spreadsheet with pricing info for the three phases.
> Phase I is the basics (rig, wire antenna, ...), Phase II is the amp,
> and Phase III is the tower/beam.
> Phase I:
>  Icom IC-746 w/ FL100 500hz CW filter
>  Carolina Windom 160 Special
>  Computerized rig control.
> Phase II:
>  A 1KW-1.5KW PA of some sort
>  Tuner capable of handling the PA
> Phase III:
>  Trylon T500-56 56' free standing tower
>  Yaesu G-800SA rotor
>  Force 12 C4SXL 40-10m w/WARC (via tuner) Yagi or a Tennadyne/M2 LPDA
> I'll probably work on setting up the shack itself (phase I) over the
> next week or so. I'll probably get the amp in the next few months and
> finally setup the tower next spring.
> I applogize if this sort of thing is taboo on this maillist, but I
> poked around the archives and found very little in the way of comparisons
> between this this class of amplifiers.
> Many thanks!
> Pat, N0HR
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