[Amps] Accidental Alpha 87A

Jerry jsternmd at att.net
Wed Nov 8 09:21:43 EST 2017

The first thing you should do before powering it up:

1) check HV transformer voltage strap setting (see manual) and match it to
your QTH AC supply.  
2) check all low voltage molex connectors and make sure all are seated well
2) read section on RS232 and use hyperterminal or other to query the amp,
plugged into AC but NOT powered up.  This will give you access to viewing
the uprocessor's list of last faults.  This list should give you an idea if
the amp was operational when last used or had/has issues.  Knowing this
before applying AC to the amp may save you some headaches.  Also good
software for control and reading faults:  google "HB9ZS and Alpha 87a" to
get his website and free software---indispensable
3) Hopefully your 87a has the AlphaMax chip installed this is really what
made this a great autotuned amp.
3) there is a Yahoo Group for Alpha 87a that has a wealth of information,
Q&A's on repair tips, etc.  

It's a great amp. I have 2 and a spare parts rig... both acquired used, both
have worked flawlessly since built > 20 years ago.   

Also there is a former Alpha 87a engineer who now repairs these if needed:

K0HM Electronic Repair
Brad Focken
6288 Gunshot Pass Dr.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917
Phone: 719-629-7045
Phone: 303-579-5173
Website: www.k0hm.net

Jerry, NY2KW

-----Original Message-----
From: Amps [mailto:amps-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Frank Kirschner
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 11:33 PM
To: amps at contesting.com
Subject: [Amps] Accidental Alpha 87A

I bid on the ARRL auction, not expecting to win, but got an Alpha 87A.  The
page said, "In as-is condition," so I was expecting parts to be falling out
of the box when they delivered it.  Instead, it looks almost new.  Of
course, looks can be deceiving.  If it works, the Alpha will be replacing a
reliable but less robust Ten Tec Centurion.

Any hints on set up and initial test, other than what's in the manual?
I've never used an automatic amplifier, so I don't know all the caveats.


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