btippett at btippett at
Mon Oct 23 22:19:51 EDT 1995

        My old AEA CK-1 has finally given up the ghost and it appears that
the Kansas City keyers are not currently available.  Anyone have any 
experience with the Logikey K-1?  Will it work with a non-iambic paddle?
Please reply to me at btippett at and not the reflector.
                                                        73,  Bill  W0ZV
Bill Tippett, PO Box 37, New London, NC  28127-0037 USA
Phone/FAX:  +1 704-463-1445        E-mail:  btippett at

>From Fred Hopengarten" <k1vr at  Mon Oct 23 20:56:59 1995
From: Fred Hopengarten" <k1vr at (Fred Hopengarten)
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 15:56:59 EDT
Subject: Special Phrases
Message-ID: <308bf38f.k1vr at>

As the phone contest nears, and sunspots are few and far
between, it is time to recognize that 20 meters is going to
be the big ugly this weekend.  I therefore offer the
following language phrases as an aid to retaining your
CQ'ing frequency this weekend.  Note that when my more
extensive collection of foreign language phrases was printed
in CQ, K1AR, diplomat that he is, left out these phrases.

Phrases for Special Situations:

English:       Gimme a break.  I've been here for two hours.
               [Don't diss me man, o' I'll be in yo face.]

Japanese:      kyO wa butsumetsu kana.
               [Is today Friday the 13th?]

Russian:       Tee chtoh, sloni svalyeelseh?
               [Did you just fall off the back of a turnip

French:        Un aperitif vous attends au premier etage.
               Bon appetit.
               [Don't you have a drink waiting for you
               upstairs?  Enjoy it.]

Spanish:       Esta la hora para sua siesta.  Vamonos.
               [Isn't it time for your nap?]

German:        Sollten Sie heute nicht Ihr Auto waschen?
               [Shouldn't you be cleaning your car today?]

Italian:       Per favore, abbassa il tuo speech processor.
               [Please turn down your speech processor.]

Good luck in the contest!
                      Fred Hopengarten K1VR
           Six Willarch Road * Lincoln, MA 01773-5105
     home + office telephone:  617/259-0088 (FAX on demand)
                   internet:  k1vr at
            "Big antennas, high in the sky, are better
                       than small ones, low."

>From Fred Hopengarten" <k1vr at  Mon Oct 23 18:42:52 1995
From: Fred Hopengarten" <k1vr at (Fred Hopengarten)
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 13:42:52 EDT
Subject: Slopers - Summary
Message-ID: <308bd424.k1vr at>

The wisdom and generosity of the contest community never
cease to amaze me.  Herewith,

             SLOPERS -- The Conventional Wisdom

This inquiry began with:

From:     Fred Hopengarten
Sent:     Thursday, October 05, 1995 8:16 PM
To:       cq-contest at TGV.COM
Subject:  Sloper Construction

One of the K1VR ops has been complaining that we're not
strong enough into the Caribbean on 80 meter SSB during
contests.  He is, apparently, distressed that some W4's get
through to P40V before we do, requiring us to wait 80
nanoseconds or so.

The present antenna for this purpose is a two element
vertical phased array (lined up at 70 degrees/250 degrees)
in the "bidirectional" mode (160/340), which has, in theory,
virtually no gain (OK, perhaps 1 dB) when we want to talk to
the Caribbean.


*    What simple antenna, erectable within the next 20 days,
     would you put up to be loud from New England into the

*    Assuming that you say:  "A sloper," at what height
     would you start it?  (Good heights for my situation are
     either 60 feet or 88 feet.)  At what angle would you
     slope it (30-45-60 degrees???).  How long would you
     make it (66-70 feet?, or 135-140 feet?)  Any
     construction tips?  Would you use any radials (and what
     would they look like?)?

I ask for these thoughts on slopers because the "buzz" on
slopers seems to be that sometimes they work, and sometimes
they don't.  KJ9I has recently posted a tip that a sloper
should not begin too close to a tower.  Anyone else got some

In responding, I am particularly interested in your thoughts
on this path (New England to the Caribbean).

                      Fred Hopengarten K1VR
           Six Willarch Road * Lincoln, MA 01773-5105
     home + office telephone:  617/259-0088 (FAX on demand)
                   internet:  k1vr at
            "Big antennas, high in the sky, are better
                       than small ones, low."


W3ZZ:  For North-South paths, for reasons which are best
understood only by propagation experts, you must be
horizontal.  To go East or NE, you are probably best off
with a vertical.

Speaking generally about 80 meters, the best system is a
K8UR (or K3LR/WA3FET) system.  K1JX says there are
theoretical reasons.  These are inverted vees turned
sideways.  By the way, three work as well as four.

Consider a .25 wave sloper, with one east and one west.
Take the length of a .25 wave sloper, plus 5% as passive
reflectors.  Then hang your "South" sloper.

The tower acts as a counterpoise, but a tower with a lot of
antennas on it is complex, so you can't depend on 234
divided by frequency.  It could diverge by 10-15%.  Bring
antenna analyzer.  Turn on your radio and get to lowest SWR
and then set a proportion.  Cut everything according to this
"field" proportion.

Example:  3.2 MHz is to 3.7 MHz as x is to 234.

Come off at 45 degree angle.  Run coax up the inside of the
tower.  Use delrin rod, or any type of insulation suitable
for a lot of current.  Any type of insulating material.
Shield to tower with all stainless cable clamp, penetrox A
(or Noalox), and put the rod only 8" out.  The center
conductor should be directly connected to the sloper.  Use
the tower.  It doesn't matter how high off the ground the
bottom of the sloper will be.  At W3ZZ, the sloper starts at
85' and goes down to 15'.  It works.

And remember, if you can, put up two wires at right angles
and add 5% to length of sloper.  Insulate them from the
tower and you have passive reflectors.

Fred, my use of slopers is fairly limited, but I have had
favorable results.  Originally built the 5 half-wave sloper
array that appeared in The Antenna Handbook, but for 20M --
probably about 1977 -- with good results.  But when I
put up a 2L quad, the quad was, of course, better.  Recent
sloper installations have included 2 for 160 and 1 for 80.
The 80 and most recent 160 ones were done for the XR0Y and
CE0Z operations, after I returned from XR0Y and confirmed
what I had learned from my previous experience with the
first 160 sloper.  You can't make them too long!  These were
1/4 wave slopers with about 1 foot of wire between the
feedpoint insulator and the tower connection on the shield
side.  My first 160 sloper was mounted at 160 feet, and was
cut to 135 feet, so that I could trim it to length.  But I
had to ADD 7 ft to get it down to 1825 KHz!  (As in, "I cut
it off three times and it was still too short!" from the
late W0ENO.   Or, "Cut it a little short, we can always
splice it later." -- K0RF)

So when I installed the latest 160 sloper pointing in
another direction (with a different lay of the land), I just
cut it to 142 feet, thinking I was on top of it now.  It was
still about 18 inches too short for resonance where I wanted
it.  Made me think that some of the reported problems with
slopers may be due to cutting them much too short and,
without proper instruments or patience, the requirement for
lots more wire is never understood.

This held true on the 80 meter one which was mounted on
another tower at 80 feet, and I had to make it much longer
than suggested by the "half a dipole" first approximation.
The slopers are installed with about a 45 degree slope with
respect to the tower and performed quite well with easy
shots into both CE0Z and XR0Y on both 80 and 160.  That is a
similar path to your New England to Caribbean and SA shot.
(Hey, what is wrong with me--why am I trying to help some
big time W1 station?)

For my ground conductivity, mounting height and angle it has
always been necessary to make them much longer than one
would guess.  But they seem to work quite well.

John Brosnahan    W0UN
La Salle Research Corp  24115 WCR 40  La Salle, CO 80645 USA
voice 970-284-6602            fax 970-284-0979
email broz at


Sounds like much to-do over nothing !  You said it yourself
- you have to wait 80 nanoseconds or so.  How much does it
hurt your score to wait behind the 4's to get through ?
Even from out here, where I have to wait behind W1, 2, 3, 4,
5 and 8, I consider the effect on my score to be virtually
0.  Heck, there are times when I even get CQ'd in my face by
a YV!

Put your energy where it will do some real good - like
training your operators to use the memories in the radio, so
they can do something useful instead of waiting for those

BTW, I just put up a 2 element vertical for 80 (wire
elements, elevated radials) with 5/8 wavelength spacing and
fed in phase.  Mininec says it will give me 4 dB
bidirectional gain.  I would be thrilled to pick up even 3
dB towards EU.

I know this isn't the sort of suggestions you wanted to
Steve N2IC/0, n2ic at

Sorry that you have to wait 80 nanoseconds behind N4ZC's
Southern 4 = element wire log periodic array at 120 feet.

But to your question, I know that K1DG and KA1XN put an 80M
sloper off the 60 foot tower at VP2EB's for last CQ WW and
sloped it North.  We were nearby as PJ8Z, with a vertical.
They kicked our butts on 75!  Tower didn't seem to hurt it

Jim Stevens, KI4HN     ki4hn at  <---- NEW ADDRESS



When I was at P40V's place for '93 WW (disguised as P40L,
with KR0Y), we kept saying "Thank God for 4's".  They were
very loud and very plentiful.  They are SO much louder than
anyone else ON EVERY BAND!  You hafta hear it to believe it!
A bigger antenna might get u past the bottom few layers, but
any "4" with an inverted vee at 30' & medium power is going
to kick your A!!

K3ZO is the only one to come close & you know what he runs!!
[A 3 element rotatable YAGI, on Rohn 80.]  Tell ur ops they
will almost always hafta stand in line to the Caribbean,
especially  on 80M.

73,  Gator  N5RZ   -------------------;--;<<   N5RZ at


Well, the only direction I do well on 75m is to the south.
And my antenna is an inverted vee with the top at 95 ft.

Randy Thompson, K5ZD    k5zd at

[K1VR note:  May be an example proof that horizontal is the
way to go into the Caribbean.]

> In responding, I am particularly interested in your
> thoughts on this path (New England to the Caribbean).

How about a plain-ol inverted vee?


I have two thoughts.  First, figure out the vertical angle
you want, and then erect a simple horizontal dipole,
oriented to the Caribbean, at the height that gives the
right vertical angle.  Pretty simple, very effective, and
guaranteed (almost) not to give any feedpoint impedance
headaches. Also, probably gets along pretty well with all
the other (vertical) 80 meter antennas you've got there.

Get Dean to tell you the takeoff angle you want, and I'll
run the dipole on NEC-WIN to figure out the height.

Second idea: I've had such good luck with this I just can't
resist, although it probably doesn't fit the bill on all
counts.  Use a pair of delta loops, phased, pointed to
Caribbean.  Apex at 70 feet, fed at about a corner.
Vertically polarized, no radials needed.  Takeoff
angle about 30 degrees.  Phasing is done with RG-11/U foam
coax and is very simple. I have such an antenna, and I have
180 degree switching.  F/B is 15 db, and it has almost 3 db
gain over a single loop.

So what's the magic angle for Caribbean ?

-Tony, K1KP, fisher at

28 degrees is dominant angle to Carib from W1 on 80 m.  Have

Dean, N6BV     N6BV at

Before you put up a sloper, you should review ON4UN's
thoughts on this in his "Low Band DXing" book. He says that
quarter wave slopers actually have more directivity
BROADSIDE than in the slope direction and they have a
negative gain compared to a dipole at the same height.
Modelling with AO confirms this to my satisfaction.

Before putting up his quads, W3LPL swore by a 100' high
dipole for the Caribbean.  Eighty-some feet might do fine if
you can manage it. I have tried both here and found that an
85' high dipole strung between towers beat the sloper.

73 Bill
N6CQ at

[K1VR note:  May be an example proof that horizontal is the
way to go into the Caribbean.]

In my travels around the country with the Coast Guard I have
made extensive use of slopers. Typically, I used the top
three guy wires on a 60 or 70 foot tower as slopers on 80.
The tower usually had a two element triband quad on top. The
system played very well.

When I was running the MARS station here in Alexandria
(K4CG), circa 78-82, I had a quarter wave sloper on a 60
foot self supporting wind mill type tower with a KT34XA at
the top.  This site used to be a Coast Guard Communication
Station, and still has ground screens running all over the
place.  One is under this tower, and the sloper was a
killer. Howie K4PQL and I tried all sorts of configurations
of wire supported by 100 to 120 foot towers to improve on
the performance of that sloper. It was a waste of time!

I also put a quarter wave sloper off the top of a 120 footer
that supported a 4 element Telrex 20 meter monobander.  It
also played exceptionally well.

The only time I couldn't get a sloper to play was at my
present QTH.  After getting 55ft of tower with 8 feet of
mast sticking out the top in the air, I decided to put an 80
meter quarter slope up.  Didn't matter how much wire I used,
it wouldn't resonate.  As soon as I stuck the KT34XA at
the 55ft level and cut the sloper to a quarter wave it
resonated. Or maybe I would be safer to say the VSWR in the
CW part of the band dropped to below 1.5:1!  Putting the
rotatable 40 meter dipole at the top of the mast made no
difference in the vswr curve on 80.

At my present QTH, my gut feeling is that the N4KG reverse
fed ground plane outplays the sloper, but I can't make an
a/b comparison because of the interaction between the two
when they are both on the tower.

I've seen a number of folks say they couldn't get a sloper
to work. I've had 8 slopers or sloper systems up at various
locations and the only one that didn't work didn't have a
top hat.

Larry K7SV - lschim at

If you are using a 1/2 wave sloper (sloping dipole) you HAVE
to get the ends (HV Point) away from the tower.  If you
don't, the presence of the tower near the HV point will
couple too tightly to the antenna, screwing up the balance,
pattern and feedpoint impedance.  This is exactly what was
happening at KJ9I.

I've heard that with a 1/4 sloper, you want to keep the
Maximize the coupling to the tower.

I've heard that in order to make these antennas play, the
end of the sloping wire should be no more than 1 1/2 inches
from the tower.

I think that the question as to which antenna would be
better is pretty much a toss-up.  Both will have some
higher-angle radiation (this isn't necessarily bad to the
Caribbean) and some lower angle too.  I might venture a
guess that the 1/4 wave sloper would have a lower angle of
radiation than the 1/2 wave variety at the same height.

Gary Schwartz  K9GS         garyk9gs at

The hot ticket that worked for us (KS9K) on 160, is a sloper
that is pulled back into the tower starting at the
feedpoint.  In other words, it looks like an inverted vee
rotated 90 degrees.  I have done much modelling with this
and there are two important factors.

1)  Included angle at the feedpoint.  This affects feedpoint

2)  Distance away from tower.  (More is better.)

Number 2 is the big one.  The distance away from the tower
GREATLY affects F/B and gain.  The sloper I modelled for 160
had >15dB F/B!!  For a SINGLE element (not including the
tower "reflector").  This antenna was a "one-call" antenna.
The day before WW SSB '92 I worked 8R1Z on SSB and he said I
was the loudest signal he heard all WEEK!

This was done on a 165' tower.  On 80, we are putting up
this weekend, from the 135' tower, the same "slopers," but
in a 4 square for CW.  (The 2el beam only works for SSB.)

KJ9I had a problem because he was too close to the tower.
Not only is this a SWR problem, but you are giving away
"free" gain and F/B.

I modelled, in a 4 square configuration, elevated verticals,
regular slopers, and "pulled in" slopers.  The "pulled in"
ones look great.  Your ground losses are low and radiation
efficiency high.  They kick butt!  In fact, N3RS is
supposedly putting up the same 4-sq.

In case you don't completely understand my poor description,
it looks like this:

       | \
       |  \
       |   \
       |   /
       |  /
       | /

Well, that's not to scale.  You want the included angle more
and the distance from the tower more.

Now if you use this thing, and it works, you have to let me
work P40V first.  :-)

Chad Kurszewski, WE9V    e-mail: Chad_Kurszewski at
The Official Sultans Web Site:


I have been using a sloper on 80 meters for the last 4 years
and am very pleased (considering my limited space).

ON4UN goes to great detail in Volume 2 of his book to prove
that the tower/antenna combination is actually being used as
a vertical radiator and the 1/4 wave sloper is just some
sort of matching device.  I couldn't disagree more, even
though I really respect John's knowledge and experience. I
spent some time comparing East versus West slopers, and if
his statement is true there should be zero directivity.  Let
me assure you I got my short fat a** kicked going west to
the Pacific with the east sloper...time and time again.  The
west sloper made it through, time and time again.

The comment by KJ9I was probably very true for 1/2 wave
slopers -- that is, dipoles that are not horizontal,
vertical or inverted vees.  I can see very easily that a
sloping 1/2 wave dipole could interact with the tower and
the top insulator should be many feed away from the tower.
However, I was always using 1/4 wave slopers with the shield
connected to the tower and the center of the coax connected
to a 1/4 (approximately) wavelength piece of wire.  With a
1/4 wave sloper, it is important that at the point where the
coax is split (so that the shield can go to the tower and
the center conductor connects to the antenna) the distance
between the 'split' and the connection to the antenna is
minimized.  A W3 guy, can't remember his call, did some
qualitative work/writing about it but didn't quantify his
measurements enough to satisfy me.  However, it made sense
and was a design rule in the slopers I have used for 80
and 40.

The comment of John/ON4UN that I really agree with (don't
have the book here so can't quote chapter/verse) is that
the tower/Yagi combination has an effect on the resonant
frequency of the sloper.  The 'N4KG special' that was
published a few months ago (in NCJ I think) makes this point
even though the antenna and feed system are basically

In my case, it was easy to tune the antenna for resonance.
For 80 meters, I started with about a 75 ft piece of wire
(they are always a little long for resonance, I think) and
cut it back until I got the SWR minimized around 3.500 MHz.
With about 100 ft of RG8 coax, the SWR in the shack was 1.3
or so.  I then cut several sections of wire off to get the
SWR flat at 3.800 MHz.  It took about 4.5 ft to move the
resonance point up 300 KHz.  Oh yes, the feedpoint was at
about the 55 ft point and the ends of the slopers were about
5 to 10 feet above the ground.

I hope I have answered all your questions.  If my tower had
been tall enough, I would have liked to have experimented
with a full 1/2 wave dipole in a sloping configuration, and
then added 1/2 wave reflectors behind it for switchable

Regarding the radiation pattern, I really believe there are
a few dB in F/B and that the tower acts as a reflector of
sorts.  The angle of radiation seems lower than a low
dipole, but not so low as a full 1/4 wave vertical with an
extensive radial system.  This may be your best antenna for
the Caribbean -- point the wire that direction!

Tom WB4iUX  Tom.Skelton at ClemsonSC.ATTGIS.COM

     I hope my "school of hard knocks" lesson in slopers can
save someone else some hassle.

     I use half-wave center-fed 160m full-size slopers
suspended from the top guy ring of my tower (48 meters above

     Initially, I tied top of sloper (20cm porcelain end
insulator) directly to tower.  The result:  slopers were
resonant at right frequency but impedance was too high
causing high VSWR (VSWR *minimum* was 3:1 at resonance).

     The solution was to separate the top end insulator
approx. 1.5m from tower guy ring.  Evidently top half of
sloper interacted with steel tower and caused imbalance.

     Also...  Although the portable SWR/Z analyzers are very
handy for quick outdoor checks, they are also *sometimes*
terribly inaccurate.  My Autek unit is highly accurate on
all bands except 160m.  I suspect reason is with broad
front-end, the Autek RX picks up my 'local' broadcast
signals causing errant readings.  I recommend double-
checking critical measurements with a rig and SWR meter.

David J. Schmocker  KJ9I      djs at

My experience with half slopers is excellent.  The key is
that you MUST have a big top hat above the sloper.  K4VX had
160m slopers on his 40m tower and they worked great.  I had
80 and 160 on the same tower with great success.

Any time I have talked to someone about half slopers that
didn't work, they didn't have a big top hat (no 40m beam).

Bill Fisher, KM9P   -    Concentric Systems, Inc.

With respect to KM9P's remark on slopers that "you need a
big top hat above them."  This is what I have heard also,
but haven't confirmed by testing the hypothesis with little
or no antennas for the sloper to work against.

The 160 sloper at 160ft has a 4L 40M KLM just above it and
the 80 sloper at 80ft has a 4L 40M M-squared just above it
(well a little further up, maybe 6 or 7 ft, but essentially
what you are indicating).

John Brosnahan    W0UN   email broz at

Throwing caution to the winds, with the chance that I just
might get beaten to P40V (actually I will be operating from
VP5S for the 'test), I would opt for the sloper.  I run 4 on
80 (switchable), at 45, 120, 250, and 320 degrees or so.
They all start at 72', right from the tower on short
brackets with SO-239 connectors.  They are each in the 70'
range for length.  I started a little long, and had each one
pruned in a half hour or so.  So far, I have used no
radials, although this will change with the radials for the
inv-v or shunt fed tower for 160m.  As I am located on a
"city" lot, it is the best antenna I have found.  I guess I
have been lucky, but I have been able to make them play now
from two different locations.

Doug / WB4MAI.

North/South propagation usually has high takeoff angles,
therefore verticals are not the solution to your problems in
busting pileups into the Caribbean.  I say this from
experience in many contests..... What you need is a
horizontally polarized antenna, such as a dipole or better.
I presently use a double extended Zepp at 75 feet that
radiates NW/SE.  This antenna was several S units better
than my 6 element 80m vertical array into the Caribbean.

Peter Hutter/WW2Y

I put up a horizontal dipole at K1MNS's QTH a year ago for
this purpose.  One end is at 100', the other at about 140'.
This has been a stellar performer into zone 8; it handily
beats our 4-square.  Into zone 9, they're about equal, and
for SA, the 4-square wins.

You're at 90 ft or so.  That might be high enough, though I
doubt an inverted vee would be as effective...

Paul, NX1H

What about trying the simple 4 ele LP wire antenna featured
in the Antenna Handbook?  This looks like a simple antenna
to build and I've always wondered how well it would work.
If I remember correctly, it only requires a height of 75'
and the catenary pulled out to 120' or so.

Other wise I would go with the traditional half sloper.
Distance from the tower at the bottom will vary for getting
a good match.  Should have some radials at the tower base.

Rod Greene W7ZRC   w7zrc at   Boise ID

Hi Fred - Have had the similar complaints from ops here.  We
put up a quarter wave sloper fed at the top.  Shield of coax
to the tower with the tower as the counterpoise. It works
very well for us.  We only have to wait 40 nanoseconds.

The tower I am using is an eighty foot windmill tower.
Three-sided with 14 feet on a side.  This may have an affect
on the performance.  We had to do considerable trimming of
the antenna from the calculated length.  The antenna starts
only a few inches from the tower, and we have no radials.
Angle is about 45 degrees.

Dick KB1H
                      Fred Hopengarten K1VR
           Six Willarch Road * Lincoln, MA 01773-5105
     home + office telephone:  617/259-0088 (FAX on demand)
                   internet:  k1vr at
            "Big antennas, high in the sky, are better
                       than small ones, low."

>From Keskinen Petri <oh3mep at>  Tue Oct 24 14:25:54 1995
From: Keskinen Petri <oh3mep at> (Keskinen Petri)
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 15:25:54 +0200 (EET)
Subject: Amplifier summary
Message-ID: <199510241325.PAA25199 at>

Hello, Contesters!

I asked couple weeks ago your help to find a BIG amplifier.
I did get several good advices, so MANY thanks to all you
for your help. I also got many request for a summary of
all replies but i've been so busy that haven't had time
to edit it before. Now i finally had enough time, and
here it is.


From: ae382 at (Walter D. Amos)

Hi Pete:

	I have had limited experience with steady cqing with amps
but I do have an alpha 78 which is OLD but never even gets warm at
full output. I think drive power is the death of amps! Over drive
e'm and they die. I find I can over drive all the amps I have with
little trouble and now that I have ft-1000 must watch drive even
more carefully. I have had and sold an MLA-2500b with 8875s that 
is notorious for blowing up and as long as I kept the drive in 
reasonable range never had a problem with it. The output was never
as high as hoped because of poor eficiency but that is another
story. I have both SB220 and drake L4 with 3-500z and have never
replaced the tubes and still get full output but they don't
cover 160. Yes, I also use extra muffin fans on top of the L4 and 
the SB220 when running a contest or rtty for extra cooling. Two
on the L4 as it has a seperate power supply with NO FAN and will
get quite warm without the help. I use a light dimmer switch in 
series with the fans to control the noise. They sell them at
swaps here in the states for $2.50 us , Just a cardboard box
with two wires but does the trick. Again the alpha 78 is the
only amp I have had that runs cool. It does eat vacume qsk relays
thoug to the tune of $100 for the big output one. I'm on my 
second one and have a spare so it will last for ever now!
Walt K8CV


From: prestonj at (Jim Preston)


I use a Ten Tec Titan. It runs 1500 watts output (thats as big as we're
allowed over here). It is very easy to tune and needs only about 50 watts
input to deliver the 1500 out. It is important with this rig to keep the
dirve down to 50 watts or less. There is a risk of overdriving and damaging
the tubes (a pair of 3CX800A7's). I have never used any other "big"
amplifiers, so can't give any comparative ratings.

Hope this helps.

73 de Jim WA6UFY
prestonj at


From: "John C. Goller" <0007490835 at>

Hi Pete..I have an Alpha 87a and a Commander HF-2500 both are good amps
the Alpha is expensive but NO-TUNE bandchanges are great with it! The
Commander is a running amp....just watch the Grid Drive..and your tubes
will last a long time....both run 2.5 KW output! Good luck de JOHN K9UWA

                        TOPBAND FOREVER
                        160 DXCC 234/230
                         160 WAZ 40/40

k9uwa at



I like the Dentron MLA 1500. It is built like a tank and works on 110VAC.



From: Dan Robbins <kl7y at>

>Pse share your experiences with me! Perhaps you then
>will get OH and/or OH0-multipliers more easily on 
>forthcoming contests! :-)
 Usually don't have any problems getting OH's (unless you're DXpedition in
Africa) but here's my observations:

TL-922  Used two, neither could last an entire contest above 1KW out.  If 
you did only search and pounce, maybe OK at 1400-1500 W.

SB-220  Used two, ran fine at 1KW, above that good luck.

76PA, 78 (3x8874) Used several, never had a problem even when running 48
hours straight on 20 m at 1500 out.

77  Pricey, but they will do the job over and over again.

MLA-2500  Blew mine up a lot.  Fixed it and sold it.

LK-800Z (2x3-500z)  Same comments as TL-922

Ameritron AL-1500  Made 1500 easy, but would not last through contest.  I added
a high-wattage 15K ohm resistor across the relay contacts in the cathode bias
circuit to give cathode a return in RX mode and improved lead dress around
Power supply.  No problems since then.  The open cathode used to pop one
diode all the time in my amp; I believe the same problem might occur in
their other amps, too.

Collins 30S-1  Never had a problem, used one for years.

Homebrew  This is the way to go if you have the expertise and the time.
Build it like you were going to run 3K and you will never, ever have a
problem.  It's
hard to get the same efficiency on the high bands as some of the commercial
amps get, but we are regulated by power out, not input, so there's no
problem with
50% or even slightly less.  The only problem with building it big is that
everybody will think you are running lots of smoke!

Anyway, that is my outlook  Good luck and turn that beam North!

                Dan KL7Y 


From: K5GA at








         SS CW.


From: Jan Seay <jans at>

>From my experience, the only amps we can depend on to make
it through long contests are the homemade ones. All
the commercial amps have failed at one time or another,
sometimes very minor failures, but the old ugly amps
we throw together are there, year after year!
73 -Del, KL7HF-


From: John-Warren at (John Warren, NT5C)


I know it's not one of the "sexy" Alpha linears, but I've been very
satisfied with my Kenwood 922. It's very reliable, easy to fix on the rare
occasions it goes wrong, with parts easy to get (at least in the U.S.)
including the 3-500Z tubes. Kenwood recently stopped making 922s, but you
should find some available used. Best of all it's "instant on" - I've
worked a LOT of dx while the Alpha-owners were waiting for their linears to
warm up!

                                        73, John, NT5C.


From: M Glenn Vinson Jr <mgvinson at>

Henry still looks like the best bang per buck and is constructed very
solidly.  The 5K Ultra costs less than the fancy Alpha and will loaf at
any reasonable amateur radio power output, or put out major watts if you 
insist.  You did say you were interested in BIG linears. 

The Tentec Titan's power supply is not up to par.
73, Glenn, W6OTC


From: beaton at (Alastair Beaton)

Hi Pete,

As you seem to have been having a pretty hard time soliciting a response
from the Big Guns of the reflector (could it be they all use 3CX3000s and
don't want to say) you may instead like to hear of my fairly Little Gun
experiences and opinions.

Uses a pair of 3-500Zs. The Kenwood is a pale imitation of the old Drake L7.
The TL-922A's input circuit is very poor, and input SWR rises in some
portion of most bands. I have used several of these as Guest Op, and didn't
like it. It doesn't deliver maximum power on Top Band (my favourite), and
cannot give 1.5kW (not matter what the brochure might tell you). If it comes
from the U.S., expect to spend about 8 hours retro-fitting the 20MHz add-on
kit. Despite it being Europe's most popular amp, I'd advice you to give it a
wide berth.

No longer produced, but available 2nd hand. Uses a pair of 3CX800A7s,
Jennings vacuum relay for full QSK, and has a separate power supply. I chose
this amp in preference to the Alpha 86A because of the separate power
supply. There are some build-quality problems with Titans, especially the
caps in the power supply, which I had to replace. It delivers PLENTY of
power, 1500W CW no problem, and up to about 2.2kW SSB PEP. Most Titans
should now be well-sorted, and are a bargain. 

The successor to the short-lived 86A, the Alpha, like the Titan, uses a pair
of 3CX800A7s. PIN-diode QSK caused problems in early models, but ETO
upgraded them under warranty. Used by Pete, G3ZSS/V85PB, from Brunei, it's
rock-solid and reliable with 1.5kW output. The only snag is it's expensive.

Microprocessor-controlled auto-tune version of the 89A. Frighteningly
expensive, but probably the best amateur-market amplifier available. 

Rugged, simple and relatively cheap, it uses an 8877 (3CX1500A7) to give
more than 1.5kW output. A real bargain, but QSK an optional extra. 

Uses a pair of 3-500Zs. Cheap, and has a massive power supply. Needs a lot
of drive, and can get very hot, despite noisy blowers. Just makes it to
1.5kW. A later mod cuts the plate dissipation on the higher bands and
reduces drive requirements. 

Don't know much about this amp, which appear to be a cheaper copy of the
Alpha 89A. Uses a pair of 3CX800A7s. QSK an optional extra. A single
3CX800A7 version, the HF-1250, is also available. 

Henry make a huge range of HF amplifiers, right up to the massive 8K, which
uses a 3CX3000A7 and has been known to give 4.5kW on 40m. Very expensive,
but the nicest amplifier I've come across. Most Henrys don't cover 160m.

My two favourite old amps are the Drake L7 (father of the TL-922) and the
Collins 30S-1. The 30-S1 is a floor-standing console amp, which uses a
4-1000. 80-10m coverage, and available MIL-surplus. It needs to be driven
HARD (FT-1000D perhaps) but is absolutely indestructable. The one we're
using during CQWW reached its current owner slung under a helicopter and
dumped on the deck of a ship.

Of course, you might instead try building one... There's a great design in
"CQ" for a 4CX1500 160-thru-6m linear which works very well. 

IMHO, buying or building an amp which puts out less than 1kW is a waste of
time. There is little price differential between an 800W amp and a 1500W amp.

Hope this is some use. It probably isn't anything like as informative as
replies from the big U.S. stations, but I hope it gives you some idea of
what to look out for.

Best wishes


P.S. Please listen out for GM4DMZ in CQWW (esp. on 160m!).


From: Bill Turner <wrt at>

For a good linear at a very good price, I would recommend the Heathkit
SB-1000, which is a clone of the Ameritron AL-80A.  Mine has been in service
for five years with no problems at all, and a lot of that was high duty
cycle RTTY.  It even switches fast enough for Amtor and Pactor without the
QSK option.  It uses a single 3-500Z, covers 160 through 10 and puts out 1kw
SSB and CW, and 500 watts RTTY.  It's not the biggest or fanciest, but it's
a workhorse and I see them advertised for around $550-$600 US.  Heath is out
of the amateur business, of course, and Ameritron is now making it as the -B
version, which has some enhancements and is more expensive.  

73, Bill  W7LZP
wrt at


From: George Cook <george at>

I just got a Henry 2K Classic-X
I really like it a lot.  Very easy to use, Lots of power and solid 
construction.  Uses 3-500z tubes which I would prefer cause if you need 
to replace them they are a lot cheaper than the ceramic tubes.\


* George Cook   AA3JU  Bangor, PA  FN21         *
* george at  AA3JU at N3IQD.EPA.USA.NA *
* If you're not FRC remember:...............    *
* .......There's no shame in being 2nd best!    *


From: Albert Crespo <wr6r at>

Petri, Amp Supply is no longer in business and has not been for at least 
five years. They had a big problem with quality control. I have a one and 
it works greatit has only blown up once!
	I also have a 87A- it is the greatest becuase of the ease in operation.
	Also have a Ameritron Al-1500 which uses a 8877- for the money 
this is a good buy. It sells for around $2200.00 in the states.

				73, Al


That's it folks!
Still interested in any new ideas, so pse mail me if you know

Cu all on CQWW CW on the topband next month. OH0MEP will be
on 160m hipo (still with old little linear) equipped with fullsize GP.
QTH will be the easternmost part of Aland Is, NOT Market Reef!
( I still receive qsl-request "Pse qsl OJ0 for a new one" from my 
previous trips.)

There will most likely be also OH0LQK on 80m single es OH0NLP on
15m single. Perhaps some others also.

oh3mep, oh0mep

oh3mep at
pk75978 at

>From Chad Kurszewski" <kurscj at  Tue Oct 24 14:25:17 1995
From: Chad Kurszewski" <kurscj at (Chad Kurszewski)
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 08:25:17 -0500
Subject: Computer interfaces for FT-1000
References: <199510232235.SAA20210 at>
Message-ID: <9510240825.ZM8199 at WE9V>

On May 29,  6:19pm, Jeff Tucker wrote:
> Subject: Computer interfaces for FT-1000
> Has anyone had any luck building their own computer interface
> for the Yaesu FT-1000?  I have a commercial board I modified,
> which had a MAX-232 already on it, but I can't make it talk with
> my radio.

I built one for my 1000 a long time ago with a MAX-233 (similar to a 
MAX-232 but without capacitors).

If I recall correctly, the MAX part inverts the signals so you have to
add an inverter, on the TTL side.  I just used a NPN transistor instead
of an IC.

Chad Kurszewski, WE9V                   e-mail:  Chad_Kurszewski at
Sultans of Shwing       Loud is Cool....yeah, heh, heh, heh, LOUD IS COOL!!!
The Official Sultans Web Site:

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