[CQ-Contest] Contest amps under $1000

Jeff Maass jmaass at columbus.rr.com
Fri Aug 20 11:10:02 EDT 2004


An amp that does not include 160 Meters is not a contest
amp. It's not much of an amp at all!

The 2-tube version of the Alpha 76A should fall within
your $1000 limit.

If you add ~$250 to your $1K limit, you can get one of
the 3-tube Alpha models (Alpha 76CA, Alpha 76PA), which
get you to 1500W and allow you to protect the fairly-
expensive 8874 tubes by not running them full-out all
the time. At the price of 8874s, the extra up-front cost
will likely be a very good investment!

We bought an Alpha 76CA (8874x3, Hipersil transformer)
with good tubes recently for $1250 to use at PJ2T.

73,   Jeff K8ND

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com]On Behalf Of Alfred J. Frugoli
> (KE1FO)
> Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 10:17 AM
> To: amps at contesting.com,
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] Contest amps under $1000
> What amps are out there on the used market fur under $1000 that are sufficient 
> for contest service (i.e. occational high swr due to tx into wrong antenna at 
> 3am, easy to tune etc.)
> I've investigated several amps already, and here are my thoughts.  
> SB-220
> If driven hard can get close to 1.5kw output but it was only designed for 1kw 
> input cw and 2kw input ssb.  Tubes are easy to come by.  Possible VHF parasitic 
> issues, although if operated within specs these issues are deminished.  No 160
> TL-922
> Similar to SB-220 except cost is higher - worth the extra 300-400$?
> MLA2500
> Good solid amp.  Again, claims of 1.3kw out in some places, but designed for 
> 1kw input, not output rating.  8875 tubes very expensive if they can be found 
> at all.  Can convert to 4cx400 or 3cx800 but I'm not an experienced builder and 
> the directions for these conversions make my head spin.
> Alpha 374
> No 160 (unless it's an A model).  Not much out there on this amp, except that 
> those who have them seem to like them.  Bandpass tuning is a nice feature and 
> could come in handy in a so2r situation.  8874 tube is still available.
> Al-80/SB-1000
> Decent amp.  Tube easily available.  Can produce 1kw if pushed.  Forgiving of 
> mistuning or mismatch.  Easy to tune.  I currently have an al-80 and like it.
> All of these amps were manufactured during the days when "legal limit" was 1kw 
> input and therefore will give up about 1 s unit to todays "legal limit" of 
> 1.5kw output.  Are there any higher power output amps in the under $1000 class?
> Thanks in advance for your comments and opinions.
> 73 de Al, KE1FO
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