[CQ-Contest] 500 Watt Amp or 1500 Watt Amp

Richard Thorne rmthorne at att.net
Sun Jul 15 15:24:53 PDT 2012

Hello Group,

I'm finally building my first serious contest station after hamming for 
over 30 years.  My wife and I moved out to the country last August to a 
lot with no restrictions.  My first tower is up and I'm planning a 2nd soon.

I'm looking at amp possibilities.  My rig is an Elecraft K3 so the 
KPA500 looks intriguing in that it will follow the rig and I won't have 
to tune it, i.e., quick band changes.

Is 1500 watts really worth looking at?  I could go the Acom 2000a or 
Alpha route, but that's not quite in the budget now.  So I'm looking at 
the Ameritron AL-1200, 1500 or other comparable amp. The disadvantage is 
tune up time, but I'm not sure that's really a big deal.  I've operated 
at K5NA for years and it doesn't take much to tune to a different band 
using pre-marked settings.

So the question, does the extra 1000 watts make a difference? as 
compared to the ability to make quick band changes using a solid state amp?


Rich - N5ZC

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