[CQ-Contest] Alpha 87A Alpha Max

Keith Dutson kdutson at sbcglobal.net
Mon Oct 10 21:28:27 EDT 2016

I purchased an 87A in 1994.  Since then it has been modified with Alpha-Max
and an extra cooling fan for RTTY operation.  It has never missed a day of
operation for all these years.

I also purchased an 87A Omega, one of the last 20 87A amps produced.  It is
now inoperative, and I need to find someone who can fix it.  There is a
photo of the inside of this amp om my web site;

73, Keith NM5G 

-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
Charles Harpole
Sent: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 11:41 AM
To: john at kk9a.com
Cc: CQ-Contest Reflector <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Alpha 87A Alpha Max

87a amps are cheap for a good reason.  They do not age well.  Own one only
if you really enjoy fixing yours monthly, if parts can be found.
Owner of two at same time, sold long ago.

Note...... band change/tune too slow for SO2R, maybe $3000 is too much.
73, Charly

On Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM, john at kk9a.com <john at kk9a.com> wrote:

> Alpha 87A's are pretty inexpensive now. I am not sure how it works 
> without Alpha Max, I owned one with Alpha Max and it tuned very 
> nicely. My comment regarding this amp is that they are very expensive 
> to repair if you send it back to the manufacture so be cautious what you
> John KK9A
> To:     cq-contest <cq-contest at contesting.com>
> Subject:        [CQ-Contest] Alpha 87A Alpha Max
> From:   Jim Brown <k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com>
> Reply-to:       k9yc at arrl.net
> Date:   Tue, 4 Oct 2016 13:47:09 -0700
> Guys,
> I'm about to buy an Alpha 87A, early production, without the Alpha Max 
> Firmware. That's the feature that provides auto tuning (as opposed to 
> auto recall of saved settings, which was how the amp was originally
> Some questions.
> 1) How useful is the Alpha Max auto-tune feature?
> 2) The new owner of Alpha says the upgrade kit is no longer available. 
> Is there an easy way to add it? That is, are the chips generic? I'm 
> guessing that at least one of the two chips is an EPROM. Is it 
> practical to buy the chips and copy the firmware from another 87A?
> 3) Is it worth going to the trouble? I would use it for my high 
> dipoles for 80 and 40M.
> Thanks and 73, Jim K9YC
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Charly, HS0ZCW
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