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HF Solid State Amplifier Price Comparison

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by Moleculo, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    With Elecraft entering the QRO marketplace with their new solid state amplifier, I thought it would be interesting to do a price comparison of all of the currently available HF solid state amplifiers in the 500 watt output range. Here's what I found:

    Elecraft KPA 500

    [​IMG]


    • Frequency Range: 160m-6m
    • Power Output: 500 watts
    • Drive for full power: 30-40 watts
    • Auto Band Switching: Yes
    • Power Supply: 100-125V/200-250V Built In
    • Operating Protection: Legal frequency, Excessive PA current, High temperature, Excessive drive, PA excessive power dissipation, High SWR, Power supply fault
    • Duty Cycle: 10 minutes key down / 5 minutes off
    Price: $2399.95 Assembled / $1999.95 Kit


    Tokyo Hy-Power HL-550FX


    [​IMG]


    • Frequency Range: 160m-6m
    • Power Output: 500-600 watts
    • Drive for full power: 80-90 watts
    • Auto Band Switching: No
    • Power Supply: 100-130V/200-260V Built In
    • Operating Protection: Over drive, Wrong band set, Temperature, Over voltage, High SWR
    • Duty Cycle: Not Indicated
    Price: $2950.95



    Ameritron ALS-600(S)

    [​IMG]


    • Frequency Range: 160m-10m
    • Power Output: 500-600 watts
    • Drive for full power: < 100 watts
    • Auto Band Switching: Optional
    • Power Supply: 90-135V/185-260V External
    • Operating Protection: Wrong band set, Temperature, Excessive power output, High SWR
    • Duty Cycle: 10 minute / 50%
    Price: $1748.90 with Power Supply, Auto Band Switch, 10 meter option / $1499 without Power Supply, Auto Band Switch, 10 meter option


    Ameritron ALS-500

    [​IMG]


    • Frequency Range: 160m-10m
    • Power Output: 400-500 watts
    • Drive for full power: < 70 watts
    • Auto Band Switching: Optional
    • Power Supply: None
    • Operating Protection: Wrong band set, Temperature, High SWR
    • Duty Cycle: Not Indicated
    Price: $998.90 with Auto Band Switch, 10 meter option / $849 without Auto Band Switch / 10 meter option


    If I've left any products out that should be added to this comparison, let me know and I'll get them on the list
     
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  2. eagle1911 Active Member

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    Ameritron, here I come!!!!!!

    Thanks to this comparison I know where I'll spend my cash..
     
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  3. RatsoW8 Supporting Member

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    I'm with eagle1911. I've owned the Ameritron 811 and 811H, so $2-3k for a 500 watt amp?? Maybe if I win the lottery.
     
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  4. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    #4
  5. dudmuck Active Member

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    Thanks for the product comparison.
    Looked into the KPA500.
    Someone wanting basic features will go for Ameritron to get the best dollar per watt.
    But the Elecraft has some interesting features:

    Automatic band change via high-speed RF sensing, switches very fast.
    Accurate 3-color LED power and SWR bar graphs, but with a peak hold feature that actually works
    Digital LCD display shows Band in MHz, HV, IP, TEMP of finals, SWR, RF OUT, plus a menu of customizable settings such as LED / LCD brightness.
    Fast QSK without clicking for CW users.
    Four speed fan.

    When comparing amps, pay attention the the finals it uses. The 2933 pills are much better than MRF150. Worth the higher price.

    In all cases, be careful of radios that have overshoot on start of transmit. Some radios have a few milliseconds of full output power before they back off. Such as the icom HF mobiles.
     
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  6. WB3FFV Radio Geek

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    Speaking or radios..

    Speaking of radios like the Icom mobiles having high starting RF output spikes, does anyone know how the Kenwood TS-2000's fair in this arena?

    I ask as I was considering getting something like the ALS-1300 to use with my TS-2000, and sure don't want to go blowing the 1300 up as soon as I start using it.

    I figured with all this chatter about the amps, maybe someone would know how the Kenwood fares in that regard...

    73's...
     
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  7. W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    'FFV',
    I honestly don't know of any solid state radio that doesn't produce a 'spike' at the beginning of a transmission. I have no idea of the 'level' of those spikes, but I haven't seen one that doesn't do that, the TS-2000 included. I also haven't heard of any particular problems with that and solid state amplifiers. I haven't paid any special attention to that spiking, but I'm sure that if it was a 'huge' problem it would be fairly common knowledge, you know? I can also think of several 'hollow-state' amplifiers where that spiking would be as 'dangerous' as it is with solid state amplifiers, and haven't heard of any particular problems there either.
    I think you should, at the least, be aware of the potential dangers involved. I also think that there are no radio manufacturers that will guarantee their product will not do any of that 'spiking'. Take that for what it's worth...
    - 'Doc
     
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  8. Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

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    Most radios that have a power spike at the beginning of the transmission can be cured by the addition of a fixed external ALC voltage.
     
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  9. eagle1911 Active Member

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    Those are sweet features, so I suppose some folks would be willing to pay considerably more for them.

    EDIT: nvm.. SD2933 is also a FET. I thought for some reason it was a BJT..
     
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  10. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    The ALS-1300 has the potential to be a nice amp, but it seems to have some issues that haven't yet been worked out. Check this out:

    http://www.worldwidedx.com/product-...h-frequency-solid-state-amplifier-review.html
     
    #10
  11. walterb Member

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    SGC-500

    Have two AMPS for HF and that does it for me one is the PW1 by ICOM its 1k but the thing I like about it most its switching network, one can switch between 4 different antennas in a flash witch is GREAT for testing and comparing antennas. the other amplifier is my Rag Chue AMP an SG 500 it runs cool need no fan so no noise, has auto switching cast around $1400.oo a bargun in my book..................KB6HRT
     
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  12. mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

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    I would love to see the inner working of that SG-500:w00t:
     
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  13. TonyV225 Supporting Member

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    I have had an Ameritron ALS-600 for a few years now with not a single problem. I talk to a few guys everyday on 75 meters that also run these. I have other amplifiers but these ALS-600 are just so simple its nice to switch on and go. ;)
     
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