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My PGXL experience has NOT been a good one


I'm sure this will ruffle someone's feathers, but it is what it is. I wish I had found more posts back when I was searching my 1st LDMOS amplifier.

8 months after having the amplifier I started having serious issues with the amplifier. From RFP errors, to complete lack of xmit power, and erratic output behavior.

I was led to believe, of course, that it was my set-uo and that nothing could possibly be wrong with the amplifier. After the usual back and forth messages, with help desk, it was determined after the latest firmware upgrade that the amplifier needed to be sent back. Tim was very diligent and helpful in the process. I will give credit where credit is due. Dan wanted to log in too my PC and do some investigative work which I felt was unnecessary, given the fact that the amplifier would exhibit the behavior in too a dummy load with same result.

Fast forward 2 months later, now going in too its 3rd month, that the amplifier was diagnosed with a severe non-linearity issue above 15 Mhz, and, since then, no more replies or suggestions on what they are going to do, or the time frame still needed to complete the repairs.

So basically, I have lost 3 months of warranty while this unit sits in a state of dis array. I would, at this point, be happy to trade it in, replace it, whatever it takes to make this right.

This was an investment, and I have need of another radio/amplifier/tuner for another project. At this point and time, I don't believe it will be another compliment of Flex equipment. This experience has left a somewhat bad taste in my mouth, if you will, of how things have been handled since my amplifier landed in Texas.

I realize that Flex did not build the amplifier, which is unfortunate. 403A builds them and then supplies them to Flex. So I am sure there is a certain chain of command that is followed when it comes to repair and reimbursement in the warranty process for Flex. There is no free lunch.

Hopefully soon, I can re visit this post and add some positive results to what has been a long, drawn out, repair process. It is my time and dime in this, so I don't expect anyone to understand the aggravations of it all, unless it has happened to you. I get it. In the 40 years of being licensed and sending a few pieces of equipment in for repair, namely a Kenwood TS 2000, an Antenna switch, and an Amplifier from Ameritron many years ago, I have never experienced such a lengthy process and certainly not one where the lack of update status has been experienced.

Month 3 here we come. I hope that others do not experience this. It is not an enjoyable process when you have this much money invested in a product.

Flex 6400M, Flex 6400, 2 PGXL's (1 currently in repair status) 2 TGXL's, and a 3rd station that needs to be added. It's really up to Flex whether I add this 3rd station with their equipment, or not. And with more equipment comes more repairs, both in and out of warranty.

I hope this issue is fixed soon. My patience at this point is wearing thin.


  • Ignacy
    Ignacy Member ✭✭

    It seems that both Flex and 4O3A are in flux.

    Flex has trouble with software releases, leaving serious bugs for months while Elecraft would have fixed them in days. But the support guys are trying hard to help and their service departments answers quickly. Not sure whether Flex have lost talented programmers or redirected them to commercial projects. Or something else.

    4O3A stuff is pretty interesting but they may be overstretched for some reasons. When my TG XL was acting, Flex could not get spare parts in 2 months. My PG XL is acting too. Many times when the station is turned on, PG XL does not transmit and instead shows an "interlock" message. Cycling the power fixes the problem.

    No sure whether the issues are temporary or things will go downhill from here. Case of Expert amps. They were failing in the past but service was quick and costs reasonable. Now the dedicated salesman/repair guy have retired, repairs take forever, and people are fuming.

    Ignacy NO9E

  • Kevin_1969
    Kevin_1969 Member ✭✭

    The amplifier has been repaired, and after 10 weeks it will be arriving back home tomorrow. Friday the 13th of all days, Lol.

    According to Flex, the Motherboard had a bad regulator that controlled the fans, and each time the fan would change mode, it would turn the amplifier completely off.

    They replaced the Motherboard, 2 LDMOS Chips, and did the usual calibration and testing. I'm not sure if the LDMOS chip was bad, if the Motherboard error caused it to go bad, or if something else in the amplifier caused it to go bad. Only thing I know for sure, everything that was at fault has been replaced and I will be giving it a good running tomorrow.

    I've heard some negative things of Expert Amps lately. I was originally going to go with them, but because I operate AM also, I was advised against it actually from Expert Amps. I had made some inquiries to Flex regarding this, and they said absolutely, their PGXL's are built like tanks!

    8 months later I send it back. SO, I don't know. For now, I am happy that it is fixed, and I hope it stays that way. I wasn't happy with the time frame, but they did do a good job as always with the repairs. I had to send in a 6400 not long ago, and total turnaround time was 5 weeks, and has worked fantastic ever since.

    When I first got the amp I was happy with the way it integrated, and the power it made was fantastic with the relatively low amount of drive power. But I kept telling everyone, LONGEVITY will tell the story.

    Round 2 coming up... SO we'll see what happens this time around.

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