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SPE AMPS USA

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Comments

  • edited November 2019
    I've had my 2k since April 2014.  Bought it from Frosty....its been rock solid...Bob, his old partner, took it all over and he has been rock solid too!
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019

    I have had a 2K-FA for almost 4 years now.  I bought the floor model at Visalia in 2014 and flew it home with me in Rob WA3IHV's Cesna,

    While it has plenty of headroom (2350W) for SSB it is definitely only a 1250W Amp for FT8

    If you try to run FT8 at 1500W, it drops back to 1250W after about 10 seconds.

    Frankly this is disappointing as it is advertised as a 1,500W Amp but clearly it is NOT.

    By contrast, Ria N2RJ is reporting that she runs her PG-XL on FT8 at 1,500 watts with plenty of headroom. 

    I hear a lot of very weak stations on FT8 that do not hear me (likely because they are NOT using Flex) unless I really bump my power to the maximum (12KW ERP Beam +AMP)   So I am starting to rethink my amplifier as even 1dB more might just make it thru to those very weak ones that I hear.

  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Correct. I cam run my PG XL at 1500 watts all day on FT8. There are a few reasons why I can do this:

    1. Broadcast fan mode. This can run the fans at high speed to keep it cool. Tradeoff is noise.
    2. Vapor phase heat sink. This means that recovery time is very fast.
    3. Maximum Efficiency Algorithm (MEffA). This places the amp in class AB for single tone modes such as FT8 and adjusts PA voltage dynamically. The amp is biased closer to class A for SSB. The result is more efficiency with less heat dissipation and very clean signals.

    Ria
  • Mark WS7MMark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Hi Howard,

    Ya even my new 2K FA is pretty much the same.  Anything that is like "key down" which FT8 would resemble seems to push it back to about 1300 watts out.

    For FT8 and my setup this seems fine.  I mean yes, having more power, bigger signal, cannot hurt.  But really for me it is not the amp but the antenna.

    I bought my 2K FA because I want to wait and see how the PG goes.  It seems like it is going very well.  

    Assuming all goes well I would expect I will purchase a 6600 and PG sometime in the next two years.  But right now, my 6500 + 2K FA is pretty hard to beat.

    If I just had that 1000 foot tower...
  • Mark WS7MMark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Well Ria,

    When I can finally get one my plan is to put it out in the same shed where I have my 2K FA.  I hear zero noise.  This shed contains my HVAC unit so rarely is it ever too cold or too hot.  Always right about 60 degrees.

    I figure it is the perfect amp room as my antenna feeds come in there anyway to get into where the radio is.  In fact I could probably even put my radio in there but for now I have it in a cabinet to the side of the op station.

    I do look forward to having total net control over the PG.  Right now I can do virtually everything on my 2K FA remote.

    For extremely bad connections I can run SmartSDR remote in low-bandwidth mode and I have a simple web page hosted by a raspberry pi where I can turn my 2K FA on and off.  This is more klunky that I would like.  To change bands I turn the amp off, change bands, tune (HF auto tuner).  Then turn the amp back on.  It works.

    For faster connections I can either use my VPN or not.  Either way I can control the amp via their USB software using a product called VirtualHere.  This allows USB to go over network and internet.

    This is by far a nicer way to control the amp.

    But I am anxious to see how the PG is controlled from within SmartSDR.  Is that anything you can share some screen shots of yet?

    In particular I'm interested in:

    Turn on/off
    Put online/offline

    In my case I need my amp offline to tune.  Then I put it back online once the auto tuner has found the tuning solution.
  • SlickSlick Member
    edited April 3
    Anyone looked into the RF-Kit amplifier?  I have one on order and a friend of mine has one, seems to do well.  http://rf-kit.de/en/RF2K5.php
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I can't show the software yet.

    However, the interface will be consistent with other SmartSDR controls. 
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018

    @Mark

    I did the 85' tower and SteppIR MonstIR First.. so antennas are not the issue for me.

    Since everything is close to 1:1SWR tuner is not an issue for me and in fact, I have never used the tuner on either the 6700 or the 2K-FA for any of my antennas.

    While the 2K-FA has 2 inputs and 4 Antenna Outputs I did not like the fact that the PG-XL has only 2 Antenna Outputs so its needs an external antenna switch.  However the Antenna Genius being Ethernet might just solve that issue.

    The 2K-FA Remote capability obviously works for me thanks to DDUTIL but it is actually quite clunky and as you know I need remote.

    What has finally started to push me over the edge towards the PG-XL is:

    1.  the 2K-FA is only a 1,250W Amp on FT8 while the PG-XL is 1,500W  every 1DB helps on digital modes.

    2.  The Alpha software that I have seen for the PG-XL seems to be seamlessly integrated into SSDR and may just work remote without clunky Team viewer or Parallels Access

    3.  The PG-XL is Ethernet controlled.. which is easier to shield that USB or Serial and is less likely to become obsolete unobtainium like serial.

    4.  The 2K_FA is stuck at 15dB gain so I can't really use it with some of my low power radios like ELAD.  It looks like it may be possible to modify the PG-XL to 25dB gain range - (for the thought police - once the FCC gets rid of that idiotic rule)


  • Mark WS7MMark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Understood.

    Not sure what the next 10 years will hold but I hope for a property switch that would allow a tower and beam.  

    Antennas just keep getting better.  Back when I first started StepperIR was a dream in someone's eye I think.  To have an antenna that is so broadband is pretty cool.

    As you probably remember I am antenna challenged in an HOA.  For now I get by with a 280' loop which is up about 45 feet or so.  This loop antenna has been the best antenna I've ever had.  I'm sure it does not compare to a StepperIR at 85 feet but for an HOA guy it gets by pretty darned well. 

    It also loads up on virtually all bands (with a tuner).  I will not argue that its pattern probably begins to fall apart on higher bands but I did load it on 6 meters quite surprisingly.

    I actually realized something about my loop antenna:  We have Canadian geese here and we hate them.  Sometimes we have had 30 in the backyard.  They are messy and noisy and they are not supposed to be here. 

    Some idiot years ago wanted to see if they would over winter here and now they won't leave!

    But since I put my loop up none have come into my yard at all and I've seen them fly over.  When I think about it, my loop looks a lot like those bird guards you see on some decks.  Perhaps they are afraid of the wires?

    Anyway that is argument I will use if the HOA nazis ever ask me what the wires are doing in the backyard LOL.  We have Convenents, not very enforceable ones, on antennas.  Very vague and general written.  We have absolutely no Covenents on bird rejection wires!
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I have. It's a nice piece of kit. I want to see stress test like I do with my PG XL. 
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018

    My dogs eliminate the birds...one even figured out how to herd birds into a corner of the perimeter wall glass where the other one can easily jump from a ledge on a fountain to catch them midair in their confusion..

    OK for noisy crows, seagulls and especially Canada Geese but sort of sad that they also **** cute harmless humming birds.

  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Provided Phil Murphy doesn't force me out of NJ I am here with 6 acres of space for antennae. It's rumored more towers are going up here. :) 
  • Gary WiseGary Wise Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    While not a stress test at all, you can see my RF2K+ in operation here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9rwj0zcg9s&t=154s 

    73 - Gary - W4EEY
  • Jon_KF2EJon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    How much does the RF2K+ sell for? Is there a long lead time to order?

    Jon...kf2e
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I would suggest you contact Chris, DL5NAM as he is one of the persons involved in that outfit. 
  • Chris DL5NAMChris DL5NAM Member
    edited January 2018
    Jon, contact Reinhard DH3NAB  via [email protected] and he will give you all the details you need.

    B26-PA 2K+ from RF-Kit incl. ATU = 2.850 Euro + shipping

    Chris DL5NAM
    (good in QRZ.COM)

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