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What type of Amp are you using??



  • Rick - W5FCX
    Rick - W5FCX Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
  • Jim Runge
    Jim Runge Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    SPE 2K with CAT
    SPE 1.5K with CAT
    Tokyo HiPower 1.5K with CAT
  • Dave_WB1S
    Dave_WB1S Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I am using an OM 4000A with a 6700 control via USB. Works exceptional no issues. I had a SPE 2KFA which is a fine PA but wanted something a little more robust for digital modes.
  • Mike Krzystyniak
    edited March 2019
    On occasion, depending on bands, mode etc..., I use the following amps with my FLEX
    > Alpha 9500            CAT=Yes
    > Alpha PA-70V        CAT=NO
    > Yaesu Quadra        CAT=YES
    > Elecraft KPA500     CAT=YES
    > Henry 3002 (2M)     CAT=NO

    The non-CAT amps are used monoband.

  • Chip Swett
    Chip Swett Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    SPE Expert 1K-FA. It is located at my remote base with my 6500.  It is controlled through TeamViewer using the SPE App.  This is inelegant compared to the later SPE apps and PGXL but gets the job done.  I have moderate PGXL envy.
  • Patrick
    Patrick WH6HI KauaiMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    My main amp is SPE 2K-FA. Bought it early last summer after enduring the long wait. I did a side by side comparison and found that the SPE was the better choice for me. Key reason being, built in tuner and 6 antenna ports. No need for additional outboard tuner or additional antenna switching, a reduction in real estate that I would need with the Flex. Only negative is a small 1.67 dB reduction in power on continuous power modes, which does not make much of a difference in signal at the RX end. Big negative was the extended wait for the amp and another wait for the tuner which I felt had become unacceptable. Also the tuner will not be world class, not enough antenna porrs. There is a lot to be said for the tuner being connected directly by the amps computer controller and software no data com link to possibly fail. Some might argue that having the extra control cable is a disadvantage, but in fact the well designed cable supplied, provides a well connected and reliable control and interface with no communications reliability problems. Ok I guess I vented a bit. For me the SPE 2K-FA was the right for me.
  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    KPA 500 with a 6600M.  
  • N8FNR
    N8FNR Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    KPA500 with a 6400
  • Frank W2YK
    Frank W2YK Member
    edited June 2019
    6400 with RF-Kit B26, and an old Henry 3K Premier!  RF sensing, will eventually hook up CAT!
  • Mauro VE3TCV
    Mauro VE3TCV Member
    edited March 2019
    SPE Expert 1.3K-FA with USB cat control on a Flex 6600
  • DonS
    DonS Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    The RJ-USB6000 cable from MFJ will work with the ARI-500 and the 600/1300.  I use it with the ALS-600 and ARI-500.  The cable from MFJ plugs into the flex and into the ARI-500.  There is a cable that runs from the ARI-500 to the amp which I believe came with the ARI-500.  Make sure you setup the cable in the flex to use BCD.

    Don - kx9q

  • Larry Horne
    Larry Horne Member
    edited March 2019
    I run 3 Flex 6700, 6600m,5000c,2maestro,Collins 30s1,KWM2A, PW1, Alpha 95, Collins S line, PGXL, some cat, local 5 gig microwave and internet for remote control.  All the rigs are cross patched at different times. also Antenna Works Inc   2kw for EME and Down East Microwave for Sat,   antennas spread over 50 acres. Larry N2NY 717 464 4831 [email protected]
  • N6OIL
    N6OIL Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I use the one built into my 6500! I need to find a money tree.
  • Dave - W6OVP
    Dave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Elecraft KPA500 and KAT500 tuner with FLEX 6400. No CAT.
  • Hector W2NPR
    Hector W2NPR Member
    edited March 2019
    Hello Lawrence...Are you able to switch the Acom from Operate/Standby remotely or do you need to switch it on the front panel?
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    PGXL LAN Controlled
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Michael, are you going to post the poll results at some point?
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited March 2019
    I wasn't really going to do a tabulation.  I just wanted to know all the types people were using.
  • Steve Bunting
    Steve Bunting Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    [not wishing to steal Lawrence's thread]

    I have been using the Acom Director software on a local laptop but it is not fully functional. I am currebtly looking into remote power up/down using pins on the DB15.

    My biggest issue is that I need an ATU to keep the A600 happy on the low bands as the swr on my dipoles is too high at the band edges. I bought an Elecraft KAT500 but cant get it to listen to frequency data from the flex (rather than just BCD).

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited March 2019
    Asher - since we can control many external devices right from the USB port on the radio, would this work for you?  (I've done zero research on this).
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited July 2019
    What I am working on is a document that we can share with new customers

    I need to know what is required to automate your amplifier with either our USB/RS232 interface, the USB/BCD interface or the Icom CI-V interface.   If using RS232 what cable did you have to either build or buy to connect from the Flex RS232 port to your amp.

    I am also interested in some of the older amps and if a Keybuffer is 100% required on a stock amp (no after market softkeying kit).  As an example, all Heathkits and Henry's require a keying buffer as does the TL-922.

    I am not sure about Collins and some Alpha manuals don't even have the keying voltage specified, so that needs to be measured with a Mulit-Meter.

    I have a list of 49 different amps that I am working on a lookup table with.  

    If you go back and add to your entry then it makes me easy to cross reference and even easier for me to ask some questions.    If you have made entries in the TXD settings, that is good to know as well, but it would make sense to run a default of 20ms.

    If your amp ONLY follows band data via  a PC program and not RS232 that would help as well.

    Personally, I can deal with the PGXL, KPA 500 and the B26.  

    I really appreciate your help. 


  • Geoff AB6BT
    Geoff AB6BT Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Still using my Drake L-4B
  • Dave - W6OVP
    Dave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Continuing the fine tradition of Inverse Snob Appeal I drove a Heathkit HA-14 Kompact Kilowatt (using keying relay) with a FLEX 6300 with good success until the KPA500 arrived.

    Newbies click https://www.qsl.net/w6ovp/

  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Hi Mike,

    I am using the Collins 30L-1 amplifier, an isolation circuit is required, as there is -170V on the keying line.  I use the Ameritron ARB 704 unit to isolate the Flex 6500 from the 30L-1 keying circuit.  Works very well.

    Gene, K1GD
  • Stephen Hawkins NG0G
    Stephen Hawkins NG0G Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Michael  My AL-80B has the external QSK-5.   The relay in the amp clicks once when I start sending and then everything else is handled by the QSK-5 letting me hear between characters.  However to avoid hot switching I have to set the TX Delay on my 6400m at 25.  
  • Chip Swett
    Chip Swett Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    For my SPE IK-FA, I use the excellent cable from Dan KC5PCB. Plug and Play.
  • John Swink
    John Swink Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    The SG-500 worked reliably with my Kenwood TS-450.  With my Flex-5000a, I had intermittent keying problems, possibly due to ground loops.  I built a DEMI PTT buffer (PTT-5X) and the problems went away.  I use the DEMI PTT buffer with my Flex-6600 and have had reliable operation but have not tried operating without the buffer.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited March 2019
    Hi John

    I had one of those on my TS480 and it would trip off at times.  By adding the PTT switch, you may have added some delay.  

    You may want to test with the TXD values on the radio.  That will make sure the Amp is in TX mode before the radio sends RF.  Try a value of 20ms if you feel like testing.


  • K9SO
    K9SO Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I have two Ameritron AL-1306's, one PGXL, and one Yaesu Quadra. The 1306s and the Quadra all use the same "ABCD" type band control. One station is in NC (6500), the other in Wisconsin (6600). The 1306's have performed flawlessly and I bought one of them to replace the Quadra which had multiple reliability issues.

    One 1306 is still in operation in NC, the other was just retired and replaced with my new LAN-connected Flex PGXL in Wisconsin (eliminating the need for any ABCD band control interface). 

    I also use SainSmart USB Eight Channel Relay Board for Automation (e.g., antenna switching) for other relay control. It interfaces directly with the FlexRadios via the USB port. 
  • Tom - WQ5O
    Tom - WQ5O Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I'm running a Flex 6600M into an SPE 1.5KFA amp that I purchased from Expert Linears.  I have it connected to the radio via the cable suggested by Bob Hardie/W5UQ that Dan/KC5PDB made.  Works exactly as advertised.  Originally I had purchased an ACOM 1200 with the antenna tuner from DXEngineering.  That amp didn't last a month and I could never get it to work correctly.  The tuner never worked as advertised either.  The amp completely died and I was unable to get it to do anything.  DXE took it back and gave me a full refund. They were very good about it and I got no push back.  DXE is an excellent company that values its customers.  I will continue to buy hardware from them.  The SPE 1.5KFA is excellent.  Took a little to figure it out but it's great.  Due to my current coax situation I'm unable to run it at the legal limit but I find that busting pileups can be done with way less than 1.5KW.  Love my Flex 6600M and my SPE 1.5KFA amp!  Great products.   Thanks, Flex, for such a fine product.  Keep the upgrades coming!  73.

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