Amp install...just the facts!!

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No questions really, but for the record...

Yea!  My amp arrived yesterday.  Ordered 1/17/18, order #14684.

My expectations on installation of any new Flex software aren't very high, given the track record I have had for every SmartSDR upgrade, but this went reasonable well.  After two complete lockups on the radio and one restart where SmartSDR didn't see the amp, everything settled down.  Yes, I am too chicken to just reset everything just to see if it will work, but I did do one restart from a complete power-off of the radio (had to, it was unresponsive to the front panel), and computer (have learned to do this routinely when things go haywire) which worked normally.  So I am good.

Have to say the amp is easy-peasy to install and cable up, as amps should be.  My only concern at this point is the sound level of the fan(s).  I am used to the low level of fan noise from my trusty old Alpha 78 and let me tell you, this isn't like that.  As soon as I can pilfer a 9v volt battery I'll make some sound level measurements, but it is louder than any radio I have ever owned.  Also, the hot air blowing out the back will undoubtedly discolor the wall which is about a foot away.  Plan for more room than that (you don't need space from the sides or top, just the back and front.

I can live with all of this just by relocating the amp a little farther away from my operating position or maybe stuffing it under the desk.  Too bad that, because it is reasonably attractive!  Also, right now, I am running it on 120v until I get the 220v routed to a nearby wall.  But it loafs along at 500watts with 15-20 watts of drive under these circumstances.

Happy I didn't cancel the order.  I am still a believer in the use of UDP/TCP/IP to interconnect things like this.  But I think I'll keep my ICOM/Alpha setup just in case!!

If you have an amp on order, don't despair!  It will show up and you'll probably be happy.  Especially likely if you are a pilot with a few thousand hours, a retired artillery officer, or maybe a crew chief for an NHRA team!
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Joseph

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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KF4HR

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Congrats on the delivery of your PG-XL Joseph.  I received mine a few weeks ago.  The PG-XL's fan noise is considerably louder than my Alpha 87A too, but tolerable.  I plan to eventually move mine to my wiring closet, which is a bit of shame considering (as you say) it is a nice looking piece of equipment.  

Positioning the PG-XL on a shelf to provide rear clearance is an interesting exercise considering the 20 inch depth (plus connector length) of this Amp.  
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bahillen

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Be careful of closets with closed doors. You can count on a lot of heat. In operate , there is some added heat and temp resets 12-15 degrees. In transmit at legal limit power dissipated is 50 % or more. Your closet will become an oven possibly. You can use ventilation I would imagine. Just put a couple 1,000 watt heaters in your closet and measure the temperature rise.

Before making permanent wiring try the amp with temp cabling and watch the ambient temperature and device temperature running FT8.

The Flex temperature performance has been great and I raise the subject so you are sensitive to the amplifiers environment.

The closer you get the amp to the outside wall the less RF you may have in the house. This also goes for lightning protection in general. I have recently read that 80% of a lightening strike runs on the outside of the antenna coax.

I have had my amp for 5 months and have learned a lot. Hook it up and operate, no problem. If you want to get the most value that takes time. The PGXL is the tool, getting outstanding operation is the hobby. For example, I use only wire antennas and with a tube amp or 100 watts, you just key up. I have tweaked the antennas and repaired some insulator arc over since being operational. 3:1 SWR is not desirable anymore. When the rain starts and the wind blows SWR doesn’t get any better. It only happens when that rare one is coming in.

73
Bill W9JJB