I want to run the amp from 120 volts (possibly switch it to 240 in the future if possible)
I think I want a linear amp (suggestions)
Not necessary to go full legal limit (think 1000 watts will be plenty)
So, what are you experiences with Amps that work well with these Flex radio's?
I thought I read somewhere FLEX is looking to make an amp, what is the latest info on that?
If you run a 1000w amp on 120vac, and plan to run full power, I recommend using a dedicated 120vac 20A circuit, as the 120vac circuit you choose may have other loads (lights, radio equipment, etc). If you don't have a dedicated 120vac 20A circuit another option is to limit the output power of the amplifier.
It may be useful to consider what modes you like to operate, as that defines the duty cycle: I like to run digital modes such as RTTY, JT9, JT6m etc. and these are harder on the amp (I have the excellent Acom 1000) but it strolls along at 350 watts or so.....matched to my 6300.
Think too whether you want valves or solid state; manual or auto-tune. do you want 50 MHz too? built in ATU? and so on.
in other words...have a think about what your needs are now, and could grow to be..and then look for a match. I'm sure many of the main candidates have already been proposed....
If you are using a vertical, make sure you have plenty of radials.
The 2K-FA will key down about 2300W into a dummy load all day and keep on ticking.. It is almost completely idiot proof, it is instant ON - Definitely my preferred AMP especially when I am remote because it is idiot proof...and I sometimes do idiot things 10,000 miles away...
The ACOM's and ALPHA'a are HOT.. Quite Noisy...Take 3-4 minutes to warm up and use very expensive tubes that need to be replaced regularly (if you abuse them in contesting) and likely will become unobtanium....They do produced better IMD than does the Solid State Amps. but not that significant in contests as the other guys will copy the crappiest signal for a Q
I personally prefer that Autotuning Amps - my first Amp was the first autotuning Alpha 374 (Serial #1) i bought in 1974 which spoiled me for autotuning amps forever... My first Solid State Amp was a PW-1 - which spoiled me for solid state amps forever... Nothing like QUIET, Instant On, Instant OFF, COOL Running Solid State Amps for operator comfort.
Ultimately it depends how much $$$ you are prepared to spend. Almost any amp will do something for you (Life is far too SHORT for QRP)....
Heatkits are long at the tooth but proven reliable IF they were asssembled by someone who knew what they were doing..The Ameritron Amps work.. their quality is questionable and I would not want to depend on one for a contest... It's a toss up between the Alpha and ACOM.. Alpha is USA Made (?).. ACOM is a clone but less expensive.. The 500W Elecraft is cute but like a Smart Car.. why would anyone want to drive a small thing like that.. The PW-1 is getting pretty long at the tooth for a Solid State Amp... There are a few Yaesu Quadra's around.. good solid performer for a 20 year old design but crappy interface...The current hottest AMP on the market is the SPE 1.3K... same features are the 2K but 60% of the power in by far the lightest and smallest package.. it is easily the favorite of DXpeditions..
Dayton,. Being Dayton.. if you can wait until May.. who knows what 4A3O and Flex may announce....
Just make sure your dipole is made from #8 wire as a minimum . #2 would be better . . . .
If you hear them, you will work them . . .
I can report at this time everything is together and working better then expected. First call replies are now the norm.
Just to update this thread from a month ago:
I've also recently started considering an amp/tuner combo. To make a long story short, the lead-time for the SPE 1.3K-FA is currently projected to be just a bit less than ONE YEAR (this, according to Bob Hardie of Expert Linears). And that's a projection, not a guarantee. The cost, with tuner, is about US$5K, including CONUS shipping.
The KPA/KAT combo ships more or less from stock, and costs about US$3K. And while the technology isn't really quite as cool as the SPE, it's probably more of in the range of power that I'd use. I'm really not a full kilowatt kind of guy.
So... that's the latest update.