best amp for auto band switching

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
Hello , I am wondering if I would be better served by buying a solid state auto band switching amp to go along with the extreme versatility of my Flex 6700 rather than my tube amp . Is this a good idea ? If so which works smoothest with the flex ? Thanks for your help . John Molenda kb2huk
Photo of John Molenda

John Molenda

  • 67 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
  • http://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/new#

Posted 5 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Kirk, K6KAR

Kirk, K6KAR

  • 39 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
John,

I use the Prometheus DX2400L and love it. It is auto band switching and is the only SS amp that is (key down) capable at legal limit. http://www.dishtronix.com/prometheus.... I use this with both my 5000 as well as the 6700.

Kirk, K6KAR
Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1208 Posts
  • 249 Reply Likes

+1 on the Acom 2000A. Excellent amp and works flawlessly with the Flex 6000 series and DDUtil.

Fed into a modified PalStar AT-Auto tuner that bypasses and selects the Yagi for 10, 12,15,17,20 and selects dipole for 40/80 with tuner in circuit.

Truly point and click.

Dave wo2x

Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1736 Posts
  • 590 Reply Likes
John,
Auto band switching is available on both tube and solid state amplifiers and both are being used successfully.

Like Kirk / K6KAR I'm also using a Prometheus DX2400 and it works great. I have some diagrams and pictures of the interface I'm using on my web page.

http://www.nn4zz.com/Prometheus.htm

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

Photo of K6OZY

K6OZY, Elmer

  • 532 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
I'm using an Elecraft KPA500 & KAT500 with my Flex 6700 with great success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBY60...
Photo of Sergey, R5AU

Sergey, R5AU

  • 847 Posts
  • 112 Reply Likes
I am using 2k-fa in combination with DDutil with success
Photo of W5UN_Dave

W5UN_Dave

  • 315 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
I also use the Expert 2K-FA amp with DDutil to limit max drive power. This works wonderfully for me.
Photo of Rich K3SOM

Rich K3SOM

  • 17 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I have been using the SPE Expert 1K-FA since 2008 - first with the Flex-5000 and now with the Flex-6700 through the DDUtil interface. This solid-state amplifier has worked flawlessly from 160 through 6 meters and from ragchewing to contesting activities.
Photo of Ron - K1RE

Ron - K1RE

  • 18 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I'm using an Alpha 9500 with the Flex 6700. Also have used an Icom IC-PW1 (not auto bandswitching) as a backup, but needed to add 100 ms transmit delay to keep amp from faulting. I'm not using any ALC but wonder if others are.

73,
Ron, K1RE
Photo of Greg

Greg

  • 656 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
I use a yaesu Quadra that is controlled by a Microham Stationmaster. The Stationmaster is connected through DDUtil. It handles amp signals as well as automatic antenna control and the ability to select multiple antennas based on user defined band segments instead of just by band.

73
Greg
AB7R
Photo of Bill-W9OL

Bill-W9OL

  • 726 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Also use a quadra here but use DDU3 to automagically control the band & ant choice using the 'Other' option of the Ports-Parallel Port feature.

Just like having a KW tranceiver, always connected to the correct antenna.
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1736 Posts
  • 590 Reply Likes
Ron,
ALC is not supported yet. Although it is not listed on the roadmap, it is planned for V1.1 in January.

http://community.flexradio.com/flexra...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
Photo of Ron - K1RE

Ron - K1RE

  • 18 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks Al. I wondered since the ALC setup is described in the support manuals.

Regards,
Ron, K1RE
Photo of Rich K3SOM

Rich K3SOM

  • 17 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
The Expert 1K-2A includes auto band switching, built in auto tuner with programmable auto-tracking sub-bands, built in power supply, two transceiver inputs with built-in frequency counters (if CAT is not enabled) and four antenna output connectors. The Italian design also included a very stylish carrying bag for those weekend DXpeditons to far off places.

Right now I run it without ALC on the Flex-6700 (not yet supported) without any problems. John, you have many quality choices available that will work quite well with these 6000-series transceivers.
Photo of Verne Eastwood

Verne Eastwood

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Rich,

I just purchased a 1K-2A for my 6700. Any chance we could get together offline to discuss your interfacing? I have seen several different posts regarding interfacing the 6700 and amp and would like to better understand how you have made it work.

Thanks!
Verne / K4VAE
k4vae@bellsouth.net
Photo of John Molenda

John Molenda

  • 67 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Thanks for all your input . I have decided to try the lesser expensive ameritron als 1300 . The band switching sensor software has yet to be worked out by ameritron but hopefully it will . Thanks for all the info on all those great amplifiers . john kb2huk
Photo of Charles - K5UA

Charles - K5UA

  • 317 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
Using the Acomm 2000a with my 6500. Works wonderfully. I'm sure the alpha 87 and 9500 would do the same.
Photo of WA6FXT Mike

WA6FXT Mike

  • 207 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
My Tokyo Hy-Power is great. Now, if only the Flex6700 could control it...

No local computer, when running remote, so no DDUTIL.

Soon, I'm told.

Mike
Photo of Rich K3SOM

Rich K3SOM

  • 17 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
John,
Hope should not enter into a purchase decision. A wise person told me". . .you soon forget what you paid for it, but the quality is never forgotten!" Many quality amplifiers have been described here by both me and by others. Please let us know what you finally purchased!
Rich
Photo of k0eoo

k0eoo

  • 604 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
And last but not least, I'm using an Alpha 87A with DDUtil and my 6500 and they have been working flawlessly....
Photo of Larry Benoit

Larry Benoit

  • 65 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
John,

Ameritron ALS1300 band switching can be controlled with DDUtil and the Ameritron ARI-500 interface connected to your computer with a parallel interface. For details see this wiki...
http://w5jgv.com/ALS-1300_to_F5K/
Note that the wiki shows a modification to an older model ARI500, which is not necessary because the device was redesigned.

73
Larry KB1VFU
Photo of Ed baker

Ed baker

  • 114 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Tube amplifiers are still the best bet for the buck.
But changes are in the works that will give you better IMD both in Solid state units and Tube units.

The question leaves us presently with what one are you using .

For Me OM power amplifiers are great. .The entire line exceed the FCC emission regulations .
Yes It follows my 6500
Yes it has remote Ethernet control
Yes Cheep re tube .

The real question is ,

Now we have the best radio out there (As Of 1/20/2014 ) OK flex it's up to you !!!will you keep it that way.
Photo of W5UN_Dave

W5UN_Dave

  • 315 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
My 2K-FA works very well with my 6700. I do full breakin at 30 wpm and full power, no problem.
Photo of Joe - KC2TN

Joe - KC2TN

  • 97 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Dave, could you provide details of the DDutil-2K interface to the Flex. I currently have a F5K but plan on upgrading to the 6500. My 2K should be here in a few weeks.
Joe - KC2TN at Comcast.net
Photo of sky

sky

  • 44 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
I use a vintage Heath Chippewa KW amp that is fully manual. It requires human intervention to operate and select the desired band (me!).  It is over 60 years old, runs beautiful mercury vapor voltage rectifiers and has never failed to work 100%.   We will see how many solid state computer amps are running in the year 2050.  Hi hi!
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
I second the Elecraft linear and tuner solution. I've got both and they work great at a fraction of the cost of a Prometheus of Expert Amp. What multiple people told me when doing my research, anything beyond 600 watts is into the area of diminishing returns.
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3594 Posts
  • 1447 Reply Likes
600W is far too small an Amp for serious contesting or serious DXing


Plus it does not have sufficient head room to run high duty cycle modes like RTTY.

I run an Expert 2K-FA. Totally automatic and idiot proof. It will run key down 2300W+ into a dummy load which is more than sufficient headroom to operate 100% duty cycle modes such as RTTY in contests. We had a couple of the tiny Elecraft 600W at the NX6T Contest Station but they were not sufficient for serious contest work ...great for portable Field Day but far too small.
(Edited)
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4025 Posts
  • 1248 Reply Likes
Ha!  That's funny, Burt......But JT-9 Fast mode might be spectrum efficient and almost fast enough for a leisurely contest.  Limit it to 50 Watts output for all stations and you might have something there.

But then again, I don't have enough quite enough patience to run JT-65 or JT-9 even for regular operations, except for MS and weak signal experiments.  But to each there own!  I am glad some folks are experimenting with those modes.

RE: AMPS....The ACOM-1010 isn't auto-tuning, but anyone have a recommendation on it for moderate DXing and mid-level contesting?  It looks interesting to me, especially it's wide tuning range that may not require an antenna tuner for under 3:1 SWR.

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
Howard less than stacked monobanders at 100' + is WAY too small for serious contesting. I don't recall the thrust of this thread was for serious contesting. I suspect most on here are not vying for 'serious' contest station. For those contemplating the difference it is $3,000 or $2,600, vs, what?, $15,000? I'd guess 120' towers with two steppir monsterIRs is around $100,000.
(Edited)
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3594 Posts
  • 1447 Reply Likes
@Walt

A great mountain top QTH goes a long way towards mitigating the need for Stacked MonstIR's.

My single MonstIR @85' at 600' ASL less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean typically owns the Pacific in JA and Asia Pacific Contests... For USA/EU contests we have NX6T contest station on a mountain top 1100' above average terrain on the other side of our mountains with stacked beams.and ACOM Amps.

Personally I prefer solid state amps,over tubes because of the instant on factor. Too many times I have missed Rare DX waiting for tubes to warm up so my home station is Solid State now.
Photo of Jon - KF2E

Jon - KF2E

  • 648 Posts
  • 195 Reply Likes
Ken,

Don't forget about the Yaesu Quadra. I have one and love it. It is solid state, interfaces easily to the Flex for band selection and has a 3:1 tuner. Oh, it also puts out an easy 1kw+. I picked up mine used for $2800. There is a good Yahoo forum for owners and a moderator who is very responsive to questions.

Jon...kf2e
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
The Elecraft KPA-500 is solid state, even though it works better with a K3s, it works really well with the 6000 series and DDUtil. Also, hopefully not a contentious observation, power is next to the last item on list of factors influencing station performance...with radio being on the bottom. Nothing beats HAAT.