FlexRadio 1500W Solid State Amplifier

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  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
FlexRadio 1500W Solid State Amplifier release.  Does anyone know when the anticipated date is when these will be available?
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W2NER

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Posted 3 years ago

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K1UO - Larry

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From the Flex Amateur Products website:

"The Power Genius XL amplifier will be priced competitively with specific pricing and availability announced after FCC and CE certification has been achieved. Power Genius XL will be packaged to complement FlexRadio’s FLEX-6000 Signature Series transceivers."

I know this does not directly answer your question but I can hazard a guess of 4th Quarter 2016..possibly...maybe... hopefully...     You can also sign up for their "amplifier newsletter" for any future announcements regarding the amplifier.


As an aside..  wouilnt it be great if SSDR had an Amplifier control window built in to the GUI to interface and control the amp directly from a control panel like the TX or RX Windows.


Regards

Larry  K1UO

(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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As an aside..  wouilnt it be great if SSDR had an Amplifier control window built in to the GUI to interface and control the amp directly from a control panel like the TX or RX Windows.

That is the plan.
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Mike - W8MM

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I signed up for the amplifier info at Hamvention, but don't recall being notified/confirmed that the pass-around paper signup sheet was successfully converted to database form.  

How about a test mailing?
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Philip KA4KOE

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Wow, Tim....that's slicker 'n goose snot.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Mike - the sign-up sheets we have used at various hamfests have been converted into a mailing list.  At this time we really don't have a lot to announce publicly.  We are working diligently on some modifications, both internally and to the chassis.  We will do an update once we complete a few of the project milestones.
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ka7gzr

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Tim,

Where can I get on the sign-up sheet? I didn't see one at Sea Pac.

Thanks,

Jim

ka7gzr

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Early 2017 is the targeted release date.
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KC9NRN

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Is there a target price, or ballpark?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Not at this time.  We will have that info once it passes CE and FCC certifications. 
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W2NER

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How do I get on this signup sheet?
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K1UO - Larry

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http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/amplifier/   Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Newsletter" to sign up for any updates.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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IMHO, Power Genius XL will be an amp that is the cat's meow, as it will be 100% plug-and-play compatible with the 6700, and it will have full integration into the 6700's GUI. No more DDUTIL, and a "rats nest of cables" (as Steve Hicks has described in the past in his presentations!), with a plethora of thorny "issues" around less than perfect compatibility. Say what you like, but this reminds me of using an Icom transceiver with the old PW1. Very long in the tooth now, and beyond its time, but the venerable PW1 just plays perfectly with any Icom rig. I expect this new Flex Power Genius XL amp will also do this when interfaced with the Flex, but with the huge added benefit of working via Ethernet interface to support full integration, all via the WAN. I assume (but certainly don't know) it will include full control of the amps internal tuner over the WAN. I will gladly wait for this puppy, no matter the cost nor the wait time necessary. Thankfully, I recently unloaded my current 1kW amp on eBay, in light of this new gem! Can't wait 'till Flex offers a paid wait list. Next to the Tesla announcement of their pending Model 3, this is the coolest product announcement I can remember seeing in many, many years!
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Mike - W8MM

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I feel the same way.
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Drax

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I think it will be released in tandem with the Alpha 4040.
(Edited)
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Jd Dupuy

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Too funny! I gave up on that one years ago. That product is the worst example of Made In America!
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WW1SS - Steve

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Yea Right . . . Don't hold your breath waiting for that 4040
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Norm - W7CK

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Tim.   I currently have an Elecraft KPA500.  When I use it for long periods of time on CW or Digital, the fans crank up to high speed and it sounds like a darn jet engine in the shack.  My XYL can hear the darn thing all the way in the living room which is quite a ways away.   I also have a TL-922A, AL-80A and an older Drake L4B, all 3 of which are nearly silent in comparison to the KPA500.

Can you tell me if the new Power Genius XL is going to be equipped with quiet, slow speed, high volume fans instead of these darn noisy PC fans that everyone seems to be in love with?

Norm - W7CK 
(Edited)
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Drax

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Since the new amp comes on an AC chassis I figured it would have compressor cooling.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I find the Expert 1.3k the direct competition to this amp.... and in some ways a better device.

The 1.3k features 2 inputs and 4 ant outputs and one ant RX (SO2R) input. This amp has 2 inputs and 2 ant outputs.
Has the option of receiving on the SO2R port on INPUT2 when you are TX through INPUT1. I can actually connect my mag loop antenna to the SO2R port and free up an RX port in the Flex.

It has an optional antenna tuner. Not sure if that is even an option on this amp.
It works in 4m where it gives you 1Kw. I think 6m is as high as this one will go.
True antenna bypass to use with steppir or resonant antennas.
Digital display of SWR (before and after tuner), temp and Power, this info can be seen remotely as well. This amp needs a lot of work in the outside enclosure. It is "fugly" right now. 
The SPE 1.3k weights 18lbs vs the 33lbs of this amp.
This amp is about 50% larger than the SPE.

The SPE is missing Ethernet. On the other hand I can turn it ON and OFF remotely.

Surprisingly the Flex amp has CAT, CI-V, BCD band decode (I guess that technology is not dead after all...) if the Flex 6000 had band data coming out you would only need that cable to connect to the Flex for totally automatic operation.
In the future, you might even be able to use the USB port in the Flex 6000 to connect directly to the SPE Expert or other devices.

What I expect this amp to bring to the table is Pre Distortion. Which can be added to the SPE or any amp for that matter with a Coupler once Flex releases new software to have Pre Distortion as a feature. The IMD numbers are also very impressive. It is great to see amps focusing on providing clean IMD "free" signals.

This amp could also have about 200w more watts total power than the SPE. (I get 1.3k consistently in all bands with very little drive and over 1.5k on 40m and above). Heck, it takes so little drive that I can actually use it with the Flex 1500 and get over 1Kw. I don't think I can get that kind of performance out of this amp if I drive it with the Flex 1500, it needs 50w drive.

It is an interesting proposal from Flex and Ranko... I just wouldn't call it a game changer until game changing features are brought forward. On this one I cautiously what to see what comes finally comes out while I enjoy the SPE 1.3k.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I've relegated my Expert 1KW to back-up duty, as it was in some ways fantastic and others seriously substandard (mostly RFI issues caused or accentuated by the Expert).  Replaced with an Alpha-9500 at each shack.

At my northern QTH I'm interested in pushing a new Flex Power Genius 1500 to the base of tower utility shed, and not even having the amp near the operating station.

With the Power Genius, Antenna Genius 8x2 switch and a Station Genius for all the other utility shed duties, all remotely positioned in the utility shed I'll basically have two feedlines (Flex-6700 antenna ports A and B) and fiber for internet coming back to my operating station.

It would be possible to put the 6700 in the utility shed as well, but at the expense of loosing access to the radio's direct I/O connections.  I'm not ready to do that yet.

73

Steve K9ZW

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Rich - N5ZC

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One of the main features that will grab contesters attention is that it is supposed to do true SO2R. 

Rich - N5ZC
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Wondering of there will be two versions of hardware?  Ranko hinted at one stage that their would be a basic and full SO2R version.

Ranko also had mentioned that there would an ATU option.

Neat stuff!

73

Steve K9ZW

(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Steve, in my post I was referring to the new 1.3k. Is that the one you are relegating to backup duty? I have never had rfi issues with them... Maybe it's the right time to check the RadioShack for rfi.
(Edited)
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W2NER

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I'm going to purchase one of these when they come out.  The Expert 1.3K is a nice amp however, all the support comes from Italy now, no more US distributors or support in the states.  That's a turn off. 
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Jd Dupuy

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Uninformed or misinformed take your pick. Someone needs to tell Bob he's out of business according to Nick!
http://expertlinears.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwrIa9BRD5_dvqqazMrFESJACdv27Gol_brjxJh9LutpjYNHMWhZlqM83fMd0v...
(Edited)
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W2NER

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I got that info off the manufacture web site so, point at them or anyone there. Take ur pick
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John-K3MA

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Oh really....Strange here is what the manufacturers web site shows.....same as when I looked it up 6 months ago.

U.S.A.

usa

Company: EXPERT LINEARS AMERICA, LLC. Sales and Service
Name (call) of the marketing manager: Bob Hardie (W5UQ)
Address: PO Box 1224
Zip code: 77355
City:  Magnolia (near Houston)
Country: Texas
Web site: http://www.ExpertLinears.com
E-mail: bob@ExpertLinears.com
Ph.: +001 281-259-7877   /   +001 281-725-2113
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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This speaks volumes.Bob is located in the Country of Texas. Is that in Central America?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Please don't get the Texans riled up about secession again ;-)
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W2NER

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None the less, Flex is getting an order from me when they come out.
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Steve Gw0gei

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I was hoping the new amp would stretch to 4m as well as 6m . The devil is always in the detail and will be good to get some more detail on how this will play on so2r with a 6700. Just sold my spe 2kw and acom 1000 amps in the hope that this new amp will be delivered on time and be a finished product (on at least the basic functions) . I need to understand how it will interface with the 2x8 genius antenna switch, which is also on my shopping list.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Steve - we hear ya!  At this time we are totally focused on getting the hardware finalized and passing the required FCC and CE certifications.  Once we have those milestones achieved, then we can start on the software integration work.  We have some good ideas on what we are planning on doing, but we want to vet them out first before making any public statements.  We appreciate your patience and will provide updates as soon as we are able. 
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Steve Gw0gei

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Noted Tim and thanks. I will happily engage in discussions from a users perspective and as an active hf and VHF contester. In particular the ability to run more than one antenna system on hf and VHF which is becoming more the norm these days competitive stations here in the uk. Squeezing a few hundred watts out on 4m would help it compete against the spe 1.3kw pa. integration with n1mm in so2r modes is the real essential for contesters. I look forward to hearing /seeing more in due course.
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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hope to see it the amp at Huntsville in a few days
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Brad A. Steffler

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Me too!!!
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Sergey, R5AU

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Review report from visitors appreciated ! Please.
(Edited)
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W2NER

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I'm going to purchase one as soon as they come out so, keep us up to date Steve.
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k3Tim

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Interesting amp although not the prettiest looking. As mentioned by Steve (K9ZW) placing the box remotely at the antenna is a consideration.

It appears the Flex Radio site has the LDMOS mfg name misspelled: Please change 

From: Ampelon
To:      Ampleon
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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One of the things we are working on is improving the aesthetics of the front panel. 

And thanks for the heads up on the typo.  It has been corrected.
(Edited)
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k3Tim

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Very good about the front panel. IF (in caps) I were to purchase one of these it would very likely be stashed under the operating desk (as is the 6500) or quasi-remotely. 
What's interesting about this ethernet based unit we could hang a Raspberry unit off the network and have it query the Amp for stats (SWR / peak-average Power / Temps) etc and display these remotely on a small display. In essence a detached status panel. Attaching this display to Maestro would be easy enough and result in a nice package. A lot one can do given some time to write the s/w.

Thanks Tim...

k3Tim
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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There are small 7" screens designed specifically for the RPi. Adafruit (AC2SN) has them. 
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Rich - N5ZC

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My understanding is that the amp will end up being built in a case similar looking to the flex-6xxx case.  W4TME can probably chime in on this one.

I'm currently running a pair of Elecraft KPA-500's for my 6700 SO2R setup, I'm looking forward to the Flex amp as it will be like two amps in one and 1500 watts vs 500 watts.  That will be a 4.77db increase in signal which may make the difference on the low bands during the solar minimum.

Rich - N5ZC
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k3Tim

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Hi Rich
Thanks for the tidbit about the box.  The KPA-500 seems a nice amp and at 500 W one doesn't have to run a 240V circuit.

I checked the Ampleon website about the LDMOS devices and the datasheet states it can survive a 65:1 SWR. - wow.... although it says pulsed so one would likely still have to use care in operation.

Best Regards,
Tim
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James - K4JK

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Glad the case will be changed, it currently looks like on old tabletop 8-track player from the 70s!


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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Just an update.  We have weekly status updates with the design engineers.  We got to see the new chassis design this morning and it looks very nice.  The design is highly modular, which will allow for ease of assembly and service.  It is designed to match the FLEX-6000 Series packaging but will work with any manufacturer's radio.  It will also seamlessly integrate over Ethernet with SmartSDR using Windows, iOS, and Maestro.  We will show new photos when we get to the point that they are representative of the final product.  We will announce pricing and expected availability after we complete CE & FCC testing.

If you are interested, please sign up on the website for direct communications when we have concrete updates.

73,
Gerald
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len

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Will the amp work for MARS? Many amps need tweaking to make them work outside the ham bands. I have to give up ham bands with my Alpha-9500. Sux!
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Has anyone received any Newsletter updates?  I have not received a thing since signing up months ago, just want to be sure I haven't missed anything. Hoping for a price soon so I can decide which amp to sell or keep as backup, the Quadra and Alpha 87A and what other stuff to sell, or which bank to rob, ha, ha. Quadra has 6m and works well with 6000 series thanks to DDUtil but has no antenna bypass, you have to manually externally bypass the amp if it is turned off. The mint 87A doesn't have 6m but has more power.

I'm hoping the Flex amp will pass the input to the output if not turned on.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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You may want to unload all amps on eBay, and buy 2 of the Flex PA's, one for primary, and one on back-up status. Problem solved!
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Can't argue with that logic :-D
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Mark K9BOO

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Forgive me if this appears in some other thread, but will the Flex amp have an integrated tuner?

Thanks!

Mark
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Announcements have the tuner as an available option.

73

Steve K9ZW
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Kevin N9JKP

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It would be great to get an update, with some specifics about the amp.  Announcing it a year before it is likely to be available harkens back to the days that IBM would announce new hardware long before it would be available in an effort to keep IT managers from buying hardware from other credible vendors, e.g. Hitachi.  Eventually that marketing ploy failed.

I want to love this new amp, but to say I wouldl put down a deposit or sign up as soon as I could without a lot more information as to the components, the design, the build quality and the price is not likely unless someone has some extra grape kool-aid ;)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Ignoring the announcements might be a possibility?

The announcement question - whether to announce and when - would look to be both a no-win proposition. Claims of staking out market space without a product by an early announcement vs upsetting amateurs who did know a highly interesting product was in the wings. No clear way to win.

Then the question is also largely a 4o3a one anyway, as they are the project driver.

Since they are spending the development money to bring the amp to market, what happens if we think of the announcement question from their point of view?

Do they develop - spending money and time -in secret? Or do they announce?

By announcing they have picked up market feedback on interest, arguably making their investment in development less risky.

They perhaps protected their product niche, but at the possible risk of laying out their amp specifications for others, including possible competition.

Which is the right call? Depends on the business and marketing plans the companies have.

No pat best every time answers.

73

Steve. K9ZW

(BTW, my personal take is that for evolutionary products in established product market segments an early announcement route generally results in a better end customer experience and price point. But as there are no placebo or control samples to compare, it isn't possible to quantify the benefits. )
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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All of this sounds very interesting. I've already ordered a SPE Expect 1.3K-FA, but if the PG XL was roughly the same in price I would get one. (I doubt it would be since it uses two LDMOS devices). 

However what Tim said makes my ears perk up. Amp control from within SmartSDR? That sounds like a really cool feature. Would that be limited only to the PG XL, or would the API be available for someone to write a "bridge" piece of software to do the same thing with another autotune amp, like an Expert or an Alpha? I am hoping the answer is yes. DDUtil for sure is a nice piece of software but having seamless integration is really nice, and this would open the possibilities of a lightweight remote box (raspberry pi, even) and being able to run remote. 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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We want to thank everyone for their patience.  We have been working very hard on the amp and have made significant progress.  As we have stated before,we will not provide a lot of information publicly until the amp has passed CE and FCC certifications.  The activity should begin shortly and hopefully, will not take too long.
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Michael - N5TGL

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I too would like a 1500w transceiver.  :P
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Larry - WA7LZO

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I second that motion. Given this amp will plug and play seamlessly with 6XXX over Ethernet, why not package a 6700 and 1.5kW amp in a single box? Makes sense. I'd order that gem today, sight unseen, if it was under $20k.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Being that the amp can be controlled via Ethernet (remotely), we have had several people indicate that they plan to put the amp much closer to the antenna (at or on the tower) to overcome coax losses.
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P

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Larry, that sounds like a throwback to the old Hallicrafters SR-2000 "Hurricane!"
It was a big monster of a rig that covered 5 bands, 80-10 Meters, with a "full gallon" 1000 Watts output. (The legal limit at the time.) It was the big brother to the SR-150 (5 bands, 80-10) & SR 160 (3 bands, 80-20).    

I bought a used SR-150 in 1978 when I got my General ticket in 1978 and used it for about a year, traded it off and got a deal on a used SR-160 that I used for another year before I got a Kenwood TS-120S.  Brings back some good memories...

Ken - NM9P