Looking for Amplifier for working with my Flex 6300: suggestions are welcome!

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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My Ameritron 811 (one year old ) passed away today after working with my new flex 6300.....cause: unknow....reason why I`m began a search for a new one (don`t need more than 1K). I`ve been think in Acom 1010 & 1000; but after Ameritron I feel afraid of tubes and my flex...reason why I look to Acom 600S. Anyone knows if its easy to connect flex6300 and Acom 600s?
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YV5WZ

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jim Gilliam

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What are the drive requirements of your 811 amplifier? Do you suppose you inadvertently over drove it? There has been a recent thread of having Flex set the power to lower values as a default. Several have complained that it defaults to 100 Watts and that might have been your problem. You might end up with the same problem with any other amplifier that requires less drive.


Jim, K6QE

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YV5WZ

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To tell the truth I guess it was that happened....I have had used for a year with my kenwood 480SAT with No problem....I connected to my flex today was chasing an AO150 (Spain 150years IARU)...and changed band to 17mts...and did not check RF power.....it will be good  "default" to 10 watts.....Now 'm looking new amplifier :-/
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Jim Gilliam

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When you get the 811 amp repaired, please let the group know what went wrong and the probable cause.


Jim

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James Kennedy-WU5E

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I used a ALS-600S with my Flex 6500 the only I can't use to is the ARI-500 the amp works like a champ.

Jim

WU5E

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YV5WZ

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Message to Jim Gilliam:  
Ameritron 811 amp fault was one of the three tubes, technician told me he think was a tube fail, not cause by overdrive it, he suggested to write to Ameritron....however I dont want to waste my time.....Ameritron its already fixed with all 3 brand new Taylor tubes 

Greetings 

George
YV5WZ
Venezuela
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k3Tim

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YV5WZ

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It requires 70 watts......could go to 100...but its not recommendable by manufacturer  
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes, driving them at 100 Watts when they only need 70 is why I see so many really wide signals on the bands...

Accidents happen, as in your case, bu some folks do it on purpose because their meters say they are getting out better.

By the way, I hear good things about the ACom 1010, it is relatively forgiving, easy to tune, tolerates up to 3:1 SWR. I wish I had one. Maybe someday....
(Edited)
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Jim Gilliam

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The Flex really shows non-linearity in a linear amplifier. The most notable of improper use is when the base of the signal spreads out on voice peaks. I see this problem on about half of all the signals on the various bands.
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Joe, KQ1Q

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I use an Elecraft KPA500 and matching KAT500 tuner with my 6300 and they work fine.  It is the 2nd picture on my QRZ page: http://www.qrz.com/lookup/kq1q
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YV5WZ

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Wow! Joe!! Amazing Pictures.....I saw you`re photographer too!...picture from your Flex, KPA500 and KAT500 is Awesome!!
I will take a look to Elecraft-..... Thanks for your suggestion....

George
YV5WZ
http://www.qrz.com/db/YV5WZ
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Burt Fisher

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It's amazing you are still alive after looking at the first picture,
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Lol, Burt! We have all let reason and safety go out the window a time or two when we were young and excited (read that foolish!) I managed to get my hand across the plate cap of a 2e26 tube, about 600 volts, when I was 16 years old. I have been living on borrowed time for the past 40 years. BTW, I ALWAYS double check the power supply twice before working on equipment, even with 12 volts!
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Joe, that is precisely my environment with my 6500.
We share very similar interests, I got emComm certified via the ARRL courses, and hold a commercial multi-engine license. I am very impressed with the 3D storm images...really nice!
(Edited)
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YV5WZ

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So....Radio Ham Amateurs....Photography. ...and Aircraft Pilots....let's add motorcycles ... :)
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Walt - KZ1F

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I sold my Honda 350 to a cop in Reston, VA in 1979. I think that was the last time I was on one. However, it wasn't the last time I thought about buying another.
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YV5WZ

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Royal Star 1300   ;-)
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Jim Gilliam

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Many hams are social pariahs but it looks like this one has his act together! Wonder if a hair transplant and new chopper would help me?


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Clay N9IO

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I sold my TL-922A and ALS600 and am now running the ACOM 1000 with my 6300 one year now. VERY happy I did.

I have tune power set to 20watts and power out set to around 60 watts in each band profile otherwise the amp' s micro complains of overdriving when I tune. The Acom 1K will run 1200 watts but shines at 1000 watts all day any band any mode 6-160. 1K on RTTY is nice! Also will tune up to 3:1 SWR. Would do it again, price point is right for me any way.
Solid amp!
(Edited)
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Steve W6SDM

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I second the Elecraft KPA500 amp and KAT500 tuner.  It will literally turn your 6300 into a 500-watt transceiver.  Changing bands is effortless. 
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Burt Fisher

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The Acom 1000 won't work on 120v?
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Cal Spreitzer - N3CAL

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I also use the Elecraft KPA500/KAT500.  Very effortless and forgiving. 
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W5XZ - dan

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Or, you could repair it? do the tube filaments light up?  Is there any B+ (high voltage) ?  A new transformer is not that expensive..

JM2C...73
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YV5WZ

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Tubes looked OK...but something went wrong an spark burned meters lights and led light turn off...i will send to repair...but don't wanna expose my flex on risk connecting it.
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Burt Fisher

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What amp can handle AM? I have a TL-922 but no WARC bands.
(Edited)
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Jon - KF2E

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I use a Yaesu Quadra. It works seamlessly and gives a solid 1K.

If I were looking today I would probably look hard at the Expert 1.3K-FA.

Jon...kf2e
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Burt Fisher

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Can they handle the duty cycle of AM?
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Jon - KF2E

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The Quadra manual says it can do 500 watts continuous for 1 hour. It doesn't specifically mention AM.
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Jim Gilliam

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Generally speaking, a linear is capable of approximately 1/4 continuous power of a SSB linear. Also remember that the peak power of an AM signal is 4 times the average carrier signal for 100 percent modulation.


Jim

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Kevin Mahoney

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I use both a Heathkit SB-200 and an SB-220 (not together obviously) with great results. 
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Joe, KQ1Q

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The KPA500 manual says 500 watts key down for 10 min, followed by 5 min stand by, etc. For most applications that would work, but it might cramp the style for AMers to restrict a single transmission to only 10 minutes :) Of course if they could fit within 10 min they'd have plenty of time to cool down before the next transmission.
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Jim Gilliam

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Key down with continuous carrier does not imply you can run 500 Watts on AM. For 100 percent modulation a carrier of 500 Watts key down would have to be able to run 2000 Watts peak power. If the amplifier was rated at 500 Watts was modulated at 100 percent there would be distortion. One has to keep the power to approximately 1/4 the rated key down power to avoid this distortion.

Jim

(Edited)
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Burt Fisher

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I am not an AMer that goes more than 10 minutes. I currently also have an IC2KL I run at 100 watts on AM but the fan sounds like a jet taking off
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Joe, KQ1Q

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Just to be clear, as Jim said due to the 4:1 ratio between AM PEP and carrier power, the unmodulated max key down for the KPA500 in AM might be about 125 watts. In AM you'd still be getting 500 watts on a fully modulated signal.  Due to the intermittent nature of that modulation, I'd expect the KPA500 could continue an AM phone transmission for quite a while -- certainly longer than 10 min. although I haven't see any spec.
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Burt Fisher

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I bet at 2 minutes a fan would come on that sounds like a jet
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Norm - W7CK

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The KPA500 has a VERY LOUD fan.  If you key up for any length of time on AM or any digital mode, the fan will kick into high and you can literally hear it all over the house!  It is obnoxious........  I'll be replacing mine sometime this year. 
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Burt Fisher

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Thanks for the update I hate fans.
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W5XZ - dan

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If I had to start from scratch, I'd consider:

http://www.w6pql.com/1_kw_sspa_for_1_8-54_mhz.htm

73, w5xz, dan
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David Altekruse

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Amplifier: Transistor vs. Tube Question

Since I'm shopping for an amplifier and am looking at the ones mentioned here, I've been following this thread with great interest.  My major concern is the transistor vs. tube question that YV5WZ raised at the top.  I've had tube amplifiers in the past (including one I built from scratch in high school back in the early 1960's) and never damaged a tube.  

On the other hand, I've blown the output transistors in my 6300 twice.  (Fortunately it was under warranty both times.)  I don't know how much these transistors cost but FlexRadio support said they were very expensive.  (No one at FlexRadio seems to know what caused them to blow. FlexRadio finally said that their ATU was not able to deal with my antenna's reactance and suggested I buy an external ATU.  I bought the Palstar HF-Auto antenna tuner and haven't had any problems since.)  Furthermore, I can replace tubes myself but probably not the transistors.

As I see it an RF transistor amp has these advantages:  1) No warm up required, 2) usually have protective circuits, auto tuning, and auto band switching, 3) lower power consumption and generate less heat.

Tube RF amplifiers have the advantages of:  1) User replaceable tubes (Adcom's warning notwithstanding), 2) tubes can be purchased from several vendors, 3) cost per watt is lower, and 4) high power tube RF amplifier design is well tested with many decades of use.

As much as I'd like the instant-on and CAT features of the Adcom 600S, my fear of blowing output transistors and paying high repair costs have me leaning toward the similarly priced but higher power Adcom 1000.  Is my reasoning flawed?  Is there any data on high-power RF transistor vs. tube reliability and lifespan?
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Burt Fisher

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I have a Kenwood TL-922, instant on, and a IC2KL, my concern is duty cycle.
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Norm - W7CK

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Anyone know what the duty cycle of the TL-922 is?
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Jim Best

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I used my TL-922 with my Flex 5000 and I'm using a Dentron MLA-2500 with my 6300.  Works dandy. Jim WU7G
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Burt Fisher

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I never felt it get warm
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Ross - K9COX

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A friend and I have been using a ALS-600 with MRF150's for many years without any problems. On the other hand I ended up selling a AL-82 (3-500's) that was hardly used at all because the finals had to be replaced twice. Never heard of a 6300 having final problems so obviously everyone's experience varies.
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David Altekruse

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Flexradio support told me that 6xxx output transistor problems were rare.   I guess I just had very bad luck .... twice .... in one month.

Is there any reason to believe that today's final amplifier tubes are less reliable or don't last as long as tubes made several decades ago?  (I'm trying to avoid manufacturing location references.)  
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Ross - K9COX

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In a word, yes.
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Mike - W8MM

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How about a used Drake L-4B?

Instant-on
low-speed (quiet) blower
1500 PEP out (or more)
Cheap
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David Altekruse

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Drake L-4B:  No 160, 17, 12, or 6 meter bands.  I'd only miss 17M, though.
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John n0snx

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The real bottom line is how much $$$$ do you want to spend.... I have ran tube amps from heathkit, dentron, Ameritron to Alpha...and in all the years I have never blown a tube....  I would not have an amp that didn't at least cover all the HF ham bands..( no offence to the boat anchors mentioned here).  There are lots of good amps out there to chose from.... rather than ask whats best and get 20 different answers...(from old boat anchors to brand new). chose three or four venders and do a good research of each one and narrow it down to 1...  IMHO that's the best thing to do....At least that is what I would do...
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Bill N5TU

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This is good advice.  :-)
73, Bill, N5TU
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Steve Gw0gei

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I have used an acom 1000 for five years on 6m and Hf contesting -lovely amp and well protected. Alpha 91b worked well too and its replacement (due to age worries) an OM power hf only amp works very well with my flex 6300. Having run a solid state 4/6m Gemini pa for last year with pro 3 and my flex 6300 on 4m and 6m I am sold on the idea of having a solid state main pa to cover 1.8mhz up to 4m . The SPE expert 1.3 kW which will do 4m as well as 6m and Hf is top of my list for a second amp as it also has a built in atu to protect the output. I use resonant antennas on all bands so do not have a atu in my flex 6300. The new offering from acom looks good and the even newer 4o3a solid state pa sounds like it might be a better option than the expert, assuming it integrates well with the forthcoming so2r box. If you opt for a solid state amp it's essential that it has the input protection to cut out and prevent damage - I have lost count of the times my flex and 4m Tvtr put more than 4w out into the 4m pa and tripped it and one occasion when antenna fault caused the swr protection to kick in. The expert 1.3 pa will serve my need for a 6 and 4m pa and also give me a band jumping instant on Hf amp as a multiplyer radio pa in a future so2r contesting set up. - unless the new 4o3a offering turns out to be better for the flex :-)
73
Steve gw0gei
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YV5WZ

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Thanks Steve for share your experience with us.....I appreciate it....Thank you! 
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YV5WZ

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I 'd like to thanks to all who shares experience to answer my question. My Ameritron 811 it's at tech department for being fix.  I'll let you know what happened after repairing (Jim Gilliam), I guess Jim its right about high input cause 100W flex default  . About my decision, I already ordered an Elecraft Amplifier KPA500 & KAT500 Antenna Tuner (thanks to Joe, KQ1Q). I really like Acom A1000, but I`d rather stay away from tubes for awhile and elecraft solid state circuit, quality and automatic change band system match with my Flex for now....Thanks to all!  Hope find you on bands!   
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Jim Gilliam

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I just acquired a new KPA500 and using it with a Palstar Auto. I love the linear. It gives me clean 500 Watts remotely at my cabin in Big Bear. Very very happy with it.


Jim, K6QE

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YV5WZ

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My Courier Service already received package from Elecraft, and it will be on its way to Venezuela on Tuesday...so I guess I`ll have to wait a week while it`s clear at local custom  
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Jim Gilliam

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Maybe that will give you time to ease things over with the XYL.
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YV5WZ

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Hahahaha   I not much radio since Ameritron went down.....Cheers!!!
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Raf

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Seen the Expert 1K-FA at Sals place connected to his 6300 and I don't think it gets better than that. It auto tunes with the radio, has auto antenna selection/switching and a host of other features which I love. He is hoping to get the 2K-FA after which I will grab the 1K-FA from him. :o)
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YV5WZ

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yes,  I talked to people from Experts at TX...I liked 1K-FA ...but ATU limit is 3:1 SWR....And if SWR is over 3... amplifier go to fault and it can't be "by pass" .. I have a Hustler Vertical 6BTV and I have to fight with 9-10 SWR on 80 mts and its not really flat the curve on 15 mts ....beside I have to wait 3 weeks for amplifier comes from europe to USA...and the 2 more weeks  to Venezuela....plus that means Taxes to to enter USA...and Taxes to enter to Venezuela.....its cost will be around 6500 $ ...so 1K-FA  was not best deal for me.......by other side Elecraft  is proudly made at USA, its a really well positioned enterprise with lot of quality on its products....500watts  free of worries  of changed bands or high SWR.....Cheers!   
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chris hartley (G3VjV)

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I'm using the 1K-FA with my 6300, seems a pretty good combination, it tunes my 18m/54ft wire antenna on all bands above 40m, I use a home-brew remote manual tuner on the lower bands.
 I live in the UK so the Expert is easy to purchase here.
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Chris for you recommendation ...!!! Sadly 1K-FA was not my choice although I`m sure its amazing Amplifier....I went for Elecraft KPA500....I could tell It works wonderful 

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/atomic-combination-for-daily-flex-6300-use

Hope to see you on bands

George
YV5WZ
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Don Stefanik

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I have an ALS600 that I run with my 756 Pro3. I am getting the Flex 6300 and am wondering what cable will I need to run the amp with the flex? Is it the same type of remote control cable I need. I also have the Ameritron ARB-704.

VA3KBC


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Ross - K9COX

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I have the same setup here, just use the same cable. The ARB-704 is not required however if you have it go ahead and use it, I don't and have no issues.
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Don Stefanik

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Many thanks!!
VA3KBC