Looking for power supply recommendations

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  • Updated 7 months ago
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I am looking for recommendations for a power supply for my (soon to be) Flex 6400.
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George N1GB

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Posted 11 months ago

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Lou Dietrich

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George,
I use Astron 35A...or the Samlex 1235M...either works fine.

73

Lou N2TU
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George N1GB

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Thanks, Lou
Are they quiet?  I have an Astron RS-50A, but it vibrates and creates an audible hum in the shack.
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Kevin N9JKP

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George, I have an Astron RS-50M. It's hum is inaudible unless you put your face right next to it.  The loudest thing in my shack is the Flex 6700. My PC tower is dead quiet but I built it myself and put the highest quality fans in it that I could find.
When my warranty is up on my Flex I will replace the cheap fans with good ones :)
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David Livingston

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I use two (2) Ashtron RS-70M in my shack.  Very quiet. I have never worked either one to the point that the fan came on.  K4CAE
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KF3F

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I'm using a Samlex-1235 and it's quiet.
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Scott Russell - N1SER

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Yep, I have two Samlex-1235's in the shack and a Yaesu FP-1030A. The Samlex are quiet unless the fan kicks in which is not that often.
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Rick - W5FCX

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L5QU616/

TekPower TP50SW 50 Amp 13.8V Analog DC Power Supply

Using with my 6700.

Best,
Rick
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George N1GB

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Thanks for the link, Rick
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Andrew Russell

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I use a very similar 30A unit that works very well.
It is a switch mode PSU with an analogue meter.
To date I have not needed to use the noise offset.
Andrew VK5CV
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George N1GB

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Thanks, Lou
Are they quiet?  I have an Astron RS-50A, but it vibrates and creates an audible hum in the shack.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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George, open the RS-50 case and tighten every screw you can get to.  That quieted mine down.
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George N1GB

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Thanks, Tim
I will give that a try.
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KC2QMA_John

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Sometimes the HUM from the transformer can indicate the filter caps are starting to get a little leaky. Other times it's just the lamination's in the transformer getting a little loose.

 The latest Astron’s have a “Soft-Start” or a Thermistor in series with the primary of the transformer to eliminate In rush current, which is why sometimes with some of the older supplies they will make a loud thump sound when you turn the power on. Also all of the new supplies with meters will now come with LED back lighting so no more burnt out lamps to replace. So Astron continues to make their products better as time goes on.

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Justin - KL2D

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FWIW I have the new LED lights in the meters on my RS-70M and they died.... but I leave it on 24/7-365. The meters still work just fine, and if the room is pitch black you can see a dim glow from them hi hi 

The PS is a beast as has been mentioned, otherwise no issues here. 

73
Justin
KL2D
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N0AZZ

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Since my Samlex crapped out I went to a Astron SS 35M.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I have an Astron RS-35M that is going on 20 years old and only gets turned off when there is an electrical storm or I am going to be away from my QTH for several days or more.  Other than having to tighten down the internal screws to ensure there were good grounds, I never have to service the p/s.  There are no moving parts to fail except for the meters.
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Greg K8CGS

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Do you see any issues using an Alinco 30A DM-330FX. I have never used it to power a radio only accessories since my rig has a built in power supply.
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Ned K1NJ

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  RS-35M in use here at least 20 years.  Solid, reliable product.

                       Ned,  K1NJ
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Michael Coslo

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I use an Alinco  and an Astron RS-35A Both work well. The Alinco is quiet. I did some testing video and posted it on Youtube. Here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8p5WUAriBo&t=4s 

I got the Astron inexpensively from a Ham who was getting out of the hobby. It is a heavy piece of iron. Works well, but if I had to choose, it would be the Alinco.
(Edited)
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KC2QMA_John

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I would rather start with a supply that doesn't generate noise to begin with, the fact that you have to rotate a knob to move the noise around seems a bit silly.

I figure it this way if I just spent between $3K-$7K on an SDR I can spend a few extra on a “Clean” power supply.

Also consider that the way a Flexradio works is it is capturing the entire HF band at one time and breaking that down into slices, so If any unwanted noise gets in to the radio it will reduced the overall receive performance.

The biggest advantages of a switch mode supply is that they are light weight and small size witch for some might be important especially if you have a portable setup..

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Gordon, ve7on

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 The only noise free supply is a battery.  It is a lot harder to filter the 60 cycle AC in a linear supply.  I have used switchers for years and am sold on them, as long as they are good ones.  I use Samlex and Astron.  I would not trust the cheap Chinese ones.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have had no issues with 13.8v switching supplies. They also take up less room and are lightweight to travel with. Some are also auto voltage.  I operate low bands a lot and have no problems. I hear a lot of stuff other people in NNJ simply do not hear. DXCC 9 bands (160-10), 1700+ DXCC challenge confirmed, closing in on 2000 worked. Also contest with several top 10 finishes in CQWW, ARRL DX, IARU, WAE and WPX, a few USA and NA wins, and plenty of regional ones. I even have Bouvet confirmed from 2008.

Ria
N2RJ
(Edited)
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Lou Dietrich

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Ria,

I agree regarding the switching power supplies. They are not, as one described, simply wall warts. For the masses, they perform just fine and take up little space. Just do the research. ARRL had a review of various switching supplies. I would, however, tend to doubt they will produce the wall paper you have mentioned. That takes a bit more than a power supply! Hi Hi
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Michael Coslo

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Hi John, I think that you believe there is always noise present, and you always have to mess with the switching frequency. Other than my experiments in the video I made, I've never had to touch that knob. In fact, I had to use it in the experiments to even find the noise. moving it changed the switcher frequency so I could tell what was what at the low and already noisy frequencies it shows up at.

Now if I was experimenting at the new low frequencies we can operate on, I wouldn't use the Alinco. Wouldn't use the Astron either - I'd use batteries. 
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Wayne

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I have always used mfj4225's advertised as hash free rf never had any problems have 5 use 1 for each rig. ymmv ... mighty fine junk seems to work very well for the price .. :-)
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I prefer analog supplies to switching just removes another source of noise. Current supply Trip-lite PR-60 set to 14.0 volts.  A bit of over kill but can run all my 12 v devices with no problem.  Flex 6000 radio
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David Salomon

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I use an Alinco DM-330MV and a Tek-Power TP30SWII.  I have one set to 13.8v and one to 12v (I have some devices that require a stable 12v supply).  They are both switching, but I haven't had any issues with noise from either one.  They also both have the ability to shift the switching frequency so if noise is encountered, it can be moved elsewhere in the spectrum.  The things I like most about the switching supplies are the small footprint and low heat output.  Both have been running 24x7 for over 5 years with no issues.  I do run them through a filtering UPS.  If anything in the shack is going to let the magic smoke due to lightning, it will be the UPS before the power supplies (at least that's what I'm telling myself :).

73 - David, AG4F
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Michael Coslo

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The Linear versus Switcher wars are pretty much over.  Technically there is very little difference. What remains is weight and size. For home use, my Astron works FB It is huge though. I built a portable station with my Flex 6300, autotuner and Alinco switcher, and it also works great. Zero difference in performance. And with not having to add another 40 pounds or tripling the size, it is a no brainer.  We have two excellent choices, not one.
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KC2QMA_John

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I would have to say that overall the best 12vdc power supply value is an Astron liner supply, The 35M or 50M would be the best choice for the shack.

Although there are some very good Switching supply available none are as quiet across the HF/VHF/UHF spectrum as a Liner Power Supply.

A few reasons to choose an Astron is that they have been in business for over 40 years and have great customer service and very simple clean design, Easy to service and most important No RF Hash!

And when you just spent thousand of dollars on a state of the art SDR the last thing you want is a power supply detracting from the radios performance.
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Lou Dietrich

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The Astrons are like rocks! Stable, no maintenance (other than tightening the transformer nuts), and they last for ages. (I have them in my will!)....The Samlex is small, quiet and no RF hash that I am aware of. We have used the Samlex's on Palmyra, Wake and now they are on their way to Bouvet. 

73

Lou N2TU
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Ernest - W4EG

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ASTRON POWER SUPPLY.
They just keep on ticking and the Company has a great reputation.
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Paul - K6HR

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Hands down..Astron RS70A
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KC2QMA_John

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If you are just running a flexradio (100W HF) then the 35 amp supply is fine, however if you run a bunch of accessories or just like the idea of extra headroom then the 50 or 70 amp might be a better choice.
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George N1GB

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Thanks, John
GB
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I’ve got two Astron RM-50m supplies I am going to sell. Too big for where I am installing equipment. I have an Astron SS-30m switching supply that runs the radio and auto tuner. Quiet RF-wise. Fan noise is acceptable where it is mounted.

I tried an MFJ-4245mv 45 amp supply someone suggested. Fan noise was very loud. Louder than the Power Genius XL amp. There are two fans inside that are 12 volt fans tied to the output of the supply. I run the output at 14.4 volts so the supply was screaming! A fix was a 51 Ohm 2 watt resistor in series with the red lead on each fan. Air flow still keeps it cool but barely audible. One ding against the amp is the binding posts for the 45 amp connection have caps that do not unscrew all the way. This makes it impossible to use ring lugs on the power cables.

Dave wo2x
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I use an Astron RM-50 for each of my 12VDC Buses. I have 3 and they have been in continuous use for almost 20 years.

Switching supplies ALL generate RFI somewhere. The better ones allow you to tune the RFI frequency out of the ham bands. But it’s still RFI and will get into something or beat against something. Better just not to have it. I think of Switching Supplies as giant Wall Warts.
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Clay N9IO

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My Astron 35A been in service 25+ years.
The vibration started on day one, a small paper wedge in a strategic spot cured it on day two quiet ever since.
A couple years back I added a cheap Chinese 3 digit (blue) LED voltage readout outboard for my own peace of mind.

I bought an Astron 30SS about 15 years back for a backup, have never needed it.
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Danny K5CG

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I use a car battery and a powergate to charge it from a Samlex supply. You don't need a 30 Amp power supply unless you're consuming 30 Amps continuous. Let the storage battery supply the high current when needed (transmitting) and fill it back up at slower rate. Runtime current (charge) is at 5 Amps.

Wouldn't you want to be able to operate when there is a power outage?

While you're at it, choose a car battery that also fits your car, and now you have a backup battery you can use in case your car's dies.
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David Salomon

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I have an AGM battery, powergate, and N8XJK controller/charger for my EMCOMM box.  I don't use that setup for my home station because batteries have a limited number of discharge / charge cycles.  Using the battery every day for regular operation would shorten the calendar life of the batteries (vs using occasionally).  Also, car batteries are designed for a lot of current for a short time.  A marine or other deep cycle battery is designed for less current over a longer time period and will be usable for longer periods with less charging (again, a benefit to longer battery life).  Finally, you might want to consider something like the N8XJK or other booster device if using a battery full time.  That will ensure that you always have 13.8VDC even when the battery voltage starts to drop.

73 - David, AG4F
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I should add that my 3 different Astron RM-50 Each Feed a PowerGate PG-40S to charge big AGM batteries.  Then 12V DC Buses are on the battery side and the Astrons mainly acts as a charger for the batteries.  Virtually eliminates any noise from the power supply and provides clean power to all my 12V devices.



I might add I also have a 5VDC Bus that feeds off one of the 12V DC Buses.



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David-N5PSM

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I use a Samelex power supply ...I did a lot of research and found that Samelex switchers ate ! certified ! low noise.........Just my preference
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Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y

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I have two Alincos, a DM330MV and DM330FX.  I hear no noise and barely see any on my station monitor unless I look very closely. Both have been in operation many years andbBoth have noise offsets but I have never adjusted them. I do find the additional front connections very handy, cigarette plug, wire clips, and USB. The fan has never come on in either or if it has I have never heard it.   
73, Bob
WK2Y
(Edited)
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Gary Johnson

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Astron rm-35 boat anchor.  I have 3.  Big heavy suckers but reliable.
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James Whiteway

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Walt Williams 70amp supply here. Built like a tank and weighs nearly as much as one! Completely quiet on the bands and no fan noise. Hard to find unless you live in Texas.
James
WD5GWY
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Tom

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As recommended a year or so ago, I use a switcher, IOTA DLS-55. I haven't experienced noise but then I haven't compared it to running my 6500 off pure battery which is a future project. The DLS-55 is rated at 55 amps and has features (add-on) to use it as a battery charger. I believe it may have been designed as a charging system supply with external on/off switching as it does NOT have a power switch (I use a small power switch, external). Very happy with this unit. I use it as the front end to my powerpole dist box.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I had bought a couple of those and brought it to a friend in 9Y. He uses that to power his entire station. 
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Gary Johnson

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4 of the 6 volt Deep Cycle Golf Cart Batteries properly wired and charges with a couple of sets of Harbor Freight solar panels should keep one operational.  Now if I could figure out how to get enough juice to run a Acom 1000 amp I'd be set.
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Jerry Gardner

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I run my Flex-6000 rigs on the Powerwerx SS-30DV. This is a 25/30A switching power supply about the size of a brick and about 3 pounds. It's around $110 at HRO. It's well-filtered--I have not seen any switching noise on the PDSR waterfall and it looks clean on my scope too.
(Edited)
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KC2QMA_John

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This is what you need if you don't like Liner power supplies