Power Genius XL

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Does anyone have or been using the Power Genius XL yet?  What is the status on the amp?

I see they are able to put on "reserve" but are they even shipping or have they shipped any yet?

Thanks
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David Warnberg

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  • curious

Posted 3 months ago

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Burch - K4QXX

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I have been using my PGXL amp for about 3 weeks now.  It works very well and I will never go back to a tube amp again.  Works seamless with my Flex 6700 and also works well with my Icom 7300.  Do you have any specific questions about the amp?
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David Warnberg

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Nothing specific just getting general feedback on it... looking in the near future about upgrading from my KPA500 / KAT500 combo to something with a little more punch and since I have and have been very pleased with my 6500 thought I'd consider it.

Can you give me some feedback on likes and any dislikes you have experienced with it?

Thanks
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Burch - K4QXX

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This is my first solid state amp so I have nothing else to compare it to.  I had always heard that solid state amps don't like high swr and that tube amps are more forgiving.  I have run the amp with an swr of 3 to 1 and the amp was still happy.  It seems to kick out at 3.3 to 1.  I have to manually tune my 160 meter inverted L which I had forgotten to do before using the amp (which is why I had the 3 to 1 swr).  Once I get the tuner genius, this won't be a problem.  I really like how the amp integrates with SSDR and the Maestro.  Once the amp is tuned on, you get a second set of meters in SSDR and the Maestro.  It's like using a 1500 watt radio.  Totally integrated.  I have run over 1000 watts a couple of times on FT8 just to see how the amp handles 100% duty cycle.  The fans will ramp up to keep the amp cool.  Some bands seem to heat up the amp quicker than other bands but I am told that is normal.  I have also used the amp with my backup rig (Icom 7300) and it works, but not as smooth.  I am using the C-IV interface and it does follow the 7300 frequency, however, when I tune the radio the amp temporarily looses the frequency of the Icom and a relay clicks.  Once I have finished with the tuning knob, the frequency is again displayed on the amp and the relay in the amp clicks again.  I might not have some of the C-IV settings correct. It's like the amp can't keep up with the tuning speed.  Not a big deal but I'm sure I probably have sometime not setup correctly.  This doesn't happen with the flex. 

Some people have complained about the fan noise.  The amp has 3 fan settings (normal, contest, and broadcast).  With the normal setting, the fans are either at idle or very slow RPM until you start transmitting.  With the contest mode, the fans run higher when idle.  On broadcast, the fans run full blast.  I don't find the fan noise objectionable, but I am sure some people will.  I am used to my 2 meter full legal limit amp.  It has a large blower to keep the 8877 tube cool and it is very noisy.  I usually use contest fan mode when running FT8 and normal fan mode when using SSB.  I have not used CW with the amp yet.

Most of my operation is remote from my office.  The amp works great remotely and I can monitor the power output, amp swr and temperature using SSDR and the Maesto with the additional meters. 

At this point, I really don't have anything negative or have any dislikes about the amp.  If I have to come up with a negative (and this is purely opinion) is I wish Flex would have designed the amp with a separate power supply.  My Ten Tec Titan has a separate power supply that I put under the desk.   Having the power supply built into the amp makes the physical size of the amp much larger.  It takes up a lot of desk space but wasn't really a big deal.  I plan to eventually get a tray for my rack and install the amp in my rack with my VHF, UHF amps.

The only issue I have had is a few times the amp meters in SSDR and the Maestro quick working.  The front panel of the amp still works and the PGXL ultility software still shows the meters.  I have heard that there is a beta firmware that fixes this issue.  Once the firmware is available, I'll install it.  To correct this issue, I just have to reboot the 6700 and the amp and then the meters work again.  It has only happened to me a couple of times and is no big deal if you are in your shack since you can still see the amp panel meters.  Would only be an issue running remote.

Burch
K4QXX
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David Warnberg

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Thank you sir.. good feedback
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Bill -VA3WTB

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If you take the time and ask people that have their PGXL amps now after a long wait, they will tell you the wait was worth it. The PGXL is not your average amp, just look at how it's made and consider the performance. If your already using a Flex radio, nothing can be smoother working together.
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KF4HR

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As for delivery status, according to the most current Flex update the PG-XL is currently shipping.  Below is a listing of some Forum Members who have provided input such as; order dates, received dates, as well as some who are still awaiting delivery: 

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/pgxl-june-2019-updates

I would imagine there are many more PG-XL's that have been delivered, and many more people waiting that are not on this list.

(Edited)
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David Warnberg

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Thank you
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Richard

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I have had one for a month or two and it is my 2nd Solid State Amp.  KPA500 was my first and now the PGXL is my 2nd and now only one.   The set up was flawless and it just follows me around the bands without any issues.  Love the amp and considering buying a 2nd one.   Can NOT go wrong!

Richard - N4RWG
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KF4HR

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That's great to hear Richard!  I hope to take delivery of mine this year.
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Eric Gruff

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I wouldn't say these are "currently shipping". I went to place an order for one and got a form to fill out to get on a waiting list. I couldn't even put down a deposit, etc. That doesn't sound like a product that is in regular production.
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Pat N6PAT

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They should consider making a lower power version designed specifically for the Flex family of radios.

Not everyone (myself included) wants or needs to run 1500 watts. I only run 300 watts and it works very well.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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Which is the reason, when I buy an amp for my 6600, it will be a KPA500 / KAT500. The fact my other radio is a K3 does no harm to that decision. :-)
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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Loving my KPA-500 :-)
If it gets me this far during a crappy solar minimum, with a compromise antenna, it will be FAR more than I need in 5 years when we are in a better part of the cycle.
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David Warnberg

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agreed, it's hard for me to justify the cost since I already have the KTA500 / KPA500 combo
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mikeatthebeach .

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A QRP Version????
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Pat N6PAT

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I think the enjoyment ROI for an amp drops like a rock past 500 watts.
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Eric Gruff

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You guys forget that for those of us that contest, 1500 W isn't a "nice to have" for high power class entries. I agree that 1500 W for FT8 (except on the 160 and 6 Meter bands) is excessive, but many of us need/use the full legal limit for CW and SSB.

I'd also rather have an amp capable of 1500 W that I can turn down to 500 W as needed than a 500 W amp that's running at full capacity. I'm a lot less likely to destroy the former than the latter. This is what's left of my SPE 1.3K-FA solid-state amp - it was running about 750 W on 80 M when this occurred with no warning. It's the third time the amp has immolated itself.
See 
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mikeatthebeach .

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Same here !!!
Would rather throttle down or back off an Amplifier for improved Reliability
73 Mike
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Pat N6PAT

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@Eric - You say 1500 watts for FT8 is excessive except for 160 and 6. I never really understood where that notion of needing high power to work 160 came from.

I completed WAS 160 FT8 with just 100 watts in only 10 days using a small ground mounted vertical. Only need AK for WAS 160 CW and I'm at 45 states on 160 SSB.

I should point out that my 160 activity was done with a small home brew addition to my Hustler ground mounted vertical. I'm no antenna expert by any means. All I did was add 19 feet of horizontal wire at the top of the antenna to form an inverted L .and now I can operate the entire 160 band. I did a little experiment with just 5 watts and had no trouble reaching the West Coast from upstate New York.

Running 300 watts with that same configuration I have 120 countries and 28 zones. I need only 2 more zones for tier 1 WAZ 160.

fyi...my QTH is only about 400 feet ASL. Very modest setup generating tons of fun


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Burt Fisher

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Isn't that special.
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Michael - N5TGL

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I never really understood where that notion of needing to tell people what power level they need to use came from.
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Eric Gruff

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Yeah, and it's always from someone who lives in the northeastern US who thinks "it's so easy to work DX with 100 Watts". It's sure easy when you're only 2500 miles from about 150 different DXCC entities.

Come on out to the southwestern US where you're 5000 miles plus from Europe and let's see how many decades it takes you to repeat that feat with "no more than 300 Watts and a little vertical". 
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Winston VK7WH

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I agree Eric. It becomes even harder if you live where I do!
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Pat N6PAT

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Difficulty is relative. While some on the West Coast lament the consequences of their QTH location they fail to appreciate the vast Asian areas and OC opportunities available to them that can be very challenging  in the NE.

It took me a very long time to snag JA's on 80 meters

The grass is always greener seems applicable
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Tino Pavic

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Difficulty may be relative, but distance is not. Despite of using massive antennas, I never operate without good amplifier. From VK3 there is virtually nothing to work within 10,000 km.
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Mark - WS7M

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I have an SPE 2K-FA which I rarely push to the limit.  Most of the time this amp is loafing along at 600 to 1000 watts max.  I simply wanted the overhead.

I am seriously watching the PGXL availability and may someday drop the cash to get one.  But that is the big hold up in my opinion.   

I get that it is a new product and there are been a few production runs with corrections as the product has entered the field but it is something now like close to 2 years since the original announcement and you really still cannot get one without a long wait.

I guess in reality there is a wait for SPE amps as well but they seem more available than the PGXL.

I'm not looking for buy today, ship tomorrow but I want to see the PGXL get to the point where the wait is a month or two max.

Glad to hear it is working well!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Keep watching Mark, 403A said that they are in full production now.
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KM4CQG

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Hi Guy's

I have been a Flex user since 2014 owning both the 6500 and 6700.
While mostly digital Modes and contest I do on occasion use Phone.

Currently running the SPE 1KA that I bought several years ago it will run up to max 500 digital  and 1.2KW on Phone. Seldom is there a need to run these values at my QTH.

I put myself long ago on the PG wait list have never heard a peep.
Does anyone know whats going on with it?
I spoke with both Lou and Gerald a few times about it Gerald told me it's noisy when the Fans kick in. Watched a few videos and it sounds like a Turbine winding up so might need to locate it elsewhere.

Bottom line how much longer till we see these units in regular production any idea's?

Ian
KM4CQG
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KF4HR

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Ian - As mentioned above 4o3A recently stated the PG-XL amplifier is moving into full production now, although there's no telling what that actually means.  As for orders and deliveries based on this Forum input, I recently updated the below list (scroll down):

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/pgxl-june-2019-updates
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KM4CQG

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Thanks Guys appreciate the update info
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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4O3A recently posted a brief amplifier customer survey on their site:

"The path to a good product is not possible without the help of the customers, their comments and advice.  This survey will help us understand what amplifier is required by most radio amateurs.  Your two minutes will help us gain a better understanding of your needs.  Fill in the survey here:"

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5X79HZ9

Thank you!
4O3A Team

Interestingly, survey questions address desired output power, contesting/non-contesting usage, # antenna ports, weight/ease of carrying, remote control, and graphic display.  There’s no free text input for additional comments though. 

Looks like they're looking beyond the current PG XL.

Howard

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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think so too, The current PG XL is more amp then many of us need. Something smaller, less power would be a nice nitch.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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And with an option of a built-in tuner :-)
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Pat N6PAT

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I've never found the need to run more than 300 watts using a small vertical. That little power has gotten me 9BDXCC (10 if you count 60), 9BWAS (10 if you count 60), 16 different WAS band/mode combinations, Triple Play, 5BWAZ, SSB WAZ, Mixed WAZ, almost 1800 band points etc.

I even got Navassa Island when it was #1 most wanted on 6 bands busting though the largest pileups I've ever seen. You can do a lot with a little power

If everyone lowered their power a little bit the bands would be so much cleaner and easier to use for the rest of us. Try it. You might be pleasantly surprised
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Eric Gruff

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That's because you live in the northeast. Come out to San Diego with 300 Watts and a small vertical and let's see how long it takes you to duplicate the feat. I have 10BWAS, 7BDXCC (and 96 worked on 160 M), and I routinely run a kW plus to get many of these stations that are 5000+ miles from here. No way does this happen running 300 W.
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Pat N6PAT

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I have many DX QSL's from the South Pacific, Antarctica,  China, Asiatic Russia, Mongolia, etc. and not just from Europe and Africa

One of my favorite contacts was with Australia while I was running just 5 watts from a battery in my Jeep with the antenna being a small mini ham stick held on with a magnetic mount.  Over 10,000 miles with 5 watts.

You don't need a lot of power to work the world
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Eric, when all the stars are lined up and conditions are perfect you can contact anywere on this planet with lower power, that is what QRP is.
I talk in a group every night, unless we all run 500w at a min many of us can't hear each other very well, working bare foot never cuts it.
But yes for contacting stations at random, there is alway someone that will hear you.
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Pat N6PAT

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My very first WAS was on 40 meters SSB running 5 watts with an FT817ND. I started out as QRP and stayed that way for about 8 months then moved up to a whopping 45 watts. After getting 157 countries I finally went to "high power" with a THP 450B 400 watt amp that averaged about 300 watts.

Now I use a 250 watt RM Italy HLA305V that I bought from DX Engineering. An outstanding amp that gives almost 300 watts with just 3 watts in.
(Edited)
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Dave Gipson

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OK..OK... MY first WAS came as a Novice, running 75 watts through a homemade tuner, into a spool of #30 wire thrown up into a tree...and.... did it in 30 days... :) Hey... it's the only bragging rights I've been able to acquire so far so be kind :)
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Well done!
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Tino Pavic

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My grandfather is 300 years old, he always run less than 1W, and he stabbed Napoleon with rusty screwdriver. So much crap ....
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I agree 100% with Eric.

LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR QRP

If You live in Southern California you need every watt and ERP you can put out to get through the wall of the East Coast

By the way I’m really tired of hearing from East Coasters That they work the world with a wet noodle and one watt

With my Monstir beam and 2kfa amp I have an ERP around 12,000 W And it’s still hard to work a lot of places
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Ned K1NJ

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    You won't hear it from this "East Coaster".  We examine gray-line for Japan
on 40 to get a few hours of exposure per year.  A few dB. here or there makes
a huge difference.  On 6m during the Es season, an antenna with surgical
precision usually counts for more than pure high power.  If the other station
is running 100w, chances are that's all you will need as well.  You use what
it takes to get the job done.   I've never given someone the signal report
"too loud".
                             Ned,  K1NJ
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Clay N9IO

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"LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR QRP !"
The motto of ALL of my friends here in the black hole of RF!
Illinois
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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300 watts is certainly not QRP
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Burt Fisher

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People like to say life is short as an excuse to buy and/or do something they shouldn't. Life is not short. Kindergarten was a long time ago. If you have the money for a Power Genius XL without depriving your family than go for it, but if your rationale is life is too short  that is a pretty poor excuse. 


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KF4HR

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I'm not sure why some people are making such a big deal over the price of the PG-XL.  People have been buying expensive HF Amplifiers for years, large Alpha's for example.  As far as price is concerned, I don't see the PG-XL's price as being extraordinarily high.  (Heck, price a Dishtronix Prometheus.)

Think the PG-XL is expensive?  Consider the mid-50's, when the purchase of the Collins Gold Dust Twins (KWS-1 transmitter and 75A-4 Receiver) would set a ham back, a full years salary
(Edited)
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Burt Fisher

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What person/company would charge less than what they could get for amateur gear? 
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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I once had Collins dreams on a Heathkit budget, so Heathkits and Knightkits it was!  Looking back that was not such a bad deal, since I learned a lot about soldering and more.

I had actually considered the Prometheus and emailed Mike for details.  He finally answered to let me know it was no longer available.  Glad it wasn't, since PGXL met or exceeded my expectations in just about every way, with way less impact on the estate to boot!

Howard
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Clay N9IO

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Howard I just wish I had jumped on early in the PGXL process.
At the time the PGXL was being introduced I was already set with my Acom 1000 in fact I sold my TL922, L4B and ALS600 and settled on the Acom 1000. Excellent amp, was thinking at the time it would be my early retirement amp. It's an excellent amp but now with Flex's advancements in remotability coupled with higher speed internet finally reaching me here in Podunk Hollow I find myself wanting a fully automatic amplifier.

Timing is everything and would really love to have the PGXL BUT my plan is to go part time the end of the year retire in three. After 30+ years on this job I'm taking it back a notch, sure as hell not gonna live forever. The funds are here now without screwing with the 401 so I got on the list for the 2K-FA due to deliver end of July or so I hope.

I don't feel like it's a compromise at all. This is a fine stout amp with plenty of overhead.
I've done my homework but the clincher for me honestly was KY6LA Howard speaks highly of his I feel I'll be in great shape.

So QRP and/or low power contesting/DXing is not an option here! I'm actually going to be able to chase DX with all of this extra time, hooray!

Now if I can get a resonable offer for my Acom that would be great to slightly offset the cost difference but if not I'll just keep it as a backup I suppose.

My that was windy.
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Clay, I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with the 2kfa (it was on my candidate list) and it has some features not in the PG.   

I retired from DoD after 30 years, and worked several more years more with Raytheon, before finally calling it quits 6 years ago.  I sure don’t miss those 3+ hour commutes to/from DC and NVA at all!  Enjoy your upcoming retirement, as I am enjoying mine!

BTW my first rig, a novice Heathkit HW-16, was stashed in the basement my whole working career and still works!  What fun it was, amp or no amp! 

Howard
(Edited)
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Clay N9IO

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Thank you for the sentiment, yah sometimes I wish I could be that 15 year old with a DX60 again. On the other hand it really makes me appreciate the 6600 that much more.
Have a good one.
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Tim VE6SH

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and try it from VE6. Propagation is even worse!

Tim VE6SH
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mikeatthebeach .

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Agree , going NW it gets harder !!
Try Alaska or Antártica QRP , gets worse and bad compared
To Florida and Caribbean!!!

Maybe that why California is known as the
Land of California Kilowatts

Most QRO kW stations on HF are in California
(Edited)
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mikeatthebeach .

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Soon to be released at Dayton
The California Kilowatt !!!
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Mike W9OJ

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Looks like a pair of Johnson Desk Kilowatts in push-pull.
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Pat - WH6HI

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I did it with a vertical and 50 watts using jt65/9. FT8. Requires more power, but I run based upon what is needed at the moment. Biggest problem is high power stations and lack of knowledge and technique.
(Edited)
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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We need a kilowatt in CA to compete with 50w and a dipole on the east coast.  nuff said.  PGXL forever
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Pat - WH6HI

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So tuff to make contacts running 2 KW’s.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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there is no replacement for displacement.
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Pat - WH6HI

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Yes there is and it’s electric......
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Pat N6PAT

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I've often wondered why the people with the largest antennas and tallest towers always seem to run the most power. You'd think that if the height and antenna efficiency really offered that much in improved performance then much less power would be required.

I like the challenge of finally getting that DX station I needed many thousands of miles away with a small antenna and lower power.
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KF4HR

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Pat - While you're enjoying working DX with a small antenna and lower power, consider the DX station.  Even though many DX stations hand out 59's to most everyone, the DX station may actually be struggling to hear you.   

(Edited)
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Tino Pavic

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It is game of decibel, and big amp adds 13 dB in your favor. How hard is this to understand ?
I have 4 element yagi, so how much bigger antenna I need for 13 dB gain ? Only 10 stacked 6 element yagis. 
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Pat N6PAT

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To each his own. If you need a lot of power to make a contact then by all means use it.

It's my belief that the less power you use to snag a rare one the more enjoyment you will get. That's just my opinion.  I doubt I'll ever run more than 300 or 400 watts. I'm having way too much fun at 300 with a simple ground mounted vertical.
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KF4HR

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The off-topic points have been made.  What say we focus on the subject of the thread now?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Another east coaster spewing nonsense.

For the rest of.us living in with difficult propagation big towers and high power are necessary for the DX to hear you. For contesting you need it to bust pileups. (I do very well in JA,Asia Pacific contests) For DXing life is far too short to waste your time waiting for them to hear you. I personally like to be the first station to bust the pileup. By the way worked 201 countries in FT8 in less than a year before I stopped counting -@200 many while traveling. In I suspect 1/10th the time it takes a wet noodle. Finally most of us have a life outside of ham radio so we optimize our.stations to be as product as possible in the limited time we have available.

Just because you obviously can’t afford a real tower, beam and amp does not give you license to rationalize your limited station as appropriate for everyone.

I apologize in advance to the readers of this thread for Feeding this Obvious Troll.
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Pat - WH6HI

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To each his own......
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Burch - K4QXX

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I just love it when someone asks a question about the PGXL amp and then a few people start chastising people for using a amp and saying they don't need them. 

Dave

If you have any more specific questions about the PGXL, I would be happy to answer them.  I've had my amp 2 months now and really like it.
(Edited)
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David Warnberg

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Thanks... so what are you using for a tuner with your amp?
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Burch - K4QXX

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I don't use a tuner much with the amp.  I have a Stepir vertical right now for HF so I don't need a tuner for 10-80 meters.  I have a 160 meter inverted L that I do use a tuner with.  I use a MFJ-998 tuner for 160 meters.  I have a Force 12 C3 beam that I plan to put on the tower in the fall and I will need to use a tuner for 12/17 meters with that antenna.  I purchased my PGXL amp before the end of 2017 so I will eventually be getting the Tuner Genius.
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David Warnberg

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Thank you... how do you like the Steppir Vertical?  I assume you have the BigIR Mark IV?  yes I have been looking....
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Tim VE6SH

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Burch

I have an identical antenna setup (F12 C3, StepIR Vertical, 160m wire)as you. The PGXL runs seamlessly on the C3 on 12/17 using a Palstar Auto Tuner. I will swap out the Palstar (a great tuner) once the Tuner Genius is available.

73

Tim VE6SH
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Burch - K4QXX

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I can't wait to get my C3 up on the tower.  It's so hot down here in Florida that I haven't been motivated to spend time outside.  How does your C3 compare to the StepIR vertical?  I have a ton of wire burred under my StepIr so it plays pretty nice but I don't have anything to compare it to except for wire dipoles.
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Tim VE6SH

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The C3 outperforms the vertical hands down. It is at 15 metres (the height in Canada you can install without "consultation") and even at that height it works quite well. I have an awkward shaped lot so I am restricted in putting radials down to the west, but on the low bands the SteppIR works quite well. I live very close to the center of Calgary so am plagued by noise (which gets worse every year) but the Flex does a good job knocking it back.

I had a C3S and find the longer boom on the C3 helps in performance. 

I also run a remote station on Vancouver Island and the SteppIR performs excellent  there as it is only 100m back from the Ocean. 
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David Warnberg

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And to throw my 2 cents into this mix...   I just love it when someone with 10,000 watts comes blasting into a pileup and obviously can't hear a word that is being said...  happens all the time
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Clay N9IO

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You're right David too many throwing it to the wind that really aught to listen more and know the limitations of their system instead of calling over the DX creating the lidfests like they do.
But a real DXer and Contester knows full well you got to hear em to work em that's why guys like Howard have the big aluminum up in the air I suspect.
Myself, I learned to use all of my antennas for lower noise figure on bands they would not normally be used to transmit. I've done OK with this arrangement.
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Burch - K4QXX

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David

I really like the StepIR vertical.  I have the big vertical with the 80 meter coil.  It's been up for 6-7 years now and it works very well.  I used to be into VHF/UHF weak signal stuff but I took all my antennas off the tower and now have room for a HF beam. 
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Pat N6PAT

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The thing I love the most about the Flex community is that everyone is so respectful of other people's opinions. :)
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k0eoo

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Congrats Pat on the 5BWAZ, I still need 18 more, mostly on 80 and 10m...
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Tino Pavic

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Pat, you may argue 3+1=7 and demand we respect your opinion.
You are saying nonsense, and we help you by telling you the truth.
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mikeatthebeach .

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Use a Palstar HF Auto with my PGXL here
Works Great
73 Mike
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KF4HR

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Interesting how a question asking about the PG-XL status and use sometimes tends to morph into the never ending QRO vs QRP issue.  With the exception of those struggling to hear the weaker stations, I question why anyone would give a hoot whether some other station decides to buy an amplifier (or not).   

Getting back to the subject of this thread (status).  Besides W5AP, has anyone else received their PG-XL so far in July? 

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SteveM

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Old men comparing the length and girth of their coax - not much different than when they were teenagers. The only difference is that the subject of their teenage competition has long since fizzled out.
(Edited)
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Clay N9IO

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Isn't that the truth....
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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We received our second PGXL at N6RO last week.
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Clay N9IO

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Hmm, aught to be some crazy scores this contest season.
Lock and load.
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Asher - K0AU

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PG-XL arrived last week. Couple days to lay out the rack around it (and still waiting for a box of patch cables). Who would have guessed a radio rack needs more than 8 Ethernet ports? Once I got it cabled and powered it came up seamlessly.

PG-XL + Flex + power switching + network + misc stuff completely fills a 20U rack. Probably need to add a second rack and figure out how to split stuff out to accommodate a tuner and possibly a second radio
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David Warnberg

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Pics???  
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mikeatthebeach .

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mikeatthebeach .

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Works Great
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Burch - K4QXX

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Asher, when did you order your PGXL?  Curious if Flex is catching up now. 
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Asher - K0AU

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Ordered October 2017. Pics when I get cabling trimmed out properly.
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Eric Gruff

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So those of us that order a PGXL now should expect delivery around April 2021.
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Asher - K0AU

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That seems a bit harsh. I think the shipment pace has picked up. I, for one, think they handled the PG-XL very well. They announced early - so we knew what was coming. Then Flex stopped shipment when they found a problem. They resumed shipment when they resolved the problem.

I have an Alpha 9500 for sale pretty soon for those who can't wait for QRO!
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Eric Gruff

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I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek. I am mostly disappointed because I'd really like a PGXL, but still looks like a long wait.

BTW, that's what I'm using now - Alpha 9500 and Acom 2100 on the 2nd channel. The Alpha's a brute! Just doesn't do 6 M or SO2R by itself.
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Asher - K0AU

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Pair of Alpha 9500s would look really impressive on your QSL card!

The 9500 has been a solid performer. Lost a TR relay just before SS a couple years ago. Lost QRO for the contest, but Alpha was great at fixing the problem after I mailed them the control board.

I'm just dipping my toe into 6M. Next project is to swap out my Optibeam OB9-5 for a SteppIR. (Don't tell Thomas at Optibeam). Wish it was easier to sell used, high-end ham gear.
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Eric Gruff

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My Alpha is about 7 years old and has been back for repair three times. Mostly the HV circuits. Right after the latest repair, the internal RS-232 chip died again, so it only works with local control (no remote). I hate shipping it back for repair due to the size and weight, so it's going to stay that way unless I find the time to fix it myself.

As a 6 M enthusiast (WAS, 450+ grids worked) and a SteppIR owner (had DB36, now DB18E), I will tell you to buy a good 4- or 5-element yagi for 6 M. The SteppIRs are not good performers on 6. They work marginally well at best. I've done countless A/B tests with my 7-element OP-DES yagi, and there's at least an 8 dB improvement with the dedicated yagi over either of the SteppIRs. They are great on HF, just not for 6 M.
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KF4HR

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It's great to hear Oct '17 orders are being filled.  Hopefully my Dec '17 order won't be far behind.