Question to the audience

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I'm just about to buy a new linear to change my one year old KPA500,  1st or 2nd week of February Bob has offered to me FA1.3K  without ATU....

My question:  Would you buy it or would you wait for Power Genius XL?

Anyone knows Power Genius price would be?
Anyone knows about waiting list for it?

I just dont want to be regret in future


Thank you

George

YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
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YV5WZ

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Posted 2 years ago

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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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As I understand it the Power genius does not have an ATU. I have an Expert with an ATU and it works well with my 6300.
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David Merchant

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George - I have an Expert 1K-FA paired with my 6700, and it works great.  With the new Beta release, I just setup USB Cat port that allows the amp to automatically switch bands without using DDUtil.  Aside from the "yet to be defined" integration with SmartSDR, do you see any other benefit to the PowerGenius XL?

73,

Dave
K1DLM
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YV5WZ

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I like your point of view....thanks
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Tim

I decide without ATU cause I just bought a SteppIr....I also have a 6300, how do you control your Expert? DDutil? how many cables you use to connect it? do you use ALC?

73's

George
YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
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Bill W2PKY

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Tim mentioned that 4O3A will sell an external ATU
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Bill....
however with a SteppIR antenna...I guess I wont need ATU 

:)

George
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Paul Menown

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I have the 1.3k with atu, I imagine the genius is going to ba a lot more expensive.maybe more than double,.I could be wrong but maybe someone will post an approximate price.
Cheers
Paul
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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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Hi George,

NO to ALC - definitely not!

I just have a PTT cable from the Flex to the amp, no need for DDUtils.

I am 99% 20 metres and that is where the amp stays. On the rare occasions I do go a different band a simple quick PTT and the amp changes band automatically.
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Tim....I'm DDutil user,  and frequently band changer, 
I know connection would be to PC, but I'm worried about my PC doesn't have  232 ports

George
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Christoph hb9ajp

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George, you are a fan of FRS. So you will want to get the Genius - sooner or later. So - you rather wait!
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Chris....
However.......how much it is gonna cost? :-S
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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The PowerGenius XL definately is superior. It will be legal limit, allow full SO2R, and be fully integrated into the SmartSDR GUI. You won't have to wait long for this superior amp. You'll simply need to plug it into the mains, run RF cables, and connect it to an ethernet switch. Everything else will be integrated and automatic. Plus it will work great with other manufacturers radios.

73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Team
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Mack....
just an additional question
PowerGenius XL should be connected to PC trough RJ45 like Flex 6000 serie?

Thank you

George,
YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ 
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Yes, correct. It connects using RJ-45 CAT 5 or 6 cable to an ethernet switch. The computer and Flex radio would also connect via separate cables to the same switch.
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YV5WZ

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Mack I will have to have 2 ports for RJ45 on my PC?

I apologize for my ignorance in this theme, appreciate your answer

George
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David Merchant

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No.  The PowerGenius XL will be just another Ethernet device that's plugged into your router.  There is no physical connection to the PC.
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YV5WZ

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Thanks David.....my router is 50 feet away.....
my flex is connected to my PC Ethernet port and Internet comes by WiFi

What would you suggest?

George
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David Merchant

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If you can't run a cable, then you would need to use some kind of a bridge device.  You could use a pair of Ethernet over Powerline transceivers, or purchase a Wi-Fi to Ethernet bridge.
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YV5WZ

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Thank You David
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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If you really want it to be direct connect to your PC, just get a small switch and connect the rig, amp and your PC to it. Actually you can just do this on the same connection from your router so everything is on the network and you can use Maestro, iPad etc. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I'm doing something like that now...My router is in the other end of the house - about 45 ft. run of Cat 6 away from the ham shack.  I ran a single CAT6 and have a TP-link 5-port gigaswitch in the shack and connect my 6500 and computer to it. Everything works well.

 Later I plan to connect other peripherals like my Raspberry Pi, etc. and if I can ever afford a PGenius Amp....unless I remote it closer to the tower......
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I'm doing something like that now...My router is in the other end of the house - about 45 ft. run of Cat 6 away from the ham shack.  I ran a single CAT6 and have a TP-link 5-port gigaswitch in the shack and connect my 6500 and computer to it. Everything works well.

 Later I plan to connect other peripherals like my Raspberry Pi, etc. and if I can ever afford a PGenius Amp....unless I remote it closer to the tower......
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Bill Carnett

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Waiting for PowerGenius is probably a good idea.  I feel out of date with all of these solid state guys above, but I have an ACOM 1500 - sure you do have to tune and wait for warm up but it goes all day silently and cool, 160 - 6....and you have to switch bands.  Still have a bias toward tubes suppose...completely unfounded, understood.  
Good luck.
73, Bil
AH6FC
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YV5WZ

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Thank You Bill

I appreciate your comment 
I like Acom.....I have never buy one....however I have a 3-4 years old Ameritron 811.....I enjoyed working with it.... 

73 my friend

George
YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
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David Merchant

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Bill - I have an Acom 2000A paired with my Kenwood rig.  It's a fantastic, robustly built, almost totally silent amp which I will likely never sell.  However, solid state is the future.  It's great to be able to use my Flex and Expert amp to get a new DX in the log without waiting for tubes to warm-up.  73, Dave, K1DLM
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Bill Carnett

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yep, that 2 minute warm up is the longest period you ever spend
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Paul Mandel

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George,

First I love my 2K-FA and would have purchase the 1.3 if it had been out at the time, however I am not sure why you are buying another amp.  To go from 500W to 1000W you will get 3dB or 1/2 of a s-unit; barely perceivable at the other end.   I am not sure if others will agree but I would not buy the new amp and work on my antenna system.  You will get more out of improving an antenna system than the small increase in micro volts at the other end.   
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Bill Carnett

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Yes, $$ (or whatever) spent in antenna is by far and away the best investment.  If you can't improve that, sometimes the amplifier helps you "blast" your way through :)  hi hi
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YV5WZ

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Thank you Paul....you make me think Smart :)
Last week I bought a SteppIR antenna ...small one Two elements Yagi ( you know Condo Rules)....I hope Condo gets confortable with that 2 elements....to grow up to 3 elements......
As my station can not grow better than 2 elements (by now)...I am thinking to put some spice (1000 W) on it ...

Thanks again Paul

George

YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I own a 1.3K-FA, and this is what I think of it.

Capable of legal limit (probably stretching the limit of acceptable IMD, however) but seems happier at 1KW. If you sustain legal limit for more than about 10 seconds continuous it will drop back to "mid." power level. However it works pretty well. This doesn't mean SSB or CW, but continuous modes like RTTY. RTTY you may have to drop back the power for continuous operation but this is more a thermal limitation than anything. I keep it at 1-1.2kw with no problems. And at 1kw I am plenty loud, beating out even some of the m/m big guns in pileups. Also, on RTTY it is actually better duty cycle than the 2K-FA which seems counterintuitive, but it seems to be many people's experience. The LDMOS is more modern technology than the 2K's conventional MRF151G mosfets. I have run a RTTY contest with it at 1.2kw without issue but I can't really run long transmissions. I expect power genius XL to be better in this regard. CW and SSB no problem. Power Genius XL has two devices in it so it can run better IMD and probably run cooler too, along with basically loafing at legal limit. 

The 1.3K has SO2R but it is not "full" SO2R out of the box. You have to either use relays, or use a dedicated RX antenna, which actually is not a problem for me. SPE is going to introduce an additional switching unit for "full" SO2R. Power Genius XL has full SO2R meaning it can switch two inputs to two outputs seamlessly. 

The 1.3K's price is actually not all that bad. I bought mine from a non-US dealer so I got a good deal due to the stronger USD plus mine doesn't have the 15dB gain limit due to the silly, outdated FCC gain rule. The drawback is that the foreign dealer has to do the warranty work so I pay shipping if it has a problem but so far so good. No price has been announced for Power Genius XL but I expect it to be priced higher. 

It has a 4 port antenna switch built in which is actually a pretty good feature to have. Power Genius XL doesn't have that, and they instead direct you to buy the antenna genius switches separately. Not sure if I think this is bad or good, but I like the fact that I can switch 4 antennas out of the box. 

It has the ATU option, and I have that in mine. However it is a very limited ATU. Think of the ATU your rig has built in. It can barely handle 3:1 SWR. It won't handle a wet shoelace in a tree. At that point I'd be looking for an external ATU anyway. Power Genius XL has no ATU but instead folds back power like what your transceiver does. It's not necessary to protect the finals because LDMOS devices are extremely rugged but it is necessary to protect the output filters and other components. 

The fans are small and can be loud but I have heard louder tube amps on the bands, some guys sound like they are in a wind tunnel. I don't really hear it with my headphones on. 

The 1.3K-FA is amazingly portable. 22lbs and even comes with a carrying case that can fit in carry on luggage on most aircraft. So it's the perfect DXpedition amp. FT4JA used a few of them. I believe TU5MH is using them now. 

The 1.3K has two CAT interfaces and a control interface, and you need some cables to get it to work. Power Genius XL works with ethernet for just one cable. I like this a lot. It interfaces seamlessly with SmartSDR, which is a plus. The 1.3K-FA integrates with DDUtil and has its own control software which works ok. But I'd rather have the SmartSDR integration and ethernet. 

So my advice is this - if money is no object, and you want legal limit RTTY and other high duty cycle modes and don't mind not having an ATU or built in antenna switch, go for the Power Genius XL. The comment about the price is based on speculation since they cannot offer an uncertified amp for sale. Since you are getting it without the ATU, I would wait until Flex announces pricing. They probably will have that by Dayton, after FCC approval. 

If you want an amp now, and think the Power Genius XL is going to be out of your price range, and you want the antenna switch and option for an internal ATU, go with the SPE 1.3K-FA.
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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SPE also has advertised a combiner unit they are planning so you can get two of them and combine them. Depending on how PG XL is priced I may go that route with two amps (maybe get one without ATU, used) or spring for the PG XL. But as I said, plenty of power for now. 
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Rory - N6OIL

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Ria I bet you could sell the 1.3K-FA and still make bank to put towards a Power Genius.
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YV5WZ

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Hello Ria

I'm your fan .....Didn't I tell you ?

Thank you very much for your really objetive comment.....I really appreciate your time and your courtesy to share your knowledge and experience...thank you

How do you handle your 1.3KFA,  do you use DDutil or did you connect it directly to Flex?

I don't do RTTY....even I guess, dont recall how to do it  hahaha....but I do a lot of JT65....hardly I use 20-30 watts...so that issue dont bother me.....

4 antennas or just one?.....sadly my condo just let me to have 2....one for VHF & UHF....and one for HF...it's Vertical Hustler 6BTV  which now will be subtitude by my new SteppIR 2 elements.....so guess its not a deal breaker...

I requested 1.3KFa without ATU....my reasons were same as you told  handle 3:1 SWR its not a big deal...and with a SteppIR..I won ́t need..

about money...I wonder if is better to spend it ....buying a PowerGenius or...buying an Expert and taking the change to upgrade my 6300 to 6500... What do you think?...

what I really like from PowerGenius is one cable to connect to Flex.....

Ria Thank you again


George
YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
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Pat - WH6HI

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Lots of money for only 3db increase in signal.  KPA500 works really well via DDUtil.  Like it was one integrated system.  You should wait, because of the cost factor.  i own a KPA500 and the KAT500 tuner.  I would need a substantial improvement in power and operation before I would change something that works so well.  Elecraft did a wonderful job designing the KPA500 and I would expect that the Power Genius Amp will be at a level that would make it worth the money to change.  


Pat,  WH6HI
(Edited)
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YV5WZ

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Thanks Pat

I'm happy with my KPA500 and KAT500 tuner.... I'm just looking to have more drive power when I'm chasing Dx....I'm not much in contests....but....you never know....maybe after finish to fix all at shack.... I will be back on contest...
Thanks

George
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Pat - WH6HI

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Recent changes. Just one word. KPA-1500.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Also recently announced, SPE Expert 1.5k!

I have the 1.3k and I can't tell much of a difference from 500w to 1000w or even 1500w (my 1.3k peaks at 1700w on 40M). I run my SPE on Low power most of the time.
If you already have KPA500 and tuner I would stick with it.
Even if the steppir tunes to the band it will not cover every band. Having tuning on 60, 80 and 160m is great as we tend to have antennas on those band with limited bandwidth.
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YV5WZ

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Well, I love kPA500.....I know I would love KPA1500....if I have space in my shack and 220 volts ...sadly I don't....
About SPE 1.5K.....I like Black finish ....but....as well as Salvador noted I can't find diference between Low-Med-Hi ....I confess never use Hi....800 watts with 1000 peaks have been enough to break pileups

Greetings!!!

By the way Pat....I guess we have a couple of contacts on JT65.....need to check...i'm not really sure...

73's

George, YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
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Scott N8UMW

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That's what I'd like to know. Is the power genius xl going to have a built in tuner???
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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NO
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Pat - WH6HI

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Like Elecraft, Flex needs to think about also adding a compatible tuner, even if it is a separate box.  Integration is key.....
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Scott N8UMW

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I agree Pat. I know it's all speculation at this point, so we don't know what the price is yet, but I'll bet it will carry a very hefty price tag. That being said, the addition of a top branded legal limit auto tuner, should you need one, will be another couple grand. I guess the Expert amplifiers would be a good alternative, but I'll stick with my 8877 amp until it smokes. LOL.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I don't allow smoking in my shack!  lol.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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George

I have an Expert 2K-FA with my SteppIR

You are correct in that you do not need an ATU - most of the time - with a SteppIR

I say most of the time.. because on some bands the SWR on the SteppIR can be higher than 1:1 and it you are a purist like me you want a perfect match all the time.

The 1.3K is really a 1KW Amp with little or no headroom to get to 1.5KW and the 2K is a 2K AMP with plenty of headroom to get to 2K - my will run key down at 2330W all day long.

The Power Genius uses 2 more modern 1.5KW transistors so it has HUGE headroom above 1.5KW.

it should also have much better IMD characteristics than the Experts..BUT no one has measured them yet.  

I also understand that the Power Genius will have circuitry to enable Adaptive Predistortion to greatly improve IMD products.

My 2K-FA has 4 Antenna Ports.. Very Useful ( SteppIR, Dummy Load, 160M, Multi-band Dipole for Diversity) whereas the Power Genius would require me to get an external antenna Switch

Perhaps the best thing about the Power Genius will be the fact that it is totally Ethernet controlled rather than the old style Serial Controls / USB controls....

if anything, this may be my main reason for switch to the Power Genius.



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YV5WZ

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Hey Howard

Thank you....You know I appreciate your comments
many of you post had taught me so much, my friend

Howard....how many cables I will need to connect  an Expert 1.3 to my flex through PC in order to use DDutil

Thank you

George

 
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David Merchant

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Two. The 1.3K has a USB port to connect to the PC to remotely control its functions and provide monitoring. The band data is typically sent over a separate serial connection.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Two is one, one is none. Buy both.


If budget doesn't allow both, pick up the ready to go SPE 1.3K and revisit gear selection after the Genius has been out for a while.


If value and overall expense is important consider a used SPE 1K, as they are very good value.


On the SPE if you think you might ever upgrade it might be wise to purchase with the internal ATU for resale purposes as well as additional utility.


(I have an Alpha 9500 at each QTH with an Alpha 78 and an SPE 1K backup. My intention is to bring a Genius into each QTH when available. YMMV of course!)


73


Steve
K9ZW
(Edited)
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YV5WZ

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hahahaha.....

I don't have money for it ....hahahahaha....
and I have just one QTH

Greetings Steve!!

George 
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David Ahrendts

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George, lots of excellent responses for you here. I have the marvelous Flex 6500 with the incredible SteppIR IR DB-11, running with the Elecraft workhorse, the KPA500 and KAT500. It is a marvelous 500 watt amp. But, like many, I feel the need to deliver a little more punch. The SPE 1.3K with the tuner appears to meet everything I want without building capacity beyond legal limit. Several antenna ports (I run three: the DB-11 for 20M up, and two wire antennas for 40M and 80M), and the tuner, all in one neat, small, unit. My two cents.

David A., KK6DA, Los Angeles
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The 1.3K-FA, despite its name, can exceed the legal limit if you're not careful. Some have seen as much as 1.8kW on calibrated watt meters and running from a 240v supply. However, you may pay a price with poorer IMD. 

Going from 500w to 1kw and up here has been marvelous. No more struggling with anything. Go for it if you can swing it.

73
Ria
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YV5WZ

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Thank you David
Would you buy it with ATU instead of you have a SteppIR?
or would you save 1200$ ?

Greetings & 73's

George
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David Ahrendts

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Good question. Because of my lot size, the largest antenna I can accomodate is the DB-11 -- 20M and up. So for 40M I do have an MFJ rotatable dipole (sits above the DB-11) and I'm trying to come up with a wire antenna that works -- and both of those need the tuner. Using just the DB-11, I could make a case that the tuner is not needed. One just fine tunes the antenna instead.  
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YV5WZ

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Good Point !!  Thank you David!!!
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I would get te ATU anyway because you may decide later on to get an antenna that needs one, OR your SteppIR might have a failure and you can use the tuner temporarily as a workaround. But with the SteppIR make sure the ATU is bypassed because I think it has 0.7dB (or something like that) insertion loss. That is, unless it has a fault and you need to use the tuner as a workaround.
(Edited)
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Mark - W6MSB

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Ria is right. I took delivery of a 1.3K-FA one year ago without the ATU because I didn't think I'd ever need it with my DB-11. Well, guess what? We're moving, and in addition to getting a bigger SteppIR, I'm also putting up an 80/40 fan dipole and I'll definitely need a tuner for at least 80M. So, my 1.3K-FA is currently back with Bob who is putting in the ATU. And while you can always add the ATU later (like I am now), it would have been easier (and slightly cheaper) if I would have just bought the amp originally with the ATU. It never hurts to future proof on a decision like this.

I'm very happy with my 1.3K-FA and the way it works with my 6700. I'm using both cables and DDUTIL. No ALC. Works great. 

Mark
W6MSB