A look at the prices of Elecraft’s KPA-500 ($2500) and various other solid-state amps from Tokyo Hy-Power (up to $7300), Expert (up to $8000) and even Ameritron will make one quickly realize why tube amps remain popular despite the inconvenience of needing to be tuned for each band QSY.
If you don’t mind ugly construction, the need for a 48-volt DC power supply and a lack of band filters (easily solved – we are hams after all) and the lack of various safety circuits then there may be an alternative.
And, if his feedback is any indication, not a bad alternative at all – though I suspect much of his feedback is from CB’ers, thus the lack of switchable band filters.
Baruch 4Z4RB builds some of his amps based on Motorola designs sold as kits by CCI. I’ve built one myself and can vouch for the 140-watt EB63 as doing what the ads say it will.
Based on my experience with the EB63 I’ve been tempted to build something from CCI with a bit more oomph but the show-stopper has been that, whereas the EB63 has a carrier-operated relay that handled T/R switching, the higher power amp kits do not.
That added complication dampened my enthusiasm for experimenting with the higher power – and therefore higher dollar – amps.
Check out Baruch’s eBay store here – and understand that I’m mentioning – not necessarily recommending!