From time to time, I get the urge to buy a car of a model I had as a youth and slowly begin a learn-as-I-go process of restoration. I scour the eBay ads and local newspaper for a ’64 Chevy pickup, ’70 Chevelle or a ’72 Cutlass.
I imagine the solitary fun I’d have, slowly taking my time in the garage to disassemble the engine – tools scattered about, Chilton’s book of detailed drawings open wide and some Boston or Three Dog Night playing in the background. In the old days, repairs were made hurriedly and no joy was expected or received in the process itself. Continue reading 'Chevelles and QRO'»
Here in the US, standard voltage of electrical outlets is 120 VAC via a tapped 240 VAC service available at the breaker panel. Everything in my shack operates from the normal 120V outlets, including my AL-811/AL-80BQ.
I thought it might be interesting to measure the voltage drop caused by transmitting while QRO. The extent of that drop surprised me but what really caught me off guard was the voltage drop caused by transmitting at near-QRP levels. Continue reading '“Mains” stability during transmit'»
Even without personal experience, we all know that QRO is more high-maintenance than the 100 watt world. I knew going into this that my old (but new to me) AL-811 might not handle the duty cycle of a 48-hour contest – my plan was to back it down to 300 watts at the first sign of excessive heat.
Little did I know that it would be my 600-watt autotuner that would fill the room with that acrid aroma of overheated electronics. Continue reading 'Smoke, New Ones and QRO – 2011 ARRL DX Contest (CW)'»
As Elecraft gets ready to release its KPA500 solid state amplifier, I’ve been comparing similar amps from other manufacturers. According to a recent posting to the Elecraft reflector by Eric Swartz WA6HHQ, the KPA500 will be around $2000 for the kit version.
That’s “kit” as in solderless K3-style.
In the meantime, as I (and others) do the age old dollar-to-benefit analysis, it’s interesting to note what’s available as the trend in amplifiers ever so slowly migrates toward solid state. Continue reading 'The price of a solid-state watt'»
I received my used AL-811 two weeks ago and, despite infrequent useage, do not regret purchasing it. I have not done any On/Off comparisons and don’t intend to annoy anyone by asking them for a comparitive report. Instead, I’m just going about my regular way of operating and seeing if a half KW makes a noticeable difference.
The math says it will and I can’t argue with that; so far, it does seem to be getting me through at times when I might otherwise be asked for a repeat or three.
About the amp itself: Continue reading 'Two weeks with the AL-811'»
Parts for 140W amp
Two items arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon – my EB63 140W HF amp kit and my new-to-me Ameritron AL-811 amplifier.
I bought the amplifier used at a price I couldn’t say no to and am looking forward to putting it through its paces on 80 meters over the winter DX season. Continue reading 'QRO'»