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Review of Ameritron’s ALS-1306 Amplifier

Posted by on June 29, 2015
Ameritron ALS-1306 Front view

ALS-1306 (Front)

This review of Ameritron’s ALS-1306 was prompted by my selling my older ALS-82 in order to get a no tune amp.  This will not be a technical review, as there are many of those around, and the amp is based on the older designed ALS-1300, with some protection added.

I decided that I wanted an auto tuning amplifier, as opposed to the manual tune, AL-82 I was using.  So I sold the old AL-82, (see my review here), and purchased an Ameritron ALS-1306.  I was a bit worried when I bought the ALS-1306 for several reasons– to be totally honest, my main concern was that MFJ was the owner of Ameritron– the quality, and service reputation of MFJ worried me.  I had always had good luck with MFJ on items I have purchased, (nothing as expensive as the ALS-1306 though), so I called Ameritron, (which has also been good luck for me as well), and discussed my concerns with them.  I got lucky and Mike, (the tech who works on the ALS-1306s), answered the phone.  I discussed my concerns with him, and he had a good answer for each one of them…  So I decided to purchase the ALS-1306.  Next I looked around for a place to purchase the amp, and discovered that DX Engineering had quite a sale going on, so I purchased the amp from them.  I have ALWAYS had good luck with DX Engineering, so I figured if the amp was a dud, I could return it, as DX Engineering has ALWAYS been fair in every way to me, and to everyone I have seen post on QRZ.COM as well.  So I ordered the ALS-1306, and I also ordered the Elecraft K3 connector cable which allows the amp to follow the K3 band changes, and provides PTT for the amp, at the same time.

The Arrival:

The cable package arrived two days after the order, packed in a padded envelope, I opened it and then set it aside.  The ALS-1306 arrived about a week later, packed in a very sturdy heavy duty cardboard shipping box.  In fact, it was shipped in two boxes, both, inside a larger box, with the amp being in one of the smaller boxes, and the Power Supply being inside the other.  Each device, (amp and power supply), had a plastic bag wrapped around it, and each device had closed cell foam inserts on the ends to hold the device in free space inside the smaller box.  All in all it came very well packed, and would have taken a drop without damage to the case of either the PS or the Amp.

Unboxing:

Unboxing was fun, I carefully cut the top, then the sides, folded the end tabs out, and flipped the forty nine pound primary box over.  I then slid the larger box off of the two other boxes.  The piston effect was in play, as the two boxes fit very tightly together.  Once that was done, I opened each of the small boxes separately.  First the Power Supply, then the ALS-1306 itself.  After removing the plastic wrap and inspecting each item, I found no damage of any kind.  All was in perfect condition!

Installation:

Ameritron ALS-1306 as it sits on my operating position

ALS-1306

Installation is a snap, you decide where you want the power supply, (I placed mine on the floor out of the way), where you want the amp, and then connect the five cables from the back of the amp, (power, control, coax in, Coax out, and if you decide to use it, ALC), to the appropriate devices.  Cabling the amp took all of about 60 seconds…  No issues of any kind.  I was sure to leave cooling spaces around the exit slots on the left of the amp, and the intake slots on the right and top.  I intentionally did not place the ALS-1306 next to the K3 because I did not want warm air blowing into the K3.  I did ferrite all cables going into and coming out of the amp with Fair-Rite Mix 31 ferrite material.  I also added a large ferrite isolator on the amp output as well.  Remember this is a KW level amp, so don’t skimp on ferrite material, get that impedance up as high as possible.

First Power:

After plugging things into 220, I hit the power switch–  nothing happened!  I killed power to the amp instantly, and checked things.  All looked good.  I reseated the PS cable to be sure things were plugged in tightly, and hit the power switch again– again, nothing happened!  Out came the fuses in the PS, both checked out good!  I replaced the fuses and hit the power switch yet another time– again, nothing happened, I sat there looking at my new very expensive amp, sitting there with not a light on, and thought– “what a mess this is going to be”, five seconds later the ALC lamp came on, and then a relay clicked, and the LEDs lit up, and the fan started!?

Initial testing:

Ameritron ALS-1306 Internal view

ALS-1306 Internal vies

I selected 20 Meters on the Elecraft K3, and the amp followed about a second later.  I placed the amp in STANDBY and I then carefully tuned the antenna using an LDG-AT-1000ProII autotuner, (see my review here),  and got the SWR down to 1:1.  I set power out on the K3 to five watts, switched the amp into OPERATE mode, took a breath and hit the tune button.  The K3 has a feature whereby one can set the power used to tune the antenna.  I have mine set to five watts.  So when I hit the tune button I was rewarded by the sound of a relay click, the “TX” green lamp came on, and I was generating about one hundred watts out the back of the amp.  I increased the power to ten watts out on the K3, and the ALS-1306 put out about two hundred watts.  OK, that worked, so I increased the power on the K3 to twenty watts, and the ALS-1306 put out 500 watts.  Being a good ham, I always follow the old adage, “some is good, more is better”, so I upped the power to forty watts from the K3, and got nine hundred out on the ALS-1306, no humming, no dimming of lights, etc., it just sat there putting out nine hundred watts into a dummy load.  At nine hundred watts, each amp stack inside the unit is drawing about twenty two amps…  The output air was warmer than when it started, but nothing like the old AL-82 used to be…  When it put out a KW, you knew it, heat started exiting the amp, the shack air got warm, tubes glowed red, things started humming, and the lights dimmed a bit…  The ALS-1306 fan did not even speed up, the amp sat dead quiet, with not a lot of heat leaving it, generating a KW.  OK, time to take to to 1.3 KW for a moment…  Fifty Eight watts generated 1.3 KW on both the ALS-1306 meter, and the AWM-30 Watt meter, (see my review of the AWM-30 here), I have on the output of the amp, still no real pomp associated with that power level, no hot air rushing out of the amp, it was still quiet, nothing glowing inside the chassis, and the lights did not dim..  OK time to start using the amp.

Thermal Testing:

ALS-1306 heatup/cooldown graph

ALS-1306 heatup/cooldown graph

Here are the results of a thermal test I ran on 05/25/16 showing heating/cooling of the amp vs time.  Temp is in Fahrenheit on the Y axis, and time is in minutes across the X axis.  I ran the amp at 400 Watts into a 1:1 dummy load, one minute on, one minute off.  I used WSJT-X to control on and off times.  The amp took about twenty three minutes to get to a stable temperature.  I held the transmit/receive cycle looking for further increases in temperature.  I slight one half a degree Fahrenheit increase took place across the next fifty minutes.  I attribute this slow increase to a one half degree Fahrenheit degree rise in ambient temperature.  Click the graph on the left for a larger view.

Initial Use:

I left the ALS-1306 set at the 1.3 KW level, and headed for the CW portion of the band on 20.  I made a number of DX contacts, and a number of US contacts, all with good reports to me.  In fact, pretty much if I could hear it, I could work it.  Next I located a pile up, a big one…  I am using a GAP Challenger vertical on 20, no beam, and the vertical is ground mounted.  Busted the pile up in under three minutes…  I used the amp for three days, and then heard my first RTTY DX station!  I tuned it to 500 watts on RTTY, (took almost no time for tune up, thank you Ameritron), and answered– to my delight, the DX station answered me first call!  I started my response, and within 30 seconds the amp went dead.  I just looked at it…  I flipped the power switch on and off a few times, and nothing…  I removed the fuses, and checked them, one was bad, one good…  OK I blew a fuse, I looked at the fuse, and discovered it was a 10 Amp Fast blow fuse.  I thought I remembered seeing that the amp needed a 15 amp fast blow fuse…  Out came the instruction manual, sure enough the amp takes a 15 amp fuse.  I called Mike again, at Ameritron, and asked if there had been a design change on the amp, taking the fuses from 15 to 10 amp.  He was baffled by the 10 Amp fuses.  He indicated that 15 amp was the correct fuse.  OK, off to the electrical store…  Six dollars later, I had a small box of 15 amp fast blow correct voltage fuses.  In they went!  The amp came back to life…  I began using it again.  BTW: Ameritron did send me a box of fuses to replace the two 10 Amp ones…

Day to day operation:

Operating Position showing how the Ameritron ALS-1306 is placed on the desk

Operating Position

I had the amp for about a week, and was in the middle of a 40 meter RTTY QSO at 500 watts, into a tuned antenna, (1:1), and the amp died…  See my addendum below for a link as to why I think it died.  I instantly suspected the fuses– but no, both were good…  A set of very different lights were now showing on the amp face, no panel lights, no band lights, only the ALC lamp was lit, nothing else.  I looked at the Multimeter and had voltage on HV1, but nothing on HV2.  Worse, I would see voltage on HV2 for about a second upon initial power on, and then it would fall to zero…

OK I called Ameritron, and got Mike again…  After explaining to him the issues, and right after I said the voltage for HV2 comes up then dies within a second, (and after he had me repeat that part about the voltage dying), he said send it in…

Noooooooo….

I sadly packed it up, sent it back to Ameritron, at a cost of about $140.00 with insurance– which still miffs me a bit.  Mike said he would turn it around in under a week, (good news), and he did, (more good news), and now I have it back, (even better news).

It has been four weeks now, and so far the ALS-1306 is behaving perfectly.  No issues of any kind, and the amp is still running well.  I have performed a long RTTY chat at 500 watts and all that happened is the air got warm coming out of the amp, which is the best news possible!  The customer service was wonderful, I was kept abreast of the status of the amp all along the repair process.  MFJ has a ticket system for fixing things, and Ameritron uses that ticket system, and it works very well!  I could not be happier with the customer service!  I am still miffed it cost me $120.00 and Ameritron did not offer to pay shipping both ways…  But in their defense, I did not ask either.  in retrospect I probably should have.  I will continue to add notes here as time moves forward covering the current state of the amp.  I think I will get the extended warranty, as all of the small failures worry me.

I had not even thought of 6 meters when an opening occurred and I was able to use the amp on 6.  What a dream, if I could hear it I could work it, having 750 Watts on 6, (I did not try and load it fully), CW is really a lot more fun than I thought it might be!  I can’t wait for the next six meter opening.  I can’t wait to get a 160 Meter antenna up now!  This amp is a very nice addition to my station, and I would purchase it again despite the issues.

Does the amp have SWR, and other protections, you bet it does, and lots of it, SWR, heat, etc.  Almost too much, but given it is a solid state amp, I would expect nothing less.  With all of that protection, I suspect my failure was due to a bad part, not a bad design. Time will tell of course, and if it fails again, I will note it here…  I would buy it again in a moment, this amp is really a pleasure to use!  One thing I wish they sold, was a cover for the Amp…

Conclusion:

The ALS-1306 is simply a dream to use, virtually instant tune up, almost legal power on SSB and CW, and a good 500 watts on RTTY, at 100% duty cycle.  The lack of 1500 watts is not the issue I thought it would be.  I can not tell the difference between 1200 W and 1500 W, which is not surprising, as it is less than 3 db.  I always ran 500 Watts on RTTY even with the AL-82, (which is rated for full output at 100% duty cycle), so there is no difference between amps, other than the instant tuneup!  Almost instant on is a very nice feature as well.  A five second warm up time, is way better than the six minute warm up time I used to give the AL-82.  Yes I know the tubes say 30 seconds is enough, but I was always careful, as the tubes were Eimac, and not replaceable with Eimac devices.

Recommendation:

Would I recommend the ALS-1306 to a friend– yes I would, and I have!…  I am convinced that Ameritron/MFJ simply can’t afford bad PR when it comes to Amps in this class, and in this price range if they want to stay in the amp business, so I expect that they will do right by this amp.  I in fact have recommended the ALS-1306 to a friend, and he has purchased one as well, also from DX Engineering.  I will add comments if I see similar failures between the two amps that would indicate a systemic condition. He expects to have his operational in October, 2015 at the latest, so look here again then to see if he has had issues…  If my amp has further issues, they will be noted here as well…

Addendum 08/08/15:

Amp is still running great, and is a pleasure to use!  No issues whatsoever.

Addendum 04/29/16:

Amp is still running great!  I have a new tuner now, and that I believe relates to why I lost my finals.

Addendum 06/29/16:

Amp is still running great!

Addendum 07/109/19:

My Challenger GAP phasing harness finally gave up the ghost after fifteen years of service, and presented a short to the amp.  The amp lost a final.  Sent it into Ameritron, and within three weeks got the amp back, fixed and the cost was around ninety bucks.  I now have a 6BTV, and for the first time I have an antenna that has a low SWR on all ham bands.  What a pleasure it is to just change bands and have everything tuned up instantly.  The amp is an absolute pleasure to use, in fact, all I do is turn it on, and forget it.  The tuner sits in bypass 99% of the time now.  Takes about 5 seconds to change bands and be ready.

 

 


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42 Responses to Review of Ameritron’s ALS-1306 Amplifier

  1. Anonymous

    Hello Dave, nice article about this amp. I hope that it is still working well for you mate! I would like to ask for QSK feature. Is it QSK amplifier or not? If yes how it works…is it smooth and quiet? Many thanks for reply. 73 – Petr, OK1RP

    • Dave

      Hello Petr, I don’t run QSK, so I can’t speak to that, sorry. The amp is quiet, compared to my polder AL-82. The amp fans do wind up as you heat the amp, but they never become obnoxious. When you drop into transmit, you hear two relays click, and when you leave transmit you hear them again. Beyond that nothing. 73 es gud DX to you!

    • Floyd

      Petr – The amp isn’t QSK as received from Ameritron. I used an external QSK-2500 unit with good success and later modified it with vacuum relays for QSK. It’s not a difficult modification as the original relays are mounted on a separate board that you can buy from Ameritron. With the mod, QSK is smooth and the relays are very quiet. You can find the modification info here: http://www.k8ac.net .

  2. edwin

    I have a unit in my bench right now that came with a bad amp board. I replaced the PA transistors but now it will only transmit on 160,15.12.10.6. itw ill PA fault on 17,20,30,40,80. I thought the filter board is bad. It checked out ok so what gives??? Checked band switching as well and it works.fine..No inbalance indication and even the two PA drawing the same current and voltage. just keeps on having PS blink then it will do nothing even driving it wit 1 watt!

    • Dave

      If it were me, I would put a dummy load on the amp, and try it. If it worked, I would suspect my antenna. If it failed, I would send it into Ameritron.

    • Floyd

      Hi Edwin. If I were you, I’d check and reseat all the connectors on the control board. If that brought no results, I’d call Ameritron and ask to talk to Mike and tell him the symptom. If you have to send it to Ameritron, Mike should be able to tell you if you have to send in the power supply with the amp. Are your fans running OK?

      Floyd
      http://www.k8ac.net/

      • edwin

        Fans and power supply are fine. The amp came with a bad PA transistors. I replaced them. I am able to run the amp at full 1200 watts on 180, 17, 15, 12 , 10 and 6 meters without PA faulting but even at 1 watt drive on 20, 30, 40, and 80 meters it will fault on PA. I accidentally transmitted on 20 while the amp band switch was in 10 meter position and it did not fault! I tested it to see if it will fault but did not. By the way I am transmitting into a dummy load so SWR is not an issue. I have a feeling the problem has something to do with some sort of frequency sensing that tells the controller that it is transmitting on the wrong band filter. so tried transmitting on 11 meters and it faulted right away as it should. I am running out of ideas..

  3. Nick Howell

    Hi, i enjoyed the review, it was one of a number of write ups I looked at before ordering an ALS-1306 for myself. Mine has been a champ, no problems and performance consistent with the specs. I’ve been using it mainly for SSB for several months and consider it a good value for the price paid. I’m using it in conjunction with an MFJ-998 and the combo is great for the various antennas at the QTH…

    • Dave

      Thank you Nick! I am glad it helped you select an amp! Mine is performing perfectly as well! If you have any issues, please post them here…

  4. Dave

    Hi Dave W,
    I am happy as a clam with my ALS-1306. In fact I just worked TX5T, and VP6EU, on 80 Meters using the amp. Would not have gotten them without it. Not a single problem with the amp beyond what was noted in the article. It is a pure pleasure to operate. I really did not think almost instant warm up would be as useful as it is… I hear DX, and the amp is on and ready to use in less than 10 seconds.

  5. Dave W

    Noticed that the last post is July 2015. It’s now almost Feb. 2017. Anyone have anything to add. Sounds to me as if the ALS-1306 problems were typical for a new product. Anyone had any problems in the last year?

  6. Floyd Sense

    My 1306 fans always ran at full speed all the time. Wasn’t aware that there was a thermistor speed control circuit in the amp – there is, but in many 1306s it isn’t working properly. W8JI recognizes there’s a problem. I have adapted NG7M’s ALS-1300 changes to add a thermistor controlled fan speed control that really works and can supply that info to anyone interested. I’ve also have info on a power supply fan mod to quiet that fan.

    • sam long

      thank you for your comment and specifics on the 1306. i’m in the market for purchasing a full power transistorized amp, but like you i’m a little iffy about MFJ. word has it their major work force are electric engineering students co-oping their way through school with little or no quality control. so 2 questions come to mind are, do you ever wish you had kept the 82 and do you recommend the 1300 over the 1306 (wondering if they might have resolved thermal defect in the 1306)? again thanks for your effort keeping ham world alert. KC4DKV

    • Donald L. Schliesser

      Floyd, I am definitely interested in the thermister fan fix for the ALS-1306, and the fan noise fix for the power supply. Please send me the details. Thanks and 73, Donald K6RV

  7. sam long

    after reading these reviews makes me wonder if Ameritron has any kind of quality control management. i was in line for purchasing an als-1300 in a couple of weeks, but now full of doubts. KC4DKV

    • Dave

      I am completely happy with the ALS-1306. After the initial issues, I have had zero problems with the amp, and I use it almost every day. Ameritron’s customer service was exemplary. The amp is now performing flawlessly, not even a fault trip has happened.

  8. Floyd Sense

    Well, here we are 4 months after my warranty expired and the 1306 is dead. I was doing some testing on 6 meters into a dummy load and apparently one of the PA units failed. Now we’ll find out what it costs to get one replaced not under warranty. If it’s excessive, I might fix it myself. Never had a tube fail in an amp.

    • Dave

      Please post your results… I would be most interested in the cost of having the amp fixed. Also, if you decide to fix it yourself, a brief synapsys would be interesting as well.

      • Floyd Sense

        I was a bit off on the warranty date – the amp died just a month after the warranty expired. It just showed up yesterday – August 25 – and has been repaired. It appears that Ameritron extended the warranty for me and repaired it at no charge to me. So, I’m out only shipping one way for the repair. When I explained the symptoms of the failure to Mike at Ameritron, he decided that I didn’t need to send the power supply and that saved a bit on shipping. After some basic testing, it appears that all is in order and I’m happy with the repair except for the rather long wait – about 11 weeks in all.

      • Floyd Sense

        Found an invoice taped under the shipping label on the box. They replaced a pair of transistors on the A module at a parts cost of: $111. Also replaced two trimpot resistors (the bias trimpots?) at a parts cost of $1.02, and they replaced the male power connector at a parts cost of $11.79. No explanation as to the reason for the parts replacement. Labor cost was $126.90 (they charge $1.41 per minute and total time was 90 minutes). Total charge was $250.71, which they covered.

  9. ric - wo4o

    test unsubscribe

  10. Anonymous

    I had the fuse problem also. The filter board switching failed after one week. Ameritron replaced unit and paid shipping. Now I hear an arc when I turn off amp main power, not sure what that is.
    Ray
    W8LYJ

  11. Gary Wilburn

    Thank you for the excellent review of the ALS-1306. I have an Alpha 99 with an extra set of tubes that has been playing great for many years now. It’s blower is noisy and it takes about 4 minutes to warm up but easily produces full legal limit.

    I’m looking at solid state amps for mostly DX’ing with a little contesting and could live with 1200 watts out SSB. Not sure if I should wait a year or so or purchase the 1306 at Dayton this year. I guess it will come down to expected reliability and price per watt.

    Dave, its been almost a year since you purchased, any regrets with your purchase? Any other SS amps out there you may consider in the future?

    73,
    Gary
    W8VI

    • Dave

      Hi Gary,

      My only complaint about the amp is that when you turn it on, nothing
      happens at all for 5 or so seconds… Makes me thing it is broken
      every time I bring power to it.

      Would I buy a different amp, if I had infinite money sure, but being
      retired, (means I am even more of a cheapskate than most hams), for the
      bucks, I think this is the best amp you can get.

      My real fear in all of this, was I came from an AL-82, which would do
      1.5 KW key down for days if needed… I thought I would see a big
      difference between pile up performance, and I don’t… It is almost
      the same… I call a few times, and I get the DX using my vertical on
      20, 10, etc… No beams, etc here… I do use CW almost exclusively,
      so that helps a lot.

      Am I happy I sold the AL-82, yes… The house is cooler, the ALS-1306
      runs cold 99% of the time. I run about 700 watts RTTY, for two and
      three minute transmission, and the amp starts to warm up is all…

      I love my 1306…

  12. Bill

    I purchased ALS1306 and when we received it we went to 50 MHz to try it out. We was a previous owner of a ALS 1300 which had the PS issue as well that they fixed . The new ALS 1306 when we went to try it out on 6 meters with 1:1swr m2 6m7 beam 45 watts drive it blew a final and would not come back on
    Ameritron paid for shipping back to factory and when we got it back they had extended the warranty by 6 months.
    We had purchased it with our Discover card which doubled the 1 yr warranty to 2 years for those who are looking. Check out your Discover card customer service to verify.
    The ALS 1306 has been flawless now since we got it back.
    There is no doubt we made a good choice when we decided to upgrade from the ALS 1300 to its big brother with 6 meters the Als 1306

  13. Floyd

    Update on my ALS-1306: Operated for 22 hours in the recent CW Sweepstakes with the amp. High QSO rates raise the duty cycle of an amp considerably, but the 1306 ran cool and flawlessly for the entire contest. It’s nice having the amp bandswitch follow the transceiver band selection.

    • Dave

      Floyd,
      What power level did you operate at please?

      • Floyd Sense

        I ran at 1,200 watts, plus or minus 100

        • Dave

          Thanks, it is good to know the amp will do 1200 all day like that… I tend to hold mine at 1 KW, for CW, and SSB, and 500 to 700 for RTTY or MT63, when doing MARS work.

  14. Barker

    You were far more friendly than I would have been. Glad to see this review.

  15. ric - wo4o

    Don’t buy the ALS-1306 – IF – you’re ARS is SO2R with the BandMaster decoder and BandPasser multi-filter units. The configuration will not work, under any circumstances, due to the design of the amplifier. Because the amplifier polls other devices, it conflicts with the system and renders other devices useless. Been there, done that, and returned the ALS-1306 to Ameritron and received a full refund from the retailer. Mike at Ameritron says their working on a solution but there is no ETA.

  16. Donald L. Schliesser

    I, along with 2 other guys bought an ALS-1306 early on – received delivery mid August 2014. I received Serial #0014. After about a week of use it failed – one of the PS read 0 and unit would not output RF. Called Ameritron and spoke to Mike Ennis, the Plant Manager, and he emailed me a return UPS label and I sent it back. Rather than wait for repair, he sent me another new amp,, Serial #22, that same day. I received it 2 days later, and it would not work out of the box. Mike sent me another UPS label, and I sent it back. Turns out a ribbon cable on the PA board had come undone during shipment. 2 days later the #22 arrived back and has worked like a champ ever since.

    One of my friends who bought the amp. at the same time also had a failure – same situation, Mike paid shipping both ways and fixed his amp. Turn around was less than a week.

    Seems that Ameritron got a shipment of T-MOS FET’s – (4 of which are used in Push/Pull Parallel as finals) – with some bad apples in the mix. Apparently, there were a number of those in the first batch of 1306’s.

    Mike Ennis is really a stand-up guy, and could not have been more accommodating or helpful.
    Ameritron/MFJ is lucky to have him as their Plant Manager.

    It is such a pleasure to operate an amp. that is no tune, auto band switching, 5 second on, etc.

    73, Donald K6RV

    • Dave

      It does seem that Mike has “The Touch”… Same for my amp, see review, arrived, failed, and was fixed, then had no issues after that… Good to see!

  17. Bret Mills

    I do know for a fact that on the older ALS1300 when the failure you described happened 3 times for me it was ALWAYS one of the HV Power supplies (there’s a pair of them) except once and that was a bad 10 Meter add on board with a shorted CAP new out of it’s box and later the 12 Volt portion on one the HV modules failed and I again sent it in and they fixed it with a 12 Volt wall-wort to run the controls and metering but ran off of 1 leg of the 220Volt switch and made the amp do some really weird stuff, I fixed this myself with a small 220V input 12V switching power supply board and after I got that fixed I decided after spending by now $480.00 over just 1 year of owning the AMP for probably 40 hours total use because they had the AMP much longer on there bench then I did I sold the AMP and purchased a AL-82 AMP and I was never so glad to get rid of the MONEY PIT.

    I Hope the ALS1306 hangs in there for you and you don’t have similar problems but from your description I’ll bet they use the same Power supply Modules.
    I did love the Auto band switching and no tune of the AMP but I just couldn’t afford to keep it.
    73’s
    Bret
    WX7Y

    • Dave

      Thanks for the info Bret… In my case the power supply was not the issue, it was the output stage, the MRF-150. It was replaced, and all is well now…

  18. Floyd

    I bought a 1306 from Ham Radio Outlet about the same time. I’ve had zero problems with mine. My transceiver is an Orion II and Ameritron doesn’t offer a cable that allows the Orion to control the band selection on the 1306. I found an article by AD5X that described how to build little converter that converts the Orion band indication output to BCD for the 1306 and that solved the problem, I did some preliminary testing with a dummy load to determine how much power one could run on RTTY with the 1306 and found that it would fault after about 3 1/2 minutes of constant carrier at 504 watts output. If I were running the amp in an RTTY contest, I’d dial it back to 400-450 watts. The separate amp and power supply packaging makes it easy to lift and move around the amp with no strain. My old Alpha amp had become just about impossible to handle (getting long in the tooth here).

    • Dave

      Thanks for confirming that your amp is running 450 W as well. I have picked 500 for my RTTY output power, and have not had any issues at all anymore… Max transmit time so far has been two minutes…

  19. Wilson Lamb

    I’m not sure that two problems and $120 for a new expensive item would leave me so happy. I can go along with the fuses, but $120 and no service report is bad. Ameritron should pay the shipping, since the problem was shown to be theirs! Most significantly, they obviously didn’t run a good test procedure, or THEY would have found the bad fuses! SO, I rate this as a negative review, made less useful by not explaining the failure of the amp. I’m glad you’re happy, of course, but I’d really like to know what they messed up.

    As for me, I’ll keep turning the nice big knobs on my HB amp. It easily puts out 1200W, all day, any mode, and I can fix it with a screwdriver and soldering iron. Actually, it should last a long time, since there are only good transformers, some HV caps, and the tubes to fail. The tubes are 50+ years old, so I’m hoping that indicates more life available! I’d sure like to see hams return to building stuff.
    WL

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