SPE Expert 2K-FA follows on from the highly-successful Expert 1K-FA and is now available. ALSO JUST RELEASED - SPE CO1-HF POWER-COMBINER FOR TWO 2K-FA'S OR TWO 1.3K-FA'S.
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Our first impressions of this amplifier
Pic below shows 2000W output on 6m into a dummy load, measured with the extremely accurate PowerMaster wattmeter from Array Solutions.
There is a screen application for complete remote control of the unit. The application is via USB port on PC and extremely easy to install with the supplied software. A screenshot of the application running with Logger32 logging program is shown in the image below.
This unit is heavy.... Quite a struggle to get it upstairs to the GW3YDX shack. A good sign. Beware of the lightweight "high power" amplifier ! On the bench we then set it up to run automatically from both the shack K3 and IC-746. Easy as always. This amplifier is different to the 1K-FA, not only in the specifications, but the menus have been more refined and one can choose an even more user-specific configuration. The main station HF antenna is a 3 el SteppIR yagi and the SteppIR can be connected via the "PORT" socket on the rear of the amplifier, and then becomes driven directly by the amplifier. This does away with Y-cables and other inconvenient arrangements. Setting up for the SteppIR could not be easier. A menu allows selection of "tuneable antennas" such as the SteppIR. The SteppIR is Antenna 1 on the rear of the amplifier. Set the "tuneable antenna" to Ant 1 and job is done. It is truly a delight to operate.
Unlike the 1K-FA the antenna tuner need not always be in circuit with the 2K. It is possible to program an antenna choice to either go through the tuner or not. Clearly, the SteppIR doesn't need the antenna tuner, so was programmed not to have the tuner in line. Remember that the average antenna tuner loses about 10% of your precious output power ! The station 80M and 40m antennas are not tuneable but fixed-length. The 80m antenna was set up to use the tuner and the amplifier can be tuned anywhere in the band where the antenna VSWR is less than 3:1. As both the SWR with the ATU in-line and the output SWR at the antenna socket can be metered, making it easy to detect any abnormal changes in antenna configuration.
Power output.... This is a BEAST. There are three levels of menu nominal power output selection 600-1200-2400W. We measured 2200W into a dummy load on CW with 60W drive on 20M. At this level there were no overdrive or over-current alarms set off, so we could have gone further. Output power on 6M is over 2000W as can be seen in the image above.
Protection is pretty much the same as the 1K. Only once did we have the protection come on, and that was into the SteppIR, when the controller had not been powered-on and there was an attempt to transmit on 20m when the SteppIR had been left on 15. A protection alarm immediately sounded, and the problem was quickly put right.
On-air reports have been outstandingly complimentary, with many commenting on the cleanliness of the signal.
Double the power output of the 1K-FA to 2000W on HF (1800W on 50 MHz).
The only solid state linear amplifier delivering this power on 50 Mhz.
6 selectable antennas.
Capable of driving an external set of band pass filters, for a perfect SO2R or multi station operation for contests and DXpeditions.
Optional automatic tuner remotable for automatic management of up to 6 antennas with just one coaxial cable feed.
USB port for PC control and downloading upgrades.
Advanced switching power supply with automatic Power Factor Correction (according to the new EUs rules).
Possibility to drive directly all tuneable antennas, such as the SteppIR.
Dimensions: w38xh18xd42 cm. (connectors included)
Weight: around 25 Kg.
Availability: First unit delivered April 27 2011. Further stock to follow.