I’ve been a ham radio operator for more than 20 years now and have never run more than 100 watts of power. I decided to venture into the world of amps. I worked a bit with a Dentron 2500 but decided to go with a more modern amp, one with much cheaper tubes. I purchased an Ameritron AL-811H and run it around 600-650 watts. I’ve tried to do various tests to see what it actually does for me in the practical world (not just X-Sunit gain) but have thus far failed and figuring out its real benefit. Not because I don’t think it has benefit, just my tests are less than scientific :-)

I found some stations with mild-pile ups and tried to break through barefoot, then after 10-15 unanswered calls kicked on the amp. The first time I tried it, the very first time after I kicked the amp on I heard my callsign come back. Wow, I thought. Next time, with out the amp I gave a call and on the 3rd time (no amp) the station came back. Then another one 10-15 unanswered calls, kick on the amp and 10-15 unanswered calls later the station went QRT. So… still exploring the world of amps and amateur radio. Sometimes I’ll be on my Kenwood running 100 watts, other times on my Ten-Tec Argonaut. When there is a station I really want to talk to and barefoot doesn’t seem to be cutting it, I flip on the amp to see if it will… I suppose after some time under my belt I’ll learn when the amp will help and when I’ll still fail. No beam isn’t helping in some situations but, we all enjoy the hobby with what we have!