Sunday, May 13, 2012

How I tune my Ameritron AL-80B

For a new ham tuning your first amplifier can be a bit of a daunting task. I searched high and low on the net looking for instructions on how to tune my new Ameritron AL-80B and Palstar AT2K manual antenna tuner . I did find some videos on youtube from Ameritron tuning a different model but it sure helped me search youtube and check them out. So I just want to run through the steps here just so you have an idea of how my setup works. Your mileage may very and by no way take anything below as gospel because in reality I have no idea what I am doing (not really well maybe :P) ....

  • Make sure all you equipment is on, amp is in standby, correct band on amp is selected, receiver tuned to an unused portion of the band.
  • Place radio in cw mode lower power to 15 watts key up and adjust tuner for lowest swr, then raise power to max check swr and readjust as needed.
  • Verify that your ALC is set per the manual if you have it connected
  • Lower power back down to 15 watts turn amp to transmit and adjust the plate and load per the manual. (I skip this step due to I have recorded initial settings for the amp) 
  • Raise power to max that you want to drive the amp with (I do 70 watts) and key up adjusting the plate then load then plate for max watt output.
And that's it return to ssb mode and go for it make sure you readings on your amp, radio and swr meter (if you have one connected) are where they should be and go for it. 
I have made a spreadsheet that I use (pic below) for my initial settings that get me very close to my final settings. I would suggest this to anyone who is new to this make a cheat sheet it could save you time and possibly damage to your amp. 
Until next time 

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