Alpha/Power was founded more than a quarter century ago as ETO (Ehrhorn Technological Operations) to design and manufacture the best possible maximum-legal-power, continuous heavy duty, HF linear amplifier for radio amateurs.
Result: the legendary vapor-cooled ALPHA SEVENTY “steamer.” It was followed by a long series of the most desired amplifiers in amateur radio history – including the Ultimate Linear flagships, ALPHA 77Dx and ALPHA 87A.
These Alpha/Power (ETO) amplifiers contributed the expressions brick-on-the-key maximum legal-power and all modes, no time limit to the lexicon of amateur radio. They pioneered the no-compromise desk top amplifier, hands-off no-tune-up operation, full break-in (QSK), standard 160 meter coverage, and microprocessor-controlled automatic bandswitching, tuneup and remote control.
Alpha/Power (ETO) also has pioneered realistic buyer protection with long term limited warranties (never prorated and now an unequaled four years), and the money-back guarantee.
Alpha/Power (ETO) has been the performance, innovation, and quality leader for 31 years. Would-be competitors have flattered us by imitation time and again. But they never catch up, because Alpha/Power’s amateur radio linears share the advanced technology, manufacturing capability, and commitment to customer satisfaction that have made us a leading worldwide supplier of RF power amplifiers to billion-dollar corporate leaders in industry, science and medicine.
The ALPHA 87A (see above) is in a performance class completely by itself. No other amateur amplifier can deliver conservative maximum legal power on all amateur HF bands with no operator bandchanging or tuning. The ’87A does it with any 50-200 watt transceiver and with no special control cable or interface! Just change bands on your transceiver and transmit; your ’87A will be on line, delivering pileup-crushing maximum legal
power in less than one second. It can be fully remote controlled by a terminal or small computer, even by radio or wire modem from hundreds of miles away.
You’ll find the Alpha/Power 99 hard to believe. You may think that a heavy-duty linear specified, designed, tested and fully backed by Alpha/Power for less than $4000 is a misprint. Other amplifiers of comparable power do sell for more, but none beat the 99 ‘s brute ruggedness.
Facts & Caveats for Amplifier Buyers
A high performance amplifier is a significant investment. But while foresight is the only sure cure for buyer’s remorse, it’s often hard to get accurate information.
The capabilities of an RF power amplifier can be specified accurately and thoroughly. Most of the manufacturers we know are honorable people, but we nevertheless see some ads and promotional literature containing claims and implications that range from ambiguous to absurd.
It is our intention to continually update this pamphlet, offering suggestions and information to help you make informed amplifier comparisons and a satisfying buying decision.
EVALUATING & COMPARING POWER AMPLIFIERS
Manufacturers’ literature generally reveals most of what you need to know-through what it does and doesn’t say. You sometimes need to read between the lines.
POWER RATINGS: RF output is the key parameter defining amplifier capability. The output power rating should be stated unequivocal (References to DC or PEP input are irrelevant and serve only to confuse.) Since the FCC’s power rules are based on peak RF output, we believe that every amplifier ought to incorporate a respectable peak-reading RF wattmeter.