Monday, July 4, 2011

It's the Power, Man

In November, KL2R purchased an ACOM 1010 amplifier from Array Solutions.  I really enjoy doing business with AS, and the ACOM line has a good reputation.  The 1010 fit the bill, as in budget.  Array Solutions cut us a break on shipping to Alaska to offset the "free shipping" benefit to Lower 48 hams.  I could not have been happier.

The amp remained idle until WPX CW, which was planned as a test run for Field Day using high power and generators.  Neal W7USB loaned a Generac 7 kW generator with 240 VAC output more than sufficient to drive the ACOM 1010.  After some fiddling to get the T/R delays set well for the FT950 and Microkeyer II driving it, we were off to the races.  The shack was quite hot, 85F, as a result of an extraordinary heat wave over Memorial Day.  As the ambient temperature increased, the G2 LED began to flash with more frequency.  The manual says it is an indication of overdriving or a need to adjust the amplifier tuning.  Neither was the case, and the error persisted even with 20 watts drive from the Yaesu. Oddly enough, switching to standby from operate while G2 flashed would trip the amp into fault mode. A number of causes are under investigation.  This remains a mystery, and the problem repeated itself during Field Day.  I need to complete testing on stable, commercial mains.