For my portable/temporary satellite antenna rig, I have need of using a UHF preamp, which I have strapped to the tripod that holds and aims my Arrow antenna. I find that my FT847 is just not as sensitive on 70 CM as it is on 2M. I have been using an ARR (Advanced Receiver Research ) SP432VDG which is supposed to have a maximum power pass through imitation of 25watts. I try to be pretty careful as to how much output I run through the thing, maybe limiting to 15 watts or so. Unfortunately, I have blown the preamp out several times, even with being conscious of the RF level. I sent the pre to them, they repaired and sent back. I recently discovered that I had blown my unit again. Symptom is that it adds noise to the output, but does not amplify any signals coming into it from the antenna. I have sent the unit in to ARR in the past for repair. This time I am contemplating replacing this one with a more robust device that might be able to handle more RF running through it (RF sensing means you will still hit the device with an instantaneous burst of RF before the internal relays kick in.
A friend has confided that he has the higher power version of the ARR Preamps, but has had similar problems with killing the things. Thus I am in the market for maybe another option. While I oft times, will stroll over to the antenna tripod, and barrel off the cables going to and from the preamp to bypass completely from the transmit chain, this is kind of a pain, even in a portable situation.
I looked at M2s web site and can find a 2 Meter amp, but no 70CM (Might be missing something. I have heard a lot of good things on the SSB preamps, but the only pace I can see them being sold, is Dolstra in Europe. Don’t see a US vendor.
Looking for suggestions. I would be interested in buying pre-owned, if someone had a Preamp that would like a new home.
I do have a question for Yaesu FT847 users. With that radio, you can power a Preamp via the built in Bia- T power inserter, And assume that when this mode is turned on, it cuts the inserted DC to the preamp as the tranciever goes into transmit. Does this work fast enough to protect, even RF switched preamps? That might be a good safety measure as I have traditionally used external DC to power my preamps.
Wisdom from the cloud here would be much appreciated.
Tom Schuessler, N5HYP
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