The BLA1000 has been around for a while now so thought it was about time we took one for a ride. It arrived at the door on a wooden pallet…A bit of overkill I thought for a 1kw solid state amplifier, but I was wrong: this is a big heavy self contained amplifier. I was surprised at both the weight and the size. I don’t know what is inside the case but it is heavy. It is not as heavy as the Acom 2000A it is sitting on but it is slightly wider as the photos show. It seems a lot of amplifier for a solid State 1kw! One thing sets it out from the rest and that is it is also rated at 1kw on 6m. It has a built in PSU and a full suite of filters that can be set by a knob or left in Auto mode. I presume this amp will work Marine and MARS frequencies with no problem!
Gripes. Its RM! Biggest gripe so far is the size and weight, but when we are talking amplifiers big weight and size are usually a good point. Don’t think of taking this one on an expedition unless you have carts and barrows! The finish is OK, but it is no Alpha or Acom. It is also not priced like an Acom or Alpha. For the weight the outer casings and front panel seem too thin. The front panel is larger than the sides so you have a lip waiting to cut or graze you if you bump into it. Front panel could do with some more screws and the perspex cover over the gauges had bowed out a little which looked odd. More screws would prevent this. Knobs and switches seem solid and secure. Have not read the manual yet but the meter seems to read average and not in PEP so was not seeing much movement on the output meter despite the 100w input. Most of us like to see 1kw on the meter if we have bought a 1kw amplifier! Maybe something in the manual about this. Manual states meter reads the RMS output.
I fired up on 40m on 7130 and was getting good reports from VK and ZL. The Amp did not flinch with the 100w input and 1.5 SWR. The fan comes on strong when the amp first fires up and then drops off. It is about a meter away but the fans did not get intrusive. Temperature rose to 42. from the 33 ambient. All good. It seems stable and solid. Just need to see what the actual output really is!
Although it is suggested that PTT be used to control the amplifier it does appear that there are several other options to key the amp…and if my understanding of “VOX” is correct it seems RF keying may also be included in the menu. That makes me smile….That should help sales. No need to buy that expensive PTT cable after all !
In conclusion: It is getting out well. Seems clean. no complaints so far. Did I mention it was big and heavy! Will update if anything else to add but I think it is solid.
Been using it for a couple of weeks now and it has not given any problems. Use the wrong filter bank and it will shut off as it should, over drive it and it will shut off. It runs very cool with the 40w I drive it with. If I could change anything I would reduce the input to 75w for full output and have the meter work like a PEP instead of RMS. I think this will just work and work for years to come.