The “100 Watt Challenge” (and ACOM Amplifiers)

I found last night’s 3B7A QSO one of the most enjoyable in quite a while. I did already have 3B7 on 40, 30 and 20 (SSB and CW), so last night I just wanted to see if I could be just a tad better operator and beat all of those running amplifiers. I did – and its a technique where you put yourself right after the last person responds to the DX. You have to be very fast – and it takes more finesse than say, when you have 1.5 KW, a decent antenna and where you just plow right through.

Until Bouvet or Glorioso are activated, I will be running 100 watts and no more. I toyed with the idea of trying some chase using QRP, but that’s a bit too much of a challenge. After having the full gallon amps – 100 watts feels like QRP!

My favorite amplifier, hands down, is the ACOM – with its TRI tuning. Its foolproof, fast, and the amplifier doesn’t need a tuner if your antennas have an SWR of 3:1 or less. I don’t care much for solid state amps – because while some say they can tolerate 3:1 SWR – they can’t. In fact, solid state amps are just too “finicky” for me – I had amp faults with the solid state amps that I never experienced with a tube amp.

If Bouvet were activated say later this year – I might go out and grab an ACOM 1010 or a used ACOM if someone has one locally. But since I need 2 more for Top of Honor Roll, its cheaper just to go to my neighbor, Oliver, W6NV’s house or super contest station.

I doubt I will ever own an amp again – but if I did it would be another ACOM.

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