or later it seems that every amateur that operates on the HF bands
wants to try to boost power with a tube type linear amplifier. Getting
through the QRM can often make the difference in enjoying a good solid
QSO in today’s crowded bands. Also it just feels great to get good
signal reports. With prices for new commercial linear amplifiers right
up there with new solid state transceivers, considering used vintage
equipment presents an option that works a lot better for those of us
with limited budgets. I suspect that many amateurs are fearful that
older amplifiers will not work, or if they do, not for long. If you
understand the circuits and get comfortable with the nuances of the
older vintage radios you can keep them going for years with a minimum
of effort, and they will perform with the best of the commercial units
watt for watt.
One of the best buys on the market today
is the Heathkit SB 200 and SB201. These old workhorses were built 20
plus years ago, and there are still a whole bunch of them out there
doing yeoman’s duty on a daily basis. These amplifiers often sell for
around $300 or less. When you consider that a new high voltage
transformer alone would cost you more than this it seems unreal to me.
At this price about the only way you could lose would be if the power
transformer were inoperative. Further, the SB 200 uses a pair of
relatively inexpensive 572B tubes, which can put out a nice solid
signal approaching 600 watts (output).