Welcome to the Moonraker Blog! In this blog, we will be reviewing the a discussing VHF amplifiers from Toptek Communications, a high-quality manufacturer that Moonraker proudly represents. Whether you're a 2-meter simplex enthusiast or in need of extra power for long-distance communication, Toptek amplifiers offer the boost you need. Let's dive in and explore their latest products!
The Toptek PA 350v
The Toptek PA 350v VHF power amplifier is the perfect companion for 2-meter radio operations. This unique amplifier offers two modes in one. You can set it up to work with an HT on low power (15 watts maximum input) or switch it over to work with a mobile radio for a higher power output (30 watts maximum input). It's like having two amplifiers in one!
What sets the PA 350v apart is its versatility. It features three separate output settings (100, 200, 250, or 300 watts) to accommodate various antenna power handling capabilities. This ensures that you can match the amplifier's output to your antenna's specifications. Additionally, its menu system is user-friendly, with an LCD screen that displays both input and output power levels.
To prevent overheating, the PA 350v comes with two built-in fans and a large heat sink. However, it's important to note that this amplifier is not suitable for continuous high-power operations, such as FT8 or repeater use. For optimal performance, it is recommended to run the amplifier at approximately 25% of its maximum power output.
The Toptek PA 180v
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option that still delivers a significant power boost, the Toptek PA 180v is an excellent choice. This amplifier offers around 170 to 175 watts of output power with a typical input of 5 watts. With a maximum output power of 180 watts, it provides a substantial increase in signal strength for FM, sideband, or CW operations.
Like its larger counterpart, the PA 180v includes a receive preamplifier, which is particularly useful for weak signal modes like sideband and CW. When venturing into these modes, it is crucial to have a high-quality antenna that can handle the power you're putting into it. Moonraker offers a wide range of antennas from trusted brands like Cushcraft, High Gain, Diamond, and Comet to ensure optimal performance.
With its compact form factor and added shroud and fan, the PA 180v is perfect for those who prefer a smaller amplifier without sacrificing power. It also features the same user-friendly front panel layout as the PA 350v, making it easy to monitor power output and SWR levels.
Choosing the Right Power Supply
When running high-power VHF amplifiers, it is essential to pair them with a suitable power supply. For instance, the Toptek PA 350v requires a 50-amp or better supply to operate at its full potential. Moonraker offers a variety of power supplies to ensure you have a stable and reliable power source.
Toptek Communications brings a new level of power and performance to VHF amplifiers. With their PA 350v and PA 180v models, you can boost your signal and reach greater distances on 2 meters. Whether you're a casual user or an avid weak signal enthusiast, these amplifiers offer the versatility and reliability you need.
Remember, when using high-power amplifiers, always ensure you have a high-quality antenna that can handle the power you're transmitting.