Ameritron (and other) Amplifier Repair Service
Until further notice, we have decided to halt all intake of amateur amplifiers. A large part of this decision centers around construction inconsistencies in Ameritron amplifiers, the time it takes to find random incorrect parts, and the time and risk involved in correcting component and workmanship errors.
Commercial transmitters and phasing systems are $130 per hour on site or in shop. We bill $30 per hour plus travel cost (no per diem) to and from site. We service equipment of any power level, including SWBC.
Amateur Radio Equipment is no longer being taken in.
The only contact email address we use for service is firstname.lastname@example.org
The common email contact errors are leaving the inc out of the address above and your email host or my hosting blocking or filtering responses.
Please take a few minutes and read this:
DO NOT SEND US THINGS THAT ARE HARD PACKED* or improperly packed!!! Follow the guidelines below!!
*Hard packed means using things like paper or cardboard as primary cushioning. Packing must yield and spring back. Packing must not bottom out or collapse. Bubbles and airbags are not suitable for cushioning amplifiers.
It takes hours to resolve damage claims. The entire process can take weeks or months. No matter who you ship with shippers will not pay for improperly packed equipment. UPS pretty much never pays.
If you have your equipment packed at a store, use the actual FedEx or UPS facility and make sure you keep receipts. Make sure they cover damage in a written guarantee. Do not trust private shipping places to pack unless that have a written guarantee. We see a lot of bad packing and denied claims from “mailbox” or UPS Stores.
If you expect things to survive or be reimbursed, make sure you have a written guarantee.
Please pay attention to these guidelines. These guidelines are often the difference between having an amplifier and not having an amplifier:
1.) No matter who actually packs, packing boxes must be solid enough for the amplifier weight and there should be at least two inches (and preferably thicker) of proper weight springy foam. The cushioning must be able to compress and return back to shape! Lighter compact items get softer foam.
2.) The following are NOT suitable for primary shock or drop protection with drop and vibration sensitive equipment:
a.) air bubble packs or cushions
b.)air bubble wrap
c.) popcorn or packing peanuts
WARNING!!! Air bags, bubble wrap, or air packs burst with heavy amplifiers. These items are not suitable for cushioning heavy devices! Do not let anyone pack with air bags or bubble wrap as primary cushion. The bigger the bubble or bag the more likely the failure, but NONE are good.
Dense foam mattress toppers, seat cushion type foam, or even pool noodles are about the correct density for heavy items. With the amplifier sitting on the packing, pushing down on the amplifier, you should some yield. The concern is the pounds per square inch collapse pressure. The cushioning has to yield and spring back without bursting.
2.) Tubes should use a lighter weight springy foam than amplifiers. Small tubes like 811’s and 572’s can sometimes remain socketed inside the amplifier, but they must be cushioned and held in the sockets. Large heavy tubes like 3-500Z’s or ceramic transmitting tubes should almost always be removed from sockets and boxed. External packing must have a lot of soft springy yield foam. Lightweight compact items require a less dense foam.
3.) Amplifiers and devices with painted surfaces or decals you care about should be bagged in a smooth slippery bag prevent finish and decal damage.
4.) Every cover screw should be in the amplifier and snugged down, the cord plug tucked safely away from the amplifier, and the amplifier bagged. It is a good idea to remove fuse caps and put the cap and fuse inside the amplifier in a small bag.
5.) Packing must surround the device and prevent the amplifier or tube from freely moving around inside the box. You should not be able to hear or feel the item moving or sliding around in the box. A well-packed box will have a noticeable “bounce back” when dropped on a rigid hard surface from a few inches.
If the package with the tube or amplifier cannot take a 20-30 inch drop and cushion the item safely, the shipment runs an increased risk of damage.
Certain “pool noodles” work for heavier items, while cheap light foam mattress toppers work for tubes or layers between boxes. If in doubt take the item direct to the actual shipper (not a private shipping store business) and have the shipper pack the item. Even if you do this, make sure they understand and guarantee they are fully liable for poor packing.
Spray in foams are one or two drop use only at best because foam crushes and breaks apart. Bubbles have limited yield and burst. Do not paper-pack heavy or fragile things!
If something is dropped just 20 inches and slowed in 2 inches of compressible cushioning, there are well over 10g’s of force during the stop.
This means even if you have 2 inches of absolutely perfect padding and drop an amplifier 20 inches, a 25 pound transformer temporarily “weighs” 250 pounds. If the two inches of padding is less than perfect (and it will be) the force becomes much worse.
This is why transformers, heatsinks, and other things will even bend a strong steel chassis. The most important things are tight cushioning that compresses and rebounds without collapsing and having all the cabinet screws in place and making sure tubes cannot un-socket or get crushed. Tubes must use very light foam, heavy objects denser resilient foam. Bubble wrap has to be really thick compared to foam and will often just collapse with heavy equipment.