Alpha 9500 Review

Alpha 9500
Alpha 9500

I’ve been thinking about the Alpha 9500 a lot lately, given that I have one in my shack.

I’m very happy with RF Concepts (just “Alpha” to me, for some reason) and the 9500.  I’d like to have something to add to impressions that are already out there.  Unfortunately, my impression is pretty consistent with the many good reviews I’ve found, both before and after purchasing.  Since I am not trying to be comprehensive, I’d also recommend you check out the  helpful resources on the Alpha 9500 at dxzone.

I considered alternatives from Expert Amps, THP, Acom, Icom, Ameritron, and a few others.  I also have an Ameritron AL-80B.  I’m happy with the AL-80B, but wanted full legal power and, more importantly, the ability to operate remotely.  I think the 9500 is a clear contender for the best amp on the market.  I think the AL80B is a very good value in decent quality watts/dollar and excels in that niche.

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RemoteHams Success

Last weekend, I completed the process to set my station up for remote access.  I switched from a manual tune amp to automatic, made some logistics changes, and then implemented remote control using remote ham software at  Although I was on track to get things working, I had the pleasant surprise of Roger, W8RJ, logging in to expedite and optimize my setup.  Check out my remote station at W4LI – Remote.

I’ve already had the opportunity to use my station while traveling a couple times this week.  Also, about two dozen others have registered to use the station.  So far, the software and setup is rock solid.  I’m very pleased and its quite cool to be able to get on the air on my occasional hotel-nights, which is when I have the most free time.


Thanks to Brandon, Roger, and others on the remotehams team.  Great stuff.


BigIR at second QTH

In early 2013, I got permission from the HOA to install a 30 to 35′ vertical at our second QTH. The antenna’s location is conveniently obscured from view in the community. I was pleasantly surprised at the community’s flexibility and went with the SteppIR BigIR with the 80 meter coil option.

First, a few pictures, and then I’ll summarize what I learned and recommend when installing this great antenna.  Here is a picture of the almost completed antenna installation (before single 11′ guy installation):

Vertical - Lower half

Here is the base of the antenna, from the 80M coil side, showing the radial plate and cables exiting the ground/conduit:

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