Sometimes, things just don't always work out according to plan. As an amateur, I've heard so many times on the air, "once I get this item in my station, it will be complete, and there will never be any reason to make any changes." LOL, if I only had a dollar for each time I heard that short lived statement.
I thought a Alpha 8410 I purchased, would be perfect for my station. However, that idea was short lived at AB4D. My "great deal" 8410 arrived with a lot of issues, including weak tubes, that could only produce about 1250 watts. I was able to repair all of the issues, except the tubes. I liked the 8410, but discovered manual tune just wasn't for my style of operating. I like to jump from band to band quite often, seeking DX station to work. Instead of purchasing new tubes, I found the amplifier a new home. In the process, I earned a small amount to cover the parts and repair work I had performed. The new owner installed a fresh set of 4CX1500b tubes and is very happy with the amplifier.
I really missed the automatic tuning aspect of the Alpha 9500 I once owned, but didn't particularly like the expensive 8877 tube it used or the constant retuning during operation. Once again, I was on the hunt for a legal limit amplifier to augment my station. A new amplifier had to meet the following criteria; automatic tuning; uses a reasonably priced tube complement that is still in production; has a good reputation and support network; and is 100% duty cycle at legal limit. I could only find one manufacturer that builds an amplifier which met all my criteria, OM Power of Slovakia.
I read many reviews about OM Power amplifiers, and the majority were very favorable. OM Power has been building amplifiers for over 10 years. There are many OM amplifiers in service that work flawlessly, performing battle in contest stations around the world, and working in harsh environments encountered at DXP's, at remote places across the globe. OM Power offers two automatic versions, the 2500A, and a 4KW+ beast, designated the 4000A. Both use the Chinese FU-728F triode tube, a rugged Chinese military version of the Eimac 4CX1500b, but has a higher filament voltage requirement. They currently sell for about $300 each plus shipping from China.
The 2500A and the 4000A both fit my criteria. I spoke to a few individuals, and decided to purchase the OM Power 4000A, as the cost was not much more than the 2500A, It has so much overhead capacity. I expect the tubes should last for many years. I look forward to adding the amplifier to my station. I am told, the auto tune feature works very well. It certainly will loaf along at legal limit, and become a welcomed addition to my station. I recently wrote a review about my short term use of the OM Power 4000A. That can be viewed here under my call of AB4D.