Power supply units are underrated. Many Hams are under the (wrong) impression that they can go cheap on them.
However, you run the risk of ending up ruining your entire system or set-up with a cheap, poor quality power supply. We will discuss more on it in the later part of this post, but now that we have given you an idea of the importance of quality power supply units, let us walk you throughthe best of them below.
Best HAM Radio Power Supply
Here are our HAM radio power supply reviews.
The TekPower TP30SWII is another highly rated power supply for HAM radios on the market. At 13.8V and 30 amp DC, it’s good enough to power all types of HAM radios out there.
Moreover, its build quality and design are very impressive with no feel of cheap plastic whatsoever. The knobs feel great on the touch as well. The analog meter is very easy to read, and the unit is almost completely quiet with virtually no noise at all.
There are different volt and amp related features that turn out to be very useful with the overall operation as well. It also comes with three ports, offering quite a bit of versatility and convenience. It’s a linear power supply but only works on 110V.
- Great design and build quality
- Analog meter is easy to read and the unit overall is impressively functional
- Virtually no noise
- Three ports offer versatility and convenience
- There might be some noise in the 40 and 80 meter bands
The TekPower TP350 is a great value for money product. It’s a 13.8V power supply and works great with both HAM radios and CB radios. The max current output is decent at 23A.
The amperage headroom would turn out to be very impressive for your requirements when it comes to the DC power. Despite its power and superior functionality, it’s surprisingly quiet as well as very reliable.
Users report how it barely ever needs to run the fan even when powering advanced HAM radios on HF. The mounting brackets offer a great level of handling convenience and the solid rubber feet are great for durability. The unit overall is very durable as well.
- Adequate power for powering HAM and CB radios
- Very quiet and reliable
- Mounting brackets and rubber feet are great additions to the design
- Solid build quality
- You would find the design to be a little awkward when trying to ground the device
- Not a linear supply
TekPower really dominated the power device market, which is why we have another TekPower top pick in the TekPower TP30SWI. Users report how it turns out to be a great linearpower supply for adding to their “go box”.
The specs are the same as the unit we reviewed above, with the max current output being 30A and 13.8V DC power.It’s surprisingly compact and lightweight despite being very functional. It’s also pretty quiet with no annoying noise even during demanding operations.
It’s also easy to set up with a great durability.
- Great power supply to add to your HAM radio go box
- Compact and lightweight
- Fairly quiet and very functional
- Easy to set up and durable
- Fan is not temp controlled, which can get a bit annoying at times you wouldn’t expect it to come on
This is one of the cheaper power supply units and also from one of the lesser known brands. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not good enough, like some users do.
Many Hams use it daily for their super expensive Ham set-up and have no issues whatsoever. It’s definitely reliable enough and would protect your expensive equipment well. Again, the specs are same as the above products with 13.8V DC and 30 amp.
The seller mentions it’s regulated as well, which is great at this price. Many users with 2 meter base transceivers and other types of HAM radios are all praise for it. It’s linear up to 200 watts without much of a problem.
- Affordable and functional
- Reliable enough for the most expensive of set-ups
- Seller mentions it’s regulated which is great for the price
- No interference in power whatsoever
- Just a bit more noisy than the other units we reviewed above, but nowhere near as noisy as to be annoying
So we have another TekPower product again, but this time it’s a much cheaper one in TekPower TP1863. The specs are a little less impressive which is a given at this price, but 13.8V DC and 12 amp isn’t too bad for a modest set-up.
However, a particular user mentioned that it somehow manages to power their IC-7200 transceiver just as well, which should actually need at least 20 amps. It’s also fairly quiet, and performs well with little to no power output variations.
The build quality is great and the operation is easy. The seller also claims the regulated power supply tag. It’s also a linear power supply.
- Very affordable and good enough for a modest set-up
- Powers even transceivers you wouldn’t expect it to
- Quiet and reliable
- Great build quality with an easy operation
- It may not last as long as some of the better units we reviewed above, but a lot depends on your usage
HAM Radio Power Supply Buying Guide
It’s surprising how many Hams cheap out on their power supply unit. It’s just not worth it!
Not spending how much you should on a quality power supply unit means putting your entire Ham set-up or system at risk. Not to mention, you would definitely be facing functionality issues as well, especially for the more demanding operations.
This is the reason all the products we reviewed above are top-notch quality product, though they aren’t too heavy on your pocket. The last power supply unit we reviewed is definitely the cheapest and not as good as the others, but certainly not a bad budget option either for basic operations.
The Amp Is Your Champ!
There’s probably nothing more important than the amp when it comes to a power supply unit. A lower amp means you will be pretty restriction in your operations, and would face trouble when powering more advanced radios that are more demanding.
While there’s no number set in stone here, the higher is obviously the better. However, anything under 20 amps may mean seriously limiting the operation ability of your system.
That said, the TekPower TP1863 with just 12 amps can be a suitable option for users that are only looking for basic operation and don’t plan to go much higher up anytime soon. Moreover, it’s also because it does manage to power radios that demand 20 amps or more so it’s a bit of an exception.
The rest of the units we have reviewed are all 30 amps, with the exception of TekPower TP350 which offers 23 amps but is still functional enough.
Although it’s something many users do not give much consideration to, you will regret buying a noisy power supply faster than you can imagine. Cheaper power supply units can get very noisy, and on demanding operations can get annoying enough for you to not be able to bear them.
That said, all the products we reviewed above are very quiet, with some being exceptionally quiet and virtually noiseless, while the cheapest one being a little noisy but nowhere near as much as to get annoying.