Posted February 24.2008 21:24:19
Let me say something about Bill Grassa (N4ATS), The man is nothing short of a God send for us Yaesu FL-7000 owners! I recently purchased a 7000 from a gentleman in northern Georgia a few weeks ago, it was just this weekend that i had a chance to finally connect it to my Yaesu FT-920 and see what it would do. I carefully read the 7000 and 920 manuals for connections and operating instructions. After 9 hours of frustration and no luck i was just about ready to call it quits. I decided to call Bill on his cell phone, now mind you this is Sunday, a day of rest , I felt bad about calling him on Sunday but my weekdays are really tied up and I was at wit's end. Bill answered the phone, listened to my situation and gave me some suggestions and had me do a few things to ensure the 7000 was in working order. I hung up, tried them and again no luck. I called Bill again about an hour later, he went to his shop, pulled out the 920 manual and researched alittle, had me try one other thing and then it happened FIRE in the Hole! or should i say RF output at the 7000!!!.
Posted August 7.2007 20:14:12
After more than a year of flawless performance with my FT-840 and then a FT-2000 front-ending my FL-7000 my system developed a severe RFI problem in the audio. I asked for input from the FT-2000 Yahoo list of 1600 participants, of which many are top technical folks, and all input was to dismantle and try each component and then add a component until the problem part was identified or the problem disappeared.
I was thinking there was a problem with the amplifier so in parallel I asked Bill, N4ATS, if he thought it was the amp and if I should send it to him for repair. His response was a one liner.... "move the PTT line OR the Band Data cable away from the RF lines and this will fix it" I thought he had some pretty "big ones" to act so confident. It was an easy first step so I did what he told me to do. PROBLEM GONE! He scares me a little bit with what he knows about the FL-7000 and rigs in general but the advice is one we should all heed.... be careful when we run our wires and cables!
Besides his technical capability he and his associate, Steve Weiss N3ATS, are a pleasure to deal with.
Posted June 2.2007 14:56:19
I purchased an FL-7000 from Bill Grassa N4ATS and needed a Band Data cable to connect my FT-897D to the amp. There is no stock Yaesu cable that will connect the two, so a custom cable was in order. Bill directed me to his associate Steve N3ATS. In short order I recieved a quality cable from Steve at a very reasonable price; excellent construction and quality components. If you radio has a band data jack for controlling an amp, this is the place to go to get custom quality cable.
73 de K6SBA
David in Santa Barbara CA
Posted May 9.2007 06:07:10
Bill's legendary reputation with the FL 7000 is well earned and deserved. I obtained one thru trade recently and found it to be hyper-sensitive to SWR, overdrive etc. In short, it wouldn't perform reliably. Sent it to Bill for corrective action. It is now on-line and puts out 800 watts on all bands without dropping off line. Bill turned a dog into a wolf! Very reasonable price, super fast turn around and great performance afterward make recommendation of N4ATS easy! Nobody does it better!!! N7HR
Posted April 22.2007 02:12:37
Having used and built tube amps for the past 36 years I wanted to try a solid state amp to run our legal 750W PEP out. After repeated reading of the general introduction of VA7OJ ( What makes a good solid state amp ? ) it seemed that Mosfets like the MOTOROLA MRF 150 were state-of-the-art. So I considered the AMERITRON ALS-600 and the Italian SPE Expert 1K-FA. What made me feel insecure about the whole subject was the fact that few fellow hams use HF solid states except those wealthy plug-and-play guys with the latest ICOM and YAESU amps for $ 5000 up...
But then I ran into this amazing homepage of Bill N4ATS, wow, that FL-7000 appeared to be a real classic piece of equipment.
A few weeks later, the (in)famous German contest-station DR1A threw 4 of them into the 2nd hand market after having used them as pre-drivers @ 200W for contest-work ( now employing 4 brand new ACOM1000 amps )
So I paid the requested $ 1400 and was given a dusty, heavy-weight old lady less instruction manual or any other documentation. Oh-oh-oh....
On the one hand I was impressed by the solid construction and shining beauty after cleaning,
but on the other hand the PROTECT kept tripping whenever 10W drive power were exceeded.
I downloaded the manual from N4ATS and tried to re-align, but without noticeable effect.
Being the shy guy I hesitated to contact Bill who obviously has achieved some status when it comes to the FL-7000.
Much to my surprise though, Bill not only gave me the breakthrough instructions to overcome the difficulties - no, he has cared more than any after-sales-service I ever ran into. This ham spirit is very hard to find these days.
But after having performed dozens of test-runs with the FL-7000, I am not exaggerating when I say:
Without Bill, following the YAESU specs, be prepared for all kinds of surprises.
With Bill, the FL-7000 to me is the best solid state HF amp this sort of money can buy. Now this
FL, costing me 70% of the price when it was new, has turned into a work horse. 600W as per Bill
is enough power ( although you can get more )
Required drive is 20...50W for 160m...10m.... DK5DR
Posted April 13.2007 08:26:12
If you are looking for an under-1KW amp, and want solid state, your choices are limited. There are of course the $4K amps from ICOM and Yaesu. The is also the newly approved Tokyo Hi-Power units for +$3K. At the other end of the scale (in more ways than one) are the offerings from MFJ/Ameritron. Somewhere in between is the SGC Power Cube, Tentec Herc II, and finally the Yaesu FL-7000.
I didn't want to spend $3000 or more and I don't trust the low end offerings. The Herc II is a real risk because of the unavailability of the PA finals. There seems to be pretty mixed reviews of the SGC product, and less than complete satisfaction with after sales service.
I guess I am "stuck" with the FL-7000, and am I happy! An FL-7000 that is in good shape AND has been serviced by Bill Grassa, N4ATS, is some of the best $1200-1400 you will spend in ham radio. My particular model was purchased directly from Bill with all of his tweaks and mods. This amp is a super combination with both my FT-2000 (automatic band change with one cable) and my little FT-897 (no cable yet, so band change is manual).
When used in conjunction with a good manual tuner (a Palstar AT1KM, in my case)you have a powerhouse with all kinds of fault protection.
The amp is extremely well built with components that will last a long time was proper operating care. Bill Grassa is available for fantastic support and service.
It has been said that the first 500 watts is what really matters. Busting a pile-up with N8S on 17-meters has convinced me of that.
If you are looking for a low profile amp, don't overlook this aging but still hot beauty. K6SBA
Posted April 13.2007 08:07:54
The combination of an FL-7000 and support from Bill Grassa is unbeatable. However, without Bill the FL-7000 would probably still suffer from a less than sterling reputation. There are really two FL-7000's: BB (before Bill) and AB (after Bill). Read the eHam reviews of the amp and you will see that once Bill started enhancing the FL-7000, the bugs and nits all seemed to go away.
In my case, I recently purchased an FL-7000 directly from Bill. He indicated that it was a premium price because the amp was so nice; and indeed it was!
Upon receiving the amp, I had a minor problem and contacted Bill. He encouraged me to make the minor fix myself, but my work commitment minimize my "learn by doing" time." Bill had me ship the amp back to him, fixed the problem, shipped it back ASAP. Super service. I am really enjoying the amp, and I know I have made a good investment because of Bill's commitment to this product and, more importantly,to his customers.
Thanks again, Bill!
73 de K6SBA
David in Santa Barbara CA
Posted March 19.2007 16:23:32
I recently had problems with my FT-1000mp Mark V Field. Knowing Bill has a lot of experience with Yaesu equipment I gave him a call asking his opinion. At that time he suggested that even though Yaesu factory service didn't get the best reviews, they might be my only option based on what I was telling him. That was two to three days ago. This afternoon Bill gave me a call and said he had been looking at the schematic and thought he had pin pointed my problem and that if I hadn't sent the rig to anyone for repair he would take a look at it. Unfortunately I had sent the rig off for repair this morning.
Kudos to you Bill for following up with me and going way beyond the extra mile. All I can say is what a guy. An asset to the hobby and a fine gentleman. You'll definitely get my business
Posted March 15.2007 07:30:45
I have just received my #2 FL-7000 back from the very capable hands of Bill Grassa/N4ATS. This prarticular amp has provided me with many years of reliable service, but finally required some competent repairs. Having already had one amp completely redone by Bill a few months ago, I didn't hesitate to send this one for repair. Bill obviously "knows" these amps thoroughly and he quickly determined the various problems. He informed me of the issues and allowed me to determine the viability of repairs with a complete cost breakdown, which was more than fair. He completed repairs quickly and with the amp now back on my desk, I am, more than satisfied with his services. Thanks, Bill, for your assistance and for your efforts in keeping a wonderful amplifier "in service" for the Ham community.
Posted February 15.2007 12:08:10
Just wanted to tell everyone how satisfied I was with Bill N4ATS. I dropped my FL7000 off on Friday at the Orlando HamCation with Bill and it was shipped back on Monday and received on Tuesday the following week. Bill fixed all the problems with the AMP and put all the modifications in. It is working GREAT and I could not be happier. Bill even called on Tuesday to see that it arrived and in good condition. He also provided great technical help. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Bill if you have a problem or just want the modifications to the FL7000. 73-- Gary KD4VRZ
Posted February 08.2007 19:31:15
How fortunate I am to have come across the website of Bill Grassa, N4ATS, the Master of the FL-7000. Not only does Bill repair and gets your FL-7000 back to factory specs, but improves it with modifications. Now the amplifier is in tip top condition, but I still had problems. Most technicians will tell you there isn't anything wrong with the amp and there is a problem elsewhere. Goodbye! But, Bill has spent a lot of time on the phone with me, checking connections and walking me through various tests. The results proved to be negative. Bill was very concerned why the amp still wasn't operating properly and wanted me to send the amp back to him. Once again after Bill checked it out, he found nothing wrong with the amp and it was working fine. BUT NOT AT MY STATION!!! We spoke on the phone again and he thought now it might be the Band Data connection on te FL-990. That was the problem. After fixing it, everything is working OK now. I would like everyone to know what a DEDICATED person Bill is, what PRIDE he has in his work and how far he will go to be sure you get on this air. If you want to know how to spell "Class", it's N4ATS. He is a credit to the Amateur Radio community. Vinnie WB1V
Posted December 29.2006 15:21:28
I recently purchased my FL-7000, used and modified from Bill Grassa, and I could not be happier. I have a Yaesu FT-990 which mates to the 7000 perfectly. In my search for a 7000 I came across Bill's name on eham.com; everything I read about Bill turned out to be true. He went out of his way to walk me through correctly cabling my 7000 to the 990 and other rigs in my shack, and keeping me out of trouble. He did all this during the pre-Christmas rush while talking to me from his cell phone- what a guy! The 7000 runs great, looks great, and is simple to operate. If your looking for a 7000, Bill is the man to talk to. 73- Fred / W2FMB
Posted November 07. 2006 14:55:11
Hi, I am a new Ham. I acquired my Tech License April 15, 2006. Earned my General License July 29th, 2006. I have enjoy the hobby. Never had any experience with a person (s) like Bill Grassa (N4ATS) and his associate Steve Weiss (N3ATS) (Parts Dept.) ... It is very conforming to know that when you enter a hobby there are still real gentleman left in the world ... one of the finest human beings out there ... I purchase a used Yaesu FT-7000 in August ... Ran the rig on 75/40 with High SWR ...Developed VCC voltage to high ... Bill (N4ATS) give instructions & sent up parts to me to repair the Amp ... Also had more problems ... supported me with tech support & more parts ... Amp works fine now ... Steve Weiss (N3ATS) (Parts) assisted me with the CT-11 data cable for the Yaesu FT-920 to the Yaesu FL-7000 ... Steve also supported me with instructions & help ... WOW !!! What a great team ... "Your the man" (Men) ... Both of these men have gone "beyond the call of duty" If any one needs more information, Please feel free to contact me ... 73/Bob W1WYZ ...
Posted November 06. 2006 19:48:32
I’ve owned five FL-7000’s over the past 20 years and although they operated satisfactorily, they had their faults. (No Pun Intended). With the recommendations of several sources, I sent one of my two remaining amps down to Bill/N4ATS to “heal” it.
It was faulting regularly and output power was down to below 400 watts. Bill did a thorough checkout and discovered two of the final power transistors had experienced meltdown. He replaced those, completed his magic “desensing mods”, aligned and generally tuned it to “better than” specs. It’s back in the shack now and just completed a busy three days of trouble free QSO’s. Many Thanks, Bill, and my second FL-7000 will be shipped shortly. Jim/KE3NK
Posted September 30. 2006 08:38:16
Bill Grassa (N4ATS) is the 'go to guy' on these amplifiers. I have known Bill for several years now via a CB website. Bill is a master technician and repair-man for all types of rigs and HF gear. However, his passion is the FL-7000, modifying about 20+ a month!
Back in June of 2006, I purchased a 3 button, Yaesu FL-7000 from my elemr KE3NK. The amp needed updating and modification. It worked fine, but I knew it needed the touch from Bill so I shipped it down to him without even using it myself in my shack! His reputation is that good!,...
Bill modified and updated everything, including all the Yaesu bulletins. He even changed out and replaced the Yaesu processing board to track the bands at no extra charge to me. I would say that the amp was completed and re-shipped to me within two weeks! Fast turnaround time! WOW!
Bill is also a fine customer service agent,... he forwarded his cell#, work#, and home# to me so as to stay in touch. He even took a call at his work to help me with a PTT cable question I had and to do some testing.
Bill's name is well known in amateur circles here in Northern Virginia as I overheard a few hams talking about sending their FL-7000's down to him at a recent hamfest,... I guess the word is out?!,... and well deserved for Bill! I would recommend him without any hesitation as he is a true asset to the FL-7000 owner.
BTW, the amp works flawlessly,... full output with low drive from my Kenwwod gear. It runs cool on 120V, and the turbo fans haven't even kicked on yet.
In conclusion, Bill will take care of you and your amp. He is reasonably priced, even stating that he is not here "to make a living off the 7000." If there is an issue, Bill WILL make it right
Thanks again Bill for taking care of me!
73 Bruce K4BOF
Posted July 31. 2006 17:48:32
Purchased a FL-7000 from a ham in New England and had it sent to Bill N4ATS for check out and updating. To my supprise Bill checked out the amp thouroughly and did the current mods to it at a very modest cost! I would recommend Bill to anyone having a FL-7000 and needing repairs,mods or just to have him go through it to perk it up! Well when I got it I had some problems getting it to act right and a call to Bill took care of that! Bill stayed on the phone with me till he figured out what the problem was,told me what to do and I did it that night. The next day I got a call from Bill checking up on how the amp was running and I told him it was PERFECT! When was the last time someone took the time to call you back to check on wether the problem was resolved or not! Bill does!!! I would recommend Bill N4ATS for any FL-7000 needs!!! Rich N9CEX
Posted June 08. 2006 20:59:17
I can't say enough good things about Bill N4ATS. I've happily owned my L7000 for about 16 years now however recently I managed to blow it up. At first glance it the damage didn't look too bad, however as Bill got into the amp it became obvious the damage was severe. Bill turned a totallydisastrous situation into a one I could live with. Somehow I manage to blow a relay, the LPF board and all the finals! Bill went way above and beyond the call of duty in that he procured many of the parts from 'donor' amps. As much damage as there was I had the amp back in record time. Thanks for the miracle Bill! I highly recommend N4ATS to anyone who owns an FL7000, his mods are a must and his repairs first class. 73, Rich Vitello - W1RV