Alpha Radio Products Forms a New Company
Dear Alpha Customer:
I have some exciting news about some big changes at Alpha Radio Products. A newly formed company, RF Concepts, LLC, has acquired all the assets of Alpha Radio Products. RF Concepts will manufacture the world-class amplifiers and other products that, for more than 40 years, our community has come to appreciate. The 3CX1500A7 triode-based Alpha 9500 Amplifier, dual 4CX1000 tetrode-based Alpha 8410 Amplifier, legal-limit Model 2100 Dummy Load/Wattmeter combo, and line of 4500 Wattmeters will continue to be handmade in our Boulder Colorado factory.
Here’s the story about my involvement with Alpha Radio Products and the new company, RF Concepts, LLC:
I’m Michael Seedman, AA6DY. I was originally licensed in 1969 as WN6FUE, about the time that ETO released their first linear amplifier, the ALPHA SEVENTY. I remember reading QST, CQ, and Ham Radio Magazine cover to cover. Do you remember the Alpha ad where they put a brick on the straight key to signify “Full power, no limits”? I sure do — and ever since then I’ve wanted to own an Alpha amplifier. During the last 40 years, my specific interests in Ham Radio have varied. Sometimes I spent my time building receivers, sometimes building transmitters, sometimes stringing antennas in the trees, and sometimes building QRP rigs. I’ve even built a homebrew 4-1000A based Linear Amplifier. Recently I’ve spent my spare time working DX. As my friend Jack Hudson, W9MU, says, “Life is too short for QRP when you’re collecting countries.” So I set out to build a QRO HF station. I ordered an HF rig, strung a couple of dipoles in the trees, and went looking for an amplifier. Of course, not just any amplifier, it had to be an Alpha. A few visits to eBay later I had a used Alpha 87A in my shack.
What a difference a few watts make. It didn’t take long to rack up a couple hundred countries with my Alpha 87A loafing along at 1500 watts output. Soon the dipoles came down and the two-element Steppir went up. There’s nothing more exciting than a callback when you’re trying to bust a pileup. I was so impressed with my Alpha 87A that I called Alpha to purchase a new 9500. I was disappointed to learn that I would not receive it for months.
Molly Hardman, W0MOM, the president of Alpha Radio Products, explained that each amp is handmade. Although she said she’d love to put Alpha amplifiers on the shelf, she has had a difficult time financing the inventory necessary to do just that. Hers was a just-in-time manufacturing environment, and she held enough inventory to work on just a few orders. She shared some of her numbers with me. Together we created a way to capitalize the company in order to put amplifiers in inventory for immediate availability. Customers will no longer have to wait weeks or months to add an Alpha product to their station.
At the beginning of September 2009, the new company RF Concepts, LLC purchased all Alpha Radio Products assets and hired the seasoned team necessary to build these exceptional products. And, we’ve already put some changes in effect to make sure we serve our customers even better than before. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re very excited about the prospects.
Here’s the lineup at the new RF Concepts, LLC:
Molly Hardman (W0MOM) will head up our sales effort as the new Vice President of Sales.
Brad Focken (K0HM), and Glenn Pladsen (AE0Q) will continue their awesome work on the front lines of engineering, service, and support.
Gordon Hardman (W0RUN), the designer who, along with Brad Focken (K0HM), engineered the award-winning Alpha 9500 and Alpha 8410, has joined the company as Vice President of engineering to develop new Alpha-branded products. He’s got some great product ideas and is turning those ideas into reality.
Steve Farkas (WA2NFR), a seasoned executive and very creative engineer, has joined the company as president, responsible for overseeing and operating RF Concepts, LLC.
And here’s what it means for our customers:
Effective September 1, 2009, we’ve lowered pricing on all Alpha products:
The Alpha 9500 Amplifier will be reduced from $10,150 to $7,950.
The Alpha 8410 Amplifier will be reduced from $5,895 to $4,995.
The Alpha 2100 Dummy load with its integrated wattmeter will be reduced from $1,950 to $1,495.
The Alpha 4520 Wattmeter will be reduced from $1,195 to $995, the Alpha 4510 Wattmeter will be reduced from $1,095 to $945; its front-panel-less computer-connected cousins, the Alpha 4505 and 4515, will be reduced to $545 and $595 respectively.
• All customers who have orders pending with Alpha Radio Products will receive their new Alpha amplifiers from RF Concepts at the new, lower price. Any deposits made at Alpha Radio Products will be applied as discounts to your RF Concepts invoice. For instance, if you ordered an Alpha 9500 at $10,150 and sent Alpha Radio Products a $5,000 deposit, RF Concepts will deliver your Alpha 9500 for $7,950 – $5,000 = $2,950, plus any applicable shipping and taxes.
• If you’re the original owner who received an Alpha amplifier from the factory during the period between March 1, 2009 and August 31, 2009, RF Concepts will give you a credit equal to the difference between your original purchase price and our new price. This effectively retroactively reduces the price you paid for the amp you’ve already received to match our new, lower price. This non-transferrable credit can be applied toward any RF Concepts product (including any Alpha-branded product), through August 31, 2010. Use it today to buy anything in our product line, or save it and use it later on one of our upcoming products. Please understand that the credit can be redeemed only at RF Concepts and has no cash value. It’s our way of saying thanks for being an Alpha Radio Products customer.
We will focus on shipping our backlog of Alpha amplifiers and building sufficient product to ship from stock. No more waiting for delivery while your amp is being built. When you’re ready to place an Alpha amp at your operating position, give us a call.
We will continue to operate from the existing Boulder, Colorado factory, use the same phone number 303-472-9232, and retain the www.alpharadioproducts.com URL along with the new www.rfconcepts.com URL. We will honor our existing customer commitments, including warranties, customer and technical support, and repairs, and keep our extensive parts inventories to support the more than 10,000 Alpha amplifiers in the market.
Please visit us online, drop us a note, call us, or stop by our booth at one of the many Amateur Radio conventions and Hamfests we’ll be attending this year.
We are grateful that you have chosen Alpha Radio Products, and look forward to serving you in the future.
Michael Seedman, AA6DY
RF Concepts, LLC