After a discussion last night and a few beers with G0RQQ and M6ZRT I began to question if I really need to own my amplifier. These are expensive toys and even more expensive when they are hardly used. So far my contacts using it are so few and far between it would be fair to say it has perhaps cost me £25-50 per contact when you divide the purchase price over the contacts made using it.
I thought I always wanted or needed a decent amplifier, as it turns out it might not really make that much difference to my radio hobby after all and may just be a very expensive thing to have sat there doing nothing. Sure I know there is a place for higher power in the hobby but my question is do I personally need it. It can help with contacts, but I never feel a sense of achievement when I have used it like when using 100w or even on QRP.
Conditions have been good recently and the one thing that makes me think twice is that conditions will drop off again soon, but then when they were low before for a long time I only had a FT-817 and 5w maximum power. Did I have fun with that radio? Sure I did and I enjoyed the feeling of achievement that came from every QSO no matter how near or far.
What do you think? Is there a need for an amplifier? Comments welcome.