Pyramid PS-36KX Power Supply Review
When it comes time that you want to run a bigger mobile radio (RCI-2970, Galaxy 95T, etc) on your base you're going to need a power supply that can provide enough juice. Some people also are interested in running a small mobile CB with a small amplifier and same as above it means you'll need to upgrade your power supply.
Now there are some great power supplies out there to choose from, Astron, MFJ, Tripp-Lite and others that are all high quality. The problem for most CBer's is that those high end power supplies also have a higher price.
Enter the Pyramid brand power supplies. They are a excellent choice for CBer's on a budget and you can get quite a lot of bang for your buck.
Most CB radios will pull less than 5 amps, and most dual final export radios will need less than 12 amps. High power radios such as the 2970 and 95T can draw 20-30amps once the radios are tuned up. A small 2 pill amplifier can draw 20-30 amps.
So basically when stepping up to a CB + amplifier or high powered radio your best bet is to go with something that is larger than 30 amps. The Pyramid 36KX meets those requirements and has been an excellent choice for me as a bench power supply.
When I first received the power supply I noticed it's quite heavy which is an indicator that it uses older power supply technology which is fine - but if weight is an issue be aware that companies such as MFJ now have power supplies that can provide the same amperage at a fraction of the weight.
The Pyramid 36KX uses dual display windows, one to show the amperage draw and one to show the voltage level. The power supply has a voltage adjustment so you can vary the amount of voltage depending on the amount needed.
The power supply has terminals in the front that have holes drilled through them so you can push your wire through the hole and then tighten the plastic screw cap down to secure it in place.
The on/off switch is a lighted rocker switch which has a solid feel and lights up when the power supply is on. This power switch is really the only weak point I can complain about on this piece of equipment. After about 2 months of use the switch stopped working. I took it apart and found that the small piece inside that slides back and forth and engages the switch had broken off.
I made a call to the company that builds the Pyramid power supplies (Pyramid Car Audio) and they sent me a new switch under warranty within about 2 weeks. I soldered in the new switch and it seems to working very well again. The Pyramid people were a little hard to track down and get a response from for the warranty, but once I got a hold of the right person they sent out the item pretty quickly. (Picture of the switch from the inside shown below after re-installation).
So far with this power supply I've been able to run dual final export radios without any difficulty as well as a RCI-2970DX. I've also been able to run a Uniden Grant XL + Midnight Special 250 amplifier with this power supply and found that it could competently handle the draw. Now I did try running a CB + 300 watt amplifier and when the draw got to around 32 amps you could hear the fan in the power supply slow down and the lights on the CB dimmed a bit, so I'd say that realistically around 30 amps draw is pushing the power supply pretty good and anything over that will probably shorten the life of the power supply.
I've had zero problems with RF or any interference coming through the power lines and power supply, on a quiet night the radio doesn't have any hum or buzz in the receive (something I experienced with the Radio Shack brand power supplies). It has an internal cooling fan and I have not noticed any heating up during use.
After 6 months of use I can say I'm very happy with the performance of this power supply. Unlike many people who leave theirs on all the time I turn my on/off daily and the power supply has handled the use very well. I've used it to test and power multiple radios, amplifiers and other electronics and it's met my needs in every way.
Aside from replacing the power switch (which is the same kind of switch used on many other products) I have no complaints and feel good recommending the pyramid brand as a lower cost alternative to a Astron or MFJ.
Some additional pictures of the power supply are shown below