[AMRadio] Re:Reactor Wanted

Brett Gazdzinski brett.gazdzinski at verizon.net
Mon Nov 12 18:36:55 EST 2007

I suppose the added voltage makes the tubes run more as they like, and make
much more power then needed.

Really, the power needed seems to be much more than 50% plus the
loss in the mod iron,, I would recomend the same power out of the modulator
 RF input.

The 4X150a deck can produce 650 watts of audio at 2000 volts and 500ma.
I have done lots of expeiments over the years, with different mod iron,
modified hysing,
and since both the mod and rf deck are variac'd, lots of different power
and voltages.

Things always seem to work better reducing the RF current, and increasing
the mod

Its my theory that the extra mod voltage allows the tubes to run in the low
distortion range, and the RF tubes have reserve emission for modulation

I also dont take current design (or old designs) as the best way to do
only the cheapest way of doing something, that is why I have nothing but
home brew
stuff left in the shack.
Never had a commercial or ham piece of gear where they did not cut corners
to reduce costs. WRL made that an art....


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Dover" <quixote2 at ix.netcom.com>
To: "Brett Gazdzinski" <brett.gazdzinski at verizon.net>; "Discussion of AM
Radio in the Amateur Service" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>; "Discussion of AM
Radio in the Amateur Service" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Re:Reactor Wanted

> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Brett Gazdzinski <brett.gazdzinski at verizon.net>
> >Sent: Nov 12, 2007 12:14 PM
> >To: Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service
<amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> >Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Re:Reactor Wanted
> >
> >I also run 2000 volts on the plates of the modulator, 4x150a's, and
> >1500
> >volts on the pair of 813's in the final.
> >
> >It seems to like it that way, i have done experiments as both supplies
> >have variacs, things always seem to modulate better, and sound better
> >with more mod voltage.
> >
> >Brett
> >N2DTS
> >
> Howdy, Brett!
> Interesting indeed.
> That approach flies in the face of decades of design convention; as a
rule, AM
> rigs either use the same supply for mods and final, or as the rig gets
> the mod has it's own supply which is usually a lower voltage than the PA
> supply.
> The only reason I can see for improved performance using this approach
would be
> that when used conventionally the modulator operating parameters were
> chosen for low distortion AT THE POWER LEVEL REQUIRED. I've noted over the
> that most ham designers tend to be very optimistic when it comes to
estimating the
> power that they'll get out of a modulator, and tend to not recognize what
> lose in the transformer, especially those losses that come from a
> impedance mismatch between the mod plates and the PA load impedances.
> The usual result is that they can't get to 100% modulation, or if they're
using a
> pair of pentodes or tetrodes as modulators, they find it necessary to run
the tubes
> well into the nonlinear area of the curves caused by the action of the
screen grid
> in order to get enough power.
> Jacking up the plate voltage to the modulator is ONE way to get the
additional watts
> needed without correcting the design defects that caused the problems in
the first
> place. In addition to giving more audio power, raising mod plate voltage
will also
> increase the amount of low distortion headroom the modulator has
> Other than that, I can't see ANY reason, either in terms of physics or
> for raising mod plate voltage above the PA causing an inherent increase in
> quality.
> On the other hand...  if the modulator parameters have been properly
chosen in the
> design, AND losses in the mod transformer and due to the (almost
inevitable) minor
> impedance mismatch are taken into account (so that it's not necessary to
drive the
> mod tubes into nonlinearity) when the mod is run at the same B+ voltage as
the PA
> or less, jacking up modulator plate voltage shouldn't make ANY difference
> in resulting signal quality...  except INCREASING the distortion, caused
by the
> change in mod tube plate to plate impedance creating a mismatch with the
PA load!
> What it boils down to is this...
> It's GOOD to design a modulator that's capable of producing MORE than 50%
of the PA's
> input (i.e., a mod that has some headroom) no matter WHAT the plate
voltage of the
> modulator is relative to the PA. If it's got headroom, it's gonna distort
> It's BAD to underestimate mod transformer losses (figure 20% or more of
the audio you
> put into it ain't gonna come back out). It's even WORSE to pull another
common ham
> stunt, driving your mod transformer core toward saturation (face it... mod
> are getting harder and harder to find, and they AIN'T CHEAP anymore. Using
too small
> a transformer for the design is VERY tempting sometimes).
> 73's,
> Mr. T., W9LBB
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