[AMRadio] RE: Using a Ranger as a driver

Gary Schafer garyschafer at comcast.net
Wed Feb 13 17:18:29 EST 2008

Yes of course you are right John. I tried to simplify the power out of the
modulator explanation but didn't do too well. The modulator power does drop
off as its load impedance is increased. 

Percentage of modulation increases with the square of power increase. So 50%
modulation requires only 1/4 the power that 100% requires.

Gary K4FMX

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Coleman [mailto:jc at pctechref.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:19 PM
> To: garyschafer at comcast.net; 'Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur
> Service'
> Subject: RE: [AMRadio] RE: Using a Ranger as a driver
> Yes more than voltage is required; current from the modulator is also
> required.  The amount of current depends on the EP/IP ratio of the final.
> So as the final is loaded heavier for more IP then the modulator will be
> required to produce more current as well as the previously required
> voltage
> for 100% modulation.
> If the RF Final is tuned for less current the Modulator will also reduce
> its
> audio current output while the audio voltage rises.  But the current will
> reduce faster than the voltage increases so that the modulation power is
> actually less even though the rig may now be over modulated.  This can be
> proven by setting the modulation to about 50% with a tone, then make note
> of
> the modulator current of the class B modulators.  Now while the rig is
> modulating, putting power into a dummy load, reduce Ip of the final by
> re-tuning a little till the current is about 50%.  Note the modulation
> percentage level on the scope has increased and the class B modulators are
> drawing less current.
> John, WA5BXO
> -----Original Message-----
> From: amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net
> [mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Gary Schafer
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:20 AM
> To: 'Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service'
> Subject: RE: [AMRadio] RE: Using a Ranger as a driver
> While it is true that for 100% modulation the modulation voltage must be
> equal to the final plate voltage. But it is also misleading to say that it
> is strictly a function of modulation voltage.
> If it were only voltage needed then we could use a very high step up ratio
> modulation transformer to accomplish modulation.
> The modulation transformer secondary works into a certain load impedance
> (resistance) supplied by the final plate circuit of the RF stage. While it
> is true that the modulation voltage must match the final plate voltage
> (for
> 100% modulation), it must also supply current to that load impedance in
> order to be able to produce that voltage. Voltage times that current
> equals
> power required of the modulator. After all, all of the side band power of
> the modulated signal comes from the modulator.
> If we have a transmitter that is not 100% modulated by a certain amount of
> audio power and we decrease the power of the RF stage the modulation power
> will remain the same but the modulation percentage will increase.
> By increasing the load impedance of the RF stage (by reducing its plate
> current) the modulation transformer can produce more modulation voltage
> because it is working into a higher load impedance. But if we don't turn
> down the modulation level the modulator will still produce the same amount
> of power that it did before. The difference is the voltage out will be
> higher and the current lower. This is assuming that the final is still not
> being over modulated.
> If we go too far at letting the modulation voltage rise on the RF stage by
> further reduction of the RF stage plate current we will run out of plate
> swing room on the modulator tubes. The impedance rise on the RF stage is
> reflected back to modulator tubes. When that happens clipping will occur
> in
> the modulator plates. At this point we would need to change the modulation
> transformer ratio so that the modulator tubes see a lower impedance to
> keep
> them operating within their plate current range.
> 73
> Gary  K4FMX
> >
> > OTOH, the modulator is looking at a load that is determined directly by
> > The
> > RF stage ratio of Ep/IP.
> >
> > For some reason most people look at modulator power as a determination
> of
> > modulation percentage and this is some what misleading.  It is really
> > easier
> > to just say that the peak audio voltage delivered by the modulator must
> > equal or exceed the DC voltage on the final RF amp for 100% modulation.
> >
> > If the DC voltage is 600V on the RF class C final then the modulator
> must
> > be
> > capable of at least 600V peak or 1200 Volts peak to peak, because for
> 100
> > percent modulation the DC on the final must vary down to 0 Volts and up
> to
> > twice the DC value.
> >
> >
> > If a XMTR is unloaded to draw less plate current (Ip) the plate voltage
> > will
> > remain at the same voltage.  If there is less current being pulled by
> the
> > final but the voltage is the same then the Z seen by the modulator is
> > higher
> > than before.  The higher resistance that the audio is looking into makes
> > it
> > easier to produce the needed voltage.  It is easier for the one
> modulator
> > (the same mod XFMR ratio) to modulate a 60 watt rig with 600V than a 100
> > watt rig with 600 Volts.  Matching the impedance is not necessary. It is
> > often confused with the statement that says "when the load Z equals the
> > source Z there will be maximum power transfer".  This is a true
> statement.
> > But power transfer is not the issue here.  Getting the voltage on the
> > final
> > to swing from 0 to 2*DC with out distortion, that is the issue.  Of
> course
> > we won't to do that at a power level determined by our needs.
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