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300 Watt Fet Amp Apt9801

300 Watt Fet Amp Apt9801



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Published by Stephen Dunifer

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Published by: Stephen Dunifer on Nov 23, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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   A   P   P   L   I   C   A   T   I   O   N   N   O   T   E
A Push-Pull 300 Watt Amplifierfor 81.36 MHz
Reprinted from the April 1998 issue of 
Applied Microwave and Wireless
Magazinecourtesy of Noble Publishing Crporation
APT9801By: Richard Frey, P.E.
Power Amplifier
A Push-Pull 300-watt Amplifierfor 81.36 MHz
This design uses low cost power FETs that bridge the gap betweentypical power devices and specialized RF devices
Richard FreyAdvanced Power Technology
ower amplifiers for 80 MHz havetypically used expensive ceramic-metal packaged RF devices. The useof an inexpensive TO-247 packaged tran-sistor with an innovative internal deviceconnection provides the basis for the costeffective design presented here. This arti-cle describes a 300 watt amplifier for 81.36MHz using a push-pull pair of plastic pack-aged devices. The design techniques andconstruction practices are described inenough detail to permit duplication of theamplifier.
Devices used in the amplifier
The devices used in the amplifier are theARF449A and ARF449B symmetrical pair(see photo). These devices are targeted forhigh voltage, single frequency, class Coperation. The operating voltage for theamplifier will be 125 volts. This was chosen as acompromise between the maximum availablegain voltage and ruggedness when operatinginto high VSWR loads. These are a mirror-image connected pair of MOSFETs, each withthe following characteristics:BV
:450 VP
165 W for T
= 25°CR
:.72 ohmC
:980 pFC
:87 pFC
:25 pFBecause there are several different applica-tions opportunities around 80 MHz, the secondharmonic of the 40.68 MHz ISM (Industrial-Scientific-Medical) frequency allocation waschosen as the operating frequency. The designgoals for the amplifier are:Frequency:81.36 MHzOutput power:300 W max. CW600 W max. 50% duty cycleInput VSWR:<2:1Power gain:>12 dBEfficiency :>70%Harmonics: <–30dBc
Amplifier description
The circuit is classic push-pull. The inputtransformer provides balanced drive to thegates through a balanced matching network.The gates are kept at ground potential by resis-tors on each side of the transformer secondary,although a single resistor at the secondary cen-ter tap would work as well. The output signalsfrom each drain go through identical matchingnetworks to a simple coax balun. The powderediron coil form on the output balun lowers theloss which would otherwise be inherent in the
36Applied Microwave & Wireless
These low cost, plastic packaged power FET devicespower the amplifier described in this article.
Power Amplifier
38Applied Microwave & Wireless
longer piece of coax required to obtain theminimum necessary common modeimpedance.
Amplifier design
In order to make the amplifier easy toduplicate, the design makes minimumuse of special parts and magnetic materi-als. Operation at 80 MHz is not withoutsome challenge. At this frequency, theactual value of discrete parts is generallyfar from their marked value. Surfacemount multi-layer capacitors with NPOdielectric are used. Initial attempts to useZ5U dielectric capacitors came to a spec-tacular end.A single ended amplifier using theARF449A was used to characterize thedevice and to determine the input andoutput characteristics. The input imped-ance was measured using a vector imped-ance bridge, but not without some diffi-culty. Z
was determined to be 0.3 + j2.75. This indicates that the internal leadbonding inductance, approximately 9 nH,is of greater magnitude than the 970 pFinput capacitance. The output impedancewas determined to be 9.14 – j12.6.Using this information, single endedmatching networks for the amplifier weredesigned using commonly available SmithChart software. Since neither of the soft-ware packages used will properly addressa push-pull configuration, the matchingcircuits for the input and output weredesigned as single-ended, and the valuesobtained were transposed for the higherimpedance, balanced configuration of push-pull.The input matching design is shown inFigure 1. The winSmith [1] softwarepackage was used to select proper valuesfor the components. The low impedanceof the gate circuit makes it critical tomaintain absolute symmetry in this area.In Figure 1, L1 is the leakage reactance of T1. C1 is the net capacitance of the inputtrimmer capacitor. It is a mica compression trimmer andcare must be taken in selecting the size and value toassure it is operated well below its series resonant fre-quency. A suitable clad mica fixed capacitor could besubstituted for C1 once the proper value is determined.TL1 is 0.2 inch wide or 35 ohms and is 1.80 inches long.The single ended design is changed to push-pull simplyby duplicating the series elements on the mirrored sideand reducing the shunt elements by half.For the purpose of illustration in this paper, thewinSmith screen image was captured, and the resultingbit map was edited to reduce the complexity of the display.The input transformer design was chosen for its sim-plicity and relative ease of construction. Of severalattempts using higher permeability material, multiplebeads, and different conductor types, this proved to bethe best performing and most consistent. The core usedis a Fair-Rite [2] “multi-aperture core,” part number2843010402. The type 43 material has a µ 
of 850. Thistransformer is essential in providing a balanced drive tothe gates of the MOSFETs. 3/16 inch diameter brasstubing was used for the secondary winding. Copper shimstock was used to form the connections to the brass tub-ing at each end of the transformer secondary. The two-turn primary winding is wound inside the tubing. Thisconstruction provides a very reproducible transformer
Figure 1. Amplifier input matching circuit.
Figure 2. Amplifier output matching circuit.

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