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
165 W for T
: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
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.