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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Yet more on 3cm (10 GHz)


Following my efforts last time, I managed to get my hands on a 10GHz power amplifier (of sorts):

 This delivers a huge 1W out on 10368 MHz and requires 50mW drive.

According to the transverter manual, I need a sequencer to work this kind of set up properly:

It seems a little strange to me as the Transverter is put into TX first, then the changeover relay and then the PA. I would have thought the relay, PA then transverter so we generate RF last, but hey-ho.

I did a quick design of a simple sequencer:

And here it is prototyped on the bench:

It was giving me about 500ms delay between the relay and the PA on TX:

and about half of that on TX Off:

So I made the circuit on some veroboard and stuck it to the top of the PA:

I also made a latching relay driver from here and bunged it all in a bigger box.

Now, I configured my XL Microwave power meter to read frequency and power and hooked it to the transverter output and adjusted the TX gain to give me 20dBm out. I then hooked that to the input of the PA.

I'm reading about 27dBm out on TX which is 3dB short of target (so half power!). The PA has a voltage point to measure TX power and the sheet that came with it says 2.7V is 1W out, I'm measuring more like 3.5V at that pin so implying that I am over-driving the PA. It's so difficult at these frequencies to know whats accurate and whats not. When I measure the output of the transverter I have to use a 20dB attenuation - I don't know how accurate that is at 10 GHz for a start! Then there will also be losses in the interconnecting cables; so it's all a bit of a muddle.

So I am suitably confused at the moment!

Here's our lovely Florrie Cat proudly sitting in an empty egg box:

Local conditions.

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