AL-80B Instruction Manual
AL-80B Instruction Manual
WARNING!!!
NEVER APPLY POWER TO THIS AMPLIFIER WITH THE COVER REMOVED!
CONTACT WITH THE VOLTAGES INSIDE THIS AMPLIFIER CAN BE FATAL!
PLEASE READ THIS MANUAL BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO OPERATE EQUIPMENT!
Improper or abusive operation of this amplifier can damage the tubes or other components in
this amplifier. Damage caused by improper or abusive operation is not covered under the
warranty policy.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Unpacking Instructions
Remove the 3-500Z tube from its shipping carton. Carefully inspect the tube for visible damage.
Look for bent or broken pins. Roll the tube over slowly while listening and watching for loose
internal materials. Be sure the anode is not off center at the end away from the anode connector.
Contact either your Ameritron dealer or Ameritron immediately if any damage exists.
Carefully lift the amplifier from the shipping carton, and place it on a firm, level surface. Inspect
the amplifier for shipping damage. Contact either your Ameritron dealer or Ameritron
immediately if any damage exists. Remove the cover screws with a #2 Phillips screwdriver.
Save the screws to re-secure the cover. Carefully lift the rear of the cover while sliding the cover
back. The AL-80B is shipped with the fuses and fuse caps packed inside the amplifier.
Additional screws will be included in the fuse pack if they are required.
WARNING: Never remove the cover while this amplifier is connected to the power
mains! Contact with the voltages in this amplifier can be fatal.
The tube must be installed in its socket prior to operation. Observe the pin configuration on the
tube and the socket. One of the pins is separated by a large space from the other four pins.
Carefully observe the pin alignment to be sure the tube pins are centered on the socket's holes.
Firmly press the tube into the socket. Do NOT twist or force the tube into the socket.
Install the anode connector on the tube's anode terminal and secure it with the screw provided.
Snug the screw enough to secure the anode connector. Do not over-tighten the screw.
Install the fuses and fuse caps on the back of the amplifier. This amplifier uses two 20A fuses
for standard 120 Vac operation (models B and BY) or two 10A fuses for 240 Vac operation
(model BX only). If you wish to operate the amplifier on a line voltage other than 120 Vac, the
jumpers on the power transformer primary windings must be changed. If the primary wiring is
changed, the correct fuses must be installed. See the "Transformer Connections" section on page
12 for more information.
CAUTION
:
Always use fast-blow fuses rated at 250 Vac or higher. NEVER use standard
automotive glass fuses or slow-blow fuses.
The top cover should now be installed with the side ventilation holes positioned on the left (front
view). The ventilation holes on the top of the cover should be on the right side of the amplifier
(front view). Secure the cover by installing the corner screws first. Install all the screws loosely
until every screw is in place. Tighten the screws after they have all been installed.
Note: Save all packing materials for future shipping. The packing materials used to ship this
amplifier are specially designed to prevent damage. Replacement packing materials
may be purchased from Ameritron if original packing materials are unavailable.
Ameritron will NOT be responsible for re-shipping damage due to improper packing.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Ameritron AL-80B
1000 watt PEP Linear Amplifier Instruction Manual
Features ....................................................................................................................................... 1
AL-80B Technical Specifications ............................................................................................... 2
Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 3
Safety Interlock ............................................................................................................... 3
Circuit Descriptions..................................................................................................................... 4
ALC ................................................................................................................................. 4
Dynamic Bias .................................................................................................................. 4
Power Supply .............................................................................................................................. 5
Filament Supply .............................................................................................................. 5
Plate (HV) Supply ........................................................................................................... 5
Meters.......................................................................................................................................... 5
Current Meter (plate and grid): ....................................................................................... 5
Multimeter....................................................................................................................... 6
Multimeter Functions ...................................................................................................... 6
Wattmeter Circuit............................................................................................................ 7
Peak Envelope Power vs. Average Power....................................................................... 7
Tube Life ..................................................................................................................................... 8
Export Modifications .................................................................................................................. 9
Technical Assistance ................................................................................................................... 9
Installation Guidelines And Suggestions .................................................................................... 10
Location Of The Amplifier.............................................................................................. 10
Ventilation....................................................................................................................... 10
Power Connections.......................................................................................................... 10
Grounding........................................................................................................................ 11
Transformer Connections ............................................................................................................ 12
Interconnections .......................................................................................................................... 13
Operating Instructions And Guidelines ....................................................................................... 13
Front Panel Controls........................................................................................................ 13
"MULTIMETER" Switch ................................................................................... 13
"OFF-ON" Switch ............................................................................................... 13
"STBY-OPR" Switch .......................................................................................... 14
"PLATE" Control ................................................................................................ 14
"LOAD" Control ................................................................................................. 14
ALC Metering, Controls, and Adjustments..................................................................... 14
ALC Metering Functions..................................................................................... 14
ALC Controls ...................................................................................................... 15
ALC Adjustments................................................................................................ 15
Rear-panel "ALC LIMIT" control ................................................................................... 16
ALC Limit Adjustment (rear panel) ................................................................................ 17
Driving Power ............................................................................................................................. 17
Tuning ......................................................................................................................................... 18
Tuning Procedure ............................................................................................................ 18
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Additional SSB Notes ................................................................................................................. 22
AM (Amplitude Modulation) Operation ..................................................................................... 22
FM (Frequency Modulation), RTTY, and Digital Operation...................................................... 22
Audio Distortion.......................................................................................................................... 22
QSK Operation............................................................................................................................ 23
Periodic Maintenance.................................................................................................................. 23
Parts List...................................................................................................................................... 25
Power Supply / SWR Board (50-0080-1)....................................................................... 25
Tuned Input Board (50-0080-2) ...................................................................................... 26
AL-80B Tuned Input Chart ............................................................................................. 26
Meter Board (50-0080-3) ................................................................................................ 26
Timer / Overload Board (50-0080-5) .............................................................................. 27
Al-80B Main Chassis Parts List ...................................................................................... 28
Frequency Coverage.................................................................................................................... 29
Amplifier Tuning Log ................................................................................................................. 29
Notes................................................................................................................................ 30
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Features
•
The AL-80B uses a rugged, inexpensive 3-500Z tube.
•
The 3-500Z requires only a few seconds of warm-up time.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
1
A dynamic bias circuit eliminates hundreds of watts of unnecessary heat generation in the
power amplifier tube. The result is cooler operation and longer component life.
A multi-voltage heavy-duty transformer with a unique "buck-boost" winding allows
adjustment of the primary voltage to 14 different voltages centered on 115 and 230 Vac. This
versatile Ameritron feature allows the user to select the optimum primary voltage for maximum
performance and life.
The tuning and loading controls have vernier 6:1 reduction drives for smooth tuning.
Logging scales allow quick and repeatable control adjustments for rapid band changes.
The AL-80B has two illuminated cross-needle panel meters. The left meter provides a
continuous reading of grid and plate currents. The right meter indicates peak RF power output
on one scale and Plate Voltage (HV), Reflected power and SWR (REF), ALC detector voltage
(ALC), and ALC adjustment level (ALC SET) on the other.
Filament and plate voltages are maintained using the "STBY/OPR" switch. This allows the
amplifier to be conveniently bypassed for "barefoot" operation.
A front panel "ALC SET" control allows convenient adjustment of the ALC threshold. The
unique ALC circuit samples the grid current and power supply voltage.
An "XMT" LED on the front panel indicates proper keying of the amplifier by the exciter.
A rear panel "12 V" auxiliary output jack provides up to 200 mA at 12 Vdc for accessories
such as the ATR-15 Antenna Tuner.
A step-start circuit limits the inrush current to the power supply and tube filament. This circuit
extends the life of the amplifier components.
AL-80B Instruction Manual
AL-80B Technical Specifications
Input:
Circuit type:
Maximum VSWR at resonance:
Minimum 2:1 VSWR bandwidth:
Maximum drive power permissible:
Typical drive for full power output:
Output:
Circuit type:
Typical SSB PEP voice operation:
CW continuous operation:
1/2 hour PEP two-tone test:
1/2 hour continuous carrier (RTTY):
Frequency Coverage:
Pi-network, slug tuned coils
1.3:1 or less
20% of center frequency
100 watts PEP
85 watts
Third Order IMD:
Pi-L, Pi-network
1000+ watts
800 watts
850 watts
500 watts
1.8 to 21 MHz amateur bands. (Export models include
24.5 and 28 MHz)
-35 dB or better (at rated output)
Efficiency:
CW:
SSB:
approximately 65%
approximately 65% (envelope crest)
Power Supply:
Circuit type:
No load voltage:
Full load voltage:
Full load current:
Regulation:
Transformer:
Capacitors:
Normal line current at rated CW output:
Normal line current at 1000 watt PEP output:
Power line current in standby:
Full wave voltage doubler
3100 V
2700 V
.6 A
>13%
26 lb. E-I lamination grain oriented
26 mFd total, computer grade
12 A at 120 Vac
8 A at 120 Vac
1 A at 120 Vac
Tube:
Type:
Continuous dissipation:
Warm-up time:
Estimated life:
3-500Z
500 watts
10 seconds
12,000 hours ICAS
Metering:
Multimeter:
Current meter:
Peak forward power (continuous). The second scale switches between peak reflected
power (and SWR), ALC threshold, ALC output voltage, and high voltage.
Plate and grid current (simultaneously) on separate scales.
ALC:
Negative going, 0 to 10 volts, adjustable.
Relay:
Requires contact closure or sink of +12 Vdc at 100 mA. Back pulse protected.
Connectors:
RF:
Line:
Others:
SO-239
NEMA 5-15P, standard 120 V three wire
RCA Phono
Physical:
Dimensions:
Weight:
15-1/2" D x 14-1/2" W x 8-1/2" H
48 lbs.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Introduction
The Ameritron AL-80B is an 800 watt CW, 1000 watt PEP output linear amplifier that operates on
all Amateur bands from 160 through 15 meters. The AL-80BX and AL-80BY are export models
that operate from 160 through 10 meters. Export modification instructions are available with proof
of a valid amateur radio license.
The AL-80B uses a single 3-500Z tube in a class AB2 grounded grid circuit. High-quality power
supply and RF components combine with an accurate peak-detecting directional coupler, front panel
adjustable true ALC circuit, and automatic bias switching to make this the best featured and most
reliable single 3-500Z amplifier available. The AL-80B and AL-80BY are factory-wired for 120
Vac, 50/60 Hz line voltage. The AL-80BX is factory wired for 240 Vac. All models are easily
converted to other supply voltages between 90 and 250 Vac.
Safety Interlock
The top cover of the AL-80B operates an interlock switch which completes the primary circuit of
the power transformer. The interlock will open and de-energize the transformer primary if the top
cover is removed.
WARNING
:
High voltage can kill!! Accidental contact with the voltages in this amplifier
can be lethal!!!
For your personal safety, please observe the following precautions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
3
NEVER defeat the interlock.
NEVER remove the cover with the amplifier connected to the power line.
ALWAYS allow several minutes for the capacitors to discharge after unplugging the
amplifier and before removing the cover.
ALWAYS select the high-voltage (HV) function of the Multimeter to check the high
voltage potential. Do not remove the cover if voltage is indicated.
ALWAYS ground the tube anode (top metal conductor) to the chassis before touching
anything inside the amplifier.
ALWAYS be cautious of heat. Many components inside the amplifier operate at high
temperatures.
NEVER make any unauthorized component or circuit modifications to this product. The
only acceptable source for modifications is Ameritron or a source approved by Ameritron.
Unauthorized modifications almost certainly will increase the risk of equipment failure or
personal injury.
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Circuit Descriptions
ALC
The AL-80B is one of the few amplifiers using a "true" automatic level control (ALC) circuit. In
this amplifier, the ALC actually samples grid current and power supply loading to determine the
ALC voltage. The front panel "ALC SET" knob adjusts the level of grid current where ALC action
begins. ALC action begins softly over a range of a few milliamperes to minimize distortion. This
soft-touch ALC is an Ameritron exclusive.
The ALC circuit is located on the METER BOARD P/N 50-0080-3 (behind the "MULTIMETER"
switch). IC301 (pins 9 and 10) compares the voltage drop (caused by grid current) across R106 in
the main power supply board. ALC voltage is derived by comparing the grid shunt voltage to the
voltage from the power supply.
The output of IC1 (pin 8) will go negative if the grid shunt voltage exceeds the voltage from divider
R311 and R2 (chassis mounted control), or if the supply voltage sags from excessive line voltage
drop. Pin 8 is followed by current buffer Q303 that sources the negative ALC voltage to the ALC
output jack.
This amplifier includes an ALC Limit control on the rear panel. This control reduces overshoot and
eliminates "motor-boating" (a slow rhythmic fluctuation) in the transmitted signal. These problems
are caused by excessive transceiver ALC attack time delay. This control sets the maximum voltage
level available from the ALC circuit. Adjustment details are given on page 15.
Dynamic Bias
Conventional bias circuits force high power linear amplifiers to dissipate hundreds of watts during
low or no signal periods. This creates needless heat, since virtually no dissipation is required unless
the amplifier is being driven with large signal levels.
The AL-80B contains an exclusive bias circuit that reduces the idling (quiescent) current very close
to the tube's cut-off region. The power amplifier tube in the AL-80B has a full resting period of
very low dissipation between dots and dashes on CW and between words on SSB. The lower idling
current reduces component temperature on both CW and SSB. If only a few milliwatts of RF power
are applied to the amplifier, the quiescent current will increase. Linearity remains excellent with
this circuit because the tube can remain biased for class AB operation without unnecessary standing
dissipation.
The dynamic bias circuit is located on the Power Supply Board P/N 50-0080-1. Diodes D101 and
D102 rectify a small sample of the RF drive voltage. This voltage is applied to the base of dc switch
Q101. If Q101's base is driven with a few microamperes of current from the RF sampling circuit,
Q101's collector will pull the base of PNP transistor Q102 low. This turns dc switch Q102 on.
When Q102 is on, zener diode D103 is connected between the collector and base of Q103.
D103 sets the operating bias. This zener applies forward bias to Q103's base whenever the collector
voltage of Q103 exceeds the voltage of D103. This forward bias will turn Q103 on harder and will
reduce the collector voltage. If the collector voltage is less than the breakdown voltage of D103,
Q103 will move towards cut-off and the collector voltage will increase. Q103 functions as a current
buffer for zener diode D103.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Power Supply
Filament Supply
The filament circuit of this amplifier satisfies all requirements of the tube manufacturer related to
tube performance and life. The filament voltage and inrush current are controlled by the power
transformer's internal resistance and impedance, filament choke resistance, filament wiring
resistance, and the step-start circuit. NEVER replace any circuit components or wiring with
substitute parts. This precaution will insure maximum life for the tube.
Plate (HV) Supply
The plate supply uses a full wave doubler circuit with 200 amp surge rated diodes and a heavy duty
26 pound grain oriented transformer. Filtering is accomplished by a bank of high quality computer
grade capacitors totaling 26 mFd. Large 50k ohm, 7 watt bleeders are used for safety and superior
voltage equalization. The transformer allows user selection of fourteen different line voltages (see
the "Transformer Connections" section on page 12 for details).
Power is supplied through "OFF-ON" switch S2. A 10 ohm resistor (R27) limits the line current
during the filter capacitor charge time to lower component stress. When the filter capacitor
charging current decreases sufficiently, RLY102 shorts the 10 ohm resistor. This applies full power
line voltage to the transformer. The 10 ohm resistor is protected from high-voltage supply shorts by
a 2A slow-blow fuse (F101) during start-up. If F101 or the 10 ohm resistor (R27) fails the amplifier
will not start. If F101 fails from a momentary HV to ground fault, meter protection diode D117 may
also fail. See the "Metering Functions" section that follows for more information.
Meters
Current Meter (plate and grid):
The plate and grid current meter is located on the far left side of the front panel. This meter
indicates the plate current (Ip) on the right-hand meter scale. This scale has a small picket every 25
mA, a large picket every 75 mA, and indicates 750 mA at full deflection.
The left-hand meter scale indicates the grid current (Ig). The small pickets on this "Ig" scale appear
every 10 mA and the larger pickets appear every 50 mA. The full scale "Ig" reading is 250 mA.
The plate and grid meters in this amplifier normally indicate maximum grid current and maximum
RF output at or near the same "PLATE" tuning setting. Maximum grid current and minimum plate
current also generally occur at the same "PLATE" tuning setting.
NOTE: If the grid and plate meters always track (move together in exact step) as the tuning
controls are adjusted and if they show the same approximate amount of pointer
movement, diode D117 on the power supply board could be shorted.
D117 protects the overload circuit (if used) and the meters. This diode is located near the
electrolytic capacitors on outside edge of the main circuit board. D117 will usually short if there is
a large high-voltage-to-chassis current fault. The grid and plate current meters will not read correctly
if this diode fails. If D117 is shorted the overload circuit (if used) may repeatedly trip and the grid
current may appear excessively high before full power is reached.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Multimeter
The multimeter is the meter on the right. It continuously reads the forward peak envelope power on
its left-hand scale (FWD). This scale is calibrated in 100 watt steps up to 2 kW.
The right-hand scale of this meter provides four metering functions that are selected by the
"MULTIMETER" switch. These functions include the measurement of high voltage (HV), reflected
power and SWR (REF), ALC voltage output (ALC), and relative ALC threshold (ALC SET). The
MULTIMETER FUNCTIONS section that follows describes these functions in more detail.
Multimeter Functions
HV:
The multimeter indicates the dc plate voltage applied to the PA tube when the
MULTIMETER switch is placed in the HV position. The correct scale to use is the
ALC/ HV scale. This scale has a picket every 100 volts. Two zeros must be mentally
added behind the numbers indicated on the meter scale (i.e. multiply by 100), so that
"25"=2500 volts and "20"=2000 volts. Do not operate the amplifier if the high voltage
is over 3200 volts with the amplifier on standby. See the "Transformer Connections"
section on page 12 for information on correcting excessive high voltage.
REF:
The multimeter measures the antenna (or load) peak envelope reflected power and the
SWR when the MULTIMETER switch is placed in the REF position. The full scale
reflected power reading is 500 watts. This scale is marked every 10 watts below 100
watts, and every 100 watts from 100 to 500 watts.
Note:
ALC:
The SWR of the load is measured when the "MULTIMETER" is in the REF
position by observing the different red SWR curves. The forward and reflected
power meter pointers will cross each other on, or near, the correct SWR curve.
The multimeter measures the output voltage of the ALC detector when in the ALC
position. The full scale ALC reading is 35 volts and is read directly from the ALC/ HV
scale. The meter should flick upwards occasionally during normal ALC action. See
ALC Circuit operation on page 15 for more information.
ALC SET: The multimeter measures the approximate grid current that will produce ALC activity
when the meter switch is in the ALC SET position. One zero must be added to the
reading on the ALC/ HV scale for this function. For example, ALC action will begin
at approximately 150 mA of grid current (typically between 120 mA and 180 mA)
when the "ALC SET" control is adjusted until the meter reads "15."
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Wattmeter Circuit
The AL-80B wattmeter circuit uses an accurate directional coupler followed by a true peak detector
circuit. This circuit will accurately determine the true peak envelope power (PEP) of normal voice
waveforms. If the load SWR is high, the true power reading will be obtained by subtracting the
reflected power from the forward power.
Peak Envelope Power vs. Average Power
Peak envelope power (PEP) is often misunderstood by amateurs. PEP is not associated with the
sine wave or root-mean-square (RMS) power, and PEP has no fixed ratio to average power on any
mode except FM, FSK or CW. It is impossible to use a formula or "rule of thumb" approximation to
convert between average and peak voice waveform powers.
PEP is the power at the crest (highest point) of the RF envelope waveform. On SSB, the average
power can vary from a few percent of the PEP to over half of the PEP. Generally, the PEP on SSB
is two to five times greater than the average power. A 50 watt average power SSB signal could have
peak envelope powers that are lower than 100 watts or that exceed 250 watts.
On CW and other constant amplitude modes (such as FM or RTTY), the PEP is always equal to the
average power. On CW, FM or RTTY 1000 watts of average power produces exactly 1000 watts of
PEP.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
Tube Life
The 3-500Z is a reasonably rugged tube. The primary concern in this tube are element failures from
excessive temperatures. Element temperature is a function of the duration and the amount of power
dissipated. The elements in the 3-500Z have very good immunity to short term overload failures.
The anode in the 3-500Z can tolerate large dissipation overloads for short periods of time due to the
thermal mass of the anode. Anode color is a good indication of correct tube operation. The anode
in the 3-500Z is designed to operate at very high temperatures. These temperatures normally
produce a dull to bright red anode color. This is a normal operating condition.
The anode is coated with a "getter" material that de-gasses the tube. This material is activated by
the high anode temperatures. The likelihood of a long term gas failure is reduced by operating the
3-500Z with a slight amount of anode color.
Care must be taken to avoid exceeding the temperature ratings of the tube's glass-to-metal seals.
The life of the tubes in this amplifier may be prolonged if tuning periods are kept short and a brief
"cool-down" periods are provided between tuning periods. Try to allow a one or two minute nontransmitting "cool-down" period after lengthy CW or RTTY transmissions before shutting off the ac
power switch.
Incorrect operation is most likely to damage the tube's control grid or anode. Applying full drive
power for several seconds with excessively "light" loading can cause control grid damage. Several
seconds of high drive power operation with improper tuning or excessively "heavy" loading can
melt or damage the anode. These conditions can be avoided by following the tuning procedures in
this manual.
In the AL-80B, a grid current of 250 mA (at 100 watts of drive) produces the rated grid dissipation
of 20 watts. For maximum tube life, the grid current and drive power should always be kept below
these values.
WARNING:
NEVER drive this amplifier with more than 100 watts of short term average envelope power.
NEVER allow the grid current to exceed 250 mA under any operating condition.
Maximum power output normally will occur with approximately 175 mA of grid current on CW, or
approximately 45 mA of maximum grid current (175 mA instantaneous peak) on SSB (two-tone
test). The grid dissipation with 175 mA of grid current and 70 watts of drive is approximately ten
watts.
If you wish to add control grid protection to the AL-80B, always remember fuses and resistors are
too slow and unpredictable to adequately protect tubes. While grid protection is generally not
required with tubes like the 3-500Z, Ameritron does offer an optional fast-acting electronic circuit
that will rapidly disable the amplifier if excessive grid dissipation occurs. This circuit also reduces
or eliminates the chance of tank component damage from incorrect loading or a load failure. The
part number of this add on board is 50-01172-1.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
The continuous commercial plate current rating of the 3-500Z is 400 mA. For maximum tube life,
plate current should be maintained below 400 mA on CW and other "steady" carrier modes. Brief
periods of plate current exceeding 400 mA will not cause loss of emission or shorten the life of the
tube in this amplifier.
The application of filament voltage causes thermal stresses from rapid and uneven temperature
changes. Needless cycling of the filament may cause premature failure or unnecessary stress in the
tube's filament.
An accumulation of gas (or stray debris) in the tube can cause arcs between the anode and the other
elements of the tube. The resulting "gas arc" will generally manifest itself as a loud "pop" when the
amplifier is first turned on. A "gas arc" will often damage diode D117 on the negative rail of the
filter capacitor bank and open the fuses in the amplifier. If this problem occurs frequently, the tube
should be tested or replaced. The use of low quality tubes, tubes that have been stored for extended
periods, or abused tubes increase likelihood of a "gas arc". Ameritron recommends using only
current code date Eimac 3-500Z tubes.
Export Modifications
A simple modification will allow operation on frequencies above 15 meters. Instructions for this
modification are available by sending a written request for "Export Modification Instructions" along
with a copy of a valid amateur license. There is no charge for this information. Export models are
shipped with this modification installed and have an "X" or "Y" following the serial number.
Standard frequency ranges are indicated in the chart on page 29.
Technical Assistance
Technical assistance is available during normal central standard time business hours on weekdays.
Customer service is more effective when our engineers are provided the following information:
1. Model and serial number
2. Date of purchase and dealer
3. An accurate description of the problem
Meter readings at all stages of the tuning procedure are very important along with a complete
description of the other equipment used with our product.
Written assistance is also available. Due to time delays in processing mail, please allow at least
three weeks for a written reply. For service or written correspondence, use the following address:
AMERITRON
116 Willow Road
Starkville, MS 39759
Telephone (662) 323-8211
FAX (662) 323-6551
NOTE: Service history has clearly shown that most problems are operating or installation
errors, rather than equipment failures. Most problems can be resolved over the
telephone. Please contact our staff before shipping parts or equipment to us.
9
AL-80B Instruction Manual
The packing materials used to ship this amplifier were specially designed to prevent shipping
damage. The original packing materials should be used to ship this amplifier. Replacement packing
materials may be purchased from Ameritron if original packing materials are unavailable or
damaged.
CAUTION: Never ship this amplifier with the tube installed. Ameritron will not be
responsible for shipping damage caused by improper packing.
Installation Guidelines And Suggestions
Location Of The Amplifier
Do not install the amplifier in excessively warm locations or near heating vents or radiators. Be
sure air can circulate freely around and through the amplifier cabinet. Provide an unobstructed cold
air inlet for the amplifier. DO NOT place any books, magazines or equipment that will impede the
free flow of air on or near the cabinet ventilation holes.
Ventilation
The AL-80B ventilation system has been designed and tested to maintain tube seal temperatures
safely below the tube manufacturer's rating at 500 watts of continuous carrier output, or 800 watts of
continuous two-tone or CW power output when the amplifier is properly tuned. The fan in the AL80B is a permanently lubricated type that requires no maintenance in normal operation. To insure
adequate cooling in your installation, please observe the following:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Do not block or unduly restrict the ventilation holes in the cover. Be sure that the amplifier is
located in an area so the ventilation holes have open air circulation. It is particularly important
to avoid restricting the air inlet.
The exhaust airflow is over 30 CFM. Do not "assist" the exhaust airflow with cabinet mounted
fans.
The most efficient way to improve airflow is to pressurize the air inlet area. Be sure that any
fan used to assist the inlet airflow has at least a 60 CFM rating.
The exhaust air will become quite warm at high power levels. Do not place any heat sensitive
objects in the exhaust air stream.
Power Connections
The AL-80B is supplied with a NEMA 5-15P plug for 120 Vac operation. Full duty cycle operation
with ac supply voltages below 100 volts is not recommended. The "Transformer Connections"
section on page 12 shows the correct wiring for various supply voltages.
This amplifier has a current demand of 14 amperes at 120 Vac with 1000 watts of RF carrier output.
The average power line current during voice peaks on SSB will be approximately 9 amperes at 1000
watts PEP output. The average current demand on CW will be less than 12 amperes. Most normal
residential power lines and house-wiring will easily meet this current requirement.
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AL-80B Instruction Manual
If the power mains have excessive resistance, the high voltage may sag to less than 2700 volts under
load. Voltage sag will not hurt the amplifier if the fully loaded high voltage remains above 2500
volts.
CAUTION: Never allow the high voltage to exceed 3200 volts under any condition.
For 120 Vac operation, the wiring between the fuse box and the amplifier ac outlet must be number
14 gauge (or larger) in order to supply the current required (12 A) without a significant drop in the
line voltage. The 120 volt outlet should be fused for 20 amperes.
Grounding
Connect a good RF and dc ground to the ground post on the rear panel of the amplifier. Use the
heaviest and shortest connection possible. The best materials to use for ground connections are (in
order of effectiveness) smooth wide copper flashing, copper tubing, or solid copper wire. Never use
braided or woven conductors unless the lead needs to be flexed. Braided or woven conductors
offer a much higher impedance to lightning and RF than equivalent solid conductors.
Water pipes, metal heating ducts, metal fences and other large metallic masses offer convenient RF
grounds. If a water pipe ground is used, inspect all the pipe connections to be sure that no plastic or
rubber connections are insulating the pipes. Insulated pipe connections will interrupt the electrical
continuity in the water supply system. Install a jumper around any insulated pipe connections you
find. Use heavy copper wire or flashing with stainless hose or pipe clamps for the jumpers.
The following tips will help prevent lightning damage and RF grounding problems:
1.
Avoid using braided or woven conductors, they have very high resistance for RF and lightning.
Remember that RF and lightning flows along the surface of conductors, almost no current
flows in the center of the conductor. The lowest RF resistance occurs with wide, smooth
conductors.
2.
Avoid routing a single small gauge conductor along the various pieces of equipment (or to
connect multiple ground sources). Instead, use multiple ground leads that connect to a single
wide buss at the operating position. Keep all ground leads as short and wide as possible.
3.
Buried radials provide much better lightning and RF ground connections than ground rods do,
although both are needed for safety.
4.
Avoid sharp bends in ground leads. When changing the direction of a ground lead use a
gradual radius turn.
5.
Avoid second story operation. A good ground is much easier to obtain on the first floor or in
the basement of a structure.
6.
Air-core choke baluns should be used on all coaxial feedlines. The feedlines should be coiled
into several 4" to 6" diameter turns before they enter the building. Either directly bury the
feedlines a few inches deep in the ground for a minimum distance of ten feet or ground the
shields to a separate earth ground on the antenna side of the choke.
11
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Transformer Connections
The power transformer of the AL-80B has fourteen different voltages available on the primary and
is rated at full power on frequencies of 50 and 60 Hz. The "JUMPER CONNECTIONS" chart
below indicates the proper placement of jumpers for various power line voltages.
The high voltage secondary of the AL-80B has three leads. The normal wiring is indicated on the
circuit board silk-screen by the initials R/Y (RED/YELLOW) and R/G (RED/GREEN). For low
power operation the R/Y and R/G wire can be reversed. This will reduce the plate voltage of the
AL-80B to permit operation at output levels below 400 watts.
WARNING:
The AL-80B requires different back panel fuses for various line voltages. Use the
fuse listed above for maximum protection.
JUMPER FROM TOP LETTERS
TO BOTTOM LETTERS IN COLUMN
HIGHEST
LINE-V
205
215
220
230
240‡
245
250
A
90
100
110
115
125†
130
140
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
D
E
3
3
2
F
1
2
1
F
1
2
1
E
2
3
3
LINE
FUSE
12
12
12
10
10
10
8
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
3
3
2
F
1
2
1
1
2
1
E
2
3
3
25
25
25
20
20
20
15
†Factory wired Model AL-80B and AL-80BY
‡Factory wired Model AL-80BX
DANGER: Never change jumpers with the power cord connected to an outlet.
12
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Interconnections
1.
Connect the exciter's RF output to the "RF IN" connector on the rear of the AL-80B with 50
ohm coax. Use any good quality 50 ohm cable long enough to connect the amplifier to the
exciter. This amplifier connection uses a standard SO-239 female that mates with a PL-259
male connector on the cable.
2.
Connect the existing station antenna system to the "RF OUT" connector on the rear of the AL80B with RG-8 type coax. This amplifier connection uses a SO-239 female that mates with a
PL-259 connector on the cable.
3.
Shielded audio type cable with a standard male phono plug should be used to connect to the
"RLY" jack on the AL-80B. This jack has positive 12 Vdc open circuit and supplies 100 mA
of current when pulled to ground. The relay circuit has an internal back pulse canceling diode
to protect sensitive exciter circuits from damage.
4.
Connect a short, wide, smooth ground lead from a good earth and RF ground to the rear panel
"GND" terminal. Avoid using braided conductors for ground leads.
5.
The "12 V" connection on the rear panel provides 12 Vdc at 200 mA maximum to operate
external dial lamps or accessories such as the ATR-15 Antenna Tuner.
6.
Connect the "ALC" jack to the ALC input of the exciter with a shielded cable and a phono
plug. The proper connection point on the exciter should be indicated in the exciter's manual.
The AL-80B ALC will operate with any exciter that uses a negative-going ALC voltage of up
to 10 volts.
Note: Transceiver ALC response times and ALC voltage requirements vary with different
manufacturers.
Operating Instructions And Guidelines
Front Panel Controls
"MULTIMETER" Switch
This four position switch selects either the plate voltage (HV) of 0-3500 volts, the reflected peak
envelope power (REF) of 0-500 watts, the ALC detector output voltage (ALC) of 0-35 volts, or the
approximate ALC grid current threshold (ALC SET) of 0-350 mA. See the "Multimeter Functions"
section on page 6 for more details.
"OFF-ON" Switch
This switch turns the main power off and on. When this switch is placed in the "ON" position, the
fan should start, the meters should be illuminated, and high voltage should appear.
13
AL-80B Instruction Manual
"STBY-OPR" Switch
This switch disables the amplifier's internal antenna relay. In the "STBY" position the amplifier is
bypassed without turning the tube's filaments or the power supply off.
This switch will also reset the grid protection circuit if an optional grid overload protection circuit is
installed. The overload circuit will be reset whenever this switch is placed in the "STBY" position
and returned to the "OPR" position.
"PLATE" Control
The "PLATE" control adjusts the output tank circuit to resonance. This control should always be
adjusted for maximum RF output power. Maximum RF output power normally occurs
simultaneously with maximum grid current and very close to the plate current "dip."
"LOAD" Control
This control adjusts the coupling of the amplifier to the antenna or load. This adjustment insures
optimum coupling between the tube and the load as the SWR of the load, the operating frequency,
or the power level is changed. Advancing the "LOAD" control clockwise increases the RF power
output capability and the linearity of the amplifier. Advancing the "LOAD" control also decreases
the grid current and increases the plate current for a given amount of drive.
The efficiency of the amplifier and the grid current decrease if the "LOAD" control is rotated
beyond the point of maximum output. The linearity, however, will increase. The proper position for
this control is slightly clockwise from the setting that produces maximum output with full drive
power applied to the input. Never use this control to adjust the output power.
The "PLATE" control should always be checked after the "LOAD" control is adjusted by more than
one number. This is especially important at the high end of the "LOAD" range on 20 meters and
above. For example, if the "LOAD" is advanced from 7-1/2 to 8-3/4, the "PLATE" should be retuned. If the "LOAD" is touched up only a slight amount, the "PLATE" setting will not usually
require re-adjustment.
ALC Metering, Controls, and Adjustments
ALC Metering Functions
The "MULTIMETER" switch in the AL-80B has two positions that indicate the functioning of the
ALC circuit. These positions are as follows:
ALC
In this position the multimeter measures the output voltage of the ALC detector. The
full scale reading of the ALC detector is 35 volts. It is read directly from the ALC/ HV
scale of the multimeter. The multimeter will indicate the maximum value of ALC
voltage available from the internal ALC circuit. The meter should flick upwards
occasionally during normal ALC action in this position.
14
AL-80B Instruction Manual
ALC SET In this position the multimeter measures the approximate grid current that will produce
ALC activity. One zero must be added to the reading on the ALC/ HV scale for this
function.
For example: If the meter reads 15, add one zero (150). In this example ALC action will begin at
approximately 150 mA of grid current.
ALC Controls
The position of the "ALC SET" control determines the grid current value that will begin to produce
ALC voltage. Rotating the "ALC SET" control counter-clockwise reduces the maximum grid
current obtainable and the available RF power output. Rotating the "ALC SET" control clockwise
increases the maximum grid current level.
The approximate grid current available before ALC action begins can be determined by placing the
"MULTIMETER" switch in the "ALC SET" (far clockwise) position. The "ALC SET" control
should normally be adjusted to produce a multimeter reading of 12 to 18 volts with the
"MULTIMETER" switch in the "ALC SET" position. This will allow a maximum grid current of
approximately 120 to 180 mA.
ALC Adjustments
During SSB operation, two adjustments affect the ALC and the sound of the signal. One is the
exciter's microphone gain (or RF output level) adjustment. It will control the "fullness" of the ALC
and the average output power. It will have very little effect on the peak output power, however.
The fullness of ALC action is indicated by the multimeter reading in the ALC position. More
exciter audio gain or power output will drive the amplifier's ALC circuit harder, and produce a more
constant meter reading. This produces RF compression that increases the "talk power" without
increasing signal bandwidth or distortion.
Note: Audio background noise will increase while using heavy ALC levels on SSB. Objectionable
background noise levels may occur while using heavy amounts of ALC, especially if the
heavy ALC levels are used in conjunction with other speech processing. In these situations,
operating in a quiet room and "close talking" the microphone will minimize objectionable
background noise.
The amplifier's "ALC SET" control determines the level of grid current that produces ALC activity,
the maximum power output level. This amplifier has the best linearity when the "ALC SET" control
is adjusted to limit the peak grid current to 150 mA or lower. This adjustment must be made with a
carrier or single tone signal. When the "ALC SET" control is properly adjusted, it will be
impossible to exceed 150 mA of grid current with any tuning or drive adjustment.
15
AL-80B Instruction Manual
During CW operation, the "ALC SET" control voltage should be adjusted just high enough
(clockwise) to allow the desired output power to be reached. The "ALC SET" control should never
be adjusted to the point where the grid current can exceed 200 mA under any tuning or drive
adjustment condition. During proper CW ALC operation, the exciter drive level control should be
adjusted until the ALC voltage meter slightly flickers (ALC position of the "MULTIMETER"
switch) while operating with normal output power levels.
The ALC circuit will limit the amplifier's grid current to a safe value if anything accidentally
changes in the station or the antenna. The CW keying waveform of the radio will remain unaltered
when the ALC is adjusted in this manner.
NOTE: Caution should be exercised if the ALC SET is used to control the CW power output
with the exciter power control set at maximum. Key clicks may be produced if the
exciter has a poor ALC response time. Check for proper wave shape when using the
ALC in the amplifier exclusively to control the RF output power.
Rear-panel "ALC LIMIT" control
The "ALC Limit" control (rear panel) limits the maximum voltage available from the ALC circuit.
This control is necessary only because the ALC response times and voltage requirements for
exciters have never been standardized. The ALC voltage requirements may even vary between
different models produced by the same manufacturer.
If the ALC response time of the exciter (transceiver) is faster than the rise time of the RF envelope,
there will be no voltage compatibility problems. The ALC voltage from this amplifier will
automatically self-adjust to the value required by the exciter.
If the ALC voltage requirements are low and/or if the ALC attack time is slow, the ALC may cause
the output power to "pump" at a very slow rate. The undesired "pumping" can be corrected by
reducing the amplifier's ALC output voltage with the "ALC Limit" control (R1).
A full counter-clockwise "ALC Limit" setting will produce approximately 10 volts of maximum
negative ALC voltage. A full clockwise setting (viewed from amplifier rear) will produce no ALC
voltage. Always start with this control fully counter-clockwise before slowly advancing this control
clockwise. The "ALC Limit Adjustment" section that follows gives adjustment details.
An external 1,000 to 5,000 ohm potentiometer can be added from the ALC output line to ground if
the particular amplifier you are using does not have a rear panel "ALC Limit" control. The chassis
(shield) of the amplifier's ALC output jack must connect to the clockwise (shaft end view) terminal
of the ALC exciter voltage control. The ALC jack center pin on the amplifier must connect to the
counter-clockwise terminal (shaft end view) of the external control. The center of the control
connects to the ALC input of the exciter.
16
AL-80B Instruction Manual
ALC Limit Adjustment (rear panel)
This adjustment procedure should be used if "pumping" occurs from excessive transceiver ALC
sensitivity and/or slow transceiver ALC response time:
1.
Load the amplifier for maximum output on any band (see tuning instructions later in this
manual).
2.
Adjust the "ALC SET" control on the front panel and the rear panel "ALC Limit" potentiometer
to their full counter-clockwise positions.
3.
Apply full exciter drive power, and adjust the rear panel "ALC Limit" potentiometer clockwise
(rear view) until the amplifier's ALC output voltage meter (multimeter "ALC" position)
indicates 6 to 10 volts. As an alternative, the potentiometer can be adjusted clockwise until the
RF output power reaches 300-500 watts.
4.
Adjust the front panel ALC SET control to the desired power level.
Driving Power
This amplifier is designed to operate at full ratings when it is driven by an exciter that has
approximately 70 watts of RF output. An exciter with a lower output power may be used with a
resulting decrease in amplifier output. Both the driving power and the "LOAD" control must be
carefully adjusted when using an exciter that delivers more than 70 watts. Proper control settings
will help prevent excessive grid current and spurious signals, which create needless interference to
other operators. A monitor scope is recommended for continuous output observation. An
oscilloscope is the best way of determining if the amplifier is "flat-topping" and producing excessive
distortion products.
A second method of determining linear operation is to monitor the peak RF output power carefully
on the AL-80B's internal meter. Determine the maximum obtainable RF output power and reduce
the exciters power until there is a noticeable margin from the maximum output power. This will
insure some reserve power is available for random voice peaks.
NOTE:
Never increase the drive power beyond the point where the amplifier's output
power stops increasing. This is also the point where the grid current will begin
rising rapidly.
The amplifier is being over-driven for a given "LOAD" setting when the grid current increases
rapidly while the plate current and output power increase slowly. The amplifier "LOAD" control
needs to be advanced to a higher number if this condition occurs. Non-linear operation, splatter,
and excessive grid current will occur if the "LOAD" setting is too low. Excessive plate current is
the proper indicator that the drive power limit has been reached.
17
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Tube and Component Life
These guidelines will help prolong tube and component life, and minimize splatter.
1.
On SSB or other linear modes, virtually any amount of power will cause splatter if the loading
is too light ("LOAD" control too far counter-clockwise). Always tune for maximum output
with maximum drive power. Reduce the drive power to reduce the output power on SSB, not
the loading control.
2.
Lightly loading an amplifier will also result in large voltages building up in the tank circuit.
Under-loading an amplifier is much harder on the tubes and other components than operating a
properly loaded amplifier into a high SWR or with excessive drive power.
3.
Never depend on average reading power or current meters to indicate proper operation on SSB
or other linear modes. The best indicator of linearity is either an oscilloscope or the internal
PEP RF output meter. Maximum linearity can be determined by finding the maximum output
power possible and then reducing the exciter power for a slight reduction in output power.
4.
Never exceed 170 mA of grid current on CW carrier during actual operation. The proper grid
current for SSB will range from 0 to 75 mA. The SSB grid current will vary with the operator's
voice, the amount of signal compression or processing, and the tube characteristics.
Tuning
Follow the instructions below in numerical order. Proper tuning will produce excellent output
power, a clean signal, and good tube life. If the various meter readings are different than indicated in
the text, check the external amplifier connections. Consult the manual for the exciter if necessary.
WARNING:
The transformer must be wired correctly for your line voltage. This amplifier is
normally shipped wired for standard 120Vac operation.
Refer to the
"Transformer Connection" section on page 12 for details.
Tuning Procedure
Important Note: If you have installed the optional electronic grid protection circuit to prevent
control-grid damage, this amplifier will quit operating if the grid dissipation exceeds a safe pre-set
limit. The overload circuit responds much faster that the grid current meter. The overload circuit
can respond to excessive grid current before the operator is able to observe excessive current on the
grid meter.
Some exciters generate brief high-level RF pulses when first keyed. These short duration pulses
may greatly exceed the exciter's operating output power setting but may not be indicated on meters.
Unexplained activation of the grid overload circuit may indicate the existence of this exciter
problem. The grid overload circuit can be reset by momentarily placing the "STBY-OPR" switch in
the "STBY" position.
18
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Never under-load the amplifier to reduce the output power. The amplifier "LOAD" control must be
set to a high enough position (clockwise) to prevent excessive voltage and arcing in the tank circuit
or excessive grid current. Repeated tripping of the grid overload circuit or intermittent arcing
probably indicates the "LOAD" control is adjusted too low.
1.
Set the AL-80B front panel switches as follows:
POWER
OPR-STBY
MULTIMETER
to
to
to
OFF
STBY
HV
2.
Plug the ac line cord into the proper voltage outlet.
3.
Place the main power switch in the "ON" position. The meter lamps should light and the blower
should start. Read the 3500 volt scale on the multimeter. It should indicate 3100 volts nominal
and no more than 3200 volts.
4.
With the amplifier still on "STBY", tune the exciter into a normal 50 ohm load according to the
manufacturer's instructions (solid state radios do not normally require this adjustment). Turn the
exciter drive down after tuning.
5.
Place the amplifier's "BAND" switch on the same band as the exciter. Set the "PLATE" control
and the "LOAD" control as indicated below:
CW
Frequency
1.810
3.600
7.050
10.125
14.050
18.125
21.050
24.900
28.050
PLATE
3-1/4
2-3/4
7-1/4
6
8-1/2
8-1/4
9
8-3/4
8-1/4
LOAD
2-1/2
1-1/2
4-1/2
0
5-1/4
4-1/2
7
6-1/4
7-3/4
PHONE (SSB)
Frequency
1.850
3.900
7.200
14.250
21.350
28.500
19
PLATE
4
3-1/2
7-1/2
8-1/2
9
9-1/4
LOAD
3
3-3/4
4-1/2
5-1/2
7
8
6.
7.
8.
AL-80B Instruction Manual
With the exciter's drive level still on zero, observe the 750 mA Ip scale on the left hand meter. It
should indicate zero (0) amperes.
Place the "STBY-OPR" switch in the "OPR" position. Place the exciter in the transmit mode
with no RF output. The red "XMT" LED should light and the plate current (Ip on the left meter)
should be close to zero (0).
With the exciter in the transmit mode, apply a very low amount of RF drive power (about 100
mW). The plate current (Ip) should suddenly increase to nearly 100 mA.
Note: Currents may vary up to 25% due to component and line voltage tolerances. If the
current in this step is higher than expected, the RF level from the exciter may be
too high.
If the exciter does not allow adjustment to very low CW power levels, the exciter can be placed
in the SSB mode and the audio (microphone) gain control advanced from minimum while
speaking until the plate current (Ip) just flickers upwards. The plate current (Ip) should be
around 100 mA on these flickers.
9.
Place the "MULTIMETER" switch in the "ALC SET" position. Adjust the front panel "ALC
SET" control until the multimeter indicates 10 volts. This adjustment will limit the amplifier's
grid current to approximately 100 mA.
STEPS 10a and 11a REQUIRE A CONNECTION FROM THE AMPLIFIER'S ALC OUTPUT TO
THE EXCITER'S ALC INPUT.
STEPS 10b and 11b SHOULD BE USED IF THE EXCITER AND AMPLIFIER ALC LINES ARE
NOT CONNECTED.
Note: Step 10 requires the simultaneous observation of the plate current (Ip) and the
grid current (Ig).
10a.
If the ALC line is connected, adjust the exciter's drive or power output control to maximum.
NEVER ALLOW THE GRID CURRENT (Ig) TO EXCEED 120 mA OR THE PLATE
CURRENT (Ip) TO EXCEED 400 MILLIAMPERES AT THIS STAGE OF TUNING. If either
current exceeds these limits, reduce the 'ALC SET' control. Adjust the 'PLATE' control for
maximum output power. The plate current (Ip) of the amplifier and the output power of the
exciter should dip (decrease) when this adjustment is made.
10b.
If the ALC is not connected, place the exciter in the transmit mode and gradually increase the
drive until a grid current of 100 mA or a plate current of 400 milliamperes (whichever is
higher) appears. The "PLATE" control should be adjusted until maximum grid current and
maximum RF output power appear. The plate current (Ip) should now dip slightly. The drive
power should be removed.
20
AL-80B Instruction Manual
11a.
Increase the "ALC SET" voltage (if the ALC is connected) until 180 mA (18 volts) is indicated.
Apply full drive (not to exceed 100 watts) and adjust the "LOAD" and "PLATE" controls for
maximum RF output power. The grid current should not be allowed to go above 200 mA at this
stage. The plate current should not be allowed to exceed 600 mA during brief periods of tuning
(15 seconds).
11b.
Increase the exciter drive power (if the ALC is not connected) until 180 mA of grid current is
indicated. Adjust the "LOAD" and "PLATE" controls for maximum RF output power. The grid
current should not be allowed to go above 200 mA at this stage. The plate current should not
be allowed to exceed 600 milliamperes during brief periods of tuning (15 seconds).
12a.
For CW operation, the output power should be reduced with the "ALC SET" control until the
rated output power of 800 watts is obtained. The "LOAD" control should be adjusted until
minimum plate current is obtained without dropping below 800 watts. The exciter's power can
be reduced until the multimeter shows a slight upward flicker with the "MULTIMETER"
switch in the ALC position if the ALC is used.
12b.
For SSB operation, the "ALC SET" should be adjusted to allow 200 mA of grid current (near
the 20 volt marking). The exciter should be set to produce maximum output power (not to
exceed 100 watts of peak power). Next the amplifier's "LOAD" and "PLATE" controls are
adjusted for maximum power output on the internal peak reading RF wattmeter with either a
two-tone generator or sustained "HEL-L-L-L-L-O" driving the exciter. The "ALC SET" control
should then be reduced until the peak power output is slightly lowered. Finally the exciter's
audio gain or output power is adjusted until the multimeter "ALC" position indicates the
desired ALC level. This setting should normally allow around 150 mA grid current on a steady
carrier or "whistle".
Note: If the ALC is not connected, the amplifier must be fully loaded for maximum
output with maximum drive (not to exceed 100 watts). The exciter's output should
then be reduced until 1000 watts PEP is obtained.
"ALC SET" control
Proper adjustment of the front panel "ALC SET" control accomplishes the following:
1.
Exciter's power is limited to a value that produces a predetermined maximum grid current in
the amplifier. The front panel "ALC SET" control determines the maximum grid current
obtained.
2.
The "LOAD" control setting determines the maximum plate current and output power for a
given grid current. Never exceed 600 mA of short duty cycle (or 400 mA of long duty cycle)
plate current. Never exceed 200 mA of operating grid current.
3.
For normal SSB operation, the exciter power should be reduced until the ALC voltage
(measured in the ALC multimeter position) flicks upwards on occasional voice peaks. This
will produce the best audio quality. The drive can be increased for DX or weak signal SSB
operation until the ALC steadily registers voltage.
Also see the "ALC Adjustment" section on page 15, and the "Multimeter" section on page 6.
21
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Additional SSB Notes
The peak power output developed on SSB is limited by the amplifier loading, RF drive, and peakto-average power of the RF waveform. Proper loading of this amplifier will produce excellent
linearity and a clean signal even if the output power level exceeds one kilowatt PEP. An improperly
adjusted (too far counter-clockwise) "LOAD" adjustment can produce flat-topping and splatter with
only a few hundred watts of RF output. The "LOAD" setting is the single most important adjustment
for proper SSB operation.
Note: The "LOAD" control setting is the most important adjustment for good linearity!
To maintain linearity, always be sure that the "LOAD" control is adjusted far enough clockwise for
the peak drive that will be applied.
Be considerate of others, NEVER "push" this amplifier into envelope clipping or to the point where
the grid current approaches 75 mA on voice peaks. Envelope clipping can be also be avoided by
adjusting the amplifier's "ALC SET" control until the peak output power drops slightly from the
power obtained with full microphone gain and a fully clockwise "ALC SET" adjustment. For the
cleanest audio, the microphone gain can be reduced until the ALC meter just flickers.
AM (Amplitude Modulation) Operation
The efficiency of any conventional linear amplifier must remain below half the peak efficiency
under maximum signal conditions (less a safety factor) in AM operation. Since this linear amplifier
has a peak plate efficiency of nearly 65%, the carrier efficiency must be kept below 30% to maintain
linearity. The power dissipated in the tube anodes will be more than twice the carrier output power.
The carrier power must be kept below 200 watts for clean and safe AM operation. With 200 watts of
carrier, the peak envelope power will reach 800 watts with 100% symmetrical modulation. The
modulated AM power output should be limited to 1000 watts peak with non-symmetrical
modulation that enhances the positive peaks.
FM (Frequency Modulation), RTTY, and Digital Operation
The efficiency of this amplifier will approach 65% in the FM, RTTY and Digital Operation modes.
Since these modes do not require linear amplification of complex waveforms, the tuning can be readjusted for maximum power at the desired output power level. This will keep the efficiency as high
as possible.
Audio Distortion
One problem that often occurs when using a linear power amplifier is SSB audio distortion on one
or more bands. This distortion is usually caused by RF feedback from either a poorly designed
antenna or poor RF grounding. REMEMBER THAT A GOOD GROUND FOR DC IS NOT
NECESSARILY GOOD FOR RF. RF circuits require short connections with smooth, wide
conductors. Braiding or woven wire has a very high RF resistance and should be avoided. See the
"Grounding" section on page 11 of this manual. More detailed suggestions on grounding are
available by requesting Ameritron's Tech Bulletin on RF Feedback.
22
AL-80B Instruction Manual
QSK Operation
The antenna transfer relay in the AL-80B takes approximately 15 milliseconds to change states.
This precludes using the standard internal relay for QSK CW operation. Commonly available
vacuum relays are specified at 5 to 7 milliseconds of switching time. Even expensive vacuum relays
are less than ideal for high speed QSK operation. At 60 WPM, less than 50% of the receive-time is
available with vacuum relays.
On PACKET, AMTOR, and other modes, delay can be added to the transmit and receive
changeover to use either vacuum or our standard relay effectively. Ameritron offers two high-speed
PIN diode options that permit operation on modes requiring high speed receive-transmit switching.
Both systems offer noiseless switching times of under one millisecond. Since PIN diode systems
are several times faster than vacuum relay systems, they allow over 90% of the available receive
time to be used at 60 WPM.
Ameritron highly recommends using the external QSK-5 switch. This stand alone PIN diode switch
can be used with almost all types of amplifiers and transmitters. Modifications are not required in
amplifiers used with the QSK-5 unit. The QSK-5 operates directly from 120 Vac power lines.
Ameritron also offers an internal QSK board as a space-saver for the AL-80B. This internal board
is slightly less expensive. However, it provides less flexibility and serviceability than the external
QSK-5 unit. Factory installation of the QSK-5PC is highly recommended. Contact Ameritron for
details on the QSK-5 and the QSK-5PC.
Periodic Maintenance
The high voltage present on various parts of the amplifier will attract dust and dirt. The high
voltage areas at the bottom of the plate choke and the plates and insulators of the air variable
capacitors should be kept dust free. These areas should be inspected periodically, especially if the
amplifier is operated in a dusty environment. These areas may be inspected by unplugging the line
cord and waiting a few minutes for the power supply capacitors to discharge. The high voltage
should then be checked with the internal multimeter by placing the meter switch in the HV position.
WARNING
:
23
High voltages can kill!!! Accidental contact with the voltages in this amplifier
can be lethal!
AL-80B Instruction Manual
For your personal safety, please observe the following precautions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
NEVER defeat the interlock.
NEVER remove the cover with the amplifier connected to the power line.
ALWAYS allow several minutes for the capacitors to discharge after unplugging the
amplifier and before removing the cover.
ALWAYS select the high-voltage (HV) function of the Multimeter to check the high
voltage potential. Do not remove the cover if voltage is indicated.
ALWAYS ground the tube anode (top metal conductor) to the chassis before touching
anything inside the amplifier.
ALWAYS be cautious of heat. Many components inside the amplifier operate at high
temperatures.
NEVER make any unauthorized component or circuit modifications to this product. The
only acceptable source for modifications is Ameritron or a source approved by Ameritron.
Unauthorized modifications almost certainly will increase the risk of equipment failure or
personal injury.
The cover should be removed and a low value (40 to 500 ohm) two-watt or larger resistor should be
secured to the chassis. The other end of this resistor should be connected to the tube anode with an
insulated clip lead.
CAUTION: NEVER ground the anode directly to the chassis without a series
resistor. Component damage may occur from the current surge.
Note: This resistor is a safety device that must be installed when beginning service
work and removed when the work is finished.
Dust and dirt can be blown out of the amplifier with a shop vacuum or a high pressure air hose. A
soft bristle brush dipped in alcohol can be used to clean particularly dirty areas. If the amplifier is
operated in a dusty environment, a non-conductive low-restriction foam air filter can be placed over
the ventilation holes on the left side of the cabinet near the filter capacitors. Placing an air filter
over these air inlet holes will substantially reduce the amount of dust entering the cabinet. Most
hardware stores stock suitable air filter material that are used as replacement filters for window air
conditioners.
24
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Parts List
Power Supply / SWR Board (50-0080-1)
Designator
D101,102,114,115
D103
D116-120
D104-113
C101
C102,105
C103
C104
C106,125,126,129,135-137
C140
C107-116
C117-124
C127
C128,138,132,139
C130,131
C133
C134
R101
R102
R103,104,121
R105
R106
R107
R108,109
R110,111
R112-119
R120
R122
R123
R124,125
R126,128,128
R127
R130
RLY101
RLY102
RFC101
T101
Q101
Q102
Q3 (see main chassis)
F101
25
Description
1N34A
1N757A Zener 9.1V
1N4001
1N5408
27 pF 500 V
.001 uF 1 kV
10 pF 1 kV
3-12 pF 500 V Trim
.01uF 50 V Disc
.47 uF
.01 uF 1 kV
210 uF 450 V Elect.
270 pF 500 V
.1 uF 50 V
.01 uF 250 Vac
2200 uF 25 V
220 uF 25 V
4.7k mox 1 W
470k 1/4 W
10k 1/4 W
10 ohm 1/2 W
1.5 ohm 2 W 1%
0.6 ohm 3 W 1%
1M 3 W 1% special high voltage type
750k 2 W mox 2%
50k 7 W 5%
51ohm 2 W mox 5%
6.8k 1/4 W
1.8k 1/4 W
50k trim pot
47k 1/2 W
10 ohm 10 W
47 ohm 1/2 watt
3PDT 12 Vdc
SPST 12 Vdc
Choke 3 turns FB-73
Toroid
2N3904
2N3906
MJF3055 transistor, NPN
2A
Ameritron PN
300-0346
305-0757
300-0266
300-0145
208-5404
200-2120
200-3531
204-0150
200-0416
203-0530
200-2121
203-0578
208-5775
200-0754
200-2122
203-0207
203-0565
103-1747
100-0188
100-4100
100-0727
103-3400
103-3399
103-2223
103-1743
103-7580
103-2151
103-1747
100-0728
104-0400
101-0402
103-9702
101-1470
408-6140
408-6148
10-15168
10-14134
305-0645
305-0722
305-3055
755-1102
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Tuned Input Board (50-0080-2)
Designator
Description
C201 (tube side)
C202 (transmitter side)
L201
S201
Ameritron PN
See input chart
See input chart
See input chart
Input switch
AL-80B Tuned Input Chart
BAND
160
80
40
20/30
15/17
10/12
C201 (pF) tube
2700
1300
820
470
360
220
(208-5689)
(208-5177)
(208-5381)
(208-5440)
(208-5688)
(208-5175)
L201
28.75T
23.75T
13.75T
9.75T
6.75T
4.75T
(405-1287)
(405-1237)
(405-1137)
(405-1097)
(405-1067)
(405-1047)
C 201 (pF) transmitter side
2000
1000
500
270
220
180
(208-5608)
(208-5176)
(208-5691)
(208-5775)
(208-5175)
(208-5396)
Meter Board (50-0080-3)
Designator
D301
C301, 302
C303, 304, 307-311, 314, 315
C305, 306
R301, 302
R303
R304
R305
R306, 310
R307
R308, 311
R309
R312
R313
IC301
Q301, 302
Q303
S301
Description
1N34A
.47 uF 50 V tantalum
.1 uF 50 V
.001 uF 1 kV
2.2M 1/4 W
390 ohm 1/4 W
2.2k 1/4 W
470k 1/4 W
10k 1/4 W
100 ohm 1/4 W
33k 1/4 W
4.7k 1/4 W
330 ohm 1/4 W
270 ohm 1/4 W
LM324
2N3904
2N3906
Rotary 2P6T
Ameritron PN
300-0346
203-0530
200-0754
200-2120
100-6220
100-0390
100-1500
100-0188
100-4100
100-2100
100-3330
100-1470
100-0330
100-0600
311-0324
305-0645
305-0722
500-0563
26
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Timer / Overload Board (50-0080-5)
Designator
C501-506
C507,508
C509
D501, 502
D503
IC501
Q501
Q502
Q503, 504
R501-503
R504, 505
R506, 508
R507
R509
R510
R511
RLY501
FB
27
Description
.01 uF 50 V disc
.47 uF tantalum
100 uF 25 V
1N4001
5.6 V zener
LM 358 dual op-amp
NPN transistor MJF3055
PNP transistor 2N3906
NPN transistor 2N3904
10k 1/2 W
3.3k 1/4 W
680 ohm 1/4 W
1.8k 1/4 W
1 meg 1/4 W
1k 1/4 W
180 ohm 1/2 W
DPDT 12 V dip relay
FB 73-801 Ferrite Bead
Ameritron PN
200-0416
203-0530
203-0564
300-0266
301-710
311-0724
305-3055
307-0722
305-0645
101-0643
100-0729
100-0532
100-0728
100-0730
100-0727
101-0384
408-2135
10-15168
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Al-80B Main Chassis Parts List
Designation
B1
C1-3
C4
C5, 6
C7
C8
D1
F1, 2
50-0080-1
50-0080-2
50-0080-3
50-0080-4
50-0080-5
L1
L2
L3
M1
M2
R1
R2
RFC1
RFC2
RFC3
S1
S2
S3
S4
R3
Q3
T1
V1
Description
Ameritron PN
Blower
.001 uF 7.5 kV
500 pF Doorknob 7.5 kV
170 pF Doorknob 7.5 kV
Air Variable Plate
Air Variable Load
LED, Red
See Jumper Connections Chart, (page Error! Bookmark
not defined.)
Power Supply / SWR Board Assembly
Input Circuit Board Assembly
Metering Board Assembly
RF Tank Board Assembly (only parts L1-L2)
Timer-Overload Board Assembly (optional.-See page 27)
"L " Coil
LF Coil (mounted on 50-0080-4)
HF Coil (mounted on 50-0080-4)
Meter (Forward and Reflected)
Meter (grid and plate)
1 k pot (ALC limit)
100 k pot (ALC SET)
Parasitic choke
Plate Choke
2.5 mH Choke
Band Switch
Lighted Switch
Rocker Switch
Interlock Switch
33 ohm 1/4 watt
Transistor MJF-3055
Transformer
3-500Z Tube
410-3138
200-7224
210-0470
209-0559
204-2112
204-2573-1
320-0522-1
-------------50-0080-1
50-0080-2
50-0080-3
50-0080-4
50-0080-5
10-13165
10-13240
10-13108
400-3581
400-3580
105-1301
105-1341
10-15105
10-15197
402-1162
500-2135
507-1157
507-1150
504-3247
100-1330
305-3055
406-1109-2C
350-0167
28
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Frequency Coverage
AL-80B
160 meters
80 meters
40 meters
20 meters
15 meters
AL-80BX
1.8-2.0 MHz
3.3-4.4 MHz
6.3-8.3 MHz
10.1-15.5 MHz
16.5-21.5 MHz*
160 meters
1.8-2.0 MHz
80 meters
3.3-4.4 MHz
40 meters
6.3-8.3 MHz
20 meters
10.1-15.5 MHz
15 meters
16.5-21.5 MHz*
10 meters
24-29 MHz*
* Operation on 11-13 MHz, 15.5-16.5 MHz, and 25-27.9 MHz will damage components.
Amplifier Tuning Log
Band
160 CW
160 SSB
80 CW
75 SSB
40 CW
40 SSB
30 CW
20 CW
20 SSB
17 CW
17 SSB
15 CW
15 SSB
"LOAD"
"PLATE"
Fill in this log with the amplifier settings to quickly change bands. Use a pencil as settings may
change with different antennas.
29
AL-80B Instruction Manual
Notes:
30
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