Posts Tagged ‘Wilkinson Splitter’

630m Resources – Part 2




Using the transverter approach offers the advantage of providing a higher-stability signal generated by the main station's transceiver oscillator system. Most of the digital modes require a higher stability than would be needed for straight CW.

If your main interest is normal speed CW, then a digital VFO, such as the one devised by GW3UEP, would do the job.

If you are content operating on 475.0 kHz, then an inexpensive 7.6MHz crystal, in a divided-down oscillator will work well, and with good enough stability for some QRSS work as my earlier "GW3UEP Transmitter In QRSS Mode" report indicated.


The other option for frequency generation is a DDS.

N3ZI DDS
For several years now, I have used an inexpensive N3ZI DDS to drive my 2200m transmitter and, more recently, my 630m system. The N3ZI DDS is an affordable option should you decide on a non-transverter style of transmitter.

For those wanting something a bit more robust, W1VD describes a very nice high-power transmitter. His website is packed with useful circuits and ideas for both 2200m and 630m.

W1VD Dual-Band Kilowatt : http://www.w1vd.com/

W7IUV also describes, in great detail, his method of generating high-power on 630m. There is much to be learned from his document describing the design and operation of his unique 'linear-mode' transmitter.


W7IUV 630m TX: http://www.w7iuv.com

Another practical way of generating moderate power, certainly enough to meet the Canadian 5W EIRP limit, is to combine two or more 100W transmitters, such as the GW3UEP transmitter. It is reasonably simple and inexpensive to combine several modules with the use of a homebrew power combiner, as previously described.

Homebrew 630m two-Port Power Combiner / VE7SL
Of course, none of this would be of any use without thinking about suitable 630m antennas...ones that will fit in your backyard!

630m Wilkinson Power Combiner

It's often easier to achieve high power on 630m or LF by combining lower powered amplifiers than it is to build a single high-power rig. A simple Class D push-pull switching FET amplifier can readily produce 400-500W when operated in the 35V range. Combining two such amplifiers, both sharing a common oscillator / driver stage, would yield 800-1000W output...probably much more than needed on 630m.

The low parts-count of the amplifier stage in the GW3UEP Class-E transmitter should easily produce 150-200W when run at a slightly higher drain voltage and proper heatsinking. Combining two such modules would yield 300-400W output at very low cost.

Combining can be done with a Two-Way (3-port) Wilkinson Splitter / Combiner. Splitters and Combiners are one and the same, depending on which ends are used for input(s) / output(s). When used in the 'combine' mode, insertion losses are virtually zero and mainly due to the miniscule resistive losses of the coils.



Combiner component values can be calculated the old fashioned way or by using one of the numerous online calculators. This excellent online video by Sebastian (KF5OBS) explains exactly how to calculate component values for the truly dedicated amongst us:

Courtesy: https://www.youtube.com

He also has a new video showing how to calculate values for combiners having more than two outputs, should you want to combine three or more individual amplifier modules.

The first combiner I built was for my 2200m kW and combined the output of two 500W Class-D modules:


The air core coils are high-Q, cheap and easy to produce. If space is important, the inductors could just as easily be made using frequency-suitable powdered iron toroids, but at more expense. In actual operation, I have never been able to detect any heat from any of the combiner components, even when running a full kW at lengthy keydown periods of several minutes during QRSS transmissions, affirming the almost 'zero' insertion loss when used in the combining mode.

When I decided to use the same amplifier on 630m, a suitable circuit was designed and built for that band as well:


The terminating / balancing resistor (R) is used only as a safety device in case one of the two amplifiers fails during operation. It allows the still-working amplifier to safely dump some of its power into the load without destroying itself. Under normal operation, no current flows through this resistor so no power is wasted, assuming both inputs are equal. I have read of some schemes that will sense any current flow through 'R' and immediately shutdown the entire transmitter, thus allowing a resistor of lower dissipation to be used for 'R'.

Another benefit of the Wilkinson L-C Combiner is its filtering capability, as it works extremely well as a LPF. Neither my 2200m kW or 630m kW use any low-pass filtering other than that provided by the combiner's L-C network. It also seems to work well as a buffer of sorts, as both myself and VE7TIL noticed with our 2200m systems. We immediately stopped blowing FETs mysteriously when operating at full power. The amplifiers did not seem to react any longer to reactive components suddenly appearing in the antenna system or somewhere in the output network....everything was 100% more stable and reliable it seemed.

I can envision an exciting project consisting of a pair of GW3UEP finals feeding a toroid-based combiner, all in a very small footprint.

Should you choose to combine a pair of amplifiers for 630m, here are the values that were used in my own combiner:

          C1  9.4nF
          C2  4.7nF
          L    23.5uH (13T on 4.25" OD PVC pipe)
          R    100 ohm
 
More information on Wilkinson Combiners can be found here.


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