Author Topic: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...  (Read 9738 times)

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Offline TheBay

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Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« on: June 14, 2015, 09:29:46 pm »
I've just got myself a new Yaesu FTdx3000 HF Transceiver,

I need to get a new 13.8v power supply to run it, it needs to be at least 25amp, 30amp+ preferable.

I've looked at all the offerings for "Amateur Radio" and the all seem pretty pathetic these days, nearly all are made by Manson with other badges on them, the Linear's nearly ALL have Capxon capacitors and no OVP protection and the SMPS, well they just don't play nice with HF...

So looking for some suggestions, needs to be linear ideally, with 30amp+ and OVP,
I'm based in the UK so some items are not available here, I'd love to get an Astron for example but looks like nothing in the UK market.

Also any Ham's on here?
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 11:34:48 pm »
I have used an Alinco DM-330MV for some years, I like its diminutive size and features. It's been switched on permanently here for several years, no problems (touches wood).

There are indeed plenty of Hams on here.
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 12:56:06 am »
I have used a 45A Avair smpsu for the last 8 years or so,  I have not had any noise issues,  on hf receive no difference between that and a lead acid battery.  I do some microwave work and haven't had any switching spike issues coming through to the spectrum analyser either.
  Interesting my Xantrex sla battery charger is very noisy,  built a filter circuit and dropped the qrm by 3s points.
Like the yaesu!
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 01:04:06 am »
I bought a nice, beefy transformer, bridge rectifier, and big filter capacitor kit on Ebay for a 13.6V power supply.
None of that SMPS fooling around. :-+ 
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 01:09:39 am »
I've just got myself a new Yaesu FTdx3000 HF Transceiver,

 ...I'd love to get an Astron for example but looks like nothing in the UK market.

Also any Ham's on here?

Hi,

I got the same radio - it's great. I'm using an Astron SS-30m with no problems but I see you can't get that. But I just wanted to say congrats on the new rig.  :)

P.S. check the Yaesu website and see if you can install any of the firmware upgrades.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Online Vgkid

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If you own any North Hills Electronics gear, message me. L&N Fan
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 07:20:34 am »
I've just got myself a new Yaesu FTdx3000 HF Transceiver,

 ...I'd love to get an Astron for example but looks like nothing in the UK market.

Also any Ham's on here?

Hi,

I got the same radio - it's great. I'm using an Astron SS-30m with no problems but I see you can't get that. But I just wanted to say congrats on the new rig.  :)

P.S. check the Yaesu website and see if you can install any of the firmware upgrades.

Thanks :)

Took me a while to decide on a new radio, was looking at the IC-7600 but the FTdx3K won me over, it's amazing!

Do you use a panadaptor? I have an SDRPlay which can connect to the RX out or IF out, I use it as a 2nd receiver/bandscope. Amazing device.
http://www.sdrplay.com/

Mine already came with the latest firmware, I did check it, so glad the TX power can now be assigned to a knob, that was a silly omission from the early firmware!
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 07:21:40 am »
http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=281716486740&category=2565&pm=1&ds=0&t=1434333957499
This should work 47a, it is used.

That looks interesting, but all I can see is a text description of it, not the actual item?
 

Offline PTR_1275

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 09:21:13 am »
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/281716486740

Doesn't look too bad, nice size and high amperage
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2015, 10:53:41 am »
Doesn't look too bad, nice size and high amperage

I don't know... It's a SMPS by the looks of it, it is not specially designed for ham radio, there's no external heat sink so the fan will be loud.
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Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2015, 11:28:27 am »
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/281716486740

Doesn't look too bad, nice size and high amperage

That's a Server power supply lol, yeah that's gonna be loud and not suitable.
 

Offline DG5SAY

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2015, 06:10:45 pm »
Have a look at the DIAMOND GSV-3000 or the YAESU FP-1030 which is the same. They are 30 A-units and NOT SMPS!
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 06:15:13 pm »
That's a Server power supply lol
Hey, at least it's burnt in...

(doesn't say how many years though)
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 06:38:40 pm »
I have a couple of Dell 12V 100A power supplies saved from a decommissioned server. Very nice if you don't mind the sound of a small aircraft taking off  :scared:
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Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 06:47:19 pm »
Have a look at the DIAMOND GSV-3000 or the YAESU FP-1030 which is the same. They are 30 A-units and NOT SMPS!

I've got a Diamond GSV-3000 here, it's a Manson PSU with Capxon Capacitors and no OVP... It's currently putting out 17.7 volts  :bullshit: :bullshit: :bullshit: :bullshit:  |O This is why I'm looking for a decent PSU, I won't be putting this on my new rig :) Also the UK model is 25amp meh.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 06:49:31 pm by TheBay »
 

Offline LightlyDoped

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2015, 06:48:54 pm »
I have used an Alinco DM-330MV for some years, I like its diminutive size and features. It's been switched on permanently here for several years, no problems (touches wood).

There are indeed plenty of Hams on here.

Another vote for the Alinco. Mine's been very reliable and I don't find it noisy on HF.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2015, 07:35:40 pm »
Doesn't anybody build things anymore? Hunt down a transformer and some big capacitors at the nearest rally and the rest will be easy. Use a 723 regulator driving half a dozen 2N3771 transistors on the biggest heatsink you can find then add a crowbar circuit set to trip at 14,5V and you're good to go.

The best thing, when you show someone around your shack you can point to the power supply and say 'I made that'.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline AG6QR

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2015, 07:37:07 pm »
If you know about ham radio supplies, feel free to ignore this, but for those who don't deal with amateur radio much, know that good ham radio supplies have a few attributes that set them apart from supplies intended for other uses. 

  • They are designed for 13.8V constant voltage output, perhaps with a narrow range of adjustability around that value.
  • They typically have fairly high current capacity, maybe 25 to 50 amps or so capability.  There is no adjustable current limit, no constant current mode.
  • They're usually designed for a moderate duty cycle, since ham radio operators transmit for a while, then listen for a while.  Listening doesn't demand nearly as much current as transmitting.
  • They normally have a crowbar.  If there is any mechanism for the regulator to fail open, the crowbar circuit will detect high voltage, short the power supply, and trip the supply's overcurrent protection.  Since the supply costs a small fraction of the cost of the radio, it's usually OK for a supply to commit suicide in order to save the radio.
  • They're designed to have very low noise in the range of 1-30MHz or so, so that a radio receiver can hear weak signals, instead of just hearing power supply hash.  This is especially important for switching supplies, and it's why many ham radio operators prefer big, heavy, inefficient linear supplies.
  • They're designed to be somewhat forgiving of RF oscillations coming in through the power supply outputs.  This shouldn't happen in a shack with a proper antenna and feed line, but it might happen while transmitting if there are some faults in the antenna and/or feed line.

As general advice, I'd suggest it's easier to get a supply that was designed and marketed for ham radio use than to adapt another supply for that use.  However, ham radio supplies aren't rocket science, and a lot of hams build or adapt their own supplies.  If you want to DIY, you can search the web for schematics of the Astron line of linear supplies, which are considered very good and rugged.  Note that the schematic doesn't tell the whole story -- the mechanical and thermal aspects of the build quality are important, too.

Personally, I use a PowerWerx SS30DV, small switching power supply, and find it works well at HF and VHF.  My VHF rig a 75 Watt Yaesu FT-2900, and my HF rig is an 10W Elecraft KX3, with a 50W Hardrock-50 amp.  My local club has a bunch of 30A linear Astrons powering a variety of 100W HF rigs -- they're big, heavy, rugged, and dependable.
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2015, 07:43:03 pm »
If you know about ham radio supplies, feel free to ignore this, but for those who don't deal with amateur radio much, know that good ham radio supplies have a few attributes that set them apart from supplies intended for other uses. 

  • They are designed for 13.8V constant voltage output, perhaps with a narrow range of adjustability around that value.
  • They typically have fairly high current capacity, maybe 25 to 50 amps or so capability.  There is no adjustable current limit, no constant current mode.
  • They're usually designed for a moderate duty cycle, since ham radio operators transmit for a while, then listen for a while.  Listening doesn't demand nearly as much current as transmitting.
  • They normally have a crowbar.  If there is any mechanism for the regulator to fail open, the crowbar circuit will detect high voltage, short the power supply, and trip the supply's overcurrent protection.  Since the supply costs a small fraction of the cost of the radio, it's usually OK for a supply to commit suicide in order to save the radio.
  • They're designed to have very low noise in the range of 1-30MHz or so, so that a radio receiver can hear weak signals, instead of just hearing power supply hash.  This is especially important for switching supplies, and it's why many ham radio operators prefer big, heavy, inefficient linear supplies.
  • They're designed to be somewhat forgiving of RF oscillations coming in through the power supply outputs.  This shouldn't happen in a shack with a proper antenna and feed line, but it might happen while transmitting if there are some faults in the antenna and/or feed line.

As general advice, I'd suggest it's easier to get a supply that was designed and marketed for ham radio use than to adapt another supply for that use.  However, ham radio supplies aren't rocket science, and a lot of hams build or adapt their own supplies.  If you want to DIY, you can search the web for schematics of the Astron line of linear supplies, which are considered very good and rugged.  Note that the schematic doesn't tell the whole story -- the mechanical and thermal aspects of the build quality are important, too.

Personally, I use a PowerWerx SS30DV, small switching power supply, and find it works well at HF and VHF.  My VHF rig a 75 Watt Yaesu FT-2900, and my HF rig is an 10W Elecraft KX3, with a 50W Hardrock-50 amp.  My local club has a bunch of 30A linear Astrons powering a variety of 100W HF rigs -- they're big, heavy, rugged, and dependable.

You're very lucky you are in the USA, I'd give anything for a Astron Linear, but they don't sell them in the UK any more, the PowerWerx is also not available over in the UK, we have very limited choice for power supplies.

I'd happily pay extra for a decent linear, but no one sells them  :palm:

How do you find your KX3? I was going to get the K3, but they discontinued them for the K3S but that went up £500! so didn't bother.
I might get a KX3 for Field work, do you use it QRP or with an amp?
 

Offline AG6QR

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2015, 08:44:43 pm »
How do you find your KX3? I was going to get the K3, but they discontinued them for the K3S but that went up £500! so didn't bother.
I might get a KX3 for Field work, do you use it QRP or with an amp?

Note that Elecraft sells the PowerWerx supplies these days from their website.  I don't know if that's a practical way to get one in the UK, though -- I can imagine that shipping and taxes might make it a poor value, if it's possible at all.

Since I built my 50W amp (Hardrock-50), I use my KX3 mostly with the amp.  But I have used it by itself plenty in the past, and will do so again in the future for portable operation.  The amp is reasonably portable and lightweight, but when you combine it with the batteries to supply it for any length of time, it starts getting tempting to leave the amp behind for portable use.  Elecraft sells their KXPA100, which is twice the power of my amp, but it's also twice the weight, twice the volume, and about twice the price.  It is better integrated, but the combination I have is easy enough to use.

The KX3 is my primary HF rig, both for home and portable use.  Its receiver is outstanding, with great adjustable filtering, very good ergonomics, and lots of nice features built in.  I've owned it for a couple of years, and I've used friends' rigs by the major makers, but I haven't found another radio I'd prefer overall.  The only significant shortcoming of the KX3 is that there are times when I want more power, but an add-on amp takes care of that.  It's amazing that they pack that much radio into such a small box.

I'm afraid we might be drifting a bit off topic for this board, but if you want to dive deep into ham radio discussions, feel free to look me up on qrz.com, and send me an e-mail there, or start a thread on one of the forums there.
 

Offline Mr Simpleton

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2015, 09:03:09 pm »
MFJ do have some quite SMPS (would you beleive  :-DD ) ARRL did some testing years ago and the MFJ came out on top regarding switching noise... but the fan rattles and the look so not that great.. but it do works and that is what counts!

 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2015, 09:23:10 pm »
Doesn't anybody build things anymore? Hunt down a transformer and some big capacitors at the nearest rally and the rest will be easy. Use a 723 regulator driving half a dozen 2N3771 transistors on the biggest heatsink you can find then add a crowbar circuit set to trip at 14,5V and you're good to go.

The best thing, when you show someone around your shack you can point to the power supply and say 'I made that'.
When I was first licensed in the 1980s I made a PSU based on the one in the link below by Steven Goodier, G4KUB and John Goodier, G4KUC.

http://warc.org.uk/?page_id=404

I made it with extra pass transistors to get it to work to >30A and it is still working faultlessly today. I've used it to start cars when the battery is flat and I've thoroughly tested it in terms of 'abuse tolerance'

i.e. I've turned up the current limit beyond 30A and made sparks with it when shorting the output and I've tried to upset it with RF on the terminals but it just keeps working.

I don't use it much these days but it still works. The design ticks all the boxes for ham use.

The only downside is that the documentation for its construction was never that good (bugs!) and the updated info in the link for the schematic and PCB artwork is very poor. This is a real shame and it really needs someone to produce an accurate schematic and gerber/drill drawing because this PSU was a very good design IMO.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 09:29:14 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2015, 09:54:09 pm »
Doesn't anybody build things anymore? Hunt down a transformer and some big capacitors at the nearest rally and the rest will be easy. Use a 723 regulator driving half a dozen 2N3771 transistors on the biggest heatsink you can find then add a crowbar circuit set to trip at 14,5V and you're good to go.

The best thing, when you show someone around your shack you can point to the power supply and say 'I made that'.
When I was first licensed in the 1980s I made a PSU based on the one in the link below by Steven Goodier, G4KUB and John Goodier, G4KUC.

http://warc.org.uk/?page_id=404

I made it with extra pass transistors to get it to work to >30A and it is still working faultlessly today. I've used it to start cars when the battery is flat and I've thoroughly tested it in terms of 'abuse tolerance'

i.e. I've turned up the current limit beyond 30A and made sparks with it when shorting the output and I've tried to upset it with RF on the terminals but it just keeps working.

I don't use it much these days but it still works. The design ticks all the boxes for ham use.

The only downside is that the documentation for its construction was never that good (bugs!) and the updated info in the link for the schematic and PCB artwork is very poor. This is a real shame and it really needs someone to produce an accurate schematic and gerber/drill drawing because this PSU was a very good design IMO.

This looks really interesting, I will have a CNC for PCB's soon... Might have a go at this!
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2015, 10:30:46 pm »
There are a few things to note about the Goodier PSU in case they cause concern...

The PCB has live mains on it because there is a mains tripping relay on there which is used as part of the soft start and protection circuitry. So you need to be aware of this and I think a modern version of this PCB design should include some way of covering the live parts of the PCB. eg a fit perspex cover over this part of the PCB at the minimum.

Also, the mains transformer is a very pretty looking and very tough toroid type rated at 42A. But being a toroid, it can produce some audible (very low pitched) hum even at low loads. So it's worth putting it in a very solid box and make sure you don't mount the toroid such that the hum gets amplified by the metalwork in the box. The hum doesn't get louder at high loads but be aware that toroids are prone to making some audible noise.

Also, the overcurrent and overvoltage trip really is a 'trip'. It is very fast acting using an SCR and this also trips the mains relay. So it effectively turns itself completely OFF rather than folds back in a fault condition and you have to restart the PSU via the soft start button if it trips the current limit.

On mine, I mounted the current limit control on the front panel of the PSU using a conventional pot + knob and this is useful if you want to use the PSU for something lower powered that benefits from a lower current limit setting.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 10:39:57 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline TheBay

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Re: Decent PSU for a HAM Transceiver Required...
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2015, 09:11:03 am »
Thanks G0HZU,

This does look like a great PSU, I will build it :)

I need to get this transceiver on a power supply straight away, so I'm going for a Microset Linear, they look pretty good, can't find much information about them though.
 


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