ALC power spike info

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Hi All,

Over the last few weeks I have managed to kill two BLF188XR LDMOS devices for no obvious reason.

The first was using a Flex 3000 and the second using a Flex 6400 a week later. Both radios are only good for 100W max o/p. The amps had 16dB of input attenuation so only about 2.5w hitting the 188XR, 1.8v bais and 51v on PA, hence well within spec.

On both instances the input gate NP junctions had failed (low ohms), most probably due to overdrive, ALC overshoot, TX spike etc. so my question is has anybody used a fast trace scope to observe and record the initial few seconds of TX on a 6400/6600?

Other people must be using LDMOS 188/189 devices with these radios so what experience is there out there about this issue please?

73 Steve G1XOW
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Steven G1XOW

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Posted 1 year ago

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Steven Linley

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I have drive (TX setting) limited to 12Watts. Using a 13dB attenuator.
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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What model amp was this?   2.5 watts, even if it briefly spiked, like from an Icom 7300,
to almost twice that, would not damage the devices with proper input protection design.
But if this was an ebay RF brick, with unknown bias, filtering, feedback, or protection
circuits, then all bets are off.   Even with the 16dB input attenuation, the LDMOS devices
themselves have good gain and high frequency response, requiring good design to control
oscillation.   Oscillation in an LDMOS device can puncture the junction in milliseconds.
But SWR, coax shorts, and the like don't tend to bother LDMOS, as the main output 
channel is amazingly tough.


Also Ref:

Notice that while it is hard to kill a properly designed LDMOS amp with output malfunctions,
the portion left unsaid is just how fast you can destroy them during the design phase if a
run-away oscillation occurs.  Or, in the field, if the design is marginal.

Even if this is a commercial amp, I have a hard time thinking that a Flex, Yaesu, or Icom
transceiver could harm it.   Most all ham transceivers are well known, due to design of the
circuits used, to have an initial surge on key up, amount varied by brand/design.  The amp
makers have known this for decades, and take that into account.
It is likely some other fault that developed with the amplifier, or else ALL the solid state
amps would be blowing up, including mine.

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Michael Walker, Employee

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I am using the same RF-KIT amp you are with 13db pads and have yet to have an issue.  

Have you discussed this with Reinhardt?  Could it be with the method the LMDOS chips are installed as there was a lot of discussion on the RF Kit forum regarding that?

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Doug Hall

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I don't have a 6400, but below is a shot of my 6300 at 100W. As you can see there is no discernible overshoot. I also measured it at lower power levels (50W, 10W, 1W) and the result was the same. Likewise if I use AM or FM and use the PTT instead of the Tune button I get the same result. No overshoot in TX at all. The Flex is actually the best radio I have owned in this regard. I don't know if the 6400 is the same, but I suspect it is.
Doug K4DSP