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New broadband microwave amplifier can be remotely controlled

Posted: 19 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ar worldwide? 20s4g11? rf amp? linear amplifier?

Linear amplifier can be controlled remotelyOff-the-shelf RF deckseven low power ones like thisare a sure fire way to quickly get a microwave system up-and-running and tested, as the problems of getting a homebrew design working successfully are neatly sidestepped. That's what makes companies such as AR Worldwide RF/Microwave Instrumentation successful.

The new 20S4G11 RF amp lists for $62,500. Regardless of price, AR Worldwide's newest broadbanded linear amplifier has a number of hooks that are likely to make it user-friendly, especially in the lab and on the factory floor. Not mentioned in the company's press release is the fact the 20S4G11 can be controlled remotely.

It also operates from just about any single-phase primary AC power source capable of supporting 550W. It will automatically adjust to run from any AC line voltage between 90V and 132V or 180V to 264V at either 50Hz or 60Hz.

RISC at heart
The system's digital control is implemented by a board that packs an 8-bit RISC processor. It supports both IEEE-488/GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus) and asynchronous full-DUX RS-232 serial control of amplifier functions. That's complemented by the system's front panel digital display that provides operational status as well as fault condition reporting.

Finally, the system's digital control supports both local and remote control of the 20S4G11 amplifier. These hooks let the 20S4G11 be readily used in conjunction with other test gear, such as sweep generators, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and power meters. In use, the amplifier can deliver at least 20-W of RF, and that's settable using either a gain control on the unit's panel, or remotely.

Protection circuits
The 20S4G11 is also protected from overdrive by means of an RF input-leveling circuit. It controls the RF input to the amplifier's first stage whenever the input level is increased above 0dBm (1mW). Gain can be set over a 10dB range.

The amp's RF stages are also protected from over temperature. That's accomplished by immediately cutting the unit's DC power supply.

If you need a turnkey box that can faithfully amplify AM, FM, or pulse modulated low-level signals, the 20S4G11 should fill the bill quite nicely. Packaged in its own cabinet, it can also be rack-mounted.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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