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[TenTec] Centaur Power

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] Centaur Power
From: ac5aa@juno.com (Duane A Calvin)
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 11:24:29 -0600
I tried to post the results of my power measurements from when I had a
Centaur, but it got trapped because, apparently, the spreadsheet data I
pasted in must have brought in some HTML or other formatted data.  I'll
try recomposing it this evening.  In most cases I could get full power
out.  I don't know where the 550 mA limit is coming from - I think this
was a 100% duty cycle number because my measurements were at currents
above this for CW/SSB work.  On RTTY or 100% duty cycle modes they derate
the amp to a lower number (400W? - I don't remember any more.)  There is
also the problem of the input SWR to the amp which, without an autotuner
on your rig, would cause most rigs to decrease drive power, resulting in
decreased output capability.  This is some of what I plotted in the

Bottom line is that, other than some parts quality choices (the
mini-toggle switches) and the fan noise, I thought the Centaur was a
terrific amp for the price and really enjoyed mine.  QSK worked great,
even with non-Ten-Tec rigs.

        73, Duane

On Fri, 22 Feb 2002 08:58:17 -0700 "Chris Adams" <n4vi@arrl.net> writes:
> I don't own a Centaur, but the ARRL product review states the 
> following:
> "It takes the better part of the output of a typical transceiver to 
> drive the Centaur to full output - 90 W or so would do it in most 
> cases, 
> we found.  We got the rated power on all bands except 17 meters, 
> where 
> it was much closer to - but not quite - 500 W.  While the Centaur 
> manual 
> advises keeping the plate current at or below 550 mA during tuneup, 
> we 
> found that the tubes drew up to 750 mA on some bands when the linear 
> was 
> tuned for rated output.  Ten-Tec said this is normal.  (My personal 
> philosophy with an amplifier like this would be to run it at 450 to 
> 500 
> W.  There's precious little to be gained by pushing it to its 
> absolute 
> limits.) "
> 73
> chris, n4vi
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Duane Calvin, AC5AA
Austin, Texas

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