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Re: [Amps] LDMOS availability

Subject: Re: [Amps] LDMOS availability
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 01:14:14 -0400
List-post: <>
Merv touched on a very important point. These SS devices are built for a specific purpose and industry market that will purchase enough to cover the high cost of development and show a profit. Few were designed for "linear" operation as we define it. OK, so with unprocessed SSB the duty cycle is usually figured at 20%, but those peaks may be much wider than those pulses.

The only way we can know for sure is when someone who can afford enough of those devices to test them running in class AB1. The greatest problem with these devices is HEAT and it takes care and knowledge to transfer a thousand watts of heat from that little device through its tiny footprint with a high enough efficiency to keep the junctions or gate temperatures low enough to prevent thermal runaway, or a drastically shortened life span.

I'm becoming attached to the idea that the word "linear" should be banned from the advertising Ham Amps, unless they (the seller) can show proof that the amp is truly linear, neglecting HOW Linear an amp must be before we can call it linear. How often has an add for a 2-meter Amp stated, "160 Watt 2-meter FM linear amp? A linear class C amp is quite a trick.

Often, or more likely with "most" new devices, the yields are far from being a viably financial product. Even after a temporary shutdown of production, yields will be down on the re-startup. This is generally true from creating the Silicon from sand, the process for creating HSiCl3 (Trichlorosilane from which the poly crystal Silicon is made), creating the polished wafers and all the steps for creating the finished devices. I'll skip describing those steps as they could more than double the size of this post. Google is your friend if you really want to know! I've also skipped the hazards associated with these steps.

More and more new devices are developed for what we see as exotic nodes. We re-purpose these multi kilowatt devices into (hopefully) linear devices. Well the literature did say 100% duty cycle, BUT that was with some exotic wave form (just call it pulse for simplicity), or biased into DEEP class C. If the efficiency is much over 60%, like 73% to 75% your AB1 or 2 is going to reach thermal overload FAR SOONER than the power ratings in the data sheets.

HOWEVER high power "linear" devices are available and still being developed. A pair of 1200 W transistors is 2400W. Two pallets with a pair of these devices run at around half their ratings of 4800W "can" give good life, efficiency, and low IM products. Add "dynamic pre-distortion" and the resulting signal can beat the quality of the best tube rigs. The key is the pallets and combiners need to be designed for the power being run Development of these devices is more mature than earlier devices and accurate modeling and speed and more accurately design these new devices.

I would "guess" that instead of linear, those devices were run in deep class C, while the modulator was run at half that power PP class B. 80 to 90 percent efficient tells me they were either using one of the more exotic forms of amplification, operating in deep class C, or a combination. They were definitely not running class AB, or B in PP.

90% tells me they only had to dissipate around 5,560 watts of heat for 50,000 W output. Class AB1 or 2 (60%) would require getting rid of at least 33,333 Watts of heat and circuits for these frequencies are much simpler than a 160 through 10 meter band switched amp.

73, Roger (K8RI)

On 6/6/2017 Tuesday 6:42 PM, Merv Schweigert via Amps wrote:
Cant quote you the device numbers, but have seen KW plus MOSFETS around since the middle to late 1990s. When I purchased this AM station property there was a Harris 50KW chugging along, it used 50 MOSFET modules, 50 for RF and 50 for modulation. plug in boards and would auto adjust if a module went down, it kept running fine at
lower power.
Commercial use has existed for some time. perhaps price and class of service was not
conducive to amateur use,  but they have been around.
By the way the Harris 50KW ran 85 to 90 percent efficient, thats power line in to power out.

73 Merv K9FD/KH6

OK, name some 1400W solid state devices and they're first date of manufacture. Seems to me they didn't exist until a few years ago.

You don't like solid state....we get it.
People didn't like cars and tractors much when they drove horses out to pasture either.

On 6/5/2017 9:54 PM, wrote:

You made and proved my point for me. The transistor you mention is NOT an 1400 watt class (as I specified in the email) in fact your transistor is not even close, it is closer to 140 watt out (if memory serves) That makes your statement off by a factor of 10. You asked me to be careful, I was very carful to specify 1400 watt class in my email.

Thank you , Bruce, W8HW

-----Original Message----- From: Larry Benko
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2017 20:40
Subject: Re: [Amps] LDMOS availability


The MRF-150 came out in 1983/84 and Helge Granberg produced the Motorola
app not EB-104 using the XRF-150 in the same year.  It is still readily
available.  Be careful with your FACTS!

Larry, W0QE

On 6/5/2017 5:12 PM, wrote:
Actually you do NOT have your crystal ball to predict the future so your statement is NOT based in fact, only an opinion. I prefer to go with facts, so hear we go.

FACT... Because we can not see into the future, we only have history to look at.

FACT... History has shown us that RF power devices have NOT survived 15 years of manufacture very well... IN FACT... I challenge you to show me the facts. Show me a solid state RF transistor in that power class (RF 1400 watts out) that has been in production for 15 years and is still in production today. I am open minded and would love to see your report.

FACT... I noticed that you did not mention if they agree to the $100k Guarantee. Why is that important, see below.

FACT... If they are sure that they will keep production going until the year 2032 (15 years), then that guarantee should BE NO PROBLEM for them. Talk is cheep

FACT... If you feel that is an unfair request, then that tells us that (Deep down) you do not believe them either. Please do not tell me that you DO have a crystal ball.

FACT... Many high power tubes (8877 and 3-500) do have a rich 40+ year history with no end in sight.

FACT... I have purchased the BLF188 because I CAN afford both the cost and the risk. However people who can not afford the cost and risk may wish to take this into consideration.

FACT... I have been in the RF repair industry since 1971 and have seen and faced this issue happen over and over again. How long have you been in it???

73, Bruce, W8HW

-----Original Message----- From: Per Molund
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2017 14:55
To: ; ; Tom Thompson
Subject: Re: [Amps] LDMOS availability

Actually they have put it in writing, on the data sheet (although
prelimenary at the moment) they state 'Included in NXP product
longevity program with assured supply for a minimum of 15 years after
launch' which I see as a quite firm commitment. Or do You have an
example that NXP has not fullfilled their 'longevity program'
commitment for some components?

73 de LA9XKA - Per

At 19:08 05.06.2017, wrote:
Talk is cheep. Ask them if they will put that in writing? Also ask if they will put a penalty clause stating they will give you a $100k payment should they fail the 15 year test. After all if it was true, they should have no problems with that. On the other hand if they baulk , that tells you that they are just talk with no truth. Additionally, Please be honest... If you are reluctant to ask them for that guarantee, that shows that you KNOW they are just talk. Someone or Anyone let me know if anyone gets that guarantee.

Remember company plans do change with new management or when they get a bad P&L. This is especially true if they are listed on any exchange such as NASDAQ. Like the dip in early 2016 (NXPI at $65) and now back on a good clime this year ($109.00) now. companies tend to make strong claims on the peek and pull claims back claims on the stock dip. Often they have no choice. The device market history is the only good indicator. Solid State RF power devices still have a very poor history. Translation... the market speaks with authority, companies just talk.

I have a solid state amp (dual BLF188) homebrew amp, and have two (2) tube amps one of which is AL-1500 with 8877 tube. I love them all, but understand the risk of SS replacement as I have been in broadcasting or the RF repair business since 1971 and a Ham since 1962. I have lived through everything that I have said above.

73, Bruce, W8HW

-----Original Message----- From: Tom Thompson
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2017 11:18
Subject: [Amps] LDMOS availability

I recently took part in a webinar on the new, 1800 watt, 65 volt, LDMOS transistors made by NXP. It is the MRFX1K80, and NXP plans to produce
it for at least 15 years.

Tom   W0IVJ
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