[Amps] Amp Conversion - 3CX1500D7

Mitch Cox ww4cox at embarqmail.com
Fri Dec 10 07:01:14 PST 2010

Since Ameritron is now offering their AL-1200 with a 3CX1200Z7 I believe I would consider this tube over the 1500. I have built amps with both tubes and the Z7 has it all over the 1500. The Z is easier to drive (65 watts) and has superb stability. The filament transformers from Ameritron are small in size and I am sure you could find a place to mount it in the 77. I do not think I would chance the destruction of a large Hypersil by over taxing the internal filament winding when the outboard transformer is cheap and comes in a small easily mountable package. Because Ameritron is offering this fantastic tube in one of their amplifiers, you should be able to purchase it from them at a substantial discount. I really don't understand why someone else did not pick this tube up and run with it when it came out. As far as I am concerned it is the best tube ever built for a legal limit desk top amplifier. There is NO downside.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Paul Christensen 
  To: amps at contesting.com 
  Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 9:07 AM
  Subject: [Amps] Amp Conversion - 3CX1500D7

  I would like to get some feedback about a proposed Alpha 77Dx amp 
  conversion.  What I'm considering will be considered sacrilege by many Alpha 
  users -- but I've already added several improvements to my 77Dx,  all of 
  which are easily reversible.  Here goes:  In looking at the 3CX1500D7, it 
  appears as if it would retrofit nicely into my 77Dx and have the benefit of 
  instant-on capabilities.

  A bit of background information:  Last year, I modified by 77Dx by adding a 
  filament choke to get the 10A of filament return current off the chassis. 
  That modification has worked very well, and a side benefit is that the 8877 
  now sees 5.0V rather than 5.5V. A few issues to consider:

  1) The D7 appears to be about 1.25 inch taller than the 8877.  Clearance 
  with the existing exhaust manifold will be close.

  2) D7 availability.  I don't see many suppliers.  Is this still a tube in 
  production by CPI/Eimac?  K8RA discusses this tube in the 2006-2010 ARRL 
  handbook.  I really like what he's done with his homebrew amp.

  3) Filament current.  The D7 draws 30A.  The 8877 is 10A.  Anyone know the 
  filament specs on the 77Dx Hypersil transformer?  My transformer is the 
  version capable of 77Sx (2 x 8877) service.  I would hate to outboard a 
  filament transformer in my attempt to keep the amp modifications completely 
  reversible as I have so far.

  My Alpha 70A uses a 3CV1500A7 (electrically equivalent to a 3CX1000A7). 
  This tube has a directly-heated cathode like the D7 and also draws 30A from 
  a Hypersil transformer that's considerably smaller than that used in the 
  77Dx.  Is it possible that the 77Dx transformer has a similar high-current 
  filament structure to 30A, owing to the prospective use of a second 8877. 
  In the 77Dx configuration, 20A of filament is required from the transformer. 
  Seems like this is a real possibility.  I have absolutely no intention of 
  ever adding a second tube to the amp.

  4) Linearity & drive power.  It appears linearity may be compromised with 
  the D7 when compared to the 8877 -- and, required drive power will increase 
  although the latter is not a concern, provided I can reach 1500W on all 
  bands with 80W drive or less.  Above this drive level with many current 
  100W-class transceivers, IMD products from solid-state devices generally 
  increases at an increasing rate.


  Paul, W9AC 

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