[CQ-Contest] Bandpass filter

Keith Dutson kdutson at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jul 8 07:04:22 PDT 2012

This is a valuable resource to plan antenna location for a multi-transmitter
station.  Thank you for providing it.

I can relate to the problem of capacitors with lower than sufficient voltage
rating.  I use the ICE 419 banpass filters while on DXpeditions.  I have two
A models and two B models.  Both models do a good job rejecting out-of-band
crosstalk.  However, the caps in the 20 meter and up tuned circuits have
heated up, resulting in high VSWR.  This usually happenes when the operator
switches the transmitter to a different band but does not remember to change
the filter until AFTER transmitting and seeing high VSWR.  Ten meters is by
far the most vulnerable section.  I have a large supply of 270pf 500v silver
mica caps on hand to make repairs.  Two of these caps are wired in parallel
to get 540pf for the tank circuit.  If I could find caps rated at 1000v, I
would use them.

73, Keith NM5G

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Tom W8JI
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2012 9:07 AM
To: Guy Olinger K2AV; cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Bandpass filter

> I've had a C31 for years.  The separate feedline "option" for the C31 
> is QUITE the stretch. The numbers some previous posters have quoted 
> are conservative to my mind.  IMHO, the only station-safe 
> configuration to operate triple feedline C31XR at QRO is to also 
> spring for the high power NQN bandpass filters for 10/15/20.  That's 
> because, as others have posted, the typical exciter level bandpass 
> filter is not designed for 200+ watts out of band, and WILL go bad on 
> heat buildup in a contest. Only a matter of time before some cap dies.

Here is the problem, although appearently it is difficult to get across. :-)
Filters do not dissipate out-of-band power, they reflect it. Stress on the
filter will vary with filter placement on the line, and distance (because of
standing waves) from the source. The antenna is the source, the receiver end
the load, in the case of split feedline antennas.

If the element is mistuned based on a good choice of impedance reflected
back to the element, coupled power is reduced. If impedance reflected back
to the out-of-band element enhances coupling, power can be far worse than
the 50 ohm measurement case.

This is probably esoteric, but there will be bad spots and sweet spots in
the system where a capacitor's voltage rating or current rating might be

The REAL problem is, based on the cheap filters I have seen, is the
capacitors are just sized far too small. In filters I have seen, capacitors
are barely large enough to last into 50 ohm loads at rated power. They have
no current headroom, or voltage, and often are types with low Q in the

I added this section to a web page on coupled power:


look at levels down the page under:

Coupled Power, very close-spaced elements, different bands

Maybe that will help make my point that most (all that I have seen) articles
and basic understandings are incomplete or incorrect, and some are outright
wrong. Some say stub (or filter) location does not matter!

I would NOT put a reject stub or filter right at the output port of an
amplifier, I'd put it just under 1/4 wave away **on the reject band** for
most amplifiers. I'd put it at the antenna, and/or plan the impedance the
antenna sees at the stub, if I wanted to protect gear.

We can brute force things, or we can plan and understand better. Either one
solves the problem, but understanding how it really works and what really
causes the issue is probably better for the community as a whole. Even if we
can't have a universal recipe, we could at least stop propagating the silly
ideas that all sources and loads are 50 j0 out-of-band, and filters absorb
and/or dissipate a significant part of out-of-band energy.

73 Tom 

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