zondag 13 juli 2014

Accurate and fast 5 watt attenuator for QSO's

Fast in QSO's
A simple way to reduce the power of your QRP set to milliwatt level, without modifying the set, is the use of attenuators. The combination of 20 dB, 10 dB, 7 dB and 3 dB is fast to switch, when you want to increase your power in QSO's. In one move, one attenuator section is switched OFF and an other is switched ON, to increase the power with a step of 3 db or 4 dB.

5 watt Accurate and Fast Attenuator for QSO   20 - 10 - 7 - 3 dB
Power
All attenuator sections are designed for an continuous input power of 5 watts. This is 10 watts in CW.
The attenuator sections consist each of 3 compound resistors, which each are formed by a number of resistors in parallel. These resistors are a power resistor of 1 watts and a some resistor of a modest power (1/4 watt). The resistors with a star * can be 1/4 watt. Or you can chose  1 watt resistors for all resistors.
The power resistors, with a lower ohmic value, dissipate most of the power and an other resistor is added in parallel, to arrive accurately on the wanted ohmic value. The power attenuator sections of 20 dB and 10 dB are build with 9 resistors, since they must dissipate much more power than the other sections.

Accuracy
With two or more resistors from the E12-series in parallel, you can accurately make any value you want.
The resistor value of the combination is most of the time within 1% of the theoretical value.
This is why an accurate attenuator section, must always consist of 6 resistors or more.
Checking the value with an ohm meter and picking the resistor, with the higher value by hand, will improve the accuracy of attenuator section to 0.1 dB.
Notice that when you use the attenuator as an accurate attenuator, the accuracy of the attenuator is largely determined by the 20 dB and the 10 dB  sections.

Simple layout
The choice of placing resistors in parallel, leads to a very simple layout of the attenuator sections.
There's NO need for a PCB. hi.

Table for the fast and accurate  20 - 10 - 7 - 3 dB    5 Watt  Power Attenuator

3 opmerkingen:

  1. Hi Bert
    How do you deal with the receiver? Do you switch the attenuator on and off as you switch between tx and rx?

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    Reacties
    1. Hi Sverre, thanks for asking. I always listen trough the attenuator.
      A station with a power of 100 W is 20 dB stronger received by me, than my 1 W is received by him, when I don't use the attenuator. So I receive a strong signal.
      When the propagation goes up with 10 dB, I can lower my power with 10 dB, by switching on a 10 dB attenuator and still be received with the same signal strenght.
      The 10 dB of the better propagation and the extra attenuation of 10 dB, cancel each other out, so the signal strength of the signal that I receive, does not change,. 73, Bert

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    2. Hi Bert.
      Thanks for the answer, it's a bit like listening through the attenuator in the front-end of most receivers then.

      I like how you were able to make these attenuators with clever combinations of standard resistors. That's nice!

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