vrijdag 18 november 2016

36dB Attenuator for 20 W by PH2LB

This beautiful attenuator is designed and built by Lex PH2LB.
0...36 dB attenuator built by PH2LB  -  Click to enlarge the pictures
The attenuator can handle a maximum power of 20 watt and is used to reduce the power of a 5 watt transceiver.
At first I did not realized why Lex designed the attenuator for 20 W. Like many HAMs I thought, that 20 W is QRO. But please notice that 20 W is the Maximum power.  The chosen maximum power of 20 watts for the attenuator is an excellent choice. The attenuator can easily handle a power of 5 watts, without getting hot.

This was an eye-opener for me. hi.
0...36 dB attenuator by PH2LB
with 2 W resistors 
A resistor that  dissipates its maximum power will get very hot.
So it is good practice to choose the maximum power 4 times higher then the continuous power.
Lex choose for  a maximum power of 20 watts, to reduce a power of 5 watts.
The resistors have a maximum power of 2 watts. With a power of 1/4 of the maximum power, the resistors will dissipate about 500 mW each and they will not get hot.

The 20 dB section
Visit the article on the 36 dB attenuator on the web site of Lex PH2LB.

PA1B Power Attenuator Calculator
Lex used the PA1B Power Attenuator Calculator to design his 36 dB attenuator for 20 watts.
This unique spreadsheet in Excel calculates the number of resistors and the values of the resistors from the E12-series for an attenuator section.

In the picture below I show the input values for the section of 20 dB, for a maximum power of 20 watts, that is built with resistors of 2 watts.
PA1B Power Attenuator Calculator - Input values for the 20 dB section
Just download the PA1B Power Attenuator Calculator and play with the values. The calculator has no restriction on the power.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Thank you for re-blogging my Attenuator. All credits to you calculation sheet :-)

    1. Hello Lex, it's my pleasure to show your beautiful built 36 dB attenuator for a continuous power of 5 watts. I very much like how you made the small PCB's. FB.
      I am pleased that you used the PA1B power Attenuator Calculator to design the attenuator. 73, Bert