Saturday, 19 March 2011

Push-pull Linear Amplifier with NE592 Driver


Transformer T1 matches the relatively low impedance present at the VFO FET gate to the balanced inputs of the NE592. With a unipolar power supply, it is necessary to bias both inputs to roughly one-half of Vcc. Below, we have shown both inputs tied to +6 VDC, conveniently available from the VFO. If 6 volts were not available, we would employ a scheme identical to the "IF amplifier" shown earlier, with Vcc split in half with 2 4,7K-ohm resistors in a divider configuration, applied to both inputs. Normally, stage gain is determined by the value of a resistor between pins 2 & 7. Bench tests reveal better output symmetry, however, if we replace this resistor with a 1 nF capacitor.

Approximately 8 volts of RF drive is available at pins 4&5 if we don't load it too heavily. This is sufficient to drive a pair of 2N3906 PNP transistors in push-pull to roughly 1,5 watts output with excellent efficiency. With bias provided by the NE592, the output transistors are operated in their linear region. Push-pull operation provides inherent suppression of even-order harmonics (2f, 4f, etc.), thereby simplifying our output network design (not shown). T2 is a T44-2 toroid with 5 bifilar primary turns and a single 5 turn secondary. C1 is around 270 pF (for 10 MHz), and should be adjusted to resonate the primary of T2 to signal frequency.

Fig - Schematic of the push-pull final (Pin designations are for the 8 pin DIP package)
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A tuned transform tank does not like to see a severely reactive load. An antenna tuner or some other means of cancelling reactance and transforming impedance must be employed if the load departs significantly from 50+j0 ohms. Broadband transformers, on the other hand, are inherently less sensitive to mismatch because of their low Q, but must be backed up with an effective harmonic suppression filter to achieve acceptable spectral purity. A single pi-network should do it. A low Q parallel-resonant circuit (low L, high C) was also tried, with acceptable results.

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