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Author Topic: Dedicated RF  (Read 13196 times)
N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2013, 04:35:53 PM »

Dan,

Congratulations and good luck on this business venture.

You truly handle yourself like a professional and all around good guy. I feel that anyone with a bit of common sense that has read through the last few pages of this thread will be sending their orders your way.

@N3JBH: You, my friend, owe me a new HT!

Well...... I'll settle for some paper towels to replace the few that I had to use cleaning up the coffee off of the HT and my desk?  Grin
Fair enough  Grin
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KK3AN
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2013, 08:31:37 PM »

Dave / WX7G

I'll tell you (what was once) a secret....

The core intent is to not focus this product primarily to the Amateur Service, but rather the Amateur Service be a sideline (to Government / Land Based Aviation, etc etc). This is pretty much why the website does not appear as being worded fully towards hams.

Partial evidence of this is:

1) Tunable from well below 160m (approx 1500 Khz in the AM band) and continuously to 51 / 52 Mhz (including lower VHF from 30-50 Mhz). (Right now the spectrum above 30 is preliminary). Freq. locked for hams per FCC.

2) No (serious) consideration given to blower noise - realizing this will likely not be placed immediately next to an operator in most cases.

3) An amplifier "case" completely clean of knobs / buttons / meters, etc - with only a "red" and "green" LED which can be viewed by a video camera at some remote location in a concrete shelter, and able to be controlled at a 100% virtual level via ethernet.

4) Two (2) active blowers in each amp - with a 3rd intake muffin fan - considering both high ambient temperature (again the concrete shelter - hotter than the average ham shack) and also at elevation (where air is thin and air pressure is reduced).

5) A 76 LB main transformer designed for real 100% CCS. No derating.

6) Little (under 10%) consideration is being given to overall size or weight, or frankly, cost. The design will dictate each of these. My goals - subject to change - right now are under 150 LBS and under $8,500 to the customer (the final product could weigh more and cost more, but I doubt it).

7) No lightning fast band changes (due to the mechanical inductor tank design). Band changes will take time - a lot of time going from 160m to 10m.

My apologies if this comes across as commercial in nature, but this seemed necessary to provide the argument that we're certainly not out to supply foreign contesters with a 5KW amp.

AJ3O - I appreciate your comments very much. Thank you.

Dan Simmonds
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AJ3O
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Posts: 124




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« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2013, 08:42:44 PM »

Dan,

You are welcome.

Jeff,

I'll stop by  for those paper towels.... Hi hi Just kidding. Cheesy
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2013, 09:08:51 PM »

Joe i bring then to the next Sky view ham fest  Cheesy
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W1QJ
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Posts: 1492




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« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2013, 03:31:41 AM »

Hi Lou,

Interesting - I was wondering what had happened to that line. Congrats on picking that up and running with it. Ironically I was just discussing Lunar Link with someone yesterday.

A couple months back I sold my entire inventory of the 800A7's (all 113 of them) and opted to go with the 8877.

Best of luck, and keep in touch.

Dan

Thanks Dan, check out the updated website   www.lunarlink.com   Yes, my partner in the company is Steve W1SMS who did business with Steve K1FO and was personal friends with Steve and his wife.  After Steve passed his wife relied heavily on Steve  SMS to help with  what to do with Lunar Link.  Steve asked me about my thoughts on taking over and I was all for it.  It's been a major job moving the equipment and all the stock of parts and setting up the manufacturing stock room etc.  However we are now assembling power supplies to get our feet wet then we will tackle the decks.  Steve is a 30 year veteran of plasma and sputtering generators so manufacturing is nothing new to him.  We were surprised to see that K1FO had accounts with an Australian company who does cancer treatment, low and behold they have contacted us with an order for a unit.  So it looks like this venture will prove interesting.
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W9GB
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Posts: 2656




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« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2013, 06:39:30 AM »

This hyperlink for the "new" Lunar-Link works (and searchable ia Google).
http://home.cshore.com/lunarlink/

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WX7G
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Posts: 6214




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« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2013, 09:00:53 AM »

Dan, the link describing the two tube amp is aimed squarely at the amateur radio market.

http://www.dedicatedrf.com/

I see I have to be direct and ask you "does Dedicated RF intend to sell the two tube 8877 amplifier to foreign amateur radio operators, yes or no?"
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 09:16:25 AM by WX7G » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 3963




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« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2013, 09:48:33 AM »

JBH:

Quote
Quote
Al i not sure i completely understand your post here. First why couldn't you still replace just a component  in/on any module ?

Sure, no problem with that..... unless the module contains proprietary components that become obsolete or unobtainable AND the ham trying to repair the amp has the expertise to trouble shoot the amp to start with.  This has become more and more difficult with the increased complexity of these modules. 

Quote
Second , What to say rather it a complete module or simply a single component that the part may or may not be available in the future?

Exactly my point.  At some point the ham community is going to wake up and find they own equipment that is very expensive and unrepairable.

Quote
Lastly , Even the the old Heath's  have components that are not exact replacements today but we have and can adapt other part's to them to keep them running. I feel fairly certain Dan could not guarantee the availability of any single part used in the construction of his amp designs would never become unobtainable. The manufacturers design and sell  there products  as market demands. And these demands change over time. This problem would effect any electronic device ever made. I know i never be able to afford one Dan's amp's , God knows i would love to have one but economics will prevent that. However I give him credit if he and his team can produce a high quality piece of equipment then great i wish them all the best in luck in there pursuits.   But i personally see merit in his idea's.... Jeff

Again, my point exactly!  I think I would be safe in saying that Heath amplifers are seldom repaired with the original parts, unless they turn up on eBay.  However, my point was that the Heath amplifiers CAN be repaired with substitute parts because the parts are very basic and will probably be always available.  This the beauty in a BASIC amplifier!  Amplifers today have morphed into very complex devices and have rapidly outstripped the average hams ability to repair them. 

If you reread my question you will see that I was asking, "why not a basic amplifer for the masses that can be repaired 20-30 years from now?"  I do understand the need or desire for something new and nice, which translates to idiot proof and has a lot of bells and whistles to amuse the owner....and of course to meet the demands of the more affluent.

Your statement, "God knows I would love to have one...." is another point I was making.  People like you and I can no longer afford to buy most of the present day amateur gear because it's so damned complex which increases  the cost and practically eliminates any chance of the average ham fixing his own gear. Repair work outside the shack has also become exceedingly expensive because of this complexity.

It's now getting to the point many "hams" don't even know how to hook their new megabuck gear up, let alone make it work!
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20636




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« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2013, 10:20:03 AM »

I doubt I'll ever buy an $8500 amplifier unless inflation gets so bad that a loaf of bread costs $20; however I see no harm in very big amplifiers being sold to hams.

Dating back to the old Alpha 77SX days (dual 8877s, lots of them out there) through the Henry 8K and many other pretty big amps, I've never felt the need to complain about any of them, or anyone using them.  I doubt anyone ever won a contest because he ran illegal power; it takes a lot more than that to win contests.  When operating from some large M/M stations, I've had the experience of an amp kicking off line and not noticing (headphones on, can't hear anything except the receiver) for hours, with no change in hourly contact rates. Wink

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M0HCN
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Posts: 473




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« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2013, 11:21:37 AM »

I am not really convinced by the 'modern kit is too complex to fix' argument, I mean sure the techniques have changed, VHDL toolchains instead of bench drills and VTVMs for example, but ultimately if you can figure out how the thing works (And radios really are not that complicated) you can usually bodge up a replacement for an unavailable part.

Sure if you loose a custom LCD panel or big ASIC the repair can be a pain and can end up with a rig that looks a little Frankenstein, but end of the day, a DDS is in some ways simpler then a good VFO, a mixer is a mixer and most SSPA strips are pretty similar. 

Move the DSP to a small embedded board if the custom DSP is unavailable, given the rate of progress in computer power your little embedded board probably stomps the rigs original DSP anyway.

The big pain is not the parts, it is the diagrams, and the source code (Including the HDL source code), really the two should be included in the documentation if the rig is to be considered properly fixable.

In reality I have to question the extent to which self repair was practiced on any kit more modern then the 1960s, my instinct is that most folks took rigs to a repair shop, and this has not changed significantly. 

The cost in any product is generally NOT the small signal electronics, you can design a lot of that in with only a very small effect on the per unit cost, it is the metalwork and the power stuff that really costs, and that never gets much cheaper, so I can see an argument for throwing electronics at the problem if it adds features without significantly impacting the overall unit cost.

KK3AN: You might want to think about a set of relay contacts brought out for 'alarm' monitoring outputs, or if the thing talks TCP/IP anyway maybe SNMP? For the rack of amplifiers in a lights out rack room somewhere, both are extremely useful.

73 Dan (Who considers 'No user serviceable parts inside' to be a challenge).
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W5JON
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Posts: 174




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« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2013, 12:13:00 PM »

Dan, the link describing the two tube amp is aimed squarely at the amateur radio market.

http://www.dedicatedrf.com/

I see I have to be direct and ask you "does Dedicated RF intend to sell the two tube 8877 amplifier to foreign amateur radio operators, yes or no?"

WX7G,

Dan has been very courteous and obliging to your rant, please, please give it a rest.

73,

John
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2013, 12:16:17 PM »



And  K8AXW i ask you what devices do you know of that will positively still be here in 20 to 30 years ? That was one my points. What device would you use for say the tube or transistor that you be certain would still be here? Being basic would it still use through hole components? Times are a changing and while i agree there probably could be some one out there that could build a amplifier for the "masses"  I am not sure it have any provenience over the Ameritron amp's that are already available.

So i am a bit curious what would you suggest or recommend for such a amplifier?  What devices would you use for the finals ?What would you suggest be a great starting price for this  new amplifier that could be designed for the masses? And last what would it bring to the market that is equal to or better then any thing that is already available?  
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 12:22:02 PM by N3JBH » Logged
M0HCN
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Posts: 473




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« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2013, 01:15:08 PM »

If I was to try a 20 year repairable amp, I guess I would probably use 50V LDMOS, because much of it is more or less interchangeable and there is a ton of it out there, MRF151/VRF151/BLF177/SD29... All of it will work in more or less the same board with at most minimal changes.

Go SMT for the lot, because availability is frankly going to be better, and anyone doing repair work will have to get familiar with it.

I am far from convinced that actually it much matters what you use, the money is in the thermal management and output filters, not the RF gain parts so much, so if in ten years someone needs to cook a new PA module for the thing using whatever is new and shiny then that is not a big deal. 

Similarly, power supplies are not that big a deal anymore, the advent of switchmode power for telecoms applications has seen to that and provided a wide range of off the shelf power supplies entirely suited to our needs.

Specify the interfaces between the controls and the RF deck, use standard connectors and provide a drill diagram for the heatsink (so if I have to do a new amplifier board sometime I can make it fit the heatsink) and I don't see anything to make me think a 20 year life is impossible or even all that unlikely, but the thing will be at least as expensive as (inflation adjusted) something solid from any of the old players.

Forgo the micro (Possibly difficult with the US market and the 11M sillyness you guys have), most everything can be handled in trivial discreet logic (Or use a micro, but provide full documentation so I can sub something else). 

The key thing to making a repairable radio actually is not what technology you use, but is that you supply ample technical documentation, ideally including a BOM, schematics, commented VHDL or Verilog sources, mechanical drawings, G code, assembly drawings, setup instructions, JTAG boundary scan sequences, the lot. Sure it means I can duplicate your radio, so what, by the time I get one you should already be working on the next big thing.

73 Dan. 
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MAGNUM257
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Posts: 159




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« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2013, 03:31:49 PM »

A public forum really isn't the place for this

Then why did you do it here? Mike's post was neutral -- he basically said he was no longer affiliated with your company. Then you had to jump in and say he was fired. Tacky, tacky.

Agreed.
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TANAKASAN
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Posts: 933




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« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2013, 03:34:22 AM »

"73 Dan (Who considers 'No user serviceable parts inside' to be a challenge)."

Such a label is an open invitation to unscrew the covers and take a peek inside.

Tanakasan
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