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240V vs 120V vs Dedicated Line

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by N4UP, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sounds nice. Here in the summertime it is so humid that some days both heat-pumps are running continuously, but since they tie in outside I don't believe the 100A sub-panel is affected. Same story in mid-winter though much less often, if the outside temperature drops much below freezing, both heat pumps will have the auxiliary heating elements kick in. But most of the year it is mild and neither heat pump is actually running much.

    And I wouldn't be running more than one of the dryer, stove, or amplifier at a time.
     
  2. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just an update. For now I am using the 120V 20A dedicated line. So far no problems running the amplifier at 450W. Will be gradually increasing to 1000W to check for RFI. The drain voltage does drop during transmission, as expected, but it stays within the "green" zone. So far so good.
     
  3. KK7EL

    KK7EL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you have a 200A drop and only a 100A panel, I vote for upgrading panel to 200A and forever be done with the issue. Your electrician's hourly rate is a bargain.
     
  4. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, that seems to be the consensus. I will bring the electrician back to do the upgrade.

    But here's a question I should know the answer to before he comes back, as I figure you guys know more about this than he does ( and more than me ) ...

    After he upgrades the panel, can he use the same Romex 12-2 cable ( with ground ) from the radio room to a 240V breaker?
    Or would he need to thread a 12-3 cable ( with ground ) from the radio room to the breaker?

    And on the radio end of things --- The amplifier has a three-prong IEC320C13 connector for either 120V or 240V so I assume we wouldn't need 12-3?


    product575_0.jpg

    Now I am NOT the expert on any of this, but I believe the IEC320C13 amplifier connector is common on 120V appliances ( computers, monitors, printers, radio equipment, etc. ) and I have been unable to find a cable anywhere that goes from any "normal" 240V outlet to the IEC320C13. So I could ( a ) keep the existing 120V 20A outlet but wire it to a 240V breaker and switch the amplifier to 240V OR ( b ) replace the 120V outlet with a 240V outlet and buy a 240V plug and solder the three leads from the IEC320C13 to the 240V plug. I'm guessing ( a ) is dumb and I should go with ( b ).

    It just seems strange that the amplifier would have that connector in the first place. i.e., a common 120V connector to be used for either 120V or 240V.

    I finally got the right image to insert, but now I am stuck with two "attachments" that I don't know how to delete.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  5. W1QJ

    W1QJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As long as the 120v line he ran originally is "dedicated" to that one outlet you have for the amp now AND he did not add any other 120v outlets on the same feed, then all he has to do is remove the white wire from the neutral bar and add a 2 dpole 240v 20A breaker and convert the line to a dedicated 240v line. Then change the outlet on the end to a 240v style outlet. Get a matching plug for the outlet and cut the plug off the amp and put the new 240v plug on it. Then go inside the amp and make the 240v change according to the manual. You DO NOT need a new cord on the amp, just a plug.
     
  6. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you. That makes sense to me. He did not run any other outlets on the new feed to the radio room. So will plan to do as you advise.
     
  7. AC0H

    AC0H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here you go.
    Elecarft sells one for their KPA500.
     
  8. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you. That is VERY helpful. I'll order one.

    Now I understand why my search failed. I was searching "240V IEC" when I should have been searching "NEMA 6-15 IEC"
    ... It sure helps to know the correct terminology. And it sure helps to be on QRZ forums. Thanks Very.

     
  9. W0UZR

    W0UZR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Definately wire it up to 240v. The amp will be much happier, and you should use less electricity too
     
  10. AB1QP

    AB1QP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Code around here requires Electric dryer be on a dedicated line. Need to look into that before going that route.

    AB1QP
     
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