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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. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Read the manual and found it says it is NOT regulated which I find a bit disturbing for such an expensive amp. The worse that can happen is that the key down output might be a bit less than expected versus PEP on SSB.
    I wouldnt waste any more effort on a 240V line unless it proves absolutely necessary.

  2. AC0H

    AC0H Ham Member QRZ Page

    There aren't a lot of SS amp power supplies that are regulated.
  3. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks, missed that, but that is good to know. I believe the SSB rating is 1000W and the CW rating is 900W. I don't plan to push it beyond 600W unless I am sure I have fixed any RFI problems and I need a bit more power.
  4. K5VWZ

    K5VWZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I continue to follow this thread and have another comment after reading your other post. If you want to not ever have to mess with your load center again, swap out the existing for a 200amp panel. You will have more room and expansion capabilities. Now saying that, I bought a house along time ago that had Federal Pacific breakers installed, each breaker to replace was about 45bucks, did not take long to figure out a square d qo series breaker cost about 14bucks.
    Depending on how expensive your electrican is, I estimate 4 to 5 hours to swap out the panel and rewire it, that is unless you have to get permit to pull the meter, then you will have extra expense. sqd 200amp load centers at the big box house I think can be had for under 200bucks and breaker average price of say 25 bucks each....if you have ever heard a station with a power supply at a low voltage, you would not want to be that station. the voice peaks clip and the audio is quite sharp and it's not always the microphone....
    anyway, an extra 10 cents donated to your efforts Peter
  5. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Tom, your ten cents is very much appreciated.

    I would be mortified to produce a poor quality signal. I am new to this community and plan to join a local club and would hope some members would be on HF and could give me some feedback on signal quality. I am new to "modern" transceivers and I really have no idea how to make adjustments that affect SSB signal quality, so I simply leave everything at the default settings until I understand what I am doing. I do work mostly CW but it would be nice to work SSB from time to time without having to worry about signal quality.

    Regarding the 200A upgrade. My electrician charges $200 a day or $30 an hour. I would feel better knowing I am not stressing the existing load center. So for me it is probably worth the investment, as long as he doesn't have to take much of the house apart to do the job ( I was somewhat dismayed to see him knock three holes in interior walls just to run the 120V line, but at least he warned me in advance that he needed to do that and where the holes would need to be and how the holes would be fixed; he brought a carpenter along with him in part for the purpose of fixing the holes, repainting, etc., and in part because the overall "job" included a lot of other repairs, not just running the dedicated line for my radio ).

  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think in an earlier post you mentioned your service drop was only 100A, so upgrading the panel is the first half the job, and the part you invest in.

    Once that's done, unless I misread, you'd need to call the utility company to have them pull a 200A service drop for you.

    Here in L.A., if you change the panel and do all the interior work, so that it's "all ready" for the new service line, they will change the drop for free (no charge at all) -- but you have to be 100% ready for that. Hopefully you have the same deal.
  7. AC0TX

    AC0TX Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are between a rock and a hard place

    May I suggest that you tap the line to a seldom used 240 volt appliance, a cloths dryer for instance. I would assume that cloths dryer is on its own circuit.

    The only time that you couldn't operate is when the dryer is on. Maybe you only operate at night
  8. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks. Actually, I misunderstood what the electrician was saying, at first. Turns out the service drop is 200A but the inside sub-panel is 100A and maxed out. Which means he could add a box outside to run a 240A line though it would be very hard to run it to the radio room. So part of my concern is to upgrade the interior sub-panel to 200A to reduce the stress. And if we were to run a 240V line it would probably come from a box outside ( sorry I'm sure I'm getting the terminology correct, but the 2 heat pumps and electric water heater run off the outside panel, while everything else runs off the inside 100A sub-panel ).
  9. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you. I rarely use the dryer, and mostly either when my kids are visiting ( they do more laundry than I do ) or when I'm asleep. So it would not interfere with my being on the air ( I am retired, so I would be on the air fairly often, day or night, depending on when and which HF bands are open ). Clearly I'm not the expert in any of this, but my electrician did not like the idea of tapping into any of the existing 240V lines.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are ways to extend your existing service panel for more breakers, if the service to the panel is sufficient (and already 200A service), by simply installing a sub-panel. Cheaper and less work than replacing the panel. But to be safe and in conformance, you'd have to confirm the panel service is adequate.

    Of course in the "real world" it would be very rare at a residence to max out the service drop since we almost never (and usually, literally never) use all appliances at once. For safety and fire prevention, stuff's rated as though it is all being used at once, which is a good idea and of course it "might be."

    But in my case, for example, the pool pumps only run 6AM to noon every day, and although they draw about 40A when running, when they're not running they draw nothing. So if I wanted to sub some other 40A appliance between noon and 6AM, I wouldn't be overloading anything. My spa heater is on a timer and it runs 2 hours per day, between 3AM and 5AM. It draws 20A and keeps the spa (with the cover on) at 105F all the time. So there's another 20A available at all hours except those. I have an electric cooktop which, which all burners running, can draw 40A at 240V. But I've never, ever, even once used all the burners. It's possible to do that, but we just never do. So, there's surplus power there.

    The air conditioning draws close to 40A when it's running full tilt, but that only happens in the summertime (and maybe a bit in the spring and fall) and virtually never in the winter. So, there's 40A available in wintertime, anyway.

    It's all a bit overkill for most, like you and me. You'd probably be very safe running a subpanel, which if you do it yourself costs about $50.:p
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