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Driving An Amplifier

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by N9CUC, Nov 5, 2016.

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  1. N9CUC

    N9CUC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wasn't sure if this should be in the Amplifier section or not but since this is a general type question I thought I would post here.

    What does it mean to "Drive" an amplifier? I've seen YouTube videos where they say they are driving the amp with, I dunno, 30 watts, or 65 watts, or 100 watts. What does that mean and how is it done?

    And how do I do that on my Yaesu FT-950?
  2. KB9UWU

    KB9UWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Buckle up and put 'er in D, mash on the gas! It means how much power is going to the input of your amplifier. You adjust this on your radio by turning the power knob.
  3. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I drive my amp with the top down except in rain and snow everything gets all wet and doesn't work right.
    AF4RK and NL7W like this.
  4. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I drive my amp with the top down except in rain or snow then, I put the top up.
    NL7W likes this.
  5. K0HWY

    K0HWY Ham Member QRZ Page

    We were all new to this at some point. In addition to seeking help here, try finding a local, experienced operator to assist you.

    Probably should be in the amp forum but as the poster above said, driving the amp is providing the amplifier with a specific amount of input power. If you have an amplifier, I would suggest you read the manual as it will explain drive (among other things). Your transceiver will probably be referred to as the exciter. It's very important that you tune the amplifier correctly and provide the correct amount of drive. Both over-driving and under-driving an amplifier will make bad things happen. Your manual will also explain when to, "let off the gas".

    My amplifier suggests limiting drive to 80 watts. However, when properly tuned with a good set of tubes, I can easily achieve its rated output with 60 watts of drive. Again, read and understand your amplifier operator's manual.
    KJ4YEV likes this.
  6. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there really currently nothing in the license study material requiring prospective ham to know such basic principles?
    K1OIK and KC9VFO like this.
  7. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    If, you see smoke back-off a tad..
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why? That completely violates the TFMS* principal.

    (*Tune for Maximum Smoke)
    KE5OFJ and KB9BVN like this.
  9. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah Baby, "Smokin" Jim Carrey, from the mask.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  10. K0HWY

    K0HWY Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are but I think it goes back to methodology. The way things are today, it's very easy to simply memorize the correct answer and corresponding question. We've all seen it. Of course the better way would be to read up on the material related to the question and obtain a broader knowledge so you know not only the "correct answer" but why it's correct (and why the other choices aren't).

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