Ask Dr. SETI ®
The 200 Watt solid state power amplifier requires a substantial power supply, as efficiency at 1296 MHz is quite low. A Sorensen DCS 20-150 provides both power and voltage/current readout for the amplifier. This rather robust unit has its specs in the model number - 20 Volts at 150 Amps, i.e., 3 KW of DC power! It required a special 230V line to be run to the beacon location. The supply loafs along at 14.2V and 80 amps when the amplifier is keyed. IEEE-488 control allows both setting of the supply voltage and current limit, and readback of the actual current. This is valuable to confirm that the amplifier isn't acting up, and that the cooling is functioning as expected.
Although the power supply (like most of the beacon) was obtained on eBay, the folks at Elgar/Sorensen have been extremely supportive, both of the beacon project and of their products. Thanks!
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this page last updated 4 January 2003
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