__OVERVIEW____MODULATOR____Audio Phase Splitter____Audio Input Amplifier____RF Buffer Output Amplifier____Oscillator____Power Amplifier__

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The low power transmitter consists of two sections:-

[A] An exciter which contains:-

- A Stable LC Oscillator
- A Low Distortion Audio Preamp
- A Phase Splitter to Drive the Modulator
- A Beam Deflection Tube AM Modulator
- An RF Output Buffer Amplifier to Drive 50 ohm Coax

[B] A power amplifier which contains:-

- A Low Distortion Class A Power Amplifier
- A Matching Network
- An RF Meter for Output Tuning and Matching

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Modulation takes place at a low level in a Beam Deflection Tube.

The construction of the tube and its characteristics are shown on the right.

A rectangular electron beam is deflected by two deflection plates and intercepted by a split anode.
The strength of the beam can be modulated by a grid near the cathode.

If the beam is modulated at RF and push-pull audio applied to the plates, an amplitude modulated
signal will appear in both plates.

If only the middle portion of the deflection characteristic is used, the modulation distortion
is very low.

As the beam current increases, mutual repulsion between the electrons causes the beam to spread,
so a greater deflection voltage is required to totally deflect the beam at high beam currents.

If a small radio frequency sinusoidal signal modulates the beam current, it is assumed that it
splits in the same ratio as the total beam current. Beam spreading can introduce a small
second order error. This can be made insignificant by reducing the fractional beam modulation
by the RF carrier applied to the control grid.

In all further work it will be assumed that the fractional split of the total beams is equal to
fractional split of the small signal RF component.

A simplified model of the beam deflection tube is showm on the right.

I is the total beam current.

A fraction K is directed to the RH side giving a current = KI.

This leaves ( 1 - K )I on the LH side.

The transformer primary windings have a ratio of 1:n

The total magnetising current Im is then given by:-

Im = KnI - ( 1 - K )I

∴ Im = [ K(n + 1) - 1 ]I

When used as a modulator, zero carrier condition occurs when Im = 0 at Ko

∴ 0 = [ Ko(n+ 1) - 1 ]I

∴ Ko = 1/( 1 + n )

So that :- Im = [ K/Ko - 1 ]I

Unmodulated carrier occurs when K = 1/2

So that : Imc = [ 1/2Ko - 1 ]I

100% modulation gives a peak carrier of 2Imc = Imp

So:- Imp = 2[ 1/2Ko - 1 ]I

The ratio Kp for peak carrier is then given by:-

[ Kp/Ko - 1 ]I = 2[ 1/2Ko - 1 ]I

∴ Kp = 1 - Ko

In the transmitter n = 2 so that:-

Ko= 1/3

Kc = 1/2

Kp = 2/3

For full modulation the current division swings between 1/3 and 2/3 : that is only
over the linear portion of the deflection characteristic.

This modulator is capable of producing greater than 100% modulation
in the negative direction.

An envelope detector produces horrendous distortion under these conditions,
but the product demodulators in the Tuner demodulate the signal correctly.

A simplified circuit diagram of the modulator feedback is shown above.

The modulator distortion is inherently low since the deflection curves for the
beam deflection tube are linear and only the central portion is used for full modulation.

As a further guard against distortion, 26db ( x20) overall feedback is applied to
improve the deflection linearity of the beam tube.

The RF modulation is a linear function of the difference between the left hand
plate current, Ilhp, and right hand plate current, Irhp, of the beam tube V3.

** The variable ( Ilhp - Irhp ) must be used for feedback.**

V4 and V5 form an operational amplifier with the gain increased by boot strapping through C10.
R15 is the feed back resistor, so the voltage on the cathode of V4 is given by:-

V_{4c} = -I_{rhp}R_{15}

The voltage on the left hand plate of V3 is then:-

V_{lhp} = I_{lhp}R_{14} - I_{rhp}R_{15}

But R_{14} = R_{15}

So: V_{lhp} = ( I_{lhp} - I_{rhp} )R_{14}
Here R_{14} = R_{15} = 1.8K

The currents I_{lhp} and I_{rhp} contain an RF component at
carrier frequency and this must be kept out of the modulator feedback loop.

R_{14} and R_{15} must therefore be bypassed.

This produces a pole in the feedback loop which can be used as the main stabilising pole.

Unforunately, the pole is in the **feedback** path **not** the **forward** path.

For a simple feedback system:-

Y(p) = A(p)/( 1 + A(p)β(p) )

where Y(p) is the closed loop response:: A(p) is the forward open loop response::
β(p) is the feedback transfer function.

Here A(p) = A the forward gain.

β(p) = 1/( 1 + RCp )

where R = R_{14} = R_{15} = 2.7k

and C = C_{8} = C_{9} = 1.8nF

The turnover frequency fp is given by:- fp = 1/( 2ΠRC ) = 32.75KHz.

This is chosen as low as possible while still keeping it above the audio band.

Subsituting β(p) in the above equation we get:-

Y(p) = [ A/( 1 + A ) ][ (1 + τp )/( 1 + τp/( 1 + A ) ) ] where τ = RC

A zero has been introduced into the closed loop response.

This must be cancelled by a corresponding pole introduced into the signal path before
the feedback modulator.

If we introduce the correction transfer function Y_{c}(p) we get :

Y_{c}(p) = 1/( 1 + τ_{c}p )

The total transfer function Y_{tot}(p) is given by:-

Y_{tot}(p) =
[ A/( 1 + A ) ][ 1/( 1 + τ_{c}p ) ][ (1 + τp )/( 1 + τp/( 1 + A ) ) ]

For compensation: τ = τ_{c} so that :-

Y_{tot}(p) = [ A/( 1 + A ) ][ 1/( 1 + τp/( 1 + A ) ) ] ::
a single pole shifted out by ( 1 + A ).

Here A = 20, so the compensated modulator has a turnover frequency of 21x32.75KHz. = 687.75KHz.

Compensation Network

The compensation pole at -1/τ_{c} is produced by the input network R1,R2,C1.

The input terminal of A_{1} is a virtual earth, so the driving point impedance to C_{1}
is R_{1} and R_{2} in parallel to give:-

τ_{c} = C_{1}R_{1}R_{2}/( R_{1} + R_{2})

The change in steady state and step function response is shown as R_{1} changes to change
τ_{c}.

The output from the modulator is shown in blue and the output from the RF tuned
circuit in the plate is shown in red.

The transfer function for the modulation of the tuned circuit is given by:-

Y_{tc}(p) = 1/( 1 + τ_{tc}p ) where:-

τ_{tc} = 1/2B where the total bandwidth, B, of the tuned circuit is given by:-

B = f_{c}/Q

where f_{c} is the carrier frequency and Q is the Q of the tuned circuit.

Here B ≈ 40KHz.

Carrier Trap

To reduce the level of carrier in the feedback loop a trap is placed between V_{1} and
V_{2}. This tends to decrease the stability margin in the loop. To increase the gain
margin a shelf is introduced by the secondary fedback loop R_{5}, R_{6},
R_{7}, C_{5}. This shelf starts at 50KHz. and ends at 150KHz., thus improving
the gain margin by 3.

The high and low frequency open loop transfer functions are shown.

The increase in slope between 50KHz. and 150KHz. can be seen.

The closed loop steady state, step function and 1KHz. square wave responses are shown below.

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The detailed circuit of the modulator is shown above.

V2,V3,V4 and V5,V6,V7 form two operational amplifiers.

Gain is increased by boot-strapping through V3 and V6. This increases the effective dynamic
load on the EF184 pentodes and reduces the HF turnover frequency to about 8KHz. The low frequency
turnover determined by the time constant (C6 R8) occurs at about 300Hz. The final low
frequency gain is determined by screen and cathode degeneration.

The open loop gain of the amplifier is shown on the right.

Phase reversal occurs in the RHS operational amplifier.

R10-C9 is the front impedance and R11-C10 is the feedback network.

The high frequency closed loop response ( both steady state and transient ) of the phase
splitter with and without the shelf network is shown on the right.

The dominant and stabilising pole in the high frequency phase splitter loop is generated by
the load on the EF184 pentodes and capacity to earth.

The 50KHz to 150KHz shelf to give extra gain margin in the overall loop is generated by R5-C5.

Referring to the shelf generation in the phase splitter circuit:-

Let Ra = R6 :: Rb = R7 and R4 in parallel :: Rf = R5 :: Cf = C5 :: fb = bottom shelf frequency
and ft = top shelf frequency. We get:-

Rf = Ra( 1 - (ft/fb)( Rb/( Ra + Rb ) ) )/( ft/fb - 1 )

Cf = 1/( 2Πfb( Ra + Rb ))

Here ft = 150KHz. :: fb = 50KHz. :: Ra = 47k :: Rb = 2.5533K so:-

Rf = 19.867k :: Cf = 64.23pF.

The closed loop low frequency response of both sides of the phase splitter is shown opposite.
They track down to about 0.1Hz where the RHS has more attenuation and phase shift because
it has one more low frequency coupling network ( C8) than the LHS.

The open loop low frequency transfer function is fourth order:-

Y(p) = [(1 + T_{kz} p)/(1 + T_{kp} p)]

X[(1 + T_{sz} p)/(1 + T_{sp} p)]

X[(1 + T_{bz} p)/(1 + T_{bp} p)]

X[ T_{cz} p/(1 + T_{cp} p)]

Where T_{kz}, T_{kp} ;T_{sz}, T_{sp} ;T_{bz}, T_{bp}
are zeros and poles on the real axis due to the cathode decoupling, the screen decoupling, and
the anode bootstrapping.

There is a pole at the orogin, T_{cz}, due to the AC coupling : C7 and ( R6 + R7)

The low frequency open loop gain due to boot strapping turns over at about 300Hz. to ensure low frequency
closed loop stability. The low frequency response has a 4.2 db peak at 18.5 Hz.. This is of no
consequence, since it is covered by the modulator feedback, giving a peak of about 1.3db between 1 and 2 Hz.

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The circuit of the audio preamplifier is shown on the right.

The design uses the same bootstrapping technique used in the phasesplitter.

The input pentode is an EF86 - a tube designed for low noise and hum.

The open loop and closed loop response of the preamplifier is shown on the right.

A single pole RC filter on the input attenuates any RF pickup by the audio chain.

This has a 3db frequeny of about 150KHz.

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The buffer RF output amplifier drives about 1 M of unterminated cable connecting the
exciter with the power output amplifier. The requirements are:-

(1)Very low distortion

(2)Flat amplitude response across any AM channel (here 80KHz. wide).

(3)Phase linearity across the channel.

V2 acts as a Miller integrator with Cm the Miller feedback capacitor.

V1 provides constant current drive for the integrator.

The steady state response of the amplifier across the broadcast band is shown on the left.

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The full circuit of the L-C oscillator is shown above.

A beam deflection tube, V1, is used as the L-C oscillator. Isolation is provided by the
cathode follower V2a. The phase splitter, V2b, drives the full wave rectifier V3a, V3b.
The output of this is used as feedback to control the beam current, and hence the
oscillation level, in V1.

A beam deflection tube has the following attractive properties as an oscillator:-

[1] Positive feedback around the L-C tuned circuit is easily achieved because both
positive and negative Gms ( mutual conductances ) are available.

[2] When the deflection plate drive is sufficient to fully deflect the beam,
the plate current is a square wave. This greatly simplifies oscillator level control.

The transfer function, Ya(p), between the grid of the V1 and the RF drive to the full
wave rectifier is given by:-

Ya(p) = 1/( 1 + τ_{a}p )

where τ = Q/( πf_{osc} )

Here Q ≈ 80 : f_{osc} = 739KHz. ; τ_{a} = 3.49x10^{-5}

The response time of the full wave rectifier is smaller for increasing drive than
decreasing drive.The time constant, τ_{b}, for decreasing drive is
given approximately by:-

τ_{b} = (220pF)x(590k) = 1.3x10^{-4}

Loop stabilisation can be obtained by making the beam tube grid time constant,
τ_{c} much greater than either of these.

τ_{c} ≈ (0.1uF)x(100k) = 10^{-2} Secs.

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The Circuit of the RF Power Amplifier is shown above.

The RF amplifier is broadband, so that the there is only one tuning control in the
output matching network.

The plate current in the output tubes V4, V5, is sensed in the 18 ohm common cathode resistor
and fed back into the cathode of V2 to give about 20db of current feedback.
This ensures that V2, V3, V4, V5, act as constant current generator which is flat across
the broadcast band with minimal distortion.

The internal and suppressor grid shielding of the EF80 removes any interaction between the output
network and the current generator.

The output voltage on point L is divided down in a capacitive divider and fed back
to the grid of V2 to give heavy voltage feedback. This reduces the overall distortion still further
and ensures a wide bandwidth regardless of the loading of the matching network.

The R-C network in the plate of V2 produces a pole on the real axis at 10.6MHz. and
the R-C network in the plate of V3 produces a pole on the real axis at 2.26MHz.
The network in the feedback path produces a zero at about 10.6MHz. and a pole at about 30MHz.
This zero cancels the 10.6MHz. pole in the forward path to give two poles around the current loop
at 2.26MHz. and 30MHz..

With 20db feedback this provides good current feedback loop stability.

The correction network is placed in the feedback path rather than the forward path to give a shelf
which improves the voltage feedback loop stability.

The coupling network between V2 abd V3 ( 470pF/47K) has a 3db frequency of about 7.05KHz. This is more than 10 times higher than any other low frequency cutoff, so the forward path low frequency response falls at 6db per octave to well below the unity gain frequency giving good low frequency loop stability.

The overall step function response is shown on the right.
Regardless of loading, the transmitter is flat to beyond 35 KHz..
At the time of the above tests the low frequency response had a 1.4db peak at about 10Hz. due
to the audio preamp in the modulator.

This has been modified to give an overall response flat betwwen 10Hz. and 35KHz..

The RF matching network is essentially a parallel tuned circuit with taps.

Inductive and capacitive loads can be accommodated.

The circuit of the RF level meter used as a tuning indicator is shown above.

V6 is an RF amplifier. The DC on the plate is applied to the grid of V7a via the
470k/0.01uF low pass filter.

DC plus the RF is applied to the grid of V7b which acts as a peak rectifier because of the
capacitor Cf in its cathode. The cathode current is made large enough for the
rectifier to follow the modulation envelope, so linear detection occurs.
The potential difference between the the cathodes of V7b and V7a is then proportional
to the level of the carrier.

In the "tune" position, the level meter measures the RF voltage across the 18 ohm
common cathode resistor in the output stage. This gives an indication of the RF current drive
to the matching network. This is a parallel tuned circuit and presents the maximum impedance
to the output stage at resonance. The heavy voltage feedback ensures that the output voltage
remains constant as the circuit is tuned through resonance, and so the drive current has
a minimum at resonance.

__THE MATCHING NETWORK IS TUNED FOR A MINIMUM__

In the "run" position the output voltage across the tuned circuit is monitored
through a capacitive divider.

The output level can be set by the 1K helipot on the input to the RF anplifier.

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