RF amplifiers conceptually perform a very simple task: take an incoming RF signal and make it more powerful. Gain, or amplification, can vary anywhere from about 20X to over 1,000,000X (13dB to over 60dB) for single stage to multistage RF amplifiers. Driver level amplifiers typically take low level RF sources such as those found in RF signal generators and amplify them to 10W to 100W. High power output amplifiers may require anywhere from 1/2W to 10W of RF drive, but can yield powers exceeding 1000W from a single transistor.
There are numerous amplifier topologies and classes of operation, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Amplifiers range from highly linear and typically less efficient designs, to highly non-linear designs where efficiency is of paramount importance. Heat is the number one enemy of electronics, and some RF amplifiers generate a great deal of heat. Proper cooling of all RF amplifiers is mandatory, but except in extreme cases, is relatively straightforward.
Below are descriptions of the basic amplifier configurations we offer, with details about the benefits and operational characteristics of each. We're eager to see you succeed, so if you have any questions regarding any of our products, or how to properly configure an RF amplifier system, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help!
Amplifier modules offer enhanced EMI resistance and reduced emissions due to their enclosed design. They are typically low power and high gain Class A broadband designs, and excel as drivers in high power systems, or as standalone laboratory amplifiers. Almost all of our low to medium power (and some high power) pallet amplifiers can be supplied in module form.
The enclosed design also helps prevent objects from falling into the amplifier, and affords protection from incidental contact with environmental elements such as dust and moisture. None of our stock amplifiers are hermetically sealed, but we'd be happy to quote on hermetic versions for those that need extreme protection from the elements.
Unlike our pallet amplifiers and amplifier modules, mini-systems only require unobstructed cool air flow from the front of the amplifier to the rear. The included thermal protection is self-resetting, and will turn the amplifier back on when it has cooled sufficiently.
Pallet amplifiers are the least expensive form of an RF amplifier, and are most commonly found in medium to high power designs. Their open architecture affords cooling of the matching network transformers which can be necessary in broadband or high power designs.
Care must be exercised when using pallet amplifiers around equipment sensitive to EMI interference. Although most of the amplifier's RF energy is directed into its load, some will escape into the surroundings. For high gain broadband RF pallet amplifiers the converse is also true. Caution must be exercised to prevent unwanted signals from coupling into the amplifier via radiated energy from other RF sources.
We offer high performance Class A, and mixed class pallet amplifiers. High gain driver amplifiers, as well as high power output stage amplifiers, are available in a wide range of frequencies from 2MHz to 1GHz.
Pallet amplifiers require proper heatsinking as described in the individual amplifier datasheets.
All of our current amplifier modules are Class A ultra-broadband designs, and require proper heatsinking as described in the individual amplifier datasheets. They must be mounted to a heatsink with the lid facing up.
Mini-System amplifiers make RF easy! Nearly all of our amplifiers rated at 100W or less are available in anodized aluminum enclosures with the amplifier, heatsink, fan, DC power supply, and thermal protection. Just plug it in, and you're ready to go.
Our mini-systems are economical alternatives to full system designs with software-driven user interfaces, VSWR protection, etc. Mini-systems are perfect for those who need a simple turnkey RF amplifier, or those who don't have the time or resources to construct their own. They are excellent as standalone laboratory amplifiers, production test sources, or as drivers for larger system design and development.