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by disinfoniacs #69 & #1




in depth

Most radios generate a low level of power for transmitting and then boost it with an amplifier. An RF power amplifier increases the low-power output from a handheld transceiver. There are several types of amplifiers available to boost the transmitting power of your radio. If you have a Technician license, you might use a VHF power amplifier to boost your signal from 4 watts to 70 watts on VHF. If you upgrade your license to a General or Extra class HF operator, you have access to linear or tube amplifiers that can boost your transmit power from 100 watts to the legal limit of 1,500 watts. However, it is important to note that the use of high-power amplifiers requires careful consideration of FCC regulations and safety precautions.

When using an amplifier like a VHF power amplifier, it is essential to set the SSB/CW-FM switch for the proper operation in the selected mode. This ONLY sets the amplifier for the correct mode, and you still need to change the mode of the transmitter to match. The amplifier can only boost the power of the signal; it cannot change the mode of transmission.

Amplifiers work the other way, too. If you want to boost the strength of a received signal, an RF preamplifier can help boost weak signal reception. An RF preamplifier is installed between the antenna and the receiver, and it amplifies the incoming signal before it reaches the receiver. This can help improve signal clarity and reduce noise and interference.

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