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Palomar Model 50 AMP question

K4EET

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In the picture on the right of the interior, at the bottom, is that a vacuum tube (valve)? Also, CB amplifiers are illegal in the US...
 

a417

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A lot of times when the power wires are cut on things like that, there's a REAL good reason.

Find someone familiar with valve/tube driven equipment and have them have a look-see.
 

jassing

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Change all your electrolytic caps, and see if you can find NoS tubes.
These things worked, i had 1 in the 70 or 80's it blew caps & a tube ... I overworked mine so it wasn't a surprise...
It will sound better than most cheap amps out today.
No idea what the green wire is; where does it go? According to a schematic, maybe it's 'ground to start'?
You'll need about 30 amp power supply to run it. Original power wires were probably just wires coming out. and so instead of de-soldering, they just got cut?
 

Salty87

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Change all your electrolytic caps, and see if you can find NoS tubes.
These things worked, i had 1 in the 70 or 80's it blew caps & a tube ... I overworked mine so it wasn't a surprise...
It will sound better than most cheap amps out today.
No idea what the green wire is; where does it go? According to a schematic, maybe it's 'ground to start'?
You'll need about 30 amp power supply to run it. Original power wires were probably just wires coming out. and so instead of de-soldering, they just got cut?
Its actually a blue wire. And it goes to a relay inside..Thats why I was thinking it's for a switch or something? Will this thing just work as long as it has the radio and antenna hooked up? I was under the assumption you needed some type of keying switch to activate it. But like I said, I've never used one, this is totally new to me.
 

jassing

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I don't recall it needing to be switched on only when keying up... but maybe it does. To test it; you could just ground the wire out & try it. did you google to see if you could find a manual? cbtricks is a good 1st stop...
You need to be sure your SWR is below 2 (1.5 is much better). If your caps are dried out (likely) it may not work at best, at worse it'll fry the tubes.
You should see a big draw when you transmit; if you see a big draw when you ground out that wire then it will need to be wired into the mic (easy to do on the inside of the radio). If it were me, I would replace all the electrolytic caps before trying it; but I'm paranoid about that stuff... you maybe OK and it'll work fine. Just make sure you have wiring suitable for about 30 to 40 amps.
 

jassing

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according to what I found, you don't need to wire anything up to your mic; it switches based on RF, as long as you transmit over 1 watt.
The blue wire is to "turn it on" (the doc suggests routing it to the dash so you can turn it on/off remotely)
it also points out that you should turn it on and wait a bit before use so the tubes can warm up....
 

Salty87

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I don't recall it needing to be switched on only when keying up... but maybe it does. To test it; you could just ground the wire out & try it. did you google to see if you could find a manual? cbtricks is a good 1st stop...
You need to be sure your SWR is below 2 (1.5 is much better). If your caps are dried out (likely) it may not work at best, at worse it'll fry the tubes.
You should see a big draw when you transmit; if you see a big draw when you ground out that wire then it will need to be wired into the mic (easy to do on the inside of the radio). If it were me, I would replace all the electrolytic caps before trying it; but I'm paranoid about that stuff... you maybe OK and it'll work fine. Just make sure you have wiring suitable for about 30 to 40 amps.
Ok thanks. I did get it to power up with a desktop power supply. The tubes glowed red so I assume those are good? I'll have to buy another power supply since the one I have only does 5 amps. Thank you so much for the help. Do you have the link for the info you found?
 

jassing

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Got it from cbtricks.com.
I'm no expert on tubes; but I believe they can fail and still glow. Here is some info; but it is geared towards stereo amps, not RF amps. There is a Russian company that (as of a few years back) was making new vacuum tubes for reasonable costs if you can't find NoS stocks... Good to have spares on hand.
 

Salty87

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Got it from cbtricks.com.
I'm no expert on tubes; but I believe they can fail and still glow. Here is some info; but it is geared towards stereo amps, not RF amps. There is a Russian company that (as of a few years back) was making new vacuum tubes for reasonable costs if you can't find NoS stocks... Good to have spares on hand.
Thank you. I'm waiting on a power supply. Maybe ill try it out.this weekend. Ill let you know how it goes.
 

prcguy

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The tubes in the Palomar were designed for use as TV horizontal line drivers in big old color TV sets. They are essentially designed for RF and there are no current mfrs for most of them or probably all of them since they are not used in audio applications. When you find them used the prices can be a bit scary like $20 to $50 each. Sometimes parting out an old CB amplifier is more profitable than trying to sell the amp complete if the tubes are tested good and guaranteed.

As far as glowing but being considered bad, this is true. When the filament is broken the tube doesn't lite up and its dead dead dead. It can light up fine but have most or all the special coating on the cathode (Tungsten carbide if I remember) and its emission will be down, or the amount of electrons that will usually be able to pass from cathode to plate will be diminished and the amount of power it will transfer will be greatly reduced. Some people say "my dang tubes are flat" meaning they will not amplify to spec and the amount of power you can get out of them is way down. You need a good tube tester or an amplifier set up to compare tubes to weed out low emission tubes.

Got it from cbtricks.com.
I'm no expert on tubes; but I believe they can fail and still glow. Here is some info; but it is geared towards stereo amps, not RF amps. There is a Russian company that (as of a few years back) was making new vacuum tubes for reasonable costs if you can't find NoS stocks... Good to have spares on hand.
 
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jassing

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Someone told me that you should run your amp & CB with a shared ground - I don't know why, if it's an RF or other issue...
If it were me and you end up using a switching power supply, I'd run everything off the same power supply.
Remember: Tubes need to warm up. Don't power on and start transmitting right away -- let the thing warm up.
I'd get the numbers off the tubes now & start looking... same for the electrolytic... that's just me.
 

JayMojave

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Hello Salty87: Those Palomar 50/60 linear amplifiers were all `12 Volt DC as said perversely. Even tho there low power and small they still help you get out much better. I had one in a 1962 Ford Comet with a 102 inch stainless steel whip antenna on top of the ca and talked to most everyone. Those Amps will have a high pitched wine when keyed, but normal. Make ya think your gettin out better.

Good luck with that hope you can make it work, its a great first linear Amp, the Ham Radio Guys at Palomar made a bunch of different Linear Amplifiers. I had one in a 74 duster and it was a blast, just a little 100 watt amp. but worked great. Those Palomar 50/60 won't put a lot of power out but again will help ya get better, it will more than double your range. Good luck please let us know how it works out for out.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert.... "Next Gas 150 Miles"
 

Salty87

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Thank you all for the replies. I got everything powered up. And warm up ( damn it gets hot) but it seems it doesn't work :(. The "Relative Output" meter just barely moves when the stby switch is on. And it does the same amount of movement when the stby switch is off. I don't hear any of the relays inside clicking when I key up. Seems like something is definitely not working. Oh well. Still looks cool on my desk haha

What would you guys recommend for a modern amplifier? I don't want to go crazy. Just want to get out there a little more than I am.
 
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