Power supply for ICOM 7200

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tdenfuny

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Ok, I have settled on an ICOM 7200. I get there are two different types of power supplies (linear and switching). Each category has a lot of choices. What should I look for? Does it matter for a new ham who is justt trying to get on the air? Does anyone have some good recommendations that would work well with the ICOM 7200?
 

wrath

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Many switching supplies will throw crap all over HF, switching supplies tend to be more inexpensive than linear supplies , however for repairability durability and quality Astron linear cant be beat ,i have one that has run day and night since 2007 with zero problem or complaint, i have bought three different swtching supplies to run mobile rigs not in my main shack and not a one of them lasted much longer than the warranty , they all fried so i gave up and bought linears problem solved, i also have an "ancient" linear That I bought in 1990 and is still going without a single repair ,my main shack supply not only supplies my radios but recharges my bank of AGM batteries and if I try and draw more power then the supply can provide it will bring the batteries online to supplement the power.
I dont think highly of switching supplies and haven't had much luck in owning them , I got my ticket before they were even available for sale so I may be biased by that .

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mmckenna

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While it's smaller than what you'd need for a 100 watt HF rig, I've got an Astron SS18 switching supply that has been running 24x7 since February 2003. Originally it ran a couple of receivers in a dispatch center. Now it's running a CDM-750 as a base application.
No noise on VHF, never tried it on HF.
I think a few years ago I blew the dust out of it, but that's been the extent of the maintenance.

Used to be that switching power supplies were noisy, but if you get a good name brand, you're OK.
That means no e-bay/Chinese specials. For this application you need something good. Stick with a known name brand, like Astron and the like.

As for the linear versus switcher debate…
At work I run a large frame PBX system in addition to several radio systems. 20 years ago everything was large and heavy linear supplies. They worked but they generated a lot of heat, had lower efficiency, and were really heavy (I'm talking about units in the 200 amp and up range). Since telephone systems need really clean DC power, it was important to have very low noise power systems.
Over the last 20 years, -everything- has gone to switching power supplies across the board. What used to take up an entire 7 foot tall 23" equipment rack now fits in a couple of rack units. These systems are very quiet, and many that I have have been running for 10 -15 years.

Linear supplies are great if you can get one. But expect some heat and weight to go with it. Not usually an issue for most amateur operators.
 

AK9R

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Stick with a known name brand, like Astron and the like.
I agree. Astron and Samlex are good brands and are widely available. I have an Astron SS-25 that has been trouble-free and it delivers clean power.

As for the linear versus switcher debate…
With some hams, this seems to be a situation of "I got bit by a dog as a child, so now I don't like dogs". They may have had problems with a switching power supply 25 years ago before the technology came of age, but they still think all switching power supplies are bad. Or, they are just repeating what they've heard from others.
 

prcguy

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Astron all the way. I have lots of their switching supplies and they are very clean on HF radios. All the versions I have were bought used and some have been running 24/7 for many years with no problems.

They also have the best warranty service in the business. I've taken them some big variable linear supplies that I blew the snot out of and they completely rebuilt them while I waited for $20.

A basic SS-25 would be a good choice for your 7200 or an SS-25M adds volt and amp meters. An SS-30 would allow for more radios and growth in the future.
prcguy
 

tdenfuny

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Thanks for the replies. What about regulated vs unregulated?
 

AK9R

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Simple answer: Regulated.

In many radios, there's a fairly big swing between the current drawn while in receive mode and the current drawn while transmitting. For example, your IC-7200 will draw 1-2 amps while receiving, but as much as 22 amps while transmitting (according to the manual). The specified supply voltage is 13.8 volts +/- 15%. That's 11.7 to 15.9 volts. So, assume that you set your power supply to deliver 15.9 volts while the radio is receiving. If you key down and your poorly regulated or unregulated power supply drops below 11.7 volts, you may get unexpected results. The radio's CPU may shut down the radio or your transmit signal may be distorted. OTOH, if you set the power supply to deliver at least 11.7 volts while transmitting, it may go over 15.9 volts when you are receiving and the load has been reduced. You really don't want a lot of voltage swing to happen between receive and transmit. A properly regulated power supply will keep the voltage more constant.

Astron's catalog says that their linear power supplies are rated at 13.8 volts +/- 0.05 volts. I don't see a spec for their switching power supplies, but it's probably similar. That's well within the power supply requirements of your radio.
 

K9RNW

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I'll just mention that I would personally stay away from Pyramid brand power supplies. I had two fail on me in just 3 years' time. Never again....
 
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