Power Supply Question

groosha5

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Jan 14, 2015
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I just received and assembled a uBITX v6 transceiver. It doesn't come with a power supply. The included paperwork says to use a linear power supply with voltage between 12 and 13.8, and capable of up to 3A of current.

Is there an advantage or disadvantage of using a power supply at the upper or lower limit of that voltage range? And the amperage? Am I also correct in understanding that it should not exceed 3A? I'm fairly new to this stuff so some patience and good wisdom is appreciated.

Also, any particular power supply that's the best and any that I should stay away from, of those that fit the technical specifications?
 

wa8pyr

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I just received and assembled a uBITX v6 transceiver. It doesn't come with a power supply. The included paperwork says to use a linear power supply with voltage between 12 and 13.8, and capable of up to 3A of current.

Is there an advantage or disadvantage of using a power supply at the upper or lower limit of that voltage range? And the amperage? Am I also correct in understanding that it should not exceed 3A? I'm fairly new to this stuff so some patience and good wisdom is appreciated.

Also, any particular power supply that's the best and any that I should stay away from, of those that fit the technical specifications?
Any decent analog supply which is between those voltages should work fine, whether it's 12v or 13.8v. That's the typical voltage range for a vehicle power system (which nearly all modern radios are designed to operate from). The major difference will be found with your TX output power; variances in the supply voltage can cause the transmitter power amp to put out a bit more or a bit less power.

The power supply can be capable of more than 3A, so if you have one that can supply up to 5, 7 or even 20A, you'll be fine; the radio will simply use only what it needs.

An Astron power supply will serve you well, but definitely stay away from switching power supplies. They usually generate noise which will kill your reception.
 

jaspence

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A cheap power supply or one rated wrong will not provide enough current when transmitting and you will have a voltage drop. This can cause transmitted audio distortion and reduce your output power. I use a 13.8 volt supply with 20 amp capability with my G90 HF rig and have used it with a 50 watt FT-90R with no problems.
 

groosha5

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Jan 14, 2015
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Any decent analog supply which is between those voltages should work fine, whether it's 12v or 13.8v. That's the typical voltage range for a vehicle power system (which nearly all modern radios are designed to operate from). The major difference will be found with your TX output power; variances in the supply voltage can cause the transmitter power amp to put out a bit more or a bit less power.

The power supply can be capable of more than 3A, so if you have one that can supply up to 5, 7 or even 20A, you'll be fine; the radio will simply use only what it needs.

An Astron power supply will serve you well, but definitely stay away from switching power supplies. They usually generate noise which will kill your reception.
Thank you, my questions have been answered here and in other places I've posted.

Are there any better or equally as good linear power supplies compared to Astron?
 

wa8pyr

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Thank you, my questions have been answered here and in other places I've posted.

Are there any better or equally as good linear power supplies compared to Astron?
If there are, you'll have to do a pretty diligent search to find them. Astron is pretty much the gold standard (unless you go to a lab-grade supply which will cost mucho dinero), Most of the non-Aston supplies I see listed from dealers are switching models; seems like most outfits have gotten away from analog supplies, unfortunately.

One of the nice things about analog supplies is that they're a heck of a lot easier to work on if something goes wrong.

You could probably find a suitable supply on eBay for not much money as long as shipping isn't too outrageous, such as:



 

mrweather

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
991
I've had my Alinco DM-330MV for 15 years and it hasn't let me down. It's a switching supply but I haven't noticed any extra noise on HF.

I agree, though, that Astron is the gold standard.
 

jazzboypro

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I have an Astron RS-35M that i bought 15 years ago. It powered my TS-2000 for many years and now it powers my ID-5100A. The power supply never broke and has all it's original parts.
 

W5lz

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Feb 28, 2019
Messages
562
I just received and assembled a uBITX v6 transceiver. It doesn't come with a power supply. The included paperwork says to use a linear power supply with voltage between 12 and 13.8, and capable of up to 3A of current.

Is there an advantage or disadvantage of using a power supply at the upper or lower limit of that voltage range? And the amperage? Am I also correct in understanding that it should not exceed 3A? I'm fairly new to this stuff so some patience and good wisdom is appreciated.

Also, any particular power supply that's the best and any that I should stay away from, of those that fit the technical specifications?
Most fairly modern radios have a voltage regulator build in. That will control the voltage that's "too much" but doesn't supply voltage that's "not enough".
The current rating, 3A, sounds like the max required by the radio, so, I would get a PS that was at least double that. Part of that reason is how power supplies are advertised.
 

WB9YBM

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May 6, 2019
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Niles, IL
I just received and assembled a uBITX v6 transceiver. It doesn't come with a power supply. The included paperwork says to use a linear power supply with voltage between 12 and 13.8, and capable of up to 3A of current.

Is there an advantage or disadvantage of using a power supply at the upper or lower limit of that voltage range? And the amperage? Am I also correct in understanding that it should not exceed 3A? I'm fairly new to this stuff so some patience and good wisdom is appreciated.

Also, any particular power supply that's the best and any that I should stay away from, of those that fit the technical specifications?
The current rating of a supply is the maximum is can provide--the radio will only take as much as it needs to operate. So if you have a power supply with a higher current rating, it just means there's extra safety margin to keep it running cooler and avoiding shut-down from over-heating. Also look at duty cycle: manufacturers sometimes have very short cycles, like three minutes at maximum followed by twice (or triple) that for their cooling-off period. Manufacturers like Astron are a bit better: the last Astron I bought was spec'd at ten minutes at max current and ten minutes cool-off.

Speaking of Astron, I've been buying that brand for literally several decades and have always had good luck with those.
 

GadgetGeek

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Sep 12, 2013
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I've had my Alinco DM-330MV for 15 years and it hasn't let me down. It's a switching supply but I haven't noticed any extra noise on HF.

I agree, though, that Astron is the gold standard.
Agreed. I was using an Astron linear power supply for 20 years. About three years ago I bought an Alinco DM-330MV and it's been rock solid with zero rf hash and it takes up less space.
 
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