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Posted: 9/7/2010 6:58:10 PM EDT
This forum has been a great resource for me. I sincerely hope my newbie questions are not bothersome. I have learned more than any license test could ever hope to cram into my brain by reading and asking questions in this forum. I really appreciate the people here who take the time to answer my questions, and the questions of others.

That said, I am unsure about power supplies. I am wanting to run an HF (100 watt) and a dual band VHF/UHF. Will one power supply do both? I only have a 2 meter mobile at this time, but a PS is next on my list of things to buy. I would like to buy a quality unit now to power any common HF radio I buy (most likely used). Is a switching or linear PS better? what about meters on the unit? is it possible (or smart) to run a HF and a VHF/UHF from the same PS. I guess I have no idea what I am looking for.

Thanks,
Bill
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 7:49:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 7:51:03 PM EDT by ar-jedi]

for a general purpose 12Vdc power supply, i'd suggest the Samlex SEC-1223.

this switch-mode power supply produces 23A at 12Vdc and will run your HF rig and/or your VHF/UHF rig –– but you can't transmit with both at the same time. receive at the same time, yes; transmit no, too much current needed.

in general...

100W HF requires ~20A @ 12Vdc
50W VHF/UHF requires ~10-12A @ 12Vdc

see also
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/432

ar-jedi





Link Posted: 9/7/2010 7:54:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 7:55:45 PM EDT by Skibane]
Since you're not likely to be transmitting simultaneously on the HF and VHF/UHF radios, any power supply that's capable of running a 100 watt HF radio should have no problem also running a VHF/UHF radio on receive.

Switching power supplies are much smaller, lighter, and more efficient than their linear counterparts. Some switchers can generate RFI, although the better designs have pretty much eliminated this problem.

The Samlex SEC1223 is an excellent fixed-voltage switching power supply that will comfortably power a 100 watt radio - Or if you'd prefer an adjustable-voltage switcher, the Daiwa SS-330W is also very good.

Meters on an adjustable power supply tend to lack enough resolution to be useful for anything beyond confirming that the power supply is producing roughly what it's supposed to be producing - For any kind of precision, you're probably going to be using a DMM to measure the voltage or current anyway.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 9:13:52 PM EDT
Just chipping in with agreement with the previous answers - get something in the 23 to 25 (or higher) amp range and you should have no problem running both from the same supply, as long as you don't plan to transmit with both at full power simultaneously. Most supplies have a "peak" power capability that's a couple amps higher than continuous, and if you're running SSB on the HF radio you'll only see full current drain momentarily with voice peaks in any event.

I'd never cared for Samlex supplies, having had a lot of problems with some small (5 amp) sizes years ago, but thanks to this forum I found out that I'd been happily running one for over a decade with a "Yaesu" label on the front. I opened it up and the circuit board has "SEC 1223" on it That model seems to have widespread positive feedback however it's branded. I also have an Astron SS-25M which has given me excellent service, although it does have a fan which engages from time to time even with a very minimal load. There's probably little real need for meters on a general purpose supply, but they can be handy occasionally or just to satisfy operator curiosity, or as a performance or function check.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 1:34:10 AM EDT
I was introduced to the Samlex supplies by ARJedi here on the forum. And back at the club, I found they were used on some of the radios there, and by many of the club members. Samlex and Astron seem to be the two most popular brands. But for size vs. power, Samlex beats all others hands down.

Oh, ARJedi... a little tip... if you are making new cables for the Samlex, and need some pins to solder on to go in the terminals on back, you can use the contacts from Anderson Powerpoles.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:47:36 AM EDT
I've heard many good things about the Samlex. Almost bought one myself but I found the Alinco DM-330MVT just too sexy to pass up. I also like the added flexibility of a variable supply. If I ever have any doubt about what it's putting out I can just slap the Whattmeter on it.

It's hard to beat Astron for fixed linear supplies. They make great base supplies. I know folks that have been using the same PS for 20-30 years.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 6:15:34 AM EDT
Look at the Jetstream JTPS45. That is what I use to run my Yaesu FT-957, FT-2900, and my antenna tuner. I got mine from Cheapham.com and it has given me great service for several years now. Plus it has a port that you can use your cig adapter and charge your HT's at the same time.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:01:14 AM EDT
12v AGM battery inside a marine battery box with a trickle charger/maintainer. not only will you have power for every day but also have power for your radios when the power is out.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:30:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JaxShooter:
I've heard many good things about the Samlex. Almost bought one myself but I found the Alinco DM-330MVT just too sexy to pass up. I also like the added flexibility of a variable supply. If I ever have any doubt about what it's putting out I can just slap the Whattmeter on it.

It's hard to beat Astron for fixed linear supplies. They make great base supplies. I know folks that have been using the same PS for 20-30 years.


I have been using Astron power supplies for 20 years. The early switching power supplies generated horrible noise on HF so I stuck with Astron. The new switchers have apparently dealt with the noise on HF.
I have used the Astron 20m, 30m and 50m in my travels and use a 20a now on the bench. It has been running 24/7 for the last 3 years.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 10:08:03 AM EDT
The SS-18 appears to be a very nice PS for a go-box.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 11:37:50 AM EDT
I agree anything with the name Astron on it! I've had a 35M powered up for 3 years , 24/7,without a blip!
Sarge
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 1:40:24 PM EDT
Samlex now has an sec-1235 power supply rated for 30A and it's the same dimensions as the 1223.

Craig
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 1:44:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By lynchfort:
Samlex now has an sec-1235 power supply rated for 30A and it's the same dimensions as the 1223.

Craig


This...

I run a 1235 with a 100W Icom-718 and a Dual-band 50W 2m/70cm radio.
I have no problem operating both for extended periods with this supply.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 2:29:39 PM EDT
I second the idea of using an absorbed glass mat storage battery with a good 'smart' float charger. If you feed the battery into an anderson power pole fuse strip, you can plug multiple devices into the strip...and you will have emergency power when you need it.

I use one of these in my go-kit/home station: http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-chargers/brands/iota/IOTA-DLS1275.html

It tends an AGM battery like this: http://store.solar-electric.com/pvx-1285.html

Then the battery feeds one of these: http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGrunner.htm - which feeds all your gear.

These items have allowed me to operate 24/7 by just running my gen set a couple of hours a day to top off my battery. I get about 4 days worth of charges out of a gallon of gas that way.

The solar-bug has now bitten me and I want to supplement my power system with a panel which will charge my battery in case of longer outages and without running my generator.

You can get by with less expensive components and get close to the same results, but I over-built for a reason...if I get sent into a disaster area to work comms, the last thing I want to worry about is having enough power to do the job. That's just me.

Link Posted: 9/8/2010 3:11:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pcsutton:
I second the idea of using an absorbed glass mat storage battery with a good 'smart' float charger. If you feed the battery into an anderson power pole fuse strip, you can plug multiple devices into the strip...and you will have emergency power when you need it.

I use one of these in my go-kit/home station: http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-chargers/brands/iota/IOTA-DLS1275.html

It tends an AGM battery like this: http://store.solar-electric.com/pvx-1285.html

Then the battery feeds one of these: http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGrunner.htm - which feeds all your gear.

These items have allowed me to operate 24/7 by just running my gen set a couple of hours a day to top off my battery. I get about 4 days worth of charges out of a gallon of gas that way.

The solar-bug has now bitten me and I want to supplement my power system with a panel which will charge my battery in case of longer outages and without running my generator.

You can get by with less expensive components and get close to the same results, but I over-built for a reason...if I get sent into a disaster area to work comms, the last thing I want to worry about is having enough power to do the job. That's just me.



Most radios are rated to run off of 13.8 V +/- 15% (i.e., a minimum of 11.75V or so). The downside of running off a battery and a float charger is that your HF rig will pull electricity out of the battery faster than the maintainer can put it back. This means that after transmitting a while your battery voltage will drop. Add in the voltage drop of the Shottky diode in the RigRunner and you could be at the bottom end of your operating voltage range surprisingly quickly.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 3:59:44 PM EDT
I have a setup just like what you're wanting (100w HF and a 50w VHF). I use a Samlex 1223, mostly based on AFM's and AR-Jedi's recommendations. It's a nice clean look with only a switch on the front and the terminals in the back. It's also incredibly small for what it can do. I do sometimes run both rigs at the same time, but the HF tends to swamp the VHF, so I usually shut of the VHF when TXing on HF. However, the 1223 has no trouble running the VHF while TXing on HF at 100w.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:11:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By lynchfort:
Samlex now has an sec-1235 power supply rated for 30A and it's the same dimensions as the 1223.

Craig


I have the SEC-1235M (as well as two SEC-1223's), which has V and A meters. There is apparently also a SEC-1235, same but without meters. I bought from Universal Radio, and they carried only the model with the meters in the 1235 series. But discounting the meters on front, the SEC-1235M is the same size as the SEC-1223.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:16:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 7:23:50 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
This just went in at the club station:

Icom 718, Samlex SEC-1223 power supply, and LDG IT-100 tuner.




Previously at the QTH (Now have a Ten-Tec Jupiter),

Icom 718, Samlex SEC-1235M, and LDG IT-100 tuner.




My Field Day / Portable / Emergency rig:

This is a different radio, power supply, and tuner from the one at the club station.



Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:19:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ALKVA:
Originally Posted By pcsutton:
I second the idea of using an absorbed glass mat storage battery with a good 'smart' float charger. If you feed the battery into an anderson power pole fuse strip, you can plug multiple devices into the strip...and you will have emergency power when you need it.

I use one of these in my go-kit/home station: http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-chargers/brands/iota/IOTA-DLS1275.html

It tends an AGM battery like this: http://store.solar-electric.com/pvx-1285.html

Then the battery feeds one of these: http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGrunner.htm - which feeds all your gear.

These items have allowed me to operate 24/7 by just running my gen set a couple of hours a day to top off my battery. I get about 4 days worth of charges out of a gallon of gas that way.

The solar-bug has now bitten me and I want to supplement my power system with a panel which will charge my battery in case of longer outages and without running my generator.

You can get by with less expensive components and get close to the same results, but I over-built for a reason...if I get sent into a disaster area to work comms, the last thing I want to worry about is having enough power to do the job. That's just me.



Most radios are rated to run off of 13.8 V +/- 15% (i.e., a minimum of 11.75V or so). The downside of running off a battery and a float charger is that your HF rig will pull electricity out of the battery faster than the maintainer can put it back. This means that after transmitting a while your battery voltage will drop. Add in the voltage drop of the Shottky diode in the RigRunner and you could be at the bottom end of your operating voltage range surprisingly quickly.

With my Iota, rated at 75 amps, I have never had an issue with running my battery down when it's plugged into shore power. The Iota is a 'smart' charger/power supply and it's output is dependent on current draw. When the demand decreases it charges to capacity then 'maintains' the charge.

It's not just a 'float' charger like the ones Harbor Freight sells. The Iota unit puts out 13.4 volts at 75 amps at full load. More than enough for my uses. It's basicaly a power supply which also maintains my battery voltage in the case I lose shore power.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 7:25:54 PM EDT
I have had an Astron RS-50M for more than 20 years and it just works (and weighs a ton). Late last year I bought an Alinco DM-330MVT (because it doesn't weigh a ton) and it is working great too. Lots of folks run the Samlex and they work great. Some people use old PC power supplies but their +12 output is a bit low for some rigs (which, as has been said here, really like 13.8). I bought the Alinco because I wanted a variable but so far it has been on the 13.8 preset 100% of the time.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 10:25:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 10:26:43 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
There is an Alinco DM-330MV up at the club station.

An interesting feature, this power supply has variable voltage, the outer knob on front right, but out of the box it is locked at 13.8 vdc via a switch on the back. You can't accidently move the switch as it is recessed. You must use the tip of a screwdriver or some other tool to move it. Then the voltage is variable via the knob on front. Once adjusted to a different voltage it may again be locked via the back panel switch. But leave it at 13.8 v, that's just right for our purposes.

Another interesting feature, you may hear some of the switching noise (which I understand goes away when the radio and supply are both properly grounded), I heard it on 75 meters, and you may shift the noise away from your listening frequency by turning the inner knob - the one inside the voltage knob - on the front panel.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 1:38:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Originally Posted By lynchfort:
Samlex now has an sec-1235 power supply rated for 30A and it's the same dimensions as the 1223.
Craig

I have the SEC-1235M (as well as two SEC-1223's), which has V and A meters. There is apparently also a SEC-1235, same but without meters. I bought from Universal Radio, and they carried only the model with the meters in the 1235 series. But discounting the meters on front, the SEC-1235M is the same size as the SEC-1223.

I haven't looked at retail prices lately but the 1235 with meters is only like $7 higher than without, probably why few carry the one without meters for retail sale.

I don't have one but the photos look like its just at little taller than the 1223.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:21:33 PM EDT
Nope, the same but for the meters sticking out of the front panel. I have both right here and just put the ruler to them.

Both measure:

2 1/16" High less feet
2 3/8" High incl. feet

7 1/16" Wide

7 1/2" Deep less meters
7 13/16" Deep including meters on the SEC-1235M

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 6:18:34 PM EDT

general discussion forum == measuring penises.
ham radio forum == measuring power supplies.



ar-jedi

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 6:20:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Originally Posted By lynchfort:
Samlex now has an sec-1235 power supply rated for 30A and it's the same dimensions as the 1223.
Craig

I have the SEC-1235M (as well as two SEC-1223's), which has V and A meters. There is apparently also a SEC-1235, same but without meters. I bought from Universal Radio, and they carried only the model with the meters in the 1235 series. But discounting the meters on front, the SEC-1235M is the same size as the SEC-1223.

I haven't looked at retail prices lately but the 1235 with meters is only like $7 higher than without, probably why few carry the one without meters for retail sale.

I don't have one but the photos look like its just at little taller than the 1223.


Universal Radio has the meter model for 35 bucks more. I'll just check it with a Multi Meter once in a while for 35 bucks.

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 7:27:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

general discussion forum == measuring penises.
ham radio forum == measuring power supplies.



ar-jedi



Does size matter?
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 7:39:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JaxShooter:
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

general discussion forum == measuring penises.
ham radio forum == measuring power supplies.



ar-jedi



Does size matter?


Nope, size doesn't matter.

All that matters is the Intensity and Electromotive Force.



Link Posted: 9/9/2010 8:29:35 PM EDT
I've got 800 watts... CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW???

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:51:50 PM EDT
Does size matter?


Of course it does! My GF says she needs a 50 inch now instead of the 34 that I got here 2 years ago. Oh, yeah, that is a diabolical measurement.

WOMEN!!

RS
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:55:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

general discussion forum == measuring penises.
ham radio forum == measuring power supplies.



ar-jedi



Apparently, I need to spend more time in the General Discussion Forum....



Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:04:25 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies everyone. I am going to go with the Samlex SEC-1223. The eham reviews said there was a problem with RFI from it? Has anyone had an issue with it? That was the only thing I am wondering about. I don't have a ton of experience so if I could avoid a known RFI source I would be happy.

Thanks for all of the info that everyone has given in this thread.

Bill
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 3:46:16 PM EDT
Every once in a while I hear a little hash on 80 meters, but after the power supply warms up a few minutes it's gone.

AFM
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 5:21:57 AM EDT
I have an Astron 20 amp supply that has been on since 1988.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:38:16 AM EDT
Our club station took a lightning hit a few weeks ago. Every power supply was smoked along with a couple radios and a computer. Attempts were made to repair some of the power supplies. Some have been out of production a long time so prints and parts were difficult to get. Some were too far gone to economically repair. At the club meeting we discussed what to do about replacements. Without any dissent we went with Astron. Best quote, "With Astron we know what we're getting and if we take another hit we can repair them." It was then a matter of how many and how big. In my, and to a large extent our clubs opinion, Astron linears is the base station power supply to own.

The OP question of can you run a 100w HF rig and a 2m rig at the same time. Sure. As long as you only TX on one radio at a time and you have a supply of 25amp or better. Many a go-box has such a setup. Another part of the question is meters. Don't see the use in a base station supply but may be of some use in field or go-box.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 7:10:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 7:10:39 AM EDT by Mndless]
Originally Posted By HankEllis:
Our club station took a lightning hit a few weeks ago. Every power supply was smoked along with a couple radios and a computer. Attempts were made to repair some of the power supplies. Some have been out of production a long time so prints and parts were difficult to get. Some were too far gone to economically repair. At the club meeting we discussed what to do about replacements. Without any dissent we went with Astron. Best quote, "With Astron we know what we're getting and if we take another hit we can repair them." It was then a matter of how many and how big. In my, and to a large extent our clubs opinion, Astron linears is the base station power supply to own.

The OP question of can you run a 100w HF rig and a 2m rig at the same time. Sure. As long as you only TX on one radio at a time and you have a supply of 25amp or better. Many a go-box has such a setup. Another part of the question is meters. Don't see the use in a base station supply but may be of some use in field or go-box.


BigDaddy.... I think we just found a volunteer to assist you in production of the ARFCOM manual on "Shack Lightening Protection." Given that you are our current expert and all...

Is it still on the list?

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 7:22:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mylt1:
12v AGM battery inside a marine battery box with a trickle charger/maintainer. not only will you have power for every day but also have power for your radios when the power is out.


I'd second that. I ran that way for years. Deep cycle battery + smart charger. Even hi duty cycle like RTTY, a deep cycle battery can support that and not even notice.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:39:08 AM EDT
allright, I just bought a ft-2900 and a Sec-1235m..... if you guys are half as right on this recommendation as you were with my ft-60 I will be very happy
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 12:19:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mndless:

BigDaddy.... I think we just found a volunteer to assist you in production of the ARFCOM manual on "Shack Lightening Protection." Given that you are our current expert and all...

Is it still on the list?


I'd say that certainly qualifies! Yep, it's still on the list.
Hey Mndless, you made a funny, Lightning....Current....get it?!
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 1:31:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BigDaddy0004:
Originally Posted By Mndless:

BigDaddy.... I think we just found a volunteer to assist you in production of the ARFCOM manual on "Shack Lightening Protection." Given that you are our current expert and all...

Is it still on the list?


I'd say that certainly qualifies! Yep, it's still on the list.
Hey Mndless, you made a funny, Lightning....Current....get it?!


Oh... so now I see you want to add a chapter on general electric and ham realated humor! Excellent idea and I support you 100%!!!

So... that needs to be added to *the list*


Link Posted: 9/14/2010 5:29:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mndless:
... current expert ...
Ha ha. You funny guy GI.

[thread_drift]
Best we can figure out anything that was grounded, per good amateur practice, was smoked. The items that didn't take the hit were not on a common ground. The computer got it through the CAT5. We're wondering if there is something out there to prevent another strike from coming through the ground rod.

That same weekend my house got hit by lightning. (Note to self: Don't buy a house on an Indian burial ground.) Entire computer system, entire Direct TV system, one input to the flat screen TV, home theater receiver, and most anything with a wall wart transformer were no longer functional. Took a week to get the smell out of the house. Entrance point was a tree in the front yard. Transferred to the flashing along the edge of the roof. Exited at the Direct TV antenna coax blasting the coax in two. Also melted the ground wire for the TV antenna. Blew a two inch hole in the sheetrock in the master bath. Common thread is that anything connected to low voltage systems, phone and network cables, and TV antenna coax took a hit. The wall warts went before the circuit breaker tripped.

Lessons learned. Get a good UPS. One that handles network and POTS inputs also. My UPS was an older model that didn't protect the network side and guess where the voltage spike came in to trash the computer. Get surge protectors with a coax input feature. This would have saved the home theater receiver and the Direct TV receivers. Things are barely more than a power strip so buy a few.

I haven't said a word about the ham shack. Reason is that it came through without a scratch. Nada. Nothing. My antennas are in my attic and were connected to the Kenwood at the time. Power supply was plugged in but was turned off. Contrary to good practice I haven't gotten around to grounding my station. My procrastanation may have saved the shack. The circuit that runs the shack has three GFI outlets. One about 3 feet from the breaker panel and another two that power outdoor outlets. The first GFI outlet took one for the team and smoked itself. Probably saved everything on that circuit including the ham shack and the beer mini fridge.
[/thread_drift]

Originally Posted By tesla120:
allright, I just bought a ft-2900 and a Sec-1235m..... if you guys are half as right on this recommendation as you were with my ft-60 I will be very happy
Good choices. Hook that FT2900 to a 2m beam and with the 75w you'll be reaching out and contacting someone.

Link Posted: 9/14/2010 8:38:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HankEllis:
Best we can figure out anything that was grounded, per good amateur practice, was smoked.

The stereotypical "good amateur practice" of grounding your station, as an RF ground due to improper antenna setup, but without correct lightning protection configuration simply provides a superb path for lightning to destroy your entire station.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 9:25:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By HankEllis:
Best we can figure out anything that was grounded, per good amateur practice, was smoked.

The stereotypical "good amateur practice" of grounding your station, as an RF ground due to improper antenna setup, but without correct lightning protection configuration simply provides a superb path for lightning to destroy your entire station.

Uhhh ms paint version?

With my forthcoming foray into HF, I've been starting to think about this whole grounding business. I see lots of different info on how to make this work - for me, I'm in the basement, antenna will be outside up about 15-20 feet. So do I run the coax through a good lightning arrestor (ICE?) unit and ground the antenna to that (ie: ground line going to ground rods pounded into ground) and then just run a separate ground from the radio inside to a water pipe or something? Unsure if that's the right way to do it or if I should ground it to an outlet or something.

Link Posted: 9/14/2010 9:36:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2010 9:41:52 AM EDT by BigDaddy0004]
This is being discussed in the Lightning Protection / Station Grounding Pic Thread.
HankEllis and Gamma762, I'd like to quote your last posts on the other thread.... good info in what was said.
The OP of this thread was curious about power supplies.
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