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This book is revised and brought up

to date (at irregular intervals) as

necessitated by technical progress.

R AD I 0
Fifteenth Edition

The Standard of the Field -

for aduanced amateurs
practical radiomen
practical engineers
practical technicians

$7.50 per copy at

WILLIAM I. ORR, W6SAI your dealer in U.S.A.
Editor, 1 Sth Edition (Add 10% on direct
orders to publisher)

Published and Distributed to the Radio Trade by


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Copyright, 1959, by

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Copyright under Pan-American Convention

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postpaid. French and Dutch editions in preparation.
Outside North America, if more convenient, write: (Spanish) Marcombo, S.A., Av.
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Antwerp, Belgium.

Other Outstanding Books from the Same Publisher

(See Announcements at Back of Book)





1Sth Edition

Table of Contents

Chapter One. INTRODUCTION TO RADIO ............................................... . 11

1-1 Amateur Radio ..................................................................... . 11
1-2 Station and Operator Licenses ............................................. . 12
1-3 The Amateur Bands ............................................................... . 12
1-4 Starting Your Study ............................................................... . 14

Chapter Two. DIRECT CURRENT CIRCUITS ................................................... . 21

2-1 The Atom ............................................................................. . 21
2-2 Fundamental Electrical Units and Relationships ..................... . 22
2-3 Electrostatics - Capacitors .................................................... 30
2-4 Magnetism and Electromagnetism .......................................... 35
2-5 RC and RL Transients ............................................................ 38

Chapter Three. ALTERNATING CURRENT CIRCUITS .................................... 41

3-1 Alternating Current ............................................................... . 41
3-2 Resonant Circuits ................................................................. . 53
3-3 Nonsinusoidal Waves and Transients .................................... 58
3-4 Transformers .......................................................................... 61
3-5 Electric Filters ... ....................................................................... 63

Chapter Four. VACUUM TUBE PRINCIPLES.................................................. 67

4-1 Thermionic Emission ................................................................ 67
4-2 The Diode .............................................................................. 71
4-3 The Triode .............................................................................. 72
4-4 Tetrode or Screen Grid Tubes ................................................ 77
4-5 Mixer and Converter Tubes .................................................... 79
4-6 Electron Tubes at Very High Frequencies ................................ 80
4-7 Special Microwave Electron Tubes .......................................... 81
4-8 The Cathode-Ray Tube ................................................... .. ..... 84
4-9 Gas Tubes ............................................................................. 87
4-10 Miscellaneous Tube Types ...................................................... 88

Chapter Five. TRANSISTORS AND SEMI-CONDUCTORS.............................. 90

5-1 Atomic Structure of Germanium and Silicon .......................... 90
5-2 Mechanism of Conduction ..................................................... . 90
5-3 The Transistor 92
5-4 Transistor Characteristics ....................................................... . 94
5-5 Transistor Circuitry ................................................................. . 96
5-6 Transistor Circuits 103

Chapter Six. VACUUM TUBE AMPLIFIERS .................................................... 106
6-1 Vacuum Tube Parameters ........................................................ 106
6-2 Classes and Types of Vacuum-Tube Amplifiers ........................ 107
6-3 Biasing Methods .................................................................... 108
6-4 Distortion in Amplifiers .......................................................... 1 09
6-5 Resistance-Capacitance Coupled Audio-Frequency Amplifiers.... 109
6-6 Video-Frequency Amplifiers .................................................... 113
6-7 Other lnterstage Coupling Methods ........................................ 113
6-8 Phase Inverters ...................................................................... 11 5
6-9 D-C Amplifiers ........................................................................ 117
6-1 0 Single-ended Triode Amplifiers .............................................. 118
6-11 Single-ended Pentode Amplifiers ............................................ 120
6-12 Push-Pull Audio Amplifiers ...................................................... 1 21
6-13 Class B Audio Frequency Power Amplifiers ............................ 123
6-14 Cathode-Follower Power Amplifiers ........................................ 127
6-1 5 Feedback Amplifiers ................................................................ 129
6-16 Vacuum-Tube Voltmeters ........................................................ 1 30

Chapter Seven. HIGH FIDELITY TECHNIQUES .............................................. 134

7-1 The Nature of Sound .............................................................. 134
7-2 The Phonograph .................................................................... 136
7-3 The High Fidelity Amplifier .................................................... 138
7-4 Amplifier Construction ............................................................ 142
7-5 The "Baby Hi Fi" .................................................................. 143
7-6 A High Quality 25 Watt Amplifier ........................................ 146

Chapter Eight. RADIO FREQUENCY VACUUM TUBE AMPLIFIERS.. .............. 149

Tuned RF Vacuum Tube Amplifiers ........................................ 149
8-1 Grid Circuit Considerations .................................................... 149
8-2 Plate-Circuit Considerations .................................................. 151
Radio-Frequency Power Amplifiers .......................................... 152
8-3 Class C R-F Power Amplifiers ................................................ 1 52
8-4 Class B Radio Frequency Power Amplifiers ............................ 1 57
8-5 Special R-F Power Amplifier Circuits ...................................... 160
8-6 A Grounded-Grid 304TL Amplifier ........................................ 163
8-7 Class AB 1 Radio Frequency Power Amplifiers ........................ 165

Chapter Nine. THE OSCILLOSCOPE.. .......................................................... 170

9-1 A Typical Cathode-Ray Oscilloscope ...................................... 170
9-2 Display of Waveforms .......................................................... 175
9-3 Lissajous Figures .................................................................... 176
9-4 Monitoring Transmitter Performance with the Oscilloscope ...... 179
9-5 Receiver 1-F Alignment with an Oscilloscope .......................... 180
9-6 Single Sideband Applications ................................................ 182

Chapter Ten. SPECIAL VACUUM TUBE CIRCUITS ........................................ 185

1 0-1 Limiting Circuits ...................................................................... 1 85
1 0-1 Clamping Circuits .................................................................. 1 87
10-3 Multivibrators ........................................................................ 1 88
1 0-4 The Blocking Oscillator .......................................................... 190
1 0-5 Counting Circuits .................................................................... 190
10-6 Resistance- Capacity Oscillators ............................................ 191
1 0-7 Feedback ................................................................................ 1 92

Chapter Eleven. ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS.................................................. 1 94
11-1 Digital Computers ---------------------------- 195
11-2 Binary Notation --------------------------------------------- 195
11-3 Analog Computers -------------------------------------------- 197
11-4 The Operational Amplifier -------------------------------- 199
11-5 Solving Analog Problems --------------------------- 200
11-6 Non-linear Functions --------------------------------------- 202
11-7 Digital Circuitry ---------------------------- 204

Chapter Twelve. RADIO RECEIVER FUNDAMENTALS.......... --------------------- 207

12-1 Detection or Demodulation 207
12-2 Superregenerative Receivers ----------------------------------------- 209
12-3 Superheterodyne Receivers ---------------------------------- 210
12-4 Mixer Noise and Images -------------------------------------- 212
12-5 R-F Stages -------------------------------------------- 21 3
12-6 Signal-Frequency Tuned Circuits ------------------------ 216
12-7 1-F Tuned Circuits -------------------------------------------- 218
12-8 Detector, Audio, and Control Circuits --------------------- 225
12-9 Noise Suppression -------------------------------------------------------- 227
12-10 Special Considerations in U-H-F Receiver Design ---------- 231
12-11 Receiver Adjustment ---------------------------------------------------- 235
12-12 Receiving Accessories --------------------------------------------- 236

Chapter Thirteen. GENERATION OF RADIO FREQUENCY ENERGY .............. 239

13-1 Self-Controlled Oscillators ------------------------------------- 239
13-2 Quartz Crystal Oscillators ---------------------------------------- 244
13-3 Crystal Oscillator Circuits ------------------------------- 247
13-4 Radio Frequency Amplifiers ----------------------------- 251
13-5 Neutralization of R.F. Amplifiers -------------------------------- 252
13-6 Neutralizing Procedure ------------------------------------------------- 255
13-7 Grounded Grid Amplifiers ------------------------------------ 258
13-8 Frequency Multipliers ------------------------------------------------- 258
13-9 Tank Circuit Capacitances ------------------------------- 261
13-10 L and Pi Matching Networks ----------------------------------------------- 265
13-11 Grid Bias --------------------------------------------------------------- 267
13-12 Protective Circuits for Tetrode Transmitting Tubes -------------- 269
13-13 lnterstage Coupling --------------------------------------------------------- 270
13-14 Radio-Frequency Chokes ----------------------------- 272
13-15 Parallel and Push-Pull Tube Circuits ---------------------------- 273

Chapter Fourteen. R-F FEEDBACK------------------------------------------- 274

14-1 R-F Feedback Circuits ------------------------------------------------------ 274
14-2 Feedback and Neutralization of a Two-Stage R-F Amplifier .... 277
14-3 Neutralization Procedure in Feedback-Type Amplifiers ---- 279

Chapter Fifteen. AMPLITUDE MODULATION ......................... -------------------- 282

15-1 Sidebands ------------------------------------------------------------ 282
15-2 Mechanics of Modulation --------------------------------------------- 283
15-3 Systems of Amplitude Modulation -------------------------------- 285
15-4 Input Modulation Systems -------------------------------------------- 292
15-5 Cathode Modulation -------------------------------------------------- 297
15-6 The Doherty and the Termon-Woodyard Modulated Amplifiers .. 298
15-7 Speech Clipping ------------------------------------------------ 300
15-8 The Bias-Shift Heising Modulator 307

TRANSMISSION .................................................................. 312
16-1 Frequency Modulation ............................................................ 312
16-2 Direct FM Circuits .................................................................. 315
16-3 Phase Modulation .................................................................. 319
16-4 Reception of FM Signals ........................................................ 321
16-5 Radio Teletype ........................................................................ 326

Chapter Seventeen. SIDEBAND TRANSMISSION ........................................ 327

17-1 Commercial Applications of SSB .............................................. 327
17-2 Derivation of Single-Sideband Signals .................................... 328
17-3 Carrier Elimination Circuits ................................................... 332
17-4 Generation of Single-Sideband Signals .................................. 334
17-5 Single Sideband Frequency Conversion Systems .................... 340
17-6 Distortion Products Due to Nonlinearity of R-F Amplifiers ...... 344
17-7 Sideband Exciters .................................................................. 346
17-8 Reception of Single Sideband Signals .................................... 351
17-9 Double Sideband Transmission .............................................. 353

Chapter Eighteen. TRANSMITTER DESIGN.................................................... 356

1 8-1 Resistors ................................................................................ 356
18-2 Capacitors .............................................................................. 358
1 8-3 Wire and Inductors ................................................................ 360
1 8-4 Grounds .................................................................................. 362
18-5 Holes, Leads and Shafts .......................................................... 362
1 8-6 Parasitic Resonances .............................................................. 364
18-7 Parasitic Oscillation in R-F Amplifiers .................................... 365
1 8-8 Elimination of V-H F Parasitic Oscillations ............................ 366
18-9 Checking for Parasitic Oscillations .......................................... 368

Chapter Nineteen. TELEVISION AND BROADCAST INTERFERENCE .............. 371

19-1 Types of Television Interference .............................................. 371
19-2 Harmonic Radiation ................................................................ 373
19-3 Low-Pass Filters ...................................................................... 376
19-4 Broadcast Interference ............................................................ 379
19-5 HI-FI Interference .................................................................. 3 86

Chapter Twenty. TRANSMITTER KEYING AND CONTROL............................ 387

20-1 Power Systems ........................................................................ 387
20-2 Transmitter Control Methods .................................................. 391
20-3 Safety Precautions .................................................................. 393
20-4 Transmitter Keying .................................................................. 395
20-5 Cathode Keying .................................................................... 397
20-6 Grid Circuit Keying ................................................................ 398
20-7 Screen Grid Keying ................................................................ 399
20-8 Differential Keying Circuits .................................................... 400


LINES .................................................................................. 403
21-1 Radiation from an Antenna .................................................... 403
21-2 General Characteristics of Antennas ...................................... 404
21-3 Radiation Resistance and Feed-Point Impedance .................... 407
21-4 Antenna Directivity ................................................................ 410
21-5 Bandwidth ................................................................. ............ 41 3

21-6 Propagation of Radio Waves .................................................. 413
21-7 Ground-Wave Communication ................................................ 414
21-8 Ionospheric Propagation ........................................................ 416
21-9 Transmission Lines .................................................................. 420
21-10 Non-Resonant Transmission Lines ............................................ 421
21-11 Tuned or Resonant Lines ........................................................ 424
21-12 Line Discontinuities .................................................................. 425

Chapter Twenty-Two. ANTENNAS AND ANTENNA MATCHING .................. 426

22-1 End-Fed Half-Wave Horizontal Antennas ................................ 426
22-2 Center-Fed Half-Wave Horizontal Antennas .......................... 427
22-3 The Half-Wave Vertical Antenna ............................................ 430
22-4 The Ground Plane Antenna .................................................... 431
22-5 The Marconi Antenna ............................................................ 432
22-6 Space-Conserving Antennas .................................................... 434
22-7 Multi-Band Antennas ............................................................ 436
22-8 Matching Non-Resonant Lines to the Antenna ........................ 442
22-9 Antenna Construction ............................................................ 448
22-1 0 Coupling to the Antenna System ............................................ 451
22-11 Antenna Couplers .................................................................. 454
22-12 A Single-Wire Antenna Tuner .................................................. 456

Chapter Twenty-Three. HIGH FREQUENCY ANTENNA ARRAYS .................. 459

23-1 Directive Antennas ................................................................ 459
23-2 Long Wire Radiators .............................................................. 461
23-3 The V Antenna ........................................................................ 462
23-4 The Rhombic Antenna 464
23-5 Stacked-Dipole Arrays ............................................................ 465
23-6 Broadside Arrays ........ ................................. ...................... ... 468
23-7 End-Fire Directivity ................................................................ 473
23-8 Combination End-Fire and Broadside Arrays 475

Chapter Twenty-Four. V-H-F AND U-H-F ANTENNAS ................................ 477

24-1 Antenna Requirements ............................................................ 477
24-2 Simple Horizontally-Polarized Antennas .................................. 479
24-3 Simple Vertical-Polarized Antennas ........................................ 480
24-4 The Discone Antenna ............................................................ 481
24-5 Helical Beam Antennas .......................................................... 483
24-6 The Corner-Reflector and Horn-Type Antennas ...................... 485
24-7 VHF Horizontal Rhombic Antenna .......................................... 486
24-8 Multi-Element V-H-F Beam Antennas ...................................... 488

Chapter Twenty-Five. ROTARY BEAMS ...................................................... 494

25-1 Unidirectional Parasitic End-Fire Arrays IYagi Type) ............ 494
25-2 The Two Element Beam .......................................................... 494
25-3 The Three-Element Array ........................................................ 496
25-4 Feed Systems for Parasitic IYagil Arrays .............................. 498
25-5 Unidirectional Driven Arrays .................................................. 504
25-6 Bi-Directional Rotatable Arrays .............................................. 505
25-7 Construction of Rotatable Arrays ............................................ 506
25-8 Tuning the Array .................................................................. 509
25-9 Antenna Rotation Systems ...................................................... 513
25-10 Indication of Direction 514
25-11 "Three-Bands" Beams 514

26-1 Mobile Reception .................................................................... 51 5
26-2 Mobile Transmitters ................................................................ 521
26-3 Antennas for Mobile Work .................................................... 522
26-4 Construction and Installation of Mobile Equipment ................ 524
26-5 Vehicular Noise Suppression .................................................. 527

Chapter Twenty-Seven. RECEIVERS AND TRANSCEIVERS ............................ 530

27-1 Circuitry and Components ...................................................... 533
27-2 A Simple Transistorized Portable B-C Receiver ........................ 533
27-3 A 455 Kc. Mechanical Filter Adapter .................................... 535
27-4 A High Performance Amateur Band Receiver .......................... 540
27-5 A "Handie-Talkie" for 144 Me ............................................... 547
27-6 Six Meter Transceiver for Home or Car .................................. 552
27-7 A "Hot" Transceiver for 28 Megacycles ................................ 559

Chapter Twenty-Eight. LOW POWER TRANSMITTERS AND EXCITERS .......... 567

28-1 SSB Exciter for Fixed or Mobile Use .................................... 567
28-2 A Mobile Transistorized SSB Exciter ...................................... 574
28-3 A VHF Transceiver of Advanced Design ................................ 578
28-4 A Miniaturized SSB Transmitter for 14 Me ............................. 589
28-5 A Duplex Transmitter-Receiver for 220 Me ............................. 598
28-6 A High Stability V.F.O. For the OX Operator ........................ 604

Chapter Twenty-Nine. HIGH FREQUENCY POWER AMPLIFIERS ................ 610

29-1 Power Amplifier Design .......................................................... 610
29-2 Push-Pull Triode Amplifiers .................................................... 612
29-3 Push-Pull Tetrode Amplifiers .................................................. 614
29-4 Tetrode Pi-Network Amplifiers .............................................. 617
29-5 A Compact Linear Amplifier for Mobile SSB .......................... 620
29-6 A Multi-band Mobile Linear Amplifier .................................. 624
29-7 An Inexpensive Cathode Driven Kilowatt Amplifier ................ 626
29-8 A Low Distortion Sideband Linear Amplifier .......................... 629
29-9 Kilowatt Amplifier for Linear or Class C Operation .............. 635
29-10 A 2 Kilowatt P.E.P. All-band Amplifier .................................. 640
29-11 A High Power Push-pull Tetrode Amplifier ............................ 644


30-1 Modulation ............................................................................ 647
30-2 Design of Speech Amplifiers and Modulators ........................ 650
30-3 General Purpose Triode Class B Modulator ............................ 651
30-4 A 10-Watt Amplifier-Driver .................................................... 655
30-5 500-Watt 304TL Modulator .................................................... 656
30-6 A 15-Watt Clipper-Amplifier .................................................. 657
30-7 A 200-Watt 811-A De-Luxe Modulator ................................ 658
30-8 Zero Bias Tetrode Modulators .............................................. 662

Chapter Thirty-One. TRANSMITTER CONSTRUCTION ................................ 663

31-1 A 300 Watt Phone/C-W Transmitter for 50/144 Me ............. 663
31-2 A De-Luxe Transmitter for the 3.5 - 29.7 Me. Range ............ 673

Chapter Thirty-Two. POWER SUPPLlES .................................................... 684
32-1 Power Supply Requirements .................................................. 684
32-2 Rectification Circuits ................, ............................................. 689
32-3 Standard Power Supply Circuits ............................................ 690
32-4 Selenium and Silicon Rectifiers .............................................. 695
32-5 I 00 Watt Mobile Power Supply ............................................ 697
32-6 Transistorized Power Supplies ................................................ 703
32-7 Two Transistorized Mobile Supplies ........................................ 706
32-8 Power Supply Components ...................................................... 707
32-9 Special Power Supplies .......................................................... 709
32-10 Power Supply Design ............................................................ 712
32-11 300 Volt, 50 Ma. Power Supply .............................................. 71 5
32-12 500 Volt, 200 Milliampere Power Supply .............................. 716
32-13 I 500 Volt, 425 Milliampere Power Supply ............................ 717
32-14 A Dual Voltage Transmitter Supply ........................................ 718
32-15 A Kilowatt Power Supply ........................................................ 71 8

Chapter Thirty-Three. WORKSHOP PRACTICE .............................................. 720

33-1 Tools ...................................................................................... 720
33-2 The Material ........................................................................ 723-A
33-3 TVI-Proof Enclosures ............................................................ 724-A
33-4 Enclosure Openings .............................................................. 725-A
33-5 Summation of the Problem .................................................. 725-A
33-6 Construction Practice ............................................................ 726-A
33-7 Shop Layout ......................................................................... 729-A

Chapter Thirty-Four. ELECTRONIC TEST EQUIPMENT............................. 721-B

34-1 Voltage, Current and Power ................................................ 721-B
34-2 Measurement of Circuit Constants ........................................ 727 -B
34-3 Measurements with a Bridge ............................................... 728-B
34-4 Frequency Measurements .................................................... 729-B
34-5 Antenna and Transmission Line Measurements.................... 730-B
34-6 A Simple Coaxial Reflectometer ........................................ 732
34-7 Measurements on Balanced Transmission Lines ...................... 734
34-8 A "Balanced" SWR Bridge .................................................... 736
34-9 The Antennascope .................................................................. 738
34-10 A Silicon Crystal Noise Generator .......................................... 740

Chapter Thirty-Five. RADIO MATHEMATICS AND CALCULATIONS ............ 742

Over two decades ago the historic first edition of the RADIO HANDBOOK was
published as a unique, independent, communications manual written especially for the
adv meed radio amateur and electronic engineer. Since that early issue, great pains have
been taken to keep each succeeding edition of the RADIO HANDBOOK abreast of
the rapidly expanding field of electronics.
So quickly has the electron invaded our everyday affairs that it is now no longer
possible to segregate one particular branch of electronics and define it as radio com-
munications; rather, the transfer of intelligence by electrical means encompasses more
than the vacuum tube, the antenna, and the tuning capacitor.
Included in this new, advanced Fifteenth Edition of the RADIO HANDBOOK are
fresh chapters covering electronic computers, r.f. feedback amplifiers, and high fidelity
techniques, plus greatly expanded chapters dealing with semi-conductors and special
vacuum tube circuits. The other chapters of this Handbook have been thoroughly
revised and brought up to date, touching briefly on those aspects in the industrial
and military electronic fields that are of immediate interest to the electronic engineer
and the radio amateur. The construction chapters have been completely re-edited. All
new equipments described therein are of modern design, free of TVI problems and
various unwanted parasitic oscillations. An attempt has been made not to duplicate
items that have been featured in contemporary magazines. The transceiver makes its
major bow in this edition of the RADIO HANDBOOK, and it is felt that this
complete, inexpensive, compact "radio station" design will become more popular
during the coming years.
The writing and preparation of this Handbook would have been impossible without
the lavish help that was tended the editor by fellow amateurs and sympathetic elec-
tronic organizations. Their friendly assistance and helpful suggestions were freely
given in the true amateur spirit to help make the 15th edition of the RADIO HAND-
BOOK an outstanding success.
The editor and publisher wish to thank these individuals and companies whose
unselfish support made the compilation and publication of this book an interesting
and inspired task. -WILLIAM I. ORR, W6SAI, 3A2AF, Editor
E. P. Alvernaz, W6DMN, Wesley Schum, W9DYV, Raytheon Mfg. Co., Inc.
Jennings Radio Co. Central Electronics, Inc. Sarkes-Tarzian, Inc.
Kenneth Bay, W2GSJ, Aaron Self, W8FYR, Sprague Electric Co.
General Electric Co. Continental Electronics Triad Transformer Co.
& Sound Co.
Orrin H. Brown, W6HB, Bob Adams, W6A VA
Harold Vance, K2FF,
Eitel-McCullough, Inc. Frank Clement, W6KPC
Radio Corporation of
Wm. E. Bruring, W9ZSO, America AI Cline, W6LGU
E. F. Johnson, Inc. J. A. Haimes, Semi-conductor Temple Ehmsen, W7VS
Thomas Consalvi, W3EOZ, Division, Radio Corporation Ted Gillett, W6HX
Barker & Williamson, Inc. of America Bill Glaser, W60KG
Cal Hadlock, WlCTW, Special thanks are due Collins Bill Guimont,W6YMD
National Co., Inc. Radio Co. for permission to Ted Henry, W6UOU
Jo E. Jennings, W6EI, reprint portions of their Herbert Johnson, W7GRA
Jennings Radio Co. Sideband Report CTR-113 James Lee, W6VAT
AI Kahn, W8DUS, by Warren Bruene, WOTTK Earl Lucas, W2JT
Electrovoice, Inc. Bud Radio Co., Inc. Bill Mauzey, W6WWQ
California Chassis Co., Inc. Ken Pierce, W6SLQ
Ken Klippel, WOSQO, Don Stoner, W6TNS
Collins Radio Co. Cardwell Condenser Co., Inc.
Centralab, Inc. Bob Thompson, K6SSJ
Roger Mace, W8MWZ, Comeli-Dubilier Electric Karl Trovinger, \V6KMK
Heath Co. Co., Inc. Bill Vandermay, W7DET
E. R. Mullings, W8VPN, Cowan Publishing Corp. Dick West, W6IUG
Heath Co. International Business Edward Willis, W6TS
Edw. A. Neal, W2JZK, Machines Co., Inc. Joseph J asgur
General Electric Co. Marion Electrical (photography)
Edw. Schmeichel, W9YFV, Instrument Co., Inc. B. A. Ontiveros, W6FFF
Chicago-Standard Miller Coil Co., Inc. (drafting)
Transformer Co. Raypar, Inc. Del Rairigh, W6ZAT

Introduction to Radio

The field of radio is a division of the much to the teaching of the principles of equipment
larger field of electronics. Radio itself is such design and signal propagation. It is in response
a broad study that it is still further broken to requests from schools and agencies of the
down into a number of smaller fields of which Department of Defense, in addition to persist-
only shortwave or high-frequency radio is cov- ent requests from the amateur radio fraternity,
ered in this book. Specifically the field of com- that coverage of these principles has been ex-
munication on frequencies from 1.8 to 450 meg- panded.
acycles is taken as the subject matter for this
work. 1-1 Amateur Radio
The largest group of persons interested in
the subject of high-frequency communication is
the more than 150,000 radio amateurs located Amateur radio is a fascinating hobby with
in nearly all countries of the world. Strictly many phases. So strong is the fascination of-
speaking, a radio amateur is anyone interested fered by this hobby that many executives, en-
in radio non-commercially, but the term is ordi- gineers, and military and commercial operators
narily applied only to those hobbyists possess- enjoy amateur radio as an avocation even
ing transmitting equipment and a license from though they are also engaged in the radio field
the government. commercially. It captures and holds the inter-
It was for the radio amateur, and particu- est of many people in all walks of life, and in
larly for the serious and more advanced ama- all countries of the world where amateur acti-
vities are permitted by law.
teur, that most of the equipment described in
Amateurs have rendered much public ser-
this book was developed. However, in each
vice through furnishing communications to and
equipment group simple items also are shown
from the outside world in cases where disaster
for the student or beginner. The design prin-
has isolated an area by severing all wire com-
ciples behind the equipment for high-frequency
munications. Amateurs have a proud record of
radio communication are of course the same
heroism and service in such occasion. Many
whether the equipment is to be used for com-
expeditions to remote places have been kept
mercial, military, or amateur purposes, the
in touch with home by communication with ama-
principal differences 1yin g in construction
teur stations on the high frequencies. The ama-
practices, and in the tolerances and safety
teur's fine record of performance w i t h the
factors placed upon components.
"wireless" equipment of World War I has been
With the increasing complexity of high-fte-
surpassed by his outstanding service in World
quency communication, resulting primarily from
War II.
increased utilization of the available spec-
trum, it becomes necessary to delve more deep- By the time peace came in the Pacific in
ly into the basic principles underlying radio the summer of 1945, many thousand amateur
communication, both from the standpoint of operators were serving in the allied armed
equipment design and operation and from the forces. They had supplied the army, navy,
standpoint of signal propagation. Hence, it will marines, coast guard, merchant marine, civil
be found that this edition of the RADIO HAND- service, war plants, and civilian defense or-
BOOK has been devoted in greater proportion ganizations with trained personnel for radio,

12 Introduction to Radio THE R AD I 0

radar, wire, and visual communications and of several specified reasons are unable to ap-
for teaching. Even now, at the time of this pear for examination.
writing, amateurs are being called back into (d) Technician Class. This is a new class
the expanded defense forces, are returning to of license which is available to any citizen of
defense plants where their skills are critically the United States. The examination is the same
needed, and are being organized into communi as that for the General Class license, except
cation units as an adjunct to civil defense that the code test is at a speed of 5 words per
groups. minute. The holder of a Technician class li-
cense is accorded all authorized amateur privi-
1-2 Station and Operator Licenses leges in the amateur frequency bands above
220 megacycles. and in the 50-Mc. band.
(e) Novice Ctass. This is a new class of
Every radio transmitting station in the license which is available to any U. S. citizen
United States no matter how low its power who has not previously held an amateur li-
must have a license from the federal govern cense of any class issued by any agency of
ment before being operated; some classes of the U. S. government, military or civilian. The
stations must have a permit from the govern- examination consists of a code test at a speed
ment even before being constructed. And every of 5 words per minute, plus an examination on
operator of a transmitting station must have the rules and regulations essential to begin-
an operator's license before operating a trans ner's operation, inCluding sufficient elemen
mitter. There are no exceptions. Similar laws tary radio theory for the understanding of those
apply in practically every major country. rules. The Novice Class of license affords
severely restricted privileges, is valid for only
"Classes of Amateur There are at present six a period of one year (as contrasted to all other
Operator Licenses classes of amateur oper classes of amateur licenses which run for a
ator licenses which have term of five years), and is not renewable.
been authorized by the Federal Communica All Novice and Technician class examina-
tions Commission. These c 1 asses differ in tions are given by volunteer examiners, as reg-
many respects, so each will be discussed ular examinations for these two classes are
briefly. not given in FCC offices. Amateur radio clubs
(a) Amateur Extra Class. This class of li- in the larger cities have established examin
cense is available to any U. S. citizen who at ing committees to assist would-be amateurs
any time has held for a period of two years or of the area in obtaining their Novice and Tech-
more a valid amateur license, issued by the nician licenses.
FCC, excluding licenses of the Novice and
Technician Classes. The examination for the
license includes a code test at 20 words per 1-3 The Amateur Bands
minute, the usual tests covering basic amateur
practice and general amateur regulations, and Certain small segments of the radio frequen
an additional test on advanced amateur prac- cy spectrum between 1500 kc. and 10,000 Me.
tice. All amateur privileges are accorded the are reserved for operation of amateur radio
holders of this operator's license. stations. These segments are in general agree
(b) General Class. This class of amateur ment throughout the world, although certain
license is equivalent to the old Amateur Class parts of different amateur bands may be used
B license, and accords to the holders all ama for other purposes in various geographic re
teur privileges except those which may be set gions. In particular, the 40-meter amateur band
aside for holders of the Amateur Extra Class is used legally (and illegally) for short wave
license. This class of amateur operator's li- broadcasting by many countries in Europe,
cense is available to any U. S. citizen. The Africa and Asia. Parts of the SO-meter band
examination for the license includes a code are used for short distance marine work in Eu-
test at 13 words per minute, and the usual ex rope, and for broadcasting in South America.
aminations covering basic amateur practice The amateur bands available to American ra
and general amateur regulations. dio amateurs are!
(c) Conditional Class. This class of ama
teur license and the privileges accorded by it 160 Meters The 160-meter band is di-
are equivalent to the General Class license. (1800 Kc.-2000 Kc.) vided in to 25-kilocycle
However, the license can be issued only to segments on a regional
those whose residence is more than 125 miles basis, with day and night power limitations,
airline from the nearest location at which FCC and is available for amateur use provided no
examinations are held at intervals of not more interference is caused to the Loran (Long
than three months for the General Class ama Range Navigation) stations operating in this
teur operator license, or to those who for any band. This band is least affected by the 11-
HANDBOOK Amateur Bands 13

year solar sunspot cycle. The Maximum Us- mitters. In Europe and Asia the band is in a
able Frequency (MUF) even during the years chaotic state, and amateur operation in this re-
of decreased sunspot activity does not usually gion is severely hampered.
drop below 4 Me., therefore this band is not
subject to the violent fluctuations found on
20 Meters At the present time,
the higher frequency bands. DX contacts on
(14,000 Kc.-14,350 Kc.) the 20-meter band is
on this band are limited by the ionospheric
by far the most popular
absorption of radio signals, which is quite
high. During winter nighttime hours the ab- band for long distance contacts. High enough
sorption is often of a low enough value to per- in frequency to be almost obliterated at the
mit trans-oceanic contacts on this band. On bottom of the solar cycle, the band neverthe-
rare occasions, contacts up to 10,000 miles less provides good DX contacts during years
have been made. As a usual rule, however, of minimal sunspot activity. At the present
160-meter amateur operation is confined to time, the band is open to almost all parts of
ground-wave contacts or single-skip contacts the world at some time during the year. Dur-
of 1000 miles or less. Popular before World ing the summer months, the band is active un-
War II, the 160-meter band is now only sparse- til the late evening hours, but during the win-
ly occupied since many areas of the country ter months the band is only good for a few
are blanketed by the megawatt pulses of the hours during day light. Extreme DX contacts
Loran chains.
are usually erratic, but the 20-meter band is
80 Meters The SO-meter band is the the only band available for DX operation the
(3500 Kc.-4000 Kc.) most popular amateur year around during the bottom of the DX cycle.
band in the continental As the sunspot count increases and the MUF
United States for I o c a! "rag-chewing" and rises, the 20-meter band will become open for
traffic nets. During the years of minimum sun- longer hours during the winter. The maximum
spot activity the ionospheric absorption on skip distance increases, and DX contacts are
this band may be quite low, and long distance possible over paths other than the Great Circle
DX contacts are possible during the winter route. Signals can be heard the "long paths,"
night hours. Daytime operation, in general, is 180 degrees opposite to the Great Circle path.
limited to contacts of 500 miles or less. Dur- During daylight hours, absorption may become
ing the summer months, local static and high apparent on the 20-meter band, and all signals
ionospheric absorption limit long distance con- except very short skip may disappear. On the
tacts on this band. As the sunspot cycle ad- other hand, the band will be open for world-
vances and the MUF rises, increased iono- wide DX contacts all night long. The 20-meter
spheric absorption will tend to degrade the band is very susceptible to "fade-outs"
long distance possibilities of this band. At caused by solar disturbances, and all except
the peak of the sunspot cycle, the SO-meter
local signals may completely disappear for
band becomes useful only for short-haul com-
munication. periods of a few hours to a day or so.

40 Meters The 40-meter band is high IS Meters This is a relatively

(7000 Kc.-7300 Kc.) enough in frequency to be (21,000 Kc.-21,450 Kc.) new b and for radio
severely affected by the amateurs since it has
11-year sunspot cycle. During years of mini- only been available for amateur operation
mum solar activity, the MUF may drop below since 1952. Not too much is known about the
7 Me., and the band will become very erratic, characteristics of this band, since it has not
with signals dropping completely out during been occupied for a full cycle of solar activi-
the night hours. Ionospheric absorption of sig- ty. However, it is reasonable to assume that
nals is not as large a problem on this band as it will have characteristics similar to both the
it is on 80 and 160 meters. As the MUF grad- 20 and 10-meter amateur bands. It should have
ually rises, the skip-distance will increase on a longer skip distance than 20 meters for a
given time, and sporadic-E (short-skip) should
40 meters, especially during the winter months.
be apparent during the winter months. During
At the peak of the solar cycle, the daylight
a period of low sunspot activity, the AIUF will
skip distance on 40 meters will be quite long,
rarely rise as high as 15 meters, so this band
and stations within a distance of 500 miles or
will be "dead" for a large part of the year.
so of each other will not be able to hold com-
During the next few years, 15-meter activity
munication. DX operation on the 40-meter band
should pick up rapidly, and the band should
is considerably hampered by broadcasting sta- support extremely long DX contacts. Activity
tions, propaganda stations, and jamming trans- on the 15-meter band is limited in some areas,
14 Introduction to Radio THE R AD I 0

since the older model TV receivers have a bands are sparsely occupied in the rural sec-
21 Me. i-f channel, which falls directly in the tions of the United States, but are quite heavi-
15-meter band. The interference problems ly congested in the urban areas of high popu-
brought about by such an unwise choice of lation.
intermediate frequency often restrict operation In recent years it has been found that v-h-f
on this band by amateur stations unfortunate signals are propagated by other means than by
enough to be situated near such an obsolete line-of-sight transmission. "Scatter signals,"
receiver. Aurora reflection, and air-mass boundary bend-
ing are responsible for v-h-f communication up
10- Meters During the peak of the to 1200 miles or so. Weather conditions will
(28,000 Kc .. 29,700 Kc.)sunspot cycle, the 10- often affect long distance communication on
meter band is without the 2-meter band, and all the v-h-f bands are
doubt the most popular particularly sensitive to this condition.
amateur band. The combination of long skip The other v-h-f bands have had insufficient
and low ionospheric absorption make reliable occupancy to provide a clear picture of their
DX contacts with low powered equipment pos- characteristics. In general, they behave much
sible. The great width of the band (1700 kc.) as does the 2-meter band, with the weather
provides room for a large number of amateurs. effects becoming more pronounced on the high-
The long skip (1500 miles or so) prevents near- er frequency bands.
by amateurs from hearing each other, thus
dropping the interference level. During the win 1-4 Starting Your Study
ter months, sporadic-E (short skip) signals
up to 1200 miles or so will be heard. The 10-
meter band is poorest in the summer months, When you start to prepare yourself for the
even during a sunspot maximum. Extremely amateur examination you will find that the cir-
long daylight skip is common on this band, and cuit diagrams, tube characteristic curves, and
and in years of high MUF the 10-meter band formulas appear confusing and difficult of un-
will support intercontinental DX contacts dur- derstanding. But after a few study sessions
ing daylight hours. one becomes sufficiently familiar with the
The second harmonic of stations operating notation of the diagrams and the basic con-
in the 10-meter band falls directly into tele- cepts of theory and operation so that the ac-
vision channel 2, and the higher harmonics of quisition of further knowledge becomes easier
10-meter transmitters fall into the higher TV and even fascinating.
channels. This harmonic problem seriously As it takes a considerable time to become
curtailed amateur 10-meter operation during proficient in sending and receiving code, it is
the late 40's. However, with the new circuit a good idea to intersperse technical study ses-
techniques and TVI precautionary measures sions with periods of code practice. Many
stressed in this Handbook, 10-meter operation short code practice sessions benefit one more
should cause little or no interference to near- than a small number of longer sessions. Alter-
by television receivers of modern design. nating between one study and the other keeps
the student from getting "stale" since each
Six Meters At the peak of the sunspot type of study serves as a sort of respite from
(SO Mc . S4 Me.) cycle, the MUF occasional- the other.
ly rises high enough to per- When you have practiced the code long
mit DX contacts up to 10,000 miles or so on enough you will be able to follow the gist of
6 meters. Activity on this band during such a the slower sending stations. Many stations
period is often quite high. Interest in this band send very slowly when working other stations
wanes during a period of lesser solar activity, at great distances. Stations repeat their calls
as contacts, as a rule, are restricted to short- many times when calling other stations before
skip work. The proximity of the 6-meter band contact is established, and one need not have
to television channel 2 often causes interfer- achieved much code proficiency to make out
ence problems to amateurs located in areas their calls and thus determine their location.
where channel 2 is active. As the sunspot cy-
cle increases, activity on the 6-meter band will The Code The applicant for any class of ama-
increase. teur operator license must be able
to send and r e c e i v e the Continental Code
The YH-F Bands The v-h-f bands are (sometimes called the International Morse
(Two Meters and "Up") the least affected by Code). The speed required for the sending and
the vagaries of the receiving test may be either 5, 13, or 20 words
sunspot cycle and the Heaviside layer. Their per minute, depending upon the class of li-
predominant use is for reliable communication cense, assuming an average of five characters
over distances of 150 miles or less. These to the word in each case. The sending and re-
HANDBOOK Learning the Code 15

-- N
--- ----
-- --
8 0 2
p 3
E -

5 -

-- --
s 6






COMMA(,) ---
--- --



---- ---

Figure 1
The Contin&ntol (or International Morse) Cocle is usee/ for substontiollr. all non-automatic roclio
communication. DO NOT memorize from the printecl page; cocle is a onguoge of SOUND, one/
must not be leornecl visually; learn by listening as exploinecl In the text.

cetvtng tests run for five minutes, and one Since code reading requires that individual
minute of errorless transmission or reception letters be recognized instantly, any memoriz
must be accomplished within the five-minute ing scheme which depends upon orderly se
interval. quence, such as learning all "dab" letters
If the code test is failed, the applicant must
and all "dit" letters in separate groups, is to
wait at least one month before he may again
be discouraged. Before beginning with a code
appear for another test. Approximately 30% of
practice set it is necessary to memorize the
amateur applicants fail to pass the test. It
whole alphabet perfectly. A good plan is to
should be expected that nervousness and ex study only two or three letters a day and to
citement will at least to some degree tempo drill with those letters until they become part
racily lower the applicant's code ability. The of your consciousness. Mentally translate each
best prevention against this is to master the day's letters into their sound equivalent
code at a little greater than the required speed wherever they are seen, on signs, in papers,
under ordinary conditions. Then if you slow indoors and outdoors. Tackle two additional
down a little due to nervousness during a test letters in the code chart each day, at the same
the result will not prove fatal. time reviewing the characters already learned.
Avoid memorizing by routine. Be able to
Memorizing There is no shortcut to code pro sound out any letter immediately without so
the Code ficiency. To memorize the al much as hesitating to think about the letters
phabet entails but a few eve preceding or following the one in question.
nings of diligent application, but considerable Know C, for example, apart from the sequence
time is required to build up speed. The exact ABC. Skip about among all the characters
time required depends upon the individual's learned, and before very long sufficient letters
ability and the regularity of practice. will have been acquired to enable you to spell
While the speed of learning will naturally out simple words to yourself in "dit dabs."
vary greatly with different individuals, about This is interesting exercise, and for tl:mt rea
70 hours of practice (no practice period to be son it is good to memorize all the vowels first
over 30 minutes) will usually suffice to bring and the most conunon consonants next.
a speed of about 13 w.p.m.; 16 w.p.m. requires Actual code practice should start only when
about 120 hours; 20 w.p.m., 175 hours. the entire alphabet, the numerals, period, com
16 Introduction to Radio THE R AD I 0

3inra --
tion, do it in code. It makes more interesting
practice than confining yourself to random
practice material.
e ..----
- When two co-learners have memorized the
code and are ready to start sending to each
other for practice, it is a good idea to enlist

the aid of an experienced operator for the first
f1 practice session or two so that they will get

0 an idea of how properly formed characters
ii During the first practice period the speed
should be such that substantially solid copy
Figure 2 can be made without strain. Never mind if this
These code characters are used in languages is only two or three words per minute. In the
other than English. They may occasionally next period the speed should be increased
be encountered so it is well to know them. slightly to a point where n e a r 1 y all of the
characters can be caught only through con-
scious effort. When the student becomes pro-
rna, and question mark have been memorized ficient at this new speed, another slight in-
so thoroughly that any one can be sounded crease may be made, progressing in this man-
without the slightest hesitation. Do not bother ner until a speed of about 16 words per minute
with other punctuation or miscellaneous sig- is attained if the object is to pass the amateur
nals until later. 13-word per minute code test. The margin of
3 w.p.m. is recommended to overcome a possi-
Sound- Each letter and figure must be ble excitement factor at examination time.
Not Sight memorized by its so u n d rather Then when you take the test you don't have to
than its appearance. Code is a worry about the "jitters" or an "off day."
system of sound communication, the same as Speed should not be inc r e a s e d to a new
is the spoken word. The letter A, for example, level until the student finally makes solid
is one short and one long sound in combina- copy with ease for at 1 east a five-minute
tion sounding like dit dab, and it must be re- period at the old level. How frequently in-
membered as such, and not as "dot dash." creases of speed can be made depends upon
individual ability and the amount of practice.
Each increase is apt to prove disconcerting,
Practice Time, patience, and regularity are but remember "you are never learning when
required to learn the code properly. you are comfortable."
Do not expect to accomplish it within a few A number of amateurs are sending code
days. practice on the air on schedule once or twice
Don't practice too long at one stretch; it each week; excellent practice can be obtained
does more harm than good. Thirty minutes at after you have bought or constructed your re-
a time should be the limit. ceiver by taking advantage of these sessions.
Lack of regularity in practice is the most If you live in a medium-size or large city,
common cause of lack of progress. Irregular the chances are that there is an amateur radio
practice is very little better than no practice club in your vicinity which offers free code
at all. Write down what you have heard; then practice lessons periodically.
forget it; do not look back. If your mind dwells
even for an instant on a signal about which
you have doubt, you will miss the next few Skill When you listen to someone speaking
characters while your attention is diverted. you do not consciously think how his
While various automatic code machines, words are spelled. This is also true when you
phonograph records, etc., will give you prac- read. In code you must train your ears to read
tice, by far the best practice is to obtain a code just as your eyes were trained in school
study companion who is also interested in to read printed matter. With enough practice
learning the code. '-"ben you have both memo- you acquire skill, and from skill, speed. In
rized the alphabet you can start sending to other words, it becomes a habit, something
each other. Practice with a key and oscillator which can be done without conscious effort.
or key and buzzer generally proves superior Conscious effort is fatal to speed; we can't
to all automatic equipment. Two such sets think rapidly enough; a speed of 25 words a
operated between two rooms are fine-or be- minute, which is a common one in commercial
tween your house and his will be just that operations, means 125 characters per minute
much better. Avoid talking to your partner or more than two per second, which leaves
while practicing. If you must ask him a ques- no time for conscious thinking.
HANDBOOK Learning the Code 17

P.erfect Formation When transmitting on the

~. b:::xX:i.b::il
, r::: :

of Characters code practice set to your

partner, concentrate on the ~ ~ ~ ~
quality of your sending, not on your speed. B c
Your partner will appreciate it and he could
~~ ~
not copy you if you speeded up anyhow. ! i :: :

If you want to get a reputation as having an

excellent "fist" on the air, just remember that
~ ~
A T --~~
0 N E
speed alone won't do the trick. Proper execu-
tion of your letters and spacing will make Figure 3
much more of an impression. Fortunately, as
Diagram illustrating relative lengths of
you get so that you can send evenly and accu- clashes one/ spaces referred to the cluration
rately, your sending speed will automatically of a clot. A clash is exactly equal in duration
increase. Remember to try to see how evenly to three clots; spaces between ports of a
you can send, and how fast you can receive. letter equal one clot; those between letters,
three clots; space between words, five dots.
Concentrate on making signals properly with Note that a slight increase between two parts
your key. Perfect formation of characters is of a letter will make it so unci I ike two
paramount to everything else. Make every sig- letters.
nal right no matter if you have to practice it
hundreds or thousands of times. Never allow Be particularly careful of letters like B.
yourself to vary the slightest from perfect for- Many beginners seem to have a tendency to
mation once you have learned it. leave a longer space after the dash than that
If possible, get a good operator to listen to which they place between succeeding dots,
your sending for a short time, asking him to thus making it sound like TS. Similarly, make
criticize even the slightest imperfections. sure that you do not leave a longer space after
Timing It is of the utmost importance to the first dot in the letter C than you do be-
maintain uniform spacing in charac- tween other parts of the same letter; otherwise
ters and combinations of characters. Lack of it will sound like NN.
uniformity at this point probably causes be-
ginners more trouble than any other single fac- Sending vs. Once you have memorized the
tor. Every dot, every dash, and every space
Receiving code thoroughly you should con-
centrate on increasing your re-
must be correctly timed. In other words, ac-
ceiving speed. True, if you have to practice
curate timing is absolutely essential to intel-
with another newcomer who is learning the
ligibility, and timing of the spaces between
code with you, you will both have to do some
the dots and dashes is just as important as
sending. But don't attempt to practice sending
the lengths of the dots and dashes themselves.
just for the sake of increasing your sending
The characters are timed with the dot as a
"yardstick." A standard dash is three times
as long as a dot. The spacing between parts When transmitting on the code practice set
of the same letter is e qua 1 to one dot; the to your partner so that he can get receiving
space between letters is equal to three dots, practice, concentrate on the quality of your
and that between words equal to five dots. sending, not on your speed.
The rule for spacing between letters and Because it is comparatively easy to learn
words is not strictly observed when sending to send rapidly, especially when no particular
slower than about 10 words per minute for the care is given to the quality of sending, many
benefit of someone learning the code and de- operators who have just received their licenses
siring receiving practice. When sending at, get on the air and send mediocre or worse code
say, 5 w.p.m., the individual letters should be at 20 w.p.m. when they can barely receive
made the same as if the sending rate were good code at 13. Most oldtimers remember their
about 10 w.p.m., except that the spacing be- own period of initiation and are only too glad
tween letters and words is greatly exaggerated. to be patient and considerate if you tell them
The reason for this is obvious. The letter L, that you are a newcomer. But the surest way
for instance, will then sound exactly the same to incur their scorn is to try to impress them
at 10 w.p.m. as at 5 w.p.m., and when the with your "lightning speed," and then to re-
speed is increased above 5 w.p.m. the student quest them to send more slowly when they
will not have to become familiar with what come back at you at the same speed.
may seem to him like a new sound, although Stress your copying ability; never stress
it is in reality only a faster combination of your sending ability. ~t should be obvious that
dots and dashes. At the greater speed he will that if you try to send faster than you can re
merely have to learn the identification of the cei ve, your ear will not recognize any mis-
same sound without taking as long to do so. takes which your hand may make.
18 Introduction to Radio THE R AD I 0

fingers to become tense. Send with a full, free

arm movement. Avoid like the plague any fin
ger motion other than the slight cushioning
effect mentioned above.
Stick to the regular hand key for learning
code. No other key is satisfactory for this pur
pose. Not until you have thoroughly mastered
both sending and receiving at the maximum
speed in which you are interested should you
tackle any form of automatic or semi-automatic
key such as the Vibroplex ("bug") or an elec
tronic key.

Difficulties Should you experience difficulty

Figure 4 in increasing your code speed
after you have once memorized the characters,
there is no reason to become discouraged. It
is more difficult for some people to learn code
The fingers hold the knob and act as a cush- than for others, but there is no justification
ion. The hand rests lightly on the key. The
muscles of the forearm provide the power, for the contention sometimes made that "some
the wrist acting as the fulcrum. The power people just can't learn the code." It is not a
should not come from the fingers, but rather matter of intelligence; so don't feel ashamed
from the forearm muscles. if you seem to experience a little more than
the usual difficulty in learning code. Your re
action time may be a little slower or your co
Using the Key Figure 4 shows the proper posi ordination not so good. If this is the case,
tion of the hand, fingers and remember you can still learn the code. You
wrist when manipulating a telegraph or radio may never learn to send and receive at 40
key. The forearm should rest naturally on the w.p.m., but you can learn sufficient speed for
desk. It is preferable that the key be placed all non-commercial purposes and even for most
far enough back from the edge of the table commercial purposes if you have patience,
(about 18 inches) that the elbow can rest on and refuse to be discouraged by the fact that
the table. Otherwise, pressure of the table others seem to pick it up more rapidly.
edge on the arm will tend to hinder the circu When the sending operator is sending just
lation of the blood and weaken the ulnar nerve a bit too fast for you (the best speed for prac
at a point where it is close to the surface, tice), you will occasionally miss a signal or a
which in turn will tend to increase fatigue small group of them. When you do, leave a
considerably. blank space; do not spend time futilely trying
The knob of the key is grasped lightly with to recall it; dismiss it, and center attention
the thumb along the edge; the index and third on the next letter; otherwise you'll miss more.
fingers rest on the top towards the front or far Do not ask the sender any questions until the
edge. The hand moves with a free up and down transmission is finished.
motion, the wrist acting as a fulcrum. The To prevent guessing and get equal practice
power must come entirely from the arm mus on the less common letters, depart occasional
des. The third and index fingers will bend ly from plain language material and use a jum
slightly during the sending but not because of ble of letters in which the usually less com
deliberate effort to manipulate the finger mus monly used letters predominate.
des. Keep your finger muscles just tight As mentioned before, many students put a
enough to act as a cushion for the arm motion greater space after the dash in the letter B
and let the slight movement of the fingers take than between other parts of the same letter so
care of itself. The key's spring is adjusted to it sounds like TS. C, F, Q, V, X, Y and Z
the individual wrist and should be neither too often give similar trouble. Make a list of words
stiff nor too loose. Use a moderately stiff ten or arbitrary combinations in which these let
sion at first and gradually lighten it as you ters predominate and practice them, both send
become more proficient. The separation be ing and receiving until they no longer give you
tween the contacts must be the proper amount trouble. Stop everything e l s e and stick at
for the desired speed, being somewhat under them. So long as they give you trouble you are
1/16 inch for slow speeds and slightly closer not ready for anything else.
together (about 1/32 inch) for faster speeds. Follow the same procedure with letters
Avoid extremes in either direction. which you may tend to confuse such as F and
Do not allow the muscles of arm, wrist, or L, which are often confused by beginners.
HANDBOOK Learning the Code 19

Figure 5

BUZZER ..---------;;-<>--, : ~~~pp~~~~~~g~~TER

The buzzer is adjusted to give a
steady, high-pitched whine. If de-
1.0 TO 4.0 VOLTS
I -----J;ow~~j;'
sired, the phones may be omitted,
In which case the buzzer should be ~ L____ j 0 ~.:~R 4
mounted firmly on a sounding board. L____.,.?i_ __._- - -- - - -
Crystal, magnetic, or dynamic ear KEY THESE PARTS REQUIRED
phones may be used. Additional ONLY IF HEADPHONE
sets of phones should be connected
in parallel, not in series.

Keep at it u n t i I you always get them right punctuate copy as he goes along. It is not rec-
without having to stop even an instant to think ommended that the beginner attempt to do this
about it. until he can send and receive accurately and
If you do not instantly recognize the sound with ease at a speed of at least 12 words a
of any character, you have not learned it; go minute.
back and practice your alphabet further. You It requires a considerable amount of train-
should never have to omit writing down every ing to dissociate the action of the subcon-
signal you hear except when .the transmission scious mind from the direction of the conscious
is too fast for you. mind. It may help some in obtaining this train-
Write down what you hear, not what you ing to write down two columns of short words.
think it should be. It is surprising how often Spell the first word in the first column out loud
the word which you guess will be wrong. while writing down the first word in the second
column. At first this will be a bit awkward,
Copying Behind All good operators copy sev- but you will rapidly gain facility with practice.
eral words behind, that is, Do the same with all the words, and then re-
while one word is being received, they are verse columns.
writing down or typing, say, the fourth or fifth Next try speaking aloud the words in the one
previous word. At first this is very difficult, column while writing those in the other column;
but after sufficient practice it will be found then reverse columns.
actually to be easier than copying close up. After the foregoing can be done easily, try
It also results in more accurate copy and en- sending with your key the words in one col-
ables the receiving operator to capitalize and umn while spelling those in the other. It won't
be easy at first, but it is well worth keeping
after if you intend to develop any real code
proficiency. Do not attempt to catch up. There
CK-722 1 =COLLECTOR is a natural tendency to close up the gap, and
3= EMITTER you must train yourself to overcome this.
Next have your code companion send you a
word either from a list or from straight text;
do not write it down yet. Now have him send
the next word; after receiving this second
2000 n.
PHONES word, write down the first word. After receiv-
10 K ing the third word, write the second word; and
so on. Never mind how slowly you must go,
even if it is only two or three words per minute.
1, 51/. Stay behind.
It will probably take quite a number of prac-
Figure 6 tice sessions before you can do this with any
facility. After it is relatively easy, then try
staying two words behind; keep this up until
it is easy. Then try three words, four words,
An inexpensive Raytheon CK-722 transistor and five words. The more you practice keep-
requires only a single 1Vz-volt flashlight ing received material in mind, the easier it
battery for power. The inductance of the ear-
phone windings forms part of the oscillatory will be to stay behind. It will be found easier
circuit. The pitch of the note moy be changed at first to copy material with which one is
by varying the value of the two capacitors fairly familiar, then gradually switch to less
connected across the earphones. familiar material.
20 Introduction to Radio

Automatic Code The two practice sets which the help of a partner by sending "dit-dah"
Machines are deso;ribed in this chapter messages to each other while riding to work,
are of most value when you eating lunch, etc. It is better, however, to use
have someone with whom to practice. Automa a buzzer or code practice oscillator in con
tic code machines are not recommended to any junction with a regular telegraph key.
one who can possibly obtain a companion with As a good key may be considered an invest
whom to practice, someone who is also inter- ment it is wise to make a well-made key your
ested in learning the code. If you are unable first purchase. Regardless of what type code
to enlist a code partner and have to practice practice set you use, you will need a key, and
by yourself, the best way to get receiving later on you will need one to key your trans-
practice is by the use of a tape machine (auto mitter. If you get a good key to begin with,
matic code sending machine) with several you won't have to buy another one later.
practice tapes. Or you can use a set of phono- The key should be rugged and have fairly
graph code practice records. The records are heavy contacts. Not only will the key stand
of use only if you have a phonograph whose up better, but such a key will contribute to
turntable speed is readily adjustable. The tape the "heavy" type of sending so desirable for
machine can be rented by the month for a rea radio work. Morse (telegraph) operators use
sonable fee. a "light" style of sencling and can send some
Once you can copy about 10 w.p.m. you can what faster when using this light touch. But,
also get receiving practice by listening to slow in radio work static and interference are often
sending stations on your receiver. Many ama- present, and a slightly heavier dot is desir-
teur stations send slowly particular! y when able. If you use a husky key, you will lind
working far distant stations. When receiving yourself automatically sending in this manner.
conditions are particularly poor many commer To generate a tone simulating a code signal
cial stations also send slowly, sometimes re as heard on a receiver, either a mechanical
peating every word. Until you can copy around buzzer or an audio oscillator may be used. Fig-
10 w.p.m. your receiver isn't much use, and ure 5 shows a simple code-practice set using
either another operator or a machine or records a buzzer which may be used directly simply
are necessary for getting receiving practice by mounting the buzzer on a sounding board,
after you have once memorized the code. or the buzzer may be used to feed from one to
four pairs of conventional high-impedance
Code Practice If you don't feel too foolish phones.
Sets doing it, you can secure a An example of the audio-oscillator type of
measure of code practice with code-practice set is illustrated in figures 6
and 7. An inexpensive Raytheon CK-722 trans
istor is used in place of the more expensive,
power consuming vacuum tube. A single "pen-
lite" 1?5-volt cell powers the unit. The coils
of the earphones form the ind uc ti ve portion
of the resonant circuit. 'Phones having an
impedance of 2000 ohms or higher should be
used. Surplus type R-14 earphones also work
well with this circuit.

Figure 7
The circuit of Figure 6 is used in this
miniature transistorized code Practice
oscillator. Components are mounted in a
small plastic case. The transistor is
attached to a three terminal phenolic
mounting strip. Sub-miniature jacks are
used for the key and phones connections.
A hearing aid earphone may also be used,
as shown. The phone is stored in the
plastic case when not in use.

Direct Current Circuits

All naturally occurring matter (excluding so different particles, but this further sub-
artifically produced radioactive substances) is division can be left to quantum mechanics and
made up of 92 fundamental constituents called atomic physics. As far as the study of elec
elements. These elements can exist either in tronics is concerned it is only necessary for
the free state such as iron, oxygen, carbon, the reader to think of the normal atom as being
copper, tungsten, and aluminum, or in chemi- composed of a nucleus having a net positive
cal unions commonly called compounds. The charge that is exactly neutralized by the one
smallest unit which still retains all the origi- or more orbital elecw>ns surrounding it.
nal characteristics of an element is the atom. The atoms of different elements differ in
Combinations of atoms, or subdivisions of respect to the charge on the positive nucleus
compounds, result in another fundamental and in the number of electrons revolving
unit, the molecule. The molecule is the small- around this charge. They range all the way
est unit of any compound. All reactive ele- from hydrogen, having a net charge of one
ments when in the gaseous state also exist on the nucleus and one orbital electron, to
in the molecular form, made up of two or more uranium with a net charge of 92 on the nucleus
atoms. The nonreactive gaseous elements and 92 orbital electrons. The number of orbital
helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and electrons is called the atomic number of the
radon are the only gaseous elements that ever element.
exist in a stable monatomic state at ordinary
temperatures. Action of the From the above it must not be
Electrons thought that the electrons re-
2-1 The Atom volve in a haphazard manner
around the nucleus. Rather, the electrons in
An atom is an extremely small unit of an element having a large atomic number are
matter- there are literally billions of them grouped into rings having a definite number of
making up so small a piece of material as a electrons. The only atoms in which these rings
speck of dust. To understand the basic theory are completely filled are those of the inert
of electricity and hence of radio, we must go gases mentioned before; all other elements
further and divide the atom into its main have one or more uncompleted rings of elec-
components, a positively charged nucleus and trons. If the uncompleted ring is nearly empty,
a cloud of negatively charged particles that; the element is metallic in character, being
surround the nucleus. These particles, swirling most metallic when there is only one electron
around the nucleus in elliptical orbits at an in the outer ring. If the incomplete ring lacks
incredible rate of speed, are called orbital only one or two electrons, the element is
electrons. usually non-metallic. Elements with a ring
about half completed will exhibit both non-
It is upon the behavior of these electrons metallic and metallic characteristics; carbon,
when freed from the atom, that depends the silicon, germanium, and arsenic are examples.
study of electricity and radio, as well as Such elements are called semi-conductors.
allied sciences. Actually it is possible to sub- In metallic elements these outer ring elec
divide the nucleus of the atom into a dozen or trans are rather loosely held. Consequently,

22 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

there is a conunuous helter-skelter movement charge, but one more negative than the other,
of these electrons and a continual shifting the one with the lesser negative charge will
from one atom to another. The electrons which act as though it were positively charged with
move about in a substance are called free respect to the other body. It is the algebraic
electrons, and it is the ability of these elec- potential difference that determines the force
trons to drift from atom to atom which makes with which electrons are attracted or repulsed,
possible the electric current. the potential of the earth being taken as the
zero reference point.
Conductors and If the free electrons are nu-
lnsulotors merous and loosely held, the
element is a good conductor. The Electric The flow of electrons along a
On the other hand, if there are few free elec- Current conductor due to the application
trons, as is the case when the electrons in an of an electromotive force con-
outer ring are tightly held, the element is a stitutes an electric current. This drift is in
poor conductor. If there are virtually no free addition to the irregular movements of the
electrons, the element is a good insulator. electrons. However, it must not be thought
that each free electron travels from one end
of the circuit to the other. On the contrary,
2-2 Fundamental Electrical each free electron travels only a short distance
Units and Relationships before colliding with an atom; this collision
generally knocking off one or more electrons
from the atom, which in turn move a short
Electromotive Force: The free electrons in distance and collide with other atoms, knock-
Potential Difference a conductor move con ing off other electrons. Thus, in the general
stantly about and change drift of electrons along a wire carrying an
their position in a haphazard manner. To electric current, each electron travels only a
produce a drift of electrons or electric current short distance and the excess of electrons at
along a wire it is necessary that there be a one end and the deficiency at the other are
difference in "pressure" or potential between balanced by the source of the e.m.f. When this
the two ends of the wire. This potential dif- source is removed the state of normalcy re-
ference can be produced by connecting a turns; there is still the rapid interchange of
source of electrical potential to the ends of free electrons between atoms, but there is no
the wire. general trend or "net movement" in either
As will be explained later, there is an ex- one direction or the other.
cess of electrons at the negative terminal of
a battery and a deficiency of electrons at the Ampere and There are two units of measure-
positive terminal, due to chemical action. Coulomb ment associated with current,
When the battery is connected to the wire, the and they are often confused.
deficient atoms at the positive terminal attract The rate of flow of electriciry is stated in
free electrons from the wire in order for the amperes. The unit of quantity is the coulomb.
positive terminal to become neutral. The A coulomb is equal to 6.28 x 10 18 electrons,
attracting of electrons continues through the and when this quantity of electrons flows by
wire, and finally the excess electrons at a given point in every second, a current of
the negative terminal of the battery are at- one ampere is said to be flowing. An ampere
tracted by the positively charged atoms at the is equal to one coulomb per second; a coulomb
end of the wire. Other sources of electrical is, conversely, equal to one ampere-second.
potential (in addition to a battery) are: an Thus we see that coulomb indicates amount,
electrical generator (dynamo), a thermocouple, and ampere indicates rate of flow of electric
an electrostatic generator (static machine), a current.
photoelectric cell, and a crystal or piezo- Older textbooks speak of current flow as
electric generator. being from the positive terminal of the e.m.f.
Thus it is seen that a potential difference source through the conductor to the negative
is the result of a difference in the number of terminal. Nevertheless, it has long been an
electrons between the two (or more) points in established fact that the current flow in a
question. The force or pressure due to a metallic conductor is the electronic flow from
potential difference is termed the electro- the negative terminal of the source of voltage
motive force, usually abbreviated e.m.f. or through the conductor to the positive terminal.
E. M. F. It is expressed in units called volts. The only exceptions to the electronic direction
It should be noted that for there to be a of flow occur in gaseous and electrolytic con-
potential difference between two bodies or ductors where the flow of positive ions toward
points it is not necessary that one have a the cathode or negative electrode constitutes
positive charge and the other a negative a positive flow in the opposite direction to the
charge. If two bodies each have a negative electronic flow. (An ion is an atom, molecule,
HANDBOOK Resistance 23

or particle which either lacks one or more

electrons, or else has an excess of one or
Kes st vlty 1n
more electrons.) Ohms per Temp. Coeff. of
In radio work the terms "electron flow" and Circular resistance per cc
Material Mil-Foot at 20 C.
"current" are becoming accepted as being 17 0.0049
synonymous, but the older terminology is still Brass 45 0.003 to 0.007
Cadmium 46 0.0038
accepted in the electrical (industrial) field. Chromium 16 0.00
Because of the confusion this sometimes Copper 10.4 0.0039
Iron 59 0.006
causes, it is often safer to refer to the direc- Silver 9.8 0.004
tion of electron flow rather than to the direc- Zinc 36 0.0035
Nichrome 650 0.0002
tion of the "current." Since electron flow Constantan 295 0.00001
Manganin 290 0.00001
consists actually of a passage of negative Monel 255 0.0019
charges, current flow and algebraic electron
flow do pass in the same direction. FIGURE 1

Resistance The flow of current in a material

depends upon the ease with The resistance also depends upon tempera-
which electrons can be detached from the ture, increasing with increases in temperature
atoms of the material and upon its molecular for most substances (including most metals),
structure. In other words, the easier it is to due to increased electron acceleration and
detach electrons from the atoms the more free hence a greater number of impacts between
electrons there will be to contribute to the electrons and atoms. However, in the case of
flow of current, and the fewer collisions that some substances such as carbon and glass the
occur between free electrons and atoms the temperature coefficient is negative and the
greater will be the total electron flow. resistance decreases as the temperature in-
The opposition to a s tea d y elecrron flow creases. This is also true of electrolytes. The
is called the resistance of a material, and is temperature may be raised by the external ap-
one of its physical properties. plication of heat, or by the flow of the current
The u n i t of resistance is the ohm. Every itself. In the latter case, the temperarure is
substance has a specific resistance, usually raised by the heat generated when the electrons
expressed as ohms per mil-foot, which is deter and atoms collide.
mined by the material's molecular structure
and temperature. A mil-foot is a piece of Conductors ond In the molecular structure of
material one circular mil in area and one foot Insulators many materials such as glass,
porcelain, and mica all elec-
long. Another measure of resistivity frequently
trons are tightly held within their orbits and
used is expressed in the units microhms per
there are comparatively few free electrons.
centimeter cube. The resistance of a uniform
This type of substance will conduct an elec-
length of a given substance is directly pro
tric current only with great difficulty and is
portional to its length and specific resistance,
known as an insulator. An insulator is said to
and inversely proportional to its cross-section
have a high electrical resistance.
al area. A wire with a certain resistance for a
On the other hand, materials that have a
given length will have twice as much resist
large number of free electrons are known as
ance if the length of the wire is doubled. For
a given length, doubling the cross-sectional conductors. Most metals, those elements which
area of the wire will halve t h e resistance, have only one or two electrons in their outer
while doubling the diameter will reduce the ring, are good conductors. Silver, copper, and
resistance to one fourth. This is true since aluminum, in that order, are the best of the
the cross-sectional area of a wire varies as common metals u sed as conductors and are
the square of the diameter. The relationship said to have the greatest conductivity, or low
between the resistance and the linear dimen est r e s i stance to the flow of an electric
sions of a conductor may be expressed by the
following equation: Fundamental These units are the volt,
rI Electrical Units the ampere, and the ohm.
R=- They were mentioned in the
A preceding paragraphs, but were not completely
defined in terms of fixed, known quantities.
Where The fundamental unit of current, or rate of
R = resistance in ohms flow of electricity is the ampere. A current of
r = resistivity in Ohms per mil- foot one ampere will deposit silver from a speci-
l = length of conductor in feet fied solution of silver nitrate at a rate of
A = cross-sectional area in circular mils 1.118 milligrams per second.
24 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

figure 2
Shown above are various types of resistors used In electronic circuits. The larger units are
power resistors. On the left is a variable power resistor. Three preclsiontype resistors are
shown in the center with two small composition resistors beneath them. At the right Is a
composition-type potentiometer, used for audio clrculfty.

The international standard for the ohm is amount of current may be drawn from it with-
the resistance offered by a uniform column of out disturbing its characteristics.
mercury at 0 C., 14.4521 grams in mass, of
constant cross-sectional area and 106.300 Ohm's Law The relationship between the
centimeters in length. The expression megohm electromotive force (voltage),
(1,000,000 ohms) is also sometimes used the flow of current (amperes), and the resist-
when speaking of very large values of resist- ance which impedes the flow of current (ohms),
ance. is very clearly expressed in a simple but
A volt is the e.m.f. that will produce a cur- highly valuable law known as Ohm's law.
rent of one ampere through a resistance of This law states that the current in amperes is
one ohm. The standard of electromotive force equal to the voltage in volts divided by the
is the Weston cell which at 20 C. has a resistance in ohms. Expressed as an equation:
potential of 1.0183 volts across its terminals.
This cell is used only for reference purposes E
in a bridge circuit, since only an infinitesimal R

If the voltage (E) and resistance (R) are

known, the current (I) can be readily found.
If the voltage and current are known, and the
resistance is unknown, the resistance (R) is
equal to - . When the voltage is the un-
' @ known quantity, it can be found by multiply-
ing I x R. These three equations are all secured
Figure 3 from the original by simple transposition.
SIMPLE SERIES CIRCUITS The expressions are here repeated for quick
At (A) the battery is in series with a single reference:
resistor. At (8) the battery is in series with
two resistors, the resistors themselves being E E
In series. The arrows indicate the direction of I=- R=- E = IR
electron flow. R I
HANDBOOK Resistive Circuits 25

Figure 4 FigureS

The two resistors Rt and R 2 are sa/rJ to be in In this type ol circuit the resistors are ar-
parallel since the flow of current is offered ranged In series groups, one/ these ser/esed
two parallel paths. An electron leaving point groups are then placed In paro//e/.
A will pass either through Rt or R2, but not
through both, to reach the positive terminal
of the battery. II a Iorge number of electrons
are the greater number will pass
in the source. The voltage measured with no
through whichever of the two resistors has current flowing is termed the no load voltage;
the /ower res/stance. that measured with current flowing is the load
voltage. It is apparent that a voltage source
having a low internal resistance is most de-
where I is the current in amperes, sirable.
R is the resistance in ohms,
E is the electromotive force in volts. Res I stancesThe current flowing in a series
in Series circuit is equal to the voltage
impressed divided by the total
Appl icotion of All electrical circuits fall in- resistance across which the voltage is im-
Ohm's Low to one of three classes: series pressed. Since the same current flows through
circuits, parallel circuits, and every part of the circuit, it is merely nec-
series-parallel circuits. A series circuit is essary to add all the individual resistances to
one in which the current flows in a single obtain the total resistance. Expressed as a
continuous path and is of the same value at formula:
every point in the circuit (figure 3). In a par-
allel circuit there are two or more current Rtotal = R, + R + R, + + RN
paths between two points in the circuit, as
shown in figure 4. Here the current divides at Of course, if the resistances happened to be
A, part g~ing through R 1 and part through R 2 , all the same value, the total resistance would
~d comb1nes at B to_return to the battery. be the resistance of one multiplied by the
F1gure 5 shows a series-parallel circuit. There number of resistors in the circuit.
are two paths between points A and B as in
the parallel circuit, and in addition there are Resi,stonces Consider two resistors, one of
two resistances in series in each branch of in Parallel 100 ohms and one of 10 ohms,
the parallel combination. Two other examples connected in parallel as in fig-
of series-parallel arrangements appear in fig- ure 4, with a voltage of 10 volts applied
ure 6. The way in which the current splits to across each resistor, so the current through
flow through the parallel branches is shown by each can be easily calculated.
the arrows. E
In every circuit, each of the parts has some I=-
resistance: the batteries or generator, the con- R
necting conductors, and the apparatus itself.
Thus, if each part has some resistance, no E = 10 volts 10
matter how litde, and a current is flowing R = 100 ohms
I, = -- = 0.1 ampere
through it, there will be a voltage drop across
it. In other words, there will be a potential E = 10 volts 10
difference between the two ends of the circuit I 2 = - = 1.0 ampere
R = 10 ohms 10
element in question. This drop in voltage is
equal to the product of the current and the Total current =I, + I 2 = 1.1 ampere
resistance, hence it is called the IR drop.
The source of voltage has an internal re- Until it divides at A, the entire current of
sistance, and when connected into a circuit 1.1 amperes is flowing through the conductor
so that current flows, there will be an IR drop from the battery to A, and again from B through
in the source just as in every other part of the the conductor to the battery. Since this is more
circuit. Thus, if the terminal voltage of the current than flows through the smaller resistor
source could be measured in a way that would it is evident that the resistance of the parallel
cause no current to flow, it would be found combination must be less than 10 ohms, the
to be more than the voltage measured when a resistance of the smaller resistor. We can find
current flows by the amount of the IR drop this value by applying Ohm's law.
26 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

R1 Rz
E ~ 10 volts 10
R ~ _ , 9.09 ohms
I ~ 1.1 amperes 1.1 + +
The resistance of the parallel combination is
9.09 ohms.
Mathematically, we can derive a simple
formula for finding the effective resistance of
two resistors connected in parallel.
This formula is:
R, R,
_x_ R2 Figure 6
where R is the unknown resistance,
R 1 is the resistance of the first resistor,
R2 is the resistance of the second re- more resistors connected in parallel is always
sistor. less than the value of the lowest resistance in
the combination. It is well to bear this simple
If the effective value required is known, rule in mind, as it will assist greatly in ap-
and it is desired to connect one unknown re- proximating the value of paralleled resistors.
sistor in parallel with one of known value,
the following transposition of the above for- Resistors In To find the total resistance of
mula will simplify the problem of obtaining Series Parallel several resistors connected in
the unknown value: series-parallel, it is usually
easiest to apply either the formula for series
resistors or the parallel resistor formula first,
R, xR in order to reduce the original arrangement to
R --- a simpler one. For instance, in figure 5 the
2- R,- R
series resistors should be added in each
where R is the effective value required, branch, then there will be but two resistors in
R 1 is the known resistor, parallel to be calculated. Similarly in figure 7,
R 2 is the value of the unknown resist- although here there will be three parallel re-
ance necessary to give R when sistors after adding the series resistors in
in parallel with R,. each branch. In figure 6B the paralleled re-
sistors should be reduced to the equivalent
The resultant value of placing a number of series value, and then the series resistance
unlike resistors in parallel is equal to the re- values can be added.
ciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of the Resistances in series-parallel can be solved
various resistors. This can be expressed as: by combining the series and parallel formulas
into one similar to the following (refer to
R figure 7):
1 1 1 1
-+-+-+ 1
R, R2 R, Rn R ~ ------------
1 1 1
The effective value of placing any number - - - + -----1-------
R, + R 2 R, + R4 R5 + R6 + R7
of unlike resistors in parallel can be deter-
mined from the above formula. However, it
is commonly used only when there are three Voltage Dividers A voltage divider is ex-
or more resistors under consideration, since actly what its name im-
the simplified formula given before is more plies: a resistor or a series of resistors con-
convenient when only two resistors are being nected across a source of voltage from which
used. various lesser values of voltage may be ob-
From the above, it also follows that when tained by connection to various points along
two or more resistors of the same value are the resistor.
placed in parallel, the effective resistance of A voltage divider serves a most useful pur-
the paralleled resistors is equal to the value pose in a radio receiver, transmitter or ampli-
of one of the resistors divided by the number fier, because it offers a simple means of
of resistors in parallel. obtaining plate, screen, and bias voltages of
The effective value of resistance of two or different values from a common power supply
HANDBOOK Voltage Divider 27

+ A
Rs R
Figure 7
Figure 8
source. It may also be used to obtain very low CIRCUIT
voltages of the order of .01 to .001 volt with The arrows Indicate the manner In which the
a high degree of accuracy, even though a current flow rllvtJ.. between tlte voltage Jlv/Jer
means of measuring such voltages is lacking. /tse/1 anJ tlte uterna/ loaJ circuit.
The procedure for making these measurements
can best be given in the following example.
Assume that an accurately calibrated volt-
bleeder resistor and voltage divider, such as
meter reading from 0 to 150 volts is available,
is commonly used in radio equipment, is illus-
and that the source of voltage is exactly 100
trated in the following example:
volts. This 100 volts is then impressed through
a resistance of exactly 1,000 ohms. It will, A power supply delivers 300 volts and is
then, be found that the voltage along various conservatively rated to supply all needed cur-
points on the resistor, with respect to the rent for the receiver and still allow a bleeder
grounded end, is exactly proportional to the current of 10 milliamperes. The following volt-
resistance at that point. From Ohm's law, the ages are wanted: 75 volts at 2 milliamperes
current would be 0.1 ampere; this current re- for the detector tube, 100 volts at 5 milli-
mains unchanged since the original value of amperes for the screens of the tubes, and
resistance (1,000 ohms) and the voltage source 250 volts at 20 milliamperes for the plates of
(100 volts) are unchanged. Thus, at a 500- the tubes. The required voltage drop across R,
ohm point on the resistor (half its entire re- is 75 volts, across R2 25 volts, across R3 150
sistance), the voltage will likewise be halved volts, and across R4 it is 50 volts. These
or reduced to 50 volts. values are shown in the diagram of figure 9.
The equation (E ~I x R) gives the proof: The respective current values are also indi-
E ~ 500 x 0.1 ~50. At the point of 250 ohms cated. Apply Ohm's law:
on the resistor, the voltage will be one-fourth
the total value, or 25 volts (E ~ 250 x 0.1 ~ 25). E 75
R, ~- ~- ~ 7,500 ohms.
Continuing with this process, a point can be I .01
found where the resistance measures exactly
1 ohm and where the voltage equals 0.1 volt. E 25
R2 ~- ~--~ 2,083 ohms.
It is, therefore, obvious that if the original I .012
source of voltage and the resistance can be
measured, it is a simple matter to predeter- E 150
mine the voltage at any point along the resist- R3 ~ -~ -- ~ 8,823 ohms.
or, provided that the current remains constant, I .017
and provided that no current is taken from the E 50
tap-on point unless this current is taken into R4 ~-~- ~ 1,351 ohms.
consideration. I .037

Voltage Divider Proper design of a voltage RTota/ ~ 7,500 + 2,083 + 8,823 +

Calculations divider for any type of radio 1,351 ~ 19,757 ohms.
equipment is a relatively
simple matter. The first consideration is the A 20,000-ohm resistor with three sliding taps
amount of "bleeder current" to be drawn. will be of the approximately correct size, and
In addition, it is also necessary that the de- would ordinarily be used because of the diffi-
sired voltage and the exact current at each tap culty in securing four separate resistors of the
on the voltage divider be known. exact odd values indicated, and because no
Figure 8 illustrates the flow of current in a adjustment would be possible to compensate
simple voltage divider and load circuit. The for any slight error in estimating the probable
light arrows indicate the flow of bleeder cur- currents through the various taps.
rent, while the heavy arrows indicate the flow When the sliders on the resistor once are
of the load current. The design of a combined set to the proper point, as in the above ex-
28 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

10+2+5+20 MA.

R4 I

I 250V. 20MA.
I ~
,- -2 AMPS


-2 AMPS _,._
10+2+ 5 MA.
R3 I
I 1001/. SMA.
I CMP5 + ~
I -+--
10+ 2 MA.
{t R~ I
75 v., 2 MA.
t 1111,
20 vnLTS



- R1

l 1 f_j
Figure 10
The current flowing toward point "A" Is equal
~----POWER SUPPLY ---t-~--LOAD ~ to the current flowing away lrom point "A ...

Figure 9 tive, the sum of all currents flowing toward

MORE COMPLEX VOLTAGE DIVIDER and away from the point- taking signs into
The method for computing the values of the
account- is equal to zero. Such a sum is
resistors Is cliscussecl In the accompanying text.
known as an algebraic sum; such that the law
can be stated thus: The algebraic sum of all
ample, the voltages will remain constant at currents entering and leaving a point is zero.
the values shown as long as the current re- Figure 10 illustrates this first law. Since the
mains a constant value. effective resistance of the network of resistors
is 5 ohms, it can be seen that 4 amperes flow
Disadvantages of One of the serious disadvan- toward point A, and 2 amperes flow away
Voltage Dividers tages of the voltage divider through the two 5-ohm resistors in series. The
becomes evident when the remaining 2 amperes flow away through the 10-
the current drawn from one of the taps changes. ohm resistor. Thus, there ate 4 amperes flowing
It is obvious that the voltage drops are inter- to point A and 4 amperes flowing away from
dependent and, in turn, the individual drops the point. If R is the effective resistance of
are in proportion to the current which flows the network (5 ohms), R 1 = 10 ohms, R 2 = 5
through the respective sections of the divider ohms, R, = 5 ohms, and E = 20 volts, we can
resistor. The only remedy lies in providing a set up the following equation:
heavy steady bleeder current in order to make E E E
the individual currents so small a part of the ------=0
total current that any change in current will R R 1 R 2 + R,
result in only a slight change in voltage. This 20 20 20
can seldom be realized in practice because of ------=0
the excessive values of bleeder current which 5 10 5 + 5
would be required.
Kirchhoff's Laws Ohm's law is all that is Kirchhoff's second law is concerned with
necessary to calculate the net voltage drop around a closed loop in a
values in simple circuits, such as the pre- circuit and states that:
ceding examples; but in more complex prob-
lems, involving several loops or more than In any closed path or loop in a circuit
one voltage in the same closed circuit, the the sum of the IR drops must equal
use of Kirchhoff's laws will greatly simplify the sum of the applied e.m.f.'s.
the calculations. These laws are merely rules
for applying Ohm's law. The second law also may be conveniently
Kirchhoff's first law is concerned with net stated in terms of an algebraic sum as: The
current to a point in a circuit and states that: algebraic sum of all voltage drops around a
closed path or loop in a circuit is zero. The
At any point in a circuit the current applied e.m. f.'s (voltages) are considered
flowing toward the point is equal to positive, while IR drops taken in the direction
the current flowing away from the of current flow (including the internal drop
point. of the sources of voltage) are considered
Stated in another way: if currents flowing to Figure 11 shows an example of the applica-
the point ate considered positive, and those tion of Kirchhoff's laws to a comparatively
flowing from the point are considered nega simple circuit consisting of three resistors and
HANDBOOK Kirchoff's Laws 29

an e.m.f. of 1 volt forces a current of 1 ampere

through a circuit. The power in a resistive
20H~ 30HMS
circuit is equal to the product of the volt-
age applied across, and the current flowing
+ in, a given circuit. Hence: P (watts) ~ E
" '. / T-
-=- 3 VOLTS
(volts) xI (amperes).
Since it is often convenient to express
power in terms of the resistance of the circuit
and the current flowing through it, a sub::;ti-
112(0HMS)+2 (!d -12) +3= 0 (FIRST LOOP)
tution of IR for E (E "' IR) in the above formula
-6+2 (12-!1)+3!2=0 (sECOND LOOP) gives: P ~ IR x I or P ~ I 2 R. In terms of volt-
2. SIMPLIFY age and resistance, P ~ E 2 /R. Here, I ~ E/R
2!1+211 -212+3=0 212-2!1+312-6=0 and when this is substituted for I the original
41~+3 =!2 5 l2- 2 I 1 -6 =0 formula becomes P ~ E x E/R, or P ~ E 2 /R.
21~+6=12 To repeat these three expressions:

P ~ EI, P ~ I 2 R, and P = E 2 /R,
411+3 211+6 where P is the power in watts,
--2- --5-
E is the electromotive force in volts,
2011+15= 411+12 I is the current in amperes.

To apply the above equations to a typical
-_g_+3 2 I problem: The voltage drop across a cathode
I2= - T- =
: = 1 i- AMPERE resistor in a power amplifier stage is 50 volts;
the plate current flowing through the resistor
Figure 11 is 150 milliamperes. The number of watts the
ILLUSTRATING KIRCHHOFF'S resistor will be required to dissipate is found
SECOND LAW from the formula: P ~ EI, or 50 x .150 ~ 7.5
The voltage c/rop around any closed loop In a watts (.150 amperes is equal to 150 milli-
network Is equal to Z'ero. amperes). From the foregoing it is seen that
a 7.5-watt resistor will safely carry the re-
quired current, yet a 10- or 20-watt resistor
two batteries. First assume an arbitrary direc- would ordinarily be used to provide a safety
tion of current flow in each closed loop of the factor.
circuit, drawing an arrow to indicate the as- In another problem, the conditions being
sumed direction of current flow. Then equate ~imilar to tfiose above, but with the resistance
the sum of all IR drops plus battery drops (R ~ 3331/, ohms), and current being the known
around each loop to zero. You will need one factors, the solution is obtained as follows:
equation for each unknown to be determined. P = I"R = .0225 x 333.33 = 7.5. If only the volt-
Then solve the equations for the unknown cur- age and resistance are known, P = E 2 /R =
rents in the general manner indicated in figure 2500/333.33 = 7.5 watts. It is seen that all
11. If the answer comes out positive the di- three equations give the same results; the
rection of current flow you originally assumed selection of the particular equation depends
was correct. If the answer comes out negative, only upon the known factors.
the current flow is in the opposite direction to
the arrow which was drawn originally. This is Power, Energy It is important to remember
illustrated in the example of figure 11 where and Work that power (expressed in watts,
the direction of flow of I, is opposite to the horsepower, etc.), represents
direction assumed in the sketch. the rate of energy consumption or the rate of
doing work. But when we pay our electric bill
Power in In order to cause electrons
Resistive Circuits to flow through a conductor,
constituting a current flow,

it is necessary to apply an electromotive force
(voltage) across the circuit. Less power is Figure 12
expended in creating a small current flow MATCHING OF
through a given resistance than in creating RESISTANCES +
a large one; so it is necessary to have a unit
of power as a reference. To deliver the great. .t amount of power to the
The unit of electrical power is the watt, load, the load resistance RL should be equal to
which is the rate of energy consumption when the Internal res/stance of the &attel'y R1.
30 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

is said to have a certain capacitance. The

energy stored in an electrostatic field is ex-
pressed in joules (watt seconds) and is equal
to CE'/2, where Cis the capacitance in farads
(a unit of capacitance to be discussed) and E
is the potential in volts. The charge is equal
to CE, the charge being expressed in coulombs.

Capacitance and Two metallic plates sep-

Capacitors arated from each other by
a thin layer of insulating
material (called a dielectric, in this case),
becomes a capacitor. When a source of d-e
potential is momentarily applied across these
plates, they may be said to become charged.
If the same two plates are then joined to
gether momentarily by means of a switch, the
capacitor will discharge.
When the potential was first applied, elec-
trons immediately flowed from one plate to the
other through the battery or such source of
d-e potential as was applied to the capacitor
Figure 13 plates. However, the circuit from plate to
TYPICAL CAPACITORS plate in the capacitor was incomplete (the two
plates being separated by an insulator) and
The two large units are high value filter capac/.
tors. Shown beneath these are various types of
thus the electron flow ceased, meanwhile es-
by-pass capacitors for rf anJ auclio application. tablishing a shortage of electrons on one plate
and a surplus of electrons on the other.
Remember that when a deficiency of elec
to the power company we have purchased a trons exists at one end of a conductor, there
specific amount of energy or work expressed is always a tendency for the electrons to move
in the common units of kilowatt-hours. Thus about in such a manner as to re-establish a
rate of energy consumption (watts or kilowatts) state of balance. In the case of the capacitor
multiplied by time (seconds, minutes or hours) herein discussed, the surplus quantity of elec-
gives us total energy or work. Other units of trons on one of the capacitor plates cannot
energy are the watt-second, BTU, calorie, erg, move to the other plate because the circuit
and joule. has been broken; that is, the battery or d-e po
tential was removed. This leaves the capaci-
Heating Effect Heat is generated when a tor in a charged condition; the capacitor plate
source of voltage causes a with the electron deficiency is positively
current to flow through a resistor (or, for that charged, the other plate being negative.
matter, through any conductor). As explained In this condition, a considerable stress
earlier, this is due to the fact that heat is exists in the insulating material (dielectric)
given off when free electrons collide with the which separates the two capacitor plates, due
atoms of the material. More heat is generated to the mutual attraction of two unlike poten-
in high resistance materials than in those of tials on the plates. This stress is known as
low resistance, since the free electrons must electrostatic energy, as contrasted with elec-
strike the atoms harder to knock off other tromagnetic energy in the case of an inductor.
electrons. As the heating effect is a function This charge can also be called potential
of the current flowing and the resistance of energy because it is capable of performing
the circuit, the power expended in heat is work when the charge is released through an
given by the second formula: P = I 2 R. external circuit. The charge is proportional to
the voltage but the energy is proportional to
the voltage squared, as shown in the following
2-3 Electrostatics - Capacitors The charge represents a definite amount of
Electrical energy can be stored in an elec- electricity, or a given number of electrons.
trostatic field. A device capable of storing The potential energy possessed by these
energy in such a field is called capacitor electrons depends not only upon their number,
(in earlier usage the term condenser was but also upon their potential or voltage.
frequently used but the IRE standards call for Compare the electrons to water, and two
the use of capacitor instead of condenser) and capacitors to standpipes, a 1 llfd. capacitor to
HANDBOOK Capacitance 31

,..-~ LeECJROSTATIC 1 micro-microfarad~ 1/1,000,000 of a micro
farad, or .000001 microfarad, or mi- w-

1 micro-microfarad ~ one-millionth of one-

millionth of a farad, or 10-12 farads.

If the capacitance is to be expressed in

microfarads in the equation given for energy
CHARGING CURRENT storage, the factor C would then have to be
divided by 1,000,000, thus:
Figure 14 c X E2
SIMPLE CAPACITOR Stored energy in joules ~ -------
2 X 1,000,000
Illustrating the Imaginary lines of Ioree repre~
sentln!l the paths along whic:h the repelling lorc:e This storage of energy in a capacitor is one
ol the electrons would oct on a free electron
of its very important properties, particularly
located between the two capacitor plates.
in those capacitors which are used in power
supply filter circuits.

Dielectric Although any substance which has

a standpipe having a cross section of 1 square Materials the characteristics of a good in-
inch and a 2 pJd. capacitor to a standpipe hav- sulator may be used as a dielec-
ing a cross section of 2 square inches. The tric material, commercially manufactured ca
charge will represent a given volume of water, pacitors make use of dielectric m~terials
as the "charge" simply indicates a certain which have been selected because their char-
number of electrons. Suppose the water is acteristics are particularly suited to the job at
equal to 5 gallons. hand. Air is a very good dielectric material,
Now the potential energy, or capacity for but an air-spaced capacitor does not have a
doing work, of the 5 gallons of water will be high capacitance since the dielectric constant
twice as great when confined to the 1 sq. in.
of air is only slightly greater than one. A
standpipe as when confined to the 2 sq. in.
group of other commonly used dielectric mate-
standpipe. Yet the volume of water, or "charge"
ials is listed in figure 15.
is the same in either case.
Likewise a 1 /-(fd. capacitor charged to 1000 Certain materials, such as bakelite, lucite,
volts possesses twice as much potential and other plastics dissipate considerable
energy as does a 2 llfd. capacitor charged to energy when used as capacitor dielectrics.
500 volts, though the charge (expressed in
coulombs: Q ~ CE) is the same in either case.
The Unit of Capac- If the external circuit of MATERIAL
itance: The Farad the two capacitor plates is
completed by joining the
terminals together with a piece of wire, the

I 0.004



electrons will rush immediately from one plate CELLULOSE ACETATE 3. 7 0.04 180
to the other through the external circuit and GLASS, WINDOW 6-6 POOR 2000
4.5 0.02
establish a state of equilibrium. This latter GLASS, PYREX
phenomenon explains the discharge of a capac- --- -~

LUCITE 2.6 0.007 160
itor. The amount of stored energy in a charged MICA 5.4 0.0003
capacitor is dependent upon the charging po- MYCALEX MYKROY 7.0 0.002 650
tential, as well as a factor which takes into LOW-LOSS YELLOW 5.0 0.015 270

account 'the size of the plates, dielectric PHENOL- FORMALDEHYDE

BLACK BAKELITE 5.5 0.03 350
thickness, nature of the dielectric, and the PORCELAIN 7.0 o.oos -~~
number of plates. This factor, which is de- POLYETHYLENE
2~- 220

termined by the foregoing, is called the capaci-

_2.55 --
r--o.ooo2- I 1750
tance of a capacitor andis expressed in farads. RUBBER, HARD-EBONITE 2.8 0.007 150
STEATITE 6.1 0.003 2700"'
The farad is such a large unit of capaci- SULFUR 3.8 0.003 23&
tance that it is rarely used in radio calcula- TEFLON 2. I 0.02
TITANIUM DIOXIDE 100- t75 0.0006 r-27oo-;-
tions, and the following more practical units TRANSFORMER OIL 2.2 0.003
have, therefore, been chosen. UREA -F0Rt4ALDEHYDE 5.0 0.05 260"'
\IINYL RESINS 4.0 0.02 200"'
1 microfarad~ 1/1,000,000 of a farad, or
.000001 farad, or w- farads. FIGURE 15
32 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

This energy loss is expressed in terms of the capacitor may be increased by placing the
power factor of the capacitor, which repre- unit in a vacuum chamber to prevent ionization
sents the portion of the input volt-amperes of the dielectric.
lost in the dielectric material. Other materials The temperature coefficient of a variable
including air, polystyrene and quartz have a air dielectric capacitor varies widely and is
very low power factor. often non-cyclic. Such things as differential
The new ceramic dielectrics such as stea- expansion of various parts of the capacitor,
tite (talc) and titanium dioxide products are changes in internal stresses and different
especially suited for high frequency and high temperature coeffidents of various parts con-
temperature operation. Ceramics based upon tribute to these variances.
titanium dioxide have an unusually high di-
electric constant combined with a low power
factor. The temperature coefficient with re- The capacitance of a capacitor is
spect to capacity of units made with this Constantdetermined by the thickness and
material depends upon the mixture of oxides, nature of the dielectric material
and coefficients ranging from zero to over between plates. Certain materials offer a
-700 parts per million per degree Centigrade greater capacitance than others, depending
may be obtained in commercial production. upon their physical makeup and chemical con-
Mycalex is a composition of minute mica stitution. This property is expressed by a
particles and lead borate glass, mixed and constant K, called the dielectric constant.
fired at a relatively low temperature. It is hard (K = 1 for air.)
and brittle, but can be drilled or machined
when water is used as the cutting lubricant. Dielectric If the charge becomes too great
Mica dielectric capacitors have a very low Breakdown for a given thickness of a certain
power factor and extremely high voltage break- dielectric, the capacitor will break
down per unit of thickness. A mica and copper- down, i.e., the dielectric will puncture. It is
foil "sandwich" is formed under pressure to for this reason that capacitors are rated in the
obtain the desired capacity value. The effect manner of the amount of voltage they will
of temperature upon the pressures in the safely withstand as well as the capacitance
"sandwich" causes the capacity of the usual in microfarads. This rating is commonly ex-
mica capacitor to have large, non-cyclic vari- pressed as the d-e working voltage.
ations. If the copper electrodes are plated
directly upon the mica sheets, the temperature Calculation of The capacitance of two parallel
coefficient can be stablized at about 20 parts Capacitance plates is given with good accu-
per million per degree Centigrade. A process racy by the following formula:
of this type is used in the manufacture of
"silver mica" capacitors. 1. 2
Paper dielectric capacitors consist of strips CIRCULAR PLATE CAPACITORS I
1. 1
of aluminum foil insulated from each other by CAPACITANCE. FOR A GIVEN SPACING I
a thin layer of paper, the whole assembly being 1. 0
wrapped in a circular bundle. The cost of such 9
a capacitor is low, the capacity is high in
proportion to the size and weight, and the
power factor is good. The life of such a ca- 7

pacitoris dependent upon the moisture penetra-

I \
tion of the paper dielectric and upon the ap- u \1\
plied d-e voltage.
\ \
Air dielectric capacitors are used in trans- 4

mitting and receiving circuits, principally

z 3 1\ 1'---.
where a variable capacitor of high resetability u
~ 2
\ '\ :--..... 3"D~

1 r--~~~IA.
- t---
is required. The dielectric strength is high, <I) t---
though somewhat less at radio frequencies 'A.t-- .H
than at 60 cycles. In addition, corona dis- 0
10 f1 12 13 14
charge at high frequencies will cause ioniza-
tion of the air dielectric causing an increase
in power loss. Dielectric strength may be in- Figure 16
creased by increasing the air pressure, as is Through the use of this chart It Is possible to
done in hermetically sealed radar units. In determine tbe required plate diameter (with the
some units, dry nitrogen gas may be used in the necessary spacing established by peak
voltage considerations} for a clrcular ..plate
place of air to provide a higher dielectric
neutralizing capacitor. The capacitance given
strength than that of air. Is for a dielectric of air and the spacing given
Likewise, the dielectric strength of an "air" is between ad/acent faces of the two plates.
HANDBOOK Capacitive Circuits 33

rectangular plates, but also applies when the

plates are circular in shape. The only change
will be the calculation of the area of such
circular plates; this area can be computed by
r squaring the radius of the plate, then multiply-
ing by 3.1416, or "pi." Expressed as an
A~ 3.1416 x r2

where r ~ radius in inches
The capacitance of a multi-plate capacitor
can be calculated by taking the capacitance of

I one section and multiplying this by the number
of dielectric spaces. In such cases, however,
the formula gives no consideration to the
effects of edge capacitance; so the capaci-
tance as calculated will not be entirely ac-
Figure 17 curate. These additional capacitances will be
CAPACITORS IN SERIES, PARALLEL, but a small part of the effective total capaci-
AND SERIES-PARALLEL tance, particularly when the plates are reason-
ably large and thin, and the final result will,
therefore, be within practical limits of accuracy.

Capacitors in Equations for calculating ca-

A pacitances of capacitors in par-
C~0.2248xKx-, Parallel and
t in Series allel connections are the same
as those for resistors in series.
where C ~ capacitance in micro-microfarads,
K ~ dielectric constant of spacing C ~ C 1 + C2 + ... + Cn
A ~ area of dielectric in square inches, Capacitors in series connection ~re ca_l-
t ~ thickness of dielectric in inches. culated in the same manner as are resistors m
parallel connection.
This formula indicates that the capacitance The formulas are repeated: (I) For two or
is directly proportional to the area of the more capacitors of unequal capacitance in
plates and inversely proportional to the thick- series:
ness of the dielectric (spacing between the
plates). This simply means that when the area
of the plate is doubled, the spacing between 1 1
plates remaining constant, the capacitance -+-+-
will be doubled. Also, if the area of the plates c, c. c,
remains constant, and the plate spacing is
doubled, the capacitance will be reduced to 1 1 1
half. C C, C2 C,
The above equation also shows that capaci-
tance is directly proportional to the dielectric (2) Two capacitors of unequal capacitance in
constant of the spacing material. An air-spaced series:
capacitor that has a capacitance of 100 p.p.fd. C1 X C2
in air would have a capacitance of 467 p.p.fd. c~--
when immersed in castor oil, because the di- c, +c.
electric constant of castor oil is 4.67 times as (3) Three capacitors of equal capacitance in
great as the dielectric constant of air. series:
Where the area of the plates is definitely
set, when it is desired to know the spacing c,
C ~- where C, is the common capacitance.
needed to secure a required capacitance,
( 4) Three or more capacitors of equal capac-
A X 0.2248 X K itance in series.
c Value of common capacitance
where all units are expressed just as in the Number of capacitors in series
preceding formula. This formula is not con-
fined to capacitors having only square or (5) Six capacitors in series parallel:
34 Direct Current Circuits THE RA0 I 0

1 1
1 1 1 1
-+- -+- +- EQUAL / . :;:.!_ ~EQUAL
c, c2 c, c. c, c. CAPACITANCE~ r:

Capacitors in A-C When a capacitor is con-
and D-C Circuits nected into a direct-cur- Figure 18
rent circuit, it will block SHOWING THE USE OF VOLTAGE EQUAL-
the ~i.<;'; or stop the flow of current. Beyond IZING RESISTORS ACROSS CAPACITORS
the_ 1mttal movement of electrons during the
penod when the capacitor is being charged
there will be no flow of current because th;
circuit is effectively broken by the dielectric
of the capacitor. advisable to check several on an accurate
Strictly speaking, a very small current may ohmmeter to find two that are as close as
actually flow because the dielectric of the possible in resistance. The exact resistance
capacitor may not be a perfect insulator. This is unimportant, just so it is the same for the
minute current flow is the leakage current two resistors used.
previously referred to and is dependent upon
the internal d-e resistance of the capacitor. Capacitors in When two capacitors are con-
This leakage current is usually quite notice Series on A. C. nected in series, alternating
able in most types of electrolytic capacitors. voltage pays no heed to the
When an alternating current is applied to relatively high internal resistance of each
a capacitor, the capacitor will charge and dis- ~apacitor, but divides across the capacitors
charge a certain number of times per second 1n inverse proportion to the capacitance. Be-
in accordance with the frequency of the alter- cause, in addition to the d.c. across a capac
nating voltage. The electron flow in the charge itor in a filter or audio amplifier circuit there
and discharge of a capacitor when an a-c ~s u_sually an a-c or a-f voltage component, it
potential is applied constitutes an alternating 1s Inadvisable to series-connect capacitors
current, in effect. It is for this reason that a of unequal capacitance even if dividers are
capacitor will pass an alternating current yet provided to keep the d.c. within the ratings of
offer practically infinite opposition to a direct the individual capacitors.
current. These two properties are repeatedly For instance, if a 500-volt 1-pfd. capacitor
in evidence in a radio circuit. is used in series with a 4-pfd. 500-volt capac-
itor across a 250-volt a-c supply, the 1-pfd.
Voltage Rating Any good paper dielectric capacitor will have 200 volts a.c. across it
of Capacitors filter capacitor has such a and the 4-pfd. capacitor only 50 volts. An
in Series high internal resistance (in- equalizing divider to do any good in this case
dicating a good dielectric) would have to be of very low resistance be-
that the exact resistance will vary consider- cause of the comparatively low impedance of
ably from capacitor to capacitor even though the capacitors to a.c. Such a divider would
they are made by the same manufacturer and draw excessive current and be impracticable.
are of the same rating. Thus, when 1000 volts The safest rule to follow is to use only
d.c. is connected across two 1-pfd. 500-volt capacitors of the same capacitance and volt-
capacitors in series, the chances are that the age rating and to install matched high resist
voltage will divide unevenly and one capacitor ance proportioning resistors across the various
will r!!ceive more than 500 volts and the other capacitors to equalize the d-e voltage drop
less than 500 volts. across each capacitor. This holds regardless
of how many capacitors are series-connected.

Voltage Equalizing By connecting a half

Resistors megohm 1-watt carbon re Electrolytic Electrolytic capacitors use a very
sistor across each capac- Capacitors thin film of oxide as the dielec
itor, the voltage will be equalized because the tric, and are polarized; that is,
resistors act as a voltage divider, and the they have a positive and a negative terminal
internal resistances of the capacitors are so which must be properly connected in a circuit;
much higher {many megohms) that they have otherwise, the oxide will break down and the
but little effect in disturbing the voltage di- capacitor will overheat. The unit then will no
vider balance. longer be of service. When electrolytic capac
Carbon resistors of the inexpensive type itors are connected in series, the positive ter
are not particularly accurate {not being de- minal is always connected to the positive lead
signed for precision service); therefore it is of the power supply; the negative terminal of
HANDBOOK Magnetism 35

the capacitor connects to the positive terminal

of the next capacitor in the series combination.
The method of connection for electrolytic ca-
pacitors in series is shown in figure 18. Elec-
trolytic capacitors have very low cost per

microfarad of capacity, but also have a large - +

power factor and high leakage; both dependent
upon applied voltage, temperature and the age
Figure 19
of the capacitor. The modern electrolytic ca-
pacitor uses a dry paste electrolyte embedded I.EFTHAND RULE
in a gauze or paper dielectric. Aluminium foil Showing the direction of the magnetic lines of
Ioree produced around a conrluctor carrying an
and the dielectric are wrapped in a circular electric current.
bundle and are mounted in a cardboard or metal
box. Etched electrodes may be employed to
increase the effective anode area, and the
total capacity of the unit. and pointing in the direction of electron flow.
The fingers then indicate the direction of the
The capacity of an electrolytic capacitor is magnetic field around the conductor.
affected by the applied voltage, the usage of Each electron adds its field to the total ex-
the capacitor, and the temperature and humidity ternal magnetic field, so that the greater the
of the environment. The capacity usually drops number of electrons moving along the con-
with the aging of the unit. The leakage current ductor, the stronger will be the resulting field.
and power factor increase with age. At high One of the fundamental laws of magnetism
frequencies the power factor becomes so poor is that like poles repel one another and unlike
that the electrolytic capacitor acts as a series poles attract one another. This is true of cur-
resistance rather than as a capacity. rent-carrying conductors as well as of perman-
ent magnets. Thus, if two conductors are placed
2-4 Magnetism side by side and the current in each is flowing
and Electromagnetism in the same direction, the magnetic fields will
also be in the same direction and will combine
The common bar or horseshoe magnet is to form a larger and stronger field. If the cur-
familiar to most people. The magnetic field rent flow in adjacent conductors is in opposite
which surrounds it causes the magnet to at- directions, the magnetic fields oppose each
tract other magnetic materials, such as iron other and tend to cancel.
nails or tacks. Exactly the same kind of mag- The magnetic field around a conductor may
netic field is set up around any conductor be considerably increased in strength by wind-
carrying a curtent, but the field exists only ing the wire into a coil. The field around each
while the current is flowing. wire then combines with those of the adjacent
turns to form a total field through the coil
Magnetic Fields Before a potential, or volt- which is concentrated along the axis of the
age, is applied to a con- coil and behaves externally in a way similar
ductor there is no external field, because there to the field of a bar magnet.
is no general movement of the electrons in If the left hand is held so that the thumb
one direction. However, the electrons do pro- is outstretched and parallel to the axis of a
gressively move along the conductor when an coil, with the fingers curled to indicate the
e.m.f. is applied, the direction of motion de- direction of electron flow around the turns of
pending upon the polarity of the e.m.f. Since the coil, the thumb then points in the direc-
each electron has an electric field about it, the tion of the north pole of the magnetic field.
flow of electrons causes these fields to build
up into a resultant external field which acts in The Magnetic In the magnetic circuit, the
a plane at right angles to the direction in Circuit units which correspond to cur-
which the current is flowing. This field is rent, voltage, and resistance
known as the magnetic field. in the electrical circuit are flux, magneto-
The magnetic field around a current-carrying motive force, and reluctance.
conductor is illustrated in figure 19. The
direction of this magnetic field depends en- Flux, Flux As a current is made up of a drift
tirely upon the direction of electron drift or Density of electrons, so is a magnetic
current flow in the conductor. When the flow field made up of lines of force and
is toward the observer, the field about the the total number of lines of force in a given
conductor is clockwise; when the flow is away magnetic circuit is termed the flux. The flux
from the observer, the field is counter-clock- depends upon the material, cross section, and
wise. This is easily remembered if the left length of the magnetic circuit, and it varies
hand is clenched, with the thumb outstretched directly as the curtent flowing in the circuit.
36 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

The unit of flux is the maxwell, and the sym- duce in air. It may be expressed by the ratio
bol is the Greek letter cp (phi). B/ H or B/H. In other words,
Flux density is the number of lines of force B B
per unit area. It is expressed in gauss if the p. = - or p. =-
unit of area is the square centimeter (1 gauss H H
= 1 line of force per square centimeter), or
in lines per square inch. The symbol for flux where p. is the premeability, B is the flux
density is B if it is expressed in gausses, or density in gausses, B is the flux density in
B if expressed in lines per square inch. lines per square inch, H is the m.m. f. in
gilberts per centimeter (oersteds), and H is
Magnetomotive The force which produces a the m.m.f. in ampere-turns per inch. These
Force flux in a magnetic circuit relations may also be stated as follows:
is called magnetomotive force. B B
It is abbreviated m.m.f. and is designated by H = - or H = ..:_, and B = Hp. or
the letter F. The unit of magnetomotive force p. p.
is the gilbert, which is equivalent to 1.26 x NI,
where N is the number of turns and I is the It can be seen from the foregoing that per-
current flowing in the circuit in amperes. meability is inversely proportional to the
The m.m.f. necessary to produce a given specific reluctance of a material.
flux density is stated in gilberts per centi-
meter (oersteds) (H), or in ampere-turns per
Saturation Permeability is similar to electric
inch (H).
conductivity. There is, however,
Reluctance Magnetic reluctance corresponds one important difference: the permeability of
to electrical resistance, and is magnetic materials is not independent of the
the property of a material that opposes the magnetic current (flux) flowing through it,
creation of a magnetic flux in the material. although electrical conductivity is substan-
It is expressed in rels, and the symbol is the tially independent of the electric current in a
letter R. A material has a reluctance of 1 rel wire. When the flux density of a magnetic
when an m.m.f. of 1 ampere-turn (NI) generates conductor has been increased to the saturation
a flux of 1 line of force in it. Combinations point, a further increase in the magnetizing
of reluctances are treated the same as re- force will not produce a corresponding in-
sistances in finding the total effective reluc- crease in flux density.
tance. The specific reluctance of any sub-
stance is its reluctance per unit volume. Calculations To simplify magnetic circuit
Except for iron and its alloys, most common calculations, a magnetization
materials have a specific reluctance very curve may be drawn for a given unit of ma-
nearly the same as that of a vacuum, which, terial. Such a curve is termed a B-H curve, and
for all practical purposes, may be considered may be determined by experiment. When the
the same as the specific reluctance of air. current in an iron core coil is first applied,
the relation between the winding current and
Ohm's Law for The relations between flux, the core flux is shown at A-B in figure 20. If
Magnetic Circuits magnetomotive force, and the current is then reduced to zero, reversed,
reluctance are exactly the brought back again to zero and reversed to the
same as the relations between current, volt-
age, and resistance in the electrical circuit.
These can be stated as follows:
<P =- R=- F = cpR
R cp ----/-+.-/----MAGNETIZING FORCE

where cp =flux, F = m.m.f., and R =reluctance.

Permeability Permeability expresses the ease
with which a magnetic field may
be set up in a material as compared with the Figure 20
effort required in the case of air. Iron, for ex- TYPICAL HYSTERESIS LOOP
ample, has a permeability of around 2000 (BH CURVE =A-B)
times that of air, which means that a given Showing relationship between the current in the
amount of magnetizing effect produced in an winding of an Iron core Inductor and the core
iron core by a current flowing through a coil flux. A cllrect current flowing through the lncluc-
of wire will produce 2000 times the flux density tance &rings the magnetic state of the core to
that the same magnetizing effect would pro- some point on the hysteresis loop, such as C.
HANDBOOK Inductance 37

original direction, the flux passes through a the current. Thus, it can be seen that self-
typical hysteresis loop as shown. induction tends to prevent any change in the
current in the circuit.
Residual Magnetism; The magnetism remaining The storage of energy in a magnetic field
Retentivity in a material after the is expressed in joules and is equal to (LI 2 )/2.
magnetizing force is re- (A joule is equal to 1 watt-second. L is de-
moved is called residual magnetism. Reten- fined immediately following.)
tivity is the property which causes a magnetic
material to have residual magnetism after The Unit of Inductance is usually denoted by
having been magnetized. Inductance; the letter L, and is expressed in
The Henry henrys. A coil has an inductance
Hysteresis; Hysteresis is the character- of 1 henry when a voltage of 1
Coercive Force istic of a magnetic system volt is induced by a current change of 1 am-
which causes a loss of power pere per second. The henry, while commonly
due to the fact that a negative magnetizing used in audio frequency circuits, is too large
force must be applied to reduce the residual for reference to inductance coils, such as
magnetism to zero. This negative force is those used in radio frequency circuits; milli-
termed coercive force. By "negative" mag- henry or microhenry is more commonly used,
netizing force is meant one which is of the in the following manner:
opposite polarity with respect to the original
magnetizing force. Hysteresis loss is apparent 1 henry = 1,000 millihenrys, or 10 3 milli-
in transformers and chokes by the heating of henrys.
the core.
1 millihenry= 1/1,000 of a henry, .001 henry,
Inductance If the switch shown in figure 19 or w- henry.
is opened and closed, a pulsating
direct current will be produced. When it is 1 microhenry = 1/1,000,000 of a henry, or
first closed, the current does not instanta- .000001 henry, or w-o henry.
neously rise to its maximum value, but builds
up to it. While it is building up, the magnetic 1 microhenry = 1/1,000 of a millihenry, .001
field is expanding around the conductor. Of or w- millihenrys.
course, this happens in a small fraction of a
second. If the switch is then opened, the cur- 1,000 microhenrys =1 millihenry.
rent stops and the magnetic field contracts
quickly. This expanding and contracting field
will induce a current in any other conductor Mutual Inductance When one coil is near an-
that is part of a continuous circuit which it other, a varying current in
cuts. Such a field can be obtained in the way one will produce a varying magnetic field
just mentioned by means of a vibrator inter- which cuts the turns of the other coil, inducing
ruptor, or by applying a.c. to the circuit in a current in it. This induced current is also
place of the battery. Varying the resistance of varying, and will therefore induce another cur-
the circuit will also produce the same effect. rent in the first coil. This reaction between
This inducing of a current in a conductor due two coupled circuits is called mutual induction,
to a varying current in another conductor not and can be calculated and expressed in henrys.
in acutal contact is called electromagnetic in- The symbol for mutual inductance is M. Two
duction. circuits thus joined are said to be inductively
Self-inductance If an alternating current flows The magnitude of the mutual inductance de-
through a coil the varying pends upon the shape and size of the two cir-
magnetic field around each turn cuts itself and cuits, their positions and distances apart, and
the adjacent turn and induces a voltage in the the premeability of the medium. The extent to
coil of opposite polarity to the applied e. m.f.
The amount of induced voltage depends upon
the number of turns in the coil, the current
flowing in the coil, and the number of lines
of force threading the coil. The voltage so
induced is known as a counter-e.m.f. or back-
e. m. f., and the effect is termed self-induction.
When the applied voltage is building up, the Figure 21
counter-e.m.f. opposes the rise; when the ap- MUTUAL INDUCTANCE
plied voltage is decreasing, the counter-e.m.f. The quantity M represents the mutual inductance
is of the same polarity and tends to maintain between the two coifs L1 and L2.
38 Direct Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

INDUCTANCE OF as rhe frequency is increased. The principal

SOLENOID COILS use for conventional magnetic cores is in the
R2 N2
audio-frequency range below approximately
L = gR+ 10 L MICROHENFUES 15,000 cycles, whereas at very low frequencies
(50 to 60 cycles) their use is mandatory if
an appreciable value of inductance is desired.
WHERE R =RADIUS OF COIL TO CENTER OF WIRE An air core inductor of only 1 henry in
L =LENGTH OF COIL ductance would be quite large in size, yet
values as high as 500 henrys are commonly
Figure 22 available in small iron core chokes. The in
ductance of a coil with a magnetic core will
vary with the amount of current (both a-c and
d-e) which passes through the coil. For this
Through the use ol the equation and the sketch
shown above the Inductance of single-layer
reason, iron core chokes that are used in power
solenoid coils can be calcufatecl with an ac- supplies have a certain inductance rating at a
curacy of about one per cent for the types of predetermined value of d-e.
coils normally used In the h-1 and vhl range. The premeability of air does not change
with flux density; so the inductance of iron
core coils often is made less dependent upon
which two inductors are coupled is expressed flux density by making part of the magnetic
by a relation known as coefficient of coupling. path air, instead of utilizing a closed loop of
This is the ratio of the mutual inductance ac iron. This incorporation of an air gap is nec-
tually present to the maximum possible value. essary in many applications of iron core coils,
The formula for mutual inductance is L = particularly where the coil carries a consider-
L, + L 2 + 2M when the coils are poled so that able d-e component. Because the permeability
their fields add. When they are poled so that of air is so much lower than that of iron, the
their fields buck, then L = L, + L 2 - 2M air gap need comprise only a small fraction of
(figure 21). the magnetic circuit in order to provide a sub-
stantial proportion of the total reluctance.
Inductors in Inductors in parallel are com
Iron Cared Inductors Iron-core inductors may
Parallel bined exactly as are resistors in at Radio Frequencies be used at radio frequen
parallel, provided rhat they are
cies if rhe iron is in a
far enough apart so that the mutual inductance
very finely divided form, as in the case of the
is entirely negligible. powdered iron cores used in some types of rf
coils and i-f transformers. These cores are
Inductors in Inductors in series are additive, mado of extremely small particles of iron. The
Series just as are resistors in series, particles are treated with an insulating mater-
again provided that no mutual ial so that each particle will be insulated from
inductance exists. In this case, the total in the others, and the treated powder is molded
ductance L is: with a binder into cores. Eddy current losses
L = L, + L 2 + etc. are greatly reduced, with the result that these
special iron cores are entirely practical in cir-
Where mutual inductance does exist: cuits which operate up to 100 Me. in frequency.
L = L, + L 2 +2M,
where M is the mutual inductance.
2-5 RC and RL Transients
This latter expression assumes that the
coils are connected in such a way that all flux A voltage divider may be constructed as
linkages are in the same direction, i.e., ad shown in i g u r e 23. Kirchhoff's and Ohm's
ditive. If this is not the case and the mutual Laws hold for such a divider. This circuit is
linkages subtract from rhe self-linkages, the known as an RC circuit.
following formula holds:
L = L1 + L2 - 2M, Time Constant When switch S in figure 23 is
RC and RL placed in position 1, a volt-
where M is the mutual inductance.
Circuits meter across capacitor C will
indicate the manner in which
Core Material Ordinary magnetic cores can the capacitor will become charged through the
not be used for radio frequen resistor R from battery B. If relatively large
cies because the eddy current and hysteresis values are used for R and C, and if a vt volt
losses in the core material becomes enormous meter which draws negligible current is used
HANDBOOK Time Constant 39

to measure the voltage e, the rate of charge of

the capacitor may actually be plotted with the
aid of a stop watch.

Voltage Gradient It will be found that the volt-

age e will begin to rise
rapidly from zero the instant the switch is
closed. Then, as the capacitor begins to
~ 80 f==---f---..,..~--'"'+----1---1 charge, the rate of change of voltage across
< I the capacitor will be found to decrease, the
~LU60,---~7 -- ~-~ charging taking place more and more slowly
~ ~ 40~-7 --- ---t----
as the capacitor voltage e approaches the bat-
u~J 201
i-f-- --1---+-+--+-----i tery voltage E. Actually, it will be found that
in any given interval a constant percentage of
a.> oY- t 2 3
the remaining difference between e and E
w~ 100 will be delivered to the capacitor as an in-
<< ~,-- crease in voltage. A voltage which changes in
cl~P'I BO
60 r-____:-,=- this manner is said to increase logarithmically,
or is said to follow an exponential curve.

E-=- -
uzo ...........

- A mathematical analysis of
"- 01- 20 Time Constant
~z~ a ~- the charging of a capacitor in
~~ ~ ~I
ww- ME l 1 IN TE~MS OF TIME ~ONSTANT R~ this manner would show that the relationship
between the battery voltage E and the voltage

across the capacitor e could be expressed in

Figure 23 the following manner:
Shown at (A) Is the circuit upon which Is baseJ
the curves of (B) anti (C). (B) shows the rate at where e,E,R, and C have the values discussed
which capacitor C will charge from the Instant
at which switch S Is placet/ In position l. (C)
above, = 2. 716 (the base of Naperian or
shows the c/ischarge curve ol capacitor C from natural logarithms), and t represents the time
the Instant at which switch S Is placecl in which has elapsed since the closing of the
position 3. switch. With t expressed in seconds, R and C

Figure 24
The large inductance Is a 1000-watt transmitting coil. To the right ancl left of this coil are small r-f
chokes. Several varieties of low power capability coils are shown below, along with various types of r-f
chokes intenclecl for high-frequency operation.

40 Direct Current Circuits


c" '""'"'" c:
means that the voltage across the capaci
tor will have increased to 63.2 per cent of
the battery voltage in an interval equal to the
time constant or RC product of the circuit.
Then, during the next period equal to the time
constant of the RC combination, the voltage
across the capacitor will have risen to 63.2

100 per cent of the remaining difference in voltage,
..- ---- or 86.5 per cent of the applied voltage E.
z 60
0 40
L. RL Circuit In the case of a series combination
of a resistor and an inductor, as
z /
20 shown in figure 25, the current through the
a: combination follows a very similar law to that
~ 0
given above for the voltage appearing across
TIMEt, IN TERMS OF TIME CONSTANT it the capacitor in an RC series circuit. The
equation for the current through the combina
Figure 25 tion is:
Note that the time constant for the Increase in i = - (1 _ f-t R/L)
current through an R-L circuit Is identical to R
the rate of increase in voltage across the
capacitor In an R-C circuit. where i represents the current at any instant
through the series circuit, E represents the
applied voltage, and R represents the total
may be expressed in farads and ohms, or R resistance of the resistor and the d-e resist
and C may be expressed in microfarads and ance of the inductor in series. Thus the time
megohms. The product RC is called the time constant of the RL circuit is L/R, with R ex-
constant of the circuit, and is expressed in pressed in ohms and L expressed in henrys.
seconds. As an example, if R is one megohm
and C is one microfarad, the time constant Voltage Decay When the switch in figure 23 is
RC will be equal to the product of the two, moved to position 3 after the
or one second. capacitor has been charged, the capacitor volt-
When the elapsed time t is equal to the age will drop in the manner shown in figure
time constant of the RC network under con 23-C. In this case the voltage across the ca
sideration, the exponent of f becomes -1. pacitor will decrease to 36.8 per cent of the
Now f - 1 is equal to 1/ f, or 1/2.716, which initial voltage (will make 63.2 per cent of the
is 0. 368. The quantity (1 0. 368) then is equal total drop) in a period of time equal to the
to 0.632. Expressed as percentage, the above time constant of the RC circuit.


At the right is an upright mounting filter choke intended for use in low powered trans-
mitters and audio equipment. At the center is a hermetically sealed inductance for use
under poor environmental conditions. To the left is an inexpensive receiving-type choke,
with a small iron-core r-f choke directly in front of it.

Alternating Current Circuits

The previous chapter has been devoted to Frequency Spectrum At present the usable fre-
a discussion of circuits and circuit elements quency range for alternat-
upon which is impressed a current consisting ing electrical currents extends over the enor-
of a flow of electrons ia one direction. This mous frequency range from about 15 cycles per
type of unidirectional current flow is called second to perhaps 30,000,000,000 cycles per
direct current, abbreviated d. c. Equally as im- second. It is obviously cumbersome to use a
portant in radio and communications work, frequency designation in c.p.s. for enormously
and power practice, is a type of current flow high frequencies, so three common units which
whose direction of electron flow reverses are multiples of one cycle per second have
periodically. The reversal of flow may take been established.
place at a low rate, in the case of power sys-
tems, or it may take place millions of times
per second in the case of communications
frequencies. This type of current flow is
called alternating current, abbreviated a. c.

(31 0 ~---------------TIME~
3-1 Alternating Current DIRECT CURRENT

Frequency of an An alternating current is
Alternating Current one whose amplitude of
current flow periodically
rises from zero to a maximum in one direction,
decreases to zero, changes its direction,
rises to maximum in the opposite direction,
and decreases to zero again, This complete
process, starting from zero, passing through ALTERNATING CURRENT
two maximums in opposite directions, and re-
turning to zero again, is called a cycle. The Figure I
number of times per second that a current ALTERNATING CURRENT
passes through the complete cycle is called AND DIRECT CURRENT
the frequency of the current. One and one Graphical comparison between un/Jrectlonal
quarter cycles of an alternating current wave ( clirect} current and alternating current as plotted
are illustrated diagrammatically in figure I. against time.

42 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

These units are:

(1) the kilocycle (abbr., kc.), 1000 c.p.s.
(2) the Megacycle (abbr., Me.), 1,000,000
c.p.s. or 1000 kc.
(3) the kilo-Megacycle (abbr., kMc.),
1,000,000,000 c.p.s. or 1000 Me.

With easily handled units such as these we

can classify the entire usable frequency range
into frequency bands. Figure 2
The frequencies falling between about 15 THE ALTERNATOR
and 20,000 c.p.s. are called audio frequencies, Semlschematlc representation of the simplest
abbreviated a. f., since these frequencies are form of the alternator.
audible to the human ear when converted from
electrical to acoustical signals by a loud-
speaker or headphone. Frequencies in the motion between the conductor and the field,
vicinity of 60 c.p. s. also are called power fre- and its strength depends upon the intensity of
quencies, since they are commonly used to the field, the rate of cutting lines of force, and
distribute electrical power to the consumer. the number of turns in the conductor.
The frequencies falling between 10,000
c.p.s. (10 kc.) and 30,000,000,000 c.p.s. (30 Alternators A machine that generates an alter-
kMc.) are commonly called radio frequencies, nating current is called an alter-
abbreviated r.f., since they are commonly used nator or a-c generator. Such a machine in its
in radio communication and allied arts. The basic form is shown in figure 2. It consists of
radio-frequency spectrum is often arbitrarily two permanent magnets, M, the opposite poles
classified into seven frequency bands, each of which face each other and are machined so
one of which is ten times as high in frequency that they have a common radius. Between
as the one just below it in the spectrum (ex- these two poles, north (N) and south (S),
cept for the v-1- band at the bottom end of a substantially constant magnetic field exists.
the spectrum). The present spectrum, with If a conductor in the form of C is suspended
classifications, is given below. so that it can be freely rotated between the
Frequency Classification Abbrev. two poles, and if the opposite ends of con-
ductor C are brought to collector rings, there
10 to 30 kc. Very-low frequencies v.l.f will be a flow of alternating current when con-
30 to 300 kc. Low frequencies 1..
ductor C is rotated. This current will flow out
300 to 3000 kc. Medium frequencies m.f.
through the collector rings R and brushes B
3 to 30 Me. High frequencies h. f. to the external circuit, X-Y.
30 to 300 Me. Very-high frequencies v.h.f.
The field intensity between the two pole
300 to 3000 Me. Ultra-high frequencies u.h.f.
pieces is substantially constant over the entire
3 to 30 kMc. Super-high frequencies s.h.f.
area of the pole face However, when the
30 to 300 kMc. Extremely-high
conductor is moving parallel to the lines of
frequencies e.h.f.
force at the top or bottom of the pole faces,
no lines are being cut. As the conductor moves
Generation of Faraday discovered that if on across the pole face it cuts more and more
Alternating Current a conductor which forms lines of force for each unit distance of travel,
part of a closed circuit is until it is cutting the maximum number of
moved through a magnetic field so as to cut lines when opposite the center of the pole.
across the lines of force, a current will flow Therefore, zero current is induced in the con-
in the conductor. He also discovered that, if a ductor at the instant it is midway between
conductor in a second closed circuit is brought the two poles, and maximum current is in-
near the first conductor and the current in the duced when it is opposite the center of the
first one is varied, a current will flow in the pole face. After the conductor has rotated
second conductor. This effect is known as through 180 it can be seen that its position
induction, and the currents so generated are with respect to the pole pieces will be exactly
induced currents. In the latter case it is the opposite to that when it started. Hence, the
lines of force which are moving and cutting second 180 of rotation will produce an alter-
the second conductor, due to the varying cur- nation of current in the opposite direction to
rent strength in the first conductor. that of the first alternation.
A current is induced in a conductor if there The current does not increase directly as
is a relative motion between the conductor the angle of rotation, but rather as the sine
and a magnetic field, its direction of flow de- of the angle; hence, such a current has the
pending upon the direction of the relative mathematical form of a sine wave. Although
HANDBOOK The Sine Wave 43

i+-----1 CYCLE------I

1 CYCLE=+-
Figure 3

Graph showing sine-wave output cu,ent ol the WHERE F =FREQUENCY IN CYCLES

alternator olligure 2.
Figure 4
most electrical machinery does not produce a /1/ustrot/ng one cycle of a sine wove. One
strictly pure sine curve, the departures are complete cycle of alternation Is broken up
usually so slight that the assumption can be Into 360 degrees. Then one-half cycle Is 180
regarded as fact for most practical purposes. degrees, one-quarter cycle Is 90 degrees, one/
All that has been said in the foregoing para- so on down to the smallest clivislon ol the
graphs concerning alternating current also is wave. A cosine wove has a shape identical to
o sine wave but Is shiltetl 90 degrees In phase
applicable to alternating voltage.
- In other words the wave begin at lull am
The rotating arrow to the left in figure 3 pllturle, the 90-degree point come at zero am
represents a conductor rotating in a constant plitude, the JBO.Jegree point comes at full
magnetic field of uniform density. The arrow amplitude In the oppolte direction ol current
flow, etc.
also can be taken as a vector representing the
strength of the magnetic field. This means that
the length of the arrow is determined by the
strength of the field (number of lines of force), angular rotation. Points A, B, C, etc., rep-
which is constant. Now if the arrow is rotating resent the same units of time as before. When
at a constant rate (that is, with constant the voltage corresponding to each point is
angular velocity), then the voltage developed projected to the corresponding time unit, the
across the conductor will be proportional to familiar sine curve is the result.
the rate at which it is cutting lines of force, The frequency of the generated voltage is
which rate is proportional to the vertical proportional to the speed of rotation of the
distance between the tip of the arrow and the alternator, and to the number of magnetic poles
horizontal base line. in the field. Alternators may be built to produce
If EO is taken as unity or a voltage of 1, radio frequencies up to 30 kilocycles, and
then the voltage (vertical distance from tip of some such machines are still used for low
arrow to the horizontal base line) at point C frequency communication purposes. By means
for instance may be determined simply by of multiple windings, three-phase output may
referring to a table of sines and looking up the be obtained from large industrial alternators.
sine of the angle which the arrow makes with
the horizontal. Radian Notation From figure 1 we see that the
When the arrow has traveled from A to point value of an a-c wave varies
E, it has traveled 90 degrees or one quarter continuously. It is often of importance to know
cycle. The other three quadrants are not shown the amplitude of the wave in terms of the
because their complementary or mirror relation- total amplitude at any instant or at any time
ship to the first quadrant is obvious, within the cycle. To be able to establish the
It is important to note that time units are instant in question we must be able to divide
represented by degrees or quadrants. The fact the cycle into patts. We could divide the cycle
that AB, BC, CD, and DE are equal chords into eighths, hundredths, or any other ratio that
(forming equal quadrants) simply means that suited our fancy. However, it is much more
the arrow (conductor or vector) is traveling convenient mathematically to divide the cycle
at a constant speed, because these points on either into electrical degrees (360 represent
the radius represent the passage of equal one cycle) or into radians. A radian is an arc
units of time. of a circle equal to the radius of the circle;
The whole picture can be represented in hence there are 217 radians per cycle- or per
another way, and its derivation from the fore- circle (since there are 1T diameters per circum-
going is shown in figure 3. The time base is ference, there are 217 radii).
represented by a straight line rather than by Both radian notation and electrical degree
44 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

notation are ~sed in discussions of alternating

current cucults. However, trigonometric tables
are much more readily available in terms of
degrees than radians, so the following simple
conversions are useful. ++-J'----'--4"-"-.LlL.!...Ll- 8 =TT RADIANS 0 R 180 o
C= ~ RADIANS OR 270"
2rr radians = 1 cycle = 360 D = 2 TT RADIANS OR 360"

TT radians = 'l, cycle = 180 1 RADIAN= 57.324 DEGREES

- radians = Y. cycle = 90
Figure 5
-radians = ';. cycle = 60
The radian is a unit of phase angle, equal to
57.324 degrees. It Is commonly used In mathe-
1T matical relationships involving phase angles
-radians = '1. cycle = 45 since such relationships are slmplifiecl when
4 radian notation Is used.

1 radian =-cycle= 57.3
where e = the instantaneous voltage

When the conductor in the simple alter- E = maximum crest value of voltage,
nator of figure 2 has made one complete revo- f = frequency in cycles per second, and
lution it has generated one cycle and has ro-
tated through 2rr radians. The expression 2rrf t =period of time which has elapsed
then represents the number of radians in one since t = 0 expressed as a fraction
cycle multiplied by the number of cycles per of one second.
second (the frequency) of the alternating
voltage or current. The expression then repre- The instantaneous current can be found from
sents the number of radians per second through the same expression by substituting j for e
which the conductor has rotated. Hence 2rrf and Imax for Emax.
represents the angular velocity of the rotating It is often easier to visualize the process of
conductor, or of the rotating vector which determining the instantaneous amplitude by
represents any alternating current or voltage, ignoring the frequency and considering only
expressed in radians per second. one cycle of the a-c wave. In this case, for a
In technical literature the expression 2rr f sine wave, the expression becomes:
is often replaced by w, the lower-case Greek
letter omega. Velocity multiplied by time e = Emax sine
gives the distance travelled. so 2rrft (or wt)
represents the angular distance through which
the rotating conductor or the rotating vector where e
represents the angle through which
has travelled since the reference time t = 0. the vector has rotated since time (and ampli-
In the case of a sine wave the reference time tude) were zero. As examples:
t = 0 represents that instant when the voltage
or the current, whichever is under discussion,
when = 30
also is equal to zero.
sin = 0.5
so e = 0.5 Emax

Instantaneous Value The instantaneous volt-

of Voltage or age or current is propor-
when = 60
Current tional to the sine of the sine= 0.866
angle through which the so e = 0.866 Emax
rotating vector has travelled since reference
time t = 0. Hence, when the peak value of the e
when = 90
a-c wave amplitude (either voltage or cur-
ren.t amplitude) i~ known, and the angle through
sin = 1.0
whrch the rotatrng vector has travelled is so e = Emax
established, the amplitude of the wave at
this instant can be determined through use e
when = 1 radian
of the following expression: e
sin = 0.8415
e = Emax sin 2rrft, so e = 0.8415 Emax
HANDBOOK A-C Relationships 45

Effective Value The instantaneous value

of an of an alternating current
AI ternating Current or voltage varies continu-
ously throughout the cycle.
So some value of an a-c wave must be chosen
to establish a relationship between the effec-
tiveness of an a-c and a d-e voltage or cur- Figure 6
rent, The heating value of an alternating
current has been chosen to establish the refer-
ence between the effective values of a.c. and
d. c. Thus an alternating current will have an Waveform obtained at the output of a lui/wave
rectifier being feel with a sine wave one/ having
effective value of I ampere when it produces
100 per cent rectilication efficiency. Each
the same heat in a resistor as does 1 ampere pulse has the same shape as one-half cycle of
of direct current. a sine wave. This type of current Is known as
The effective value is derived by taking the pulsating direct current.
instantaneous values of current over a cycle of
alternating current, squaring these values.
taking an average of the squares, and then It is thus seen that the average value is 63.6
taking the square root of the average. By this per cent of the peak value.
procedure, the effective value becomes known
as the root mean square or r.m. s. value. This Relationship Between To summarize the three
is the value that is read on a-c voltmeters and
Peak, R.M.S. or most significant values
a-c ammeters. The r.m.s. value is 70.7 (for Effective, and of an ac sine wave: the
sine waves only) per cent of the peak or maxi- Average Values peak value is equal to
mum instantaneous value and is expressed as
1.41 times the r.m.s. or
effective, and the r.m.s. value is equal to
Eeff. or Er.m.s. = 0.707 X Emax or 0. 707 times the peak value; the average value
of a full-wave rectified a-c wave is 0.636
leff. or lr.m.s. = 0.707 X lmax. times the peak value, and the avera~e value
The following relations are extremely useful of a rectified wave is equal to 0.9 Urnes the
in radio and power work: r.m.s. value.

Er.m.s. = 0.707 X Emax, and

R.M.S. = 0. 707 x Peak
Emax = 1.414 X Er.m.s. Average = 0.636 x Peak

Rectified Alternating If an alternating current Average = 0.9 x R.M.S.

Current or Pulsat- is passed through a recti- R.M.S. = 1.11 x Average
ing Direct Current fier, it emerges in the
form of a current of
varying amplitude which. flows in one di_r~c Peak = 1.414 X R.M.S.
tion only. Such a current IS known as rect'f'ed Peak = 1.57 X Average
a. c. or pulsating d. c. A typical wave form _of a
pulsating direct current as would be obtruned
Applying Ohm's Law Ohm's law applies
from the output of a full-wave rectifier is
to Alternating Current equally to direct or al-
shown in figure 6.
ternating current, pro-
Measuring instruments designed for d-e
operation will not read the peak for instantan- vided the circuits under consideration are
eous maximum value of the pulsating d-e out- purely resistive, that is: circuits which_ have
put from the rectifier; they will read only the neither inductance (coils) nor capacitance
(capacitors). Problems which involve tube
average value. This can be explained by as-
suming that it could be possible to cut off filaments, drop resistors, electric lamps,
some of the peaks of the waves, using the cut- heaters or similar resistive devices can be
off portions to fill in the spaces that are open, solved from Ohm's law, regardless of whether
the current is direct or alternating. When a
thereby obtaining an average d-e value. A
capacitor or coil is made a part of the circuit,
milliammeter and voltmeter connected to the
a property common to either, called reactance,
adjoining circuit, or across the output o_f the
must be taken into consideration. Ohm's law
rectifier, will read this average value. It IS re-
still applies to a-c circuits containing react-
lated to peak value by the following expres-
sion: ance, but additional considerations are in-
volved; these will be discussed in a later
Eavg = 0.636 X Emax paragraph.
46 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0


1 I

Figure 7 Figure 8
Showing the manner In which the current lags Showing the manner In which the current leads
the voltage In an o-c circuit containing pure the voltage In an O c circuit containing pure
inductance only. The lag Is equal to one-quarter capacitance only. The lead Is equal to one-
cycle or 90 degrees. quarter cycle or 90 degrees.

Inductive As was stated in Chapter Two, ~ap~citors have a similar property although
Reactance when a changing current flows tn thts case the opposition is to any change in
through an inductor a back- or ~he voltage acros~ t;~te capacitor. This property
count~r-electromotive force is developed; ts called capacttwe reactance and is ex-
oppostng any change in the initial current. pressed as follows:
This property of an inductor causes it to offer 1
opposition or impedance to a change in cur- Xc=--
rent. The measure of impedance offered by an 217fC '
inductor to an alternating current of a given
frequency is known as its inductive reactance. where Xc = capacitive reactance in ohms,
This is expressed as XL. TT = 3.1416
f = frequency in cycles,
XL = 217fL,
C = capacitance in farads.
where XL =inductive reactance expressed in
ohms. Capacitive Re- Here again, as in the case
actance at of inductive reactance, the
rr = 3.1416 (2rr = 6.283), units of capacitance and
Radio Frequencies
f = frequency in cycles, frequency can be converted
L = inductance in henrys. into smaller units for practical problems en-
countered in radio work. The equation may
Inductive Reactance It is very often neces- be written:
at Radio Frequencies sary to compute induc- 1,000,000
tive reactance at radio Xc
frequencies. The same formula may be used, 217fC
but to make it less cumbersome the inductance where f = frequency in megacycles,
is expressed in millihenrys and the frequency
C = capacitance in micro-microfarads.
in kilocycles. For higher frequencies and
smaller values of inductance, frequency is In the audio range it is often convenient to
expressed in megacycles and inductance in ~xpress fr~quency (f) in cycles and capac-
microhenrys. The basic equation need not be ttance (C) tn microfarads, in which event the
changed, since the multiplying factors for same formula applies.
inductance and frequency appear in numerator
and denominator, and hence are cancelled out. Phase When an alternating current flows
However, it is not possible in the same equa- through a purely resistive circuit, it
tion to express Lin millihenrys and f in cycles will be found that the current will go through
without conversion factors. maximum and minimum in perfect step with
the voltage. In this case the current is said to
Capacitive It has been explained that indue- be in step or in phase with the voltage. For
Reactance tive reactance is the measure of this reason, Ohm's law will apply equally well
the ability of an inductor to offer for a. c. or d. c. where pure resistances are con-
impedance to the flow of an alternating current. cerned, provided that the same values of the
HANDBOOK Reactance 47

wave (either peak or r.m.s.) for both voltage Y-AXIS

and current are used in the calculations.

However, in calculations involving alternat-
ing currents the voltage and current are not
necessarily in phase. The current through the
circuit may lag behind the voltage, in which
case the current is said to have lagging phase.
Lagging phase is caused by inducuve react-
ance. If the current reaches its maximum value
ahead of the voltage (figure 8) the current is
said to have a leading phase. A leading phase
angle is caused by capacitive reactance.
In an electrical circuit containing reactance
only, the current will either lead or lag the Figure 9
voltage by 90. If the circuit contains induc- Operation on the vector (+A) by the quantity (-1)
tive reactance only, the current will lag the causes vector to rotate through 180 degrees.
voltage by 90. If only capacitive reactance is
in the circuit, the current will lead the voltage
by 90. reactance, or a complex combination of both
reactance and resistance. The designation for
Reactances Inductive and capaC!tl ve re- impedance is Z. An impedance must be de-
in Combination actance have exactly opposite fined in such a manner that both its magnitude
effects on the phase relation and its phase angle are established. The
between current and voltage in a circuit. designation may be accomplished in either of
Hence when they are used in combination two ways- one of which is convertible into
their effects tend to neutralize. The combined the other by simple mathematical operations.
effect of a capacitive and an inductive react-
ance is often called the net reactance of a The "J" Operator The first method of des-
circuit. The net reactance (X) is found by sub- ignating an impedance is
tracting the capacitive reactance from the in- actually to specify both the resistive and the
ductive reactance, X= XL - Xc. reactive component in the form R + jX. In this
The result of such a combination of pure form R represents the resistive component in
reactances may be either positive, in which ohms and X represents the reactive component.
case the positive reactance is greater so that The "j" merely means that the X component
the net reactance is inductive, or it may be is reactive and thus cannot be added directly
negative in which case the capacitive react- to the R component. Plus jX means that the
ance is greater so that the net reactance is reactance is positive or inductive, while if
capacitive. The net reactance may also be minus jX were given it would mean that the
zero in which case the circuit is said to be reactive component was negative or capacitive.
resonant. The condition of resonance will be In figure 9 we have a vector (+A) 1ying along
discussed in a later section. Note that induc- the positive X-axis of the usual X-Y coordi-
tive reactance is always taken as being posi- nate system. If this vector is multiplied by the
tive while capacitive reactance is always quantity (-1), it becomes (-A) and its position
taken as being negative. now lies along the X-axis in the negative
direction. The operator (-1) has caused the
Impedance; Circuits Pure reactances intro- vector to rotate through an angle of 180 de-
duce a phase angle of
Containing Reactance
and Resistance 90 between voltage and
grees. Since (-1) is equal to ( y-1 x R>. the
current; pure resistance same result may be obtained by operating on
introduces no phase shift between voltage and
rhe vector with the operator (y-1 x y-1 ).
current. Hence we cannot add a reactance and
a resistance directly. When a reactance and a However if the vector is operated on but once
resistance are used in combination the re-
by the operator ( yCTI, it is caused to rotate
sulting phase angle of current flow with re-
spect to the impressed voltage lies somewhere only 90 degrees (figure 10). Thus the operator
between plus or minus 90 and 0 depending
( y -1)rotates a vector by 90 degrees. For con-
upon the relative magnitudes of the reactance
and the resistance. venience, this operator is called the j operator.
The term impedance is a general term which In like fashion, the operator ( -j) rotates the
can be applied to any electrical entity which vector of figure 9 through an angle of 270
impedes the flow of current. Hence the term degrees, so that the resulting vector (-jA)
may be used to designate a resistance, a pure falls on the (-Y) axis of the coordinate system.
48 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0


-- _r-(+A) X (-v::i J

' \
go \

Figure 10
Figure II
Operation on the vector (+A) by the quantity (/)
causes vector to rotate through 90 degrees.
Showing the graphical construction of a triangle
for obtaining the net (scalar) impedance re
suiting from the connection of a resistance and
Polar Notation The second method of ~epre- a reactance in series. Shown also alongside Is
senting an impedance 1s to the alternative mathematical procedure lor
specify its absolute magnitude and the phase obtaining the values associated with the triangle.
angle of current with respect to voltage, in
the form Z L 0. Figure 11 shows graphically
the relationship between the two common ways and the phase angle (), when resistance and
of representing an impedance. reactance are known; hence, of converting
The construction of figure 11 is called an from the Z = R + jX to the IZl L () form. In this
impedance diagram. Through the use of such case we use two of the expressions just given:
a diagram we can add graphically a resistance
and a reactance to obtain a value for the re- IZI = y'R 2 + X2
sulting impedance in the scalar form. With
zero at the origin, resistances are plotted to
tan () =-, (or()= tan--)
the right, positive values of reactance (induc- R R
tive) in the upward direction, and negative
values of reactance (capacitive) in the down- The inverse problem, that of converting
ward direction. from the IZI L () to the R + jX form is done
Note that the resistance and reactance are with the following relationships, both of which
drawn as the two sides of a right triangle, are obtainable by simple division from the
with the hypotenuse representing the resulting trigonometric expressions just given for de-
impedance. Hence it is p o s sib 1 e to deter- termining the angle ():
mine mathematically the value of a resultant R = IZI cos()
impedance through the familiar right-triangle
relationship- the square of the hypotenuse is jX = IZl j sin ()
equal to the sum of the squares of the other By simple addition these two expressions may
two sides: be combined to give the relationship between
z = R + x 2 the two most common methods of indicating
an impedance:
or IZI = y'R + X 2 2
R + jX = IZI (cos () + j sin (})
Note also that the angle () included between
R and Z can be determined from any of the In the case of impedance, resistance, or re-
following trigonometric relationships: actance, the unit of measurement is the ohm;
hence, the ohm may be thought of as a unit of
X opposition to current flow, without reference
sin()=- to the relative phase angle between the ap-
IZI plied voltage and the current which flows.
Further, since both capacitive and inductive
R reactance are functions of frequency, imped-
cos 0=-
IZI ance will vary with frequency. Figure 12
shows the manner in which IZ\ will vary with
X frequency in an RL series circuit and in an
R RC series circuit.

One common problem is that of determining Series RLC Circuits In a series circuit contain-
the scalar magnitude of the impedance, IZI, ing R, L, and C, the im-
HANDBOOK Impedance 49

pedance is determined as discussed before ex-

cept that the reactive component in the ex-
pressions becomes: (The net reactance- the
difference between XL and Xc-) Hence (XL -
Xc) may be substituted for X in the equations.
JZI = y'R 2 +(XL- Xc) 2

e = tan_,_....:._
(XL- Xc)
__ _
A series RLC circuit thus may present an
impedance which is capacitively reactive if
the net reactance is capacitive, inductively
reactive if the net reactance is inductive, or
resistive if the capacitive and inductive re- Figure 12
Addition of The addition of complex The Impedance of an R-C circuit approaches
Complex Quantities quantities (for example, infinity as the frequency approaches zero (d. c.},
while the impedance of a series R-L circuit
impedances in series) is approaches Infinity as the frequency approaches
quite simple if the quantities are in the rect- Infinity. The impedance of an R-C circuit ap-
angular form. If they are in the polar form proaches the lmpec/once of the series resistor
they only can be added graphically, unless as the Frequency approaches Infinity, while the
they are converted to the rectangular form by /mpec/once of a series R-L circuit approaches
the lmpeclonce of the resistor as the frequency
the relationships previously given. As an ex-
approaches zero.
ample of the addition of complex quantities
in the rectangular form, the equation for the
addition of impedances is:
(R, + jX,) + (Rl + jX2)= (R, + R 2) + j(X, + X2 ) Division is accomplished by dividing the
denominator into the numerator, and sub-
For example if we wish to add the imped- tracting the angle of the denominator from
ances (10 + j50) and (20- j30) we obtain: that of the numerator, as:
(10 + j50) + (20- j30)
= (10 + 20) + j(50 + (-30))
\Z,I Le,
~ (LO -l. e)
= 30 + j(S0-30)
\Z2\ L 02 IZll 1 2

= 30 + j20 For example, suppose that an impedance of

ISO I L 67 is to be divided by an impedance
of \101 L45. Then:
Multiplieation and It is often necessary in
Division of solving certain types of \50\L67 \50\
Complex Quantities circuits to multiply or di- ~--= -(L67-L45) = I5ICL22)
vide two complex quan- \10 I L 45 \10 I
tities. It is a much simplier mathematical
operation to multiply or divide complex quan- Ohm's Law for The simple form of Ohm's
tities if they are expressed in the polar form. Complex Quantities Law used for d-e circuits
Hence if they are given in the rectangular may be stated in a more
form they should be converted to the polar general form for application to a-c circuits
form before multiplication or division is begun. involving either complex quantities or simple
Then the multiplication is accomplished by resistive elements. The form is:
multiplying the IZI terms together and adding
algebraically the L terms, as: E
c tz,t LO,) c IZ2I L02 ) = tz,JIZ 2\ cLe, + Le,>
For example, surpose that the two impedances in which, in the general case, I, E, and Z are
120\ L43 and 132\ L-23 are to be multi- complex (vector) quantities. In the simple
plied. Then: case where the impedance is a pure resistance
with an a-c voltage applied, the equation
c tzot L 43) Cl32l L-zn = 120 321 simplifies to the familiar I == E/R. In any case
( L43 + L-23) the applied voltage may be expressed either
= 640L 20 as peak, r.m.s., or average; the resulting
50 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

Since the applied voltage will be the reference
for the currents and voltages within the cir
cuit, we may define it as having a zero phase


j 1
+j 100

_j 300
angle: E = 100 L0. Then:

100 LO 0 0
=0.354LO 0 -(-45)
282 L-45
Figure 13
SERIES R-L-C CIRCUIT =0.35 4 L45 amperes.
This same current must flow through all three
elements of the circuit, since they are in
current always will be in the same type of series and the current through one must al-
units as used to define the voltage. ready have passed through the other two.
In the more general case vector algebra Hence the voltage drop across the resistor
must be used to solve the equation. And, (whose phase angle of course is 0) is:
since either division or multiplication is in-
volved, the complex quantities should be ex- E=IR
pressed in the polar form. As an example, E =(0.354 L 45) (200 L 0)
take the case of the series circuit shown in
figure 13 with 100 volts applied. The imped- = 70.8 L 45 volts
ance of the series circuit can best be obtained The voltage drop across the inductive react
first in the rectangular form, as: ance is:
200 + j(l00-300) = 200-j200 E =I XL
Now, to obtain the current we must convert E = (0.354 L45) (100 L 90)
this impedance to the polar form.
= 35.4 L 135 volts
\Z\ = y 200 2 + ( -200) 2 Similarly, the voltage drop across the capac-
itive reactance is:
v 40,000 + 40,000
E =I Xc
y80,000 E = (0.354 L 45) (300 [-90)
= 282 n = 106.2 L-45
Note that the voltage drop across the capac-
e = tan _,X _, -200 _,
- = tan - - = tan -1 itive reactance is greater than the supply
voltage. This condition often occurs in a
R 200
series RLC circuit, and is explained by the
= -45, fact that the drop across the capacitive react
Therefore Z = 282 L-45 ance is cancelled to a lesser or greater ex-
tent by the drop across the inductive reactance.
Note that in a series circuit the resulting im- It is often desirable in a problem such as
pedance takes the sign of the largest react the above to check the validity of the answer
ance in the series combination. by adding vectorially the voltage drops across
Where a slide-rule is being used to make the components of the series circuit to make
the computations, the impedance may be found sure that they add up to the supply voltage-
without any addition or subtraction operations or to use the terminology of Kirchhoff's Second
by finding the angle e
first, and then using Law, to make sure that the voltage drops
across all elements of the circuit, including
the trigonometric equation below for obtain
the source taken as negative, is equal to zero.
ing the impedance. Thus:
In the general case of the addition of a
e = tan-' -X = tan-'--
= tan- -1
number of voltage vectors in series it is best
to resolve the voltages into their in-phase
R 200
and out-of-phase components with respect to
= -45 the supply voltage. Then these components
may be added directly. Hence:
R o
=- - = 0. 707
Then \Z\
cos e cos -45 ER = 70.8 L 45
= 70.8 (cos 45 + j sin 45)
200 = 70.8
(0.707 + j0.707)
\Z\ = - - = 2820
0.707 =50+ j50
HANDBOOK Vector Algebra s1



~ 70.8~ 0,___ _- - J
1BQO ------<k---~-+ 0"

( / /D~PACROSS XC 0 f06.2~ Figure 15

Showing a parallel R-C circuit and the equlv
I alent series R-C circuit which represents the
oo same net fmpec:lonce crs the parallel circuit.

Figure 14
Graphical construction ol the voltage drops
associated with the serlu R-LC circuit ol ments which go to make up the series circuit
figure 13. is the same. But the voltage drops across
each of the components are, in general, dif-
ferent from one another. Conversely, in a
parallel RLC or RX circuit the voltage is,
EL = 35.4 L 135
obviously, the same across each of the ele-
= 35.4 (cos 135 + j sin 135) ments. But the currents through each of the
= 35.4 ( -0.707 + j0.707) elements are usually different.
= -25 + j25 There are many ways of solving a problem
involving paralleled resistance and reactance;
several of these ways will be described. In
Ec = 106.2 L45 general, it may be said that the impedance of
= 106.2 ( cos-45 + j sin-45) a number of elements in parallel is solved
= 106.2 (6.707 -j0.707) using the same relations as are used for
= 75 -j75 solving resistors in parallel, except that com-
plex quantities are employed. The basic re-
lation is:
ER + EL + Ec =(50+ j50) + (-25 + j25)
1 1 1
+ (75-j75)
= (50 - 2 5 + 75) + j (50 + 2 5 - 75 )
Zrot Z, Z2 Z3 .'
= 100 + jO
or when only two impedances are involved:
= 100 L0, which is equal to the
supply voltage. z,z.
Zrot= - - -
Z, + Z 2
Checking by It is frequently desirable
Construction on the to check computations in- As an example, using the two-impedance
relation, take the simple case, illustrated in
Complex Plane volving complex quantities
by constructing vectors figure 15, of a resistance of 6 ohms in paral-
representing the quantities on the complex lel with a capacitive reactance of 4 ohms. To
plane. Figure 14 shows such a construction simplify the first step in the computation it is
for the quantities of the problem just com- best to put the impedances in the polar form
pleted. Note that the answer to the problem for the numerator, since multiplication is in
may be checked by constructing a parallel- volved, and in the rectangular form for the
ogram with the voltage drop across the re- addition in the denominator.
sistor as one side and the net voltage drop
across the capacitor plus the inductor (these
may be added algrebraically as they are 180
out of phase} as the adjacent side. The vector
sum of these two voltages, which is repre- 24 L-~ 0
sented by the diagonal of the parallelogram,
is equal to the supply voltage of 100 volts at 6- j4
zero phase angle. Then the denominator is changed to the polar
form for the division operation:
Resistance and Re- In a series circuit, such
actance in Parallel as just discussed, the cur-
(} = tan-- = tan- - 0.667 = - 33.7
rent through all the ele- 6
52 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

[z[ --~ 7.21 ohms
cos- 33.7 0.832 I E1 I

6 -j4 ~ 7.21 L-33.7

0 l Ic !'a 2 2

Ez=E1~ Ez.=E1~ E2 = E1 ____h:_L__
R1+Rz XC1 +XC2 L1+L2
24 L-90
7.21 L- 33. 7o ~ 3-33 L-56.3o
Ez=E1 ~

~ 3-33 (cos- 56.3 + j sin- 56.3)

~ 3-33 [0.5548 + j (-0.832)] Figure 16
~ 1.85- j 2.77

Equivalent Series Through the series of op- may elect to use either of two methods of
Circuit erations in the previous solution. These methods are called the admit-
paragraph we have convert- tance method and the assumed-voltage method.
ed a circuit composed of two impedances in However, the two methods are equivalent
parallel into an equivalent series circuit com- since both use the sum-of-reciprocals equation:
posed of impedances in series. An equivalent 1 1
series circuit is one which, as far as the ter- --~-+-+- .
minals are concerned, acts identically to the Z, 0 , Z, Z2 Z,
original parallel circuit; the current through In the admittance method we use the relation
the circuit and the power dissipation of the Y ~ 1/Z, where Y ~ G + jB; Y is called the
resistive elements are the same for a given admittance, defined above, G is the conduct-
voltage at the specified frequency. ance or R/Z 2 and B is the susceptance or
-X/Z ThenYtot ~ 1/Ztot ~ Y, + Y 2 + Y,
We can check the equivalent series circuit
of figure 15 with respect to the original cir- In the assumed-voltage method we multiply
cuit by assuming that one volt a. c. (at the both sides of the equation above by E, the
frequency where the capacitive reactance in assumed voltage, and add the currents, as:
the parallel circuit is 4 ohms) is applied to E E E E
the terminals of both. --~-+-+- . ~Iz +Iz +Iz
In the parallel circuit the current through Ztot z, z2 z, ' 2 '
the resistor will be 'f. ampere (0.166a.) while
the current through the capacitor will be j % Then the impedance of the parallel com-
ampere ( + j 0.25 a.). The total current will be bination may be determined from the relation:
the sum of these two currents, or 0.166 + Ztot ~ E/Iz tot
j 0.25 a. Adding these vectorially we obtain:
AC VoltageVoltage dividers for use with
[I[~ y0.166 + 0.25 2 ~ y0.09 ~ 0.3 a.
Dividers alternating current are quite simi-
The dissipation in the resistor will be 12 /6 "' lar to d-e voltage dividers. How-
0.166 watts. ever, since capacitors and inductors oppose
In the case of the equivalent series circuit the flow of a-c current as well as resistors,
the current will be: voltage dividers for alternating voltages may
E 1 take any of the configurations shown in fig-
ure 16.
III ~TZ\~ 3-33 ~o.3 a.
Since the impedances within each divider
are of the same type, the output voltage is in
And the dissipation in the resistor will be:
phase with the input voltage. By using com-
binations of different types of impedances, the
W ~ I 2 R ~ 0.3 2 X 1.85
~ 0.9 X 1.85
phase angle of the output may be shifted in
relation to the input phase angle at the same
= 0.166 watts
time the amplitude is reduced. Several di-
So we see that the equivalent series circuit viders of this type are shown in figure 17.
checks exactly with the original parallel cir- Note that the ratio of output voltage to input
cuit. voltage is equal to the ratio of the output
impedance to the total divider impedance.
Parallel RLC In solving a more complicated This relationship is true only if negligible
Circuits circuit made up of more than current is drawn by a load on the output ter-
two impedances in parallel we minals.
HANDBOOK Resonant Circuits 53

Figure 18

If the values of inductance and capacitance

both are fixed, there will be only one resonant
If both the inductance and capacitance are
Ez= E1 _ _x_c_ made variable, the circuit may then be changed
or tuned, so that a number of combinations
@ E3=E1 v.;:o~Xc~";;='C:
of inductance and capacitance can resonate at
Y'R+(Xc Xc)2 the same frequency. This can be more easily
E4 =E! XL-XC understood when one considers that inductive
""VR +(XL Xc)2 reactance and capacitive reactance travel in
opposite directions as the frequency is changed.
Figure 17
For example, if the frequency were to remain
COMPLEX A-C VOLTAGE DIVIDERS constant and the values of inductance and
capacitance were then changed, the following
combinations would have equal reactance;
3-2 Resonant Circuits Frequency is constant at 60 cycles.
L is expressed in henrys.
A series circuit such as shown in figure 18 C is expressed in microfarads (. 000001
is said to be in resonance when the applied farad.)
frequency is such that the capacitive react- L XL c Xc
ance is exactly balanced by the inductive re- .265 100 26.5 100
actance. At this frequency the two reactances 2.65 1,000 2.65 1,000
will cancel in their effects, and the impedance 26.5 10,000 .265 10,000
of the circuit will be at a minimum so th'at 265.00 100,000 .0265 100,000
maximum current will flow. In fact, as shown 2,650.00 1,000,000 .00265 1,000,000
in figure 19 the net impedance of a series
circuit at resonance is equal to the resistance Frequency From the formula for reson
which remains in the circuit after the react of Resonance ance, 2TrfL : l/brfC, the res-
ances have been cancelled. onant frequency is determined:

Resonant Frequency Some resistance is always 1_

f: __
present in a circuit be 21r y'LC
cause it is possessed in some degree by both
the inductor and the capacitor. If the fre where f: frequency in cycles,
quency of the alternator E is varied from L : inductance in henrys,
nearly zero to some high frequency, there will C : capacitance in farads.
be one particular frequency at which the in
It is more convenient to express L and C
ductive reactance and capacitive reactance
in smaller units, especially in making radio-
will be equal. This is known as the resonant
frequency calculations; f can also be ex
frequency, and in a series circuit it is the
pressed in megacycles or kilocycles. A very
frequency at which the circuit current will be
useful group of such formulas is:
a maximum. Such series resonant circuits are
chiefly used when it is desirable to allow a 25,330 25,330 25,330
certain frequency to pass through the circuit f 2 :---or L :---or C =---
LC f 2C f'L
(low impedance to this frequency), while at
the same time the circuit is made to offer where f = frequency in megacycles,
considerable opposition to currents of other L =inductance in microhenrys,
frequencies. C = capacitance in micromicrofarads.
54 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0



1- -

<J z
1- 0
J., <"'
z a:
0 ~

Figure 19 z <
:0 ~

Showing the variation In reactance of the sepo
rate elements and In the net /mperlance of a Figure 20
series resonant circuit (such as figure 18) with
changing frequency. The vertical line Is drawn
Showing the Increase In Impedance at reson-
at the point of resonance (XL- Xc = 0) In the
ance for a parallel-resonant circuit, and simi-
series circuit.
larly, the Increase In current at resonance lor
a series-resonant circuit. The sharpness of
resonance is determined by the Q ol the circuit,
as illustrated by a comparison between A,
Impedance of Series The impedance across B, and C.
Resonant Circuits the terminals of a series
resonant circuit (figure
18) is:
Current and Voltage Formulas for calculating
Z = ..j r 2 +(XL -X c)', in Series Resonant currents and voltages in
where Z = impedance in ohms, Circuits a series resonant circuit
= resistance in ohms, are similar to those of
Ohm's law.
Xc =capacitive reactance in ohms,
XL =inductive reactance in ohms. E
I=- E = IZ
From this equation, it can be seen that the
impedance is equal to the vector sum of the The complete equations:
circuit resistance and the difference between E
the two reactances. Since at the resonant fre I = -;::;;:::::;;:::=;~
quency XL equals Xc, the difference between
them (figure 19) is zero, so that at resonance
yr2 +(XL- Xc)2
the impedance is simply equal to the resist E =I ..j r2 + (XL - Xc) 2
ance of the circuit; therefore, because the
resistance of most normal radio-frequency Inspection of the above formulas will show
circuits is of a very low order, the impedance the following to apply to series resonant cir
is also low. cuits: When the impedance is low, the current
At frequencies higher and lower than the will be high; conversely, when the impedance
resonant frequency, the difference between is high, the current will be low.
the reactances will be a definite quantity and Since it is known that the impedance will
will add with the resistance to make the im be very low at the resonant frequency, it fol-
pedance higher and higher as the circuit is lows that the current will be a maximum at
tuned off the resonant frequency. this point. If a graph is plotted of the current
If Xc should be greater than XL, then the against the frequency either side of resonance,
term (XL - Xc) will give a negative number. the resultant curve becomes what is known as
However, when the difference is squared the a resonance curve. Such a curve is shown in
product is always positive. This means that figure 20, the frequency being plotted against
the smaller reactance is subtracted from the current in the series resonant circuit.
larger, regardless of whether it be capacitive Several factors will have an effect on the
or inductive, and the difference squared. shape of this resonance curve, of which re-
HANDBOOK Circuit Q 55

sistance and L-to-C ratio are the important stranas connected together only at the ends of
considerations. The curves B and C in figure the coils.
20 show the effect of adding increasing values
of resistance to the circuit. It will be seen Variation of Q Examination of the equation
that the peaks become less and less prominent with Frequency for determining Q might give
as the resistance is increased; thus, it can be rise to the thought that even
said that the selectivity of the circuit is though the resistance of an inductor increases
thereby decreased. Selectivity in this case with frequency, the inductive reactance does
can be defined as the ability of a circuit to likewise, so that the Q might be a constant.
discriminate against frequencies adjacent to Actually, however, it works out in practice
the resonant frequency. that the Q of an inductor will reach a relative-
ly broad maximum at some particular frequency.
Voltage Across Coil Because the a.c. or r-f Hence, coils normally are designed in such a
and Capacitor in voltage across a coil and manner that the peak in their curve of Q with
Series Circuit capacitor is proportional frequency will occur at the normal operating
to the reactance (for a frequency of the coil in the circuit for which
given current), the actual voltages across the it is designed.
coil and across the capacitor may be many The Q of a capacitor ordinarily is much
times greater than the terminal voltage of the higher than that of the best coil. Therefore,
circuit. At resonance, the voltage across the it usually is the merit of the coil that limits
coil (or the capacitor) is Q times the applied the overall Q of the circuit.
voltage. Since the Q (or merit factor) of a At audio frequencies the core losses in an
series circuit can be in the neighborhood of iron-core inductor greatly reduce the Q from
100 or more, the voltage across the capacitor, the value that would be obtained simply by
for example, may be high enough to cause dividing the reactance by the resistance. Ob-
flashover, even though the applied voltage is viously the core losses also represent circuit
of a value considerably below that at which resistance, just as though the loss occurred
the capacitor is rated. in the wire itself.

Circuit Q- Sharp An extremely important Parallel In radio circuits, parallel reson-

ness of Resonance property of a capacitor or Resonance ance (more correctly termed anti-
an inductor is its factor- resonance) is more frequently
of-merit, more generally called its Q. It is this encountered than series resonance; in fact, it
factor, Q, which primarily determines the is the basic foundation of receiver and trans-
sharpness of resonance of a tuned circuit. mitter circuit operation. A circuit is shown in
This factor can be expressed as the ratio of figure 21.
the reactance to the resistance, as follows:
2nfL The "Tank" In this circuit, as contrasted with
Q=R, Circuit a circuit for series resonance, L
(inductance) and C (capacitance)
where R = total resistance. are connected in parallel, yet the combination
can be considered to be in series with the
Skin Effect The actual resistance in a wire remainder of the circuit. This combination
or an inductor can be far greater of L and C, in conjunction with R, the re-
than the d-e value when the coil is used in a sistance which is principally included in L, is
radio-frequency circuit; this is because the sometimes called a tank circuit because it ef-
current does not travel through the entire fectively functions as a storage tank when in-
cross-section of the conductor, but has a tend- corporated in vacuum tube circuits.
ency to travel closer and closer to the surface Contrasted with series resonance, there are
of the wire as the frequency is increased. This two kinds of current which must be considered
is known as the skin effect. in a parallel resonant circuit: ( 1) the line cur-
The actual current-carrying portion of the rent, as read on the indicating meter M,, (2)
wire is decreased, as a result of the skin the circulating current which flows within the
effect, so that the ratio of a-c to d-e resist- parallel L-C-R portion of the circuit. See
ance of the wire, called the resistance ratio, figure 21.
is increased. The resistance ratio of wires to At the resonant frequency, the line current
be used at frequencies below about 500 kc. (as read on the meter M,) will drop to a very
may be materially reduced through the use of low value although the circulating current in
litz wire. Litz wire, of the type commonly used the L-C circuit may be quite large. It is inter-
to wind the coils of 455-kc. i-f transformers, esting to note that the parallel resonant cir-
may consist of 3 to 10 strands of insulated cuit acts in a distinctly opposite manner to
wire, about No. 40 in size, with the individual that of a series resonant circuit, in which the
56 Alternating Current Circuits THE RA0 I 0

r-----------~~~M~'----------~ plifier circuit, the impedance curve must have

a sharp peak in order for the circuit to be
selective. If the curve is broad-topped in
shape, both the desired signal and the inter-
L fering signals at close proximity to resonance
will give nearly equal voltages on the grid of
the tube, and the circuit will then be non-
selective: i.e., it will tune broadly.
Figure 21
Effect of L/C Ratio In order that the highest
in Parallel Circuits possible voltage can be
The inductance L ancl capacitance C comprise
developed across a paral-
the reactive elements of the parallel-resonant
(anti-reso11ant) tank circuit, and the resistance
lel resonant circuit, the impedance of this
R indicates the sum of the r-f resistance of the circuit must be very high. The impedance will
coil and capacitor, plus the resistance coupled be greater with conventional coils of limited
into the circuit from the external load. In most Q when the ratio of inductance-to-capacitance
cases the tuning capacitor has much lower r-f is great, that is, when L is large as compared
resistance than the coil and con therefore be
with C. When the resistance of the circuit is
ignored in comparison with the coil resistance
and the coupled-In res/stance. The Instrument very low, XL will equal Xc at maximum im-
M1 indicates the "line current" which keeps pedance. There are innumerable ratios of L
the circuit in a state of oscillation- this cur- and C that will have equal reactance, at a
rent Is the same as the fundamental component given resonant frequency, exactly as in the
of the plate current of a Class C amplifier which case in a series resonant circuit.
might be feeding the tonic circuit. The in ..
In practice, where a certain value of in-
strument M2 indicates the utanlc current" which
is equal to the line current multiplied by the
ductance is tuned by a variable capacitance
operating Q of the tonic circuit. over a fairly wide range in frequency, the
L/ C ratio will be small at the lowest fre-
quency end and large at the high-frequency end.
The circuit, therefore, will have unequal gain
current is at a maximum and the impedance is and selectivity at the two ends of the band of
minimum at resonance. It is for this reason frequencies which is being tuned. Increasing
that in a parallel resonant circuit the principal the Q of the circuit (lowering the resistance)
consideration is one of impedance rather than will obviously increase both the selectivity
current. It is also significant that the imped- and gain.
ance curve for parallel circuits is very nearly
identical to that of the current curve for series Cireulating Tank The Q of a circuit has
resonance. The impedance at resonance is Current at Resonance a definite bearing on
expressed as: the circulating tank
(2rrfL)" current at resonance. This tank current is
Z=-- very nearly the value of the line current multi-
R plied by the effective circuit Q. For example:
where Z = impedance in ohms, an r-f line current of 0.050 amperes, with a
L = inductance in henrys, circuit Q of 100, will give a circulating tank
current of approximately 5 amperes. From this
f = frequency in cycles,
it can be seen that both the inductor and the
R = resistance in ohms. connecting wires in a circuit with a high Q
Or, impedance can be expressed as a func- must be of very low resistance, particularly in
tion of Q as: the case of high power transmitters, if heat
losses are to be held to a minimum.
Z = 2rrfLQ, Because the voltage across the tank at
showing thjt the impedance of a circuit is resonance is determined by the Q, it is pos-
directly proportional to its effective Q at sible to develop very high peak voltages
resonance. across a high Q tank with but little line cur-
The curves illustrated in figure 20 can be rent.
applied to parallel resonance. Reference to the
curve will show that the effect of adding re- Effect of Coupling If a parallel resonant cir-
sistance to the circuit will result in both a on Impedance cuit is coupled to another
broadening out and lowering of the peak of the circuit, such as an antenna
curve. Since the voltage of the circuit is output circuit, the impedance and the effective
directly proportional to the impedance, and Q of the parallel circuit is decreased as the
since it is this voltage that is applied to the coupling becomes closer. The effect of closer
grid of the vacuum tube in a detector or am- (tighter) coupling is the same as though an
HANDBOOK Circuit Impedance 57

ill D ill 0

,Ui_ 'liJl lJ~ leu

f'~- 1'-


Figure 22

actual resistance were added in series with inertia, and continue to oscillate with de-
the parallel tank circuit. The resistance thus creasing amplitude for a time after being given
coupled into the tank circuit can be con- a "kick." With such a circuit, almost pure
sidered as being reflected from the output or sine-wave voltage will be developed across
load circuit to the driver circuit. the tank circuit even though power is supplied
The behavior of coupled circuits depends to the tank in short pulses or spurts, so long
largely upon the amount of coupling, as shown as the spurts are evenly spaced with respect
in figure 22. The coupled current in the sec- to time and have a frequency that is the same
ondary circuit is small, varying with frequency, as the resonant frequency of the tank.
being maximum at the resonant frequency of Another way to visualize the action of the
the circuit. As the coupling is increased tank is to recall that a resonant tank with
between the two circuits, the secondary res- moderate Q will discriminate strongly against
onance curve becomes broader and the reso- harmonics of the resonant frequency. The dis-
nant amplitude increases, until the reflected torted plate current pulse in a Class C ampli-
resistance is equal to the primary resistance. fier contains not only the fundamental fre-
This point is called the critical coupling quency (that of the grid excitation voltage)
point. With greater coupling, the secondary but also higher harmonics. As the tank offers
resonance curve becomes broaderand develops low impedance to the harmonics and high im-
double resonance humps, which become more pedance to the fundamental (being resonant to
pronounced and farther apart in frequency as the latter), only the fundamental - a sine-
the coupling between the two circuits is wave voltage- appears across the tank circuit
increased. in substantial magnitude.

Tonk Circuit When the plate circuit of a Loaded and Confusion sometimes exists as
Flywheel Effect Class B or Class C operated Unloaded Q to the relationship between the
tube is connected to a par- unloaded and the loaded Q of the
allel resonant circuit tuned to the same fre- tank circuit in the plate of an r-f power ampli-
quency as the exciting voltage for the ampli- fier. In the normal case the loaded Q of the
fier, the plate current serves to maintain this tank circuit is determined by such factors as
L/C circuit in a state of oscillation. the operating conditions of the amplifier, band~
The plate currentis supplied in short pulses width of the signal to be emitted, permissible
which do not begin to resemble a sine wave, level of harmonic radiation, and such factors.
even though the grid may be excited by a sine- The normal value of loaded Q for an r-f ampli-
wave voltage. These spurts of plate current fier used for communications service is from
are converted into a sine wave in the plate perhaps 6 to 20. The unloaded Q of the tank
tank circuit by virtue of the "Q" or "flywheel circuit determines the efficiency of the output
effect" of the tank. circuit and is determined by the losses in the
If a tank did not have some resistance tank coil, its leads and plugs and jacks if any,
losses, it would, when given a "kick" with a and by the losses in the tank capacitor which
single pulse, continue to oscillate indefinite! y. ordinarily are very low. The unloaded Q of a
With a moderate amount of resistance or "fric- good quality large diameter tank coil in the
tion" in the circuit the tank will still have high-frequency range may be as high as 500
58 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

to 800, and values greater than 300 are quite


Tank Circuit Since the unloaded Q of a tank

Efficiency circuit is determined by the
minimum losses in the tank,
while the loaded Q is determined by useful
loading of the tank circuit from the external
load in addition to the internal losses in the
tank circuit, the relationship between the two
Q values determines the operating efficiency
of the tank circuit. Expressed in the form of
an equation, the loaded efficiency of a tank Figure 23
Tank efficiency = 1 _ Ql X 100
where Qu = unloaded Q of the tank circuit FUNDAMENTAL PLUS 3RD AND
Q 1 = loaded Q of the tank circuit
As an example, if the unloaded Q of the
tank circuit for a class C r-f power amplifier
is 400, and the external load is coupled to the
tank circuit by an amount such that the loaded
Q is 20, the tank circuit efficiency will be:
eff. = (1 - 20/400) x 100, or (1 - 0.05) x 100,
or 95 per cent. Hence 5 per cent of the power
output of the Class C amplifier will be lost Figure 24
as heat in the tank circuit and the remaining THIRD HARMONIC WAVE PLUS
95 per cent will be delivered to the load. FIFTH HARMONIC

3-3 Nonsinusoidal Waves

and Transients

Pure sine waves, discussed previously, are

basic wave shapes. Waves of many different
and complex shape are used in electronics,
particularly square waves, saw-tooth waves,
and peaked waves.

Wave Composition Any periodic wave {one that

repeats itself in definite Figure 25
time intervals) is composed of sine waves of RESULTANT WAVE, COMPOSED OF
different frequencies and amplitudes, added FUNDAMENTAL, THIRD, FIFTH,
together. The sine wave which has the same AND SEVENTH HARMONICS
frequency as the complex, periodic wave is
called the fundamental. The frequencies higher
than the fundamental are called harmonics,
and are always a whole number of times higher This resultant curve (figure 24) is added to
than the fundamental. For example, the fre- a fifth harmonic curve {D), and the sides of
quency twice as high as the fundamental is the resulting curve (E) are steeper than before.
called the second harmonic. This new curve is shown in figure 25 after a
7th harmonic component has been added to it,
The Square Wave Figure 23 compares a square making the sides of the composite wave even
wave with a sine wave (A) steeper. Addition of more higher odd harmonics
of the same frequency. If another sine wave will bring the resultant wave nearer and nearer
(B) of smaller amplitude, but three times the to the desired square wave shape. The square
frequency of (A), called the third harmonic, is wave will be achieved if an infinite number of
added to (A), the resultant wave (C) more odd harmonics are added to the original sine
nearly approaches the desired square wave. wave.
HANDBOOK Nonsinusoidal Waves 59



Figure 26

The Sawtooth Wave In the same fashion, a

sawtooth wave is made up
of different sine waves (figure 26). The ad-
dition of all harmonics, odd and even, produces
the sawtooth wave form.

The Peaked Wave Figure 27 shows the com-

position of a peaked wave.
Note how the addition of each sucessive har-
monic makes the peak of the resultant higher
and the sides steeper. Figure 27
Other Waveforms The three preceeding ex-
amples show how a complex
periodic wave is composed of a fundamental
wave and different harmonics. The shape of must be long with respect to the period of the
the resultant wave depends upon the harmonics lowest frequency contained in the voltage
that are added, their relative amplitudes, and wave.
relative phase relationships. In general, the
steeper the sides of the waveform, the more RC Dlfferentiator An RC voltage divider that
harmonics it contains. and Integrator is designed to distort the in-
put waveform is known as a
AC Transient CircuitsIf an a-c voltage is sub- differentiator or integrator, depending upon
stituted for the d-e in- the locations of the output taps. The output
put voltage in the RC Transient circuits dis- from a differentiator is taken across the re-
cussed in Chapter 2, the same principles may sistance, while the output from an integrator
be applied in the analysi~ of the transient is taken across the capacitor. Such circuits
behavior. An RC coupling circuit is designed will change the shape of any complex a-c
to have a long time constant with respect to waveform that is impressed upon them. This
the lowest frequency it must pass. Such a distortion is a function of the value of the
circuit is shown in figure 28. If a nonsinus- time constant of the circuit as compared to
oidal voltage is to be passed unchanged the period of the waveform. Neither a dif-
through the coupling circuit, the time constant ferentiator nor an integrator can change the
60 Alternating Current Circuits THE RA0 I 0


IOOC' C.P.S. L--------.1~--
1000 C.P.S.

- -
R xC= 50000 .l.ISECONOS

Figure 28

- - -IOOV.

~ - +IZ'V.
- +75V.

;~F~I::.:;IATOR (eR)


Figure 30
Sawtooth Wave Input If a back-toback saw-
shape of a pure sine wave, they will merely tooth voltage is applied
shift the phase of the wave (figure 29). The to an RC circuit having a time constant one-
differentiator output is a sine wave leading sixth the period of the input voltage, the re-
the input wave, and the integrator output is a sult is shown in figure 31. The capacitor
voltage will closely follow the input voltage,
sine wave which lags the input wave. The sum
if the time constant is short, and the integra
of the two outputs at any instant equals the
instantaneous input voltage. tor output closely resembles the input. The
amplitude is slightly reduced and there is a
Square Wave Input If a square wave voltage is slight phase lag. Since the voltage across the
impressed on the circuit of capacitor is increasing at a constant rate, the
charging and discharging current is constant.
figure 30, a square wave voltage output may
The output voltage of the differentiator, there
be obtained across the integrating capacitor
fore, is constant during each half of the saw
if the time constant of the circuit allows the
tooth input.
capacitor to become fully charged. In this
particular case, the capacitor never fully
charges, and as a result the output of the Miscellaneous Various voltage waveforms
integrator has a smaller amplitude than the Inputs other than those represented
input. The differentiator output has a maximum here may be applied to short
value greater than the input amplitude, since RC circuits for the purpose of producing
the voltage left on the capacitor from the across the resistor an output voltage with an
previous half wave will add to the input volt- amplitude proportional to the rate of change of
age. Such a circuit, when used as a differen- the input signal. The shorter the RC time con
tiator, is often called a peaker. Peaks of stant is made with respect to the period of the
twice the input amplitude may be produced. input wave, the more nearly the voltage across
HANDBOOK Transformers 61

e =1oo v.
1000 c.P.s.

- - - - - - - +100

~Yr--- v~
- - -100

e'" / t--
- T

e<.ouT r- ,...-

II- 1-- T


A Figure 31

~ ~T~:ATOR



Figure 32
the capacitor conforms to the input voltage.
Dillerentlator outputs of short r.. c circuits lor
Thus, the differentiator output becomes of various Input voltage woveshopes. The output
particular importance in very short RC cir- voltage Is proportional to the rate ol change
cuits. Differentiator outputs for various types ol the Input voltage.
of input waves are shown in figure 32.
Square Wave Test The application of a square the original flux is produced is called the
for Audio Equipment wave input signal to audio primary; the inductance which receives the
equipment, and the ob- induced current is called the secondary. In a
servation of the reproduced output signal on radio receiver power transformer, for example,
an oscilloscope will provide a quick and ac- the coil through which the 110-volt a. c. passes
curate check of the overall operation of audio is the primary, and the coil from which a higher
equipment. Low-frequency and high-frequency or lower voltage than the a-c line potential is
response, as well as transient response can be obtained is the secondary.
examined easily. If the amplifier is deficient Transformers can have either air or mag-
in low-frequency response, the flat top of the netic cores, depending upon the frequencies at
square wave will be canted, as in figure 33. which they are to be operated. The reader
If the high-frequency response is inferior, the should thoroughly impress upon his mind the
rise time of the output wave will be retarded fact that current can be transferred from one
(figure 34). An amplifier with a limited high- circuit to another only if the primary current
and low- frequency response will turn the is changing or alternating. From this it can be
square wave into the approximation of a saw- seen that a power transformer cannot possibly
tooth wave (figure (35). function as such when the primary is supplied
with non-pulsating d.c.
3-4 Transformers A power transformer usually has a magnetic
When two coils are placed in such inductive core which consists of laminations of iron,
relation to each other that the lines of force built up into a square or rectangular form,
from one cut across the turns of the other with a center opening or window. The second-
inducing a current, the combination can be ary windings may be several in number, each
called a transformer. The name is derived from perhaps delivering a different voltage. The
the fact that energy is transformed from one secondary voltages will be proportional to the
winding to another. The inductance in which turns ratio and the primary voltage.
62 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0

Figure 33
Amplifier Jeflclent In low frequency response will distort square wave applied to the Input circuit, as
shown. A 60-cyc/e square wave may be used.
A: Drop In gain ot /ow frequencies
8: Leading phase shift ot /ow frequencies
C: Lagging phase shift ot /ow frequencies
D: Accentuated low frequency gain

Types af Transformers are used in alter- E s = voltage across the secondary

Transformers nating-current circuits to trans- winding
fer power at one voltage and im- In practice, the transformation ratio of a
pedance to another circuit at another voltage transformer is somewhat less than the turns
and impedance. There are three main classifi- ratio, since unity coupling does not exist
cations of transformers: those made for use between the primary and secondary windings.
in power-frequency circuits, those made for
audio-frequency applications, and those made Ampere Turns (NI) The current that flows in
for radio frequencies.
the secondary winding as a
result of the induced voltage must produce a
The Transformation In a perfect transformer all flux which exactly equals the primary flux.
Ratio the magnetic flux lines The magnetizing force of a coil is expressed
produced by the primary as the product of the number of turns in the
winding link every turn of the secondary wind- coil times the current flowing in it:
ing. For such a transformer, the ratio of the
primary and secondary voltages is exactly Np Is
the same as the ratio of the number of turns Npxlp=Nsxls, or--=-
in the two windings: ' Ns lp
Np Ep where I p = primary current
Is = secondary current
Ns Es
It can be seen from this expression that
where Np = number of turns in the primary when the voltage is stepped up, the current
winding is stepped down, and vice-versa.
Ns = number of turns in the secondary
winding Leakage Reactance Since unity coupling does
Ep = voltage across the primary winding not exist in a practical

Figure 34 Figure 35

Output waveshape of amp/Iller having deficiency Output waveshape of amplifier having limited
In .high-frequency respon ... Tested with 10-kc. low-frequency and high-frequency response.
square wave. Tested with l-lc:c. square wave.
HANDBOOK Electric Filters 63


Figure 36 Figure 37
Tire reflected Impedance ZP varies directly In
Schematic diagram ol an auto-transformer
proportion to the secondary /ooJ Z L, anJ
showing tire met/rod ol connecting it to tire //ne
directly In proportion to tire square ol tire
and to tire load. Wlten only a small amount ol
primary-to-secottclary turns ratio.
step up or step down Is required, the auto-
transformer may be much smaller physically
than would be a transformer with a separate
transformer, part of the flux passing from the secondary winding. Continuously variable
auto-translormers (Variac and Powerstof} ore
primary circuit to the secondary circuit fol widely used commercially.
lows a magnetic circuit acted upon by the
primary only. The same is true of the second-
ary flux. These leakage fluxes cause leakage
reactance in the transformer, and tend to age. In effect, it is merely ~ contin~ous wind-
cause the transformer to have poor voltage ing with taps taken at vartous P<;>tnts al~ng
regulation. To reduce such leakage reactance, the winding, the input voltage betng app~ted
the primary and secondary windings should to the bottom and also to one tap on the wmd-
be in close proximity to each other. The more ing. If the output is taken from this same
expensive transformers have interleaved wind tap, the voltage ratio will be 1-to-1; i.e., the
ings to reduce inherent leakage reactance. input voltage will be the same as the output
voltage. On the other hand, if the outpu~ tap
Impedance In the ideal transformer, the is moved down toward the common termtnal,
Transformation impedance of the secondary there will be a step-down in the turns ratio
load is reflected back into the with a consequent step-down in voltage. The
primary winding in the following relationship: initial setting of the middle input tap is chosen
so that the number of turns will have suffi-
Zp ~ N2 Zs, or N ~ .jZp/Zs cient reactance to keep the no-load primary
current at a reasonably low value.
where Zp =reflected primary impedance
N ~ turns ratio of transformer
Zs ~ impedance of secondary load 3-5 Electric Filters
Thus any specific load connected to the
secondary terminals of the transformer will There are many applications where it is
be transformed to a different specific value desirable to pass a d-e component without
appearing across the primary terminals of the passing a superimposed a-c component, or to
transformer. By the proper choice of turns
ratio, any reasonable value of secondary load
impedance may be "reflected" into the pri- ELEMENTARY FILTER SECTIONS
mary winding of the transformer to produce the L-SECTIONS T-NETWORK
desired transformer primary impedance. The

~--F ~
phase angle of the primary "reflected" im-
pedance will be the same as the phase angle
of the load impedance. A capacitive second
ary load will be presented to the transformer
source as a capaciry, a resistive load will
---YL _L_
present a resistive "reflection" to the primary
source. Thus the primary source "sees" a
transformer load entirely dependent upon the
secondary load impedance and the turns ratio
of the transformer (figure 36).
The Auto
The type of transformer in figure
37, when wound with heavy wire
over an iron core, is a common Figure 38
device in primary power circuits for the pur- Complex 1//ters may be made up lrom these basic
pose of increasing or decreasing the line volt 11/ter sect/on.
64 Alternating Current Circuits THE R AD I 0



l..L C1


z z
0 0

~ ~
"z "z

F'2 i"<t:. F'<t:. F',



L1 = M LK c,=~K
C1 = 1 4_t-t2 X CK C2= ~~~ 2 X CK

C2= M CK L2=~

LK=b, M=-Ji-(f::Y CK= rrhrs:-- LK = 4~f'l M:"l/i -(.!)f)2 CK= 4/T~, R


Figure 39

pass all frequencies above or below a certain illustrated in figure 38. A finite number of L
frequency while rejecting or attenuating all sections may be combined into basic filter
others, or to pass only a certain band or bands sections, called T networks or pi networks,
of frequencies while attenuating all others. also shown in "figure 38. Both the T and pi
All of these things can be done by suitable netw?rks may be divided in two to form half-
combinations of inductance, capacitance and secttons.
resistance. However, as whole books have
been devoted to nothing but electric filters, it
can be appreciated that it is possible only to The most common filter sec-
Filter Sections
touch upon them superficially in a general tion is one in which the two
coverage book. impedances ZA and Zs are so related that
their arithmetical product is a constant: ZA x
Filter Operation A filter acts by virtue of its Zs = K2 at all frequencies. This type of filter
property of offering very high section is called a constant-K section.
impedance to the undesired frequencies, while A section having a sharper cutoff frequency
offering but little impedance to the desired than a constant-K section, but less attenua-
frequencies. This will also apply to d.c. with tion at frequencies far removed from cutoff is
a superimposed a-c component, as d.c. can the M-derived section, so called because the
be considered as an alternating current of zero shunt or series el~ment is resonated with a
frequency so far as filter discussion goes. reactance of the opposite sign. If the comple-
mentary reactance is added to the series arm,
Basic Filters Filters are divided into four the section is said to be shunt derived; if
classes, descriptive of the fre- added to the shunt arm, series derived. Each
quency bands which they are designed to impedance of the M-derived section is related
transmit: high pass, low pass, band pass and to a corresponding impedance in the constant-
band elimination. Each of these classes of K section by some factor which is a function
filters is made up of elementary filter sections of the constant m. M, in turn, is a function of
called L sections which consist of a series the ratio between the cutoff frequency and
element (ZA) and a parallel element (Zs) as the frequency of infinite attenuation, and will
HANDBOOK Filter Design 65





o rz-C2 o
c, = 0.207 CK= '4~
TTf'2 CK

CK= - -1- -

IlL_ ILf


,, ~





C1 = CK LK =
1~~ 2 X. LK
L2 =LK c.=~
Lz= ..!.JL=
o.e ..!.JL


Figure 40
Through the use of the curves and equations which accompany the diagrams In the illustration above it is
possible to determine the correct values of inductance and capacitance for the usual types of pi-section

have some value between zero and one. As the cies within the pass band. The insertion loss
value of m approaches zero, the sharpness of varies with the type of filter, the Q of the
cutoff increases, but the less will be the components and the type of termination em-
attenuation at several times cutoff frequency. ployed.
A value of 0.6 may be used for min most appli-
cations. The "notch" frequency is determined Electric Filter Electric wave filters have long
by the resonant frequency of the tuned filter Design been used in some amateur sta-
elemenr. The amount of attenuation obtained
tions in the audio channel to
at the "notch" when a derived section is used
reduce the transmission of unwanted high fre-
is determined by the effective Q of the reso-
quencies and hence to reduce the bandwidth
nant arm (figure 39).
occupied by a radiophone signal. The effec-
tiveness of a properly designed and properly
Filter Assembly Constant-K sections and de- used filter circuit in reducing QRM and side
rived sections may be cas- band splatter should not be underestimated.
caded to obtain the combined characteristics In recent years, high frequency filters have
of sharp cutoff and good remote frequency become commonplace in TVI reduction. High
attenuation. Such a filter is known as a com- pass type filters are placed before the input
posite filter. The amount of attenuation will stage of television receivers to reject the
depend upon the number of filter sections fundamental signal of low frequency trans-
used, and the shape of the transmission curve mitters. Low-pass filters are used in the out
depends upon the type of filter sections used. put circuits of low frequency transmitters to
All filters have some insertion loss. This prevent harmonics of the transmitter from
attenuation is usually uniform to all frequen- being radiated in the television channels.
66 Alternating Current Circuits

The chart of figure 40 gives design data is most constant over the pass band of the
and procedure on the pi-section type of filter. filter section.
M-derived sections with an M of 0.6 will be Simple filters may use either L, T, or 11 sec-
found to be most satisfactory as the input tions. Since the 11 section is ~he more com-
section (or half-section) of the usual filter monly "used type figure 40 gives design data
since the input impedance of such a section and characteristics for this type of filter.


Use of harmonic filters in power leads and antenna circuit reduces radiation of TVI-producing harmonics
of typical push-pull amplifier. Shielded enclosure completes harmonic reduction measures.

Vacuum Tube Principles

In the previous chapters we have seen the electron tubes the cathode energy is applied
manner in which an electric current flows in the form of heat; electron emission from a
through a metallic conductor as a result of an heated cathode is called thermionic emission.
electron drift. This drift, which takes place In another common type of electron tube, the
when there is a difference in potential between photoelectric cell, energy in the form of light
the ends of the metallic conductor, is in addi- is applied to the cathode to cause photo-
tion to the normal random electron motion electric emission.
between the molecules of the conductor.
The electron may be considered as a minute
negatively charged particle, having a mass of 4-1 Thermionic Emission
9 X 10-28 gram, and a charge of 1. 59 X 10-19
coulomb. Electrons are always identical, Electron Emission of electrons from the
regardless of the source from which they are Emission cathode of a thermionic electron
obtained. tube takes place when the cathode
An electric current can be caused to flow of the tube is heated to a temperature suffi-
through other media than a metallic conductor. ciently high that the free electrons in the
One such medium is an ionized solution, such emitter have sufficient velocity to overcome
as the sulfuric acid electrolyte in a storage the restraining forces at the surface of the
battery. This type of current flow is called material. These surface forces vary greatly
electrolytic conduction. Further, it was shown with different materials. Hence different types
at about the turn of the century that an elec- of cathodes must be raised to different temper-
tric current can be carried by a stream of free atures to obtain adequate quantities of elec-
electrons in an evacuated chamber. The flow tron emission. The several types of emitters
of a current in such a manner is said to take found in common types of transmitting and
place by electronic conduction. The study of receiving tubes will be described in the fol-
electron tubes (also called vacuum tubes, or lowing paragraphs.
valves) is actually the study of the control and
use of electronic currents within an evacuated Cathode Types The emitters or cathodes as
or partially evacuated chamber. used in present-day thermi-
Since the current flow in an electron tube onic electron tubes may be classified into
takes place in an evacuated chamber, there two groups: the directly-heated or filament
must be located within the enclosure both a type and the indirectly-heated or heater-cathode
source of electrons and a collector for the type. Directly-heated emitters may be further
electrons which have been emitted. The elec- subdivided into three important groups, all
tron source is called the cathode, and the of which are commonly used in modern vacuum
electron collector is usually called the anode. tubes. These classifications are: the pure-
Some external source of energy must be ap- tungsten filament, the thoriated-tungsten
plied to the cathode in order to impart suffi- filament, and the oxide-coated filament.
cient velocity to the electrons within the
cathode material to enable them to overcome The Pure Tung Pure tungsten wire was used
the surface forces and thus escape into the sten Filament as the filament in nearly all
surrounding medium. In the usual types of the earlier transmitting and

68 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

Figure 1
The new General Electric ceramic triode(6BY4)is shown alongside a con-
ventional miniature tube (6265) and an octal-based receiving tube (25L6). The ceramic
tube is designed for rugged service and features extremely low lead inductance.

receiving tubes. However, the thermionic effi- the filament is burned for a longer period at
ciency of tungsten wire as an emitter (the about 2100 Kelvin to form a layer of thor-
number of milliamperes emission per watt of ium on the surface of the tungsten; ( 4) the
filament heating power) is quite low, the fila- temperature is reduced to about 1600 Kelvin
ments become fragile after use, their life is and some pure hydrocarbon gas is admitted
rather short, and they are susceptible to burn- to form a layer of tungsten carbide on the
out at any time. Pure tungsten filaments must surface of the tungsten. This layer of tungsten
be run at bright white heat (about 2500 Kel- carbide reduces the rate of thorium evapora-
vin). For these reasons, tungsten filaments tion from the surface at the normal operating
have been replaced in all applications where temperature of the filament and thus increases
another type of filament could be used. They the operating life of the vacuum tube. Thor-
are, however, still universally employed in ium evaporation from the surface is a natural
large water-cooled tubes and in certain large, consequence of the operation of the thoriated-
high-power air-cooled triodes where another tungsten filament. The carburized layer on the
filament type would be unsuitable. Tungsten tungsten wire plays another role in acting as
filaments are the most satisfactory for high- a reducing agent to produce new thorium from
power, high-voltage tubes where the emitter the thoria to replace that lost by evapora-
is subjected to positive ion bombardment tion. This new thorium continually diffuses to
caused by the residual gas content of the the surface during the normal operation of
tubes. Tungsten is not adversely affected by the filament. The last process, (5), in the
such bombardment. activation of athoriated tungsten filament con-
sists of re-evacuating the envelope and then
The Thoriated- In the course of experi- burning or ageing the new filament for a con-
Tungsten Filament ments made upon tungsten siderable period of time at the normal operat-
emitters, it was found that ing temperature of approximately 1900 K.
filaments made from tungsten having a small One thing to remember about any type of
amount of thoria (thorium oxide) as an im- filament, particularly the thoriated type, is
purity had much greater emission than those that the emitter deteriorates practically as
made from the pure metal. Subsequent develop- fast when "standing by" (no plate current) as
ment has resulted in the highly efficient car- it does with any normal amount of emission
burized thoriated-tungsten filament as used in load. Also, a thoriated filament may be either
virtually all medium-power transmitting tubes temporarily or permanently damaged by a
today. heavy overload which may strip the surface
Thoriated-tungsten emitters consist of a layer of thorium from the filament.
tungsten wire containing from 1% to 2% thoria.
The activation process varies between dif- Reactivating Thoriated-tungsten fila-
ferent manufacturers of vacuum tubes, but Thoriated- Tungstenments (and only thoriated-
it is essentially as follows: (l) the tube is Filaments tungsten filaments) which
evacuated; (2) the filament is burned for a have lost emission as
short period at about 2800 Kelvin to clean a result of insufficient filament voltage, a
the surface and reduce some of the thoria severe temporary overload, a less severe ex-
within the filament to metallic thorium; (3) tended overload, or even normal operation
HANDBOOK Types of Emitters 69

Figure 2
The tube to the left In this photograph Is a 955 "acorn" triode. The 6F4 acorn triode Is very similar In
appearance to the 955 but has two leads brought out each for the grid and for the plate connection. The
second tube Is a 446A "lighthouse" triode. The 2C40, 2C43, and 2C44 ore more recent examples of the
same type tube and are essentially the some In external appearance. The third tube from the left Is a
2C39 ''oil can tube. This tube type is essentially the Inverse of the lighthouse variety since the cathode
and heater connections come out the small end and the plate Is the large finned radiator on the large encl.
The use of the finned plate radiator makes the oilcan tube capable of approximately 10 times as much
plate dissipation as the lighthouse type. The tube to the right is the 4Xl50A beam tetroc/e. This tube, a
comparatively recent release, Is capable ol somewhat greater power output than any of the other tube
types shown, one/ is ratec/ lor lu/1 output at 500 Me. one/ at rec/ucec/ output at frequencies greater than
1000 Me.

may quire frequently be reactivated to their sists of a mixture of barium and strontium
original characteristics by a process similar oxides coated upon a nickel alloy wire or
to that of the original activation. However, strip. This type of filament operates at a dull-
only filaments which have not approached too red to orange-red temperature (1050" to 1170
close to the end of their useful life may be K) at which temperature it will emit large
successfully reactivated. quanuues of electrons. The oxide-coated
The actual process of reactivation is rel- filament is somewhat more efficient than the
atively simple. The tube which has gone thoriated-tungsten type in small sizes and it
"flat" is placed in a socket to which only the is considerably less expensive to manufacture.
two filament wires have been connected. The For this reason all receiving tubes and quite
filament is then "flashed" for about 20 to 40 a number of the low-powered transmitting
seconds at about I Y, times normal rated volt- tubes use the oxide-coated filament. Another
age. The filament will become extremely bright advantage of the oxide-coated emitter is its
during this time and, if there is still some extremely long life- the average rube can be
thoria left in the tungsten and if the tube did expected to run from 3000 to 5000 hours, and
not originally fail as a result of an air leak, when loaded very lightly, tubes of this type
some of this thoria will be reduced to metallic have been known to give 50,000 hours of life
thorium. The filament is then burned at 15 to before their characteristics changed to any
25 per cent overvoltage for from 30 minutes to great extent.
3 to 4 hours to bring this new thorium to the
surface. Oxide filaments are unsatisfactory for use
The tube should then be tested to see if it at high continuous plate voltages because: (I)
shows signs of renewed life. If it does, but is their activity is seriously impaired by the
still weak, the burning process should be con- high temperature necessary to de-gas the high
tinued at about 10 to 15 per cent overvoltage voltage tubes and, (2) the positive ion born
for a few more hours. This should bring it bardment which takes place even in the best
back almost to normal. If the tube checks still evacuated high-voltage tube causes destruc
very low after the first attempt at reactivation, tion of the oxide layer on the surface of the
the complete process can be repeated as a filament.
last effort. Oxide-coated emitters have been found cap-
able of emitting an enormously large current
The Oxide- The most efficient of all pulse with a high applied voltage for a very
Coated Filament modern filaments is the short period of time without damage. This
oxide-coated type which con- characteristic has proved to be of great value
70 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

age from 2 to 117 volts, although 6. 3 is the

most common value. The heater is operated
at quite a high temperature so that the cathode
itself usually may be brought to operating
temperature in a matter of 15 to 30 seconds.
Heat-coupling between the heater and the
cathode is mainly by radiation, although there
is some thermal conduction through the in-
sulating coating on the heater wire, as this
coating is also in contact with the cathode
Indirectly heated cathodes are employed in
all a-c operated tubes which are designed to
Figure 3 operate at a low level either for r-f or a-f use.
CUT-AWAY DRAWING OF A 6C4 TRIODE However, some receiver power tubes use
heater cathodes (6L6, 6V6, 6F6, and 6K6-GT)
as do some of the low-power transmitter tubes
(802, 807, 815, 3E29, 2E26, 5763, etc.). Heater
in radar work. For example, the relatively cathodes are employed almost exclusively
small cathode in a microwave magnetron may when a number of tubes are to be operated in
be called upon to deliver 25 to 50 amperes at series as in an a.c.-d.c. receiver. A heater
an applied voltage of perhaps 25,000 volts for cathode is often called a uni-potential cathode
a period in the order of one microsecond. because there is no voltage drop along its
After this large current pulse has been passed, length as there is in the directly-heated or
plate voltage normally will be removed for filament cathode.
1000 microseconds or more so that the cathode
surface may be restored in time for the next The Bombardment A special bombardment cath-
pulse of current. If the cathode were to be Cathode ode is employed in many of
subjected to a continuous current drain of this the new high powered tele-
magnitude, it would be destroyed in an ex- vision transmitting klystrons (Eimac 3K 20,000
ceedingly short period of time. LA). The cathode takes the form of a tantalum
The activation of oxide-coated filaments diode, heated to operating temperature by the
also varies with tube manufacturers but con- bombardment of electrons from a directly
sists essentially in heating the wire which has heated filament. The cathode operates at a
been coated with a mixture of barium and positive potential of 2000 volts with respect
strontium carbonates to a temperature of about to the filament, and a d-e bombardment cur-
1500 Kelvin for a time and then applying a rent of 0.66 amperes flows between filament
potential of 100 to 200 volts through a pro- and cathode. The filament is designed to
tective resistor to limit the emission current. operate under space-charge limited conditions.
This process reduces the carbonates to oxides Cathode temperature is varied by changing the
thermally, cleans the filament surface of bombardment potential between the filament
foreign materials, and activates the cathode and the cathode.
Reactivation of oxide-coated filaments is The Emission The emission of electrons from
not possible since there is always more than Equation a heated cathode is quite sim-
sufficient reduction of the oxides and diffusion ilar to the evaporation of mole-
of the metals to the surface of the filament to cules from the surface of a liquid. The mole-
meet the emission needs of the cathode. cules which leave the surface are those having
sufficient kinetic (heat) energy to overcome
The Heater The heater type cathode was de- the forces at the surface of the liquid. As the
Cathode veloped as a result of the re- temperature of the liquid is raised, the aver-
quirement for a type of emitter age velocity of the molecules is increased,
which could be operated from alternating cur- and a greater number of molecules will acquire
rent and yet would not introduce a-c ripple sufficient energy to be evaporated. The evapor-
modulation even when used in low-level stages. ation of electrons from the surface of a ther-
It consists essentially of a small nickel-alloy mionic emitter is similarly a function of aver-
cylinder with a coating of strontium and bar- age electron velocity, and hence is a function
ium oxides on its surface similar to the coat- of the temperature of the emitter.
ing used on the oxide-coated filament. Inside Electron emission per unit area of emitting
the cylinder is an insulated heater element surface is a function of the temperature T
consisting usually of a double spiral of tung- in degrees Kelvin, the work function of the
sten wire. The heater may operate on any volt- emitting surface b (which is a measure of the
HANDBOOK Thermionic Emission 71



fl) . ,
a.. /
< 400
.J /
_tiL~lL =-=---~J ~
w /
f-- 200
a. /."
Figure 4 ~
v 10 20 30 40 50

surface forces of the material and hence of Figure 5

the energy required of the electron before it
may escape), and of the constant A which AVERAGE PLATE CHARACTERISTICS
also varies with the emitting surface. The re- OF A POWER DIODE
lationship between emission current in am-
peres per square centimeter, I, and the above
quantities can be expressed as:
the cathode and are replaced by others emitted
I= ATfbiT by it.
Secondary The bombarding of most metals
Emission and a few insulators by electrons 4-2 The Diode
will result in the emission of other
electrons by a process called secondary emis- If a cathode capable of being heated either
sion. The secondary electrons are literally indirectly or directly is placed in an evacuated
knocked from the surface layers of the bom- envelope along with a plate, such a two-
barded material by the primary electrons which element vacuum rube is called a diode. The
strike the material. The number of secondary diode is the simplest of all vacuum tubes and
electrons emitted per primary electron varies is the fundamental type from which all the
from a very small percentage to as high as others are derived.
5 to 10 secondary electrons per primary.
The phenomena of secondary emission is Characteristics When the cathode within a
undesirable for most thermionic electron tubes. of the Diode diode is heated, it will be
However, the process is used to advantage in found that a few of the elec-
certain types of electron rubes such as the trons leaving the cathode will leave with suf-
image orthicon (TV camera tube) and the ficient velocity to reach the plate. If the plate
electron-multiplier type of photo-electric cell. is electrically connected back to the cathode,
In types of electron rubes which make use of the electrons which have had sufficient veloco
secondary emission, such as the type 931 ity to arrive at the plate will flow back to the
photo cell, the secondary-electron-emitting cathode through the external circuit. This
surfaces are specially treated to provide a small amount of initial plate current is an
high ratio of secondary to primary electrons. effect found in all two-element vacuum tubes.
Thus a high degree of current amplification in If a battery or other source of d-e voltage
the electron-multiplier section of the tube is is placed in the external circuit between the
obtained. plate and cathode so that it places a positive
potential on the plate, the flow of current from
The Space As a cathode is heated so that the cathode to plate will be increased. This is
Charge Effect it begins to emit, those elec- due to the strong attraction offered by the posi-
trons which have been dis- tively charged plate for any negatively charged
charged into the surrounding space form a particles (figure 5).
negatively charged cloud in the immediate
vicinity of the cathode. This cloud of electrons Space-Charge Limited At moderate values of
around the cathode is called the space charge. Current plate voltage the cur-
The electrons comprising the charge are con- rent flow from cathode
tinuously changing, since those electrons to anode is limited by the space charge of
making up the original charge fall back into electrons around the cathode. Increased values
72 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0



Figure 7
(A) shows the triode tube with cutoff bias on
the grid. Note that all the electrons emitted
Figure 6 by the cathode remain inside the grid mesh.
MAXIMUM SPACE-CHARGE-LIMITED (B) shows the some tube with an intermediate
value of bias on the gricl. Note the medium
EMISSION FOR DIFFERENT value of plate current and the fact that there
TYPES OF EMITTERS is a reserve of electrons remaining within the
grid mesh. (C) shows the operation with a
relatively small amount of bias which with
certain tube types will allow substantially all
of plate voltage will tend to neutralize a the electrons emiHed by the cathode to reach
greater portion of the cathode space charge the plate. Emission is said to be saturated in
and hence will cause a greater current to flow. this case. In a majority of tube types a high
Under these conditions, with plate current value of positive grid voltage is required be-
limited by the cathode space charge, the plate fore plate-current saturation takes place.
current is not linear with plate voltage. In
fact it may be stated in general that the plate-
current flow in electron tubes does not obey a_ lowering of the surface \\Urk function by the
Ohm's Law. Rather, plate current increases as held at the cathode resulting from the plate
the three-halves power of the plate voltage. potential.
The relationship between plate voltage, E,
and plate current, I, can be expressed as: Electron Energy The current flowing in the
I= K E'l' Dissipation plate-cathode space of a con-
ducting electron tube repre-
where K is a constant determined by the sents the energy required to accelerate elec-
geometry of the element structure within the trons from the zero potential of the cathode
electron tube. space charge to the potential of the anode.
Then, when these accelerated electrons strike
Plate Current As plate voltage is raised to the anode, the energy associated with their
Saturation the potential where the cath- velocity is immediately released to the anode
ode space charge is neutral- structure. In normal electron tubes this energy
ized, all the electrons that the cathode is cap- release appears as heating of the plate or
able of emitting are being attracted to the anode structure.
plate. The electron tube is said then to have
reached saturation plate current. Further in-
crease in plate voltage will cause only a 4-3 The Triode
relatively small increase in plate current. The
initial point of plate current saturation is If an element consisting of a mesh or spiral
sometimes called the point of Maximum Space- of wire is inserted concentric with the plate
Charge-Limited Emission (MSCLE). and between the plate and the cathode, such
The degree of flattening in the plate-voltage an element will be able to control by electro-
plate-current curve after the MSCLE point will static action the cathode-to-plate current of
vary with different types of cathodes. This ef- the tube. The new element is called a grid, and
fect is shown in figure 6. The flattening is a vacuum tube containing a cathode grid and
quite sharp with a pure tungsten emitter. With plate is commonly called a triode. ' '
thoriated tungsten the flattening is smoothed
somewhat, while with an oxide-coated cathode Action of If this new element through which
the flattening is quite gradual. The gradual the Grid the electrons must pass in their
saturation in emission with an oxide-coated course from cathode to plate is made
emitter is generally considered to result from negative with respect to the cathode, the nega-
HANDBOOK Triode Characteristics 73

with ip constant (L\ represents a small incre-

The p. can be determined experimentally by
making a small change in grid bias, thus
slightly changing the plate current. The plate
current is then returned to the original value
by making a change in the plate voltage. The
1/ ratio of the change in plate voltage to the
~~ L _L I change in grid voltage is the p. of the tube
under the operating conditions chosen for the
~ 4~ri-t.H-7-tl/+r~+i~++.r~~~ test.
~ 1/
Current Flow In a diode it was shown that
v in a Triode the electrostatic field at the
100 200 300 400 500 cathode was proportional to
PLATE VOLTS (Ep) the plate potential, Ep, and that the total
cathode current was proportional to the three-
Figure 8 halves power of the plate voltage. Similiarly,
NEGATIVE-GRID CHARACTERISTICS Op in a triode it can be shown that the field at
VS. Ep CURVES) OF A TYPICAL the cathode space charge is proportional to
TRIODE the equivalent voltage (Eg + Ep/p.), where
the amplification factor, p., actually represents
Average plate characteristics of this type
are most commonly usee/ in determining the
the relative effectiveness of grid potential and
Class A operating characteristics of a plate potential in producing a field at the
triode amp/ ifier stage. cathode.
It would then be expected that the cathode
current in a triode would be proportional to
tive charge on this grid will effectively repel the three-halves power of (Eg + Ep/f.). The
the negatively charged electrons (like charges cathode current of a triode can be represented
repel; unlike charges attract) back into the with fair accuracy by the expression:
space charge surrounding the cathode. Hence, E ,1 2
the number of electrons which are able to pass
through the grid mesh and reach the plate will
Cathode current = K ( E g +-;-)
be reduced, and the plate current will be re- where K is a constant determined by element
duced accordingly. If the charge on the grid geometry within the triode.
is made sufficiently negative, all the electrons
leaving the cathode will be repelled back to Plate Resistance The plate resistance of a
it and the plate current will be reduced to zero. vacuum tube is the ratio of a
Any d-e voltage placed upon a grid is called change in plate voltage to the change in plate
a bias (especially so when speaking of a con- current which the change in plate voltage
trol grid). The smallest negative voltage which produces. To be accurate, the changes should
will cause cutoff of plate current at a particu- be very small with respect to the operating
lar plate voltage is called the value of cutoff values. Expressed as an equation:
bias (figure 7).
Amplification The amount of plate current in a Rp=-- Eg = constant, L\ = small
Factor triode is a result of the net field Mp increment
at the cathode from interaction The plate resistance can also be determined
between the field caused by the grid bias and by the experiment mentioned above. By noting
that caused by the plate voltage. Hence, both the change in plate current as it occurs when
grid bias and plate voltage affect the plate the plate voltage is changed (grid voltage
current. In all normal tubes a small change in held constant), and by dividing the latter by
grid bias has a considerably greater effect the former, the plate resistance can be deter
than a similar change in plate voltage. The mined. Plate resistance is expressed in Ohms.
ratio between the change in grid bias and the
change in plate current which will cause the Transconductance The mutual conductance,
same small change in plate current is called also referred to as trans-
the amplification factor or p. of the electron conductance, is the ratio of a change in the
tube. Expressed as an equation: plate current to the change in grid voltage
~Ep which brought about the plate current change,
f.l=-- the plate voltage being held constant. Ex-
L\Eg pressed as an equation:
74 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

I 6J5
0 Er= e.3
30 0
I ~200~--~--~~-+~~--~--~"~~---~~
..:z 0 0
I ~ ~~r----i--~~\+---t~-+---+----0\-4-~
20 0
I v !;(
w 0
!;( I v
0. 0
I v
0 -zo -15 -10 -s
0 VJ
-6 4-20 10 30 $0 eo eo oao 100
Figure 10
This type of graphical representation Is used
(lp VS. E9 ) OF A TYPICAL TRIODE for Class C amplifier calculations since the
Plate characteristics of this type are most operating characteristic of a Class C amplifier
commonly used In determining the pulse.. slgnal Is a straight line when drawn upon a constant
operating character#sflcs of a triode amplifier current graph.
stage. Note the large emission capability of
the oxide-coated heater cathode in tubes of the
general type of the 6J5.
passing through the plate circuit of the tube
for various values of plate-load resistance and
plate-supply voltage. Figure 11 illustrates a
Ep = constant, /). = small triode tube with a resistive plate load, and a
increment supply voltage of 300 volts. The voltage at
The transconductance is also numerically the plate of the tube (ep) may be expressed
equal to the amplification factor divided by as:
ep = Ep -~P x RL)
the plate resistance. Gm = JL/Rp
where Ep is the plate supply voltage, ip is the
Transconductance is most commonly ex- plate current, and RL is the load resistance in
pressed in microreciprocal-ohms or micro- ohms.
mhos. However, since transconductance ex- Assuming various values of ip flowing in
presses change in plate current as a function the circuit, controlled by the internal resist-
of a change in grid voltage, a tube is often ance of the tube, (a function of the grid bias)
said to have a transconductance of so many values of plate voltage may be plotted as
milliamperes-per-volt. If the transconductance shown for each value of plate current (ip). The
in milliamperes-per-volt is multiplied by 1000 line connecting these points is called the
it will then be expressed in micromhos. Thus load line for the particular value of plate-load
the transconductance of a 6A3 could be called resistance used. The slope of the load line is
either 5.25 ma./volt or 5250 micromhos. equal to the ratio of the lengths of the vertical
and horizontal projections of any segment of
Characteristic Curves The operating character- the load line. For this example it is:
of a Triode Tube istics of a triode tube
may be summarized in .01- .02 1
Slope= ---- = -.0001 = ---
three sets of curves: The lp vs. EP curve 100 - 200 10,000
(figure 8), the lp vs. Eg curve (figure 9) and
the EP vs. E curve (figure 10). The plate The slope of the load line is equal to
resistance (Rp~ of the tube may be observed -1/RL. At point A on the load line, the volt-
from the IP vs. Ep curve, the transconductance age across the tube is zero. This would be
(Gm) may be observed from the Ip vs. Eg curve, true for a perfect tube with zero internal volt-
and the amplification factor (JL) may be deter- age drop, or if the tube is short-circuited from
mined from the Ep vs. E g curve. cathode to plate. Point B on the load line
corresponds to the cutoff point of the tube,
The Lood Line A load line is a graphical where no plate current is flowing. The op-
representation of the voltage erating range of the tube lies between these
on the plate of a vacuum tube, and the current two extremes. For additional information re-
HANDBOOK Triode Load Line 75

!P(MA.) E_l'__
0 300
5 250
10 200
15 150
20 100
25 50

Figure 12

EP 300 volts, and the plate load is 8,000 ohms.

If the tube is considered to be an open circuit
Figure II no plate current will flow, and there is no
The static loacl line for a typical triode voltage drop across the plate load resistor,
tube with a plate loacl resistance of 10,000 RL. The plate voltage on the tube is therefore
ohms. 300 volts. If, on the other hand, the tube is
considered to be a short circuit, maximum
possible plate current flows and the full 300
garding dynamic load lines, the reader is volt drop appears across RL. The plate volt-
referred to theRadiotron Designer's Handbook, age is zero, and the plate current is 300/8,000,
4th edition, distributed by Radio Corporation or 37.5 milliamperes. These two extreme con-
of America. eli tions define the load line on the IP vs. Ep
characteristic curve, figure 13.
For this application the grid of the tube is
Application of Tube As an example of the ap returned to a steady biasing voltage of - 4
Characteristics plication of tube charac- volts. The steady or quiescent operation of the
teristics, the constants tube is determined by the intersection of the
of the triode amplifier circuit shown in figure load line with the -4 volt curve at point Q.
12 may be considered. The plate supply is By projection from point Q through the plate


Figure 13



~ ~
w w
76 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

----, I
:;f:::CG-P I

-;f::: CP-K

;t:::cc.-1\ I
L __ _ - - __ j

Figure 15

comes apparent. A voltage variation of 8 volts

(peak-to-peak) on the grid produces a variation
T- of 84 volts at the plate.

Polarity Inversion When the signal voltage ap-

plied to the grid has its
maximum positive instantaneous value the
plate current is also maximum. Reference to
EP figure 12 shows that this maximum plate cur-
rent flows through the plate load resistor RL,
producing a maximum voltage drop across it.
The lower end of RL is connected to the plate
supply, and is therefore held at a constant
potential of 300 volts. With maximum voltage
Figure 14 drop across the load resistor, the upper end of
POLARITY REVERSAL BETWEEN GRID RL is at a minimum instantaneous voltage.
The plate of the tube is connected to this end
of RL and is therefore at the same minimum
instantaneous potential.
current axis it is found that the value of plate This polarity reversal between instantaneous
current with no signal applied to the grid is grid and plate voltages is further clarified by
12.75 milliamperes. By projection from point a consideration of Kirchhoff's law as it ap-
Q through the plate voltage axis it is found plies to series resistance. The sum of the IR
that the quiescent plate v<;>ltage is 198 volts. drops around the plate circuit must at all times
This leaves a drop of 102 volts across RL equal the supply voltage of 300 volts. Thus
which is borne out by the relation 0.01275 x when the instantaneous voltage drop across
8,000 = 102 volts. RL is maximum, the voltage drop across the
An alternating voltage of 4 volts maximum tube is minimum, and their sum must equal
swing about the normal bias value of -4 volts 300 volts. The variations of grid voltage,plate
is applied now to the grid of the triode ampli- current and plate voltage about their steady
fier. This signal swings the grid in a positive state values is illustrated in figure 14.
direction to 0 volts, and in a negative direction
to -8 volts, and establishes the operating lnterelectrodeCapacitance always exists be-
region of the tube along the load line between Capacitance tween any two pieces of metal
points A and B. Thus the maxima and minima separated by a dielectric. The
of the plate voltage and plate current are exact amount of capacitance depends upon the
established. By projection from points A and size of the metal pieces, the dielectric be-
B through the plate current axis the maximum tween them, and the type of dielectric. The
instantaneous plate current is found to be electrodes of a vacuum tube have a similar
18.25 milliamperes and the minimum is 7.5 characteristic known as the interelectrode
milliamperes. By projections from points A and capacitance, illustrated in figure 15. These
B through the plate voltage axis the minimum direct capacities in a triode are: grid-to-
instantaneous plate voltage swing is found to cathode capacitance, grid-to-plate capacitance,
be 154 volts and the maximum is 240 volts. and plate-to-cathode capacitance. The inter-
By this graphical application of the lp vs. electrode capacitance, though very small, has
Ep characteristic of the 6SN7 triode the opera- a coupling effect, and often can cause un-
tion of the circuit illustrated in figure 12 be- balance in a particular circuit. At very high
HANDBOOK Tetrodes and Pentodes 77

10 10
(/ l

~ 6
r l l
esu =o v.

! =
::;; 4 /
_j 2 :/; o= l
lc 15

0 100 200 300 400 500 0
v I
100 200 300 400 500

Figure 16
Figure 17

frequencies (v-h-f), interelectrode capacities the electrons pass through it and on to the
become very objectionable and prevent the use plate. Due also to the screen, the plate cur-
of conventional tubes at these frequencies. rent is largely independent of plate voltage,
Special v-h-f tubes must be used which are thus making for high amplification. When the
characterized by very small electrodes and screen voltage is held at a constant value, it
close internal spacing of the elements of the is possible to make large changes in plate
tube. voltage without appreciably affecting the plate
current, (figure 16).

4-4 Tetrode or Screen Grid Tubes When the electrons from the cathode ap-
proach the plate with sufficient velocity, they
dislodge electrons upon striking the plate.
Many desirable characteristics can be ob- This effect of bombarding the plate with high
tained in a vacuum tube by the use of more velocity electrons, with the consequent dis-
than one grid. The most common multi-element lodgement of other electrons from the plate,
tube is the tetrode (four electrodes). Other gives rise to the condition of secondary emis-
tubes containing as many as eight electrodes sion which has been discussed in a previous
are available for special applications. paragraph. This effect can cause no particular
difficulty in a triode because the secondary
The Tetrode The quest for a simple and easily electrons so emitted are eventually attracted
usable method of eliminating the back to the plate. In the screen-grid tube, how-
effects of the grid-to-plate capacitance of the ever, the screen is close to the plate and is
triode led to the development of the screen- maintained at a positive potential. Thus, the
grid tube or tetrode. When another grid is screen will attract these electrons which have
added between the grid and plate of a vacuum been knocked from the plate, particularly when
tube the tube is called a tetrode, and because the plate voltage falls to a lower value than
the new grid is called a screen, as a result of the screen voltage, with the result that the
its screening or shielding action, the tube is plate current is lowered and the amplification
often called a screen-grid tube. The inter- is decreased.
posed screen grid acts as an electrostatic In the application of tetrodes, it is neces-
shield between the grid and plate, with the sary to operate the plate at a high voltage in
consequence that the grid-to-plate capacitance relation to the screen in order to overcome
is reduced. Although the screen grid is main- these effects of secondary emission.
tained at a positive voltage with respect to
the cathode of the tube, it is maintained at The Pentode The undesirable effects of sec-
ground potential with respect to r.f. by means ondary emission from the plate
of a by-pass capacitor of very low reactance can be greatly reduced if yet another element
at the frequency of operation. is added between the screen and plate. This
In addition to the shielding effect, the additional elemcent is called a suppressor, and
screen grid serves another very useful purpose. tubes in which it is used are called pentodes.
Since the screen is maintained at a positive;, The suppressor grid is sometimes connected
potential, it serves to increase or accelerate to the cathode within the tube; sometimes it is
the flow of electrons to the plate. There being brought out to a connecting pin on the tube
large openings in the screen mesh, most of base, but in any case it is established nega-
78 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0




Figure 18 Figure 19

tive wtth respect to the mm1mum plate volt- of the manner in which the electrodes are
age. The secondary electrons that would travel spaced, the electrons which travel to the
to the screen if there were no suppressor are plate are slowed down when the plate voltage
diverted back to the plate. The plate current is low, almost to zero velocity in a certain
is, therefore, not reduced and the amplifica- region between screen and plate. For this
tion possibilities are increased (figure 17). reason the electrons form a stationary cloud,
Pentodes for audio applications are de- or space charge. The effect of this space
signed so that the suppressor increases the charge is to repel secondary electrons emitted
limits to which the plate voltage may swing; from the plate and thus cause them to return
therefore the consequent power output and to the plate. In this way, secondary emission
gain can be very great. Pentodes for radio- is suppressed.
fr~:quency service function in such a manner Another feature of the beam power tube is
that the suppressor allows high voltage gain, the low current drawn by the screen. The
at the same time permitting fairly high gain screen and the grid are spiral wires wound so
at low plate voltage. This holds true even if that each turn in the screen is shaded from
the plate voltage is the same or slightly lower the cathode by a grid turn. This alignment of
than the screen voltage. the screen and the grid causes the electrons
to travel in sheets between the turns of the
Remote Cutoff Remote cutoff tubes (variable screen so that very few of them strike the
Tubes mu) are screen grid tubes in screen itself. This formation of the electron
which the control grid struc- stream into sheets or beams increases the
ture has been physically modified so as to charge density in the screen-plate region and
cause the plate current of the tube to drop off assists in the creation of the space charge in
gradually, rather than to have a well defined this region.
cutoff point {figure 18). A non-uniform control Because of the effective suppressor action
grid structure is used, so that the amplifica- provided by the space charge, and because of
tion factor is different for different parts of the the low current drawn by the screen, the beam
control grid. power tube has the advantages of high power
Remote cutoff tubes are used in circuits output, high power-sensitivity, and high ef-
where it is desired to control the amplification ficiency. The 6L6 is such a beam power tube,
by varying the control grid bias. The charac- designed for use in the power amplifier stages
teristic curve of an ordinary screen grid tube of receivers and speech amplifiers or modulat-
has considerable curvature near the plate cur- ors. Larger tubes employing the beam-power
rent cutoff point, while the curve of a remote principle are being made by various manu-
cutoff tube is much more linear (figure 19). facturers for use in the radio-frequency stages
The remote cutoff tube minimizes cross- of transmitters. These tubes feature extremely
talk interference that would otherwise be high power-sensitivity (a very small amount
produced. Examples of remote cutoff tubes of driving power is required for a large out-
are: 6BD6, 6K7, 6SG7 and 6SK7. put), good plate efficiency, and low grid-to-
Beam Power A beam power tube makes use plate capacitance. Examples of these tubes
Tubes of another method for suppressing are 813, 4-250A, 4X150A, etc.
secondary emission. In this tube
there are four electrodes: a cathode, a grid, a Grid-Screen The grid- screen mu factor (p. 5 g)
screen, and a plate, so spaced and placed that Mu Factor is analogous to the amplification
secondary emission from the plate is sup- factor in a triode, except that
pressed without actual power loss. Because the screen of a pentode or tetrode is sub-
HANDBOOK Mixer and Converter Tubes 79

stituted for the plate of a triode. /Lsg denotes The Effect of The current equations show how
the ratio of a change in grid voltage to a Grid Current the total cathode current in
change in screen voltage, each of which will triodes, tetrodes, and pentodes
produce the same change in screen current. is a function of the potentials applied to the
Expressed as an equation: various electrodes. If only one electrode is
positive with respect to the cathode (such as
would be the case in a triode acting as a
Is g = constant, 11 = small class A amplifier) all the cathode current goes
increment to the plate. But when both screen and plate
are positive in a tetrode or pentode, the cath-
The grid-screen mu factor is important in ode current divides between the two elements.
determining the operating bias of a tetrode Hence the screen current is taken from the
or pentode tube. The relationship between con- total cathode current, while the balance goes
trol- grid potential and screen potential deter- to the plate. Further, if the control grid in a
mines the plate current of the tube as well as tetrode or pentode is operated at a positive
the screen current since the plate current is potential the total cathode current is divided
essentially independent of the plate voltage between all three elements which have a posi-
in tubes of this type. In other words, when tive potential. In a tube which is receiving a
the tube is operated at cutoff bias as deter- large excitation voltage, it may be said that
mined by the screen voltage and the grid- the control grid robs electrons from the output
screen mu factor (determined in the same way electrode during the period that the grid is
as with a triode, by dividing the operating positive, making it always necessary to limit
voltage by the mu factor) the plate current the peak-positive excursion of the control
will be substantially at cutoff, as will be the grid.
screen current. The grid-screen mu factor is
numerically equal to the amplification factor Coefficients of In general it may be stated
of the same tetrode or pentode tube when Tetrodes and that the amplification factor
it is triode connected. Pentodes of tetrode and pentode tubes
is a coefficient which is not
Current Flow The following equation is the of much use to the designer. In fact the ampli-
in Tetrodes expression for total cathode cur- fication factor is seldom given on the design
and Pentodes rent in a triode tube. The ex- data sheets of such tubes. Its value is usually
pression for the total cathode very high, due to the relatively high plate
current of a tetrode and a pentode tube is the resistance of such tubes, but bears little
same, except that the screen-grid voltage and relationship to the stage gain which actually
the grid- screen JL- factor are used in place of will be obtained with such tubes.
the plate voltage and /L of the triode. On the other hand, the grid-plate transcon-
ductance is the most important coefficient of
Cathode current = K (Eg + Esg J pentode and tetrode tubes. Gain per stage can
be computed directly when the Gm is known.
/Lsg The grid-plate transconductance of a tetrode
Cathode current, of course, is the sum of the or pentode tube can be calculated through use
screen and plate current, plus control grid cur- of the expression:
rent in the event that the control grid is posi- MP
tive with respect to the cathode. It will be G --
noted that total cathode current is independent m-<'1Eg
of plate voltage in a tetrode or pentode. Also, with Esg and Ep constant.
in the usual tetrode or pentode the plate cur-
The plate resistance of such tubes is of
rent is substantially independent of plate
less importance than in the case of triodes,
voltage over the usual operating range- which
though it is often of value in determining the
means simply thar the effective plate resist-
amount of damping a tube will exert upon the
ance of such tubes is relatively high. How-
impedance in its plate circuit. Plate resist-
ever, when the plate voltage falls below the
ance is calculated from:
normal operating range, the plate current
falls sharply, while the screen current rises to <'1Ep
such a value that the total cathode current Rp = - -
remains substantially constant. Hence, the MP
screen grid in a tetrode or pentode will almost with Eg and Esg constant.
invariably be damaged by excessive dissipa-
tion if the plate voltage is removed while the 4-5 Mixer and Converter Tubes
screen voltage is still being applied from a
low-impedance source. The superheterodyne receiver always in-
80 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0





Figure 21
GRID STRUCTURE OF 6SA7 The degenerative action ol cathode lead in.
CONVERTER TUBE cluctance tends to reduce the effective grid~to
cathocle voltage with respect to the voltage
available across the Input tuned circuit. Cath-
ode lead ,.ncluctance also Introduces unclesir
eludes at least one stage for changing the able coupling between the Input and the out-
frequency of the incoming signal to the fixed put circuits.
frequency of the main intermediate amplifier
in the receiver. This frequency changing
process is accomplished by selecting the low, the local oscillator must furnish con-
beat-note difference frequency between a s~derabl~ power to the diode mixer. A good
locally generated oscillation and the incoming diode m1xer has an overall gain of about 0. 5.
signal frequency. If the oscillator signal is
supplied by a separate tube, the frequency
changing tube is called a mixer. Alternatively, The Triode Mixer A triode mixer has better
gain and a better noise figure
the oscillation may be generated by additional
elements within the frequency changer tube. than the diode mixer. At low frequencies, the
gain and noise figure of a triode mixer closely
In this case the frequency changer is common-
ly called a converter tube. approaches those figures obtained when the
tube is used as an amplifier. In the u-h-f and
v-h-f range, the efficiency of the triode mixer
Conversion The conversion conductance(Gc)
deteriorates rapidly. The optimum local oscil-
Conductance is a coefficient of interest in the
lator voltage for a triode mixer is about 0. 7 as
case of mixer or converter tubes,
large as the cutoff bias of the triode. Very
or of conventional triodes, tetrodes, or pen-
little local oscillator power is required by a
todes operating as frequency changers. The
triode mixer.
conversion conductance is the ratio of a
change in the signal-grid voltage at the input
Pentode Mixers and The most common multi-
frequency to a change in the output current at
Converter Tubes grid converter tube for
the converted frequency. Hence Gc in a mixer
broadcast or shortwave
is essentially the same as transconductance
use is the penta grid converter, typified by
in an amplifier, with the exception that the
the 6SA7, 6SB7-Y and 6BA7 tubes (figure 20).
input signal and the output current are on dif-
Operation of these converter tubes and pen to de
ferent frequencies. The value of Gc in con-
mixers will be covered in the Receiver Funda-
ventional mixer tubes is from 300 to 1000
mentals Chapter.
micromhos. The value of Gc in an amplifier
tube operated as a mixer is approximately 0.3
the Gm of the tube operated as an amplifier. 4-6 Electron Tubes at Very
The voltage gain of a mixer stage is equal to
High Frequencies
GcZL where ZL is the impedance of the plate
load into which the mixer tube operates.

The Diode Mixer The simplest mixer tube is As the frequency of operation of the usual
the diode. The noise figure, type of electron tube is increased above about
or figure of merit, for a mixer of this type is 20 Me., certain assumptions which are valid
not as good as that obtained with other more for operation at lower frequencies must be re-
complex mixers; however, the diode is useful examined. First, we find that lead inductances
as a mixer in u-h-f and v-h-f equipment where from the socket connections to the actual
low interelectrode capacities are vital to cir- elements within the envelope no longer are
cuit operation. Since the diode impedance is negligible. Second, we find that electron
HANDBOOK The Klystron 81

transit time no longer may be ignored; an increase rapidly as frequency is increased

appreciable fraction of a cycle of input signal above the value where they become just ap-
may be required for an electron to leave the preciable. These effects may be reduced by
cathode space charge, pass through the grid scaling down tube dimensions; a procedure
wires, and travel through the space between which also reduces lead inductance. Further,
grid and plate. transit-time effects may be reduced by the
obvious procedure of increasing electrode po-
Effects of The effect of lead induct- tentials so that electron velocity will be in-
Lead Inductance ance is two-fold. First, as creased. However, due to the law of electron-
shown in figure 21, the motion in an electric field, transit time is
combination of grid-lead inductance, grid- increased only as the square root of the ratio
cathode capacitance, and cathode lead induct- of operating potential increase; therefore this
ance tends to reduce the effective grid-cathode expedient is of limited value due to other
signal voltage for a constant voltage at the limitations upon operating voltages of small
tube terminals as the frequency is increased. electron tubes.
Second, cathode lead inductance tends to
introduce undesired coupling between the
various elements within the tube. 4-7 Special Microwave
Tubes especially designed for v-h-f and
u-h-f use have had their lead inductances Electron Tubes
minimized. The usual procedures for reducing
lead inductance are: ( 1) using heavy lead Due primarily to the limitation imposed by
conductors or several leads in parallel (ex- transit time, conventional negative-grid elec-
amples are the 6SH7 and 6AK5), (2) scaling tron tubes are capable of affording worthwhile
down the tube in all dimensions to reduce amplification and power output only up to a
both lead inductances and interelectrode definite upper frequency. This upper frequency
capacitances (examples are the 6AK5, 6F4, limit varies from perhaps 100 Me. for con-
and other acorn and miniature tubes), and (3) ventional tube types to about 4000 Me. for
the use of very low inductance extensions of specialized types such as the lighthouse tube.
the elements themselves as external connec- Above the limiting frequency, the conventional
tions (examples are lighthouse tubes such as negative-grid tube no longer is practicable and
the 2C40, oilcan tubes such as the 2C29, and recourse must be taken to totally different
many types of v-h-f transmitting tubes). types of electron tubes in which electron
transit time is not a limitation to operation.
Effect of When an electron tube is op- Three of the most important of such microwave
Transit Time erated at a frequency high tube types are the klystron, the magnetron, and
enough that electron transit the travelling wave tube.
time between cathode and plate is an ap-
preciable fraction of a cycle at the input fre- The Power Klystron The klystron is a type
quency, several undesirable effects take place. of electron tube in which
First, the grid takes power from the input electron transit time is used to advantage,
signal even though the grid is negative at all Such tubes comprise, as shown in figure 22,
times. This comes about since the grid will a cathode, a focussing electrode, a resonator
have changed its potential during the time connected to a pair of grids which afford
required for an electron to pass from cathode velocity modulation of the electron beam
to plate. Due to interaction, and a resulting (called the "buncher"), a drift space, and
phase difference between the field associated another resonator connected to a pair of grids
with the grid and that associated with a mov- (called the "catcher"). A collector for the
ing electron, the grid presents a resistance to expended electrons may be included at the
an input signal in addition to its normal end of the tube, or the catcher may also per-
"cold" capacitance. Further, as a result of form the function of electron collection.
this action, plate current no longer is in phase The tube operates in the following manner:
with grid voltage. The cathode emits a stream of electrons which
An amplifier stage operating at a frequency is focussed into a beam by the focussing
high enough that transit time is appreciable: electrode. The stream passes through the
(a) Is difficult to excite as a result of grid buncher where it is acted upon by any field
loss from the equivalent input grid resistance, existing between the two grids of the buncher
(b) Is capable of less output since trans- cavity. When the potential between the two
conductance is reduced and plate current is grids is zero, the stream passes through with-
not in phase with grid voltage. out change in velocity. But when the potential
The effects of transit time increase with the between the two grids of the buncher is in-
square of the operating frequency, and they creasingly positive in the direction of electron
82 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

600-2~\1. +

f111.5 VAC

Figure 22
A conventional two-cavity klystron Is shown
with a feedback loop connected between the
two cavities so that the tube may be used as A conventional reflex klystron oscillator of
on oscillator. the type commonly usecJ as a local oscillator
in superheterodyne receivers operating above
about 2000 Me. is shown above. Frequency
moclulation of the output frequency of the oscil-
motion, the velocity of the electrons in the lator, or a-f-c operation in a receiver, may be
beam is increased. Conversely, when the field obtainecJ by varying the negative voltage on the
becomes increasingly negative in the direction repeller electrocle.
of the beam (corresponding to the other half
cycle of the exciting voltage from that which
produced electron acceleration) the velocity
of the electrons in the beam is decreased. carried on mechanically in some klystrons by
When the velocity-modulated electron beam altering (by means of knob settings) the shape
reaches the drift space, where there is no field, of the resonant cavity.
those electrons which have been sped up on
one half-cycle overtake those immediately The Reflex Klystron The two-cavity klystron
ahead which were slowed down on the other as described in the pre-
half-cycle. In this way, the beam electrons be- ceding paragraphs is primarily used as a trans-
come bunched together. As the bunched groups mitting device since quite reasonable amounts
pass through the two grids of the catcher of power are made available in its output cir-
cavity, they impart pulses of energy to these cuit. However, for applications where a much
grids. The catcher grid-space is charged to smaller amount of power is required- power
different voltage levels by the passing electron levels in the milliwatt range- for low-power
bunches, and a corresponding oscillating field transmitters, receiver local oscillators, etc.,
is set up in the catcher cavity. The catcher is another type of klystron having only a single
designed to resonate at the frequency of the cavity is more frequently used.
velocity-modulated beam, or at a harmonic of The theory of operation of the single-cavity
this frequency. klystron is essentially the same as the multi-
In the klystron amplifier, energy delivered cavity type with the exception that the veloc-
by the buncher to the catcher grids is greater ity-modulated electron beam, after having left
than that applied to the buncher cavity by the the "buncher" cavity is reflected back into
input signal. In the klystron oscillator a feed- the area of the buncher again by a repeller
back loop connects the two cavities. Coupling electrode as illustrated in figure 23. The
to either buncher or catcher is provided by potentials on the various electrodes are ad-
small loops which enter the cavities by way of justed to the value such that proper bunching
concentric lines. of the electron beam will take place just as a
The klystron is an electron-coupled device. particular portion of the velocity-modulated
When used as an oscillator, its output voltage beam reenters the area of the resonant cavity.
is rich in harmonics. Klystron oscillators of Since this type of klystron has only one circuit
various types afford power outputs ranging it can be used only as an oscillator and not as
from less than 1 watt to many thousand watts. an amplifier. Effective modulation of the fre-
Operating efficiency varies between 5 and 30 quency of a single-cavity klystron for FM
per cent. Frequency may be shifted to some work can be obtained by modulating the re-
extent by varying the beam voltage. Tuning is peller electrode voltage.
HANDBOOK The Magnetron 83



Figure 25
An external tank circuit Is usetl with this type
of magnetron oscillator for operation In the
lower u-h-1 range.
Figure 24
VHF PLANAR TRIODE TUBE In its simplest form the magnetron tube is a
filament-type diode with two half-cylindrical
The 416-B, clesignecl by the Bell
Telephone Laboratories is intenclecl plates or anodes situated coaxially with re-
for amplifier or frequency multiplier spect to the filament. The construction is
service in the 4000 me region. Em- illustrated in figure 25A. The anodes of the
ploying gricl wires having a diameter magnetron are connected to a resonant circuit
equal to fifteen wavelengths of light, as illustrated on figure 25B. The tube is sur-
the 416-B has a tronsconc/uctonce of round~d by an electromagnet coil which, in
50,000. Spacing between gricl one/ turn, 1s connected to a low-voltage d-e ener-
cathode is .0005, to reduce transit gizing source through a rheostat R for control-
time effects. Entire tube is gofc/ p/atecl.
ling the strength of the magnetic field. The
field coil is oriented so that the lines of
magnetic force it sets up are parallel to the
axis of the electrodes.
The Magnetron The magnetron is an s-h-f Under the influence of the strong magnetic
oscillator tube normally em- field, electrons leaving the filament are de-
ployed where very high values of peak power flected from their normal paths and move in
or moderate amounts of average power are circular orbits within the anode cylinder. This
required in the range from perhaps 700 Me. effect results in a negative resistance which
to 30,000 Me. Special magnetrons were de- sustains oscillations. The oscillation fre-
vel_oped for wartime use in radar equipments quency is very nearly the value determined by
whtch had peak power capabilities of several L and C. In other magnetron circuits, the fre-
million watts (megawatts) output at frequen- quency may be governed by the electron rota-
cies in the vicinity of 3000 Me. The normal tion, no external tuned circuits being em-
duty cycle of operation of these radar equip- ployed. Wavelengths of less than I centi-
ments was approximately I/10 of one per meter have been produced with such circuits.
cent (the tube operated about I/1000 of the More complex magnetron tubes employ no
time and rested for the balance of the operat- external tuned circuit, but utilize instead one
ing period) so that the average power output or more resonant cavities which are integral
of these magnetrons was in the vicinity of with the anode structure. Figure 26 shows a
1000 watts. magnetron of this type having a multi-cellular
84 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0






Figure 27
MODERN MULTI-CAVITY MAGNETRON Operation ol this tube is the result of inter-
lllustratec:l Is an external-anode strapped mag action between the electron beam and wave
travelling along the helix.
netron of the type commonly usee/ in radar equip
ment for the 10-cm, range. A permanent magnet
of the general type used with such a magnetron
is shown in the right-hand portion of the drawing,
with the magnetron in place between the pole electron tube which permits the visual observa-
pieces of the magnet. tion of electrical signals. It may be incorpo-
rated into an oscilloscope for use as a test
instrument or it may be the display device for
anode of eight cavities. It will be noted, also, radar equipment or a television receiver.
that alternate cavities (which would operate at
the same polarity when the tube is oscillating) Operation of A cathode-ray tube always in-
are strapped together. Strapping was found to the CRT eludes an electron gun for pro-
improve the efficiency and stability of high- ducing a stream of electrons, a
power radar magnetrons. In most radar appli- grid for controlling the intensity of the elec-
cations of magnetron oscillators a powerful tron beam, and a luminescent screen for con-
permanent magnet of controlled characteristics verting the impinging electron beam into visi-
is employed to supply the magnetic field ble light. Such a tube always operates in con-
rather than the use of an electromagnet. junction with either a built-in or an external
means for focussing the electron stream into a
The Travelling The Travelling Wave Tube narrow beam, and a means for deflecting the
Wave Tube (figure 27) consists of a helix electron beam in accordance with an electrical
located within an evacuated signal.
envelope. Input and output terminations are The main electrical difference between
affixed to each end of the helix. An electron types of cathode-ray tubes lies in the means
beam passes through the helix and interacts employed for focussing and deflecting the
with a wave travelling along the helix to pro- electron beam. The beam may be focussed
duce broad band amplification at microwave and/ or deflected either electrostatically or
frequencies. magnetically, since a stream of electrons can
When the input signal is applied to the gun be acted upon either by an electrostatic or a
end of the helix, it travels along the helix wire magnetic field. In an electrostatic field the
at approximately the speed of light. However, electron beam tends to be deflected toward the
the signal velocity measured along the axis positive termination of the field (figure 28).
of the helix is considerably lower. The elec- In a magnetic field the stream tends to be
trons emitted by the cathode gun pass axially deflected at right angles to the field. Further,
through the helix to the collector, located at an electron beam tends to be deflected so that
the output end of the helix. The average veloc- it is normal (perpendicular) to the equipotential
ity of the electrons depends upon the potential lines of an electrostatic field- and it tends to
of the collector with respect to the cathode. be deflected so that it is parallel to the lines
When the average velocity of the electrons is of force in a magnetic field.
greater than the velocity of the helix wave, Large cathode-ray tubes used as kinescopes
the electrons become crowded together in the in television receivers usually are both focused
various regions of retarded field, where they and deflected magnetically. On the other hand,
impart energy to the helix wave. A power gain the medium-size CR tubes used in oscillo-
of 100 or more may be produced by this tube. scopes and small television receivers usually
are both focused and deflected electrostat-
4-8 The Cathode-Ray Tube ically. But CR tubes for special applications
may be focused magnetically and deflected
The Cathode-Ray Tube The cathode-ray tube electrostatically or vice versa.
is a special type of There are advantages and disadvantages to
HANDBOOK The Cathode Ray Tube 85

anode, A, which is operated at a high positive

potential. In some tubes this electrode is oper
ated at a higher potential than the first accel-
erating electrode, H, while in other tubes both
accelerating electrodes are operated at the
same potential.
The electrodes which have been described
up to this point constitute the electron gun,
which produces the free electrons and focusses
Figure 28 them into a slender, concentrated, rapidly-
TYPICAL ELECTROSTATIC traveling stream for projecting onto the view
CATHODE-RAY TUBE ing screen.

Electrostatic To make the tube useful, means

both types of focussing and deflection. How Deflection must be provided for deflecting
ever, it may be stated that electrostatic deflec the electron beam along two axes
tion is much better than magnetic deflection at right angles to each other. The more com
when high-frequency waves are to be displayed mon tubes employ electrostatic deflection
on the screen; hence the almost universal use plates, one pair to exert a force on the beam
of this type of deflection for oscillographic in the vertical plane and one pair to exert a
work. But when a tube is operated at a high force in the horizontal plane. These plates
value of accelerating potential so as to obtain are designated as B and C in figure 28.
a bright display on the face of the tube as for Standard oscilloscope practice with small
television or radar work, the use of magnetic cathode-ray tubes calls for connecting one of
deflection becomes desirable since it is rela the B plates and one of the C plates together
tively easier to deflect a high-velocity electron and to the high voltage accelerating anode.
beam magnetically than electrostatically. With the newer three-inch tubes and with five
However, an ion trap is required with mag inch tubes and larger, all four deflecting plates
netic deflection since the heavy negative ions are commonly used for deflection. The positive
emitted by the cathode are not materially de high voltage is grounded, instead of the nega-
fleeted by the magnetic field and hence would tive as is common practice in amplifiers, etc.,
burn an "ion spot" in the center of the lumi- in order to permit operation of the deflecting
nescent screen. With electrostatic deflection plates at a d-e potential at or near ground.
the heavy ions are deflected equally as well An Aquadag coating is applied to the inside
as the electrons in the beam so that an ion of the envelope to attract any secondary elec
spot is not formed. trons emitted by the flourescent screen.
In the average electrostatic-deflection CR
Construction of The construction of a typical tube the spot will be fairly well centered if all
Electrostatic CRT electrostatic-focus, electro- four deflection plates are returned to the po
static-deflection cathode-ray tential of the second anode (ground). How-
tube is illustrated in the pictorial diagram of ever, for accurate centering and to permit mov-
figure 28. The indirectly heated cathode K re- ing the entire trace either horizontally or
leases free electrons when heated by the vertically to permit display of a particular
enclosed filament. The cathode is surrounded waveform, horizontal and vertical centering
by a cylinder G, which has a small hole in its controls usually are provided on the front of
front for the passage of the electron stream. the oscilloscope.
Although this element is not a wire mesh as After the spot is once centered, It IS neces-
is the usual grid, it is known by the same sary only to apply a positive or negative volt-
name because its action is similar: it controls age (with respect to ground) to one of the
the electron stream when its negative potential ungrounded or "free" deflector plates in order
is varied. to move the spot. If the voltage is positive
Next in order, is found the first accelerating with respect to ground, the beam will be
anode, H, which resembles another disk or attracted toward that deflector plate, while if
cylinder with a small hole in its center. This negative the beam and spot will be repulsed.
electrode is run at a high or moderately high The amount of deflection is directly propor
positive voltage, to accelerate the electrons tiona! to the voltage (with respect to ground)
towards the far end of the tube. that is applied to the free electrode.
The focussing electrode, F, is a sleeve With the larger-screen higher-voltage tubes
which usually contains two small disks, each it becomes necessary to place deflecting volt-
with a small hole. age on both horizontal and both vertical plates.
After leaving the focussing electrode, the This is done for two reasons: First, the amount
electrons pass through another accelerating of deflection voltage required by the high-
86 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

Figure 29

voltage tubes is so great that a transmitting

tube operating from a high voltage supply Figure 30
would be required to attain this voltage with- Two pairs of coils arranged for electro
out distortion. By using push-pull deflection magnetic deflection in two directions.
with two tubes feeding the deflection plates,
the necessary plate supply voltage for the de-
flection amplifier is halved. Second, a certain the current flowing in the coil may be varied.
amount of de-focussing of the electron stream A second pair of coils, the deflection coils
is always present on the extreme excursions in are mounted at right angles to each other
deflection voltage when this voltage is applied around the neck of the tube. In some cases,
only to one deflecting plate. When the de- these coils can rotate around the axis of the
flecting voltage is fed in push-pull to both tube.
deflecting plates in each plane, there is no de- Two anodes are used for accelerating the
focussing because the average voltage acting electrons from the cathode to the screen. The
on the electron stream is zero, even though the second anode is a graphite coating (Aquadag)
net voltage (which causes the deflection) on the inside of the glass envelope. The func-
acting on the stream is twice that on either tion of this coating is to attract any secondary
plate. electrons emitted by the flourescent screen,
The fact that the beam is deflected by a and also to shield the electron beam.
magnetic field is important even in an oscillo- In some types of electromagnetic tubes, a
scope which employs a tube using electro- first, or accelerating anode is also used in
static deflection, because it means that pre- addition to the Aquadag.
cautions must be taken to protect the tube from
the transformer fields and sometimes even the
Electromagnetic A magnetic field will deflect
earth's magnetic field. This normally is done
Deflection an electron beam in a direc-
by incorporating a magnetic shield around the
tion which is at right angles
tube and by placing any transformers as far
to both the direction of the field and the direc-
from the tube as possible, oriented to the posi- tion of motion of the beam.
tion which produces minimum effect upon the
In the general case, two pairs of deflection
electron stream.
coils are used (figure 30). One pair is for
horizontal deflection, and the other pair is for
Construction of Electro- The electromagnetic
vertical deflection. The two coils in a pair
magnetic CRT cathode-ray tube allows
are connected in series and are wound in such
greater definition than
directions that the magnetic field flows from
does the electrostatic tube. Also, electro-
one coil, through the electron beam to the
magnetic definition has a number of advan-
other coil. The force exerted on the beam by
tages when a rotating radial sweep is required
the field moves it to any point on the screen
to give polar indications.
by application of the proper currents to these
The production of the electron beam in an
electromagnetic tube is essentially the same
as in the electrostatic tube. The grid structure
is similar, and controls the electron beam in The Trace The human eye retains an image
an identical manner. The elements of a typical for about one-sixteenth second
electromagnetic tube are shown in figure 29. after viewing. In a CRT, the spot can be
The focus coil is wound on an iron core which moved so quickly that a series of adjacent
may be moved along the neck of the tube to spots can be made to appear as a line, if the
focus the electron beam. For final adjustment, beam is swept over the path fast enough. As
HANDBOOK Gas Tubes 87

long as the electron beam strikes in a given Mercury Vapor Mercury-vapor tubes, although
place at least sixteen times a second, the Tubes very widely used, have the
spot will appear to the human eye as a source disadvantage that they must be
of continuous light with very little flicker. operated within a specific temperature range
(25 to 70 C.) in order that the mercury vapor
Screen Materials- At least five types of lumi- pressure within the tube shall be within the
"Phasphars" nescent screen materials proper range. If the temperature is too low,
are commonly available on the drop across the tube becomes too high
the various types of CR tubes commercially causing immediate overheating and possible
available. These screen materials are called damage to the elements. If the temperature is
phosphors; each of the five phosphors is best too high, the vapor pressure is too high, and
suited to a particular type of application. The the voltage at which the tube will "flash back"
P-1 phosphor, which has a green flourescence is lowered to the point where destruction of
with medium persistence, is almost invariably the tube may take place. Since the ambient
used for oscilloscope tubes for visual observa- temperature range specified above is within
tion. The P-4 phosphor, with white fluores- the normal room temperature range, no trouble
cence and medium persistence, is used on will be encountered under normal operating
television viewing tubes ("Kinescopes"). The conditions. However, by the substitution of
P-5 and P-ll phosphors, with blue fluores- xenon gas for mercury it is possible to pro-
cence and very short persistence, are used duce a rectifier with characteristics comparable
primarily in oscilloscopes where photographic to those of the mercury-vapor tube except that
recording of the trace is to be obtained. The the tube is capable of operating over the range
P-7 phosphor, which has a blue flash and a from approximately -70 to 90 C. The 3B25
long-persistence greenish-yellow persistence, rectifier is an example of this type of tube.
is used primarily for radar displays where
retention of the image for several seconds Thyratron If a grid is inserted between the ca-
after the initial signal display is required. Tubes thode and plate of a mercury-vapor
gaseous-conduction rectifier, a neg-
ative potential placed upon the added element
will increase the plate-to-cathode voltage drop
4-9 Gas Tubes
required before the tube will ionize or "fire."
The potential upon the control grid will have
no effect on the plate-to-cathode drop after the
The space charge of electrons in the vicinity tube has ionized. However, the grid voltage
of the cathode in a diode causes the plate-to- may be adjusted to such a value that conduc-
cathode voltage drop to be a function of the tion will take place only over the desired
current being carried between the cathode and portion of the cycle of the a-c voltage being
the plate. This voltage drop can be rather high impressed upon the plate of the rectifier.
when large currents are being passed, causing
a considerable amount of energy loss which
shows up as plate dissipation. Voltage Regulator In a glow-discharge gas tube
Tubes the voltage drop across the
electrodes remains constant
Action of The negative space charge can over a wide range of current passing through
Positive Ions be neutralized by the presence the tube. This property exists because the
of the proper density of positive degree of ionization of the gas in the tube
ions in the space between the cathode and varies with the amount of current passing
anode. The positive ions may be obtained by through the tube. When a large current is
the introduction of the proper amount of gas or passed, the gas is highly ionized and the
a small amount of mercury into the envelope of internal impedance of the tube is low. When a
the tube. When the voltage drop across the small current is passed, the gas is lightly
tube reaches the ionization potential of the ionized and the internal impedance of the tube
gas or mercury vapor, the gas molecules will is high. Over the operating range of the tube,
become ionized to form positive ions. The the product (IR) of the current through the tube
positive ions then tend to neutralize the space and the internal impedance of the tube is very
charge in the vicinity of the cathode. The volt- nearly constant. Examples of this type of tube
age drop across the tube then remains constant are VR-150, VR-105 and the old 874.
at the ionization potential of the gas up to a
current drain equal to the maximum emission Vacuum Tube Vacuum tubes are grouped into
capability of the cathode. The voltage drop Classification three major classifications:
varies between 10 and 20 volts, depending commercial, ruggedized, and
upon the particular gas employed, up to the premium (or reliable). Any one of these three
maximum current rating of the tube. groups may also be further classified for
88 Vacuum Tube Principles THE R AD I 0

military duty (JAN classification). To qualify
for JAN classification, sample lots of the

IP= 2..5MA.

particular tube must have passed special 60

qualification tests at the factory. It should not

be construed that a JAN-type tube is better 60
than a commercial tube, since some commercial
tests and specifications are more rigid than .l.J 40 L
the corresponding JAN specifications. The
JAN-stamped tube has merely been accepted 20 /
under a certain set of conditions for military
service. 0
0 10 2.0 30 40 50 60

Ruggedized or Radio tubes ate being used in Figure 32

Premium Tubes increasing numbers for indus- AMPLIFICATION FACTOR 0 F TYPICAL MODE
trial applications, such as TUBE DROPS RAPIDLY AS PLATE VOLTAGE
computing and control machinery, and in avia- IS DECREASED BELOW 20 VOLTS
tion and marine equipment. When a tube fails
in a home radio receiver, it is merely incon- operate under conditions of vibration for many
venient, but a tube failure in industrial appli- hours. The tubes may be identified in many
cations may bring about stoppage of some vital cases by the fact that their nomenclature in-
process, resulting in financial loss, or even cludes a "W" in the type number, as in 807W,
danger to life. 5U4W, etc. Some ruggedized tubes are included
To meet the demands of these industrial in the "5000" series nomenclature. The 5654
applications, a series of tubes was evolved is a ruggedized version of the 6AK5, the 5692
incorporating many special features designed is a ruggedized version of the 6SN7, etc.
to ensure a long and pre-determined operating
life, and uniform characteristics among similar
tubes. Such tubes are known as ruggedized or 4-10 Miscellaneous Tube Types
premium tubes. Early attempts to select re-

FLUORESCENT ANODE Electron The electron-ray tube or magic eye
Ray Tubes contains two sets of elements, one
ELECTRODE of which is a triode amplifier and
CATHODES the other a cathode-ray indicator. The plate of
the triode section is internally connected to
Figure 31
the ray-control electrode (figure 31), so that
as the plate voltage varies in accordance with
the applied signal the voltage on the ray-control
electrode also varies. The ray-control electrode
liable specimens of tubes trom ordinary stock
is a metal cylinder so placed relative to the
tubes proved that in the long run the selected
tubes were no better than tubes picked at cathode that it deflects some of the electrons
random. Long life and ruggedness had to be emitted from the cathode. The electrons which
built into the tubes by means of proper choice strike the anode cause it to fluoresce, or give
and 100% inspection of all materials used in off light, so that the deflection caused by the
the tube, by critical processing inspection and ray-control electrode, which prevents electrons
assembling, and by conservative ratings of the from striking part of the anode, produces a
tube. wedge-shaped electrical shadow on the fluores-
Pure tungsten wire is used for heaters in cent anode. The size of this shadow is deter-
preference to alloys of lower tensile strength. mined by the voltage on the ray-electrode. When
Nickel tubing is employed around the heater this electrode is at the same potential as the
wires at the junction to the stem wires to fluorescent anode, the shadow disappears; if
reduce breakage at this point. Element struc- the ray-electrode is less positive than the
tures are given extra supports and bracing. anode, a shadow appears the width of which
Finally, all tubes are given a 50 hour test run is proportional to the voltage on the ray-elec-
under full operating conditions to eliminate
trode. Magic eye tubes may be used as tuning
early failures. When operated within their
indicators, and as balance indicators in electri
ratings, ruggedized or premium tubes should
provide a life well in excess of 10,000 hours. cal bridge circuits. If the angle of shadow is
Ruggedized tubes will withstand severe calibrated, the eye tube may be used as a volt-
impact shocks for short periods, and will meter where rough measurements suffice.
HANDBOOK Miscellaneous 89


1/ I


-10 -8
- 4

Figure 33

Controlled Series heater strings are employed and by altering the electrode geometry a series
Warm-up in ac-dc radio receivers and tele- of low voltage tubes has been developed by
Tubes vision sets to reduce the cost, Tung-Sol that effectively perform with all elec-
size, and weight of the equipment. trodes energized by a 12-volt system. With a
Voltage surges of great magnitude occur in suitable power output transistor, this makes
series operated filaments because of variations possible an automobile radio without a vibrator
in the rate of warm-up of the various tubes. power supply. A special space-charge tube
As the tubes warm up, the heater resistance (12K5) has been developed that delivers 40
changes. This change is not the same between milliwatts of audio power with a 12 volt plate
tubes of various types, or even between tubes supply (figure 33).
of the same type made by different manu-
facturers. Some 6-volt tubes show an initial Foreign The increased number of imported
surge as high as 9-volts during warm-up, while Tubes radios and high-fidelity equipment
slow-heating tubes such as the 25BQ6 are have brought many foreign vacuum
underheated during the voltage surge on the tubes into the United States. Many of these
6-volt tubes. tubes are comparable to, or interchangeable
with standard American tubes. A complete
Standardization of heater characteristics in
listing of the electrical characteristics and
a new group of tubes designed for series heater
base connection diagrams of all general-pur-
strings has eliminated this trouble. The new
pose tubes made in all tube-producing coun-
tubes have either 600 rna. or 400 rna. heaters,
tries outside the "Iron Curtain" is contained
with a controlled warm-up time of approximately
in the Radio Tube Vade Mecum (norld's Radio
11 seconds. The 5U8, 6CG7, and 12BH7-A are
Tubes) available at most larger radio parts
examples of controlled warm-up tubes.
jobbers for $5.00, or by mail from the publish-
Low Introduction of the 12-volt ignition ers of this Handbook at $5.50 postpaid. The
Plate system 10 American automobiles Equivalent Tubes Vade Mecum (ltorld's Equiv-
Potential has brought about the design of a alent Tubes) available at the same prices
Tubes series of tubes capable of operation gives all replacement tubes for a given type,
with a plate potential of 12-14 both exact and near-equivalents (with points
volts. Standard tubes perform poorly at low of difference detailed). (Data on TV and spe-
plate potentials, as the amplification factor cial-purpose tubes if needed is contained in
of the tube drops rapidly as the plate voltage a companion volume Television Tubes Vade
is decreased (figure 32). Contact potential Mecum).
effects, and change of characteristics with
variations of filament voltage combine to make
operation at low plate potentials even more
By employing special processing techniques

Transistors and

One of the earliest detection devices used 5-1 Atomic Structure of

in radio was the galena crystal, a crude ex- Germanium and Silicon
ample of a semiconductor. More modern ex-
amples of semiconductors are the copper- It has been previously stated that the elec-
oxide rectifier, the selenium rectifier and the trons in an element having a large atomic
germanium diode. All of these devices offer number are grouped into rings, each ring hav-
the interesting property of greater resistance ing a definite number of electrons. Atoms in
to the flow of electrical current in one direc- which these rings are completely filled are
tion than in the opposite direction. Typical called inert gases, of which helium and argon
conduction curves for these semiconductors are examples. All other elements have one or
are shown in Figure 1. The copper oxide recti- more incomplete rings of electrons. If the in-
fier action results from the function of a thin complete ring is loosely bound, the electrons
film of cuprous oxide formed upon a pure cop- may be easily removed, the element is called
per disc. This film offers low resistance for metallic, and is a conductor of electric current.
positive voltages, and high resistance for If the incomplete ring is tightly bound, with
negative voltages. The same action is ob- only a few missing electrons, the element is
served in selenium rectifiers, where a film of called non-metallic and is an insulator of elec-
selenium is deposited on an iron surface. tric current. Germanium and silicon fall be-
tween these two sharply defined groups, and
10 exhibit both metallic and non-metallic char-

I acteristics. Pure germanium or silicon may be

considered to be a good insulator. The addition

I 1 N34
CRYISTAL DIIOE }_ of certain impurities in carefully controlled
amounts to the pure germanium will alter the
conductivity of the material. In addition, the
choice of the impurity can change the direction
f5 30
of conductivity through the crystal, some im-
.J 2 0
I purities increasing conductivity to positive volt-
ages, and others increasing conductivity to neg-
:l! ative voltages.

5-2 Mechanism of
-o. 1
/ Conduction
-o .
-0 .

-4o 30 20 - 10
As indicated by their name, semiconductors
are substances which have a conductivity
intermediate between the high values observed
for metals and the low values observed for in-
Figure lA
TYPICAL CHARACTERISTIC CURVE sulating materials. The mechanism of conduc-
OF SEMI-CONDUCTOR DIODE tion in semiconductors is different from that

Transistors 91

observed in metallic conductors. There exist

in semiconductors both negatively charged
electrons and positively charged particles,
called holes, which behave as though they
had a positive electrical charge equal in mag-
nitude to the negative electrical charge on
the electron. These holes and electrons drift
in an electrical field with a velocity which is
proportional to the field itself:
vd. = p.E
where vdh = drift velocity of hole
E = magnitude of electric field
p. = mobility of hole
In an electric field the holes will drift in a
direction opposite to that of the electron and
with about one-half the velocity, since the
hole mobility is about one-half the electron
mobility. A sample of a semiconductor, such as
---c::J>=. germanium or silicon, which is both chemically
pure and mechanically perfect will contain in it
==-==IQF==~ approximately equal numbers of holes and elec-
r Color Band8 trons and is called an intrinsic semiconductor.
Gluo The intrinsic resistivity of the semiconductor
----ic::::Jif---- depends strongly upon the temperature, being
about 50 ohm/em. for germanium at room
....... temperature. The intrinsic resistivity of silicon
is about 65,000 ohm/em. at the same temper-
TUBE, GERMANIUM, SILICON If, in the growing of the semiconductor crys-
tal, a small amount of an impurity, such as
phosphorous, arsenic or antimony is included
in the crystal, each atom of the impurity con-
Figure 1-B tributes one free electron. This electron is
AND MARKINGS ARE SHOWN available for conduction. The crystal is said
IN ABOVE CHART to be doped and has become electron-conduct-



Figure 2A Figure 2B
92 Transistors and Semi-Conductors THE RADIO




Figure 4

Figure 3
CONSTRUCTION DETAIL OF A Types of Transistors There are two basic
POINT CONTACT TRANSISTOR types of transistors, the
point-contact type and the junction type (fig-
ure 2). Typical construction detail of a point-
ing in nature and is called N (negative) type contact transistor is shown in Figure 3, and
germanium. The impurities which contribute the electrical symbol is shown in Figure 4. The
electrons are called donors. N-type germanium emitter and collector electrodes make contact
has better conductivity than pure germanium in with a small block of germanium, called the
one direction, and a continuous stream of elec- base. The base may be either N-type or P-type
trons will flow through the crystal in this direc- germanium, and is approximately .05" long
tion as long as an external potential of the and .03" thick. The emitter and collector elec-
correct polarity is applied across the crystal. trodes are fine wires, and are spaced about
Other impurities, such as amminum, gal- .005" apart on the germanium base. The com-
lium or indium add one hole to the semicon- plete assembly is usually encapsulated in a
ducting crystal by accepting one electron for small, plastic case to provide ruggedness and
each atom of impurity, thus creating additional to avoid contaminating effects of the atmos-
holes in the semiconducting crystal. The ma- phere. The polarity of emitter and collector
terial is now said to be hole-conducting, or P voltages depends upon the type of germanium
(positive! type germanium. The impurities employed in the base, as illustrated in figure 4.
which create holes are called acceptors. P-type The junction transistor consists of a piece
germanium has better conductivity than pure of either N-type or P-type germanium between
germanium in one direction. This direction is two wafers of germanium of the opposite type.
opposite to that of the N-type material. Either Either N-P-N or P-N-P transistors may be
the N-type or the P-type germanium is called made. In one construction called the grown
extrinsic conducting type. The doped materials crystal process, the original crystal, grown
have lower resistivities than the pure materials, from molten germanium or silicon, is created
and doped semiconductors in the resistivity in such a way as to have the two closely spaced
range of .01 to 10 ohm/em. are normally used junctions imbedded in it. In the other con-
in the production of transistors. struction called the fusion process, the crystals
are grown so as to make them a single con-
5-3 The Transistor ductivity type. The junctions are then pro-
duced by fusing small pellets of special metal
In the past few years an entire new tech- alloys into minute plates cut from the original
nology has been developed for the application crystal. Typical construction detail of a junction
of certain semiconducting materials in produc- transistor is shown in figure 2A.
tion of devices having gain properties. These The electrical schematic for the P-N-P junc-
gain properties were previously found only in tion transistor is the same as for the point-
vacuum tubes. The elements germanium and contact type, as is shown in figure 4.
silicon are the principal materials which ex-
hibit the proper semiconducting properties per- Transistor Action Presently available types of
mitting their application in the new ampli- transistors have three es-
fying devices called transistors. However, sential actions which collectively are called
other semiconducting materials, including the transistor action. These are: minority carrier
compounds indium antimonide and lead sulfide injection, transport, and collection. Figure 2B
have been used experimentally in the produc- shows a simplified drawing of a P-N-P junc-
tion of transistors. tion-type transistor, which can illustrate this
HANDBOOK Transistors 93

collective action. The P-N-P transistor con- Alpha Cutoff The alpha cutoff frequency of
sists of a piece of N-type germanium on op- Frequency a transistor is that frequency
posite sides of which a layer of P-type mate- at which the grounded base
rial has been grown by the fusion process. current gain has decreased to 0. 7 of the gain
Terminals are connected to the two P-sections obtained at 1 kc. For audio transistors, the
and to the N-type base. The transistor may be alpha cutoff frequency is in the region of 0. 7
considered as two P-N junction rectifiers Me. to 1.5 Me. For r-f and switching transis-
placed in close juxaposition with a semi- tors, the alpha cutoff frequency may be 5 Me.
conduction crystal coupling the two rectifiers or higher. The upper frequency limit of oper-
together. The left-hand terminal is biased in ation of the transistor is determined by the
the forward (or conducting) direction and is small but finite time it takes the majority car-
called the emitter. The right-hand terminal is rier to move from one electrode to another.
biased in the back (or reverse) direction and
is called the collector The operating potentials Drift Transistors As previously noted, the
are chosen with respect to the base terminal, signal current 10 a con-
which may or may not be grounded. If an ventional transistor is transmitted across the
N-P-N transistor is used in place of the P-N-P, base region by a diffusion process. The transit
the operating potentials are reversed. time of the carriers across this region is, there-
The P. - Nb junction on the left is biased fore relatively long. RCA has developed a
in the forward direction and holes from the technique for the manufacture of transistors
P region are injected into the Nb region, pro- which does not depend upon diffusion for
ducing therein a concentration of holes sub- transmission of the signal across the base re-
stantially greater than normally present in the gion. Transistors featuring this new process are
material. These holes travel across the base known as drift transistors. Diffusion of charge
region towards the collector, attracting neigh- carriers across the base region is eliminated and
boring electrons, finally increasing the avail- the carriers are propelled across the region by
able supply of conducting electrons in the a ""built in" electric field. The resulting reduc-
collector loop. As a result, the collector loop tion of transit time of the carrier permits drift
possesses lower resistance whenever the emit- transistors to be used at much higher fre-
ter circuit is in operation. In junction tran- quencies than transistors of conventional de-
sistors this charge transport is by means of sign.
diffusion wherein the charges move from a The "built in" electric field is in the base
region of high concentration to a region of region of the drift transistor. This field is
lower concentration at the collector. The col- achieved by utilizing an impurity density
lector, biased in the opposite direction, acts which varies from one side of the base to the
as a sink for these holes, and is said to col- other. The impurity density is high next to
lect them. the emitter and low next to the collector. Thus,
It is known that any rectifier biased in the there are more mobile electrons in the region
forward direction has a very low internal im- near the emitter than in the region near the
pedance, whereas one biased in the back direc- collector, and they will try to diffuse evenly
tion has a very high internal impedance. Thus, throughout the base. However, any displace-
current flows into the transistor in a low im- ment of the negative charge leaves a positive
pedance circuit, and appears at the output as charge in the region from which the electrons
current flowing in a high impedance circuit. came, because every atom of the base material
The ratio of a change in collector current to was originally electrically neutral. The dis-
a change in emitter current is called the current placement of the charge creates an electric
amplification, or alpha: field that tends to prevent further electron dif-
fusion so that a condition of equilibrium is
lc reached. The direction of this field is such as
ie to prevent electron diffusion from the high
density area near the emitter to the low density
where a= current amplification
area near the collector. Therefore, holes enter-
ic = change in collector current ing the base will be accelerated from the emit-
ie = change in emitter current ter to the collector by the electric field. Thus
Values of alpha up to 3 or so may be ob- the diffusion of charge carriers across the base
tained in commercially available point-contact region is augmented by the built-in electric
transistors, and values of alpha up to about field. A potential energy diagram for a drift
0.95 are obtainable in junction transistors. transistor is shown in figure 5.
94 Transistors and Semi-Conductors THE RADIO

-- --
~ rs: ~ ...-
fv ~ p. f--

-- --
1--" ~ ~
1--" ~~




~ -- -
,...- f--
1-- ~
1--" ~
!------ ~

= 1-tr
\0 20 30 40
so eo 70

Figure 5
POTENTIAL ENERGY DIAGRAM 100,---.----.---,----,---.----.---.---.

~ 40~--+---~~~~~~~4---~+--4--~
5-4 Transistor ...:
Characteristics ~ ~---r~~--~~~~~-+--~----+-=-~
The transistor produces results that may be 32o~--+-f--r~~---..f-~~~~---47L~
comparable to a vacuum tube, but there is a "'
~ I0~-,~--~---4~--r-~~--~c-.~--~
basic difference between the two devices. The Q.
vacuum tube is a voltage controlled device
7~ 100 125 150 200
whereas the transistor is a current controlled PLATE VOLTS
device. A vacuum tube normally operates with
its grid biased in the negative or high resist-
ance direction, and its plate biased in the
positive or low resistance direction. The tube Figure 6
conducts only by means of electrons, and has TRANSISTOR AND VACUUM TUBE
its conducting counterpart in the form of the CHARACTERISTICS
N-P-N transistor, whose majority carriers are
also electrons. There is no vacuum tube equiv-
alent of the P-N-P transistor, whose majority order of 3 X 60 = 180. A junction transistor
carriers are holes. which has a value of alpha less than unity
The biasing conditions stated above provide nevertheless has a resistance gain of the order
the high input impedance and low output im- of 2000 because of its extremely high output
pedance of the vacuum tube. The transistor is resistance, and the resulting voltage gain is
biased in the positive or low resistance direc- about 1800 or so. For both types of transistors
tion in the emitter circuit, and in the negative, the power gain is the product of alpha squared
or high resistance direction in the collector times the resistance gain and is of the order
circuit resulting in a low input impedance of 400 to 500.
and a high output impedance, contrary to and The output characteristics of the junction
opposite from the vacuum tube. A comparison transistor are of great interest. A typical ex-
of point-contact transistor characteristics and ample is shown in figure 7. It is seen that the
vacuum tube characteristics is made in figure 6. junction transistor has the characteristics of
The resistance gain of a transistor is ex- an ideal pentacle vacuum tube. The collector
pressed as the ratio of output resistance to current is practically independent of the col-
input resistance. The input resistance of a lector voltage. The range of linear operation
typical transistor is low, in the neighborhood extends from a minimum voltage of about 0.2
of 300 ohms, while the output resistance is volts up to the maximum rated collector volt-
relatively high, usually over 20,000 ohms. For age. A typical load line is shown, which il-
a point-contact transistor, the resistance gain lustrates the very high load impedance that
is usually over 60. would be required for maximum power trans-
The voltage gain of a transistor is the fer. A grounded emitter circuit is usually used,
product of alpha times the resistance gain, since the output impedance is not as high as
and for a point-contact transistor is of the when a grounded base circuit is used.
HANDBOOK Transistor Characteristics 95
c( le
a: I
II EM TTE hAl ....... PS.

:J s
~+ 4 ~
t-L ~ ~
g 1'-- 3 BASE

M+ 2 t--
-t.O -0.~ 0 +~ +1.0
+1~ +20 +25 PARAMETER
I Ue~~~~~~~~~~v.) I {j.e:~~~~.~~~~3v.)
te -UUTTER toon. 30A
Figure 7 ~f5,~1~c 300I\ 300A
20000 n. t MEGOHM
~.::.;~~~~f:JION 2.0 0.97

Figure 9
The output characteristics of a typical point- LOW FREQUENCY EQUIVALENT
contact transistor are shown in figure 6. The <Common Basel CIRCUIT FOR POINT
pentode characteristics are less evident, 'lnd the TRANSISTOR
output impedance is much lower, with the
range of linear operation extending down to
a collector voltage of 2 or 3. Of greater prac-
tical interest, however, is the input character- convenient equivalent circuit for the low fre-
istic curve with short-circuited, or nearly short- quency small signal performance of both point-
circuited input, as shown in figure 8. It is contact and junction transistors is shown in
this point-contact transistor characteristic of figure 9. r., rb, and r,, are dynamic resistances
having a region of negative impedance that whi<;h can be associated with the emitter base
lends the unit to use in switching circuits. The and collector regions of the transistor: The
transistor circuit may be made to have two current generator ai., represents the transport
one or zero stabl!' operating points, dependin~ of charge from emitter to collector. Typical
upon the bias voltages and the load impedance values of the equivalent circuit are shown in
used. figure 9.

Equivalent Circuit As is known from net- Transistor There are three basic transis-
of a Transistor work theory, the small Configurations tor configurations: grounded
signal performance of base connection, grounded
any device in any network can be represented emitter connection, and grounded collector
by means of an equivalent circuit. The most connection. These correspond r o u g h 1 y to
grounded grid, grounded cathode, and ground-
ed plate circuits in vacuum tube terminology
(figure 10) .

Cl) . The grounded base circuit has a low input
~ Impedance and high output impedance, and no

> p_has~ reversal of signal from input to output
w orcu1t. The grounded emitter circuit has a
~ .... ?igher input impedance and a lower output
w Impedance than the grounded base circuit, and
a reversal of phase between the input and out-
put signal occurs. This circuit usually provides
maximum voltage gain from a transistor. The
?roun~ed collector circuit has relatively high
1nput Impedance, low output impedance, and
no phase reversal of signal from input to out-
Figure 8 put circuit. Power and voltage gain are both
FOR TYPICAL POINT CONTACT Figure 11 illustrates some practical vacuum
TRANSISTOR tube circuits, as applied to transistors.
96 Transistors and Semi-Conductors THE RADIO



Figure 10

5-5 Transistor Circuitry overcome these difficulties. The simple self-bias

system is shown in figure 12A. The base is
To establish the correct operating parameters simply connected to the power supply through
of the transistor, a bias voltage must be estab- a large resistance which supplies a fixed value
lished between the emitter and the base. Since of base current to the transistor. This bias
transistors are temperature sensitive devices, system is extremely sensitive to the current
and since some variation in characteristics usu- transfer ratio of the transistor, and must be ad-
ally exists between transistors of a given type, justed for optimum results with each transistor.
attention must be given to the bias system to When the supply voltage is fairly high and




Figure 11
HANDBOOK Transistor Circuitry 97

-E -E
;:Nv;;....~-4_:.R:_:E.;_S t S TOR

Re =soo-1ooo .n.
50 ..UF

+ (%~~~~~ ;:AL:::;;OR)
0 Figure 12
The voltage divider system of Cis recommended for general transistor use. Ratio of R1/Rz
establishes base bias, and emitter bias is provided by voltage drop across Re.
Battery Polarity is reversed for N-P-N transistors.

wide variations in ambient temperature do not amplifier are given in the drawing. In this case,
occur, the bias system of figure 12B may be the input impedance of the amplifier is quite
used, with the bias resistor connected from low. When used with a high impedance driv-
base to collector. When the collector voltage ing source such as a crystal microphone a step
is high, the base current is increased, moving down input transformer should be employed
the operating point of the transistor down the as shown in figure 13B. The grounded collec-
load line. If the collector voltage is low, the tor circuit of figure 13C provides a high input
operating point moves upwards along the load impedance and a low output impedance, much
line, thus providing automatic control of the as in the manner of a vacuum tube cathode
base bias voltage. This circuit is sensitive to follower.
changes in ambient temperature, and may per- The circuit of a two stage resistance coupled
mit transistor failure when the transistor is amplifier is shown in figure 14A. The input
operated ncar maximum dissipation ratings. impedance is approximately 1100 ohms. Feed-
A better bias system is shown in figure 12C, back may be placed around this amplifier from
where the base bias is obtained from a voltage the emitter of the second stage to the base of
divider, ( R 1, R2), and the emitter is forward the first stage, as shown in figure 14B. A
biased. To prevent signal degeneration, the direct coupled version of the r-c amplifier is
emitter bias resistor is bypassed with a large shown in figure 14C. The input impedance is
capacitance. A high degree of circuit stability of the order of 15,000 ohms, and an overall
is provided by this form of bias, providing the voltage gain of 80 may be obtained with a
emitter capacitance is of the order of 50 JLfd. supply potential of 12 volts.
for audio frequency applications.
It is possible to employ N-P-N and P-N-P
Audio Circuitry A simple voltage amplifier transistors in complementary symmetry circuits
is shown in figure 13. Di- which have no equivalent in vacuum tube de-
rect current stabilization is employed in the sign. Figure 15A illustrates such a circuit. A
e nitter circuit. Operating parameters for the symmetrical push-pull circuit is shown 111

-12 v. -9 V. +12 v

"'::' 500K.10K

Figure 13
A resistance coupled amplifier employing an inexpensive CK-722 transistor is shown in A. For use with
a high impedance crystal microphone, a step~down translormer matches the low input impedance of the
transistor, as shown in B. The grounded collector configuration of C provides an Input impedance of
about 300,000 ohms.
98 Transistors and Semi-Conductors THE RADIO

0.1M 0.1 M

.tj - CK 722


10 K 10JJF
L---V'RNI'--'.... 47K 10K

4.7K lO.UF -
GAIN'V ~ -

Figure 14

The feedback loop of B may be added to the r-c amplifier to reduce distortion, or to control the
audio response. A direct coupled amplifier is shown in C.

figure 15B. This circuit may be used to di- power output obtainable is limited to 0.5 the
rectly drive a high impedance loudspeaker, allowable dissipation of the transistor. The
eliminating the output transformer. A direct product I,E, determines the maximum collector
coupled three stage amplifier having a gain dissipation, and a plot of these values is shown
figure of 80 db is shown in figure 15C. in figure 16B. The load line should always lie
The transistor may also be used as a class under the dissipation curve, and should encom-
A power amplifier, as shown in figure 16A. pass the maximum possible area between the
Commercial transistors are available that will axes of the graph for maximum output condi-
provide five or six watts of audio power when tion. In general, the load line is tangent to the
operating from a 12 volt supply. The smaller dissipation curve and passes through the supply
units provide power levels of a few milli- voltage point at zero collector current. The d-e
watts. The correct operating point is chosen so operating point is thus approximately one-half
that the output signal can swing equally in the the supply voltage.
positive and negative directions, as shown in The circuit of a typical push-pull class B
the collector curves of figure 16B. transistor amplifier is shown in figure 17 A.
The proper primary impedance of the our- Push-pull operation is desirable for transistor
put transformer depends upon the amount of operation, since the even-order harmonics are
power to be delivered to the load: largely eliminated. This permits transistors to
be driven into high collector current regions
E,' without distortion normally caused by non-
2P. linearity of the collector. Cross-over distortion
is reduced to a minimum by providing a slight
The collector current bias is: forward base bias in addition to the normal
2P. emitter bias. The base bias is usually less than
Ic-=-- 0.5 volt in most cases. Excessive base bias will
boost the quiescent collector current and there-
In a class A output stage, the maximum a-c by lower the overall efficiency of the stage.

2N78 2N78 2N77


Figure 15
N-P-N ond P-N-P transistors may be combined in circuits which hove no equivalent in vacuum tube
design. Direct coupling between cascaded stages using a single power supply source may be employed, as
in C. Impedance of power supply should be extremely low.
HANDBOOK Transistor Circuitry 99

2N 187A

Figure 16
The correct operating paint is
chosen so that output signal can
swing equally in a positive or
negative direction, without ex-
ceeding maximum collector dis-
The operating point of the class B ampli- configuration (figure 17C) to obtain high
fier is set on the I,=O axis at the point where power output at very low distortions compar-
the collector voltage equals the supply voltage. able with those found in quality vacuum tube
The collector to collector impedance of the circuits having heavy overall feedback. In ad-
output transformer is: dition, the transistor may be directly bolted to
the chassis, assuming a negative grounded
2E, 2 power supply Power output is of the order of
Po 10 watts, with about 0.5% total distortion.
In the class B circuit, the maximum a-c R-F Circuitry Transistors may be used for
power input is approximately equal to five radio frequency work provided
times the allowable collector dissipation of the alpha cutoff frequency of the units is
each transistor. Power transistors, such as the sufficiently higher than the operating fre-
2N301 have collector dissipation ratings of quency. Shown in figure 18A is a typical i-f
5.5 watts and operate with class B efficiency amplifier employing an N-P-N transistor. The
of about 67%. To achieve this level of opera- collector current is determined by a voltage
tion the heavy duty transistor relies upon ef- divider on the base circuit and by a bias re-
ficient heat transfer from the transistor case sistor in the emitter leg. Input and output are
to the chassis, using the large thermal capacity coupled by means of tuned i-f transformers.
of the chassis as a heat sink. An infinite heat Bypass capacitors are placed across the bias
sink may be approximated by mounting the resistors to prevent signal frequency degener-
transistor in the center of a 6" x 6" copper or ation. The base is connected to a low im-
aluminum sheet. This area may be part of a pedance untuned winding of the input trans-
larger chassis. former, and the collector is connected to a tap
The collector of most power transistors is on the output transformer to provide proper
electrically connected to the case. For appli- matching, and also to make the performance of
cations where the collector is not grounded a the stage relatively independent of variations
thin sheet of mica may be used between the between transistors of the same type. With a
case of the transistor and the chassis. rate-grown N-P-N transistor such as the G.E.
Power transistors such as the Phi/co T-1041 2N293, it is unnecessary to use neutralization
may be used in the common collector class B to obtain circuit stability. When P-N-P alloy

ADJUST R_ 1<..:FO:..R.=..;;c;;.-w1Kl/'--:!;-c-c_.=-o.3 ~~ ~:
0.4 II. BAS BIAS [CC (MAX.)=t.3!:>A.
Po= 10 WATTS

Figure 17
The common collector circuit ol C permits the transistor to be bolte<t directly to the chassis for efficient
heat transfer from the transistor case to the chassis.
100 Transistors and Semi-Conductors THE RADIO

10 K 82. K -:-

Figure 18
Typical PN-P transistor must be neutralired because of high collector capacitance. Rate
grown N-P-N transistor does not usually require external neutraliring circuit.

Figure 19

0.1 M -9 v. +:J 10.UF

transistors are used, It 1s necessary to neutra- signal from the collector to the emitter caus-
lize the circuit to obtain stability (figure 18Bl. ing oscillation. Capacitor C tunes the oscillator
The gain of a transistor i-f amplifier will circuit to a frequency 4 55 kc. higher than that
decrease as the emitter current is decreased. of the incoming signal. The local oscillator
This transistor property can be used to control signal is inductively coupled into the emitter
the gain of an i-f amplifier so that weak and circuit of the transistor. The incoming signal
strong signals will produce the same audio is resonated in T, and coupled via a low im-
output. A typical i-f strip incorporating this pedance winding to the base circuit. Notice
automatic volume control action is shown in that the base is biased by a voltage divider
figure 19. circuit much the same as is used in audio fre-
R-f transistors may be used as mixers or quency operation. The two signals are mixed
autodyne converters much in the same manner in this stage and the desired beat frequency of
as vacuum tubes The autodyne circuit is shown 455 kc. is selected by i-f transformer T, and
m figure 20. Transformer T, feeds back a passed to the next stage. Collector currents of
0.6 rna. to 0.8 rna. are common, and the local
oscillator injection voltage at the emitter is m
the range of 0.15 to 0.25 volts, r.m.s.
A complete receiver "front end" capable of
operation up to 23 Me. is shown in figure 21.
The RCA 2N24 7 drift transistor is used for
the r-f amplifier (TR1), mixer (TR2), and
high frequency oscillator (TR3). The 2N247
incorporates an interlead shield, cutting the
interlead capacitance to .003 fLpJd. If proper
shielding is employed between the tuned cir-
T3 cuits of the r-f stage, no neutralization of the
stage is required. The complete assembly ob-
tains power from a 9-volt transistor battery.
Note that input and output circuits of the tran-
Figure 20
THE AUTODYNE CONVERTER CIRCUIT sistors are tapped at low impedance points on
USING A 2N168A AS A MIXER. the r-f coils to achieve proper impedance match.
HANDBOOK Transistor Circuitry 101

39K 470 39 K 470

Figure 21
f - 1
L - - - - - - ----'- - - -- I
39 K
UP TO 23 Me.

Transistor Sufficient coupling of the proper coupled to the base of the N-P-N transistor,
Oscillators phase between input and output and the emitter of the N-P-N transistor furn-
circuits of the transistor will per- ishes the correct phase reversal to sustain os-
mit oscillation up to and slightly above the cillation. Heavy feedback is maintained be-
alpha cutoff frequency. Various forms of tran- tween the emitter of the P-N-P transistor and
sistor oscillators are shown in figure 22. A the collector of N-P-N transistor. The degree
simple grounded emitter Hartley oscillator hav- of feedback is controlled by R,. The emitter
ing positive feedback between the base and the resistor of the second transistor is placed at the
collector ( 2 2A) is compared to a grounded
base Hartley oscillator ( 22B). In each case
the resonant tank circuit is common to the in-
put and output circuits of the transistor. Self-
bias of the transistor is employed in both these
circuits A more sophisticated oscillator em- ~-t--,~~~~~------+1~
ploying a 2N247 transistor and utilizing a - Q05 O.IM PNP
voltage divider-type bias system (figure 22C) _ 2N247
1N81 1N81-
is capable of operation up to 50 Me. or so.
The tuned circuit is placed in the collector,
= Figure 23
with a small emitter-collector capacitor provid- COMPLEMENTARY HARTLEY
ing feedback to the emitter electrode. OSCILLATOR
A P-N-P and an N-P-N transistor may be P-N-P and N-P-N transistors form high sta-
bility oscillator. Feedback between P-N-P
combined to form a complementary Hartley emitter and N-P-N collector is controlled by
oscillator of high stability (figure 23). The R,. INBI diodes are used as amplitude lim-
iters. Frequency of oscillation is determined
collector of the P-N-P transistor is directly by L, c,-c,.





Figure 22
A-Grounded Emitter Hartley
B-Grounded Base Hartley
C-2N247 Oscillator Suitable lor 50 Me. operation.
102 Transistors and Semi-Conductors THE RADIO

R2 --t ----t--~IE

2 I

0 @
Figure 25
Figure 24
OSCILLATION (50 Mel WITHOUT Relaxation Transistors have almost unlimit-
WITHOUT NECESSITY OF Oscillators ed use in relaxation and R-C os-
EXTERNAL FEEDBACK PATH. cillator service. The negative re-
sistance characteristic of the point contact tran-
center of the oscillator coil to eliminate load- sistor make it well suited to such application.
ing of the tuned circuit. Surface barrier transistors are also widely used
Two germanium diodes are employed as in this service, as they have the highest alpha
amplitude limiters, further stabilizing ampli- cutoff frequency among the group of "alpha-
fier operation. Because of the low circuit im- less-than-unity'" transistors. Relaxation oscilla-
pedances, it is permissible to use extremely tors used for high speed counting require tran-
high-C in the oscillator tank circuit, effectively sistors capable of operation at repetition rates
limiting oscillator temperature stability to var- of 5 Me. to 10 Me.
iations in the tank inductance. A simple emitter controlled relaxation os-
The point-contact transistor exhibits nega- cillator is shown in figure 25, together with
tive input and output resistances over part of its operating characteristic. The emitter of the
its operaing range, due to its unique ability transistor is biased to cutoff at the start of the
to multiply the input current. This character- cycle (point 1 ) . The charge on the emitter ca-
istic affords the use of oscillator circuitry hav- pacitor slowly leaks to ground through the
ing no external feedback paths (figure 24). emitter resistor, R,. Discharge time is deter-
A high impedance resonant circuit in the base mined by the time constant of R.C. When the
lead produces circuit instability and oscillation emitter voltage drops sufficiently low to permit
at the resonant frequency of the L-C circuit. the transistor to reach the negative resistance
Positive emitter bias is used to insure thermal region (point 2) the emitter and collector re-
circuit stability. sistances drop to a low value, and the collector


8.2 K

10 K

0 @

Figure 26
High-alpha transistors must be employed in counting circuits to reduce effects of
storage time caused by transit lag in transistor base.
HANDBOOK Transistor Circuitry 103


Ct- 123JJlJF, J.W. MILLER# 2110

T2 -455 K.C. I. F. TRANSFORMER, J.W. MILLER #2032

Figure 28

state, since a time lapse occurs before the out-

put waveform starts to decrease. This storage
time is caused by the transit lag of the minority
carriers in the base of the transistor. Proper cir-
cuit design and the use of high-alpha transis-
tors can reduce the effects of storage time to a
minimum. Driving pulses may be coupled to
Figure 27 the multivibrator through steering diodes as
WITH LOOPSTICK, DIODE, AND shown in the illustration.
A TWENTY FOOT ANTENNA WIRE S-6 Transistor Circuits
IN STRONG SIGNAL AREAS. With the introduction of the dollar tran-
sistor, many interesting and unusual experi-
ments and circuits may be built up by the be-
current is limited only by the collector resistor, ginner in the transistor field. One of the most
R,. The collector current is abruptly reduced interesting is the "wrist watch" receiver, illus-
by the charging action of the emitter capacitor trated in figure 2 7. A diode and a transistor
C (point 3), bringing the circuit back to the amplifier form a miniature broadcast receiver,
original operating point. The ''spike'' of col- which may be built in a small box and carried
lector current is produced during the charging on the person. A single 1.5-volt penlite cell
period of C. The duration of the pulse and the provides power for the transistor, and a short
pulse repetition frequency ( p.r.f.) are con- length of antenna wire will suffice in the vi-
trolled by the values of C, R1, R,, and R . cinity of a local broadcasting station.
Transistors may also be used as blocking
oscillators (figure 26A). The oscillator may A transistorized superhetrodyne for broad-
be synchronized by coupling the locking signal cast reception is shown in figure 28. No an-
to the base circuit of the transistor. An oscil- tenna is required, as a ferrite "loop-stick" is
lator of this type may be used to drive a flip- used for the r-f input circuit of the 2NI36
flop circuit as a counter. An Eccles-Jordan mixer transistor. A miniature magnetic "hear-
bi-stable flip-flop circuit employing surface- ing aid" type earphone may be employed with
barrier transistors may be driven between "off" this receiver.
and "on" positions by an exciting pulse as A simple phonograph amplifier designed
shown in figure 26B. The first pulse drives for use with a high impedance crystal pickup
the "on" transistor into saturation. This tran- is shown in figure 29. Two stages of amplifi-
sistor remains in a highly conductive state until cation using 2Nl 09 transistors are used to
the second exciting pulse arrives. The transis- drive two 2NI09 transistors in a class B con-
tor does not immediately return to the cut-off figuration. Approximately 200 milliwatts of
104 Transistors and Semi-Conductors


22.0 K ZP = 300
4 7
K !J -

-b- = 2JJF


100..UF~ ~100.UF -12. v.

4-50 MA

Figure 29

power may be obtained with a battery supply esting transistor projects will be shown in later
of 12 volts. Peak current drain under maxi- chapters of this Handbook.
mum signal conditions is 40 rna. Other inter-


1/8 11 .405 .269 .244
1/4 11 .540 .364 .424
3/8" .675 .493 .567
1/2 11 .840 .622 .850
3/4 11 1.050 .824 1.130
1 II 1 .31 5 1 .049 1 .678
1 1/4" 1 .660 1 .380 2.272
1 1/2" 1 .900 1. 610 2.717
211 2.375 2.067 3.652
2 1/2" 2.875 2.469 5.793
311 3.500 3.068 7.575
3 1/2" 4.000 3.548 9 .1 09
411 4.500 4.026 10.790




3/8" .577 .493 .250
1/2 II .706 .622 .321
3/4 11 .922 .824 .488
1 II 1.16 3 1.049 . 711
1 1/4 11 1.508 1.308 1.000
1 1/2" 1. 738 1 .61 0 1.180
2" 2.195 2.067 1.500



1 /8 II .o 1 5
3/16" .033
1/4 II .059

Vacuum Tube Amplifiers

6-1 Vacuum Tube Parameters Electrode Potentials

Ebb -d-e plate supply voltage (a positive
The ability of the control grid of a vacuum quantity)
tube to control large amounts of plate power Ecc- d-e grid supply voltage (a negative
with a small amount of grid energy allows the quantity)
vacuum tube to be used as an amplifier. It is Egm -peak grid excitation voltage (~ total
this ability of vacuum tubes to amplify an peak-to-peak grid swing)
extremely small amount of energy up to almost Epm -peak plate voltage (~ total peak-to-peak
any level without change in anything except plate swing)
amplitude which makes the vacuum tube such ep -instantaneous plate potential
an extremely valuable adjunct to modern elec eg -instantaneous grid potential
tronics and communication. epmin -minimum instantaneous plate voltage
egmp -maximum positive instantaneous grid
Symbols for As an assistance in simplify- voltage
Vacuum Tube ing and shortening expressions EP- static plate voltage
Parameters involving vacuum-tube param- Eg- static grid voltage
eters, the following symbols eco - cutoff bias
will be used throughout this book:
Electrode Currents
Tube Constants lb- average plate current
f-L- amplification factor I c - average grid current
Rp- plate resistance Ipm- peak fundamental plate current
Gm -transconductance ipmax -maximum instantaneous plate current
f-Lsg- grid-screen mu factor igmax.- maximum instantaneous grid current
Gc- conversion transconductance(mixer tube) lp -static plate current
I g - static grid current
lnterelectrode Capacitances
Other Symbols
Cgk -grid-cathode capacitance
Cgp -grid-plate capacitance Pi- plate power input
Cpk -plate-cathode capacitance P 0 - plate power output
cin- input capacitance (tetrode or pentode) Pp- plate dissipation
Cout -output capacitance ( tetrode or pentode) Pd- grid driving power (grid plus bias losses)

Classes of Amplifiers 107

r---. Cgp is the grid-to-plate capacitance, and A is


e ;h:CoUT
the stage gain. This expression assumes that
the vacuum tube is operating into a resistive
;.r:: load such as would be the case with an audio
... ---"'
stage working into a resistance plate load in
the middle audio range.
TRIODE PENTODE OR TETRODE The more complete expression for the input
admittance (vector sum of capacitance and
Figure 1 resistance) of an amplifier operating into any
type of plate load is as follows:
TANCES WITHIN A TRIODE, PENTODE, Input capacitance = Cgk + ( 1 + A cos e) Cgp

Input resistance = -~)

P 8 - grid dissipation w Cgp
Np -plate efficiency( expressed as a decimal) A sine
ep -one-half angle of plate current flow
eg -one-half angle of grid current flow Where: Cgk = grid-to-cathode capacitance
R L -load resistance cgp = grid-to-plate capacitance
ZL -load impedance A = voltage amplification of the tube
e = phase angle of the plate load im-
Vacuum- Tube The relationships between cer- pedance, positive for inductive
Constants tain of the electrode potentials loads, negative for capacitive
and currents within a vacuum It can be seen from the above that if the
tube are reasonably constant under specified plate load impedance of the stage is capaci-
conditions of operation. These relationships tive or inductive, there will be a resistive com-
are called vacuum-tube constants and are ponent in the input admittance of the stage.
listed in the data published by the manufac- The resistive component of the input admit-
turers of vacuum tubes. The defining equations tance will be positive (tending to load the
for the basic vacuum-tube constants are given circuit feeding the grid) if the load impedance
in Chapter Four. of the plate is capacitive, or it will be negative
(tending to make the stage oscillate) if the
load impedance of the plate is inductive.
lnterelectrode The values of interelectrode
Capacitances and capacitance published in Neutralization Neutralization of the effects
Miller Effect vacuum-tube tables are the af lnterelectrade of interelectrode capacitance
static values measured, in Capacitance is employed most frequently
the case of triodes for example, as shown in in the case of radio fre-
figure 1. The static capacitances are simply quency power amplifiers. Before the introduc-
as shown in the drawing, but when a tube is tion of the tetrode and pentode tube, triodes
operating as amplifier there is another con- were employed as neutralized Class A ampli-
sideration known as Miller Effect which causes fiers in receivers. This practice has been
the dynamic input capacitance to be different largely superseded in the present state of the
from the static value. The output capacitance art through the use of tetrode and pentode
of an amplifier is essentially the same as the tubes in which the Cgl' or feedback capaci-
static value given in the published tube tables. tance has been reduced to such a low value
The grid-to-plate capacitance is also the same that neutralization of its effects is not neces-
as the published static value, but since the sary to prevent oscillation and instability.
Cgp acts as a small capacitance coupling en-
ergy back from the p 1 ate circuit to the grid
circuit, the dynamic input capacitance is equal
to the static value plus an amount (frequently 6-2 Classes and Types of
much greater in the case of a triode) deter-
mined by the gain of the stage, the plate load
Vacuum-Tube Amplifiers
impedance, and the Cgp feedback capacitance.
The total value for an audio amplifier stage Vacuum-tube amplifiers are grouped into
can be expressed in the following equation: various classes and sub-classes according to
the type of work they are intended to perform.
~(dynamic)= ~(static)+ (A+ l) Cgp The difference between the various classes is
determined primarily by the value of average
where Cgk is the grid-to-cathode capacitance, grid bias employed and the maximum value of
108 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

the exciting signal to be impressed upon the


Class A A Class A amplifier is an amplifier

Amplifier biased and supplied with excitation
of such amplitude that plate cur-
rent flows continuously (360 of the exciting
voltage waveshape) and grid current does not Figure 2
flow at any time. Such an amplifier is normally
operated in the center of the grid-voltage
plate-current transfer characteristic and gives A- Grid bias
an output waveshape which is a substantial B - Cathode bias
replica of the input waveshape. C - Grid leak bias

Class A1 This is another term applied to the

Amplifier Class A amplifier in which grid
less than one-half the time. Actually, the con-
current does not flow over any ventional operating conditions for a Class C
portion of the input wave cycle. amplifier are such that plate current flows for
120 to 150 of the exciting voltage wave-
Class A2 This is a Class A amplifier oper-
Amplifier ated under such conditions that the
grid is driven positive over a por- Types of There are three general types of
tion of the input voltage cycle, but plate cur- Amplifiers amplifier circuits in use. These
rent still flows over the entire cycle. types are classified on the basis
of the return for the input and output circuits.
Class AB 1 This is an amplifier operated under Conventional amplifiers are called cathode re-
Amplifier such conditions of grid bias and
turn amplifiers since the cathode is effectively
exciting voltage that plate current
grounded and acts as the common return for
flows for more than one-half the input voltage both the input and output circuits. The second
cycle but for less than the complete cycle. In type is known as a plate return amplifier or
other words the operating angle of plate cur- cathode follower since the plate circuit is ef-
rent flow is appreciably greater than 180 but fectively at ground for the input and output
less than 360. The suffix 1 indicates that grid signal voltages and the output voltage or
current does not flow over any portion of the power is taken between cathode and plate. The
input cycle. third type is called a grid-return or grounded-
grid amplifier since the grid is effectively at
Class AB 2 A Class AB 2 amplifier is operated ground potential for input and output signals
Amplifier under essentially the same condi- and output is taken between grid and plate.
tions of grid bias as the Class
AB 1 amplifier mentioned above, but the excit-
ing voltage is of such amplitude that grid cur-
rent flows over an appreciable portion of the 6-3 Biasing Methods
input wave cycle.

Class B A Class B amplifier is biased sub- The difference of potential between grid and
Amplifier stantially to cutoff of plate current cathode is called the grid bias of a vacuum
(without exciting voltage) so that tube. There are three general methods of
plate current flows essentially over one-half providing this bias voltage. In each of these
the input voltage cycle. The operating angle methods the purpose is to establish the grid
of plate current flow is essentially 180. The at a potential with respect to the cathode
Class B amplifier is almost always excited which will place the tube in the desired opera-
to such an extent that grid current flows. ting condition as determined by its charac-
Class C A Class C amplifier is biased to a Grid bias may be obtained from a source of
Amplifier value greater than the value re- voltage especially provided for this purpose,
quired for plate current cutoff and as a battery or other d-e power supply. This
is excited with a signal of such amplitude method is illustrated in figure 2A, and is
that grid current flows over an appreciable known as fixed bias.
period of the input voltage waveshape. The A second biasing method is illustrated in
angle of plate current flow in a Class C am- figure 2B which utilizes a cathode resistor
plifier is appreciably less than 180, or in across which an IR drop is developed as a
other words, plate current flows appreciably result of plate current flowing through it. The
HANDBOOK Amplifier Distortion 1 09

cathode of the tube is held at a positive po-

tential with respect to ground by the amount of INPUT
the IR drop because the grid is at ground po-

tential. Since the biasing voltage depends I1 I

upon the flow of plate current the tube cannot I I I

be held in a cutoff condition by means of the I

cathode bias voltage developed across the
cathode resistor. The value of this resistor is
determined by the bias required and the plate

. '"'J
current which flows at this value of bias, as OUTPUT
found from the tube characteristic curves.
A capacitor is shunted across the bias resistor
to provide a low impedance path to ground for
the a-c component of the plate current which
Figure 3
results from an a-c input signal on the grid.
Illustration of the effect of phase distortion
The third method of providing a biasing
on input wave containing a third harmonic
voltage is shown in figure 2C.' and is c~lled
grid-leak bias. During the portion of the I_n~mt
cycle which causes the grid. to be positive
with respect to the cathode, gnd current flows
a two stage amplifier. Although the amplitudes
from cathode to grid, charging capacitor C~.
of both components are amplified by identical
When the grid draws current, the grid-to-~at?
resistance of the tube drops from an mflmte ratios, the output waveshape is considerably
different from the input signal because the
value to a very low value, on the order of
1,000 ohms or so, making the chargin~ time phase of the third harmonic signal has. been
constant of the capacitor very short. This en- shifted with respect to the fundamental signal.
This phase shift is known as phase distortion,
ables Cg to charge up to essentially the full
and is caused principally by the coupling cir-
value of the positive input voltage and results
cuits between the stages of the amplifier.
in the grid (which is connected to the low po-
Most coupling circuits shift the phase of a
tential plate of the capacitor) being held es-
sine wave, but this has no effect on the shape
sentially at ground potent~al. During _the nega-
of the output wave. However, when a complex
tive swing of the input signal no gr_Id current
wave is passed through the same coupling
flows and the discharge path of Cg Is through
circuit, each component frequency of the wave-
the grid resistance which has a value of
shape may be shifted in phase by a different
500 000 ohms or so. The discharge time con-
sta~t for C 8 is, therefore, v~ry lon~ in com- amount so that the output wave is not a faith-
ful reproduction of the input waveshape.
parison to the period of the mput signal and
only a small part of the charge on C 8 is lo~t.
Amp Iitude If a signal is passed through a vac-
Thus, the bias voltage developed by the dis-
Distortion uum tube that is operating on any
charge of C 8 is substantially constant an~ ~he
non-linear part of its characteristic,
grid is not permitted to follow the posltive
portions of the input signal. amplitude distortion will occur. In such a re-
gion, a change in grid voltage ~oes. not. result
in a change in plate current which IS duectly
6-4 Distortion in Amplifiers proportional to the cha~ge in grid voltage. ~or
example, if an amplifier is excited wlth a sig-
nal that overdrives the tubes, the resultant
There are three main types of distortion that signal is distorted in amplitude, ~inc e th_e
may occur in amplifiers: ~requen_cy di_stortion, tubes operate over a non-linear portion of theu
phase distortion and amphtude distortion. characteristic.
Frequency Frequency distortion may occur
Distortion when some frequency components
of a signal are amplified more than
others. Frequency distortion occurs at low
6-5 Resistance-
frequencies if coupling capacitors b_etween Capacitance Coupled
stages are too small, or may occ~r at high fre- Audio-Frequency Amp I ifiers
quencies as a result of the shunting effects of
the distributed capacities in the circuit.
Present practice in the design of audio-fre-
Phase In figure 3 an input signal con- quency voltage amplifiers is almost exclusively
Di stortio'h sisting of a fundamental and a to use resistance-capacitance coupling be-
third harmonic is passed through tween the low-level stages. Both triodes and
11 0 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

levels (from 0.01 to 5 volts peak on the grid

of the tube) and use medium-f.! triodes such
as the 6] 5 or high-f.! triodes such as the 6SF5
or 6SL 7-GT. Normal voltage gain for a single
stage of this type is from 10 to 70, depending
upon the tube chosen and its operating con-
ditions. Triode tubes are normally used in the
last voltage amplifier stage of an R-C ampli-
fier since their harmonic distortion with large
Figure 4 output voltage (25 to 75 volts) is less than
PLIFIER STAGE Voltage Gain The voltage gain per stage of
per Stage a resistance-capacitance cou-
pled triode amplifier can be cal-
pentodes are used; triode amplifier stages culated with the aid of the equivalent circuits
will be discussed first. and expressions for the mid-frequency, high-
frequency, and low-frequency range given in
R-C Coupled Figure 4 illustrates the stand- figure 5.
Triode Stages ard circuit for a resistance- A triode R-C coupled amplifie; stage is
capacitance coupled amplifier normally operated with values of cathode re-
stage utilizing a triode tube with cathode bias. sistor and plate load resistor such that the
In conventional audio-frequency amplifier de- actual voltage on the tube is approximately
sign such stages are used at medium voltage one-half the d-e plate supply voltage. To

E =-.U EG
rn RG


RP (RL +Rc;)+RL RG

RG CGK A HIGH FREQ. ::.. r=7.:"=1==:;;::==;:;=

A MID FREQ. V1 + (REQ/Xs) 2


Xs =

E=-.U Ec;





= Rc; +

Figure 5
Equivalent circuits and gain equations for a triode R-C coupled amplifier stage. In using these
equations, be sure to select the values of mu and Rp which ore proper for the static current and
voltages with which the tube will operate. These values may be obtained from curves published
in the RCA Tube Handbook RC- 76.
HANDBOOK R-C Coupled Amplifiers 111

Cc such as the 6SJ7. Normal voltage gain for a

stage of this type is from 60 to 250, depend
ing upon the tube chosen and its operating
conditions. Pentode tubes are ordinarily used
the first stage of an R-C amplifier where the
high gain which they afford is of greatest ad
vantage and where only a small voltage output
is required from the stage.
The voltage gain per stage of a resistance
Figure 6 capacitance coupled pentode amplifier can be
calculated with the aid of the equivalent cir-
cuits and expressions for the mid-frequency,
high-frequency, and low-frequency range given
in figure 7.
To assist the designer of such stages, data
on operating conditions for commonly used
assist the designer of such stages, data on types of tubes is published in the RCA Tube
operating conditions for commonly used tubes Handbook RC-16. It is assumed, in the case of
is published in the RCA Tube Handbook RC-16. the gain equations of figure 7, that the cathode
It is assumed, in the case of the gain equations by-pass capacitor, ck, has a reactance that is
of figure 5, that the cathode by-pass capacitor, low with respect to the cathode resistor at the
Ck, has a reactance that is low with respect lowest frequency to be passed by the stage. It
to the cathode resistor at the lowest frequency is additionally assumed that the reactance of
to be passed by the amplifier stage. the screen by-pass capacitor Cd, is low with
respect to the screen dropping resistor, Rd, at
R-C Coupled Figure 6 illustrates the stand- the lowest frequency to be passed by the am-
Pentode Stages ard circuit for a resistance plifier stage.
capacitance coupled pentode
amplifier stage. Cathode bias is used and the
screen voltage is supplied through a dropping Cascade Voltage When voltage amplifier stages
resistor from the plate voltage supply. In con- Amplifier Stages are operated in such a manner
ventional audio-frequency amplifier design that the output voltage of the
such stages are normally used at low voltage first is fed to the grid of the second, and so
levels (from 0.00001 to 0.1 volts peak on the forth, such stages are said to be cascaded.
grid of the tube) and use moderateGm pentodes The total voltage gain of cascaded amplifier

Figure 7

Equivalent circuits and
gain equations for a pen-

tode R-C coupled amplifier
stage. In using these equa-
tions be sure to select the
values of Gm and RP which __tlDCK(OYNAMIC)
ore proper for the static
currents and voltages with HIGH FREQUENCY RANGE
which the tube will oper-
ate. These values may be Xs =

obtained from curves pub
lished in the RCA Tube
Handbook RC-16. A LOW FREO.

Xc =

R= RG + ~~+ ~:
1 12 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

100 1. RL= !>00000 OHMS



100 1000 1 0000 100000 000


XLL = 0.!1 Xc AT fc
Figure 8
RL = Xc AT f'c
The variation of stage gain with frequency WHERE f C::: CUTOFF FREQUENCY OF AMPLIFIER
in an r-c coupled pentode amplifier for vari
ous values of plate load resistance

Rs = RK (GM V1 RL)

stages is obtained by taking the product of the
voltage gains of each of the successive stages.
Sometimes the voltage gain of an amplifier
stage is rated in decibels. Voltage gain is
converted into decibels gain through the use Figure 9
of the following expression: db= 20 logio A, SIMPLE COMPENSATED VIDEO
where A is the voltage gain of the stage. The AMPLIFIER CIRCUIT
total gain of cascaded voltage amplifier stages Resistor RL in conjunction with coil L
can be obtained by adding the number of serves to flatten the high-frequency respons~
decibels gain in each of the cascaded stages. of the stage, while C and R serve to equal-
ize the low-frequency respo~se of this sim
R.C Amplifier A typical frequency response
pie video amplifier stage.
Response curve for an R-C coupled audio
amplifier is shown in figure 8.
It is seen that the amplification is poor for the
ohms connected d i r e c t I y between grid and
extreme high and low frequencies. The reduced
cathode of the tube. The cathode is grounded.
gain at the low frequencies is caused by the
Grid current flows at all times, and the effec-
loss of voltage across the coupling capacitor.
In some cases, a low value of coupling capaci- tive input resistance is about one-half the
tor is deliberately chosen to reduce the re resistance value of the grid leak. This circuit
sponse of the stage to hum, or to attenuate is particularly well suited as a high gain
the lower voice frequencies for communication amplifier following low output devices, such
purposes. For high fidelity work the product of as cry s t a I microphones, or dynamic micro-
the grid resistor in ohms times the coupling phones.
capacitor in microfarads should equal 25,000.
R.C Amplifier resistance-capacity A
(ie.: 500,000 ohms x 0.05 p.fd = 25,000).
General Characteristics coupled amplifier can
The amplification of high frequencies falls
off because of the Miller effect of the sub- be designed to provide
a good frequency response for almost any
sequent stage, and the shunting effect of resi
dual circuit capacities. Both of these effects desired range. For instance, such an amplifier
may be minimized by the use of a low value of can be built to provide a fairly uniform ampli-
plate load resistor. fication for frequencies in the audio range of
about 100 to 20,000 cycles. Changes in the
values of coupling capacitors and load re-
Grid Leak Bias The correct operating bias sistors can extend this frequency range to
for High Mu Triodes for a high-mu triode such cover the very wide range required for video
as the 6SL 7, is fairly crit service. However, extension of the range can
ical, and will be found to be highly variable only be obtained at the cost of reduced over
from tube to tube because of minute variations all amplification. Thus the R-C method of
in contact potential within the tube itself. A coupling allows good frequency response with
satisfactory bias method is to use grid leak minimum distortion, but low amplification.
bias, with a grid resistor of one to ten meg Phase distortion is less with R-C coupling
HANDBOOK Video Frequency Amplifiers 11 3

than with other types, except direct coupling. resistance-capacitance coupling is most com-
The R-C amplifier may exhibit tendencies to monly used, there are certain circuit condi
"motorboat" or oscillate if it is used with a tions wherein coupling methods other than
high impedance plate supply. resistance capacitance are more effective.

Transformer Transformer coupling, as illus

Coupling trated in figure lOB, is seldom
6-6 Video-Frequency used at the present time between
Amplifiers two successive single-ended stages of an
audio amplifier. There are several reasons why
resistance coupling is favored over transformer
A video-frequency amplifier is one which coupling between two successive single-ended
has been designed to pass frequencies from stages. These are: ( 1) a transformer having
the lower audio range (lower limit perhaps 50 frequency characteristics comparable with a
cycles) to the middle r-f range (upper limit properly designed R-C stage is very expensive;
perhaps 4 to 6 megacycles). Such amplifiers, (2) transformers, unless they are very well
in addition to passing such an extremely wide shielded, will pick up inductive hum from
frequency range, must be capable of amplify- nearby power and filament transformers; (3)
ing this range with a minimum of amplitude, the phase characteristics of step-up interstage
phase, and frequency distortion. Video ampli- transformers are poor, making very difficult
fiers are commonly used in television, pulse the inclusion of a transformer of this type
communication, and radar work. within a feedback loop; and (4) transformers
Tubes used in video amplifiers must have are heavy.
a high ratio of Gm to capacitance if a usable However, there is one circuit application
gain per stage is to be obtained. Commonly where a step-up interstage transformer is of
available tubes which have been designed for considerable assistance to the designer; this
or are suitable for use in video amplifiers are: is the case where it is desired to obtain a
6AU6, 6AG5, 6AK5, 6CB6, 6AC7, 6AG7, and large amount of voltage to excite the grid of a
6K6-GT. Since, at the upper frequency limits cathode follower or of a high-power Class A
of a video amplifier the input and output amplifier from a tube operating at a moderate
shunting capacitances of the amplifier tubes plate voltage. Under these conditions it is pos
have rather low values of reactance, low sible to obtain a peak voltage on the secondary
values of coupling resistance along with of the transformer of a value somewhat greater
peaking coils or other special interstage cou- than the d-e plate supply voltage of the tube
pling impedances are usually used to flatten supplying the primary of the transformer.
out the gain/frequency and hence the phase/
frequency characteristic of the amplifier. Push-Pull Transformer Push-pull transformer
Recommended operating conditions along with lnterstage Coupling coupling between two
expressions for calculation of gain and circuit stages is illustrated in
values are given in figure 9. Only a simple figure lOC. This interstage coupling arrang~
two-terminal interstage coupling network is ment is fairly commonly used. The system 1s
shown in this figure.
particularly effective when it is desired, as in
The performance and gain-per-stage of a the system just described, to obtain a fairly
video amplifier can be improved by the use high voltage to excite the grids of ~ high-
of increasingly complex two-terminal inter- power audio stage. The arrangement 1s also
stage coupling networks or through the use very good when it is desired to apply feed-
of four-terminal coupling networks or filters back to the grids of the push-pull stage by
between successive stages. The reader is re applying the feedback voltage to the low-
erred to Terman's "Radio Engineer's Hand- potential sides of the two push-pull second
book" for design data on such interstage aries.
coupling networks.
Impedance Impedance coupling between two
Coupling stages is shown in figure lOD.
This circuit arrangement is seldom
6-7 Other lnterstage used, but it offers one strong advantage over
Coupling Methods R-C interstage coupling. This advantage is
the fact that, since the operating voltage on
Figure 10 illustrates, in addition to resist- the tube with the impedance in the plate cir-
ance-capacitance interstage coupling, seven cuit is the plate supply voltage, it is possible
additional methods in which coupling between to obtain approximately twice the peak volt
two successive stages of an audio-frequency age output that it is possible to obtain with
amplifier may be accomplished. Although RC coupling. This is because, as has been
114 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0




= =

Figure 10

mentioned before, the d-e plate voltage on an stage be isolated from the primary of the cou-
R-C stage is approximately one-half the plate pling transformer. With most types of high-
supply voltage. permeability wide-response transformers it is
necessary that there be no direct-current flow
These two circuit ar
Impedance- Transformer through the windings of the transformer. The
rangements, illustrated
and Resistance Trans- impedance-transformer arrangement of figure
former Coup I in g in figures IOE and IOF, IOE will give a higher voltage output from
are employed when it is the stage but is not often used since the plate
desired to use transformer coupling for the coupling impedance (choke) must have very
reasons cited above, but where it is desired high inductance and very low distributed ca-
that the d-e plate current of the amplifier pacitance in order not to restrict the range of
HANDBOOK Phase Inverters 11 5

same type tubes with the values of plate volt-

age and load resistance to be used for the
cathode-coupled stage.
Inspection of the equations in figure 11
shows that as the cathode resistor is made
smaller, to approach zero, the Gm approaches
zero, the plate resistance approaches the Rp
of one tube, and the mu approaches zero. As
G = RK G" (1 +~ ) the cathode resistor is made very large the Gm
approaches one half that of a single tube of
the same type, the plate resistance approaches
twice that of one tube, and the mu approaches
JJ' = -JJ G~1 RP = RP OF EACH TUB the same value as one tube. But since the Gm
of each tube decreases as the cathode resistor
THOSE OBTAINED BV USING AN AMPLIFIER WITH A PAIR is made larger (since the plate current will
decrease on each tube) the optimum value of
cathode resistor will be found to be in the
Figure 11 vicinity of the value mentioned in the previous
Equivalent factors for o pair of simi/or tri paragraph.
odes operating as o cathode-coupled audio
frequency voltage amplifier. Direct Coupling Direct coupling between suc-
cessive amplifier stages (plate
of first stage connected directly to the grid of
the succeeding stage) is complicated by the
the transformer which it and its associated
fact that the grid of an amplifier stage must
tube feed. The resistance-transformer arrange
ment of figure !OF is ordinarily quite satis be operated at an average negative poten-
factory where it is desired to feed a trans tial with respect to the cathode of that stage.
former from a voltage amplifier stage with no However, if the cathode of the second ampli- the transformer primary. fier stage can be operated at a potential more
positive than the plate of the preceding stage
by the amount of the grid bias on the second
Cathode The cathode coupling arrangement amplifier stage, this direct connection between
Coupling of figure lOG has been widely used the plate of one stage and the grid of the suc-
only comparatively recently. One ceeding stage can be used. Figure IOH il-
outstanding characteristic of such a circuit is lustrates an application of this principle in
that there is no phase reversal between the the coupling of a pentode amplifier stage to
grid and the plate circuit. All other common the grid of a "hot-cathode" phase inverter. In
types of interstage coupling are accompanied this arrangement the values of cathode, screen,
by a 180 phase reversal between the grid and plate resistor in the pentode stage are
circuit and the plate circuit of the tube. chosen such that the plate of the pentode is at
Figure 11 gives the expressions for deter- approximately 0. 3 times the plate supply po-
mining the appropriate factors for an equiva- tential. The succeeding phase-inverter stage
lent triode obtained through the use of a pair then operates with conventional values of
of similar triodes connected in the cathode cathode and plate resistor (same value of re-
coupled circuit shown. With these equivalent sistance) in its normal manner. This type of
triode factors it is possible to use the ex- phase inverter is described in more detail in
pressions shown in figure 5 to determine the the section to follow.
gain of the stage at different frequencies. The
input capacitance of such a stage is less than
that of one of the triodes, the effective grid
to-plate capacitance is very much less (it is 6-8 Phase Inverters
so much less that such a stage may be used
as an r-f amplifier without neutralization), and
the output capacitance is approximately equal It is necessary in order to excite the grids
to the grid-to-plate c,;apacitance of one of the of a push-pull stage that voltages equal in
triode sections. This circuit is particularly amplitude and opposite in polarity be applied
effective with tubes such as the 6]6, 6N7, and to the two grids. These voltages may be ob-
6SN7-GT which have two similar triodes in tained through the use of a push-pull input
one envelope. An appropriate value of cathode transformer such as is shown in figure IOC.
resistor to use for such a stage is the value It is possible also, without the attendant bulk
which would be used for the cathode resistor and expense of a push-pull input transformer,
of a conventional amplifier using one of the to obtain voltages of the proper polarity and
116 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

phase through the use of a so-called phase-

inverter stage. There are a large number of
phase inversion circuits which have been de-
veloped and applied b.ut the three shown in
figure 12 have been found over a period of
time to be the most satisfactory from the point
of view of the number of components required
and from the standpoint of the accuracy with
which the two out-of-phase voltages are held
to the same amplitude with changes in supply
voltage and changes in tubes.
All of these vacuum tube phase inverters
are based upon the fact that a 180 phase
shift occurs within a vacuum tube between the
grid input voltage and the plate output voltage.
In certain circuits, the fact that the grid input
voltage and the voltage appearing across the
cathode bias resistor are in phase is used for
phase inversion purposes.
"Hot-Cathode" Figure 12A illustrates the hot-
Phase Inverter cathode type of phase in-
verter. This type of phase in-
verter is the simplest of the three types since
it requires only one tube and a minimum of
circuit components. It is particularly simple
when directly coupled from the plate of a
pentode amplifier stage as shown in figure
lOH. The circuit does, however, possess the
following two disadvantages: ( 1) the cathode +B300V.
of the tube must run at a potential of approxi- =
mately 0.3 times the plate supply voltage CATHODE COUPLED PHASE INVERTER

above the heater when a grounded common

heater winding is used for this tube as well Figure 12
as the other heater-cathode tubes in a receiver
or amplifier: (2) the circuit actually has a
loss in voltage from its input to either of the
output grids- about 0. 9 times the input volt-
age will be applied to each of these grids.
This does represent a voltage gain of about
1.8 in total voltage output with respect to in-
put (grid-to-grid output voltage) but it is still tube, and appropriate values for the 6N7 tube
small with respect to the other two phase in this application are shown. The circuit
inverter circuits shown. shown with the values given will give a volt-
Recommended component values for use age gain of approximately 21 from the input
with a 6]5 tube in this circuit are shown in grid to each of the grids of the succeeding
figure 12A. If it is desired to use another tube stage. It is capable of approximately 70 volts
in this circuit, appropriate values for the oper- peak output to each grid.
ation of that tube as a conventional amplifier The circuit inherently has a small unbalance
can be obtained from manufacturer's tube data. in output voltage. This unbalance can be elim-
The value of RL obtained should be divided by inated, if it is required for some special appli-
two, and this new value of resistance placed cation, by making the resistor R 81 a few per
in the circuit as RL. The value of Rk from cent lower in resistance value than Rg 3 .
tube manual tables should then be used as
Rkl in this circuit, and then the total of Rkl Cathode-Coupled The circuit shown in figure
and Rk 2 should be equal to RL. Phase Inverter 12C gives approximately one-
half the voltage gain from the
"Floating Paraphase" An alternate type of input grid to either of the grids of the suc-
Phase Inverter phase inverter some- ceeding stage that would be obtained from a
times called the "float- single tube of the same type operating as a
ing paraphase" is illustrated in figure 12B. conventional R-C amplifier stage. Thus, with
This circuit is quite often used with a 6N7 a 6SN7-GT tube as shown (two 6J5's in one
HANDBOOK Vacuum Tube Voltmeter 117

.01 Rs Rs


- llf:.:+-+--------+----.::r

Figure 14

Figure 13
same amplitude as the output of V,, but of
opposite phase.

envelope) the voltage gain from the input

grid to either of the output grids will be ap- 6-9 D-C Amp I ifiers
proximately 7 - the gain is, of course, 14 from
the input to both output grids. The phase
characteristics are such that the circuit is Direct current amplifiers are special types
commonly used in deriving push-pull deflec- used where amplification of very slow varia-
tion voltage for a cathode-ray tube from a tions in voltage, or of d-e voltages is desired.
signal ended input signal. A simple d-e amplifier consists of a single
The first half of the 6SN7 is used as an tube with a grid resil!tor across the input
amplifier to increase the amplitude of the ap- terminals, and the load in the plate circuit.
plied signal to the desired level. The second
half of the 6SN7 is used as an inverter and
amplifier to produce a signal of the same
amplitude but of opposite polarity. Since the Basic D-C A simple d-e amplifier
common cathode resistor, Rk, is not by-passed Amplifier Circuit circuit is shown in
the voltage across it is the algebraic sum of figure 14, wherein the
the two plate currents and has the same shape
the grid of one tube is connected directly to
and polarity as the voltage applied to the in-
the plate of the pre ceding tube in such a
put grid of the first half of the 6SN7. When a
signal, e, is applied to the input circuit, the manner that voltage changes on the grid of
effective grid-cathode voltage of the first the first tube will be amplified by the system.
section is Ae/2, when A is the gain of the The voltage drop across the plate coupling
first section. Since the grid of the second resistor is impressed directly upon the grid
section of the 6SN7 is grounded, the effect of of the second tube, which is provided with
the signal voltage across Rk (equal to e/2 if enough negative grid bias to balance out the
Rk is the proper value) is the same as though excessive voltage drop across the coupling
a signal of the same amplitude but of opposite resistor. The grid of the second tube is thus
polarity were applied to the grid. The output maintained in a slightly negative position.
of the second section is equal to - Ae/2 if the The d-e amplifier will provide good low fre-
plate load resistors are the same for both tube quency response, with negligible phase dis-
sections. tortion. High frequency response is limited
by the shunting effect of the tube capacitances,
as in the normal resistance coupled amplifier.
A common fault with d-e amplifiers of all
Voltage Divider A commonly used phase in-
types is static instability. Small changes in
Phase Inverter verter is shown in figure 13.
The input section (V 1) is con- the filament, plate, or grid voltages cannot
nected as a conventional amplifier. The out- be distinguished from the exciting voltage.
put voltage from V, is impressed on the volt- Regulated power supplies and special balanc-
age divider R, R6 The values of R, and R 6 ing circuits have been devised to reduce the
are in such a ratio that the voltage impressed effects of supply variations on these ampli-
upon the grid of V2 is 1/ A times the output fiers. A successful system is to apply the
voltage of V,, where A is the amplification plate potential in phase to two tubes, and to
factor of V,. The output of V2 is then of the apply the exciting signal to a push-pull grid
118 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

Figure 15
Figure 16

circuit configuration. If the two tubes are is characterized by increased plate-cucuu

identical, any change in electrode voltage is efficiency over straight Class A amplification
balanced out. The use of negacive feedback without grid current. The normal Class A 1
can also greatly reduce drift problems. amplifier power stage will operate with a plate
circuit efficiency of from 20 per cent to perhaps
The "Loftin-White" Two d-e amplifier 35 per cent. Through the use of Class A 2
operation it is possible to increase this plate
Circuit stages may be arranged,
circuit efficiency to approximately 38 to 45
so that their plate
per cent. However, such operation requires
supplies are effectively in series, as illus-
careful choice of the value of plate load im-
trated in figure 15- This is known as a Loftin- pedance, a grid bias supply with good regula-
Wbite amplifier. All plate and grid voltages tion (since the tube draws grid current on
may be obtained from one master power supply peaks although the plate current does not
instead of separate grid and plate supplies. change with signal), and a driver tube with
A push-pull version of this amplifier (figure 16) moderate power capability to excite the grid
can be used to balance out the effects of slow of the Class A 2 tube.
variations in the supply voltage. Figures 17D and 17E illustrate two methods
of connection for such stages. Tubes such as
the 845, 849, and 304TL are suitable for such
a stage. In each case the grid bias is approxi-
6-10 Single-ended Triode mately the same as would be used for a Class
A1 amplifier using the same tube, and as
Amplifiers mentioned before, fixed bias must be used
along with an audio driver of good regulation-
Figure 17 illustrates five circuits for the preferably a triode stage with a 1: 1 or step-
operation of Class A triode amplifier stages. down driver transformer. In each case it will
Since the cathode current of a triode Class A 1 be found that the correct value of plate load
(no grid current) amplifier stage is constant impedance will be increased about 40 per cent
with and without excitation, it is common over the value recommended by the tube manu-
practice to operate the tube with cathode facturer for Class A 1 operation of the tube.
bias. Recommended operating conditions in
regard to plate voltage, grid bias, and load Operation Character- A Class A power amplifier
impedance for conventional triode amplifier istics of a Triode operates in such a way as
Power Amplifier to amplify as faithfully as
stages are given in the RCA Tube Manual,
RC-16. possible the waveform ap-
plied to the grid of the tube. Large power out-
put is of more importance than high voltage
amplification, consequent! y gain character-
Extended Class A It is possible, under certain istics may be sacrificed in power tube design
Operation conditions to operate single- to obtain more important power handling capa-
ended triode amplifier stages bilities. Class A power tubes, such as the 45,
(and pentode and tetrode stages as well) with 2A3 and 6AS7 are characterized by a low
grid excitation of sufficient amplitude that amplification factor, high plate dissipation
grid current is taken by the tube on peaks. and relatively high filament emission.
This type of operation is called Class A 2 and The operating characteristics of a Class A
HANDBOOK Triode Amplifier Characteristics 11 9

-(0. 68 X Ebb)

-ll ll
Where Ebb is the actual plate voltage of
the Class A stage, and ll is the amplifi-
cation factor of the tube.
@ IMPEDANCE COUPLING 3- Locate the Eg bias point on the Ip vs.
EP graph where the Eg bias line crosses
the plate voltage line, as shown in figure
18. Call this point P.
4- Locate on the plate family of curves the
value of zero-signal plate current, IP,
corresponding to the operating point, P.
5- Locate 2 x I P (twice the value of I p) on
the plate current axis (Y-axis). This
@ TRANSFORMER COUPLING point corresponds to the value of maxi-
mum signal plate current, imax
6- Locate point x on the d-e bias curve at
zero volts (Eg = 0), corresponding to the
value of imax
7- Draw a straight line(x- y) through points
x and P. This line is the load resistance
line. Its slope corresponds to the value
of the load resistance.
8- Load Resistance, (in ohms)
emax- em in
RL =. .
lmax - lmin

where e is in volts, i is in amperes, and

RL is in ohms.
9- Check: Multiply the zero-signal plate
current, Ip, by the operating plate volt-
age, Ep. If the plate dissipation rating
of the tube is exceeded, it is necessary
to increase the bias (Eg) on the tube so
that the plate dissipation falls within
the maximum rating of the tube. If this
step is taken, operations 2 through 8
-BIAS +B LOAD must be repeated with the new value of
10- For maximum power output, the peak a-c
grid voltage on the tube should swing to
Figure 17 2Eg on the negative cycle, and to zero-
Output coupling arrangements for slng/e .. ended bias on the positive cycle. At the peak
Closs A triode aud/o .. frequency power amplifiers. of the negative swing, the plate volt-
age reaches emax and the plate current
drops to imin. On the positive swing of
the grid signal, the plate voltage drops
triode amplifier employing an output trans- to emin and the plate current reaches
former-coupled load may be calculated from imax The power output of the tube is:
the plate family of curves for the particular Power Output (watts)
rube in question by employing the following
steps: Cimax- imio) X (emax- em in)
1- The load resistance should be approxi- 8
mate! y twice the plate resistance of the where i is in amperes and e is in volts.
rube for maximum undistorted power out-
put. Remember this fact for a quick check 11- The second harmonic distortion generated
on calculations. in a single-ended Class A triode ampli-
2- Calculate the zero-signal bias voltage fier, expressed as a percentage of the
(Eg). fundamental output signal is:
12 0 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

25 0

g"' "'
;,. II- N
:; ii
" '
~150 0
~ Figure 19
I 0
~0 ? Normal single-ended pentacle or beam tetrocle
-t+--7- I HI ~.-"'"" '
audio-frequency power output stage.

- :"1:1;,c p


-~ fA'- wV
It Iilii'


1/1 /!;)
J{ '
ri plifier stage. Tubes of this type have largely
replaced triodes in the output stage of re-
EIG ~0
H'J 500
ceivers and amplifiers due to the higher plate
efficiency (30%-40%) with which they operate.
Tetrode and pentode tubes do, however, intro-
duce a considerably greater amount of harmonic
Jl =4.2 Rp = 800 OHMS
distortion in their output circuit, particularly
odd harmonics. In addition, their plate circuit
impedance (which acts in an amplifier to damp
loudspeaker overshoot and ringing, and acts
in a driver stage to provide good regulation) is
many times higher than that of an equivalent
triode. The application of negative feedback
POWER OUTPUT acts both to reduce distortion and to reduce
the effective plate circuit impedance of these

Operating Character- The operating character-

istics of a Pentode istics of pentode power
(I MAx.+ IMIN.l -Ip Power Amplifier amplifiers may be obtained
02=----~2~--~-------- X 100 PERCENT from the plate family of
curves, much as in the manner applied to
triode tubes. A typical family of pentode plate
Figure 18
Formulas lor determining the operating con-
curves is shown in figure 20. It can be seen
ditions for a Class A triode single-ended audio- from these curves that the plate current of the
frequency power output stage. A typical load tube is relatively independent of the applied
line has been drawn on the average plate char .. plate voltage, but is sensitive to screen volt-
acteristics of a type 2A3 tube to illustrate age. In general, the correct pentode load re-
the procedure. sistance is about

0. 9 Ep
% 2d harmonic =
and the power output is somewhat less than
Ep X lp
- - - - - (x 100)

Figure 18 illustrates the above steps as These formulae may be used for a quick check
applied to a single Class A 2A3 ampli- on more precise calculations. To obtain the
fier stage. operating parameters for Class A pentode am-
plifiers, the following steps are taken:
1- The imax point is chosen so as to fall on
6-11 Single-ended Pentode the zero-bias curve, just above the
Amplifiers "knee" of the curve (point A, figure 20) .
2- A preliminary operating point, P, is deter-
Figure 19 illustrates the conventional cir- mined by the intersection of the plate
cuit for a single-ended tetrode or pentode am- voltage line, Ep, and the line of imax/2.
HANDBOOK Push-Pull Amplifiers 1 21

II 6- The power output is:

Power Output (watts)
(imax- iminl + 1.41 (Ix- Iy) 2 X RL
Po ~----------------~--~-----=
v:'here I x is the plate current at the point
on the load line where the grid voltage,
e 8 , is equal to: E 8 - 0. 7 E 8 ; and where
ly is the plate current at the point where
eg is equal to: E 8 + 0. 7 E8
7- The percentage harmonic distortion is:
% 2d harmonic distortion


imax- imin + 1.41 (Ix- ly)
Figure 20 Where lp is the static plate current of
of the tube.
ING CHARACTERISTICS OF A PENTODE % 3d harmonic distortion
imax- imin- 1.41 (IX- ly)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ __:__:.___ X 100
"V" is the negative control gricl voltage at
the operating point P imax- imin + 1.41 Ox- ly)

The grid voltage curve that this point

falls upon should be one that is about ~ 6-12 Push-Pull Audio
the value of E 8 required to cut the plate Amplifiers
current to a very low value (Point B).
Point B represents imin on the plate cur-
rent axis (y-axis). The line imax/2 should A number of advantages are obtained through
be located half-way between imax and the use of the push-pull connection of two or
imin four tubes in an audio-frequency power am-
3- A trial load line is constructed about plifier. Two conventional circuits for the use
point P and point A in such a way that of triode and tetrode tubes in the push-pull
the lengths A-P and P-B are approxi- connection are shown in figure 21. The two
mately equal. main advantages of the push-pull circuit ar-
4- V:'hen the most satisfactory load line has rangement are: ( 1) the magnetizing effect
been determined, the load resistance may of the plate currents of the output tubes is
calculated: cancelled in the windings of the output trans-
former; (2) even harmonics of the input signal
emax- emin
(second and fourth harmonics primarily) gen-
erated in the push-pull stage are cancelled
when the tubes are balanced.
5- The operating bias (Eg) is the bias at The cancellation of even harmonics gener-
point P. ated in the stage allows the tubes to be oper-



122 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

300 300

=-i= UAAX
x A

25 0 -~~rl~::::~ i

-;;: r-

~20 0 200~

1/) Vl
w UJ
/1~6EP r-
"'a.w I "'a.
~IS 0 I 50 :::;:
_j tJ" ,~
:::;: ~I-
UJ 10 0
'lf'-t-- A'

'00 ~
<( ,, I
a. ' _j
+r.?$T '
so 50
~'fllcfY -l~r 7{ Ht~~ c TANGE._NT TO
A fi
.J..'l .A. A' ijl'f\;
o..-r ..-!"' A' ~ B
so 200 -eo -10 -eo -5o -40 -3o -20 -10

Figure 22

ated Class AB -in other words the tubes may a particular triode tube by the following steps:
be operated with bias and input signals of 1 Erect a vertical line from the plate volt-
such amplitude that the plate current of alter- age axis (x-axis) at 0. 6 Ep (figure 22),
nate tubes may be cut off during a portion of which intersects the Eg = 0 curve. This
the input voltage cycle. If a tube were operated point of intersection (P), interpolated to
in such a manner in a single-ended amplifier the plate current axis (y-axis) may be
the second harmonic amplitude generated would taken as imax. It is assumed for simplifi-
be prohibitively high. cation that imax occurs at the point of
. Push-pull Class AB operation allows a plate the zero-bias curve corresponding to
circuit efficiency of from 45 to 60 per cent to 0.6 Ep-
be obtained in an amplifier stage depending 2- The power output obtainable from the two
upon whether or not the exciting voltage is tubes is:
of such amplitude that grid current is drawn
by the tubes. If grid current is taken on input Power output (P0 )
voltage peaks the amplifier is said to be oper 5
ating Class AB2 and the plate circuit effi-
ciency can be as high as the upper value just where P 0 is expressed in watts, imax in
mentioned. If grid current is not taken by the amperes, and Ep is the applied plate
stage it is said to be operating Class AB 1 and voltage.
the plate circuit efficiency will be toward the
3- Draw a preliminary load line through
lower end of the range just quoted. In all Class
point P to the Ep point located on the
AB amplifiers the plate current will increase
x-axis (the zero p1ate current line). This
from 40 to 150 per cent over the no-signal load line represents J,i of the actual plate-
value when full signal is applied.
to-plate load of the Class A tubes. There-

The operating char-

E -0.6 E
Operating Characteristics RL (plate-to-plate) =4 x P P
of Push-Pull Class A acteristics of push- imax
Triode Power Amplifier pull Class A ampli-
"' 1.6 EP _
fiers may also be
determined from the plate family of curves for imax
HANDBOOK Class 8 Audio Amplifiers 1 23

where RL is expressed in ohms, EP in

volts, and imax in amperes.
Figure 22 illustrates the above steps ap-
plied to a push-pull Class A amplifier using
two 2A3 tubes.
4- The average plate current is 0.636 i mw"
and, multiplied by the plate voltage, Ep,
8+ MOO.
will give the average watts input to the B+ DRIVER -BIAS
plates of the two tubes. The power out- ZERO BIAS
put should be subtracted from this value CONDITION)

to obtain the total operating plate dis-

sipation of the two tubes. If the plate Figure 23
dissipation is excessive, a slightly CLASS B AUDIO FREQUENCY
higher value of RL should be chosen to POWER AMPLIFIER
limit the plate dissipation.
5- The correct value of operating bias, and
the static plate current for the push-pull
tubes may be determined from the E 8 vs. 70 per cent are readily obtainable with the
lp curves, which are a derivation of the tube types at present available for this type
Ep vs. lp curves for various values of of work. Since the plate circuit efficiency is
Eg. higher, smaller tubes of lower plate diss_i~a
6- The E 8 vs. lp curve may be ~ons_tructed tion may be used in a Class B power ampl!f1er
in this manner: Values of gnd b1as are
of a given power output than can be used in
read from the intersection of each grid any other conventional type of audio amplifier.
bias curve with the load line. These An additional factor in favor of the Class B
points are transferred to the E 8 vs. Ip audio amplifier is the fact that the power in-
graph to produce a curved line, A-B. If put to the stage is relatively low under no-
the grid bias curves of the Ep vs. Ip signal conditions. It is for these reasons that
graph were straight lines, the lines of this type of amplifier has largely superseded
the E 8 vs. lp graph would also be straight other types in the generation of audio-frequency
This is usually not the case. A tangent levels from perhaps 100 watts on up to levels
to this curve is therefore drawn, starting of approximately 150,000 watts as required for
at point A 1 , and intersecting the grid large short-wave broadcast stations.
voltage abscissa (x-axis). This inter-
section (C) is the operating bias point
for fixed bias operation. Disadvantages af There are attendant dis-
7- This operating bias point may now be Class B Amplifier advantageous features to the
plotted on the original E 8 vs. lp family Operation operation of a power ampli-
of curves (C 1 ) , and the zero-signal cur- fier of this type; but all
rent produced by this bias is determined. these disadvantages can be overcome by proper
This operating bias point (C 1 ) does not fall design of the circuits associated with the
on the operating load line, as in the case of a power amplifier stage. These disadvantages
single-ended amplifier. are: (1) The Class B audio amplifier requires
8- Under conditions of maximum power out- driving power in its grid circuit; this dis-
put, the exciting signal voltage swings advantage can be overcome by the use of an
from zero-bias voltage to zero-bias volt- oversize power stage preceding the Class B
age for each of the tubes on each half stage with a step-down transformer between
of the signal cycle. Second harmonic the driver stage and the Class-8 grids. De-
distortion is largely cancelled out. generative feedback is sometimes employed
to reduce the plate impedance of the driver
stage and thus to improve the voltage regula-
tion under the varying load presented by the
6-13 Class B Audio Frequency Class B grids. (2) The Class B stage requires
Power Amplifiers a constant value of average grid bias to be
supplied in spite of the fact that the grid cur-
rent on the stage is zero over most of the
The Class B audio-frequency power ampli- cycle but rises to values as high as one-third
fier (figure 23) operates at a higher plate- of the peak plate current on the peak of the
circuit efficiency than any of the previously exciting voltage cycle. Special regulated bias
described types of audio power amplifiers. supplies have been used for this application,
Full-signal plate-circuit efficiencies of 60 to orB batteries can be used. However, a number
124 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

of tubes especially designed for Class B audio a point at about the same amount of plate
amplifiers have been developed which require current mentioned above, just to the
zero average grid bias for their operation. The right of the region where the Ib line
811A, 838, 805, 809, HY-5514, and TZ-40 are takes a sharp curve downward. This will
examples of this type of tube. All these so- be the first trial point, and the plate
called "zero-bias" tubes have rated operating voltage at the point chosen should be
conditions up to moderate plate voltages not more than about 20 per cent of the
wherein they can be operated without grid d-e voltage applied to the tubes if good
bias. As the plate voltage is increased to plate-circuit efficiency is desired.
to their maximum ratings, however, a small 2- Note down the value of ipmax and epmin at
amount of grid bias, such as could be obtained this point.
from several 4 ~-volt C batteries, is required. 3- Subtract the value of epmin from the d-e
(3), A Class B audio-frequency power ampli- plate voltage on the tubes.
fier or modulator requires a source of plate 4- Substitute the values obtained in the
supply voltage having reasonably good regula- following equations:
tion. This requirement led to the development
of the swinging choke. The swinging choke is ipmax (Ebb - epmin)
P0 = ~ =Power output
essentially a conventional filter choke in 2 from 2 tubes
which the core air gap has been reduced. This
reduction in the air gap allows the choke to (Ebb- e .)
have a much greater value of inductance with
RL =4 . pmm
low current values such as are encountered
with no signal or small signal being applied = Plate-to-plate load for 2 tubes
to the Class B stage. With a higher value of
current such as would be taken by a Class B Full signal efficiency (Np) =
stage with full signal applied the inductance
of the choke drops to a much lower value.
With a swinging choke of this type, having
adequate current rating, as the input inductor 78.5 1 -epmin
-- )
in the filter system for a rectifier power sup- Ebb
ply, the regulation will be improved to a point
which is normally adequate for a power supply
for a Class B amplifier or modulator stage.
Effects of Speech All the above equations are
Clipping true for sine-wave operating
The following proce-
Cal cui at ion of Operating conditions of the tubes con-
Conditions of Class B dure can be used for cerned. However, if a speech clipper is being
Power Amplifiers the calculation of the used in the speech amplifier, or if it is desired
operating conditions to calculate the operating conditions on the
of Class B power amplifiers when they are to basis of the fact that the ratio of peak power
operate into a resistive load such as the type to average power in a speech wave is approxi-
of load presented by a Class C power ampli- mately 4-to-1 as contrasted to the ratio of
fier. This procedure will be found quite satis- 2-to-1 in a sine wave- in other words, when
factory for the application of vacuum tubes as non-sinusoidal waves such as plain speech or
Class B modulators when it is desired to speech that has passed through a clipper are
operate the tubes under conditions which are concerned, we are no longer concerned with
not specified in the tube operating character- average power output of the modulator as far
istics published by the tube manufacturer. The as its capability of modulating a Class-C ampli-
same procedure can be used with equal effec- fier is concerned; we are concerned with its
tiveness for the calculation of the operating peak-power-output capability.
conditions of beam tetrodes as Class AB 2 Under these conditions we call upon other,
amplifiers or modulators when the resting more general relationships. The first of these
plate current on the tubes (no signal condi- is: It requires a peak power output equal to
tion) is less than 25 or 30 per cent of the the Class-C stage input to modulate that input
maximum-signal plate current. fully.
1- With the average plate characteristics The second one is: The average power out-
of the tube as published by the manu- put required of the modulator is equal to the
facturer before you, select a point on shape factor of the modulating wave multi-
the EP = Eg (diode bend) line at about plied by the input to the Class-C stage. The
twice the plate current you expect the shape factor of unclipped speech is approxi-
tubes to kick to under modulation. If mately 0. 25. The shape factor of a sine wave
beam tetrode tubes are concerned, select is 0. 5. The shape factor of a speech wave that
HANDBOOK Class B Parameters 125

80 0
;:; l,oo :-- I
....- EF = 6. 3 VOLTS D.C.

.!::!- .ol/
0 60 0 0

w 1-- 1--
<.!) "
u ....- ~
,t;; ----- '-" E.c.s;_;:..2-
Figure 24 0 40 0
~1!3o I
.0 I"
Typical Class B a-f amplifier ~

w I I
load line. The load line has
~ ~
f.- I-
been drawn on the overage ..J I ~!L.-
~ 200
characteristics of a
type 811

-+-- f-K ~
_Ic=+ +20
- --- -- -

' +eo

--- ~+~o~i- --", --- Ecc- o

400 BOO 1200 1600 2000 2400

has been passed through a clipper-filter ar- tion shown in figure 25, or by reference to the
rangement is somewhere between 0. 25 and 0. 9 published characteristics on the tubes to be
depending upon the amount of clipping that used. (2) Determine the load impedance which
has taken place. With 15 or 20 db of clipping will be presented by the Class C amplifier
the shape factor may be as high as the figure stage to be modulated by dividing the operating
of 0. 9 mentioned above. This means that the plate voltage on that stage by the operating
audio power output of the modulator will be value of plate current in amperes. (3) Divide
90% of the input to the Class-C stage. Thus the Class C load impedance determined in (2)
with a kilowatt input we would be putting
900 watts of audio into the Class-C stage for
100 per cent modulation as contrasted to per- SAMPLE CALCULATION
haps 250 watts for unclipped speech modula-
tion of 100 per cent. CONDITION: 2 TYPE 611 TUBES, Ebb,= 1000
PEAK POWER OUTPUT NEEDED= 3~0 + eo..b = 370 W.
Sample Calculation Figure 24 shows a set of FINAL AMPLIFIER Ebb= 2000 V.
Fl NAL AMPLIFIER [ b .175 A. =
far 811 A Tubes plate characteristics for fiNAL AMPLIFIER ZL = _iQQQ_ = 11400Il.
a type SUA tube with a
load line for Class B operation. Figure 25 EXAMPLE: CHOSE POINT ON 811 CHARACTERISTICS JUST
lists a sample calculation for determining the TO RIGHT OF Ebb= Ecc. { POt~r X., F/6. :Z.4 J
IP MAX.= .410 A. EP MIN.::::+ 100
proper operating conditions for obtaining ap- lG MAX.= .tOO A. EG MAX.:::: + 80
proximately 185 watts output from a pair of
the tubes with 1000 volts d-e plate potential. PEAK Po= .410 x (tooo-100) = .410 x 900 = 369 w.
Also shown in figure 25 is the method of de- RL = 4 X _:;>g = 8800 .n.
termining the proper ratio for the modulation Np = 78.5 (1- 1 6~~ )= 76.5 (.9) = 10. o 'lb
transformer to couple between the Bll's or Wo {AVERAGE WITH SINE WAVE) :::: Po(~EAK)=-t84.5W
BllA' s and the anticipated final amplifier
which is to operate at 2000 plate volts and WIN = 1 ~ci.-: = 260 w.
175 rna. plate current. WG PEAK = . 100 X 80 :::: 8 W.

Modulation TransformerThe method illustrated k- 11400 -
Calculation in figure 25 can be used ZP - 8800 - 1. 29

in general for the deter- TURNS RATIO:::: ~:::: {1:29 : : f.14STEPUP

mination of the proper transformer ratio to
couple between the modulator tube and the Figure 25
amplifier to be modulated. The procedure can
Typical calculation of operating conditions for
be stated as follows; (1) Determine the proper o Closs B o-f power amplifier using a pair of
plate-to-plate load impedance for the modulator type 811 or BIIA tubes. Plate characteristics
tubes either by the use of the type of calcula- and load line shown in figure 24.
126 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

above by the plate-to-plate load impedance for called upon to deliver power to a varying load,
the modulator tubes determined in (1) above. For best operation of the Class B stage, the
The ratio determined in this way is the sec- grid excitation voltage should not drop as the
ondary-co-primary impedance ratio. (4) Take power taken by the grid circuit increases.
the square root of this ratio to determine the These opposing conditions call for a high or-
secondary-to-primary turns ratio. If the turns der of voltage regulation in the driver stage
ratio is greater than one the use of a step-up plate circuit. In order to enhance the voltage
transformer is required. If the turns ratio as regulation of this circuit, the driver tubes must
determined in this way is less than one a step- have low plate resistance, the driver trans-
down transformer is called for. former must have as large a step-down ratio
If the procedure shown in figure 25 has as possible, and the d-e resistance of both
been used to calculate the operating conditions primary and secondary windings of the driver
for the modulator tubes, the transformer ratio transformer should be low.
calculation can be checked in the following The driver transformer should reflect into
manner: Divide the plate voltage on the mod- the plate circuit of the driver tubes a load of
ulated amplifier by the total voltage swing on such value that the required driving power is
the modulator tubes: 2 (Ebb - emi0 ) . This ratio just developed with full excitation applied to
should be quae close numerically to the trans- the driver grid circuit. If this is done, the
former turns ratio as previously determined. driver transformer will have as high a step-
The reason for this condition is that the ratio down ratio as is consistent with the maximum
between the total primary voltage and the d-e drive requirements of the Class B stage. If
plate supply voltage on the modulated stage the step-down ratio of the driver transformer is
is equal to the turns ratio of the transformer, too large, the driver plate load will be so
since a peak secondary voltage equal co the high that the power required to drive the Class
plate voltage on the modulated stage is re- B stage to full output cannot be developed.
quired to modulate this stage 100 per cent. If the step-down ratio is too small the regula-
tion of the driver stage will be impaired.
Use of Clipper Speech When a clipper speech
Amplifier with Tetrode amplifier is used in Driver Stoge The parameters for the driver
Modulator Tubes conjunction with a Class Calculations stage may be calculated from
B modulator stage, the the plate characteristic curve, a
plate current on that stage will kick to a sample of which is shown in figure 24. The
higher value with modulation(due to the greater required positive grid voltage ( e g-max) for the
average power output and input) but the plate 811A tubes used in the sample calculation is
dissipation on the tubes will ordinarily be found at point X, the intersection of the load
less than with sine-wave modulation. However, line and the peak plate current as found on the
when tetrode tubes are used as modulators, y-axis. This is + 80 volts. If a vertical line
the screen dissipation will be much greater is dropped from point X to intersect the dotted
than with sine-wave modulation. Care must grid current curves, it will be found that the
be taken to insure that the screen dissipa- grid current for a single 8llA at this value of
tion rating on the modulator tubes is not ex- grid voltage is 100 milliamperes (point Y).
ceeded under full modulation conditions with The peak grid driving power is therefore
a clipper speech amplifier. The screen dissipa- 80 x 0.100 = 8 watts. The approximate average
tion is equal to screen voltage times screen driving power is 4 watts. This is an approxi-
current. mate figure because the grid impedance is not
constant over the entire audio cycle.
Practical Aspects af As stated previously, a A pair of 2A3 tubes will be used as drivers,
Class B Modulators Class B audio amplifier operating Class A, with the maximum excita-
requires the driving stage
tion to the drivers occuring just below the
to supply well-regulated audio power to the
point of grid current flow in the 2A3 tubes.
grid circuit of the Class B stage. Since the The driver plate voltage is 300 volts, and the
performance of a Class Bmodulator may easily grid bias is -62 volts. The peak power devel-
be impaired by an improperly designed driver oped in the primary winding of the driver
stage, it is well to study the problems in- transformer is:
curred in the design of the driver stage.
The grid circuit of a Class B modulator may
Peak Power (Pp) ~ 2RL (
p.Eg );z
be compared to a variable resistance which
(watts) Rp + RL
decreases in value as the exciting grid volt-
age is increased. This variable resistance ap- where p. is the amplification factor of the
pears across the secondary terminals of the driver tubes (4.2 for 2A3). E 8 is the peak grid
driver transformer so that the driver stage is swing of the driver stage (62 volts). RP is the
HANDBOOK Cathode Follower Amplifier 127

plate resistance of one driver tube (800 ohms). former may result if the plate load impedance
RL is Yz the plate-to-plate load of the driver of the modulator stage is too low.
stage, and Pp is 8 watts. When the modulator load impedance is too
Solving the above equation for RL, we high, the maximum power capability of the
obtain a value of 14,500 ohms load, plate-to- stage is reduced. An attempt to increase the
plate for the 2A3 driver tubes. output by increasing grid excitation to the
The peak primary voltage is: stage will result in peak-clipping of the audio
wave. In addition, high peak voltages may be
f1Eg built up in the plate circuit that may damage
epri ~ 2RL X---- ~ 493 volts
Rp + RL the modulation transformer.

and the turns ratio of the driver transformer

(primary to Yz secondary) is: 6-14 Cathode-Foil ower
Power Amplifiers
epri 493
--~ -~ 6.15:1
eg(max) 80 The cathode-follower is essentially a power
output stage in which the exciting signal is
Plate Circuit One of the commonest causes of applied between grid and ground. The plate is
Impedance distortion in a Class B modu- maintained at ground potential with respect to
Matching lator is incorrect load impedance input and output signals, and the output signal
in the plate circuit. The purpose
is taken between cathode and ground.
of the Class B modulation transformer is to
take the power developed by the modulator
Types of Cathode- Figure 26 illustrates four
(which has a certain operating impedance) and Follower Amplifiers types of cathode-follower
transform it to the operating impedance im-
power amplifiers in com
posed by the modulated amplifier stage.
mon usage and figure 27 shows the output
If the transformer in question has the same impedance (R 0 ), and stage gain (A) of both
number of turns on the primary winding as it triode and pentode (or tetrode) cathode-follower
has on the secondary winding, the turns ratio stages. It will be seen by inspection of the
is 1:1, and the impedance ratio is also 1: I. If equations that the stage voltage gain is always
a 10, 000 ohm resistor is placed across the less than one, that the output impedance of
secondary terminals of the transformer, a re the stage is much less than the same stage
fleeted load of 10, 000 ohms would appear operated as a conventional cathode-return
across the primary terminals. If the resistor amplifier. The output impedance for con-
is changed to one of 2376 ohms, the reflected ventional tubes will be somewhere between
primary impedance would also be 2376 ohms. 100 and 1000 ohms, depending primarily on
If the transformer has twice as many turns the transconductance of the tube.
on the secondary as on the primary, the turns This reduction in gain and output imped-
ratio is 2: I. The impedance ratio is the square ance for the cathode-follower comes about
of the turns ratio, or 4: I. If a 10, 000 ohm since the stage operates as though it has 100
resistor is now placed across the secondary per cent degenerative feedback applied between
winding, a reflected load of 2,500 ohms will its output and input circuit. Even though the
appear across the primary winding. voltage gain of the stage is reduced to a value
less than one by the action of the degenerative
Effects af Plate It can be seen from the feedback, the power gain of the stage (if it is
Circuit Mis-match above paragraphs that the operating Class A) is not reduced. Although
Class B modulator plate more voltage is required to excite a cathode
load is entirely dependent upon the load follower amplifier than appears across the load
placed upon the secondary terminals of the
circuit, since the cathode "follows" along
Class B modulation transformer. If the second with the grid, the relative grid-to-cathode volt
ary load is incorrect, certain changes will age is essentially the same as in a con
take place in the operation of the Class B ventional amplifier.
modulator stage.
When the modulator load impedance is too Use of Cathode- Although the cathode-fol-
low, the efficiency of the Class B stage Follower Amplifiers lower gives no voltage
is reduced and the plate dissipation of the gain, it is an effective
tubes is increased. Peak plate current of power amplifier where it is desired to feed a
the modulator stage is increased, and satura low-impedance load, or where it is desired to
tion of the modulation transformer core may feed a load of varying impedance with a signal
result. "Talk-back" of the modulation trans having good regulation. This latter capability
12 8 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

TRIODE: lJ A = -..,"'J..l'--"R'-"L_ __
JJ+1 RL(JJ+1) +Rp

(RK1+RK2) R~
Ro(CA.THOOE) = .UR+, RKt + RK2.+ RL1


A = GM ReQ

Figure 27
Equivalent lor pentocle (or tetrode)
cathocle-follower power amplifiers.

plifier tube, the components Rk and Ck need

not_ be used. Figure 268 shows an arrangement
which_ may be used to feed directly a value of
load Impedance which is equal to or higher
than the cathode impedance of the amplifier
tube. The ~ al u e of Cc must be quite high,
somewhat higher than would be used in a con-
ventional circuit, if the frequency response of
the circuit when operating into a low-imped-
ance load is to be preserved.
Figures 26C and 26D show cathode-follower
circuits for use with tetrode or pentode tubes.
Figure 26C is a circuit similar to that shown
in 26A and essentially the same comments
apply in regard to the components Rk and Ck
and the primary resistance of the transformer
T 2 Notice also that the screen of the tube is
maintained at the same signal potential as the
cathode by means of coupling capacitor Cd
This capacitance should be large enough so
that at the lowest frequency it is desired to
@ pass through the stage its reactance will be
low with respect to the dynamic screen-to-
cathode resistance in parallel with Rd T 2 in
this stage as well as in the circuit of figure
Figure 26 26A should have the proper turns (or imped-
CATHODE- FOLLOWER OUTPUT ance) ratio to give the desired step-down or
CIRCUITS FOR AUDIO OR step-up from the cathode circuit to the load.
VIDEO AMPLIFIERS Figure 26D is an arrangement frequently used
in video systems for feeding a coaxial cable of
relatively low impedance from a vacuum-tube
amplifier. A pentode or tetrode tube with a
makes the cathode follower particularly effec- cathode impedsnce as a cathode follower
tive as a driver for the grids of a Class B (1/Gm) approximately the same as the cable
modulator stage. impedance should be chosen. The 6AG7 and
The circuit of figure 26A is the type of am- 6AC7 have cathode impedances of the same
plifier, either single-ended or push-pull, which order as the surge impedances of certain types
may be used as a driver for a Class B modu- of low-capacitance coaxial cable. An arrange-
lator or which may be used for other applica- ment such as 26D is also usable for feeding
tions such as feeding a loudspeaker where un- coaxial cable with audio or r-f energy where
usually good damping of the speaker is de- it is desired to transmit the output signal
sired. If the d-e resistance of the primary of over moderate distances. The resistor Rk is
the transformer T 2 is approximately the correct added to the circuit as shown if the cathode
value for the cathode bias resistor for the am- impedance of the tube used is lower than the
HANDBOOK Feedback Amplifiers 129

characteristic impedance of the cable. If the

output impedance of the stage is higher than
the cable impedance a resistance of appro-
priate value is sometimes placed in parallel
with the input end of the cable. The values
of Cd and Rd should be chosen with the same
considerations in mind as mentioned in the VOLTAGE AMPLIFICATION WITH FEEDBACK= _A_
discussion of the circuit of figure 26C above. 1-AB


The Cathode-Follower The cathode follower

in RF Stages may conveniently be
used as a method of cou- 8 IS NEGATIVE FOR NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

pling r-f or i-f energy between two units sepa- FEEDBACK IN DECIBELS= 20 LOG (1 -A 8)
rated a considerable distance. In such an = 20 LOG ~:~ ;:~6: ~~~~% ~~;Ho~~:~~~~:CK
application a coaxial cable should be used to
carry the r-f or i-f energy. One such applica- DISTORTION WITH FEEDBACK:: DISTORT I(~ WI~H~Ir FEEDBACK
tion would be for carrying the output of a v-f-o
to a transmitter located a considerable dis-
tance from the operating position. Another WHERE>
application would be where it is desired to
feed a single-sideband demodulator, an FM
adaptor, or another accessory with inter-
mediate frequency signal from a communica-
tions receiver. A tube such as a 6CB6 con-
nected in a manner such as is shown in figure Figure 28
26D would be adequate for the i-f amplifier FEEDBACK AMPLIFIER RELATIONSHIPS
coupler, while a 6L6 or a 6AG7 could be used
in the output stage of a v-f-o as a cathode
follower to feed the coaxial line which carries
the v-f-o signal from the control unit to the
at the frequency where the feedback voltage
transmitter proper.
is in phase with the input voltage of the am-
plifier. If the gain is equal to or more than
one at the frequency where the feedback volt-
6-15 Feedback Amp Iifiers age is in phase with the input the amplifier
will oscillate. This fact imposes a limitation
It is possible to modify the characteristics upon the amount of feedback which may be
of an amplifier by feeding back a portion of employed in an amplifier which is to remain
the output to the input. All components, cir stable. If the reader is desirous of designing
cuits and tubes included between the point amplifiers in which a large amount of feed-
where the feedback is taken off and the point back is to be employed he is referred to a
where the feedback energy is inserted are book on the subject by H. W. Bode.
said to be included within the feedback loop.
An amplifier containing a feedback loop is Types of Feedback may be either negative
said to be a feedback amplifier. One stage or Feedback or positive, and the feedback volt-
any number of stages may be included within age may be proportional either to
the feedback loop. However, the difficulty of output voltage or output current. The most
obtaining proper operation of a feedback am commonly used type of feedback with a-f or
plifier increases with the bandwidth of the video amplifiers is negative feedback pro-
amplifier, and with the number of stages and portional to output voltage. Figure 28 gives
circuit elements included within the feedback the general operating conditions for feedback
loop. amplifiers. Note that the reduction in distor-
tion is proportional to the reduction in gain of
Gain and Phase-shift The gain and phase the amplifier, also that the reduction in the
in Feedback Amplifiersshift of any amplifier output impedance of the amplifier is somewhat
are functions of fre- greater than the reduction in the gain by an
quency. For any amplifier containing a feed- amount which is a function of the ratio of the
back loop to be completely stable the gain of
such an amplifier, as measured from the input
H. W. Bode, "Network Analysis and Feedback Ampli-
back to the point where the feedback circuit fier Design," D. Van Nostrand Co., 250 Fourth Ave.,
connects to the input, must be less than one New York 3, N.Y.
130 Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

Figure 29 illustrates a very simple and ef-

fective application of negative voltage feed-

back to an output pentode or tetrode amplifier
stage. The reduction in hum and distortion
may amount to 15 to 20 db. The reduction in
the effective plate impedance of the stage will
be by a factor of 20 to 100 dependent upon the
operating conditions. The circuit is commonly
used in commercial equipment with tubes such
as the 6SJ7 for V 1 and the 6V6 or 6L6 for V 2 .
08 FEEDBACK : 2.0 LOG [ Rc + RA J~MVZ Ro) J
:: zo LOG ( Rz + RA(v'if;AGE G,t.,IN OF Vz)J 6-16 Vacuum-Tube Voltmeters
R +R,.,
The vacuum-tube voltmeter may be considered
to be a vacuum-tube detector in which the
RA = :: ~ :: rectified d-e current is used as an indication
Ra= _R_2_ _ of the magnitude of the applied alternating
voltage. The vacuum tube voltmeter (v.t.v.m.)
consumes little or no power and it may be
calibrated at 60 cycles and used at audio or
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE :: RN Rz radio frequencies with little change in the
(Rz+R...,(GMVzRo))X (1+ ~~)

Basic D-C Vacuum- A simple v.t.v.m. is

figure 29 Tube Voltmeter shown in figure 30.
SHUNT FEEDBACK CIRCUIT The plate load may be
FOR PENTODES OR TETRODES a mechanical device, such as a relay or a
This circuit requires only the addition of meter, or the output voltage may be developed
one resistor, R2, to the norma/ circuit for across a resistor and used for various con-
such an application, The plate Impedance trol purposes. The tube is biased by Ec and
and distortion Introduced by the output a fixed value of plate current flows, causing
stage are materially reduced. a fixed voltage drop across the plate load
resistor, Rp. When a positive d-e voltage is
applied to the input terminals it cancels part
of the negative grid bias, making the grid
output imp e dan c e of the amplifier without more positive with respect to the cathode.
feedback to the load impedance. The reduction
This grid voltage change permits a greater
in noise and hum in those stages included
amount of plate current to flow, and develops
within the feedback loop is proportional to the
a greater voltage drop across the plate load
reduction in gain. However, due to the reduc
resistor. A negative input voltage would de-
tion in gain of the output section of the ampli-
fier somewhat increased gain is required of crease the plate current and decrease the
the stages preceding the stages included with voltage drop across Rp. The varying voltage
in the feedback loop. Therefore the noise and drop across Rp may be employed as a control
hum output of the entire amplifier may or may voltage for relays or other devices. When it is
not be reduced dependent upon the relative desired to measure various voltages, a voltage
contributions of the first part and the latter
part of the amplifier to hum and noise. If most
of the noise and hum is coming from the stages
included within the feedback loop the un-
desired signals will be reduced in the output
from the complete amplifier. It is most fre-
quently true in conventional amplifiers that
the hum and distortion come from the latter
stages, hence these will be reduced by feed-
back, but thermal agitation and microphonic
noise come from the first stage and will not
Figure 30
be reduced but may be increased by feedback
unless the feedback loop includes the first SIMPLE VACUUM TUBE
stage of the amplifier. VOLTMETER
HANDBOOK Vacuum Tube Voltmeters 131


Figure 31
Figure 32
range switch (figure 31) may precede the v.t.
v.m. The voltage to be measured is applied to
voltage divider, R1, R2, R3, by means of the
"voltage range" switch. Resistor R4 is used microammeter is placed in the cathode circuit
to protect the meter from excessive input of a 12AU7 twin triode. The zero adjust control
voltage to the v.r.v.m. In the plate circuit of sets up a balance between the two sections of
the tube an additional battery and a variable the triode such that with zero input voltage
resistor ("zero adjustment") are used to applied to the first grid, the voltage drop across
balance out the meter reading of the normal each portion of the zero adjust control is the
plate current of the tube. The zero adjustment same. Under this condition of balance the
potentiometer can be so adjusted that the meter will read zero. When a voltage is applied
meter M reads zero current with no input volt- to the first grid, the balance in the cathode
age to the v.t.v.m. When a d-e input voltage circuits is upset and the meter indicates the
is applied to the circuit, current flows through degree of unbalance. The relationship between
the meter, and the meter reading is proportion- the applied voltage on the first grid and the
al to the applied d-e voltage. meter current is linear and therefore the meter
can be calibrated with a linear scale. Since
the tube is limited in the amount of current
The Bridge-type Another important use it can draw, the meter movement is elec-
V.T.V.M. of a d-e amplifier is to tronically protected.
show the exact point of The maximum test voltage applied to the
balance between two d-e voltages. This is 12AU7 rube is about 3 volts. Higher applied
done by means of a bridge circuit with two voltages are reduced by a voltage divider
d-e amplifiers serving as two legs of the which has a total resistance of about 10
bridge (figure 32). With no input signal, and megohms. An additional resistance of 1-megohm
with matched triodes, no current will be read is located in the d-e test prod, there by per-
on meter M, since the IR drops across R1 and mitting measurements to be made in high im-
R2 are identical. When a signal is applied to pedance circuits with minimum disturbance.
one rube, the IR drops in the plate circuits The rectifier portion of the v.t.v.m. is shown
become unbalanced, and meter M indicates in figure 34. When a-c measurements are de-
the unbalance. In the same way, two d-e volt- sired, a 6AL5 double diode is used as a full
ages may be compared if they are applied to wave rectifier to provide a d-e voltage pro-
the two input circuits. When the voltages are portionalto the applied a-c voltage. This d-e
equal, the bridge is balanced and no current voltage is applied through the voltage divider
flows through the meter. If one voltage changes, string to the 12AU7 tube causing the meter to
the bridge becomes unbalanced and indication indicate in the manner previously described.
of this will be noted by a reading of the meter. The a-c voltage scales of the meter are cali-
brated in both RMS and peak-to-peak values.
A Modern VTVM For the purpose of analysis, In the 1.5, 5, 15, 50, and 150 volt positions
the operation of a modern of the range switch, the full a-c voltage being
v.r.v.m. will be described. The Heathkit V-7A measured is applied to the input of the 6AL5
is a fit instrument for such a description, since full wave rectifier. On the 500 and 1500 volt
it is able to measure positive or negative d-e positions of the range switch, a divider net-
potentials, a-c r-m-s values, peak-to-peak work reduces the applied voltage in order to
values, and resistance. The circuit of this limit the voltage input to the 6AL5 to a safe
unit is shown in figure 33. A sensitive 200 d-e recommended level.
132 THE R AD I 0

,-- --- - - - - - - - - --- -- - - - -- - - - - - - _;-- ---- -- - -----


L_~~~~~~~~ I

II~ 't-VMivVVVIMVV'f'N'v-+-WM~r>'0N'fv"NifN



Figure 33
HANDBOOK Vacuum Tube Voltmeters 1 33


Figure 34
Figure 35
The a-c calibrate control (figure 33) is used
to obtain the proper meter deflection for the triode. The meter scale is calibrated in re-
applied a-c voltage. Vacuum tubes develop a sistance (ohms) for this function.
contact potential between tube elements. Such
contact potential developed in the diode would Test Probes Auxiliary test probes may
cause a slight voltage to be present at all be used with the v.t.v.m.
times. This voltage is cancelled out by proper to extend the operating range, or to measure
application of a bucking voltage. The amount radio frequencies with high accuracy. Shown
of bucking voltage is controlled by the a-c in figure 35 is a radio frequency probe which
balance control. This eliminates zero shift provides linear response to over 100 mega
of the meter when switching from a-c to d-e cycles. A crystal diode is used as a rectifier,
readings. and d-e isolation is provided by a .005 uufd
For resistance measurements, a 1.5 volt capacitor. The components of the detector are
battery is connected through a string of multi mounted within a shield at the end of a length
pliers and the external resistance to be meas of coaxial line, which terminates in the d-e
ured, thus forming a voltage divider across input jack of the v.t.v.m. The readings ob-
the battery, and a resultant portion of the tained are RMS, and should be multiplied by
battery voltage is applied to the 12AU7 twin 1.414 to convert to peak readings.

High fidelity Techniques

The art and science of the reproduction of As shown in figure 1, the sound wave of
sound has steadily advanced, following the the fork has frequency, period, and pitch. The
major audio developments of the last decade. frequency is a measure of the number of vi-
Public acceptance of home music reproduction brations per second of the sound. A fork tuned
on a "high fidelity" basis probably dates from to produce 261 vibrations per second is tuned
the summer of 1948 when the Columbia L-P to the musical note of middle-C. It is of in-
microgroove recording techniques were intro- terest to note that any object vibrating, moving,
duced. or alternating 261 times per second will pro-
The term high fidelity refers to the repro- duce a sound having the pitch of middle-C.
duction of sound in which the different dis- The pitch of a sound is that property which is
tortions of the electronic system are held below determined by the frequency of vibration of
limits which are audible to the majority of the source, and not by the source itself. Thus
listeners. The actual determination, therefore, an electric dynamo producing 261 c.p.s. will
of the degree of fidelity of a music system is have a hum-pitch of middle-C, as will a siren,
largely psychological as it is dependent upon a gasoline engine, or other object having the
the ear and temperament of the listener. By and same period of oscillation.
large, a rough area of agreement exists as to
what boundaries establish a "hi-fi" system. To

) ) )~
enumerate these boundaries it is first necessary
to examine sound itself.
iII))) ) ) ))))))
7-1 The Nature of Sound
Experiments with a simple tuning fork in TUNIN<; FORK

the seventeenth century led to the discovery

that sound consists of a series of condensations
and rarefactions of the air brought about by
movement of air molecules. The vibrations of Figure 1
the prongs of the fork are communicated to VIBRATION OF TUNING FORK PRO-
the surrounding air, which in turn transmits DUCES A SERIES OF CONDENSATIONS
the agitation to the ear drums, with the result AND RAREFACTIONS OF AIR MOLE-
that we hear a sound. The vibrating fork pro- CULES. THE DISPLACEMENT OF AIR
duces a sound of extreme regularity, and this MOLECULES CHANGES CONTINUALLY
regularity is the essence of music, as opposed to A SINE WAVE OF MOTION OF THE
noise which has no such regularity. DENSITY VARIATIONS.

Nature of Sound 135



TEMPERED 2.61.6 293.7 32.9.6 349.2 392.0 440.0 493.9 523.2

Figure 2
AL NOTES: 277.2, 311.1, 370, 415.3, MENTAL. THE COMPLEX VIBRATION

The Musical The musical scale is composed no matter how complex - can be analyzed
Scale of notes or sounds of various into pure tones, and can be reproduced by a
frequencies that bear a pleasing group of sources of pure tones. The number
aural relationship to one another. Certain com- and degree of the various harmonics of a tone
binations of notes are harmonious to the ear and their phase relationship determine the
if their frequencies can be expressed by the quality of the tone.
simple ratios of 1:2,2:3, 3:4, and 4:5. Notes For reproduction of the highest quality, these
differing by a ratio of 1 :2 are said to be sep- overtones must be faithfully reproduced. A mu-
arated by an octave. sical note of 523 cycles may be rich in twen-
The frequency interval represented by an tieth order overtones. To reproduce the origi-
octave is divided into smaller intervals, form- nal quality of the note, the audio system must
ing the musical scales. Many types of scales be capable of passing overtone frequencies of
have. been proposed and used, but the scale of the order of 11,000 cycles. Notes of higher
the piano has dominated western music for the fundamental frequency demand that the audio
last hundred or so years. Adapted by J. S. system be capable of good reproduction up to
Bach, the equal-tempered scale (figure 2) has the maximum response limit of the human
twelve notes, each differing from the next by ear, in the region of 15,000 cycles.
the ratio 1: 1.06. The reference frequency, or
Reproduction Many factors enter into the
American Standard Pitch is A, or 440.0 cycles.
Limitations problem of high quality audio
Harmonics and The complex sounds pro- reproduction. Most important
Overtones duced by a violin or a wind of these factors influence the overall design of
instrument bear little resem- the music system. These are:
blance to the simple sound wave of the tuning !-Restricted frequency range.
fork. A note of a clarinet, for example (when 2-Nonlinear distortions.
viewed on an oscilloscope) resembles figure 3. 3-Transient distortion.
Vocal sounds are even more complex than this. 4-Nonlinear frequency response.
In 1805 Joseph Fourier advanced his monu- 5-Phase distortion.
mental theorem that made possible a mathe- 6-Noise, "wow", and "flutter".
matical analysis of all musical sounds by show- A restricted frequency range of reproduction
ing that even the most complex sounds are will tend to make the music sound "tinny"
made up of fundamental vibrations plus har- and unrealistic. The fundamental frequency
monics, or overtones. The tonal qualities of range covered by the various musical instru-
any musical note may be expressed in terms of ments and the human voice lies between 15
the amplitude and phase relationship between cycles and 9,000 cycles. Overtones of the in-
the overtones of the note. struments and the voice extend the upper
To produce overtones, the sound source must audible limit of the music range to 15,000
be vibrating in a complex manner, such as is cycles or so. In order to fully reproduce the
shown in figure 3. The resulting vibration is musical tones falling within this range of fre-
a combination of simple vibrations, producing quencies the music system must be capable of
a rich tone having fundamental, the octave flawlessly reproducing all frequencies within
tone, and the higher overtones. Any sound - the range without discrimination.
136 High Fidelity Techniques THE RADIO

wave envelope therefore is different from the

"GOOD QUALITY'' REPRODUCTION envelope of the input wave. In general, phase
LIMIT distortion is difficult to hear in sounds having
complex waveforms and may be considered to
be sufficiently low in value if the IM figure of
20-15000 CPS 50-10000 CPS
the amplifier is acceptable.
RAN<;E Noise and distortions introduced into the
program material by the music system must
4 /o 10 /o be kept to a minimum as they are particularly
noticeable. Record scratch, turntable "rumble",
and "flutter" can mar an otherwise high qual-
ity system. Inexpensive phonograph motors do
not run at constant speed, and the slight varia-
''WOW" 0.1 "lo 1 "/o
tions in speed impart a variation in pitch
-70 DB BELOW -50 DB BELOW (wow) to the music which can easily be heard.
Vibration of the motor may be detected by the
Figure 4 pickup arm, superimposing a low frequency
rumble on the music.
The various distortions that appear in a
Nonlinear qualities such as harmonic and
music system are summarized in figure 4, to-
intermodulation ( IM) distortion are extremely
gether with suggested limits within which the
objectionable and are created when the output
system may truly be termed "high fidelity."
of the music system is not exactly proportional
to the input signal. Nonlinearity of any part 7-2 The Phonograph
of the system produces spurious harmonic fre- The modern phonograph record is a thin
quencies, which in turn lead to unwanted beats disc made of vinylite or shellac material. Disc
and resonances. The combination of harmonic rotation speeds of 78.3, 33 113, and 45 r.p.m.
frequencies and intermodulation products pro- are in use, with the older 78.3 r.p.m: speed
duce discordant tones which are disagreeable gradually being replaced by the lower speeds.
to the ears. A speed of 16 2/3 r.p.m. is used for special
The degree of intermodulation may be meas- ""talking book" recordings. A continuous groove
ured by applying two tones f, and f, of known is cut in the record by the stylus of the record-
amplitude to the input of the amplifier under ing machine, spiralling inward towards the
test. The relative amplitude of the difference center of the record. Amplitude variations in
tone ( ,- f,) is considered a measure of the this groove proportional to the sound being
intermodulation distortion. Values of the order recorded constitute the means of placing the
of 4% IM or less define a high fidelity music intelligence upon the surface of the record.
amplifier. The old 78.3 r.p.m. recordings were cut ap-
Response of the music system to rapid tran- proximately 100 grooves per inch, while the
sient changes is extremely important. Tran- newer "micro-groove"' recordings are cut ap-
sient peaks cause overloading and shock-excita- proximately 250 grooves per inch. Care must
tion of resonant circuits, leaving a "hang-over" be taken to see that the amplitude excursions
effect that masks the clarity of the sound. A of one groove do not fall into the adjoining
system having poor transient response will not groove. The groove excursions may be con-
sound natural to the ear, even though the dis- trolled by the system of recording, and by
tortion factors are acceptably low. equalization of the recording equipment.
Linear frequency response and good power
handling capability over the complete audio Recording The early commercial phono-
range go hand in hand. The response should Techniques graph records were cut with a
be smooth, with no humps or dips in the curve mechanical-acoustic system that
over the entire frequency range. This require- produced a constant velocity characteristic with
ment is particularly important in the electro- the amplitude of cut increasing as the recorded
mechanical components of the music system, frequency decreased (figure 5A). When the
such as the phonograph pickup and the loud- recording technique became advanced enough
speaker. to reproduce low audio frequencies, it was
Phase distortion is the change of phase an- necessary to reduce the amplitude of the lower
gle between the fundamental and harmonic frequencies to prevent overcutting the record.
frequencies of a complex tone. The output A crossover point near 500 cycles was chosen,
HANDBOOK High Fidelity Amplifier 137


0 I

50 100 200 500 1000 2000 5000 50 100 200 500 1000 2000 5000




w 0
0 ::>
::> 1--

so 100 200 500 1000 2000 5000




+2 0

+1 5
+1 0
I :
0 +s ~ I

::> 0 I Figure S
::>- 5 I
w -1 0 t-
~-1 0 I
T~ "
' I
I ,1-:,~ 1;;,~-~YBACK CURVE I '\
Sf--+ l
-3 0
10 20
70 100
300 500 1000 3000
10000 30000
The Phonograph The most popular types
Pickup of pickup cartridges in
and a constant amplitude groove was cut below use today are the high
this frequency (figure 5Bl. This system does impedance crystal unit, and the low tm-
not reproduce the higher audio notes, since the pedance variable reluctance cartridge. The
recording level rapidly drops into the surface crystal pickup consists of a Rochelle salt
noise level of the record as the cutting fre- element which is warped by the action of
quency is raised. The modern record employs the phonograph needle, producing an elec-
preemphasis of the higher frequencies to boost trical impulse whose frequency and ampli-
them out of the noise level of the record tude are proportional to the modulation of
(figure 5C). When such a record is played the record groove. One of the new "transducer"
back on properly compensated equipment, the crystal cartridges is shown in figure 6. When
audio level will remain well above the back- working into a high impedance load, the out-
ground noise level, as shown in figure 5D. put of a high quality crystal pickup is of the
138 High Fidelity Techniques THE RADIO

Figure 8
FIDELITY OUTPUT AT RELATIVELY Low stylus pressure of four grams insures
HIGH LEVEL minimum record wear. Dual stylus is used
having two needle tip diameters for long
playing and 78 R.P.M. recordings.
order of one-half volt or so. Inexpensive crystal
units used in 78 r.p.m. record changers and therefore, are designed to have interchangeable
ac-dc phonographs may have as much as two cartridges or needles to accomodate the dif-
or three volts peak output. The frequency re- ferent groove widths.
sponse oi a typical high quality crystal pickup
is shown in figure 7. 7-3 The High Fidelity Amplifier
The variable reluctance pickup is shown in
figure 8. The reluctance of the air gap in a A block diagram of a typical high fidelity
magnetic circuit is changed by the movement system is shown in figure 10. A preamplifier
of the phonograph needle, creating a variable is used to boost the output level of the phono-
voltage in a small coil coupled to the magnetic graph pickup, and to permit adjustment of in-
lines of force of the circuit. The output im- put selection, volume, record compensation,
pedance of the reluctance cartridge is of the and tone control. The preamplifier may be
order of a few hundred ohms, and the output mounted directly at the phonograph turntable
is approximately 10 millivolts. position, permitting the larger power amplifier
For optimum performance, an equalized pre- to be placed in an out of the way position.
amplifier stage is usually employed with the The power amplifier is designed to operate
reluctance pickup. The circuit of a suitable unit from an input signal of a volt or so derived
is shown in figure 9. Equalization is provided from the preamplifier, and to build this signal
by Rs, R., and C3, with a low frequency cross- to the desired power level with a minimum
over at about 500 cycles. Total equalization is amount of distortion. Maximum power output
15 db. High frequency response may be limited levels of ten to twenty watts are common for
by reducing the value of R, to 5,000- 15,000 home music systems.
ohms. The power supply provides the ,smoothed,
The standard pickup stylus for 78 r.p.m. d-e voltages necessary for operation of the pre-
records has a tip radius of .0025 inch, whereas amplifier and power amplifier, and also the
the microgroove (33 113 and 45 r.p.m.) stylus

has a tip radius of .001 inch. Many pickups,


50 100

Figure 1
2.00 500 1000 2000 5000


B+ 100 V.


HANDBOOK High Fidelity Amplifier 139

L__ _j I -, ~.~

r---~ Vl

~ -10f--t---+
-~OL___L _ _ _ j _ L _ L_ _t_ _ __J__ _ J __ _ _ L _ _

10 20 50 100 200 500

115 v. '\...
Figure 10
hold its own in the race for true fideliry.
Speaker efficiency runs from about 10% for
cone units to nearly 40% for high frequency
tweeters. The frequency response of any speak-

R3 er is a function of the design and construction
of the speaker enclosure or cabinet that mounts
the reproducer.
Tone Equalizer networks are em-

IN.f IN.r IN.} IN.T

Compensaton ployed in high fidelity equip-
R1 R1 ouT ment to ll-tailor the re-
OUT. sponse curve of the system to obtain the correct

C~ R~

our. 1 }ouT
overall frequency response, 2) -to compensate
for inherent faults in the program material,
3 ) -or merely to satisfy the hearing preference
= -= l I of the listener. The usual compensation net-
works are combinations of RC and RL net-
Figure 11 works that provide a gradual attenuation over
SIMPLE R-C CIRCUITS MAY BE a given frequency range. The basic RC net-
USED FOR BASS AND TREBLE works suitable for equlizer service are shown
BOOST OR ATTENUATION. in figure 11. Shunt capacitance is employed
for high frequency attenuation, and series
filament voltages (usually a-c) for the heaters capacitance is used for low frequency atten-
of the various amplifier tubes. uation. A combination of these simple a-c
The loudspeaker is a device which couples voltage dividers may be used to provide almost
the electrical energy of the high fidelity sys- any response, as shown in figure 12. It is
tem to the human ear and usually limits the common practice to place equalizers between
overall fidelity of the complete system. Great two vacuum tubes in the low level stages of
advances in speaker design have been made in the preamplifier, as shown in figure 13. Bass
the past years, permitting the loudspeaker to and treble boost and attenuation of the order

r.--....--lf-- OUTPUT

220 K

Figure 13


140 High Fidelity Techniques THE RADIO

2N 190 2N 190 -12. v 2N190



t--"{\/1/'----t"---jh:-- 0 U T PUT


Figure 14

+II 0
-..... Loudness The minimum threshold of
+100 PAl N LEVEL Compensoton hearing and the maximum
~ +9 0 threshold of pain vary great-
:J +-8 0 ly with the frequency of the sound as shown
> +7 0 in the Fletcher-Munson curves of figure 15.

+6 0

+5 0
" To maintain a reasonable constant tonal bal-
ance as the intensity of the sound is changed
Vl +4 0
uJ +3 0
~ +2 0
"" ~
1'-v,/~~~~~N~lMtT OF
it is necessary to employ extra bass and treble
boost as the program level is decreased. A
0 +I 0 "'-....1 1/ simple variable loudness control is shown in
z _b, _/ figure 16 which may be substituted for the
:::J 0
0 ordinary volume control used in most audio
Vl -1 0 !"-=:
2.0 50 100 2.00 500 1 00 2000 5000 10000
20000 equipment.

Figure 15 The Power The power amplifier stage of

THE "FLETCHER-MUNSON" CURVE Amplifier the music system must supply
ILLUSTRATING THE INTENSITY driving power for the loud-
RESPONSE OF THE HUMAN EAR. speaker. Commercially available loudspeakers
are low impedance devices which present a
of 15 db may be obtained from such a circuit.
A simple transistorized preamplifier using ~+10r---,--,---,----,--,---,--J,_---,--,

this type of equalizing network is shown in ~ + 5t---t-'+---+------t----t---t- ---t~-----t----r---J

figure 14.

IN PUT >----1



/"-:' 11"+I L':'::c

alL :
L"o. ~j.----,
L LsPEAKER --t----t- '1
~~ ~

R1 :E----<>--1'!'!'--' Q_
500K 100K R2.

10 K

.03 "'J:
Rt-/RC PQn-133 uJ

Figure 16
HANDBOOK High Fidelity Amplifier 141


Figure 18
:~~F~ ~~~~~

1 15 V, 'V

varying load of two to nearly one hundred Shown in figure 18 is a basic push-pull
ohms to the output stage (figure 17). It is triode amplifier, using inverse feedback around
necessary to employ a high quality output the power output and driver stage. A simple
transformer to match the loudspeaker load to triode inverter is used to provide 180-degree
the relatively high impedance plate circuit of phase reversal to drive the grid circuit of the
the power amplifier stage. In general, push- power amplifier stage. Maximum undistorted
pull amplifiers are employed for the output power output of this amplifier is about 8 watts.
stage since they have even harmonic cancelling A modification of the basic triode amplifier
properties and permit better low frequency is the popular Williamson circuit (figure 19)
response of the output transformer since there developed in England in 1947. This circuit
is no d -c core saturation effect present. rapidly became the "standard of comparison"
To further reduce the harmonic distortion in a few short years. Pentode power tubes are
and intermodulation inherent in the amplifier connected as triodes for the output stage, and
system a negative feedback loop is placed negative feedback is taken from the secondary
around one or more stages of the unit. Fre- of the output transformer to the cathode of
quency response is thereby improved, and the the input stage. Only the most linear portion
output impedance of the amplifier is sharply of the tube characteristic curve is used. Al-
reduced, providing a very low source im- though that portion has been extended by
pedance for the loudspeaker. higher than normal plate supply voltage, it

5 K-15K

~a +400 v.
AT 140 MA.

Figure 19
142 High Fidelity Techniques THE RADIO

807/5881 TO FEEDBACK



FOR 807 ruBES
Figure 20

is only a fraction of the curve normally used tortion may be obtained with this circuit
in amplifiers. Thus a comparatively low output (figure 20) .
power level is obtained with tubes capable of
much more efficient operation under less 7-4 Amplifier Construction
stringent requirements. With 400 volts ap- Wiring Assembly and layout of high
plied to the output stage, a power output of 10 Techniques fidelity audio amplifiers fol-
watts may be obained wtih less than 2% inter- lows the general technique des-
modulation distortion.
cribed for other forms of electronic equipment.
A recent variation of the Williamson cir-
Extra care, however, must be taken to insure
cuit involves the use of a tapped output trans- that the hum level of the amplifier is extreme-
former. The screen grids of the push-pull am-
ly low. A good hi-fi system has excellent re-
plifier stage are connected to the primary taps,
sponse in the 60 cycle region, and even a
allowing operating efficiency to approach that
minute quantity of induced a-c voltage will be
of the true pentode. Power output in excess
disagreeably audible in the loudspeaker. Spur-
of 25 watts at less than 2% intermodulation dis-
ious eddy currents produced in the chassis by
the power transformer are usually responsible
for input stage hum.
To insure the lowest hum level, the power
transformer should be of the "upright" type
instead of the "half-shell" type which can
wuple minute voltages from the windings to
a steel chassis. In addition, part of the windings
of the half-shell type project below the chassis
where they are exposed to the input wiring of
the amplifier. The core of the power trans-
former should be placed at right angles to the
core of a nearby audio transformer to reduce
spurious coupling between the two units to a
It is common practice in amplifier design
to employ a ground bus return system for all
audio tubes. All grounds are returned to a
single heavy bus wire, which in turn is
grounded at one point to the metal chassis.
Figure 21 This ground point is usually at the input jack
BY 12-INCH SPEAKER ENCLOSURE of the amplifier. When this system is used,
This miniature music system is capable of ex- a-c chassis currents are not coupled into the
cellent performance in the small home or
apartment. Preamplifier, bass and treble con- amplifying stages. This type of construction is
trols, and volume control are all incorporated illustrated in the amplifiers described later in
in the unit. Amplifier provides 4 watts output
at 4% IM distortion. this chapter.
HANDBOOK Amplifier Construction 143

.05 220 .01

L-C~O~N~T~R~O~L___c~O~N~T~R~O~L~------~+~7 ~
5 s~v.~.-+~~~~+205V.

4;gi w

Figure 22
T,-260-0-260 volts at 90 ma., 6.3 volts at 4.0 CH,-1.5 henty at 200 ma. Chicago Standatd C-2327.
amp., upright mounting. Chicago-Standatd C,A-B-C-30-20-10 p.fd. 350 volt. Malloty Fp-330.7
T:-10 K, CT. to 8, 16 ohms. Peerless (A/tee) NOTE-Feedback loop returns to 8 ohm tap on Tz
S-510F. when 8 ohm speaker is used.

Care should be taken to reduce the capaci- one watt in a high efficiency speaker will pro-
tance to the chassis of high impedance circuits, vide a comfortable listening level for a small
or the high frequency response of the unit will room, and levels in excess of two or three watts
suffer. Shielded "bath-tub" type capacitors are uncomfortably loud to the ear. The "Baby
should not be used for interstage coupling ca- Hi-Fi" amplifier has been designed for use
pacitors. Tubular paper capacitors are satis- in the small home, and will provide excellent
factory. These should be spaced well away from quality at a level high enough to rattle the
the chassis. windows.
It is a poor idea to employ the chassis as a Designed around the new Electro-Voice min-
common filament return, especially for low iature ceramic cartridge, the amplifier will pro-
level audio stages. The filament center-tap of vide over 4 watts power, measured at the sec-
the power transformer should be grounded, ondary of the output transformer. At this level,
and twisted filament wires run to each tube the distortion figure is below 1%, and the IM
socket. High impedance audio components and figure is 4%. At normal listening levels, the IM
wiring should be kept clear of the filament is much lower, as shown in figure 24.
lines, which may even be shielded in the vicin- The Amplifier The schematic of the ampli-
ity of the input stage. In some instances, the Circuit fier is shown in figure 22.
filament center tap may be taken from the arm
Bass and treble boost con-
of a low resistance, wirewound potentiometer
trols are incorporated in the circuit, as is the
placed across the filament pins of the input
volume control. A dual purpose 12AU7 double
tube socket. The arm of this potentiometer is
triode serves as a voltage amplifier with cath-
grounded, and the setting of the control is ad-
justed for minimum speaker hum. ode degeneration. A simple voltage divider
network is used in the grid circuit to prevent
7-5 The 11
Baby Hi Fi11 amplifier overloading when the ceramic cart-
ridge is used. The required input signal for
A definite need exists for a compact, high maximum output is of the order of 0.3 volts.
fidelity audio amplifier suitable for use in the The output level of the Electro-Voice cartridge
small home or apartment. Listening tests have is approximately twice this, as shown in figure
shown that an average power level of less than 7. The use of the high-level cartridge elimin-
144 High Fidelity Techniques THE RADIO

Figure 23
Low level audio stages are at
upper left, with components
mounted between socket pins
and potentiometer controls.
6X5 socket is at lower cen-
ter of photo with filter
choke CH, at right. Feed-
back resistor Rt is at left
of rectifier socket.

ates the necessity of high gain amplifiers re- output tubes. The feedback loop is run from
quired when low level magnetic pickup heads the secondary of the output transformer to the
are used. Problems of hum and distortion in- cathode of the input section of the phase in-
troduced by these extra stages are thereby verter.
eliminated, greatly simplifying the amplifier. The power supply of the "Baby Hi-Fi" con-
The second section of the 12AU7 is used for sists of a 6X5-GT rectifier and a capacitor in-
bass and treble boost. Simple R-C networks put filter. A second R-C filter section is used
are placed in the grid circuit permitting gain to smooth the d-e voltage applied to the
boost of over 12 db at the extremities of the 12AU7 tubes. A cathode-type rectifier is used
response range of the amplifier. in preference to the usual filament type to pre-
A second 12AU7 is employed as a direct vent voltage surges during the warm-up period
coupled "hot-cathode" phase inverter, capaci- of the other cathode-type tubes.
tively coupled to two 6AQ5 pentode connected Amplifier The complete amplifier is
Construction built upon a small "amplifier

I/ foundation" chassis and cover

measuring 5"x7"x6" (Bud CA-1754). Height
z of the amplifier including dust cover is 6".
j: 1 I The power transformer (T,) and output trans-
::> I former (T,) are placed in the rear corners of
the chassis, with the 6X5-GT rectifier socket
::!! 5
/ placed between them. The small filter choke
"'z --- - --- ./ ( CH, ) is mounted to the wall of the chassis
v I-" I and may be seen in the under-chassis photo-

v I graph of figure 23. The four audio tubes are
placed in a row across the front of the chassis.
Viewed from the front, the 12AU7 tubes are
'v 2 3

to the left, and the 6AQ5 tubes are to the right.
The three section filter capaoitor ( CA, B, C)
is a chassis mounting unit, and is placed be-
Figure 24 tween the rectifier tube and the four audio
INTERMODULATION CURVE FOR tubes. Since the chassis is painted, it is im-
HEATHKIT INTERMODULATION portant that good grounding points be made at
ANALYZER. each tube socket. The paint is cleared away
8 a by H'1- F//
1 145

Figure 25
Audio tones of two fre-
quencies are applied to in-
put of amplifier under test,
and amplitude of 'sum" or

dilference" frequency is
measured, providing relative
inter-modulation figure.

beneath the socket bolt heads, and lock nuts of the 10 p,fd., 450-volt filter capacitor. All
are used beneath the socket retaining nuts to B-plus leads are run to this point. Most of the
insure a good ground connection. All ground components of the bass and treble boost system
leads of the first 12AU7 tube are returned to may be mounted between the tube socket ter-
the socket, whereas all grounds for the rest of minals and the terminals of the two potentio-
the circuit are returned to a ground lug of meters. The feedback resistor R1 is mounted
filter capacitor C. between the terminal of the coaxial output
Since the input level to the amplifier is of connector and a phenolic tie-point strip placed
the order of one-half volt, the problem of beneath an adjacent socket bolt.
chassis ground currents and hum is not so When the wiring has been completed and
prevalent, as is the case with a high gain input checked, the amplifier should be turned on,
stage. and the various voltages compared with the
Phonograph-type coax i a 1 receptacles are values given on the schematic. It is important
mounted on the rear apron of the chassis, serv- that the polarity of the feedback loop is correct.
ing as the input and output connections. The The easiest way to reverse the feedback polarity
four panel controls (bass boost, treble boost,
volume, and a-c on) are spaced equidistant
across the front of the chassis.
Amplifier The filament wiring should be
Wiring done first. The center-tap of the
filament winding is grounded to
a lug of the 6X5-GT socket ring, and the 6.3
volt leads from the transformer are attached
to pins 2 and 7 of the same socket. A twisted
pair of wires run from the rectifier socket to
the right-hand 6AQ5 socket (figure 23). The
filament leads then proceed to the next 6AQ5
socket and then to the two 12AU7 sockets in Figure 26
The 12AU7 preamplifier stage is wired next. LISTENING PLEASURE FOR THE
A two terminal phenolic tie-point strip is "GOLDEN EAR."
mounted to the rear of the chassis, holding the Amplifier chassis (left) employs two low level
stages driving push-pull 807 tubes in so-called
12K decoupling resistor and the positive lead 11
U/tra-linear 11
circuit. Power supply is at right.
146 High Fidelity Techniques





1 4 3 2.
e- ~=~~~o:~~~Mrk~ STANCOR A-8072.




Figure 27

is to cross-connect the two plate leads of the tion of such a system is not noticeable - even
6AQ5 tubes. If the feedback polarization is to the trained ear - over the results obtained
incorr~t, the amplifier will oscillate at a super- with this low priced amplifier. A full 20 watts
sonic frequency and the reproduced signal will of audio power are obtained over the frequency
sound fuzzy to the ear. The correct connection range of 20 to 50,000 cycles at less than 0.1%
may be determined with the aid of an oscillo- harmonic distortion. At the average listening
scope, as the oscillation will be easily found. level of 1 watt, the frequency response is plus
The builder might experiment with different or minus 1 decibel at 100,000 cycles, assuring
values of feedback resistor R., especially if a true high fidelity response over the entire aud-
speaker of different impedance is employed. ible range. Preamplification and tone compen-
Increasing the value of R. will decrease the sation are not included in this unit, as these
degree of feedback. For an 8-ohm speaker, R, functions are accomplished in the auxiliary
should be decreased in value to maintain the driving amplifier. If a variable reluctance cart-
same amount of feedback. ridge is employed, the preamplifiers of figure
This amplifier was used in conjunction with 9 or figure 14 may be used with this unit.
a General Electric S-1201A 12-inch speaker The Heathkit W A-P2 preamplifier is also
mounted in an Electro-Voice KD6 Aristocrat recommended for general use when several in-
speaker enclosure which was constructed from put circuits are to be employed.
a kit. The reproduction was extremely smooth,
with good balance of bass and treble. The Amplifier The schematic of this ampli-
Circuit fier is shown in figure 27.
7-6 A High Quality It is a "Williamson-type"
amplifier using the so-called "Ultra-linear"
25 Watt Amplifier screen-tap circuit on the output stage. A dual
This amplifier is recommended for the music triode 6SN7-GT serves as a voltage amplifier
lover who desires the utmost in high fidelity. and direct coupled phase inverter. Maximum
Capable of delivering 25 watts output at less signal input to this stage is approximately 0.8
than 1.5% intermodulation distortion, the am- volt, r.m.s. for rated output of the amplifier.
plifier will provide flawless reproduction at The feedback loop from the speaker voice coil
higher than normal listening levels. It is true is returned to the cathode circuit of the input
that other designs have been advocated pro- stage, placing all amplifying stages within the
viding greater power at a lower IM distortion loop.
level. However, the improvement in reproduc- A second 6SN7-GT is used as a push-pull
Figure 28
Not!t ground bus, starting at
center, top filter capacitor, and
running in loop around under
side of chassis. Bus is grounded
to chassis at input plug (upper
left). Shielded leads run to vol-
ume control (center).

driver stage for the high level output amplifier. sulated from the chassis by fibre mounting
A plate potential of 430 volts is applied to this boards.
stage to insure ample grid drive to the output A common ground bus is used in this am-
stage. Large value coupling capacitors are used plifier, and all "grounds" are returned to the
between all stages to prevent signal degenera- bus, rather than to the chassis. The bus is
tion at the lower audio frequencies. Two 807 grounded at the input jack of the amplifier
beam-power tubes are employed in the final and runs around the underside of the chassis,
amplifier stage. Cathode bias is applied to these ending at the ground terminals of the high
tubes, and the current of the tubes may be voltage filter capacitors. Tie-point terminal
equalized by potentiometer R, in the bias strips are used to support the smaller com-
circuit. ponents, and direct point-to-point wiring is
Degenerative feedback is taken from the sec- used.
ondary of the output transformer and applied Matched pairs of resistors should be used
to the input of the amplifier. The amount of in the balanced audio circuits, and these resis-
feedback is controlled by the value of feed- tors are marked ( *) on the schematic. If possi-
back resistor Ra. A small capacitor is placed ble, measure a quantity of resistors in the store
across R, to reduce any tendency towards high with an ohmmeter, and pick out the pairs of
frequency parasitic oscillation sometimes en- resistors that are most evenly matched. The
countered when long leads are used to connect exact resistance value is not critical within 10%
the amplifier to the loudspeaker. as long as the two resistors are close in value.
An external power supply is used with the Care must be taken when these resistors are
amplifier, delivering 440 volts at a current of soldered in the circuit, as the heat of the sol-
1 7 5 milliamperes, and 6.3 volts at 5 amperes. dering iron may cause the resistance value to
vary. It is wise to grasp the resistor lead with
Amplifier The amplifier is built upon a a long-nose pliers, holding the lead between
Construction steel chassis measuring 9" x the point where the iron is applied and the
7"x2". Punched and drilled body of the resistor. The pliers will act as a
chassis for both the amplifier and power sup- "heat sink", protecting the resistor from exces-
ply may be obtained as standard parts, as speci- sive heat.
fied in figure 2 7, eliminating the necessity of The filament leads are made up of a twisted
considerable metal work. Placement of the pair of wires running between the various
major components may be seen in the top and sockets. Keep the twisted leads clear of the in-
under-chassis photographs. The two cathode put jack to insure minimum hum pickup. The
current jacks, J, and J, are mounted in over- plate leads from the 807 caps pass through
size holes and are insulated from the chassis %-inch rubber grommets mounted in the chas-
with tibre shoulder washers placed on the jack sis to phenolic tie points mounted beneath the
stem, and flat fibre washers beneath the retain- chassis. The plate leads of output transformer
ing nut. The can-type filter capacitors are in- T, attach to these tie points. Be sure you ob-
148 High Fidelity Techniques

a supply. Filament and plate voltages for the
Heathkit W A-P2 preamplifier may be derived
from receptacle SO-l. If the preamplifier is not
0 used, or if another type of preamplifier is to
..: be employed, the center-tap of the 6.3 volt
::J filament winding of power transformer T,
(green/yellow lead) should be grounded to
a: the chassis of the power supply.
w 2
Wiring of this unit is straightforward, and
, no unusual precautions need be taken. It is
wise to attach the amplifier to the supply be-
fore it is turned to limit warm-up voltage
0 excursions.
0 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32
Amplifier The amplifier is attached to the
Figure 29
Operation power supply by a short length
OF 20-WATT AMPLIFIER. of 4-wire cable. Make sure taht
the filament leads (pins 1 and 4, p,) are
serve the color code for these leads, as given made of sufficiently heavy wire to insure that
in figure 2 7, as the proper polarization of the the filaments of the amplifier receive a full
leads is required for proper feedback operation. 6.3 volts. The amplifier should be turned on
When the amplifier wiring is completed, all and all voltages checked against figure 27. A
connections should be checked for accidental speaker or suitable resistive load should be at-
grounds or transpositions. Make sure the meter tached to output terminal strip p,, and a 0-100
jacks are insulated from the chassis. d-e milliammeter plugged into jacks J, and ;,.
Balance potentiometer R, is now adjusted until
The Power A companion power supply for the two readings are the same. Each measure-
Supply the high fidelity amplifier is ment will be very close to 60 milliamperes
shown in figure 30. A cathode- when the currents are balanced. The amplifier
type 5V4-G rectifier is used to limit the warm- is now ready for operation, and has a fidelity
up surge voltages usually encountered in such curve similar to that shown in figure 29.


Figure 30

Radio frequency
Vacuum Tube Amplifiers


Tuned r-f voltage amplifiers are used in re- first tuned circuit due to its equivalent cou-
ceivers for the amplification of the incoming pled resistance at resonance. The noise volt-
r-f signal and for the amplification of inter- age generated due to antenna radiation resist-
mediate frequency signals after the incoming ance and to equivalent tuned circuit resistance
frequency has been converted to the intermed- is similar to that generated in a resistor due
iate frequency by the mixer stage. Signal fre- to thermal agitation and is expressed by the
quency stages are normally called tuned r-f following equation:
amplifiers and intermediate-frequency stages
are called i-f amplifiers. Both tuned r-f and E02 = 4kTRM
i-f amplifiers are operated Class A and nor-
mally operate at signal levels from a fraction Where: En = r-m-s value of noise voltage over
of a microvolt to amplitudes as high as 10 to the interval ~f
50 volts at the plate of the last i-f stage in a k = Boltzman's constant= 1.374
receiver. X 10" 22 joule per K.
T = Absolute temperature K.
R = Resistive component of imped-
8-1 Grid Circuit
ance across which thermal noise
Considerations is developed.
~f = Frequency band across which
Since the full amplification of a receiver fol- voltage is measured.
lows the first tuned circuit, the operating con-
ditions existing in that circuit and in its cou- In the above equation ~f is essentially the
pling to the antenna on one side and to the frequency band passed by the intermediate fre-
grid of the first amplifier stage on the other quency amplifier of the receiver under consid-
are of greatest importance in determining the eration. This equation can be greatly simpli-
signal-to-noise ratio of the receiver on weak fied for the conditions normally encountered
signals. in communications work. If we assume the fol-
lowing conditions: T = 300 K or 27 C or
First Tuned It is obvious that the highest 80.5 F, room temperature; ~f = 8000 cycles
Circuit ratio of signal-to-noise be im- (the average pass band of a communications
pressed on the grid of the first receiver or speech amplifier), the equation re-
r-f amplifier tube. Attaining the optimum ratio duces to: Er.m.s. = 0.0115 y'Rffiicrovolts. Ac-
is a complex problem since noise will be gen- cordingly, the thermal-agitation voltage ap-
erated in the antenna due to its equivalent pearing in the center of half-wave antenna (as-
radiation resistance (this noise is in addition suming effective temperature to be 300 K)
to any noise of atmospheric origin) and in the having a radiation resistance of 73 ohms is

14 9
150 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

approximately 0.096 microvolts. Also, the ther- lower will be the notse output under a fixed
mal agitation voltage appearing across a 500,- set of conditions.
000-ohm grid resistor in the first stage of a The equivalent noise resistance of a tube
speech amplifier is approximately 8 microvolts must not be confused with the actual input
under the conditions cited above. Further, the loading resistance of a tube. For highest sig-
voltage due to the r m a 1 agitation being im- nal-to-noise ratio in an amplifier the input
pressed on the grid of the first r-f stage in a loading resistance should be as high as possi-
receiver by a first tuned circuit whose reson- ble so that the amount of voltage that can be
ant resistance is 50,000 ohms is approximately developed from grid to ground by the antenna
2.5 microvolts. Suffice to say, however, that energy will be as high as possible. The equi-
the value of thermal agitation voltage appear- valent noise resistance should be as low as
ing across the first tuned circuit when the an- possible so that the noise generated by this
tenna is properly coupled to this circuit will resistance will be lower than that attributable
be very much less than this value. to the antenna and first tuned circuit, and the
It is common practice to match the imped- losses in the first tuned circuit should be as
ance of the antenna transmission line to the low as possible.
input impedance of the grid of the first r-f am- The absolute sensitivity of receivers has
plifier stage in a receiver. This is the condi- been designated in recent years in government
tion of antenna coupling which gives maximum and commercial work by an arbitraty dimension-
gain in the receiver. However, when u-h-f tubes less number known as "noise factor" or N.
such as acorns and miniatures are used at fre- The noise factor is the ratio of noise output
quencies somewhat less than their maximum of a "perfect" receiver having a given amount
capabilities, a significant improvement in sig- of gain with a dummy antenna matched to its
nal-to-noise ratio can be attained by increas- input, to the noise output of the receiver under
ing the coupling between the antenna and first m~asurement having the same amount of gain
tuned circuit to a value greater than that which with the dummy antenna matched to its input.
gives greatest signal amplitude out of the re Although a perfect receiver is not a physically
ceiver. In other words, in the 10, 6, and 2 me realizable thing, the noise factor of a receiver
ter bands it is possible to attain somewhat im- under. measurement can be determined by cal-
proved signal-to-noise ratio by increasing an- culauon from the amount of additional noise
tenna coupling to the point where the gain of (from a temperature-limited diode or other cali-
the receiver is slightly reduced. brated noise generator) required to increase
It is always possible, in addition, to obtain the noise power output of a receiver by a pre-
improved signal-to-noise ratio in a v-h-f re- determined amount.
ceiver through the use of tubes which have
improved input impedance characteristics at Tube Input As has been mentioned in a pre-
the frequency in question over conventional Loading vious paragraph, greatest gain
in a receiver is obtained when
the antenna is matched, through the r-f cou
Noise Factor The limiting condition for sen- pling transformer, to the input resistance of
sitivity in any receiver is the the r-f tube. However, the higher the ratio of
thermal noise generated in the antenna and in tube input resistance to equivalent noise re-
the first tuned circuit. However, with proper sistance of the tube the higher will be the sig-
coupling between the antenna and the grid of nal-to-noise ratio of the stage-and of course,
the tube, through the first tuned circuit, the the better will be the noise factor of the over
noise contribution of the first tuned circuit all receiver. The input resistance of a tube
can be made quite small. Unfortunately, though, is very high at frequencies in the broadcast
the major noise contribution in a properly de- band and gradually decreases as the frequency
signed receiver is that of the first tube. The increases. Tube input resistance on conven
noise contribution due to electron flow and tional tube types begins to become an import
due to losses in the tube can be lumped into ant factor at frequencies of about 25 Me. and
an equivalent value of resistance which, if above. At frequencies above about 100 Me. the
placed in the grid circuit of a perfect tube hav- use of conventional tube types becomes im
ing the same gain but no noise would give the practicable since the input resistance of the
same noise voltage output in the plate load. tube has become so much lower than the equi-
The equivalent noise resistance of tubes such valent noise resistance that it is impossible
as the 6SK7, 6SG7, etc., runs from 5000 to to attain reasonable signal-to-noise ratio on
10,000 ohms. Very high Gm tubes such as the any but very strong signals. Hence, special
6AC7 and 6AK5 have equivalent noise resist- v-h-f tube types such as the 6AK5, 6AG5, and
ances as low as 700 to 1500 ohms. The lower 6CB6 must be used.
the value of equivalent noise resistance, the The lowering of the effective input resist
HANDBOOK R-F Amplifiers 151

ance of a vacuum tube at higher frequencies

is brought about by a number of factors. The
first, and most obvious, is the fact that the
dielectric loss in the internal insulators, and
in the base and press of the tube increases
with frequency. The second factor is due to
the fact that a finite time is required for an
electron to move from the space charge in the
vicinity of the cathode, pass between the grid
wires, and travel on to the plate. The fact that
the electrostatic effect of the grid on the mov- @AMPLIFICATION AT RESONANCE(APPROX.)=GMWLQ
ing electron acts over an appreciable portion
of a cycle at these high frequencies causes a
current flow in the grid circuit which appears
to the input circuit feeding the grid as a re-
sistance. The decrease in input resistance of
a tube due to electron transit time varies as
the square of the frequency. The undesirable
effects of transit time can be reduced in cer-
tain cases by the use of higher plate voltages.
Transit time varies inversely as the square
root of the applied plate voltage. @AMPLIFICATION AT RESONANCE (APPROX.l=GMWMQ
Cathode lead inductance is an additional
cause of reduced input resistance at high fre-
quencies. This effect has been reduced in cer-
tain tubes such as the 6SH7 and the 6AK5 by
providing two cathode leads on the tube base.
One cathode lead should be connected to the
input circuit of the tube and the other lead
should be connected to the by-pass capacitor
for the plate return of the tube.
The reader is referred to the Radiation Labo-
ratory Series, Volume 23: "Microwave Receiv- AMPLIFICATION AT RESONANCE(APPROil,Gt.tK ~~~P~s
ers" (McGraw-Hill, publishers) for additional QpQs
information on noise factor and input loading
of vacuum tubes. 2. K IS COEFFICIENT OF COUPLING


~~~~~RB~~~;~~~~y = 1. 2 K
Considerations WHENK= -

Noise is generated in a vacuum tube by the

fact that the current flow within the tube is not Figure 1
a smooth flow but rather is made up of the con- Gain equations for pentacle r-f amplifier
tinuous arrival of particles (electrons) at a stages operating into a tunec/ load
very high rate. This shot effect is a source of
noise in the tube, but its effect is referred
back to the grid circuit of the tube since it is the amplifier tube, and L and Q are the induct-
included in the equivalent noise resistance ance and Q of the inductor L. In figure lB the
discussed in the preceding paragraphs. notation is the same and M is the mutual in-
ductance between the primary coil and the sec-
Plate Circuit For the purpose of this section, ondary coil. In figure lC the notation is again
Coupling it will be considered that the the same and k is the coefficient of coupling
function of the plate load cir- between the two tuned circuits. As the co-
cuit of a tuned vacuum-tube amplifier is to de- efficient of coupling between the circuits is
liver energy to the next stage with the greatest increased the bandwidth becomes greater but
efficiency over the required band of frequen- the response over the band becomes progres-
cies. Figure 1 shows three methods of inter- sively more double-humped. The response over
stage coupling for tuned r-f voltage amplifiers. the band is the most flat when the Q' s of pri-
In figure lA omega (w) is 2rr times the reso- mary and secondary are approximately the same
nant frequency of the circuit in the plate of and the value of each Q is equal to 1. 75/ k.
152 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

Variable-Mu Tubes It is common practice to cases these signals will carry the modulation
in R- F Stages control the gain of a suc- of both the carriers which have been cross
cession of r-f or if am modulated to produce the spurious signal.
plifier stages by varying the average bias on The undesirable effect of cross modulation
their control grids. However, as the bias is can be eliminated in most cases and greatly
raised above the operating value on a conven- reduced in the balance through the use of a
tional sharp-cutoff tube the tube becomes in variablemu tube in all stages which have avc
creasingly non-linear in operation as cutoff of voltage or other large negative bias applied to
plate current is approached. The effect of such their grids. The variable-mu tube has a char
non-linearity is to cause cross modulation be acteristic which causes the cutoff of plate cur
tween strong signals which appear on the grid rent to be grad u a 1 with an increase in grid
of the tube. When a tube operating in such a bias, and the reduction in plate current is ac
manner is in one of the first stages of a re- companied by a decrease in the effective am
ceiver a number of signals are appearing on its plification factor of the tube. Variablemu tubes
grid simultaneously and cross modulation be- ordinarily have somewhat reduced Gm as com
tween them will take place. The result of this pared to a sharp-cutoff tube of the same group.
effect is to produce a large number of spurious Hence the sharp-cutoff tube will perform best
signals in the output of the receiver-in most in stages to which av-c voltage is not applied.


All modern transmitters in the mediumfre that no plate current will flow except when
quency range and an increasing percentage of plate voltage is very low. This, in fact, is the
those in the vhf and uhf ranges consist of fundamental reason why the plate circuit effi-
a comparatively low-level source of radiofre ciency of a Class C amplifier stage can be
quency energy which is multiplied in frequency made high-plate current is cut off at all times
and successively amplified to the desired power except when the plate-to-cathode voltage drop
level. Microwave transmitters are still predom across the tube is at its lowest value. Class
inately of the self-excited oscillator type, but C amplifiers almost invariably operate into a
when it is possible to use rf amplifiers in tuned tank circuit as a load, and as a result
shf transmitters the flexibility of their ap are used as amplifiers of a single frequency
plication will be increased. The following por or of a comparatively narrow band of frequen-
tion of this chapter will be devoted, however, cies.
to the method of operation and calculation of
operating characteristics of rf power ampli Relationships in Figure 2 shows the relation-
fiers for operation in the range of approximate Class C Stage ships between the various
ly 3.5 to 500 Me. voltages and currents over
one c y c 1 e of the exciting grid voltage for a
8-3 Class C R-F Class C amplifier stage. The notation given in
figure 2 and in the discussion to follow is the
Power Amplifiers
same as given at the first of Chapter Six un
der "Symbols for Vacuum Tube Parameters."
The majority of r-f power amplifiers fall into The various manufacturers of vacuum tubes
the Class C category since such stages can publish booklets listing in adequate detail al-
be made to give the best plate circuit efficien- ternative Class C operating conditions for the
cy of any present type of vacuum-tube ampli tubes which they manufacture. In addition,
fier. Hence, the cost of tubes for such a stage operating condition sheets for any particular
and the cost of the power to supply that stage type of vacuum tube are available for the ask
is least for any given power output. Neverthe ing from the different vacuum-tube manufac
less, the Class C amplifier gives less power turers. It is, nevertheless, often desirable to
gain than either a Class A or Class B ampli- determine optimum operating conditions for a
fier under similar conditions since the grid of tube under a particular set of circumstances.
a Class C stage must be driven highly posi- To assist in such calculations the following
tive over the portion of the cycle of the excit paragraphs are devoted to a method of calcu
ing wave when the plate voltage on the ampli lacing Class C operating conditions which is
fier is low, and must be at a large negative moderately simple and yet sufficiently accu
potential over a large portion of the cycle so rate for all practical purposes.
HANDBOOK Class C R-F Amplifiers 1 53

tiona! grid voltage-plate current operating

curves, the calculation is considerably sim
plified if the alternative "constant-current
curve" of the tube in question is used. This is
true since the operating line of a Class C am-
plifier is a straight line on a set of constant
current curves. A set of constant-current curves
on the 250TH tube with a sample load line
drawn thereon is shown in figure 5.
In calculating and predicting the operation
of a vacuum tube as a Class C radio-frequency
amplifier, the considerations which determine
the operating conditions are plate efficiency,
power output required, maximum allowable
plate and grid dissipation, maximum allowable
plate voltage and maximum allowable plate
current. The values chosen for these factors
will depend both upon the demands of a par-
ticular application and upon the tube chosen.
The plate and grid currents of a Class C
amplifier tube are periodic pulses, the dura
tions of which are always less than 180 de
grees. For this reason the average grid cur
rent, average plate current, power output, driv
ing power, etc., cannot be directly calculated
but must be determined by a Fourier analysis
from points selected at proper intervals along
the line of operation as plotted upon the con-
stant-current characteristics. This may be done
either analytically or graphically. While the
Fourier analysis has the advantage of accu-
racy, it also has the disadvantage of being
tedious and involved.
The approximate analysis which follows
has proved to be sufficiently accurate for most
applications. This type of analysis also has
the advantage of giving the desired informa
tion at the first trial. The system is direct in
giving the desired information since the im-
portant factors, power output, plate efficiency,
and plate voltage are arbitrarily selected at
the beginning.

Method af The first step in the method to

Calculation be described is to determine the
power which must be delivered
by the Class C amplifier. In making this deter-
mination it is well to remember that ordinarily
from 5 to 10 per cent of the power delivered
by the amplifier rube or tubes will be lost in
Figure 2 well-designed tank and coupling circuits at
Instantaneous electrode ancl tank circuit
frequencies below 20 Me. Above 20 Me. the
voltages ancl currents for a Class C r-f power tank and circuit losses are ordinarily some-
amplifier what above 10 per cent.
The plate power input necessary to produce
the desired output is determined by the plate
efficiency: Pin = Po u /N p.
Calculation af Class Although Class C op For most applications 1t is desirable to oper
C Amp I ifier Operating erating conditions can ate at the highest practicable efficiency. High
Characteristics be determined with the efficiency operation usually requires less ex
aid of the more conven- pensive tubes and power supplies, and the
154 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

7. 0

0 0
lL _1
0 . 0 0 7. 0

~ i=
< ~
v a:

v '\
0 .0

"' "'
v f't...
3. 0
1.> 1.6 1.& 1.0 -1.0 -1.~ - 2.0 2.> - 30

Figure 3 Figure 4
Relationship between the peak value of the Relationship between the ratio of the peak
fundamental component of the tube plate cur- value of the fundamental component of the
rent, and average plate current; as compared grid excitation voltage, and the average grid
to the ratio of the instantaneous peak value bias; as compared to the ratio between in-
of tube plate current, and average plate stantaneous peale gricl current and average
current grid current

amount of artificial cooling required is fre- 2. Determine plate input from: Pin =
quendy less than for low-efficiency operation. Pout/Np.
On the other hand, high-efficiency operation
usually requires more driving power and in 3. Determine plate dissipation from:
volves the use of higher plate voltages and P p= Pin - Pout P p must not exceed
higher peak tube voltages. The better types maximum rated plate dissipation for tube
of triodes will ordinarily operate at a plate or tubes selected.
efficiency of 75 to 85 per cent at the highest
rated plate voltage, and at a plate efficiency 4. Determine average plate current from:
of 65 to 75 per cent at intermediate values of lb =Pin/Ebb
plate voltage.
The first determining factor in selecting a 5. Determine approximate ipmax from:
tube or tubes for a particular application is ipm ax= 4.9 lb for Np = 0.85
the amount of plate dissipation which will be ipmax = 4.5 lb for Np = 0.80
required of the stage. The total plate dissipa ipm ax = 4.0 lb for Np = 0. 75
tion rating for the tube or tubes to be used in ipmax = 3.5 h for Np = 0.70
the stage must be equal to or greater than that
6. Locate the point on constant-current
calculated from: P p = PIn - Pout
characteristics where the constant plate
After selecting a tube or tubes to meet the current line corresponding to the ap-
power output and plate dissipation require- proximate ipmax determined in step 5
ments it becomes necessary to determine from crosses the line of equal plate and grid
the tube characteristics whether the tube se voltages (diode line). Read epmin at this
lected is capable of the desired operation and, point. In a few cases the lines of con-
if so, to determine the driving power, grid stant plate current will inflect sharply
bias, and grid dissipation. upward before reaching the diode line.
The complete procedure necessary to deter- In these cases epmin should not be read
mine a set of Class C amplifier operating con- at the diode line but at the point where
ditions is given in the following steps: the plate current line intersects a line
1. Select the plate voltage, power output, drawn from the origin through these
and efficiency. points of inflection.
HANDBOOK Constant Current Calculations 155




.... ....

Active portion of the operating loaclline for an Eimac 2SOTH Class C r-f power amplifier,
showing first trial point ancl the final operating point

7. Calculate Epm from: Epm =Ebb- epmin 13. Calculate the grid bias voltage from:
B. Calculate the ratio Ipm/h from: I
Ecc = X
Ipm 2 Np Ebb I - cos ep

9. From the ratio of Ipm/Ib calculated in

~OS {)p
( - - egmp)
_ E;b J
step 8 determine the ratio ipmax/Ib from for triodes.
figure 3.

IO. Calculate a new value for ipmax from

the ratio found in step 9.
ip max = (ratio from step 9) h
I - cos ep [ - egmp cos
e- --
11. Read egmp and igmax from the constant- for tetrodes, where p. 12 is the grid-screen
current characteristics for the values of amplification factor, and Ec 2 is the dc
epmin and ip max determined in steps 6 screen voltage.
and 10.

I2. Calculate the cosine of onehalf the I4. Calculate the peak fundamental grid ex
angle of plate current flow from: citation voltage from:
Egm = egmp- Ecc

I5. Calculate the ratio E 8 m/Ecc for the val-

156 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

ues of Ecc and Egm found in steps 13

and 14.
12. cos p e =2.32 (1.73 - 1. 57) = o. 37
(8p::: 08.3)

16. Read igma xllc from figure 4 for the ratio

Egm/Ecc found in step 15. 13. Ecc::: X
1 - 0.37
17. Calculate the ave rage grid current from 3240
the ratio found in step 16, and the value - 3500]
of igmax found in step 11: ['0.37 ( - - 240)
37 37
=- 240 volts
lc::: - - - - - - - -
Ratio from step 16 =
14. Egm 240 - (-240) =480 volts grid

18. Calculate approximate grid driving pow- 15. Egm/Ecc::: 480/ - 240::: - 2
er from;
P d = 0.9 Egmlc
16. igmax/Ic =5.75 (from figure 4)
17. lc = 0.430/5.75:::0.075 amp. (75 rna.
19. Calculate grid dissipation from: grid current)
Pg::: Pd + Ecclc
P g must not exceed the maximum rated
18. P d 0.9X480X0.075 =32.5 watts
driving power
grid dissipation for the tube selected.
19. P 8 = 32.5- (-240X0.75)::: 14.5 watts
grid dissipation
Sample A typical example of a Class C Max. P g for 250TH is 40 watts
Calculation amplifier calculation is shown
in the example below. Reference The power output of any type of r-f ampli-
is made to figures 3, 4 and 5 in the calcula- fier is equal to:
tion. IpmEpm/2::: Po
1. Desired power output-BOO watts. Ipm can be determined, of course, from the
ratio determined in step 8 above (in this type
2. Desired plate voltage-3500 volts. of calculation) by multiplying this ratio times
Desired plate efficiency-SO per cent lb.
(Np::: 0.80) It is frequently of importance to know the
Pin = 800/0.80 ::: 1000 watts value of load impedance into which a Class
C amplifier operating under a certain set of
3. P P = 1000 - 800 = 200 watts conditions should operate. This is simply R L=
Use 250TH; max. Pp 250w; ll= =37. Epm/Ipm In the case of the operating condi-
tions just determined for a 250TH amplifier
= =
4. Ib 1000/3500 0.285 ampere (285 rna.) stage the value of load impedance is:
Max. Ib for 250TH is 350 rna.
Epm 3240
RL =--= --= 6600 ohms
5. Approximate ipmax = 0.285 X 4.5 Ipm .495
= 1. 28 ampere

6. epmin = 260 volts (see figure 5 first

trial point)

7. Epm::: 3500 - 260 = 3240 volts Q of Amplifier In order to obtain good plate
Tank Circuit tank circuit tuning and low
8. Ipm/Ib = 2X0.80X3500/3240::: radiation of harmonics from
5600/3240 ::: 1. 73
an amplifier it is necessary that the plate tank
9. ipmax/Ib = 4.1 (from figure 3) circuit have the correct Q. Charts giving com-
promise values of Q for Class C amplifiers
10. ipmax::: 0.285X4.1::: 1.17 are given in the chapter, Generation of R-F
Energy. However, the amount of inductance
11. egmp::: 240 volts required for a specified tank circuit Q under
igmax = 0.430 amperes specified operating conditions can be calcu
(Both above from final point on figure 5) lated from the following expression:
HANDBOOK Class B R-F Amplifiers 157


= 2 TT X operating frequency

0.9 2
- ~

L = Tank inductance
RL = Required tube load impedance
0.90 -"' 1'\
Q = Effective tank circuit Q 0.88
A tank circuit Q of 12 to 20 is recommended F2
0.84 L\.
for all normal conditions. However, if a bal- 0.8 2
anced push-pull amplifier is employed the tank 0.80 l\.
receives two impulses per cycle and the cir- 0.78
cuit Q may be 1 ower e d somewhat from the ~
above values.
0.7 2 ~
Quick Method of The plate circuit effi- 0.70 1\
Calculating Amp I ifier ciency of a Class B or o m m ~ ~ ~ ~ ro ~ ~ -m lB
Plate Efficiency Class C r-f amplifier I I "'.~ELEcTRICAL' DEGREES
t-0 OtU 0.0. O.IN 0.7. . Oe4lO.~O.:MZO.t7" O.OO+O.H<IO.:MZ-0.~
can be determined from COS 6P
the following facts. The plate circuit efficiency
of such an amplifier is equal to the product of
two factors, F,, which is equal to the ratio of Figure 6
Epm to. Ebb (F, = Epm/Ebb) and F 2 , which is Relationship between Factor F 2 ancJ the
proportional to the one-half angle of plate cur- half-angle of plate current flow in an ampli-
rent flow, 8 p. A graph of F 2 against both () fier with sine-wave input and output voltage,
and cos () p is given in figure 6. Either () P 0~ operating at a gricJ-bias voltage greater than
cos () p may be used to determine F 2 Cos ()
may. be dete_rmined either from the procedurg
previOusly gtven. for making Class C amplifier 5. Np= F, X F 2 = 0.91 X 0.79 = 0.72
computatiOns or It may be determined from the (72 per cent efficiency)
following expression:
F 1 could be called the plate-voltage-swing
P. Ecc +Ebb efficiency factor, and F 2 can be called the
cos ()p = - - - - - - - operating-angle efficiency factor or the maxi
mum possible efficiency of any stage running
/1 Egm- Epm
with that value of half-angle of plate current
Example af It is desired to know the one-half Np is, of course, only the ratio between
Method angle of plate current flow and power output and power input. If it is desired
the plate circuit efficiency for to determine the power input, exciting power,
an 812 tube operating under the following con and grid current of the stage, these can be ob-
ditions which have been assumed from inspec- tained through the use of steps 7, 8, 9, and 10
tion of the data and curves given in the RCA of the previously given method for power in-
Transmitting Tube Handbook HB-3: put and output; and knowing that igmax is
0.095 ampere the grid circuit conditions can
I. Ebb= llOO volts be determined through the use of steps 15, 16,
Ecc = -40 volts 17, 18 and 19.
p. = 29
Egm = 120 volts 8-4 Closs B Radio
Epm = 1000 volts Frequency Power Amp I ifiers

Radio frequency power amplifiers operating

under Class B conditions of grid bias and ex-
citation voltage are used in two general types
- 29 X 40 + I 100 of applications in transmitters. The first gen-
3. cos ()p = =
eral application is as a buffer amplifier stage
29 X 120 - 1000
where it is desired to obtain a high value of
60 power amplification in a particular stage. A
- - = 0.025 particular tube type operated with a given
2480 plate voltage will be capable of somewhat
greater output for a certain amount of excita
4. F 2 = 0. 79 (by reference to figure 6) tion power when operated as a Class B ampli-
158 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE RA0 I0

Ec2:: +400 v.
N' Ec~= a v.
u .9

I Ec = o&<L
:::;; /

4: =
z A
w 6 - -

"'a: s '
f.- 1
\ v
~Eel= +"'c
0 !
w :Ivv I Ec1=+20

~. ~ v
a: 3
w I
I IEc)o


1//.' -~
KTrrc;;: Ec =+ 100
!c2. Ec.=+!.o

,~1-..::::- 1=.
Ec1- 40
o 100 2.00 300 400 soo aoo 100 aoo 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 teoo 1100

Figure 7

fier than when operated as a Class C ampli- calculated. Then, with the exctung voltage
fier. reduced to one-half for the no-modulation con-
dition of the exciting wave, and with the same
Cql culation of Calculation of the operating value of load resistance reflected on the tube,
Operating conditions for this type of the plate input and plate efficiency will drop
Characteristics Class B r-f amplifier can be to approximately one-half the values at the
carried out in a manner simi- 100 per cent positive modulation peak and the
lar to that described in the previous para- power output of the stage will drop to one-
graphs, except that the grid bias voltage is set fourth the peak-modulation value. On the nega-
on the tube before calculation at the value: tive modulation peak the input, efficiency, and
Ecc = - Ebb//l. Since the grid bias is set at output all drop to zero.
cutoff the one-half angle of plate current flow In general, the proper plate voltage, bias
is 90; hence cos (JP is fixed at 0.00. The voltage, load resistance and power output
plate circuit efficiency for a Class B r-f am- listed in the tube tables for Class B audio
plifier operated in this manner can be deter- work will also apply to Class B linear r-f ap-
mined in the following manner: plication.

Calculation of Oper- Figure 7 illustrates

ating Parameters for a the characteristic
Class B Linear Amplifier curves for an 813
The "Class B The second type of Class B tube. Assume the
Linear" r-f amplifier is the so-called plate supply to be 2000 volts, and the screen
Class B linear amplifier which supply to be 400 volts. To determine the oper-
is often used in transmitters for the amplifica- ating parameters of this tube as a Class B lin-
tion of a single-sideband signal or a conven- ear r-f amplifier, the following steps should
tional amplitude-modulated wave. Calculation be taken:
of operating conditions may be carried out in 1. The grid bias is chosen so that the rest-
a manner similar to that previously described ing plate current will produce approxi-
with the following exceptions: The first trial mately 1/3 of the maximum plate dissi-
operating point is chosen on the basis of the pauon of the tube. The maximum dissi-
100 per cent positive modulation peak of the pation of the 813 is 125 watts, so the
modulated exciting wave. The plate circuit bias is set to a 11 ow one-third of this
and grid peak voltages and currents can then value, or 42 watts of resting dissipation.
be determined and the power input and output At a plate potentia 1 of 2000 volts. a
HANDBOOK Linear Amplifier Parameters 159

plate current of 21 milliamperes will 100

produce this figute. Referring to figure

7, a grid bias of -45 volts is approxi- 80
mate! y correct.
2. A practical Class B linear r-f amplifier ~~2"+400 v.
runs at an efficiency of about 66% at full eo -" c3=ov.

output, the efficiency dropping to about

33% with an unmodulated exciting sig-
nal. In the case of single-sideband sup-
pressed carrier excitation, a no-excita-
p C I:::: +SO

Ec1+ ~t-
0 ~
tion condition is substituted for the un- L~
modulated excitation case, and the lin-
ear amplifier runs at the resting or qui-
escent input of 42 watts with no exciting
Ecr:;:+zo .
100 200 .300 400
signal. The peak allowable power input
to the 813 is: Figure 8
Input Peak Power (Wp) = E9, VS. Ep CHARACTERISTICS OF 813
(wat~s) TUBE
Plate Dissipation X 100
( 100 - % plate efficiency)
8. The plate load resistance is:
- x 100 = 379 watts
33 Ep- epmin 1580
RL = --=
3. The maximum signal plate current is: 0.5ipm ax 0.5 X .189
= 6000 ohms
WP 379
ipmax =- = --= 0.189 ampere
EP 2000 9. If a loaded plate tank circuit Q of 12 is
desired, the reactance of the plate tank
4. The plate current flow of the linear am- capacitor at the resonant frequency
plifier is 1809, and the plate current should be:
pulses have a peak of 3.14 ti!llfs the
maximum signal current: RL 6000
Reactance {ohms)=- =--= 500 ohms
3.14 x 0.189 = 0.595 ampere
Q 12
5. Referring to figure 7, a current of 0.605
ampere (Point A) will flow at a positive
grid potential of 60 volts and a minimum 10. For an operating frequency of 4.0 Me.,
P!ate potential of 420 volts. The grid is the effective resonant capacity is:
b1ased at -45 volts, so a peak r-f grid 106
voltage of 60 +45 volts = 105 volts is re- c-------
quired. = 80 !1/lfd.
6.28 X 4.0 X 500

6. The gri.d driving power required for the

Class B linear stage may be found by the 11. The inductance required to resonate at
aid of figute 8. It is one-quarter the pro- 4.0 Me. with this value of capacity is:
duct of the peak grid current times the
peak grid voltage: 500
L = - - - - = 19.9 microhenries
0.02 X 105
6.28 4.0
Pg =----
=0.53 watt X

Grid Circuit I. The maximum positive grid

7. The single tone power output of the 813 Considerations potential is 60 volts, and
stage is:
the peak rf grid voltage is
Pp = 78.5 (Ep- epmin) X lp 105 volts. Required driving power is 0.53 watt.
Pp =78.5 (2000- 420)x .189 =235 watts The equivalent grid resistance of this stage is:
160 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

(eg) 2 105 2 8-5 Special R-F Power

Rg= = = Amplifier Circuits
2XPg 2X0.53
10,400 ohms The r-f power amplifier discussions of Sec-
tions 8-4 and 8-5 have been based on the as-
2. As in the case of the Class B audio am- sump,tion that a conventional grounded-cathode
plifier the grid resistance of the linear or cathode-return type of amplifier was in ques-
amplifier varies from infinity to a low tion. It is possible, however, as in the case of
value when maximum grid current is a-f and low-level r-f amplifiers to use circuits
drawn. To decrease the effect of this in which electrodes other than the cathode are
resistance excursion, a swamping resis- returned to ground insofar as the signal poten-
tor should be placed across the grid tank tial is concerned. Both the plate-return or
circuit. The value of the resistor should cathode-follower amplifier and the grid-return
be dropped until a shortage of driving or grounded- grid amplifier are effective in cer-
power begins to be noticed. For this ex- tain circuit applications as tuned r-f power
ample, a resistor of 3,000 ohms is used. amplifiers.
The grid circuit load for no grid current
is now 3,000 ohms instead of infinity, Disadvantages of An undesirable aspect of
Grounded-Cathode the operation of cathode-
and drops to 2 400 ohms when maximum
Amplifiers return r-f power amplifiers
grid current is drawn.
using triode tubes is that
such amplifiers must be neutralized. Princi-
3. A circuit Q of 15 is chosen for the grid
ples and methods of neutralizing r-f power am-
tank. The capacitive reactance required
plifiers are discussed in the chapter Genera-
tion of R-F Energy. As the frequency of opera-
2400 tion of an amplifier is increased the stage be-
Xc = --= 160 ohms comes more and more difficult to neutralize
due to inductance in the grid and plate leads
of the tubes and in the leads to the neutraliz-
ing capacitors. In other words the bandwidth
4. At 4.0 ~!c. the effective capacity is: of neutralization decreases as the frequency
is increased. In addition the very presence of
the neutralizing capacitors adds additional
C= = 248 pp.fd.
undesirable capacitive loading to the grid and
6.28 X 4 X 154 plate tank circuits of the tube or tubes. To
look at the problem in another way, an ampli-
5. The inductive reactance required ro re so- fier that may be perfectly neutralized at a fre-
nate the grid circuit at 4.0 Me. is: quency of 30 Me. may be completely out of
neutralization at a frequency of 120 Me. There-
160 fore, if there are circuits in both the grid and
L= = 6.4 microhenries plate circuits which offer appreciable imped-
6.28X4.0 ance at this high frequency it is quite possi-
ble that the stage may develop a "parasitic
6. By substituting the loaded grid resist- oscillation" in the vicinity of 120 Me.
ance figure in the formula in the first
paragraph, the grid driving power is now
found to be approximately 2.3 watts. Grounded-Grid This condition of restricted-
R- F Amp I ifiersrange neutralization of r-f
power amplifiers can be great-
Screen Circuit By reference to the plate ly alleviated through the use of a c~- ~ '.
Considerations characteristic curve of the return or grounded-grid r-f stage. The grounded-
813 tube, it can be seen that grid amplifier has the following advantages:
at a minimum plate potential of 500 volts, arid
a maximum plate current of 0.6 ampere, the 1. The output capacitance of a stage is re-
screen current will be approximately 30 milli- duced to approximately one-half the value
amperes, dropping to one or two milliamperes which would be obtained if the same tube
in the quiescent state. It is necessary to use or tubes were operated as a conventional
a well-regulated screen sup p 1 y to hold the neutralized amplifier.
screen voltage at the correct potential over
this range of current excursion. The use of an 2. The tendency toward parasitic oscillations
electronic regulated screen supply is recom- in such a stage is greatly reduced since
mended. the shielding effect of the control grid be-
HANDBOOK Grounded Grid Amplifier 16 l

tween the filament and the plate is effec-

tive over a broad range of frequencies.
3. The feedback capacitance within the stage ~COAD
is the plate-to-cathode capacitance which
is ordinarily very much less than the grid-
to-plate capacitance. Hence neutralization
is ordinarily not required. If neutralization
is required the neutralizing capacitors are
very small in value and are cross con-
nected between plates and cathodes in a POWER OUTPUT TO LOAD : (Ec;M + E:M) ! PM OR ~+ ~
push-pull stage, or between the opposite
end of a split plate tank and the cathode
in a single-ended stage. POWER FROM DRIVER TO L.OAD: Ey.M lPM

The disadvantages of a grounded-grid am-

plifier are:
EGMZ lpM + 0 9 E<;M !c
I. A large amount of excitation energy is re-
quired. However, only the normal amount POWER ABSORBED BY OUTPUT TUBE GRID AND BIAS SUPPLY

of energy is lost in the grid circuit of the OR 0.9 EGM [c

amplifier tube; all additional energy over
this amount is delivered to the load cir- lK"' (APPROXIMATELY) = ~~.-."'E!'"'iL.e-of-c~
cuit as useful output.
2. The cathode of a grounded-grid amplifier
Figure 9
stage is "hot" to r.f. This means that the
cathode must be fed through a suitable im- GROUNDED-GRID CLASS B OR CLASS C
pedance from the filament supply, or the AMPLIFIER
secondary of the filament transformer must The equations in the above figure give the
be of the low-capacitance type and ade- relationships between the fundamental com
ponents of gricl ancl plate potential ancl cur-
quately insulated for the r-f voltage which rent, ancl the power input ancl power output
will be present. of the stage. An expression for the approxi-
mate cathode impedance is given
3. A grounded-grid r-f amplifier cannot be
plate modulated 100 per cent unless the
output of the exciting stage is modulated
also. Approximately 70 per cent modula- output '>tage, the higher will be the require-
tion of the exciter stage as the final stage ment from the driver.
is being modulated 100 per cent is recom-
mended. However, the grounded-grid r-f Calculation of Operating It is most convenient
amplifier is quite satisfactory as a Class Conditions of Grounded to determine the op-
B linear r-f amplifier for single sideband Grid R F Ampl Hiers erating conditions for
or conventional amplitude modulated waves a Class B or Class C
or as an amplifier for a straight c-w or grounded-grid r-f power amplifier in a two-step
FM signal. process. The first step is to determine the
plate-circuit and grid-circuit operating condi-
Figure 9 shows a simplified representation tions of the tube as though it were to operate
of a grounded-grid triode r-f power amplifier as a conventional cathode-return amplifier
stage. The relationships between input and stage. The second step is then to add in the
out put power and the peak fundamental com- additional conditions imposed upon the oper-
ponents of electrode voltages and currents are ating conditions by the fact that the stage is
given below the drawing. The calculation of to operate as a grounded-grid amplifier.
the complete operating conditions for a For the first step in the calculation the pro-
grounded-grid amplifier stage is somewhat more cedure given in Section 8-3 is quite satisfac-
complex than that for a conventional amplifier tory and will be used in the example to follow.
because the input circuit of the tube is in Suppose we take for our example the case of a
series with the output circuit as far as the type 304TL tube operating at 2700 plate volts
load is concerned. The primary result of this at a kilowatt input. Following through the pro-
effect is, as stated before, that considerably cedure previously given:
more power is required from the driver stage. I. Desired power output-850 watts
The normal power gain for a g-g stage is from
Desired Plate voltage-2700 volts
3 to 15 depending upon the grid circuit con-
ditions chosen for the output stage. The higher Desired plate efficiency-85 per cent
the grid bias and grid swing required on the (N P = 0.85)
162 R-F Vacuum Tube Amplifiers THE R AD I 0

2. Pin = 850/0.85 = 1000 watts F1 = Ep m/Eb b = 2560/2700 = 0. 95

F 2 for 8P of 59 (from figure 6) = 0.90
3. P P = 1000 - 850 = 150 watts Np = F, X F 2 = 0.95 X 0.90 = Approx.
Type 304TL chosen; max. P P = 300 0.85 (85 per cent plate efficiency)
watts, p. = 12.
Now, to determine the operating conditions
as a grounded-grid amplifier we must also know
4. lb = 1000/2700 = 0.370 ampere the peak value of the fundamental components
(370 rna.) of p 1 ate current. This is simp I y equal to
Op m/1 b) I b, or:
5. Approximate ipmax = 4.9 X 0.370 = 1.81
Ipm = 1.79 X 0.370 = 0.660 amperes (from 4
and 8 above)
6. ep min= 140 volts (from 304TL con- The total average power required of the
stant-current curves) dr~ver (from _fi~ure 9) is equal to Egmlpm/2
(since the gnd 1s grounded and the grid swing
7. Ep m = 2700 - 140 = 2560 volts appears also as cathode swing) plus P d which
is 27.5 watts from 18 above. The total is:
8. Ipm/h = 2 X 0.85 X 2700/2560 = 1.79 525 X 0.660
Total drive= = 172.5 watts
9. ipmax/Ib = 4.65 (from figure 3) 2
plus 27.5 watts or 200 watts
10. ipmax = 4.65 X 0.370 = 1.72 amperes
Therefore the total power output of the stage
is equal to 850 watts (contributed by the
11. e gmp = 140 volts 304TL) plus 172.5 watts (contributed by the
igmax = 0.480 amperes driver) or 1022.5 watts. The cathode driving
impedance of the 304TL (again referring to
12. Cos 8P = 2.32 (1.79-1.57) = 0.51 figure 7) is approximately:
ep = 59 zk = 525/(0.660