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How many class E operators are there?




 
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ka1tdq
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« on: September 09, 2017, 02:41:57 AM »

When I explain to people about class E transmitters, I mention that there are no commercially made transmitters on the market for high power AM (with the exception of the Super Senior, but that's all I know of).  I also say that typical transceivers (Icom, Kenwood, etc) generally don't sound that great on AM.  So, the ham must then build what he needs.  For a modern day appliance operator ham to build an AM station, he's probably going to go the route of transceiver/amplifier combo.

That being said...

I've also talked about how few hams build class E transmitters.  Does anyone have an idea about how many class E operators there are in America?  Generally from what I've seen, people who build stuff have at least some sort of online presence, so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.  

I've mentioned a ballpark number of about 20 people.  How far off is that?

Jon
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w1vtp
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 03:17:11 AM »

When I explain to people about class E transmitters, I mention that there are no commercially made transmitters on the market for high power AM (with the exception of the Super Senior, but that's all I know of).  I also say that typical transceivers (Icom, Kenwood, etc) generally don't sound that great on AM.  So, the ham must then build what he needs.  For a modern day appliance operator ham to build an AM station, he's probably going to go the route of transceiver/amplifier combo.

That being said...

I've also talked about how few hams build class E transmitters.  Does anyone have an idea about how many class E operators there are in America?  Generally from what I've seen, people who build stuff have at least some sort of online presence, so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.  

I've mentioned a ballpark number of about 20 people.  How far off is that?

Jon

Add me to the list.  8 fet running 400 watt carrier

Al

Make a list from this thread
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WA1MNQ
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 07:25:52 PM »

Hello Jon,
                  I have a Super Senior for 75 and 40 meters paired with a Flex 1500 for the main receiver. While called a class D rig, adding the antenna tuner that will take the power between it and the antenna, pretty much equals a class E rig.

I run it at 300 watts carrier and I run at voice peaks of + 110 to 120 % positive. I do NOT set it up to run "super modulation" but rather I like to run very much like a commercial broadcast rig would.

The detector at the conventional receiver end has much to say about what it can take and it can do OK in the range I operate. However on a conventional receiver, super modulated stations sound bad.

Before I ran the Flex 1500, I ran several receivers and the main line SX-101a was my favorite, with a direct tap to hifi amp external. But it too had trouble with the super stations or tall ship stations and super modulation.

The Flex is totally happy with super modulated stations and standard stations, so that is not an issue anymore for me but I still feel older receivers need to be considered so I run normal modulation levels and ratios.

Class E and Class E rigs sound great but there are many outstanding old broadcast rigs and home brew tube rigs, plus modified solid state units.

I may tend to caution against grouping class E or class D stations Vs standard rigs.
Rather I may group all HIFI stations in the same and lofi in the other where lofi needs work.

Long as they are AM, I am happy to see all stations but yes, fidelity is important.

Mike
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 10:01:32 PM »

10 meter class E for me!

Will be adding low band decks this winter.  67 days of the shop over 105 this summer means no building.

Pulse width modulated.  Up to 420 pct peaks.

--Shane
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steve_qix
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 11:47:54 AM »

There are a lot more class E rigs around than one might imagine.

I have sold more than 80 class E "kits" (boards are parts to implement PWM modulators).  There are several folks running class E with the old class H design -  and operating on a regular basis.  There are folks overseas running class E rigs.

Doug N9SHU just got a 24 FET rig on the air from Chicago.

They are out there!
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High Power, Broadcast Audio and Low Cost?  Check out the class E web site at: http://www.classeradio.org
ka1tdq
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 12:24:43 PM »

That's another thing too. How many are actually on the air? I rarely turn mine on. I sometimes just feel like Gollum sitting in my shack, "My precious..."

An E rig just sitting there might as well not be an E rig at all. Like old guys who store muscle cars in their garages and never use them. Take a chance! Grab the ole' CPAP machine and cruise the Beverly Hills strip. You never know...

Jon
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 08:36:01 PM »

That's the problem with mine.  When I built it, we still had sunspots.

Now, wtf good is a 10 / 12 meter rf deck?  Maybe to talk to myself?

Hence me waiting for the heat to die down.



--Shane
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K6JEK
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 07:32:22 PM »

I'm one of those guys that Steve mentioned running an old class E rig with a class H modulator.  I built it 100 years ago. In my defense, I've built a couple of class D rigs since then but they just weren't as much fun. I have a Flex too. Not as much fun. The AT-1 with the cathode modulator was as much fun but 8 watts doesn't wiggle the ionosphere very much.

Out here in the wilds of northern California I hear a lot of Super Seniors

Jon

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K6JEK
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 07:39:15 PM »

That's the problem with mine.  When I built it, we still had sunspots.

Now, wtf good is a 10 / 12 meter rf deck?  Maybe to talk to myself?

Hence me waiting for the heat to die down



--Shane
KD6VXI

No kidding, Shane. My Hexbeam blew down in a heap this winter. I rebuilt it but haven't bothered to put it back up. I did love 10 meters back when it actually worked.
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2017, 08:53:22 AM »

That's another thing too. How many are actually on the air? I rarely turn mine on. I sometimes just feel like Gollum sitting in my shack, "My precious..."

Plate-modulated tube transmitters probably outnumber Class E sets 100 to 1 or more - but how many of those (including mine) do you hear on with any regularity or at all? Between all the old time ops who have left us and the rest who have gotten busy with life or lost interest, it certainly is a lot quieter on the bands.

Quote
An E rig just sitting there might as well not be an E rig at all. Like old guys who store muscle cars in their garages and never use them. Take a chance! Grab the ole' CPAP machine and cruise the Beverly Hills strip. You never know...

True, but if you're going to do that comparison, the big iron plate-modulated rigs would be the muscle cars and Class E would be more in line with the new crop of Asian 4 bangers with the oil can mufflers, Tokyo Drift, Vin Diesel and all that.... Wink

Seriously - autumn is nearly upon us. Blow off the dust and let's make some noise. Will be installing the 80m aerial here soon and digging out one of the bigger rigs to get active again beyond the occasional 100w 40m contact. Tube, Class E, Flex/SDR, whatever ya got - fire it up, boyz.
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