EME220 Series Preamplifier Kits

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EME220 KIT Description:

The EME220 series VHF Pre-Amplifier Kits are a redesign of the popular EME157 Kits that were sold for over 8 years, and include both 2M ( 144-148MHz ) and 6M ( 50-54MHz ) band versions. The design uses the Mini-Circuits PGA-103 High IP3 Amplifier which provides a lower noise figure and better strong signal handling compared to the previous BF998 MesFET design. The design uses a tuned input T type band pass filter and a low pass output filter to help reduce out of band signal from overloading the receiver. Tests done by W6PQL to improve the RF isolation of the Relays due to stray capacitance have been incorporated to protect the Pre-amplifier from damage when used with high power RF Amplifiers. The output of the Pre-amplifier also incorporates an adjustable 6 to 16dB variable attenuator to optimize the gain distribution for coaxial cable losses and receiver gain, and a RF limiter Diode further protects the Pre-amplifier output from Damage. The amplifier can be fed directly with DC power, or it can be powered via the coaxial cable when masthead mounted. The PC board is designed to suit a low cost GME mast head enclosure which provides high protection of the circuitry from weather.

Kit Constructors Alert:

1/ There are no current alerts

EME220-2M Kit Notes:

The pre-amplifier has been designed to be easy to construct, and can be centre frequency tuned for use between 135 and 160MHz, and is suitable for the 144-148MHz Amateur Band. A Mini-Circuits PGA-103 has been used as it has a low 0.36dB NF at 145MHz along with high IP3 for strong signal cross modulation performance, and with the input relay and tuned T type filter losses has a better than 0.7dB NF. The relay isolation should allow RF power levels of up to 57dBm or 500 watts to be used if the Pre-amplifier is sequenced. The onboard filters consist of the tuned input T type filter and an output low pass filter that provides up to 40dB rejection at 50MHz and 60dB at 430MHz, which protects the receiver from strong out of band signals. BUY THIS PRODUCT

EME220-2M Top View
Top view of the EME220-2M

The picture shows the basic EME220-2M Kit with BNC connectors. The yellow toroidal inductor allows the amplifier to be powered via the coaxial cable as a masthead amplifier.

EME220-2M Bottom View
Bottom View of the EME220-2M

The picture shows the PGA 103 and input and output filter components.

EME220-2M-L1-1
Fitting of the input inductor
EME220-2M-L2-2
How L2 was spaced on the prototype for maximum gain
EME220-2M-BNC
Fitting of 0.7mm TCW from the PC board to the BNC connectors

EME220-6M Kit Notes:

The pre-amplifier has been designed to be easy to construct, and can be centre frequency tuned for use between 50 and 54MHz. A Mini-Circuits PGA-103 has been used as it has a low 0.36dB NF at 50MHz along with high IP3 for strong signal cross modulation performance, and with the input relay and tuned T type filter losses has a better than 0.7dB NF. The relay isolation should allow RF power levels of up to 57dBm or 500 watts to be used if the Pre-amplifier is sequenced. The onboard filters consist of the tuned input T type filter and an output low pass filter that provides up to 30dB rejection at 30MHz and greater than 57dB at 145MHz, which protects the receiver from strong out of band signals. BUY THIS PRODUCT

EME220-6M Top View
Top view of the EME220-6M

The picture shows the basic EME220-6M Kit with BNC connectors. The red toroidal inductor allows the amplifier to be powered via the coaxial cable as a masthead amplifier.

EME220-6M Bottom View
Bottom View of the EME220-6M

The picture shows the PGA 103 and input and output filter components.

EME220-6M-L1-1
Fitting of the input inductor L2
EME220-6M-L2-2
How L2 was spaced on the prototype for maximum gain
EME220-2M-BNC
Fitting of 0.7mm TCW from the PC board to the BNC connectors

EME220-2M Performance Tests:

EME220-2M-Narrow-S21
EME220-2M S21 Gain Test S21 Narrow Span
EME220-2M-Wide-S21
EME220-2M S21 Gain Test Wide Span
EME220-2M-S21
EME220-2M Input S11 Return Loss RX Mode
EME220-2M-BYPASS
EME220-2M TX Bypass showing Return loss

EME220-6M Performance Tests:

EME220-6M-Narrow-S21
EME220-6M S21 Gain Test S21 Narrow Span
EME220-6M-Wide-S21
EME220-6M S21 Gain Test Wide Span
EME220-6M-T-Filter
EME220-6M T Input filter response from the Antenna input to the output of the PGA-103
EME220-6M-54M-Lowpass
EME220-6M 54MHz output low pass filter response from the input of the filter to the output TRX connector
EME220-6M-S21
EME220-6M Input S11 Return Loss RX Mode when tuned for minimum noise figure at 50MHz
EME220-6M-BYPASS
EME220-6M TX Bypass showing Return loss

Mounting into a Die cast Enclosure:

The Hammond 1590S or 1590SFL die cast enclosure is ideal for mounting the preamplifier module for in shack use. The enclosure allows various connector types including BNC, N and UHF types to be easily used. The board sits on M3 x 12mm high brass spacers mounted to the enclosure with M3 x 6mm countersunk screws.

1590S-ENC-1
The EME220 board mounted in a Hammond 1590S Enclosure
1590S-ENC-2
The EME220 board mounted in a Hammond 1590S Enclosure
1590S-Countersunk-Holes
3mm holes drilled to suit the M3x6mm Countsersunk screws
1590S-BNC-Holes
Holes drilled to 9mm and filed to suit the BNC connectors
1590S-DC-Connector
Hole drilled to 6mm to suit the 2.1mm DC socket
1590S-BNC-Connectors
Fitting of BNC connectors and connection to the board

Mounting Procedure:

This is for advanced constructors that have experience and access to a workshop with metal working tools. The basic tool requirements are a drill press, Vice, M1.5, M3, M6, M9, and 1.4 inch drill bits, scriber, metal punch, and a hammer.

  • Place an unpopulated EME220 PC board into the enclosure and mark the four mounting holes using a fine felt tip pen. Using a punch and hammed mark the centre of the mounting holes for drilling. Drill out the four holes starting with a 1.5mm drill bit followed by a 3mm bit. Counter sink the holes on the bottom of the enclosure to suit M3 x 6mm countersunk screws.

  • Mount the PC board into the enclosure on M3x12mm brass spacers using 4x M3x6 countersunk screws and 4x M3x6 phillips head screws. Mark the positions for the BNC connectors using a felt tip pen, and then remove the PC board.

  • Mark and drill two 9mm holes in the die cast enclosure as shown in the picture above to suit the BNC connectors, and a 8mm hole to suit the 2.1mm DC connector.

  • File out the two holes for the BNC connectors as shown in the picture to suit the flat of the connectors making sure to carefully do this so that the connectors are a tight fit. The actual hole size is around 9.25mm so some filing of the 9mm hole is also required. If you over file the holes then this can cause problems later on with the connectors rotating in the holes when doing up the nuts.

  • Mount the completed PC board pre-amplifier module into the enclosure and fit the BNC connectors to the enclosure. Make sure to fully tighten the nuts so that they cannot come loose with use.

  • Fill the two ANT and TRX connection holes on the board with solder, then tin sole 0.7mm tinned copper wire and connect these connections to the BNC connectors. No earthing of the board to the connectors was found to be required as the return loss remained at better than 20dB.

  • Mount the 2.1mm DC connector to the enclosure rotating it to the position as shown in the pictures. Carefully fully tighted the nut using a small spanner or wrench.

  • Connect the 2.1mm DC connector to the +ve connection on the terminal connector for the power using a small length of insulated hookup wire.

  • Finally tune the pre-amplifier as per the Kit construction notes for the best noise figure.

Mounting into a Masthead Enclosure:

The GME Masthead enclosure will accept cables up to around 8mm in diameter. Therefore larger cables like RG8/213 cannot be used. Larger cables would also place too much strain on the BNC sockets on the pre-amplifier board. To connect the Antenna feed line to the pre-amplifier, and pre-amplifier output to the main feed line, we recommend the use of CNT®240 ( 240 Type ) cable with crimped BNC connectors. CNT®240 is double shielded and has losses similar to RG213 cable, but has a much smaller 6mm diameter. Use the website search box and search for 240 series cable and connectors.

GME Enclosure 1
The EME220 board mounted in a GME Masthead Enclosure
EME220-ENC-1
The Enclosure has a locking Tab that holds the board firmly

CONNECTION TO A TRANSCEIVER:

1/ Mini-Kits cannot be expected to take responsibility to make this product work on your Transceiver, we can only give guidance on how best to use this product. Using this product with high power FM or SSB modes does have the risk of damaging the Pre-amplifier if the transceiver switches from RX to TX modes faster than the pre-amplifiers relays. Some protection is built into the pre-amplifier circuit including a RF sensing circuit and Limiter diode protection, but high RF levels into the pre-amplifier before it has fully switched from RX to TX mode can damage the pre amp. Some Transceivers are prone to producing a spike on the RF output when going into transmit mode. This can be due to the ALC in the Radio not acting fast enough. This is where a sequencer circuit is useful to sequence the switching of RF amplifiers and pre-amplifiers so that the relays etc have enough time to switch RX to TX mode before RF power is applied. The high Relay isolation that has been tested on the EME220-2M Kit should easily allow up to 500Watts PEP( +57dBm ) of RF to be used as long as the Pre-amplifier is sequenced.

2/ Powering the pre-amplifier with +10 to 15vdc can be either by running a DC power cable direct to the pre-amp board, or by feeding it up the coaxial cable. Transceivers like the ICOM IC475, IC820/821, IC910, and IC9100 have a pre amp switch with delay sequencing, and are able to directly power the pre-amp through the coaxial cable and require no additional circuitry. Popular transceivers like the TS2000 and IC706 series do not have internal bias tee circuitry to send +12vdc out via the rear antenna to power external pre amps. So additional circuitry will be required to interface the transmit switching from the transceiver to power the pre amp in RX mode.

Refer to the application diagrams on further information on what is required for use with the TS2000 Transceiver.

3/ The Mini-Kits Bias Tee or DC Power Injector allows the pre-amplifier power to be easily switched via the coaxial cable. Many Transceivers have access to a +12 volt TX connection on the accessories socket on the rear. This can be used to control the bias tee switching the +12vdc to the pre amp in RX mode, and disconnecting it in TX mode. At this time the RF sensing circuit should still be used on the pre-amp as a fail safe, as there is no delay sequencing built into the bias tee. The EME166 Sequencer can be used to control the sequencing of pre-amps and high power RF amplifiers with a transceiver.

BIAS TEE ( DC POWER INJECTOR ):

A Bias Tee Kit is available that is suitable for powering the 6m and 2M preamplifiers via a coaxial cable. The SWR return loss between 50 and 250MHz has been tested to be better than -30dB, and insertion loss is better than 0.2dB. This Product has only been designed to handle up to 500 Watts PEP. BUY THIS PRODUCT

EME168-Bias Tee
EME168-6-2 Bias Tee with N Connector Option
EME168-6-2-Inside
EME168-6-2 Inside View

Changes and Modifications:

1/ There are no current changes to these Kits.