It seems that the exchange of GU74b / 4CX800 tubes in Amplifiers like Alpha91b, Acom2000A and Acom1000 is of more interested than originally expected. In my post on how to replace the tubes of an Alpha91b I explained in depth why it is so important to recondition, to “getter”, the tubes at least 24 hours before any other voltage can be applied. Often amplifiers apply automatically HV and grid voltages which makes them unsuited for the gettering process. My Buddy Matthias, DK4YJ built recently a simple device which makes the heating and testing of tubes much more convenient.
A friend of mine recently was very generous and sent me four used 4CX800 / GU74b which he didn't need anymore. The tubes where traveling a while and through several non-EU countries. Today the parcel finally arrived. I have already heard wild stories about customs, but I didn't expect this: Customs drilled holes in two tubes and later opened them with a saw. Checkout the pictures.
In preparation of the upcoming CQWW 160m Contests my friend Hannes, DK1NO was so kind to give me one of his W7IUV broadband, high IP3 preamplifier. Thanks, Hannes! Without knowing the exact performance data, I ran a few measurements with my Network Analyzer on the amplifier to determine the Gain and it's operational fitness. Read on for measurement results and additional notes on how to measure active components.
It finally happend… After a decade of reliable service, my Alpha91b amplifier broke. Most likely on it's way to Spain one of the tubes broke. During the comissioning at ED1R, fire & smoke shot out of a chimney. The first shock was big, but a few measurements confirmed that just the tubes were broken. In this blog post I will share the knowledge I gained during during debugging, comissioning and breathing new life into the amplifier.