Palomar PE-600-PL Amplifier Tests

Tests performed 3/16-3/18/2000

The Palomar PE-600-PL RF power amplifier is a high power wide band amplifier, operating from a 12 volt DC power source, which is capable of generating up to 400 watts RF output when driven with less than a watt of RF drive. This makes the PE-600-PL a useful laboratory device, which is capable of being driven directly by a signal generator at some frequencies. In Rife/ Bare service, an unmodified CB radio is capable of generating several hundred watts of peak RF power, thereby making it easy for a researcher to rapidly assemble a working system.

It should be noted that this amplifier is requires a lot of DC current from the power supply, and requires either a power supply capable of 50 amperes, or a good 12 volt storage battery for the power supply in order to obtain the best results from the amplifier. The DC power leads supplied with the amplifier are not adequate for sustained high power operation, and must be replaced in order to work properly.


As supplied, this amplifier has NO RF filtering in either the input or the output circuits. This means that although the amplifier is capable of operating over a wide frequency range without any tuning whatsoever, it also means that the amplifier is capable of generating tremendous interference should it be connected to an antenna. Although it is legal for this amplifier to be used on the air by a licensed Amateur Radio Operator, he or she must not do so without first installing the proper RF bandpass filtering to the input and output connections of the amplifier. operation without these filters in place will place the operator in violation of the Federal Communications Commission regulations.

If you need a schematic diagram of this amplifier, click HERE to view the diagram or download the file in Adobe PDF format. (118 kb)

The table shown below presents the results of my tests. Following this table, is the same data presented in graphical form. To view the graph properly, you really need to have your monitor set for a minimum of 1024 x 764 resolution

mHz DC Amps @ 13 V DC Watts Input RF Watts Drive RF Watts Output Input VSWR Eff. % NOTES
2 20 325 0.5 250 (0) 77 Saturates (1)(2)
4 30 390 0.75 300 (0) 77 Saturates (3)(4)
7 45 585 2.5 300 1.75:1 51 Saturates (5)
10 50 650 1.5 350 2.80:1
54 Stable (6)
14 50 650 0.75 375 3.00:1 54 Stable (6)
18 45 585 4.0 400 2.00:1 68 Stable (6)
21 50 650 4.0 300 2.50:1 46 DC Current Drifts Up
21 40 520 1.75 200 2.50:1 38 Stable (6)
28 50 650 10.0 300 1.80:1 46 DC Current Drifts Up
28 42 546 5.0 170 1.80:1 31 Stable (6)


(0) Drive level below accurate measurement range; no readings taken.

(1) Driver Stage VSWR abruptly increases with RF drive levels above 2.5 watts.

(2) RF Output power drops when RF drive increases above 0.50 watts.

(3) Driver Stage VSWR abruptly increases with RF drive levels above 3.0 watts.

(4) RF Output power drops when RF drive increases above 0.75 watts. Driver Stage VSWR abruptly increases with RF drive above 3.0 watts.

(5) Amplifier DC current is stable with sufficient heat sink and component cooling.

(6) RF Power output drops to 250 watts with 8 watts RF Input Drive in when the amplifier gets hot. The Amplifier DC Current increases as the amplifier warms up. RF Drive was reduced to maintain 50 amperes DC Current.


Tests run 3-16/18-2000

RF Power measured using Bird 43 RF Wattmeter using 500H slug

Input VSWR measured with Micronta VSWR meter model 21-522

Power supply - MFJ-4245MV (13.8 VDC @ 50 Amperes)

RF Dummy load - MFJ-264 (Load VSWR <1.15:1)

RF Driver - Kenwood TS-530S in Tune mode

Tests run in CW Mode (Dead Key Operation)

Sufficient forced air-cooling supplied to maintain amplifier heat sink temperature below 75 C.

The following graph shows the relationship between the various data tabulated above. The results are smoothed, but are reasonably accurate between the measurement intervals. If you wish to print this chart, I suggest saving the image by simply clicking HERE (22 kb) and saving to disk. You may then open the file in a picture editor and print it out on a letter size sheet of paper.

PE600-PL Amplifier Characteristic Curves

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