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PostSubject: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSat Jul 24, 2021 7:10 pm

Good evening Cbers 

26ct3918 here. 

Base station with a thunderpole 3/8 wave with an anytone5555.

Wondering about boosters for my base station.

Seen 100 ro 200w ones for sale on ebay.

How do they work? Are they safe for kit? And do they extend range and incoming signals?

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSat Jul 24, 2021 8:09 pm

Good evening David,I’ll just start this reply by saying that Linear Amps,boots or burners are illegal to use in the uk on 27mhz,But I can’t say I’ve never driven over 30mph down my road..lol
Now an Amplifier does exactly that it Amplifies your signal by you inputting a low wattage into it.So as an example you adjust your RF power dial to say 3 watts output and the Amplifier will do its thing and now you could be transmitting 70-80 watts or more depending on what the Amp spec is.Also most use between 8-20 amp to power depending on the make and model so bear that I’m mind when it comes to Power supplies.secondly a good power meter is a must because most SWR/power meters usually go to 100 watt max.I paid £50 for a K-PO one and it goes from 10 watts right up to 1KW (No I don’t use that power..lol) It’s just so you can precisely see how much is going and coming out of the Amplifier.Most inputs are 5-10 watts max on AM/FM and 1-20 watts max on SSB.So read the full spec because if you don’t turn the RF power down on your Anytone555 to say 3-4 watts input that Amplifier won’t last too long.Another thing that’s very important is to make sure your SWR is low I mean 1.5:1 max because a high SWR will kill an Amplifier In a short time,They don’t like much reflection from a poorly tuned Antenna.
You can also get Amplifiers with a preamp which boosts incoming signals but I’ve been told they also boost all the QRM and Interference,But you could always switch that off.
I hope that helps.
Cheers Tom.
26 CT 4029

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSat Jul 24, 2021 8:24 pm

Legality aside you have to understand/appreciate that boosters are often a one way ticket to nothing. 
 
By that I mean is that if the law/band stipulates 10Watts or 100W or 1000W then everybody running within the playing filed limits get good/even/acceptable two way traffic. 
 
On the other hand if you run 200W on a 10W space then sure you will reach out but you may/will not hear the reply. 
 
Half of the fun and challenge in radio, sports and many other hobbies is playing by the rules and then really enjoying your success by not cheating!

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 11:20 am

Hi David,

There's some good info already supplied by our wonderful members here at Charlie Tango and hopefully it helps you along.


Linears/Boosters/Burners do always seem to be one of those 'quick fix' solutions to radio work but it's a case of weighing up the realities really.

If your transmitted signals received by someone else was at S-5 on 10 Watts you'd jump up to about S-6.5 or so at 100 Watts if everything is working perfectly. (Meter errors, propagation, losses, etc. will vary that.) Not much really?

With an 'omni-directional' antenna, or in other words one that transmits in all directions such as the antenna you have, your transmit coverage area increases in all directions as you increase the power. You have to remember though that the whole circle of coverage is increasing shared in all directions so your transmit distance as a straight line doesn't move by as much as you think. That's where 'beam' type antennas come into their own as you're firing all your RF in one direction not everywhere.

You also have to remember that the typical 'Linears' sold on eBay and the like are usually specified as a maximum power rating. The common types are 100 Watts maximum on FM and marked as 200 Watts on SSB but you have to remember that the SSB spec is peak power and in reality you only gain an average of 25% transmit power due to typical speech patterns. That might sound like FM is a better proposition but reception is infinitely more sensitive with SSB modes and hence why those modes tend to be used for DX activities. Makes you think though.

The pre-amplifiers in these type of units also don't tend to help very much because as pointed out they increase the noise as well. If you have someone barely audible above S-5 of noise then turning on the preamplifier may well move them to an S-9 signal but they will still be barely audible as the noise will also increase to S-9!
Not as useful as they first appear really.

Again as pointed out already strapping on a set of linears to your setup will mean you need a much bigger power supply and for 100 Watts to be happily accommodated for you'd realistically be looking for at least a 20 Ampere supply. More money to be spent on top of those 'cheap' linears!


If you are running terrible coax on a long run to an antenna already corroding from being exposed to the elements you could easily have a 3dB loss on your whole antenna system. Doesn't sound like much but means that you are losing half of your transmitted power and also half of your signal reception!!
affraid

Strapping on a set of 'Burners' may well help improve your transmission range but you'd still be losing half of your reception signal and you become an infamous 'corocodile/alligator' station, i.e. all mouth and no ears. Wink

Always best to spend money first on decent coax and antenna setup before thinking about other solutions/add ons.


There's also the 'neighbourly' thoughts or respecting our fellow radio operators....

If you're transmitting 100 Watts of power in all directions to reach someone in one direction you're affecting a lot more people than you think. Your extra power might help you make it to the station you are after at the expense of others around you. 

For instance I like to listen to 80m on my Ham radio but a local operator likes to use his full power of 400 Watts, (assuming he's using the legal limits), whenever he transmits on that band. The front end of my radio doesn't stand a chance and my reception is completely obliterated for the whole band whenever he is transmitting!
I wouldn't mind but he's usually chatting to his mate down the road. Rolling Eyes

Imagine you're listening or conversing with a DX station on your CB when suddenly your reception is completely obliterated.....You've lost the DX so you tune around the band and come across your 'friendly neighbourhood' CB'er bending your needle with his linears as he chats to his mate a few miles away. Tad annoying or what?

There's always the 'If you can't beat them - join them' argument but at who's expense? You're now wiping out each others reception which isn't helpful and also at the expense of others who aren't playing the silly power game.


I won't even get into the other 'technicalities' of it all, RF power reflected into the shack now being several Watts instead of a fraction of a Watt and starting to cause problems. The RF voltage on your coax feed jumps from 22 volts at 10 Watts to over 70 Volts at 100 Watts, and peaks 100 Volts at 200 Watts. RF burns hurt, no I mean REALLY hurt and seem to take forever to heal up. You only need to experience it once to never want to repeat the experience again.


Well, I'm waffling now but it was all in an effort to make an informed decision about 'Linears/Burners/Boosters/Boots' or whatever you may wish to call them. As you can tell I'm not a fan of such antics.....they're not as helpful as they first seem.

Unfortunately they're illegal to use but not illegal to sell.


When propagation conditions are good you can work fabulous DX with a few Watts, so long as no one around you is wiping out your reception, Wink



All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 11:52 am

Explained to perfection as always Victor.

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 12:14 pm

Sincere thanks to all comprehensive replies. What a cracking forum 👏

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 12:23 pm

We do try to be a helpful bunch here at Charlie Tango Tom mate, you definitely included. Booster burner question 1f44d 

Sometimes it's a bit more of a complicated subject and requires some 'waffle'. Wink


Hopefully thanks to the nature of the forum more than one person gets some help from it all, but even if only one person gains some help it's all very much more than worth it.


David, I hope it was all of help.

We do have a cracking forum....thanks to all it's wonderful members. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 2:44 pm

hi David, as always the lads have come up trumps. The advise is given in good faith and spot on (IMO).The juice is not worth the squeeze ,and the £50 to £100 amp don't last long, read the guarantee. Good antenna, coax and don't underestimate good working practice, and you will be fine and working the world.
take care
regards mark 26ct3433

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 3:29 pm

As Victor said invest in a good antenna and coax money well spent.
When conditions are right you will get the long DX on only a few watts and that is where the buzz comes in.
Many years ago i used to contact a guy in Australia quite often and on one occasion i kept turning my power down and he was still getting me on 4 watts.
Take your time ask all the questions you want and not only will you save your hard earned cash you will get more out of radio.

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 7:08 pm

Alan Pilot wrote:
As Victor said invest in a good antenna and coax money well spent.
When conditions are right you will get the long DX on only a few watts and that is where the buzz comes in.
Many years ago i used to contact a guy in Australia quite often and on one occasion i kept turning my power down and he was still getting me on 4 watts.
Take your time ask all the questions you want and not only will you save your hard earned cash you will get more out of radio.
Sounds like good advice which I shall heed. 

Where are you to reach Australia? Wow
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 7:44 pm

Anglesey North Wales but about 9 miles from my QTH at the time.
But i was talking to Carl in Australia this morning again lol but i was on DMR.
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeSun Jul 25, 2021 8:50 pm

Alan Pilot wrote:
Anglesey North Wales but about 9 miles from my QTH at the time.
But i was talking to Carl in Australia this morning again lol but i was on DMR.
Stunning 
 
And you must (as he Carl) must have been so thrilled to make a (I assume legal) PMR contact. 
 
As they say "A little can go a long way when used correctly" Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeMon Jul 26, 2021 12:10 am

Alan Pilot wrote:
Anglesey North Wales but about 9 miles from my QTH at the time.
But i was talking to Carl in Australia this morning again lol but i was on DMR.
Dmr...not heard that one before?
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeMon Jul 26, 2021 1:40 pm

I can only offer my own opinion from experiences. I just read your radio can put out 40W on a web sellers site... that is quite a decent amount of RF. If it is true. A lot of the multi mode radios used to put out 12W PEP if I recall and 9900 about 50W.

Bear all I say in mind as coming from someone who is not power crazy particularly. I was thinking of going 400W or close to recently but have pulled back from the thought and instead pushed other areas.

Given you might be an S0 to an RX station 10W-100W that might make you an S3 or more that is rather more significant than a S5-S6.5 just for a different perspective. As mentioned in practice (especially on a CB/multi mode meter).. the 3dB per power doubling seems to be rather more than 3dB. More importantly your SSB cut through will be significantly louder.

May I assume for free band and not 10m ?

Legalities aside I would personally never run less than 100W if I was DXing there. Why ? 90pct have a vertical pulling in a tonne of urban noise on the RX side so you battle cutting through that... and many others on the band will also be running 100W.. so you at least have equivalence to others on the band... and get through noise floor of the RX station.

It is true if you are a S5 on 10W you may only be an S point or 2 so up - as theory dictates. However in practice a jump from 10-100W does seems to be rather more significant.

How long do you want to wait for the DX and what DX, Sporadic E euro hops or fancy speaking to  Oz in forthcoming years ? Power is an operational decision. If you do not run some power you may well be missing out on quite a lot of dx.....but when you do get it it may be all the more satisfying.

Also depends on prevailing conditions 10/11m is a few years off optimal conditions so you will need to be much more focused running lower power to seek the nooks and crannies and find the DX early... before you get stunned by the big stations... and your chances drop off.

Run power
----------
Have equivalence to the majority
Be heard more
Be louder on longer dx destinations (which you may not make at all on low power)
Potential for RF porblem and interference to neighbours.


Run low power
--------------
Have to have greater patience
Much more reliance on conditions to be at least fair
Need to know your expectation vs performance threshold and see how it feels to you for a while.
Possibly more satisfying when contacts made.
Puts greater onus on the RX capability of the dx stations (and their noise floor), you will inevitable be not heard more often.

You can mull it over.

Power can be over rated when all other aspects of a station are not factored in. However it can also be under rated at certain times. (such as now in relatively poor conditions)

The RX preamps on cheap linears are almost always better switched off.... they will likely boost noise as much or more than the wanted signals.

As it is often said you could probably better your RX / TX using a higher performance antenna mounted higher... if your domestic situation permits.

Power is 1 aspect of a station and where you end up depends on your goals at any given time of the sunspot cycle and how achievable they feel to be. Personally rather than pushing power I go with what I think the minimum sensible amount is based on experience on the band I like.

Yes we can all run big power legally or illegally... but where does this sit in your own personal sense of achievement which is a much more important yard stick to judge your own station than a number of Watts alone.

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeMon Jul 26, 2021 2:11 pm

i think your getting your PMR and DMR mixed up
regards mark
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeMon Jul 26, 2021 3:02 pm

DMR is just like a phone call. Using internet through repeaters you can talk to the world. Just dial up the repeater. Not everyone's cup of tea. You will need an amateur licence for DMR on 2mtrs and 70cms bands.
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeMon Jul 26, 2021 7:21 pm

I will just add something else as well, I rather disagree with Victor, but only on 1 point. He is tough enough to take it though.  Booster burner question 1f609 

Omni or beam ? Very, very different antennas. I have difficulty subscribing to the slight criticism towards using an omni antenna. There are many reasons why they get used, no need to list them they are quite obvious I think and very valid ones.

Also using omni or beam vs local station that is more an operational discourtesy issue than he uses an omni. If I had a Pound every time I had to change freq because a MASSIVE station appears 2kHz away giving me S7 over an otherwise noiseless freq where I am calling or even more commonly, listening... I would probably afford a nice 400W linear by now.  Booster burner question 1f44d

Whether you use a beam or not can be a practical decision as much as an operational choice. I won't use a beam as they don't fit into my approach and the feeling I need when operating on the radio. Use power or not use power, use beam or not, it's the satisfaction thing..... aim, PTT, 5/9 could be some ones cup of tea and good for them (after all us omni heads need the beam users for their superior RX !!!). A DX contact is a 2 way thing after all.

I would not want to trade the contacts I made so far with a DIY wire omni antenna. When I started as a ham I never thought I would be making my own antennas, the hobby takes twists and turns for each individual. (Just listen to the pride with which every ham presents his working conditions) I tried pre made ones from a few places and they had too many little performance issues for my liking so I made them how I wanted them, without compromises.

Though, my word there have been a few times though with unsuccessful DX attempts that I would really have wanted one.

It is a personal choice... I don't think we should be too harsh on people using a close to omni antenna, that is a lot of people on the radio.

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeMon Jul 26, 2021 10:32 pm

Had to check back on my posting on this one.......did I really slate omnidirectional antennas? (Can't see a reason to do so - use them myself. Wink)


The analogy regarding omnidirectional antennas was in reference to the circle of coverage or area increase compared to the amount of power put in and the straight line or radius increase. The OP, (David), uses an omnidirectional antenna so hence the reference. Things change considerably with power increase when utilising a beam antenna due to their directivity.

It was just a basic maths reference and things change considerably depending on a lot of factors...one of those antenna pattern 'lobes' could fire out further too and maybe even hit a bit of 'lucky' ionosphere. Very Happy

You just never know with such chance events and probably part of the 'fun' that can be had with radio interests.



The forum here at Charlie Tango is a brilliant format where people can discuss/debate all sorts of subjects, (so long as mainly radio orientated accordingly to the sites central interests), and each persons opinion will vary depending on their experiences and/or knowledge base. It's what makes Charlie Tango a special place with everyone bouncing ideas and opinions around, a real proverbial fruit cocktail of radio. Booster burner question 1f44d 


It's been good to hear different opinions on power usage.

Think I'm still a QRP'er at heart though. Smile


73's
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeTue Jul 27, 2021 10:40 am

I know you don't mean any malice anyway Victor. It was just where you mentioned an omni here:

"If you're transmitting 100 Watts of power in all directions to reach someone in one direction you're affecting a lot more people than you think. Your extra power might help you make it to the station you are after at the expense of others around you. "

That'll be 90pct of radio users probably... I can see the "extra power" part now though. For me the stations who appear directly adjacent to you are much more frustrating than any locals I have experienced, though I imagine that depends on how local, local is.

There may be possibly be some polarization losses on locals that help this situation.

If you enjoy QRP that is great... all hams were/are QRP once. I always put in extra efforts for QRP stations as conforms to ham etiquette. On average European QRP's are a S0-S1 on 20m at my favoured location on my single wire.At some QTH's I do not hear QRP at all.

QRP puts greater onus on conditions, RX station noise floor, RX station antenna and RX station operator skill to listen between the big stations which are the greater majority on 20m. You can struggle with 100W/wire on 20m... some pile ups being impenetrable.

Sometimes come up to a S3 if conditions improve during the QSO. Spoke to 5-6 stations in Germany, France E.Europe on between 3 and 10W this summer, usually when they are portable camping.

QRP is a nice challenge to work for all stations.

And I should have said his or her working conditions. in my last post.

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeTue Jul 27, 2021 4:38 pm

Because S-meters use dB and dB work on a logarithmic scale your most mileage is gained at the lower power. One S point = 3dB on a CB S-meter. 3dB is a doubling of your power, 6dB is fourfold, 9dB is eightfold, 10dB is ten times.

So going from 4W to a low end 30W burner will see you with about 3 S point increase. But going from 30-60W, increasing by 3dB will only see a 1 S point increase, 60W to 100w another S point, 100W to 200W another S point.

So whilst you'd gain a decent 3 S points going from 4W to 30W you have to go from there to 200W to get another 3 S points. And the more power you start to run the more critical things like a good RF ground are in order for you not to experience problems such as mike bite, which are actually RF burns, or distorted transmit audio or cause problems to others like TVI.

30W is worth doing if you're going to do it. The burners for 30W typically last quite well, are dirt cheap and you don't need a 20 amp power supply to run them - if you've got a 7A power supply it should run both the CB and a 30W burner just fine.

Don't waste money on one with a built in pre-amp. They may amplify received signals but they also amplify the noise too and cause more problems than they cure. For local contacts if you want to receive stronger or further away signals put your antenna up higher.

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Markone
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Markone

Call Sign : 26-CT-3433
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Join date : 2020-04-06
QTH or Location : Hull
Equipment Used : Midland Alan 88s + crt 9900+5/8 gain master
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeTue Jul 27, 2021 6:56 pm

Hi Conner, I think his radio is a 40 to 50 watt radio, so is it a waste of money?
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Chickenfoot@1987
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Chickenfoot@1987

Call Sign : 26-CT-4029
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QTH or Location : London
Equipment Used : SS-6900-N,Sirio Gpe 27 5/8,CRT Xenon,Sirio p 5000,9 feet 1/4 wave tank whip (The swayer)

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeTue Jul 27, 2021 7:06 pm

Hi David,I forgot to ask what sort of DX ranges are you getting with your Thunderpole and Anytone555.
Cheers Tom.
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stephen Gunrunner
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Call Sign : 26CT526/MR021/M6XXX26DD666.
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QTH or Location : wooler north northumberland or some were near it
Equipment Used : mobile 4000hp base A99 radio base magnum257hp mobile magnum 257 standed power
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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeTue Jul 27, 2021 7:21 pm

a good antenna good coax and if go to the hills get as high as you can i have a good spot 2000+ ftasl and i use my sirio 4000 and my 5000 and used to get out very well
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Alan - Mirror Man
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Call Sign : 108CT233
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QTH or Location : Central Scotland
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900 Beofeng UV5R Yaesu FTDX1200 CRT Micron CRT FP00 Sattelite 2000 antenna ZS6BKW X30 co-linear

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeWed Jul 28, 2021 12:30 pm

I tried a few linears back in the day, I can see the benefit for a mobile station putting out 30-50w but working from a base station I found attention was better focussed elsewhere on the station quality microphone, speech processor, high-quality coaxial cable, and good antenna tuning.
The 100w valve job was handy to be heard over others on 19 muppets, I tried a 300w/600w one for DX and didn't hang onto it for all that long, it wiped half the streets televisions out and my neighbour could hear me on his cordless phone, after that, I focussed on other areas which brought me a great deal more success. If your radio was only putting out 4w I would suggest getting a 50-100w but as it is already putting out 30-40w I think it would be a waste of time, part of the fun of the hobby is trying things out you can always give it a bash and see how you get along if you picked it up second had you can recoup the same back if you sell it on again.
It is my personal belief that it is good, clear, crisp audio that really caries you on SSB, minimise losses on connections and cable runs and get the best quality coax you can afford, and ensure the antenna is well-tuned for the band you are working.
Whatever you decide to do, keep us updated and let us know how you get along it is always interesting to hear the experiences of others on these things I find.

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Equipment Used : SS-6900-N,Sirio Gpe 27 5/8,CRT Xenon,Sirio p 5000,9 feet 1/4 wave tank whip (The swayer)

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PostSubject: Re: Booster burner question   Booster burner question Icon_minitimeWed Jul 28, 2021 1:00 pm

Mirror man is right about burners wiping out tv ‘s down the street and that cordless phone is classic.But with modern tech and everything being digital I thing those days are behind us now.I did get a RM Italy Low Pass Filter (27/586) back in the day,Not for TVI problems and switching next doors telly off..lol
But to help cut unwanted transmissions about 30 MHz,I’m no expert but I’m lead to believe it stopped 2nd harmonics and your antenna reflecting back the 54Mhz and raising your SWR as the antenna isn’t tuned for that frequency.I’m sure I’ll be informed on here if this is unfounded or B.S…lol
Cheers Tom.
26 CT 4029
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