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Old 9th May 2010, 11:45 PM   #1
eeyore is offline eeyore  Australia
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Default Input tube bias

Trying to understand the workings of a tube input stage. If we assume that we have a maximum of 2Vrms at the input of a power amp, and assume that we don't want to drive the input tube into positive current (A2), then would it be fair to assume that the driver stage bias must be less then -2.8V given the peak to peak voltage of 2Vrms is 5.65Vpp? I understand that the full signal at 2Vrms is not common, but still, we are trying to avoid A2 operation on the driver stage. Am I making sense or do I have it completely wrong?
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Old 10th May 2010, 12:28 AM   #2
llwhtt is offline llwhtt  United States
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In a cathode biased tube stage you don't want to exceed the voltage on the cathode. With your example you would need 2.828VDC, maybe a little more, on the cathode to avoid any problems.

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Old 10th May 2010, 12:35 AM   #3
eeyore is offline eeyore  Australia
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Sorry, I forgot to mention I am talking about a grounded cathode with either grid or cathode bias. I assume that the tube specific cathode to grid voltage limitations must be respected. So assuming a 2Vrms input, the cathode bias should be say 3V to avoid A2 operation?
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Old 10th May 2010, 12:53 AM   #4
Gordy is offline Gordy  United Kingdom
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eeyore, you have it right.

In addition, some tubes begin to draw grid current before reaching the 0 point, so if you expect to receive the full 2V rms (2.828V peak) input then I would suggest staying away from the -1 V area, hence a bias point around -4V (or more).

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Old 10th May 2010, 12:58 AM   #5
eeyore is offline eeyore  Australia
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Yeah, thanks for the replies, this can cleared this up for me. In short, biasing the input stage is no different to the power stage, to avoid A2, never let the grid swing to positive voltage and where possible, allow a bit of headroom. Cheers!
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Old 10th May 2010, 05:03 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Once you have determined the minimum input bias you then need to determine the operating point you want and hence the plate voltage required to achieve the desired quiescent current. Of course you could just use a CCS and set the current to your target value - making sure that the B+ is sufficient to not run into voltage compliance issues at the most positive portion of the plate swing..
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Old 12th May 2010, 03:16 AM   #7
eeyore is offline eeyore  Australia
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So for argument sake using a ECC99 with a CCS. Bias the voltage of gid at -6V and setting the current at around 20mA would mean a standing voltage of 200V or so. Assuming a 2Vrms signal, the grid would experience say -3V to -9V. Meaning the voltage across the tube be between 130V and 270V. Therefore, the B+ supply for the ECC99 with a CCS should be say 300V? Or have a something amiss?

If it was choke/interstage loaded instead of a CCS, the B+ can be closer to the operating point voltage of a little over 200V (accounting for losses in the transformer)
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Old 12th May 2010, 04:29 AM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyore View Post
So for argument sake using a ECC99 with a CCS. Bias the voltage of gid at -6V and setting the current at around 20mA would mean a standing voltage of 200V or so. Assuming a 2Vrms signal, the grid would experience say -3V to -9V. Meaning the voltage across the tube be between 130V and 270V. Therefore, the B+ supply for the ECC99 with a CCS should be say 300V? Or have a something amiss?

If it was choke/interstage loaded instead of a CCS, the B+ can be closer to the operating point voltage of a little over 200V (accounting for losses in the transformer)
In this case a choke sounds like the right way to go. Theoretically you can swing twice the supply voltage on the plate, in practice it will be significantly less but within the range you need. One of my designs swings more than 300Vpk on a 200V supply into a 50K load with excellent linearity..
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Old 12th May 2010, 04:54 AM   #9
eeyore is offline eeyore  Australia
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But if it were using a CCS, the B+ would need to be 300V then?
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Old 17th May 2010, 04:52 AM   #10
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyore View Post
But if it were using a CCS, the B+ would need to be 300V then?
Even more actually for good linearity at the target amplitude, 350V - 400V depending on the tube used, that's one of the benefits of the choke.
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