Magnetron VS Solid-State
There are many advantages to solid-sate microwave power. Some of the key benefits include precision power, frequency, and phase control with ultra-fast response time. Magnetrons can be noisy and unstable; solid state delivers pure, clean RF. The power transistors used in PTL and PTS generators are far more reliable than magnetrons with a rated lifetime of over 500,000 hours versus the few thousand hours typical of magnetrons.
Some key advantages solid-state transistors have over magnetron tubes:
- Magnetron power control is slow and limited, no modulation possible. Solid state is fast and precise.
- Slow warm up and cool down, transistors deliver near instant power
- Magnetrons use dangerous high voltage (up to 20KV); strong RF in cabinet. Solid state uses low voltage DC.
- Magnetron tube failure can lead to high cost of down time
- Magnetrons often use complicated electro-mechanical controls. Solid State is all digital.
- Magnetrons are difficult to troubleshoot and service. Solid state is modular and accessible.
- Magnetrons are sensitive to AC power quality. Solid state has switch mode power supplies which help filter out bad AC.
- The tubes themselves are fragile, solid state uses rugged, modular blades