NEGATIVE-RESISTANCE MAGNETRON. - The split-anode, negative-resistance magnetron is a variation of the basic magnetron which operates at a higher frequency. The negative-resistance magnetron is capable of greater power output than the basic magnetron. Its general construction is similar to the basic magnetron except that it has a split plate, as shown in figure 2-23. These half plates are operated at different potentials to provide an electron motion, as shown in figure 2-24. The electron leaving the cathode and progressing toward the high-potential plate is deflected by the magnetic field and follows the path shown in figure 2-24. After passing the split between the two plates, the electron enters the electrostatic field set up by the lower-potential plate.
Figure 2-23A. - Split-anode magnetron.
Figure 2-23B. - Split-anode magnetron.
Figure 2-24. - Movement of an electron in a split-anode magnetron.
Here the magnetic field has more effect on the electron and deflects it into a tighter curve. The electron then continues to make a series of loops through the magnetic field and the electric field until it finally arrives at the low-potential plate.
Oscillations are started by applying the proper magnetic field to the tube. The field value required is slightly higher than the critical value. In the split-anode tube, the critical value is the field value required to cause all the electrons to miss the plate when its halves are operating at the same potential. The alternating voltages impressed on the plates by the oscillations generated in the tank circuit will cause electron motion, such as that shown in figure 2-24, and current will flow. Since a very concentrated magnetic field is required for the negative-resistance magnetron oscillator, the length of the tube plate is limited to a few centimeters to keep the magnet at reasonable dimensions. In addition, a small diameter tube is required to make the magnetron operate efficiently at microwave frequencies. A heavy-walled plate is used to increase the radiating properties of the tube. Artificial cooling methods, such as forced-air or water-cooled systems, are used to obtain still greater dissipation in these high-output tubes.
The output of a magnetron is reduced by the bombardment of the filament by electrons which travel in loops, shown in figure 2-22, views (B) and (C). This action causes an increase of filament temperature under conditions of a strong magnetic field and high plate voltage and sometimes results in unstable operation of the tube. The effects of filament bombardment can be reduced by operating the filament at a reduced voltage. In some cases, the plate voltage and field strength are also reduced to prevent destructive filament bombardment.
ELECTRON-RESONANCE MAGNETRON. - In the electron-resonance magnetron, the plate is constructed to resonate and function as a tank circuit. Thus, the magnetron has no external tuned circuits. Power is delivered directly from the tube through transmission lines, as shown in figure 2-25. The constants and operating conditions of the tube are such that the electron paths are somewhat different from those in figure 2-24. Instead of closed spirals or loops, the path is a curve having a series of sharp points, as illustrated in figure 2-26. Ordinarily, this type of magnetron has more than two segments in the plate. For example, figure 2-26 illustrates an eight-segment plate.
Figure 2-25. - Plate tank circuit of a magnetron.
Figure 2-26. - Electron path in an electron-resonance magnetron.
The electron-resonance magnetron is the most widely used for microwave frequencies because it has reasonably high efficiency and relatively high output. The average power of the electron-resonance magnetron is limited by the amount of cathode emission, and the peak power is limited by the maximum voltage rating of the tube components. Three common types of anode blocks used in electron-resonance magnetrons are shown in figure 2-27.
Figure 2-27. - Common types of anode blocks.
The anode block shown in figure 2-27, view (A), has cylindrical cavities and is called a HOLE-AND-SLOT ANODE. The anode block in view (B) is called the VANE ANODE which has trapezoidal cavities. The first two anode blocks operate in such a way that alternate segments must be connected, or strapped, so that each segment is opposite in polarity to the segment on either side, as shown in figure 2-28. This also requires an even number of cavities.
Figure 2-28. - Strapping alternate segments.
The anode block illustrated in figure 2-27, view (C), is called a RISING-SUN BLOCK. The alternate large and small trapezoidal cavities in this block result in a stable frequency between the resonant frequencies of the large and small cavities.
Figure 2-29, view (A), shows the physical relationships of the resonant cavities contained in the hole-and-slot anode (figure 2-27, view (A)). This will be used when analyzing the operation of the electron-resonance magnetron.
Figure 2-29A. - Equivalent circuit of a hole-and-slot cavity.
Figure 2-29B. - Equivalent circuit of a hole-and-slot cavity.