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    MAGNETIC AMPLIFIERS

           The mag amp is a Class H ‘magnetic field’ kind of amplifier…

           Visually a mag amp is a device that may resemble a transformer, but the operating principle is quite different - essentially a mag amp is a saturable reactor. It makes use of magnetic saturation of the core. For controlled saturation characteristics, the magnetic amplifier employs core materials that have been designed to have a specific B-H curve shape that is highly rectangular, in contrast to the slowly tapering B-H curve of softly saturating core materials tat are often used in normal transformers.

           The typical magnetic amplifier consists of two physically separate, but similar transformer cores, each of which has two windings – a control winding and an AC winding. A small DC current from a low impedence source is fed into one AC winding, with the other AC winding connected to the load. The AC windings maybe connected either in series or in-parallel; the configurations resulting in different types of map amps. The amount of control current fed into the control winding sets the point in the AC winding waveform at which either core will saturate. In saturation, the AC winding on the saturated core will go from a high impedence state (‘off’) into a verly low impedence state (‘on’) – this is, the control current controls at which voltage the mag amp switches ‘on’.

           A relatively small DC current on the control winding is able to control or switch large AC currents on the AC windings. This results in current amplification.


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