Clifton Laboratories 7236 Clifton Road  Clifton VA 20124 tel: (703) 830 0368 fax: (703) 830 0711



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Z10042A Surface Mount Norton Amplifier 
The complete Z10042A assembly and operation manual may be downloaded by clicking here or through my Documents page.  Details on the optional enclosure may be downloaded by clicking here.

The main advantages of the Z10042A over the Z10040B are:

  • Lower noise figure, made possible by improved surface mount transistors. If noise figure is the sole objective, by sacrificing OIP2/OIP3 performance to some degree, the noise figure can be reduced to 1.25 dB or so.
  • Better low frequency response, without the 15 KHz notch in the Z10040B's response.
  • Low power option, with total Z10042A current consumption 25 mA. This optional configuration is suitable for battery power. OIP2 and OIP3 are reduced when operated in low current configuration.
  • Smaller PCB size, 3.5 inches x 2.5 inches.
  • Custom powder coated, punched enclosure available in the near future.

The Z10040B through-hole Norton amplifier will continue to be available, but builders comfortable working with surface mount components should consider the Z10042A.






PCB Dimensions

3.50� x 2.50� x 0.75� vertical clearance required. (88.9mm x 63.5mm x 19mm). Four mounting holes for 4-40 screws provided, template in Appendix B.


DC Power Required

Maximum:  15V

Minimum: 13.8V [may not meet specifications below this voltage.

Negative to ground, typical DC current 60-100 mA depending on bias adjustment.

 As an option, a reduced power version of the Z10042A is available, with approximately 25 mA, usable down to 12V input. 2nd and 3rd order intermodulation performance is degraded with this option; noise figure is improved over normal idle current.


Maximum RF Power Input

Do not exceed 100 milliwatts (+20 dBm). IP3 performance specifications are based upon -10 dBm signal input; performance not warranted at greater input levels.


Test Conditions

Performance data is for a 1:11:4 turns ratio design, 13.8 VDC after adjusting balance trimpots for minimum 2nd harmonic distortion. Unless otherwise indicated, performance measurements are made with direct DC power, not duplexed. Figures stated as �typical� are not warranted.


3 dB Bandwidth

100 KHz � 30 MHz. Typical -3 dB bandwidth 50 KHz - 45 MHz


2nd and 3rd Order Intermodulation Intercept

Measured with 3 and 4 MHz input tones, adjusted for 0 dBm output from the Z10042A. Protocol as discussed later in this manual. Intercepts are output referenced.

OIP2: +80 dBm

OIP3: +45 dBm



11 dB nominal at 1 MHz.


1 dB Gain Compression


+19 dBm input.

Noise Figure


2.0 dB maximum 10-30 MHz. Typically 1.5 dB 10-30 MHz.

Input VSWR

When terminated with 50 ohm load, input VSWR is less than 2:1 over the range 300 KHz � 30 MHz, and is typically below 1.5:1 over this range.

Common Mode Rejection in Balanced Input Mode

Typically 50 dB at 1 MHz, decreases with increasing frequency.


Price and Options
Item Price Comment
Z10042A  kit $47.50 Kit includes the printed circuit board and all parts necessary to assemble the board. Enclosure is not provided.
Z10042A assembled and tested $72.50 Bare printed circuit board, assembled and tested. Performance documentation is not included. Bias is adjusted for optimum OIP2, but performance measurements are not provided. No enclosure is provided.
Bias adjustment and performance documentation

[click here to view a sample report]
$25.00 Bias adjusted for minimum IP2/IP3 (some interaction between the two is usually seen and it is not generally possible to minimize both IP2 and IP3 at the same bias setting.) IP2 and IP3 performance data and frequency  response data are provided to the purchaser. This service is available for either customer-built kits or as an option for assembled and tested units. Customer is also responsible for return shipping charges.
Indoor enclosure kit $27.50 Custom powder coated, punched enclosure with BNC connectors. Kit price includes the enclosure, with all holes punched, BNC connectors, power connector, coaxial cable for jumpers, associated hardware and a DC power cord.
Indoor enclosure assembled $32.50 Assembled enclosure Does not include assembly of Z10042A amplifier.
Outdoor weatherproof enclosure kit Contact Clifton Laboratories Weatherproof die cast enclosure with BNC, UHF or Type N connectors. Custom designs are also available.
Outdoor weatherproof enclosure assembled Contact Clifton Laboratories  
Z1203A DC power coupler See Z1203A page For operating the Z10042A with duplex power--DC power supplied over the coaxial cable along with the signal. If the Z1203A is ordered at the same time as a Z10042A, one shipping charge applies.
Shipping and packing $7.50 For US domestic customers. Shipping is via Priority Mail. International customers please contact Clifton Laboratories for a specific quotation.
Virginia Sales Tax 5% If the Z10042A is shipped to a location within the Commonwealth of Virginia, 5% sales  tax applies.

How to Order

Payment may be made with a check or money order payable to Clifton Laboratories at the address on the top of this page, or via PayPal to

Please do not forget to include shipping and, for delivery within the Commonwealth of Virginia, sales tax.

Orders are normally acknowledged within 24 hours of receipt. Please contact me if you fail to receive an acknowledgement.


The images below show a Z10042A in the custom enclosure. (The Z10042A pictured is one I use for development work and does not have all the parts of a standard Z10042A installed.)