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Z10043A Surface Mount Norton Amplifier 

The complete Z10043A 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. There's also a corrections page to the manual available by clicking here.

The Z10043A is in response to a customer request for a physically smaller Norton amplifier, suitable for inclusion inside a home brew receiver for example.

Although the Z10043A shares design with the Z10042A, it has an extensively revised printed circuit board and is simpler to build.

The Z10040B through-hole Norton amplifier will continue to be available, but builders comfortable working with surface mount components should consider the Z10042A or Z10043A or, if better performance below 100 KHz is required, the Z10042AV.

The table and frequency response plot below compare the Clifton Laboratories Norton Amplifier lineup.  (The 3 dB frequencies are typical and are not warranted.)



1 MHz Gain (dB)

Lower -3 dB

Upper -3 dB



61.0 KHz

46.6 MHz



45.1 KHz

46.0 MHz



16.0 KHz

20.8 MHz

Z10043A 11.2 42.1 KHz 55.6 MHz


The Z10043A PCB is approximately 2.5" x 2 inches x 3/4" and is as small as I can make the board and still have it an enjoyable building experience.

The Z10043A omits the protective measures found in other Clifton Laboratories products. It does not have reverse voltage protection, over-voltage protection, input protective relay or gas (plasma) traps on the RF input. If these measures are desired, it is the builder's responsibility to add them.

The Z10043A also does not include the DC power over coax feature found in Clifton Laboratories' other Norton amplifiers.

One point an astute reader may note - there are no adjustment potentiometers on the Z10043A. By using 1% resistors, and the revised transformer design, adjustments have not proven to be necessary. Several Z10043A's have been built and all easily met the specifications without requiring adjustment.





PCB Dimensions

2.475� x 1.975� x 0.75�. (63mm x 50mm 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 idle current setting.


Maximum RF Power Input

Do not exceed 100 milliwatts (+20 dBm). IP3 performance specifications are based upon 0 dBm output (approximately -11 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. Figures stated as �typical� are not warranted.


3 dB Bandwidth

100 KHz � 30 MHz. (Typical 3 dB bandwidth 45 KHz � 55 MHz)


2nd and 3rd Order Intermodulation Intercept

Measured with 3 and 4 MHz input tones, adjusted for 0 dBm output from the Z10043A. Protocol as discussed later in this manual. Intercepts are output referenced.

OIP2: +80 dBm (typically > +90 dBm)

OIP3: +45 dBm (typically +49 to +50 dBm)



11 dB nominal at 1 MHz.


1 dB Gain Compression


+19 dBm input.

Noise Figure


2.5 dB maximum 10-30 MHz. Typically 2 dB or less at 10 MHz. When configured for best noise figure, typically 1.4 dB

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.


Price and Options
Item Price Comment
Z10043A  kit $47.50 Kit includes the printed circuit board and all parts necessary to assemble the board. Enclosure is not provided.
Z10043A assembled and tested $72.50 Assembled and tested. Performance documentation is not included. No enclosure is provided.
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 Z10043A is shipped to a location within the Commonwealth of Virginia, 5% sales  tax applies.