Difference between magnetron and TWT

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 24, 2012
I've been watching a bunch of videos on MOT and came across on the different ways of producing RF energy which led me to RF and radar system and RF transmission. What are the main differences between the 2 in regards to RF transmission?


Joined Aug 20, 2012
Magnetron is a high voltage diode (vacuum tube) with strong magnets attached to sides. As the electrons flow, the flow is bent on the sides because of the magnets. The electrons at the center flow straight. This causes a delay in the bent electrons reaching the anode. Delayed bombarding causes microwave to be generated.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
What amplifies the current in a flashlight? Nothing. The inherent properties of the parts are sufficient. When you build a magnetron oscillator that uses 1000 watts, it doesn't need an amplifier.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
Theoretically, yes. Problem is, I have never worked anywhere near that frequency. For all I know, they use magnetrons in communication satellites. (That's supposed to be funny.)

But seriously, transmitting information means modulating the carrier wave, and modulating a kilowatt carrier isn't the best method. Modulate first, make kilowatts second.

Anybody else know the answers?


Joined Nov 21, 2011
It's difficult to modulate a maggie. Unless you consider pulsing it like a RADAR, using either a Morse or ASCII type of format on off or long pulse short pulse length as the mark space dictates. I would recommend a Klystron for AM/FM etc. At this point there are 21st century solutions, but the above served well in the 20th, if the parts are still available.