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Astron SS-30 Switcher issue

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Mudfoot, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    I bought this Astron Switcher new, about 13 months ago. It worked OK for 11 months. It started spewing hash and buzzes. Had a month left on warranty, so I sent it back.

    When it arrived back, it seemed to be fine, but just started doing it again. The tech notes said he replaced two capacitors. I sent it back again, this time thay replaced the whole board. Soon as I turned it on, I had S7 buzz/hash. It's out of warranty now. I sent an email this morning describing my issue. I have no idea how they'll respond this time.

    Nothing special here. Just running my TS-590, FT-991A and my President McKinley and RM Amp. Antennas are resonate dipoles. Presently, I'm using my Alinco DM-430T 30 Amp switcher. This has been a most excellent PS.

    The only odd thing I've noticed at times with the Astron, is while I have one radio powered, the hash/buzz increases when I turn another radio on.

    Before the Astron went poop the first time, I would notice that when I keyed up any Amp with my CB's, it would make like a little electronic fart noise in the receiver when I unkeyed. I initially thought it had something to do with my amp. When I used any other PS, I didn't have the fart.

    I can't think of anything else in my shack that would cause this problem. I suppose that the new board could be bad. Like mentioned, it was a nice supply for the first 11 months.

    Any thoughts?


     

  2. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    I'm wondering what could be damaged that's not on the circuit board.

    The AC line-cord filtering, maybe?

    Won't look like the one in this RCI base .

    [​IMG]

    This board serves to reduce RF energy escaping from the radio, leaking out by the line cord.


    [​IMG]


    If there was a nearby lightning strike to a utility pole, this can put a surge on the RF-filtering caps, like the one above.

    If it did this from day one, I might suspect a design defect of some sort. But it behaved itself for nearly a year, so that's not it.

    The AC line-noise filter might be perfectly okay. But the calibrated eyeball might reveal a stressed-out capacitor that was missed.

    73
     
    #2 nomadradio, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  3. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    Thanks, I'll inspect what I can, then mention this to the tech. His notes said he tested it, but I don't know how he did. I hope they can fix it. I even asked if they had a used linear supply or maybe pay reduced charge to upgrade. I've had numerous switchers. The only one that's worked completely fine is the Alinco. Only drawback to it, is the fan is slightly noisy. The Astron is practically dead quiet. It's also a very nice looking supply.
     
  4. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    I mentioned your thoughts to the Astron guy. Said he's going to talk to the bench dude. Sorta act like they'll swap it out. So far, they've been very accommodating.
     
  5. Chevboy0167

    Chevboy0167 Well-Known Member

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    I have the same switcher here just with meters also. Got it new. Hash all over the place on my TS-570. Still have not investigated it yet but I went with a MFJ Mighty Lite switcher. No noise any where I can tune. I just need to modify the fan to run on a thermal switch as it runs all the time. Not really loud but annoys me none the less.
     
    Mudfoot likes this.
  6. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    I have one of the Astron SS-50M(metered version). I have owned for a least 2 years.
    I have no complaints other than the continuous fan running.
    I did just recently replace it with a 50 amp linear version. Commercial grade, private label Astron. Nice to not have to hear that fan running all the time!
    However, takes up a bunch of bench space.
    I have also had the same sellar save me a 70 amp version he now has. However, most likely take a crane to move it!
    These were built by Astron for continuous duty repeater usage. These are used, but check out in excellent condition, all parts are available from Astron. They also have schematics and board parts #'s listed inside the top cover.
    I could not pass up the deal for $110 USD for the 70 amp version.(y)
    All the Best
    Gary
     
  7. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    They offered a brand new replacement or upgrade to a linear unit. I chose the upgrade. I just paid the difference with free shipping. Just have to send old unit back. Think I'll stay away from the switchers for a while.
     
    BJ radionut likes this.
  8. oldtymer

    oldtymer Active Member

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    Best thing you can do for your equipment & your nerves:p
     
  9. Blackcat630

    Blackcat630 Sr. Member

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    Sounds like Astron is doing right by you and trying to make things right.
    An old friend had 2 of the old 70 amp models. One on his repeater and one on his desk. They were literally on continusly for years. Never had an issue.
     
    BJ radionut likes this.
  10. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    I will make this point about switchers. I have run them until just very recently for about 8-10 years.
    The continuously running fan does draw dirt and gunk into the supply, even in the cleanest environment.
    I like to remove the case every 6 months or so, and blow the gunk out. You might be surprised at how much debris is inside one of those. Most certainly if you have pets, or live where you like to have the windows open, etc. Most of these have cooling fins inside that trap debris and loose airflow when they collect gunk.
    All the Best
    Gary
     
    wavrider likes this.
  11. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    Yeah, they have been nothing but super nice and cooperative. I felt bad, since I thought they must think I'm doing something wrong. I sent videos showing the noise between my Alinco Switcher and the Astron Switcher. He said I had my choice of swapping my repaired unit for another one or upgrade to the linear unit. He offered to send both New units at the same time, try them out and send back the the one I didn't choose, all on there nickle. That's bending over backwards. I just chose the upgrade. The new linear units have two powerpole outlets up front, along with posts in the back.

    We had a 20 amp unit at my station that ran 24/7 without a hookup for over 20 years. I retired in 2005, but it's probably still there.
     
    Blackcat630 and Chevboy0167 like this.
  12. Chevboy0167

    Chevboy0167 Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear Mud. Nothing beats great customer support.

    I have an old Pyramid Gold Series 14 amp linear supply here on the bench been running strong for almost 22 yrs now. I did add a crowbar circuit just in case the regulator goes south and LED volt/amp meter with shunt to keep an eye on output. She runs dang near 24/7!
     
    Mudfoot likes this.

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