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eHam Forums => Amplifiers => Topic started by: AD5WB on December 19, 2012, 01:21:13 PM



Title: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: AD5WB on December 19, 2012, 01:21:13 PM
Hello:

I just put a new als 1300 solid state amp on line.  I am curious as to peoples thoughts on doing a burn in by leaving it on for an extended time (10 - 20 hours or more) in standby or operating.  Not necessarily transmitting.  Just letting everything get settled in so to speak.  I realize there is a difference but this is often done with computer equipment and high end audio equipment.
I look forward to your input.

very  73
Leslie, ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: VE3FMC on December 19, 2012, 01:30:44 PM
I could be wrong but I doubt you need any burn in time on that amp. It is no different than buying a new HF rig, hooking it up and transmitting right away with it.

Let us know how you like the amp.

73, Rick VE3FMC


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: WB2WIK on December 19, 2012, 01:32:54 PM
I can't imagine how that would help, but no harm.

Burn-in without creating substantial heat (as in, transmitting at full power) probably doesn't accomplish anything.

Computers are "factory" burned-in while being exercised to help weed out infant mortalities which mostly occur in components having moving parts, like disk drives.  But we don't just power them up, we read and write to those drives continuously at very high transfer rates to exercise the hell out of them, in hopes that any weak ones will die while we still have them in the factory (as opposed to at a customer site).  If not for the very heavy "exercise," they'd never fail. ;)


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: M0HCN on December 19, 2012, 05:01:26 PM
One thing I would do is AFTER a few hours of high power operation (Maybe do a contest?) go in and check all the screws mounting the FETs for tightness.
A few thermal cycles will tend to shake anything that needs tightening loose.

Mind you, I am well known for voiding warranties. 

73 Dan.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: W9GB on December 19, 2012, 05:35:38 PM
Quote
I just put a new Ameritron ALS 1300 solid state amp on line.  I am curious as to peoples thoughts on doing a burn in by leaving it on for an extended time (10 - 20 hours or more) in standby or operating.  Not necessarily transmitting.  Just letting everything get settled in so to speak.
Welcome to 21st century. 
Not needed, as long as proper Quality Control (ISO900) mfg. process and principals followed.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: N4ATS on December 19, 2012, 05:52:20 PM
Its actually a good idea to leave it on for a while , seeing how it is MFJ , if you make it thu a few days without having to return it , it will probably last for a while..


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: N3JBH on December 19, 2012, 09:06:54 PM
Quote
I just put a new Ameritron ALS 1300 solid state amp on line.  I am curious as to peoples thoughts on doing a burn in by leaving it on for an extended time (10 - 20 hours or more) in standby or operating.  Not necessarily transmitting.  Just letting everything get settled in so to speak.
Welcome to 21st century. 
Not needed, as long as proper Quality Control (ISO900) mfg. process and principals followed.

Heee heee remember where talking MFJ here. I really doubt there close to any kind of ISO certification.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: K8AXW on December 19, 2012, 09:41:58 PM
Waste of your time and also warranty time.  Use it like HCN and WIK suggested.  The game plan should be to find any weakness before the warranty is gone.

They do this with NASCAR engines.  They assemble them, mount them on a test rack, pipe and wire them up, start 'em and then wind the engine up to maximum RPMs.  It sets there screaming until they take all of the readings, shut it down and crate it for use.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: W9PMZ on December 20, 2012, 01:51:10 AM
My company does "burn-in" on the cellular PAs.

The PA is ramped to +80C and at full power, and 12 are in a heat chamber.  The heat from the PAs is what "heat" the chamber.  Cooling air keeps the chamber at this temperature until the chamber is cooled to ambient for a period of time.  This cycle is repeated 4 times in a 24 hour period.

This pretty much weeds out design issues and infant mortality.  The manufacturing process is ROHS compliant and the product uses lead free solder.  There was a lot of worry about SMT when lead free solder was introduced.  But so far no issues here.

Oh, and it is ***very*** expensive.  It adds in the neighboorhood of 10% to 20% to the cost of goods sold.

The cost of these PAs are in the consumer market relm.  So then the question is the cost justified?  Given that these PAs go through intensive design verification; I don't think so.  But end customers require burn-in.  It's their money...

Maybe for the paranoid purchasers Ameritron could offer a option where the purchased unit goes through "burn-in".  I have had, AL-1200, AL-800, AL-811, AL-500 and a AL-572.  I wouldn't pay for the option.  The only issue I have has so far was not for Ameritron, but is was with the flatulant 572Bs (took out the dynamic bias circuit).  I have since installed the arc supression devices as suggested at W8JI's web site in  my AL572 with no further issues.

I have over 20 years manufacturing experience in electronics manufacturing in both consumer goods and goverment goods.  You generally get what you pay for, consumer goods generally have higher failure rates but then goverment goods (MIL spec) cost substantially more.  I wouldn't expect many hams to open their wallets to ***real*** MIL spec desiged, tested and manufactured equipment.  But yet somehow this is the expectation for ham radio stuff...  Go figure...

73,

Carl - W9PMZ


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: W9PMZ on December 20, 2012, 01:58:44 AM
"Heee heee remember where talking MFJ here. I really doubt there close to any kind of ISO certification. "

ISO does not have a lot to do with the end useabilty of a product.  It is more about documenting the design and manufacturing process from product inception then to design, then to new product introduction then to mass production and finally to warranty.  If MFJ has documented processes, and follows them, then ISO shouldn't be a problem. 

73,

Carl - W9PMZ


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: G3RZP on December 20, 2012, 02:20:15 AM
Carl,

If you REALLY want to pay, then either space or medical implant qualified components will drain the bank account!

Minimum charge for space qualified integrated circuits 15 years ago from GEC-Plessey Semiconductors was $100K, for which you got 100 pieces........You only wanted 10? Tough. Minimum order - 100!

Implant grade surface mount quartz crystal - $15. Commercial grade -  $0.75 in 1000 quantity.

Although these are applications where burn in is important. Voyager has some Plessey integrated circuits in it and it's still going strong, so I guess the QC was adequate!


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: KC4MOP on December 20, 2012, 03:29:16 AM
When the OP mentioned high-end audio equipment, a light went on in my head. Possibly tube audio equipment might need such a procedure. But I have never heard of any burn-in or break-in period needed for solid state equipment or computers. The tolerances of today's machine built circuit boards and components makes the days of plus or minus a thing of the past.
It's getting rare to plug a piece of electronics into the wall and it fails. The process is not perfect, but better than 20 yrs ago.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: G3RZP on December 20, 2012, 03:39:18 AM
You will still get a bath tub curve on failures, even though it's less than it used to be. So critical stuff still benefits from burn in to weed out infant mortality.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: VE1IDX on December 20, 2012, 06:32:05 AM
When the OP mentioned high-end audio equipment, a light went on in my head. Possibly tube audio equipment might need such a procedure. But I have never heard of any burn-in or break-in period needed for solid state equipment or computers. The tolerances of today's machine built circuit boards and components makes the days of plus or minus a thing of the past.
It's getting rare to plug a piece of electronics into the wall and it fails. The process is not perfect, but better than 20 yrs ago.

The audiophools insist that even in solidstate gear the capacitors need to be "worked" somewhat before they are able to pass all that great sound they insist is not present until the gear is burned in.  ::)


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: KC4MOP on December 20, 2012, 06:37:53 AM
When the OP mentioned high-end audio equipment, a light went on in my head. Possibly tube audio equipment might need such a procedure. But I have never heard of any burn-in or break-in period needed for solid state equipment or computers. The tolerances of today's machine built circuit boards and components makes the days of plus or minus a thing of the past.
It's getting rare to plug a piece of electronics into the wall and it fails. The process is not perfect, but better than 20 yrs ago.

The audiophools insist that even in solidstate gear the capacitors need to be "worked" somewhat before they are able to pass all that great sound they insist is not present until the gear is burned in.  ::)


WOW! Ve1IDX...I was trying not to say that.... :o
And I'll agree about the commercial folks that they want a burn-in time to get any bugs out. Cellular folks definitely want 100% reliability.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: W9PMZ on December 20, 2012, 08:31:59 AM
I do not think burn-in means reliability. It means that the unit has generally exceeded the infant mortality curve and is on its way to wear out.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: KM3F on December 20, 2012, 12:04:56 PM
What would you be 'burning' in?
Your not enhancing anything.
Nothing but a failure during inital uses of the amplifier that is under warrenty.
The ageing process is normally over a long period of time.
You could call that burning in to a failure point over the life of the amplifier.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: G3RZP on December 20, 2012, 12:35:29 PM
'Burn in' establishes the equipment performance over the period of time known to reliability engineers as 'infant mortality'. See MIL HDBK 217. This it is useful in establishing the initial performance of the equipment. ideally, after the burn in time, the average equipment will have reached the bottom of the MTBF curve.

Whether or not one does burn in for ham equipment depends on what returns you expect......


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: K6AER on December 20, 2012, 02:06:42 PM
I would defiantly do a MFJ quality inversion gravity test. Take the top off the amplifier and invert the chassis and shack it for about 30 seconds. Any parts that hit the table find out where they came from and put them back into the respective area of design. Some soldering may be necessary.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: N4ATS on December 20, 2012, 03:10:55 PM
Amen to the "internal inspection"

However before "I" would even power it up , I would do an "internal inspection" to see that everything was there , parts soldered correct and no floating parts inside before running it.

Chances are you will find floating parts....

Check out  the reviews on other MFJ stuff... Floating parts is very common...



Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: VE1IDX on December 20, 2012, 07:28:00 PM
When the OP mentioned high-end audio equipment, a light went on in my head. Possibly tube audio equipment might need such a procedure. But I have never heard of any burn-in or break-in period needed for solid state equipment or computers. The tolerances of today's machine built circuit boards and components makes the days of plus or minus a thing of the past.
It's getting rare to plug a piece of electronics into the wall and it fails. The process is not perfect, but better than 20 yrs ago.

The audiophools insist that even in solidstate gear the capacitors need to be "worked" somewhat before they are able to pass all that great sound they insist is not present until the gear is burned in.  ::)


WOW! Ve1IDX...I was trying not to say that.... :o
And I'll agree about the commercial folks that they want a burn-in time to get any bugs out. Cellular folks definitely want 100% reliability.

I just call it as I see it especially things like that. I was in the commercial broadcast business for a couple decades and have no qualms whatsoever debunking electronic BS.   ;D


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: K1ZJH on December 20, 2012, 08:23:33 PM
Five minutes on the paint shaker at the local ACE Hardware store. If all the parts don't fall out, you are good to go.


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: W9PMZ on December 21, 2012, 02:55:54 AM
Actually as part of the burn-in process the PAs get vibrated as well...

burn-in aka "shake and bake"

73,

Carl - W9PMZ


Title: RE: Burn in on solid state amp
Post by: AD5WB on December 23, 2012, 03:48:11 PM
Thanks everyone for your input.
I decided to do the operating burn in. 
So far so good.
All is performing properly and I am pleased.

Thanks everyone.
Very 73 and good dx
Leslie, AD5WB
Galveston Island, Texas