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Author Topic: Do I need to ship the tube separately? Heathkit SB-1000  (Read 6766 times)
W8NF
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Posts: 53




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« on: April 10, 2013, 03:29:58 PM »

I'll be soon shipping a Heathkit SB-1000 amplifier.  It's a slightly modified version of an Ameritron AL-80A.  I remember setting up an AL-80B for a new ham, and the single 3-500Z tube was packed separately.  Is this an implication that I need to ship it like that, with the tube separate?  How about the transformer?

The obsessive-compulsive part of me wants to ship the tube/xfmr separately, but I'm not sure if it's really necessary.

TNX ES 73,

Dave W8NF
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K6AER
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 05:19:57 PM »

It is best to ship the transformer separately if you can. If the shipper drops the box with the amplifier and transformer connected, the kinetic energy of the transformer can bend the chassis or worse.

The tube can be shipped in the amplifier but pull it from the socket and bubble wrap the tube to cushion against shock. Shipping the tube in the socket can loosen the socket pins and place undue vibration on the tube elements.
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W1QJ
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 06:41:35 PM »

it is no easy task to remove the transformer from this amp.  I ship all sorts of amps just about daily.  I only remove a transformer that is simple to remove and requires no soldering.  I have shipped plenty of SB-1000 and AL-80 amps.  You should remove the tube and sent it separately.  As for the amp.  Get 2 boxes and 2 sheets of 2X8 3/4" rigid insulation from HD or Lowes.  First bubble wrap the amp well in bubble wrap so it has about 3" all the way around.  Prepare box #1 by cutting a piece of insulation to fit the bottom.  Place the amp in the box.  Put additional pieces of cut insulation around the 4 sides of the box against the amp so that the top of the insulation is at the top of the bubble wrap.  Cut a piece to fit the top.  Cut the box in all four corners and fold in and tape.  Prep box #2 with a piece of insulation on the bottom.  Place the amp in the box and again surround the amp on all 4 sides with cut insulation to the top of the inside box.  Then cut a piece to fit the top.  Cut the 4 sides of the box and fold in and tape well.  Write on all 4 sides with black magic marker "FRAGILE DO NOT DROP" on the top write "DELICATE ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT DO NOT DROP"  Send it via Fed Ex.  DO NOT USE UPS!!!   I have shipped hundreds of amps this way, mostly SB-220's and they bend easily!!  I have not had a single problem in many years doing this and using Fed Ex.  Not to long ago I had a 5 out of 5 damage rate with hams shipping to me via UPS with amps packed by the UPS stores.  The amps were packed "OK" but not great and they were all dropped and damaged by UPS.  Never use peanuts to ship and amp.  Did I say never to use peanuts when shipping an amp? Don't use peanuts.  The amp must not be able to move around inside the box, hence the rigid foam insulation and the cutting of the corners of the box to fold down on itself.  Never use peanuts to fill gaps, always cut the box to fit tightly.  I use an inner box of 18X18x16 and the outer box is 20X20X18.  Just finished packing 2 of these a couple hours ago and they are going out in the morning via Fed EX. 
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KA5ROW
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 08:36:22 PM »

I bought a amp and it was shipped with the tubes in the sockets. The amp arrived shipped by UPS and had no broken tubes. That tells me that it is OK to ship amps with tubes still in the amp. So from now on I will ship the amp with tubes intact without worries of broken tubes. But to be safe I will state on e-Bay if tubes are broken to bad, no refund on broken tubes, but will ship sperate by request only.

As far as the transformer there was no damage from that either. But I could see it now, I could cut or unsolder  the wires to the transformer and when it arrived I would get an e-mail asking how am I supposed to put it back in? I am not an electoral engineer how am I supposed to figure how to wire it back in.
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 09:37:41 PM »

I bought a amp and it was shipped with the tubes in the sockets. The amp arrived shipped by UPS and had no broken tubes. That tells me that it is OK to ship amps with tubes still in the amp. So from now on I will ship the amp with tubes intact without worries of broken tubes. But to be safe I will state on e-Bay if tubes are broken to bad, no refund on broken tubes, but will ship sperate by request only.

As far as the transformer there was no damage from that either. But I could see it now, I could cut or unsolder  the wires to the transformer and when it arrived I would get an e-mail asking how am I supposed to put it back in? I am not an electoral engineer how am I supposed to figure how to wire it back in.

You were lucky on tubes. You should never ship with tubes installed. When the chassis is shocked the vibration is amplified to tube in socket. You can ship tubes in amp safely if you remove them from socket and wrap them in bubble wrap.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 05:18:38 AM »

...The amp arrived shipped by UPS and had no broken tubes. That tells me that it is OK to ship amps with tubes still in the amp. So from now on I will ship the amp with tubes intact without worries of broken tubes...

Bad logic based on a single datapoint. 

Keep shipping 'em that way and find out empirically what will happen. 

It won't be good.


73
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W7HBP
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 07:23:23 AM »

I bought a brand new AL80B from DX engineering and the tube was shipped seperately. The tube was pkg'd so well, in foam etc. So it appears the std rule of thumb is to ship them seperately IMHO.
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W8JX
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Posts: 6664




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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 10:22:11 AM »

Separately is the best way to do it. A compromise is with tube(s) removed from socket(s) and bubble wrapped and packed inside of amp. Shipping them is socket is asking for trouble but takes the least effort on part of shipper and costs the least too.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 12:03:13 PM »

Perhaps an explanation of moment angle and transfer of energy is in order. 

If you are strapped firmly into the seat of a sled traveling at 60 mph and that sled should hit an immovable object head on, the sled will certainly stop its forward travel, but YOU will be subjected to an absolutely crushing G-force. 

The tube, still installed in the amp, is mechanically connected to the total mass of the amplifier. 

When (not if, but when) the package handlers subject the package to excessive G forces by tossing said package, it is the moment when the package comes to a sudden stop that the momentum of the package gets transferred to smaller masses inside the package. 

The innards of the tube, supported on rather spindly connections, can and will get slammed by the G forces. 


73
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 12:16:11 PM »

Perhaps an explanation of moment angle and transfer of energy is in order. 

If you are strapped firmly into the seat of a sled traveling at 60 mph and that sled should hit an immovable object head on, the sled will certainly stop its forward travel, but YOU will be subjected to an absolutely crushing G-force. 

The tube, still installed in the amp, is mechanically connected to the total mass of the amplifier. 

When (not if, but when) the package handlers subject the package to excessive G forces by tossing said package, it is the moment when the package comes to a sudden stop that the momentum of the package gets transferred to smaller masses inside the package. 

The innards of the tube, supported on rather spindly connections, can and will get slammed by the G forces. 


73

Good explanation Smiley  Not to forget the glass envelope either. (if that type of tube)
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W1QJ
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Posts: 1515




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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 04:23:24 PM »

Perhaps an explanation of moment angle and transfer of energy is in order. 

If you are strapped firmly into the seat of a sled traveling at 60 mph and that sled should hit an immovable object head on, the sled will certainly stop its forward travel, but YOU will be subjected to an absolutely crushing G-force. 

The tube, still installed in the amp, is mechanically connected to the total mass of the amplifier. 

When (not if, but when) the package handlers subject the package to excessive G forces by tossing said package, it is the moment when the package comes to a sudden stop that the momentum of the package gets transferred to smaller masses inside the package. 

The innards of the tube, supported on rather spindly connections, can and will get slammed by the G forces. 


73

Good explanation Smiley  Not to forget the glass envelope either. (if that type of tube)

I might add that on several occasions over the past 20 years I have had tubes broken in transit.  Many times the glass did not break but the anode of the 3-500 came apart from the top of the tube indicating the package was thrown and came to an abrupt halt, the brittle anodse stem craked right off at the top.  The glass was not broken.  The tubes were packed more than adequate.  It is the sudden abrupt stop and the inerita of the items inside the box have.  The above explanation is spot on.
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W8NF
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 01:57:09 PM »

I might add that on several occasions over the past 20 years I have had tubes broken in transit.  Many times the glass did not break but the anode of the 3-500 came apart from the top of the tube indicating the package was thrown and came to an abrupt halt, the brittle anodse stem craked right off at the top.  The glass was not broken.  The tubes were packed more than adequate.  It is the sudden abrupt stop and the inerita of the items inside the box have.  The above explanation is spot on.

There are ways to protect fragile items from very rough handling.  I remember seeing an Eimac tube box and was impressed at how many levels of shock protection were in it.  It was for a 4-1000 size tube.  The tube itself was in soft foam with triangular shaped points in direct contact with the glass envelope.  VERY soft foam.  The surrounding foam was "harder" simply by not being cut into thin wedges.  A layer of firmer foam was around that and finally the box. 

For larger tubes (100kW broadcast tetrodes), I've seen the tube clamped in a metal frame, with springs and shock absorbers installed between the frame and exterior wooden box.

After all, that 3-500Z you had shipped had been shipped before.

When you ship UPS, there is not a risk of a six foot drop.  There is a virtual certainty.  At various points of the processing, the package is carried on conveyor belts, and deposited into six-foot-deep bins.  If you're lucky, and the bin is nearly full when your package goes in, then you don't experience quite the fall.  When I was in the 20kW MRI amp business, we shipped via UPS, and their tariff guide included a requirement that "if product weighs less than 200 pounds, it must survive multiple six foot drops onto concrete."  We had no problem with that requirement - we did a lot of shock calculations to get there, but we did it.

73,

Dave W8NF
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W1QJ
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Posts: 1515




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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2013, 02:13:44 AM »

I thought the drop was 3 feet to concrete but 6 feet is even more of a whammy.  I don't think Fed Ex dumps packages like that al all.  I guess this explains why 5 out of 5 shipments of amps to me by UPS were damaged.  None were packed to sustain a 6 foot drop to concrete.  Although I pack my amps pretty damn good I doubt they would survive damage of a 6 foot drop to concrete.  To even consider that this practice is done by UPS is crazy.  The truth table tells me that Fed Ex does not use the same practice of dumping packages into bins with a 6 foot drop.  I am sure that some 100 SB-220 amps I have shipped over the last couple years would have been damaged but I have actually had zero damages with them. I  had to defer to UPS on one shipment due to the demand by the customer, it sustained minor damage.  I gave my disclaimer prior to shipping to him.
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W2ISB
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2013, 07:23:30 AM »

The last amp. I bought on eBay was a BTI desktop with a 3-1000Z and Chimney.

It was shipped to my via UPS.

It arrived with both the tube and chimney in many pieces inside the amplifier.

Don't take a chance on misfortune... ship tubes and chimney's separately.

Gerd, W2ISB
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2238




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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2013, 12:44:10 PM »

I need to ship out my AL80A for repair.

The guy who will be fixing it said to ship it with
the tube in it but I have my doubts. I do have a
Pelican Case (model 1620) for it with custom closed
cell (hard foam) foam inserts to protect it.
It survived airline shipping to 5R8 (Madagascar) and back
this way, BUT I carried the tube and a spare in my carry
on luggage.


Could I wrap the tube securely in bubble wrap, put it in the
amp (NOT in the socket) and the amp in the Pelican case?
Or should I just ship it separately?

73, Ken  AD6KA
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