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Reviews Categories | Power Supplies | Astron SS-30/M Help

Reviews Summary for Astron SS-30/M
Astron SS-30/M Reviews: 87 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $120 to $160
Description: 30 Amp Switching Power Supply (SS-30M with meters) (SS-30 no meters)
Product is in production.
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W5NM Rating: 4/5 Jan 18, 2017 20:51 Send this review to a friend
Gee Whiz  Time owned: more than 12 months
Lost my meter lights just like a lot of people
who bought the SS-30M power supply.
Fortunately, the new led meter light assembly can be purchased from Astron for $2.50 each. I bought 2 of the units and installed them in the meters.
What a mess! These meters are like nothing I have ever seen. Ridiculous design... and to put a short lived incandescent bulb that is almost impossible to find in an almost impossible location in the meter is truly mind boggling. Also the new led lights are VERY bright. I think I am going to have to put some plastic window tint over them they are so bright. Took me about 90 minutes to replace the bulbs.
The power supply itself has worked just fine and the only R.F. noise I hear is on the bottom of 160 Meters and its not too bad.
N5XJT Rating: 2/5 Sep 21, 2016 07:51 Send this review to a friend
Not up to Astron name  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Pros: No hash, reliable, compact size and fan is
very quiet.
Cons: Meters are incredibly inaccurate, meter lights failed early on, poor quality construction and voltage drop from 13.8 to 12.7 under any load. Rear panel connectors are terrible. For this price Astron could at least provide decent connectors.
K5JXH Rating: 3/5 Sep 20, 2016 10:03 Send this review to a friend
rehash.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I discovered, one can NOT edit a post here after time passes, how odd, that is, things change!, as do tests get added....
as do models , revisions and years.!
first you need to say what it's connected to.
12vdc runs lots of things,,, not all things are same.
on my ICOM7200, it has a bullet proof filter on the DC line, see that below.
if using it on a 1975 SB104, it's hopeless. as an appliance hookup, I had to modify my SB104, the first step was read the service bulletins, and bingo. they do just that. Noise filter updates. (I have the list)

on my SB104 I added a line choke, toroid, #46 for whopping $1 at mouser. qt1, covered on my sb104 page.
revision 2;below now, later the SS30 live test, version 3.
I have more than one SMPS, and have data sheets on them all now.(and linear's)
Most SMPS sheets are near useless... unlike the sheets for the long ago gone USA makers, ! long gone, sadly.
K5JXH Rating: 3/5 Sep 17, 2016 11:53 Send this review to a friend
okay,  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
the SS-30 will be better than the meter version.
If you try to find a datasheet in the Astrons.
oops? (nada)
Made at least from year 2000 to now.
There home page has no real data sheet nor on ripple.
their linears are spec'd at 5mv ripple.!
to be fair, it complies with part B FCC,
and means...
the math....
that means it's, is 178 micro volts max, beats this FCC number. as do all the below too.
The spec for ripple is full load., by all makers.

That is p-p so is 63mv rms. noise max. SS-30 !
China owns this domain, 12v-30amps. complete.
research and I have many 12v supplies...
I then downloaded all specs on all china smps (this class) from and from all in
We see like 20 choices, world wide, not a lot.
at spec. and SMPS only.
12v (adj) at 30amps.

My DATA IS: (20hz to 20mhz)
28 to 63mV rms all are, spec'd there,
every one results, I did my home work.
there is the full field, of SMPS . on noise.

the SS30 has an AC EMI line filter, with choke,
and is 65 micro volt to the AC line max. or less.
FCC regulates this too. this end.
Small that is, the AC line will eat that for breakfast.

last is direct RF radiated noise. (I dont know,but will soon..,tests. )

so don't set it on top the radio.
fact is, the FCC B class does not check
electromagnetic radiation, (transformer core outward.) (just RFI , 3 ways)
I have the schematic.
The year 2000 SS-30 has a huge output filter(pi)
3 series inductors, tuned to the chopper Fo.
and 4 huge electrolytic filters. (Pi like, low pass)
if you look at most SMPS made, its mostly better in this area than most.(parts and noise)
so what can you do?
1: buy extra amps, to avoid overloading yours.
2: keep DC leads short, under 1meter, or 10 meters may fail. (the 1/12 wavelength rule)
3: keep it off the gear, don't stack it on the gear.
4: heavy gage wire. and no ammeters here.
5:Try the #43 fair-rite donuts(or coffin blocks with 3 turns of the DC line, both) 2mhz noise. (tell me yours>? scope it?)
6: buy an SMPS that is in metal box, not plastic only.
Faraday shields and all that....
7: avoid used SMPS. or relics,many were horrible.
8: avoid NOS, if the new ones are better,then new.
9; spend $300 on a linear PS.

or if got issues now?
Do tests to learn what is the noise signature.
frequency. levels...
location. exact.
line, or DC side.,or
radiated noise or conducted.? use a scope as noise sniffer, learn that.

my full review here, and will grow with radiation tests

then with facts , the fix is super easy.

no lie the chopper inside is a very bad beast.(photos soon)
Keep it off the gear do not put it on the sides of your
gear. any of the 6 sides.
3feet away is about perfect.

They can work.
K9CTB Rating: 4/5 Sep 5, 2016 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Works well, but ...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have three "iron" Astron 30 amp (RS-35M) supplies and one is over 30 years old. None of these supplies have failed. It came time to try to save space on my equipment bench, so I purchased the SS-30M switcher with an open mind.

Functionally, I really like the SS-30M and it performs well with my Motorola Micom 2 transceiver. I have found no power supply related birdies on any of the ham bands. The SS-30M handles 125W class rigs without issue or overheating.

The "iron" class Astrons have always been very straight-forward, very reliable and very REPAIRABLE supplies. The SS-30 takes a break from that philosophy. Opening the case of the SS-30M, I noticed lots of that "white goo" potting compound used to glue components to the circuit board -- and on my example, they even glue the meters to the case with the same goo. My SS-30 looks like the inside of one of those cheap PC power supplies with glue everywhere and no labels on any of the solid state components. The inside of the supply looks as if Astron had no intention of building a repairable unit.

Perhaps I bought an early unit ... or maybe a "remanufactured" one, but if all the Astron switchers are built like this one ... I probably should have purchased an MFJ or SEC unit.
KK5DR Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2016 13:52 Send this review to a friend
Quiet!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In my many years as a ham, and in my professional life, I have used and owned many, many models, makes and types of DC power supply units. I had early Astron models like RS-20, RS-35A/M. I spent a fair amount of time repairing them too. They had lots of bad solder joints, and connectors that go bad, IC regulators that pop, resistors burning up, pass transistors that fail, etc.
I have used lots of Switchers too. Some good, some very bad.
After 20 years of not having an Astron in my shop, I now have a new SS-30A. I power a DC distribution panel to all the gear I have that needs 13.8vdc. The SS-30 is very, very quiet, both acoustically, and RF hash noise are basically non-existent. No spikes, no broad-band hash, no Spurs, or sweeping Spurs.
Nearly a pure DC signal is at the output. Extended periods of current draw don't seem to rise the temp of this PSU either.
It isn't as small as my other 25A switchers, but it does run much more quiet.
No meters, no adjustments, to bother with.
I measured 14vdc with no load, and 13.8 at 30A, using my Fluke DMM. That is regulation that is as good as many of the commercial industrial switchers I've used.
Very nice, very quiet.
N4APG Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2016 10:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used my Astron SS-30M power supply for years powering my HF radios. The performance in terms of tight voltage regulation, filtering and delivery of current on demand has been excellent.

The SS-30M power supply is small and efficient. I would not hesitate to buy another Astron DC power supply.
K4KRW Rating: 4/5 Mar 25, 2016 14:33 Send this review to a friend
Added PowerPoles - Now is perfect  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine is the version with no meters and was bought in 2005. The supply is great other than the connectors on the back. It really should have something better like binding posts or PowerPoles.

After noticing a 2 Volt drop in my power cabling when transmitting, I decided I'd had enough and modified the supply to have 4 sets of PowerPoles on the back. I followed the instructions detailed here:

I gained an entire volt back of that drop just by switching to Powerpoles. Then I rebuilt the power cable for my KXPA100 amp using 10 gauge wire. Now the total drop is about 3 tenths of a volt when running 100 watts.

The power supply itself has been rock solid. I don't hear any noise from it in my receiver. It is extremely well regulated.

Now that I have 4 sets of connections on the back it is perfect. 1 goes to my KX3. 1 goes to my KXPA100, 1 goes to everything else. And 1 is free for whatever. It is a shame they don't come this way from the factory.
ZL3NB Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2016 13:32 Send this review to a friend
Older models better  Time owned: more than 12 months
The first SS30M I purchased in 2004 is excellent with no noise whatsoever. It is still in daily use with the TS590S. Brought another SS30M in 2012 with size wise was smaller in height and with lighted meters. I then started to notice EMI noise and thought at first it was coming from some other local source till I realize it was the new SS30M producing it. Contacted Astron asking what happen in the design between 2004 and now to cause the problem...Quite honestly they could not be bothered with me. Upon opening up both new and old meters you could see the changes in quality and lack of filtering.
I disconnected the lighted meters for one which helped then added another torroid on the DC output side. Its pretty quiet now.
But the question remains is why Astron denied any changes when it was evident there has been.
Up until the newer one I was really pleased with the 2004 model and highly recommended this model to many other local hams. Maybe Astron has taken heed to complaints and have fixed the problem?
Its a 5 for the 2004 model and 3 for the 2012 model till I made the changes so both now a 5.
AD5HD Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2015 19:11 Send this review to a friend
Noise free  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Needed to replace an aging RS-20M and this supply fit the bill to save some space as well. The original QST review showed it to be the least noisy at the time and online research indicated it once had a problem with radiated noise due to the way the meter lamps were powered. Apparently this problem has been eliminated since the K2 is immediately adjacent and is free of significant birdies. Some very low level ones can be heard here and there but they're at the noise floor and have no effect on hearing signals. Regulation is excellent and the output voltage adjustment on the side is a nice improvement over the older RS-20M. The connectors on the back panel were annoying at first but they're actually vastly better than the studs on the RS-20M. Using 10ga zip cord from Powerwerx to make a short stub to 45A terminals in Power Pole housings allows connection to a Powerwerx PD-4 in my installation. And the 10ga wire fits perfectly in the supply's connectors, no problems, no risk of wrenching them loose and then having to open up the supply and fix it, over and over again. And replacing all the ring terminals and heat shrink to get three feeds on the RS-20M terminals with three sets of Anderson Power Poles suddenly made the wiring harness so much easier to mess with. Now it's cleanly dressed without stress and strain or risks of shorting anything to the terminals. Great solution although at first glance they look like a bad solution. Nicely engineered supply that works perfectly, worth the money and worth the trouble to get over the trouble with the connectors.
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