Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Ameritron warning-UPDATE  (Read 40330 times)
W1QJ
Member

Posts: 2948




Ignore
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2013, 05:23:04 AM »

OK, I contacted Ameritron and had several email exchanges with MIKE.  He says they were aware of the problem and thanked me for bringing it to his attention.  He did not say when, but he did say that they are now making the fix so this voltage is not present. ........

If Ameritron was "aware of the problem", why did they do nothing to FIX or notify the Amateur community of the potentially lethal problem. Also, it has now been almost two weeks, since W1QJ found the problem (that they were "aware of"), and still not a word of the problem, or a fix from Ameritron.

73,

John  W5JON  -  V47JA

I finally emailed with Mike at Ameritron.  He told me that they knew about the problem and they made the fix.  He did not tell me when they started to change the amps so that the problem goes away.  But just yesterday I received a private email from a friend who read this thread.  His amp had the fix.  He said his amp is a 2008 vintage.  SO it appears that the fix goes back at least until 2008.  So that means (at least for now) that amps back to 2008 or maybe earlier already have the fix.  The amp I discovered this problem on was made in the late 90's.  The fix is obvious just by looking at your amp.  If you want to visually tell if your amp has the fix you can look to see if you have a white wire going from the right hand side relay coil contact on the step start relay (relay on rear wall left of center)to the left hand side of S5 (interlock switch).  If you have that white wire, your amp is OK and no action is necessary. 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 05:25:07 AM by W1QJ » Logged
NU1O
Member

Posts: 4622




Ignore
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2013, 06:26:58 AM »

OK, I contacted Ameritron and had several email exchanges with MIKE.  He says they were aware of the problem and thanked me for bringing it to his attention.  He did not say when, but he did say that they are now making the fix so this voltage is not present. ........

If Ameritron was "aware of the problem", why did they do nothing to FIX or notify the Amateur community of the potentially lethal problem. Also, it has now been almost two weeks, since W1QJ found the problem (that they were "aware of"), and still not a word of the problem, or a fix from Ameritron.

73,

John  W5JON  -  V47JA

I finally emailed with Mike at Ameritron.  He told me that they knew about the problem and they made the fix.  He did not tell me when they started to change the amps so that the problem goes away.  But just yesterday I received a private email from a friend who read this thread.  His amp had the fix.  He said his amp is a 2008 vintage.  SO it appears that the fix goes back at least until 2008.  So that means (at least for now) that amps back to 2008 or maybe earlier already have the fix.  The amp I discovered this problem on was made in the late 90's.  The fix is obvious just by looking at your amp.  If you want to visually tell if your amp has the fix you can look to see if you have a white wire going from the right hand side relay coil contact on the step start relay (relay on rear wall left of center)to the left hand side of S5 (interlock switch).  If you have that white wire, your amp is OK and no action is necessary. 


I called Ameritron late last week to ask some questions about the AL-1500.  I recognized the tech's voice because he has answered my questions about my SB-1000 and Cushcraft A3S, and other products going back at least 5 years. He told me ha has been there a long time. This guy does know what he's talking about as opposed to others I've spoken with.  My last question was about the step-start wiring error I read about in this amp forum.  He said they haven't wired amps that way for at least 10 years. Lou, they aren't what I'd call fans of you down in Ole Miss but I'm sure you know that and could care less.
Logged
W1QJ
Member

Posts: 2948




Ignore
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2013, 07:00:09 AM »

Chris, I NEVER have to talk with Ameritron on the phone about tech support so I would not know.  I only talk to them to order parts.  I had a short email exchange with Mike who apparently is the amplifier guy over there.  He had no qualms about my talking with him about this problem.  Like I have mentioned several times, he did say that they made the fix and amps are no longer wired such that the 400vdc appears.  He didn't say when they made the change but the other day a friend of mine with a 2008 vintage unit said his had the fix.  I hope they don't have a problem with me at Ameritron because I recommend to most hams to buy an Ameritron amps.  I have owned dozens of them and still do. I just bought another used AL-1500 last week.  As you well know Chris, I suggesedt you look into the Al-1500 and dump the light show.  Lou
Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 512




Ignore
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2013, 01:30:41 PM »

For anyone who actually cares about the facts, they (being Mike Enis, Manager of Ameritron) have been aware of the problem and "fixed" it years ago! This eham thread had nothing to do with it.

BTW, for those a bit dull on their sports geography, Ole Miss is the University of Mississippi. It's located in Oxford. Starkville is the home of Mississippi State University. Kinda like getting Texas and Texas A&M confused.

I can say from first hand information, MFJ doesn't hold grudges...and they're nice to their detractors when they call up on the phone to be chummy!

73,

Frank
K4FMH

OK, I contacted Ameritron and had several email exchanges with MIKE.  He says they were aware of the problem and thanked me for bringing it to his attention.  He did not say when, but he did say that they are now making the fix so this voltage is not present. ........

If Ameritron was "aware of the problem", why did they do nothing to FIX or notify the Amateur community of the potentially lethal problem. Also, it has now been almost two weeks, since W1QJ found the problem (that they were "aware of"), and still not a word of the problem, or a fix from Ameritron.

73,

John  W5JON  -  V47JA

I finally emailed with Mike at Ameritron.  He told me that they knew about the problem and they made the fix.  He did not tell me when they started to change the amps so that the problem goes away.  But just yesterday I received a private email from a friend who read this thread.  His amp had the fix.  He said his amp is a 2008 vintage.  SO it appears that the fix goes back at least until 2008.  So that means (at least for now) that amps back to 2008 or maybe earlier already have the fix.  The amp I discovered this problem on was made in the late 90's.  The fix is obvious just by looking at your amp.  If you want to visually tell if your amp has the fix you can look to see if you have a white wire going from the right hand side relay coil contact on the step start relay (relay on rear wall left of center)to the left hand side of S5 (interlock switch).  If you have that white wire, your amp is OK and no action is necessary. 


I called Ameritron late last week to ask some questions about the AL-1500.  I recognized the tech's voice because he has answered my questions about my SB-1000 and Cushcraft A3S, and other products going back at least 5 years. He told me ha has been there a long time. This guy does know what he's talking about as opposed to others I've spoken with.  My last question was about the step-start wiring error I read about in this amp forum.  He said they haven't wired amps that way for at least 10 years. Lou, they aren't what I'd call fans of you down in Ole Miss but I'm sure you know that and could care less.
Logged
W7VO
Member

Posts: 313


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2013, 02:31:06 PM »

"For anyone who actually cares about the facts, they (being Mike Enis, Manager of Ameritron) have been aware of the problem and "fixed" it years ago!"

OK, so they supposedly fixed this "problem". I wonder if there is a list of affected serial numbers for the various AL-xxxx amps that could possibly have this "problem"? I have an early AL-1500 (was originally built without the HV glitch resistor), and while I have no plans on operating it with the cover off, it would be good to know if it was affected or not.

Mike, W7VO
Logged
W1QJ
Member

Posts: 2948




Ignore
« Reply #50 on: October 23, 2013, 04:09:22 PM »

"For anyone who actually cares about the facts, they (being Mike Enis, Manager of Ameritron) have been aware of the problem and "fixed" it years ago!"

OK, so they supposedly fixed this "problem". I wonder if there is a list of affected serial numbers for the various AL-xxxx amps that could possibly have this "problem"? I have an early AL-1500 (was originally built without the HV glitch resistor), and while I have no plans on operating it with the cover off, it would be good to know if it was affected or not.

Mike, W7VO

Mike, you don't have to operate the amp with the lid off to see if you have the problem.  Remove he cover and look at the step start relay.  On the right hand coil terminal looking from the front, see if you have a white wire that goes from that terminal over to the left side of S5.  If it does, your amp has the fix.  If it does not then it needs the fix performed.  The fix is simple.  read the thread and I have mentioned the fix several times. Lou
Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 512




Ignore
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2013, 08:42:49 AM »

Mike,

Good question...but you'd have to contact either Richard Stubbs (MFJ Customer Service) or Mike Enis (Manager, Ameritron)...note they're in separate buildings several miles apart...to find about potentially affected serial numbers. But, how old is your amplifier? That might answer your question right there.

Have you called Ameritron for your answer? eHam.net isn't their technical support system.

73,

Frank
K4FMH

"For anyone who actually cares about the facts, they (being Mike Enis, Manager of Ameritron) have been aware of the problem and "fixed" it years ago!"

OK, so they supposedly fixed this "problem". I wonder if there is a list of affected serial numbers for the various AL-xxxx amps that could possibly have this "problem"? I have an early AL-1500 (was originally built without the HV glitch resistor), and while I have no plans on operating it with the cover off, it would be good to know if it was affected or not.

Mike, W7VO
Logged
V47JA
Member

Posts: 205




Ignore
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2013, 09:28:28 AM »

Mike,

Good question...but you'd have to contact either Richard Stubbs (MFJ Customer Service) or Mike Enis (Manager, Ameritron)...note they're in separate buildings several miles apart...to find about potentially affected serial numbers. But, how old is your amplifier? That might answer your question right there.

Have you called Ameritron for your answer? eHam.net isn't their technical support system.

73,

Frank
K4FMH

"For anyone who actually cares about the facts, they (being Mike Enis, Manager of Ameritron) have been aware of the problem and "fixed" it years ago!"

OK, so they supposedly fixed this "problem". I wonder if there is a list of affected serial numbers for the various AL-xxxx amps that could possibly have this "problem"? I have an early AL-1500 (was originally built without the HV glitch resistor), and while I have no plans on operating it with the cover off, it would be good to know if it was affected or not.

Mike, W7VO

OR ...... Ameritron could provide the Serial Numbers and/or manufacture dates, on their Web Site and elsewhere, so that THOUSANDS of owners  of these amplifiers do not EACH have to call Ameritron, or open the case to see if they need the "fix".  It does not make sense that they would prefer their Managers get many phone calls, all with the same question.

Also, if they have known about the problem for "a while", I would have thought this information should have been posted, BY Ameritron by now.

73,

John   V47JA  (and proud of it)  -  W5JON  
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 09:54:53 AM by V47JA » Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 512




Ignore
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2013, 06:32:54 PM »

Mike,

Good question...but you'd have to contact either Richard Stubbs (MFJ Customer Service) or Mike Enis (Manager, Ameritron)...note they're in separate buildings several miles apart...to find about potentially affected serial numbers. But, how old is your amplifier? That might answer your question right there.

Have you called Ameritron for your answer? eHam.net isn't their technical support system.

73,

Frank
K4FMH

Hi John,

Why don't you talk this plan over with Richard Stubbs, Customer Service Director, in Dayton next year when you buy him that beer? Or when you stop by and shake your friend Martin's hand? I'm sure they'd appreciate your management advice...since it's only an issue if you don't follow the big red sticker on the back of the amplifier .... Or don't take Lou's less risky advice.

Watch out for the hurricanes down there in St Kitts...hot air makes them unhappy!

Frank (and proud of it)
K4FMH


OR ...... Ameritron could provide the Serial Numbers and/or manufacture dates, on their Web Site and elsewhere, so that THOUSANDS of owners  of these amplifiers do not EACH have to call Ameritron, or open the case to see if they need the "fix".  It does not make sense that they would prefer their Managers get many phone calls, all with the same question.

Also, if they have known about the problem for "a while", I would have thought this information should have been posted, BY Ameritron by now.

73,

John   V47JA  (and proud of it)  -  W5JON  
Logged
KC4MOP
Member

Posts: 960




Ignore
« Reply #54 on: October 25, 2013, 03:44:11 AM »

Lou helped me to verify that my AL 1500, possibly made in 2008, does indeed have the mod to the step-start relay.
And YES, a serial number search, or what actual serial number was the start of the mod would be nice to know. So, owners can know if their unit is in need of this simple mod.
That would eliminate the need to get into the amp. and actually look. Reducing the possibility of contact with the HV circuits.
At my age, I am getting a LOT more cautious around HV. You only touch it one time.
Fred
Logged
W1QJ
Member

Posts: 2948




Ignore
« Reply #55 on: October 25, 2013, 06:06:21 AM »

The Al-1200,1500,82 all have common wiring and the amp in question does not get determined until further on down the build process so all the amps no matter which one should have the fix at the same time.  So far the fix goes back to 2008, it may go back further but no one with an earlier model has come forward to report the fix.  AS I mentioned a simple inspection of the step start relay will determine if the fix is in place.  No actual operation of the amp is necessary. 
Logged
W7VO
Member

Posts: 313


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #56 on: October 25, 2013, 11:36:56 AM »

Mike,

Good question...but you'd have to contact either Richard Stubbs (MFJ Customer Service) or Mike Enis (Manager, Ameritron)...note they're in separate buildings several miles apart...to find about potentially affected serial numbers. But, how old is your amplifier? That might answer your question right there. Have you called Ameritron for your answer? eHam.net isn't their technical support system.


 I am not going to remove the multitude of screws and man-handle this 80 lb amp around to investigate unless I need to get into it for something else, and my guess is that most people are not going to do anything either. This is not a really a performance or "inherent safety in normal use" issue.

I also have no idea how old the amp is. (I bought it (SN 11955) used several years ago). I know that it is old enough that it did not have the big HV glitch resistor installed, nor the rubber insulator on the fan. I added both mods myself when I had to repair the shorted bias protection diode. (Which is the reason I got a great deal on the broken amp). What I will do is file this info away and check when I do my next semi-yearly tube rotation.

My question to Ameritron (besides which serial numbers might be affected) would be whether or not they automatically do this "upgrade" when repairing amps. Somebody on this list may be able to answer that question. Anybody had an older AL-xxxx fixed by Ameritron lately?

BTW, my amp does have a big red "DANGER: DO NOT OPERATE WITH THE COVER REMOVED" sticker on it. That pretty much says it all. 

Thanks to all that are responding to this interesting thread!

73;

Mike, W7VO
Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 512




Ignore
« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2013, 01:11:56 PM »


Hi John,

Why don't you talk this plan over with Richard Stubbs, Customer Service Director, in Dayton next year when you buy him that beer? Or when you stop by and shake your friend Martin's hand? I'm sure they'd appreciate your management advice...since it's only an issue if you don't follow the big red sticker on the back of the amplifier .... Or don't take Lou's less risky advice.

Watch out for the hurricanes down there in St Kitts...hot air makes them unhappy!

Frank (and proud of it)
K4FMH



Mike,

Good question...but you'd have to contact either Richard Stubbs (MFJ Customer Service) or Mike Enis (Manager, Ameritron)...note they're in separate buildings several miles apart...to find about potentially affected serial numbers. But, how old is your amplifier? That might answer your question right there.

Have you called Ameritron for your answer? eHam.net isn't their technical support system.

73,

Frank
K4FMH

Hi John,

Why don't you talk this plan over with Richard Stubbs, Customer Service Director, in Dayton next year when you buy him that beer? Or when you stop by and shake your friend Martin's hand? I'm sure they'd appreciate your management advice...since it's only an issue if you don't follow the big red sticker on the back of the amplifier .... Or don't take Lou's less risky advice.

Watch out for the hurricanes down there in St Kitts...hot air makes them unhappy!

Frank (and proud of it)
K4FMH
 Tongue
Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 512




Ignore
« Reply #58 on: October 26, 2013, 01:20:34 PM »

Lou,

This is the most reasonable solution....I applaud you for posting it. All the rancor directed to Ameritron without telling it directly to Mike Enis, Mgr at Ameritron, is just hot air. Your solution works for any ham who feels comfortable making repairs like you spell out. As Richard Stubbs, MFJ Customer Service Director fir MFJ Enterprises, said to me when I met with him on this last month, leave it to professionals if you don't know what you're doing. That's why Ameritron (but apparently not Yaesu, among others) puts the prominent sticker on the back!

My recommendation is to follow your advice, Lou, and see if you have the problem before you fire it up without the cover. And close this thread! Talk directly to Ameritron.

Thanks for your insights, Lou.

73,

Frank
K4FMH


The Al-1200,1500,82 all have common wiring and the amp in question does not get determined until further on down the build process so all the amps no matter which one should have the fix at the same time.  So far the fix goes back to 2008, it may go back further but no one with an earlier model has come forward to report the fix.  AS I mentioned a simple inspection of the step start relay will determine if the fix is in place.  No actual operation of the amp is necessary. 
Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 512




Ignore
« Reply #59 on: November 08, 2013, 07:49:46 AM »

All,

I received this message based upon my earlier direct inquiry to MFJ Enterprises about this amplifier issue. It appears that Ameritron had this problem prior to MFJ acquiring them. Tom W8JI's intimate knowledge of both manufacturing sites led to his understanding of the problem. Please contact Mike Enis directly by email, phone, fax or walk-in on this issue if you have an issue. It's not difficult to do that!

73,

Frank
K4FMH

=======================Message from Ameritron to anyone who asked them directly=================
Hi Frank,
Not sure how old the amplifier is that the person is working on.  Back around the end of 1993, Ameritron noticed the High voltage staying at about 300 volts when the inter lock switch was released.  This was due to the relay coil was allowing enough current to power the HV transformer up to 300 volts.
   
This problem was passed down from the previous Manufacturer.
 
This problem was resolved by connecting the relay coil wire to the other side of the inter lock switch.
The step start relay now has four wires and a resistor attached to it. The previous units had 3 wires with a resistor attached. 
 
It would be great if I had a serial number of the unit that has the problem.
 
The older units had a four digit serial numbers. The newer model have a 5 digit serial number.
 
Mike Enis (KB5YJF)
AMERITRON
ph; 662-323-8211
fax; 662-323-6551
email; menis@ameritron.com
=================================================================================
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!