Astron RS-35M Not working after Lightning Storm

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by NU9S, Aug 21, 2018.

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  1. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It often comes down to the DVM designer and sometimes fabrication or cost-cutting (fewer components).

    A few years ago, Fluke 87V users noted inaccuracies — greater that specifications (+/- tolerance %) — when SOME meters were adjacent to mobile/cellular site transmitters (high RF field).
    That issue was resolved with a slight design/fabrication/component change to subsequent meters and those used in that industry (situation).

    My original Fluke 87 with model 3 LCD has never experienced RF issues.
    Found in a bucket, under a seller’s table at a computer fair and speckled with spray paint,
    my BEST Acquisition at $5.00.
    Some people cannot differentiate Wheat from Straw.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  2. KK4CUL

    KK4CUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats on the repair and to all the folks who elmered! That is a very reliable PSU and I'm glad it wasn't junked. I've been lucky with my switcher PSU (Jetstream JTPS31MB) so far, no RFI issues, very good adjustable voltage, and switchable Ammeter / Voltmeter. Only issue, it does drop about 5% voltage under load that the built in meter does not indicate. I wish I did have a nice linear like the Astron! The only linear I still have is an old Pyramid 12A continuous, 15A peak. It's good for maybe 60-70 watt peaks on SSB and gets hot!
  3. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The voltage drop is normally do to the wiring, Fuses and holders.

    5% is not all that bad for full load, But something may / should be getting warm.

    I like it when the antenna warms up. It must be working. :)
  4. AI4RA

    AI4RA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This has been a MOST educational topic and thanks for bringing your power supply problem here on the Zed. I'm sorry you had to bear some rather unjust criticism for doing so, but I, for one, learned at least two things here: what to look for when repairing a defective Astron linear power supply, and that DMM's are sometimes susceptible to RFI! I never really ever considered the latter - and it's a good thing to know and watch out for in the future. Congrats on repairing your power supply and redeeming it from the junkyard. May you have many more years of use from it.

    I have an Astron SS-30 switching power supply that has worked well for me for almost 10 years now. About 5 years ago, I had a serious lightning strike at my QTH, one which took out the transmit portion of my IC-7200, took out a laptop computer, my Internet service, and a phone or two. The antenna was not connected to the IC-7200 but the rig was connected to the Astron SS-30, which, in turn, was plugged into the power strip (which supposedly had a protection circuit). But while my rig was zapped, the power supply actually survived and still works fine to this day. Insurance paid to replace my 7200 and the other items that were zapped, and afterwards I purchased a new Astron power supply that I now use for my HF rig. I didn't want to take a chance with the SS-30 on a nice new rig! I still use the SS-30 to power a VHF rig and has done so just fine for the last 5 years. Maybe i should tear into it just to see if there's anything wonky in there or if it took out a MOV (I think the SS-30 has two of them). Lightning is a really a strange thing - it took out part of your RS-35M and left it inoperable but left a SS-30 (which I would think would be more vulnerable, with the switching circuitry in it) functional even after the charge went through it and zapped the HF rig connected to it! Life is weird sometimes...
  5. NU9S

    NU9S Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Raf I also learned a lot from this post especially learned that I have a lot more to learn :) There are a lot of great guys here on ZED and it was neat to see them go out of their way to help me. I did not know DMM's were bothered by RFI so easily and thought I had some serious problems that were solved by purchasing a $12 analog meter from Home Depot. Also learned that most surge protectors are useless. I am glad to have my good old Astron back in use, they are great power supplies.
    Jim - NU9S
    WD3N and N3AB like this.
  6. N3AB

    N3AB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Glad to have you back on the air! I told you back on post #28 that you could fix it. You didn't let us down!

    John N3AB
    NU9S likes this.
  7. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Jim -

    You live in FLORIDA ... Lightning Capital of the USA.
    At a minimum, you should have a Whole House Surge Protector
    installed at you Main Electrical Service Panel.
    Schneider Electric/Square D; Panamax; and APT (Clearwater, FL)
    are three (3) companies that have WHP devices.

    ASK This Old House : Installng a Lightning Protection System
    ** Yes, the Project House was in Central Florida **

    The ASK This Old House video program (above) featured Jim Maxwell of
    Maxwell Lightning Protection of Florida in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Your backyard.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
    NU9S likes this.
  8. NU9S

    NU9S Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am going to contact them and see what it cost to have that done to my house thanks for finding them.
    Jim - NU9S
  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    You should also have them assess your Amateur Radio Grounding with your Commercial Power Electrical Grounding system. Need tie-in? (per NEC or local codes) or additional ground rods?

    As you can see from their ASK TOH video ...
    they make installing 20 foot ground rods look easy.

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