Microwave Power

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by WA9SVD, Jan 9, 2018.

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  1. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not entirely a ham topic, but here goes with ham implications:

    Do microwave ovens (or amateur transmitters) slowly lose power over time? In other words, does a 30 y/o microwave oven originally rated 600 Watts still put out 600 Watts, or has its power slowly diminished over time?
     
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    AFAIK they all use Magnetrons which operate at full power until they burn out.
     
  3. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have done a LOT of life testing on magnetrons in ovens. They usually last a long time and don't change power level
    during this lifetime. It is possible for the internal structure (straps) to become over heated and warp, usuall7 due to
    operating with insufficient (food) load to absorb the microwave energy.

    This can cause the tube to operate in the wrong "mode" which is inefficient and so will put out less power.

    One part that can affect the power is the HV cap that is in series with the HV transformer's secondary.
    I have never seen this happen, but IF somehow the capacity value were to decrease then so would the power.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  4. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the day Popcorn was a no-no.
     
  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Popcorn is ok, but it is a light load so best to have a cup of water in the oven too.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  6. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Solid state ovens are on the way.

     
  7. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I won't hold my breath.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
    KD2ACO likes this.
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, Steve, Tom. I guess I'll hold onto my microwave oven until the magnatron (or something else) gives up the ghost. And to think "Monkey Wards" (at the time) gave it a life expectancy of 5-10 years! Wards died, but their microwave oven lives on!
     
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I doubt they manufactured it.

    If it's really 30 years old, probably American made by one of the three or four companies who actually did this.

    It's funny, I have a 30+ year-old Thermador double oven (wall unit, it's big) which includes a microwave oven as well as two regular electric ovens with fan circulation and exhaust. When I bought this house I could hardly believe they combined a regular oven and microwave into one big wall unit...but they did. I had to "try it" to see if the microwave function actually worked (I wasn't really believing it would) -- and it did, just fine. Boiled a large glass of water in about 90 seconds.

    It has four electric heating elements, two in each section (upper "roasting" element and lower "oven" element; you can turn on one or the other, or both, in each section) plus the microwave function in the upper oven.

    I don't even know how they made that work, as the oven linings appear to be porcelainized steel. Maybe they're not.

    Damned oven is old, and huge and was only serviced "once" in my 17 years at this house...one heating element stopped working and it wasn't the element that failed, it was a connector on the back of it. To replace that, the oven had to be pulled out of the wall, which took two men and a customized "wall oven mover," which was a stainless steel dolly. The service tech said the oven likely weighed over 250 lbs, kind of like moving a piano. But, they fixed it and it's been fine ever since.
     
  10. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    If it was 30 years old it was probably made either by GE or Tappan (my company)

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     

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