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Who repairs/rebuilds AL-1200 ?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by K7OME, Apr 6, 2017.

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  1. KS9Q

    KS9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    After my experience with my SB-200 I wouldn't trust the UPS store to package a throw pillow correctly. It was sent to me by the seller using UPS store packaging. Shipping a heavy amp is dicey and requires stiff foam padding, among other things. The package WILL be dropped - several times over. Let me guess- they wrapped it in about 7 layers of bubble wrap and dropped it in a box full of packing peanuts. The amp then works its way to the bottom of the box, right against the outside and then gets dropped repeatedly.

    Since the tube wasn't removed and it should have been, I'd say you probably don't have much recourse with the UPS store but it's worth a try I guess. UPS store managed to get my amp to me without destroying the tubes but the heavy transformer was like Thor's hammer against the aluminum chassis. That amp took a hell of a beating and you have some serious damage there. I'm guessing you're looking at several hours of labor and new tubes. It won't be pretty.

    Okay - maybe I'm being a little harsh with the throw pillow crack but no way, no how will I trust them with heavy, expensive and fragile equipment.

    Jim K. - KS9Q
  2. KS9Q

    KS9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I missed Lou's posts - sounds like he'll get you fixed up.

    Jim K - KS9Q
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    They were able to damage an anvil I had shipped.:p
  4. KS9Q

    KS9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good grief - that's like setting a box of asbestos on fire. :eek:

    Jim K - KS9Q
  5. K7OME

    K7OME Ham Member QRZ Page

    7 layers of bubble wrap? I wish. No, the box was a fairly tight fit so all they could squeeze in was two or maybe three layers and no peanuts. But, I just finished boxing up the remains for Lou and will ship it out Monday. No transformer in that package and the tube is bubble wrapped and packed in its own box which fits neatly in the transformer's space. As much bubble wrap as I could squeeze into the original box surrounds the amp. Then, that box went into an even bigger box with Styrofoam corner blocks on each corner and more Styrofoam supports strategically placed to keep the two boxes separated. Finally, all the air gaps were filled with heavy, springy brown paper packing paper. Drop it off the roof and you might knock some parts loose but I doubt you'll bend anything. On the other hand, this is UPS we're talking about. Anyway, that should get the usable parts to Lou and I'm sure he can pack adequately for the return trip. Fingers crossed ...
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The heavy, springy brown paper works similar to styrofoam peanuts = it doesn't really do anything when packing anything heavy, because it compresses and doesn't return to its original form once compressed.

    Since the amp in question is already damaged, and the transformer is removed, it should be okay.

    Although this is off-subject a bit, I've been involved in "packaging design and evaluation" for heavy electronic equipment, and it's part science and part art. We work with a local packaging company who is accredited to perform ISTA testing and certifications (ISTA = International Safe Transit Association) and they have hundreds of guidelines to follow, and dozens of tests to perform using some pretty serious equipment (I've watched it all done).

    To meet the certification standards for electronic equipment transportable by common carriers around the world, most would be amazed how they test stuff: 30" drop shock tests on all six flat sides of any package, as well as all eight corners is part of the routine testing. That simulates someone simply dropping the equipment from waist level, and it can land in any possible way. Ameritron's packaging (I never had an AL-1200, but have had some of the others) absolutely won't pass -- then, there's no law stating is has to.:p

    For electronic chassis of similar weight, having corners (we ship computer servers, large data storage systems, etc. weighing in the 70-90 lbs range), the ONLY kind of packaging that actually meets the standard is double or triple-wall Kraft with high density foam (not styrofoam, but HD foam -- it's black and very difficult to compress, but if you can compress it, it springs right back to its original shape) at all corners. The burst strength of the Kraft is several hundred PSI. The packaging, with the equipment in it, meets the ISTA Class IA standard okay (the "check" is to visually inspect the equipment afterwards, and then try it to see it still works as it should) but anything "less" doesn't.

    Packaging like that for a 70 lb computer server costs in the range of $50 per packaging set (carton + custom cut and glued foam).

    Most of us are pretty lucky anything we receive after shipment works -- especially when it weighs 70 lbs or more.:)

    Above 90 lbs we won't ship anything that isn't strapped to a pallet.
  7. K7OME

    K7OME Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish I had access to enough closed cell foam for this job but I live in the middle of nowhere, literally. I did use solid blocks of Styrofoam, not peanuts, and the heavy brown paper was packed densely between the two boxes, the interior box was two feet wide so there's a lot of surface to spread the force of a drop. And there were Styrofoam corner blocks on all 8 corners so the interior box shouldn't hit the exterior box unless UPS really gets carried away. I know they drop pretty much every box off the end of a conveyor, my brother worked at one of their shipping points for a few months. Anyway, I've done a lot of shipping and I'm reasonably confident this will work 8 times out of 10. I don't think we have a Fed Ex in the nearest town 32 miles away but I'll check. There's an unmanned Fed Ex drop station for small boxes but that's all I've seen. The UPS shipper is in the back of the local ACE hardware. Unless it gets totally destroyed or badly bent any damage will just be something else for Lou to fix. Anyway, I've done the best I can and my cost is covered so now it's in the hands of shipping gremlins ...
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    I've never lived anyplace so isolated!

    What made you choose "there?":)
  9. K7OME

    K7OME Ham Member QRZ Page

    From an internet search some years back I learned that there are only 6 or 7 official ghost towns in the USA and this place is one of them. 'Downtown' consists of a single building that houses a restaurant which has changed owners several times in the 16 years I've been here and has been closed on and off for most of that time, as it is now. The back of that building houses our post office and it's single employee so most of my shipping goes through there. No gas station, no grocery store, nearest ones 32 miles away. Only one stop light in a 100 mile radius, not many stop signs. No cell service in a 30 mile radius.

    Why? I wanted clean air for my lungs and very little traffic for my eye (just one) and as little interference from bureaucrats as I could find. I'm basically a hermit, talk to someone in the area once a week or so and sometimes on the radio is enough for me. I paid cash for this place and brought my own business with me, no jobs in the area, obviously. Lots of animals though. Had a snow hare in my living room last week, dropped in to check the place out. Been training the ground squirrels for 16 years now, you have to see them to believe them. Every few weeks I go to town for an hour or two for groceries and then bug out of there as fast as I can. What can I say? This place suits me. You can see some of it on my website, it's a huge site with lots of animal pics .......
    WA7PRC likes this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Site looks like where the Unabomber used to live before they caught him.

    I'm sure you're not a terrorist...although he was a very bright guy, just a bit off in how he felt about society.:rolleyes:

    Based on the description and photos, I'd last about 24 hours there. I like "lots of people" around me, and although I still have my XYL, two dogs and a tortoise, I really miss my four kids who used to live here but grew up and moved out when the were in their twenties. I love a "house full of people," maybe it's time to adopt some.:p

    At least I'm around other folks all day during the work week, and we have local friends.:)

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