Author Topic: Help with Red H Field Amplifier  (Read 487 times)

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Offline Silversword

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Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« on: October 19, 2017, 02:31:35 AM »
Hi All,

It has been a long time since I have been here.  Hope all is well with all.

I have an issue with my Red H Field Amplifier. 

My controller was giving me a low voltage issue and was kinda cycling trying to re-boot.  Did some troubling shooting and came up that the H Field amplifier was the issue as I have an E Field system too. When I had a chance a couple of days later I went on the roof to see what the H Field box condition was. The container had sprung a leak.  I found over and inch of water in the box.  The amplifier board was soaked in that water for about a week or so.  Took the antenna system apart and took the ferrites out of the PVC and dried them out.  I think those are okay. 

The amplifier board was a mess.  I cleaned it up as much as possible and dried it up over my weather computer that has some heat and moving air to really dry it up.  Took a chance to see if it might be still functional and powered it up.  The red LED came on and the amber LED's blinked 4 times.  The green LED did not come on.  I pushed on the re-set button but nothing happened, so I just powered it down and powered it up again and the same result.  So I hope that the board might be okay but the re-set button might not be working.

I still need to put it all back together and see what happens.

Just in case that this amplifier board is bad, I am wondering if there are any of you might have one that is sitting in the closet that you might want to find a place to be used.

It may take more than a week for me to put it all back together for testing and reconstruction of the box to be more water resistant.

In the mean time I am using the E Field antenna system where I had the H Field connected on the controller system that would be the one closest to the GPS   When I tried to put the E Field system to the one next to it is not really stable for some reason but where I have it now seems to be working, at least I think so. Any suggestions or comments about this temporary setup would be appreciated.

I did write to Egan about getting a replacement kit for the Red H Field but he replied that they no longer have it in stock. So, if this board is gone I hope that there might be a replacement to be found somewhere out there.

Thanks again for any suggestions or comments on my issue on this subject.

Regards.

--Stan Y.
  Maui, Hawaii
 
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 08:49:04 AM »
Stan,

Sorry about your bad luck on this.

I looked and I do not have any spare RED amplifier parts.

I am not sure what you did to clean the board, but with the presence of moisture and voltage, there are probably dendrites shorting things out. If you haven't done so already, maybe some "Flux Off" with the brush and a thorough scrubbing of all possible PCB and connector areas might help. You also might need a slightly more aggressive "bake out", but not too hot.

I dunked my cell phone and got it working again with baking at 50C, but alas it failed again after a few days. This was in a controlled temperature chamber at work. I couldn't get at the boards to scrub as mentioned above.

Hopefully, someone will have an extra H-field board. Good luck.

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 12:21:05 PM »
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the reply and suggestions.  I think I got the board pretty much cleaned up. So far the only thing on the board that is not working is the reset button.  I don't think that won't matter as I think it is there for testing only.

I have been keeping the board over my weather computer where it is warmer than room temps and it has been drying up pretty well for about a week now.

I hope that this board is still working when I can find the time to put it back together, if I cannot find a replacement, I will have to contend with the E Field system only.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
  Maui, Hawaii
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 12:46:09 PM »
Stan, I suspect that EGON has some reserve RED components for just such cases, should you actually need something...Especially since RED is NOT obsolete,...  .However, it might be an 'assemble it" kit... remember RED had to be constructed... unlike BLUE.  The 'reset' switch and 'gain' pot on the amplifier board aren't used unless you've selected 'enable potentiometer' on the main control settings or testing the board... they are pretty much 'standard' components, however. if I were concerned about possible contamination of them, I'd remove them and discard, and clean the board well...  I'd be more concerned about the ATmega8  IC socket developing contamination at one point... I'd probably either obtain a replacement locally, or remoe it and cleanup the ATmega8 and solder it directly, perhaps, if I developed issues later on. the RJ45 connector, cable and Jack and USB jack could also corrode, if they haven't already. Keep an eye on 'em and the E coax & connectors..
Cheer1
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 12:47:55 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 01:12:59 AM »
Hi Cutty,

Thanks for your reply and suggestions.

I did write to Egon and he replied and mentioned that they don't have any Red H field amplifiers any more.

Okay on removing the reset button and potentiometer that might not be needed and might cause issues later.

The IC socket seems to be good as far that I can see with no corrosion in or around it.  I removed the IC and the pins looked clean.

The RJ45 socket and the cable connector looks clean as well.

I think that I have cleaned up the circuit board as much as I could without damaging other components.

Will see after I get it all back together one of these days when time permits.

Thanks again for your support with this project.

If it does not work, I hope that someone out there might have one that might be available.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
  Maui, Hawaii
 
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
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Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 10:26:03 AM »
Stan,

I sent you a PM.

Joe
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Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 12:17:44 PM »
Hi Joe,

I sent you an email to see what you have available.

Thank you for your reply and your support with this project.

I hope that all will work out.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
  Maui, Hawaii
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
Weather Display 10.37s Build 42
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Offline Phil23

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 07:10:11 PM »

The IC socket seems to be good as far that I can see with no corrosion in or around it.  I removed the IC and the pins looked clean.


I'd suspect one of the best places for corrosion shorts may actually be under the IC socket(s), where pins & tracks are close but not visible.
The ideal place for moisture to take a long time to dry out.

Next could be removing the sockets & cleaning under there before replacing them.

The sockets should be easy to remove if you first destroy the plastic with some small sharp side cutters.
Once the plastic's all gone, it's easy to remove the pins one by one without risk of damaging the board.

Cheers.

Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2017, 03:35:47 AM »
Hi Phil23,

Thanks for the suggestion.  I think that the IC socket might be good as I pulled the IC out and had it out and kept the board in a warm and ventilated spot over my weather computer for about a week.

When I have the time to put it all back together with the hope that the board will be working properly.  It might be a miracle if it does.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
   Maui, Hawaii
 
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
Weather Display 10.37s Build 42
WDL 6.05
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Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 03:25:53 PM »
Hi All,

Update on this subject.

The amplifier board seems to be okay but the red LED light goes very dim after a few hours for some reason and the board goes unstable when I connected it to the system controller. Green light comes on after 4 blinks of the amber LEDs. Seems to function until the red LED goes almost out. Then it becomes unstable.

Anyone know where I can get a schematic for this board?  Might be helpful to trouble shoot this board to make it function.

It seems so far, I am unable to locate someone who might have a spare board that is willing sell or a donation. It seems that there are many off line stations in the US that might be a resource to find some parts for the red system.

At least my E-Field antenna system is running most of the time.

Any suggestion or recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

Have a great Holiday Season to all and be safe while travelling.

Best regards,

--Stan Y.
  Maui, Hawaii
 
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
Weather Display 10.37s Build 42
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 08:59:28 AM »
Apparently they have removed the RED info from Blitzortung.org.

When I sent this to the PDF printer, it left a blank page so the schematic is on pg 2. The PCB is on the 3rd page.

Greg H.






Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 11:06:11 AM »
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the reply and will take a look at the schematics for this board and see why the red LED light goes out or gets very dim after a few minutes being on. Might be a capacitor that is leaking or the whole board is really damaged due to the swim in the water.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
   Maui, Hawaii
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
Weather Display 10.37s Build 42
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 11:15:23 AM »
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the reply and will take a look at the schematics for this board and see why the red LED light goes out or gets very dim after a few minutes being on. Might be a capacitor that is leaking or the whole board is really damaged due to the swim in the water.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
   Maui, Hawaii

Is the 5V supply stable (and about 5V) at the amplifier board when this dimming happening? If the 5V is OK, I wonder if water wicked up into the resistor network RN1. That red LED
circuit is pretty simple, if it isn't the 5V supply, there is something wrong with either the 1K dropping resistor in the network or the LED itself.

Greg H.




Blitzortung Stations 668, 706 - CWOP CW4114 -  CoCoRaHS MI-PI-1

Offline Silversword

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Re: Help with Red H Field Amplifier
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 11:55:56 AM »
Hi Greg,

Yep, that red LED circuit should be a simple one to solve.  The 5V is pretty stable as the amber lights light up normally.  When the red LED goes dim and when it is connected to to the controller it goes unstable for some reason.  When I just use the mini USB connector for the power source, I can turn the pot to make the amber LED go through its routine. Also when the board is connected to the controller the green LED lights up. So me thinks that something else is not doing its thing correctly.

Thanks for the suggestions into looking at your suggestions.  Hope something can be found.

Regards,

--Stan Y.
   Maui, Hawaii
Stan Y. - KH6HHG - Maui, Hawaii --- Blitzortung ID: 993 --- FlightRadar24 ID: F-PHOG1
Weather Display 10.37s Build 42
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