27 February, 2016
Neither has the BAND button escaped this. Judging from the size of the teeth marks it is perhaps not so hard to guess who did this.
This is our club station's K3 and off weekends the only inhabitants there are mice, who seem to have taken their fancy on the soft buttons of the K3. They let every other piece of equipment alone, such as the Yaesu FT-1000MP, so there is definitely something special about the K3. I would guess that this was not part of the original Elecraft design specifications for these buttons.
The remedy is shown here: A custom-designed acrylic cover that is fitted on the K3 whenever it is not in use.
This article originally appeared on the LA3ZA Radio & Electronics blog.
20 February, 2016
|0.33 uF X2 capacitors which measured only |
0.097, 0.1, and 0.118 uF.
The image shows three such capacitors as I were measuring them. They came from three malfunctioning devices in my home: two wall-mounted thermostats for floor heating and a remote controlled mains switch.
Their power supplies were designed with a capacitor of 330 nF in series with a bridge rectifier which supplies the low voltage DC. This value is typical, it seems, for 230 Vac, 50 Hz circuits that are designed for about 20 mA. The value will be higher for an equivalent 115 Vac, 60 Hz circuit.
The malfunctioning happened because the value of the capacitor in my cases was reduced to 1/3 and less of the nominal value. These capacitors are all marked X2 and a voltage of 275 Vac.
The X2 means that they are safety capacitors which will not fail by short-circuiting as this would be a fire hazard in this circuit. They have self-healing properties and that means that they fail by "burning away" on their own foil, leading to a reduction in capacitance and eventually failure of the circuit as the power supply cannot supply the required current any more. They should never be replaced by anything but X2 capacitors with the same or higher voltage rating.
Go to the Wikipedia page Capacitive power supply for more description of this circuit.
By the way, the devices which these capacitor came from were 15 year old Microtemp MTN-1991 thermostats and a 20 years old Nobø System 500 RCE 512 remote receiver. They now all work again thanks to the fitting of new 0.33 uF capacitors. And all of them are safety capacitors of type X2 of course - no gambling with safety here.