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Old 07-14-2011, 02:53 AM #17
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang...

I'm sure you know this already, but the root cause may not be the fuse. It's bad so it's the best place to start. Hopefully thats all it is, but I'd be suprised if that's all it is.

As already said I'd try a 20amp first. The worst it will do is blow. As long as you go lower and not higher you will be ok.



Last edited by jcranmer; 07-14-2011 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:41 AM #18
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang...

I was wondering if a 20 would work. I think I will swing by and get a package of them since they're only 2 bucks for 2 or 3 and see if that is really all that's wrong. If all I needed was a fuse then I'll order some 25A and replace it just to be safe. If that was the fuse that made the pop I'm impressed because it sounded like a large balloon popping.

Dave-

I meant to say this in my previous post thank you very much for the offer to lend me a working PSU for testing if needed. I hope it's not needed but I'll find out tomorrow if I can revive mine. I also need to inspect where the umbilical enters the head because it was right after I moved that it popped.

edit: Well I found the cause and I think I may have caught a huge break.

I was inspecting the umbilical and noticed the cable clamp ring was loose and on a hunch moved the umbilical and sure enough the inside clamp moved. Upon closer inspection sure enough there's a scorch mark on one of the screws that secures the clamp to the umbilical. So here's what I've figured what happened. Everything was fine until I moved the umbilical which cause the loose clamp to touch the nearby connection. Now the $64,000 was did the short go directly to ground and blow the fuse like it's supposed to or did it do other damage as well? I think it did what it's supposed to because when operating at 110/120 the hot leg is the left one and tracing the connection from the plug it leads to the fuse that was blown. Guess I'll find out for sure tomorrow. You may have to look at the full sized version on Flickr since it's hard to see in this picture but you can see part of the mark it left near the screw. I'm not sure what those two yellow wires connect to or the voltages involved but it was enough to leave a decent scorch behind. Obviously I'll be repositioning and trying to insulate that clamp before attempting to fire it up again.



2011-07-13_11-43-55pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:45 PM #19
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

If it was the hot leg of AC to ground, you will just need to replace the main fuse.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:29 PM #20
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

I'm praying that's all I need to do. This is my first Argon so I don't know what that yellow wire that it shorted to is for (other than either VDC to/from the tube) but if that was the arc and fuse I heard man that was loud. I just hope the short didn't damage any damage to other components. I'm cautiously optimistic that it didn't since it shorted to the cable clamp which is directly connected to ground. I'll know in a couple hours when I get a new fuse for it and reassemble the 900 screws I had to remove to get the cover off.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:09 PM #21
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

The yellow wire looks like it connects to one side of the filament which is also the cathode of the tube. Without seeing a schematic of the power supply there's no way to know what damage it may have done, but I would test any power transistors in the PSU to see if they shorted. Fuses are rarely fast enough to protect power semiconductors from catastrophic failures.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:10 PM #22
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

Hmm. I hate to ask this but how would I go about testing them? I've never done something like that before.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:43 PM #23
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

I don't want to sound snarky, but google it. Look for testing transistors with a multimeter. If you have a diode test function that works perfectly. Bipolar transistors look like two diodes with the cathodes both on the Base pin (NPN) or the anodes on base (PNP). Mosfets are different, but no two pins should ever appear shorted.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:01 PM #24
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

No snarkyness taken. You're right; I should have. I thought that's what I'd have to do. Even without this problem it's been one helluva week.

update:

Appears the PSU is toast. Picked up some replacement fuses and it won't power on. Looks like it's time to PM daguin and see if I can borrow his extra PSU to test the head with.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:37 AM #25
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

Did you make sure you didn't trip any sort of GFI? If the terminal shorted to ground, it should have popped a GFI as well.

Also, these power supplies tend to have a LOT of fuses in them, make sure you check every one and look for hidden ones also.

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Old 07-15-2011, 10:07 PM #26
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

Depends where you are. Here in the US, you would only find GFCI breakers protecting receptacles located outdoors, in bathrooms, or in more modern homes kitchens and other places near water sources. Bedrooms in new houses have to be protected by arc fault breakers but most built more than a few years ago lack those.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:30 PM #27
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

Nothing tripped. I was running it in the laundry room since the washer has a dedicated 20A outlet attached right to the breaker box. I checked it and it didn't trip. Oh well daguin is going to send me another PSU next week so I can test the head. I might tear the PSU down and see if I can find the failed component just for the hell of it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:56 AM #28
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

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Originally Posted by james1095 View Post
Depends where you are. Here in the US, you would only find GFCI breakers protecting receptacles located outdoors, in bathrooms, or in more modern homes kitchens and other places near water sources. Bedrooms in new houses have to be protected by arc fault breakers but most built more than a few years ago lack those.
Interesting, here in Aus the whole house is legally required to be GFCI protected. Although usually it's just 1 main switch in your breaker box, so if anything trips, your whole house looses power.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:46 AM #29
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

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Originally Posted by james1095 View Post
The yellow wire looks like it connects to one side of the filament which is also the cathode of the tube. Without seeing a schematic of the power supply there's no way to know what damage it may have done, but I would test any power transistors in the PSU to see if they shorted. Fuses are rarely fast enough to protect power semiconductors from catastrophic failures.

The yellow lead is for one leg of the cathode filament. Operates at ~25A 2.6VAC.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:04 AM #30
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Default Re: My Argon just went bang... update: reason discovered

So around 4 pm local time my door bell rings and it's the poor mail lady dropping off a box that felt like it was full of lead. The shipping label said 26 pounds (12.4kg)! Inside was the PS I got from daguin to replace the one that went *BANG!* two weeks ago.

After debating and ultimately deciding against the need to borrow my brother's engine hoist to get it on top of the dryer near a dedicated 20A outlet I was ready to test it out.

Plugged it in and the PS springs to life. No shipping damage. Success #1!

Attached remote interface to the PS and powered it up again and it powered on as well. I wasn't sure if it was damaged in the short or not. Success #2!

Next I took about three or four layers of 600v rated electrical tape and made a insulator to keep the cathode from shorting to ground and taking out another supply. I have to admit my heart was starting to race a bit as I attached the umbilical to the PS. As soon as I plugged the PS back in I get the next good sign as the green interlock light came right on. Finally the moment of truth. I take a deep breath and turn the key. I'll know within 45 seconds if the tube is still good.

Nothing.



I reach over to turn the key off and I see it -- Tube Current: off.

DOH!

Fifteen seconds after pressing the button I hear the ignitor click and once again there's a beam of Argon goodness.






2011-07-25_09-58-14pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

5 lines at idle. I'm not sure what WLs those are off the top of my head but the violet is much deeper in person.


2011-07-25_10-01-01pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

A somewhat washed out pic of 6 of the 7 lines it produces at full power. To the left you can see part of that amazing ML argon beam! I think the seventh is missing because I didn't realize until after I took the pics I was using a DVD instead of a CD. With a CD i was able to get 7 lines.


2011-07-25_10-03-57pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

A better shot of the lines on the ceiling.


2011-07-25_10-03-37pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

I noticed this cool diffraction a few feet away from the previous.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:10 AM #31
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Default Re: I shall name it Phoenix -or- It lives! (was: My Argon just went bang... )

Grats on your argon working again
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:52 AM #32
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Default Re: I shall name it Phoenix -or- It lives! (was: My Argon just went bang... )



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