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LtKernelPanic 07-13-2011 05:04 AM

I shall name it Phoenix -or- It lives! (was: My Argon just went bang... )
I don't know whether laugh, cry, or hurl. Yesterday I got the Argon head I bought from daguin and today the PSU arrived. Hooked everything up and it worked beautifully for the 45 minutes I ran it - mostly at idle although i couldn't resist going up to the full 10A for 30 seconds or so to see it's full glory. After that I ran it at idle power for a few more minutes then turned the discharge off and left the fan running until I no longer felt warm air coming from it.

A few hours later I decide to take some pics, plug it in, set it to idle, turn the tube current on, turn the key and enjoy the teal beam after the delay circuit does its thing. Before going to grab my camera I slightly move the head so i can get a better angle for the pics and as soon as I turn my back there's a loud *BANG* that scared the hell out of me. I turned around and yanked the cord. After calming down somewhat I opened the head and couldn't see any damage to the tube or the circuitry. I closed it up and plugged everything back in but the power supply appears dead. No lights at all not even the power indicator. I'm hoping that maybe something in the PSU blew and the head is fine. I took a couples out of the PSU cover so I could peek in but I really couldn't see anything. I'm going to let it sit overnight and let the caps discharge before opening it completely.

Here's a few pics of the head.
2011-07-12_10-16-40pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr
2011-07-12_10-16-50pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr
2011-07-12_10-17-10pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

I don't see any damage but I don't know exactly what I'm looking for.

LaZeRz 07-13-2011 05:49 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Hopefully you get that thing running again.

Could you smell anything after you heard the bang?

If something in the driver exploded it usually will give out a foul odor

Things 07-13-2011 06:00 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
The bang could have been many things. Unfortunately, your hope for it being the PSU is probably more trouble to fix than getting a new tube for the thing. The power supplies are extremely complicated and compact.

The bang could have been:

A wire shorting out
The tube cracking
A capacitor exploding, or pretty much any component in the power supply for that matter.

Look around components and stuff for black marks. If the PSU doesn't turn on, theres a good chance the problem is with it and not the head. Remove the cover (After leaving it unplugged for at least 15 mins), and look around for any obvious problems.

Finding a dead component is usually easy compared to finding the actual problem. I'd have a look around in the head, and make sure no wires are shorting out to anything else (Anode lead particularly).

Although unlikely, fuses can physically explode, and that would be the best case scenario, but it's more likely you blew up a component or 2 in the PSU which took out it's main fuse.

I can't really help you much more from my computer chair, but start by opening the PSU up (And checking caps for any major voltages before you handle the PCB's), and check for physically damaged components, burn marks etc.

Is it possible that when you moved the head, you shorted out a wire?

I'd find it kind of unlikely the tube would have cracked, they aren't under much pressure or vacuum AFAIK so would have resulted in more of a soft crack than a loud bang.


Don't Laze Me Bro 07-13-2011 06:06 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Well shit man... thats certainly not good. An explosion could be a cap blowing up, you should be able to see that (luckily) Talking to some of my pals on laserchat, if its the PSU you are in for a LOT of trouble :( Be sure to get a few pics of the PSU guts too.

LaZeRz you were reported for SPAM! Double post :tsk:



LaZeRz 07-13-2011 07:15 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Haha, my iPod tends to like spamming :p

Everytime I post something it posts it twice

Hopefully it's just a cap or fuse, nothing too serious

If a power surge occurrd, it could have blown caps or anything else in the PSU

Don't Laze Me Bro 07-13-2011 08:07 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
OP could you get me a pic of your PSU with its case on and all? Thanks,


Things 07-13-2011 08:37 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...

Originally Posted by LaZeRz (Post 937147)

If a power surge occurrd, it could have blown caps or anything else in the PSU

If such a significant power surge happened, every other piece of equipment in his house would have exploded as well.

He mentioned it happened after he moved the head, it seems to me like maybe moving it caused a wire to come loose and short in the argon head, in which case fixing it is gonna be damn difficult.

LtKernelPanic 07-13-2011 11:28 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Yeah I think something shorted. I moved the head barely an inch so the beam was centered in the doorway then I moved the umbilical sligthly since its weight was turning the head. The bang was shortly after. If one ting is trashed I hope it's the PSU since those can be picked up for less than $100. I unplugged the PSU before writing the OP so hopefully the caps will be discharged when I get off work this afternoon. I'll take pics of course.

I couldn't smell anything either but the more I thought about it it sounded like when three caps on an old PC's mobo popped last fall just a helluva lot louder. I guess one good sign is I gently tipped the head forward then back and I didn't hear any debris moving so hopefully it's intact still.

Oh well off to work.

BShanahan14rulz 07-13-2011 02:49 PM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Stupid question, but did you check the circuit breakers in your house? Here's hoping that's what the "bang" was:banghead:

daguin 07-13-2011 03:41 PM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Well, CRAP!

Keep me appraised of the situation :(

You are already getting the same advice I could give

I do have an extra of the "gold" PSU's on hand.

I could send that to try if nothing becomes apparent.


james1095 07-13-2011 07:28 PM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
Open up the PSU and have a look, that's where I would guess the bang came from. I've had power transistors and diodes violently explode when something shorted, even had the flying shrapnel draw blood from my hand on one occasion. If it's a switching power supply those sometimes fail for no apparent reason and can be quite spectacular.

heruursciences 07-13-2011 10:48 PM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
99% sure the trigger board discharged to ground, likely in the anode heatsink shroud area. You have a 10% chance that it only blew a fuse, and a 90% chance the FET's blew up. If it was a capacitor that blew you would smell it with a huge cloud of very sickly sweet smoke billowing out the PSU. Thankfully the power supplies are not too expensive anymore.

TheTeslaWarrior 07-13-2011 11:00 PM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
it could be the umbilical. sometimes cords are run past what they should be and the insulation is compromised. I've had wires explode without any visible damage until you cut away the outer rubber(granted, they had a bit more than 10A running through them). it is a very long shot and it sounds more like a capacitor or transistor. it may not be worth trying unless there is no other possible solution.

jcranmer 07-13-2011 11:08 PM

Sure sounds like a cap to me. However if you've ever blown a cap before you will know what it is instantly. The smell is unique.

LtKernelPanic 07-13-2011 11:21 PM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
I just opened it up and probed the fuses. One showed O ohms resistance the other OL. That means it may just be the fuse. Nothing else seems to be damaged. The fuses it uses are those fast blow ceramic ones so maybe that's what I heard pop.....

Fuse #1 is good (it actually showed 0.000 when I used the standard probes)
2011-07-13_05-57-36pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

Fuse #2 is blown!
2011-07-13_05-54-30pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

Time to head to rat shack after dinner. A 25A ceramic fuse popping would likely be quite loud. Could it be that simple?

Crap. checked their website and they only have 20A 250V fuses. Looks like like I'll have to order them from digikey. It says 25A 250V 314 with an F stamped on the end which if I'm reading it right is a 25A 250V fast acting series 314 ceramic fuse.

Cyparagon 07-14-2011 02:42 AM

Re: My Argon just went bang...
10 for $4 shipped on ebay. Or you can probably get away with 20A. I don't think you'll get anywhere near 20A anyway.

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