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ultimatekaiser

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Heat is definitely the bane of electronics in general. I was personally thought that as long as the cap was kept at a reasonable temperature it shouldn’t matter, but I’ve never taken the time to analyze and either prove or disprove it from a leakiness/performance standpoint.
 
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paul1598419

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Most capacitors have an unlimited shelf life, but electrolytics contain electrolytes and they dry out over time.
 

ultimatekaiser

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not entirely true. but definitely one of the worst offenders. Electrolytics, wax, and paper are generally the worst in terms of lifetime and performance. I like ceramic and poly caps in lots of cases where I can afford them. Electrolytics have their uses but in many cases I prefer poly caps. they are far more stable and tolerant for a given value and they store basically indefinitely. :)
 

paul1598419

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I didn't think they even made waxed paper condensers any longer. Last time I saw one it was in an ancient AM radio. Mylar and tantalum caps are among my favorites, but there are times when you just have to have an electrolytic.
 
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ultimatekaiser

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Yeah I don’t think they make them anymore. Any old stuff that I have that has them in it, I routinely have to go through and remove them. They’re always terrible...

There are some things that electrolytics serve particularly good for. I agree that Tantalums are great. We actually just replaced some tantalums and my friend’s old 465 oscilloscope. He had two that were a dead short

But now we’re getting off topic
 
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n2stuff

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I haven't fired this beast up for about a year. Thought y'all might enjoy. Still pumping out just shy of 2.5W at full current.
WOW, what a beast. I haven't touched mine in over a year but it only has less than 100 hours on the clock. I know I should still run her once in a while so the electronics and tube stay healthy. Mines is just a little thing next to yours @ about 165mW at 10 amps but she makes 6 lines at only a few amps.
 

paul1598419

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Nice to see that thing lasing, Diz. It is air cooled, isn't it? These air cooled argons don't need to be used consistently like the bigger water cooled ones do. I thought mine needed to be run at least once a year, but since it doesn't have a reservoir it isn't necessary to run it at all. I do it every couple of years just to make sure it still works without issues, but it always does.
 

DJZ

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Nice to see that thing lasing, Diz. It is air cooled, isn't it? These air cooled argons don't need to be used consistently like the bigger water cooled ones do. I thought mine needed to be run at least once a year, but since it doesn't have a reservoir it isn't necessary to run it at all. I do it every couple of years just to make sure it still works without issues, but it always does.
This unit is indeed water cooled. 1.5 GPM. It’s a lexel 85. I think this one was built in the 80’s, I have another that was built in 1977. I suspect the tube was replaced at one point since it still works to this day! It sat in a barn for about 5 years before I acquired it. Got it cleaned up and it fired right up. I was surprised to find that the starter is a bd-10a coil built right into the head! I had not seen that before.
 

paul1598419

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Ah, my mistake. I have seen 2 and 3 watt argons that don't have reservoirs, so I assumed yours didn't either. Nice snag to get one out of a barn after sitting so long.
 

vk2fro

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I just changed out the fans on one of my ILT's (the single line) and it hasn't been run in over 3 months, so I'll couple it to a power supply tomorrow while my housemate is away and run her for a while. That lexel 85 looks SWEET DJZ - what does she pull from the wall? 2.5 watts - insane - my multiline would be a baby beside that.

I also need to bring the tunable out to play and run her for a few hours - the multiline only got run yesterday so it can stay on the shelf as it doesn't need a maintenance burn :)

Before the burns I'll fix up the power control unit so I can have much easier access to controlling power. This is the fancy 40 LED unit with indicators for all interlocks. I'll probably also pull out the meter and calibrate the power reading to match the multiline which is my most powerful ILT.
 
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H2Oxide

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Oh hey this thread's alive again.

I'm going to be away from home for several months at a time, what's the best thing I can do for my argons?
 

vk2fro

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just run em for a few hours when you get home. 6-7 amps for air cooled units is fine. As long as they're run once every 3 to 6 months, tubes that aren't high milage will light off first tick :)
 
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paul1598419

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Air cooled units don't need a maintenance burn as they don't have a reservoir that can leak out over time. You can run them if you like, but it isn't necessary.
 

vk2fro

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I always thought an air cooled like an ILT or ALC 60X need it or the tubes become hard to star as they go high pressure.

edit: ultimatekaiser, your a gold mine of information. I'll still be running mine today, if only to keep the eletrolytics happy, so a half hour should be plenty for that purpose.

My units have a pair of cute little gas ballasts in the side near the fans. They about the shape and size of a frankfurt hotdog.

One daft design flaw is if you are testing the tube with the cover off, the case interlock will trip; you can bypass the cover interlock by pulling it up. But if it lights off, your going to need to get the top cover on pretty quick for correct airflow, even though the fans on these don't start for over a minute after lasing starts. The design flaw is as you put the top cover on, the interlock is going to pass through the fault state, which will stop lasing. I guess for testing purposes you could rest the cover on top forward of the bypassed interlock so you can run the tube and any tests you might want to do.
 
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