Ever turn on an amplifier for the first time and have it blow up in your face? - diyAudio
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Old 12th July 2014, 05:39 AM   #1
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Default Ever turn on an amplifier for the first time and have it blow up in your face?

Yes, of course I use fuses in all my designs, but I always have this fear the first time I turn on an amp for the first time.

I have had fuses immediately blow, and smoke, and for one design a diode blow up immediately after turn on.

Also had caps blow up from ripple current after a few minutes.

Share your stories.
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Old 12th July 2014, 06:14 AM   #2
Mooly is online now Mooly  United Kingdom
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When I was less experienced, yes, disasters happened. With experience and also working as a repair tech, I developed techniques for ensuring this didn't happen. The light bulb tester is as good a safeguard as any when first powering up a new design, and its use goes way back, long before the days of the interweb and forums. Its an old old technique, and still one of the best.

The unexpected is always just around the corner though
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Old 12th July 2014, 06:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
When I was less experienced, yes, disasters happened.
C'mon man, share your stories
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Old 12th July 2014, 07:14 AM   #4
djk is online now djk
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+1 for the lightbulb.
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Old 12th July 2014, 07:57 AM   #5
Mooly is online now Mooly  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Fusion916 View Post
C'mon man, share your stories
Well tbh, all the really spectacular blow ups and so on were mostly configured as such on purpose (when its the day job and you are in a workshop you need a little light entertainment). And some were absolutely spectacular, we used to take cover in a small room adjoining the workshop

The home diy stuff, well I was a quick learner and soon realised that a regulated current limited supply was the first thing I needed and so it became one of my first proper projects. I've had amps that were unstable and started to overheat and self destruct in the early days. I never had much luck with the "chip amps" of the day, the TDA2030 and so on. Had those explode on me
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Old 12th July 2014, 10:25 AM   #6
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I had popped the tops on a few LM324's and TL074's a few times!!!

And I definitely had a few FET's that nearly blinded me with flying Shrapnel !!!!

Trying to make LED's out of glass rectifier diodes is always fun.......You know...They really do glow on the inside when enough current runs through them!!!

He,he,he,he !!!


jer

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 12th July 2014 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 12th July 2014, 10:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion916 View Post
Yes, of course I use fuses in all my designs, but I always have this fear the first time I turn on an amp for the first time.

I have had fuses immediately blow, and smoke, and for one design a diode blow up immediately after turn on.

Also had caps blow up from ripple current after a few minutes.

Share your stories.

Never Use Fuses in a first time test mode.

Instead of fuses you can use lamps. You can not load the amp but you can measure the out put and adjust as much as you like. When finished than replace the lamp for fuses.
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Old 12th July 2014, 11:30 AM   #8
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I've never seen an op-amp blow its top, what were you doing to them ?
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Old 12th July 2014, 12:26 PM   #9
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Lamp limiter is the answer.
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Old 12th July 2014, 01:41 PM   #10
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Have used lamp limiters since, but in my early days (think early 70's) when those wonderful "RCA 70W" amps appeared, all my friends had them blow in their faces (now I know they were improperly grounded or wired and oscillated madly) and wondered why mine didnīt.

My "secret trick" was to power them for the first time with 470r or 1K resistors in series with +/-42V rails, so it gave me time to experiment with layout or grounding until I got it right, by trial and error.

It was common to have those resistors smoke but no real damage was done.

Later, of course, I slowly found the "good" way to build them *and* started using a special , lamp limited outlet in my bench, but those early rail resistors certainly saved my bacon many times.
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