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Old 20th Mar 2012, 4:31 pm   #22
Roy
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Posts: 253
Default Re: Auroras at Crowthorne Tubes

Mine was the one with the intermittent "F" connector. It was one of the very first to be shipped in May 2006 (apart from Jeffrey's evaluation units). I connected it up to a dual-standard TV which hadn't seen a VHF signal since 1985, but I couldn't get a peep out of it! The fault cleared after a bit of fiddling with the cables, and didn't return for some years.

Being one of the early ones, the "sleep" feature kept catching me out, so Jeffrey very kindly updated the firmware, to make the feature optional. The unit survived the journey to and from North London without the fault putting in an appearance.

It was only a few months ago that the fault returned, and stayed just long enough for me to measure a dead short at the RF output. As soon as I had measured the short, it was gone. It continued to come and go, and the unit was becoming unusable, so something had to be done.

With Darryl's guidance, I removed the connector from the board (a difficult job involving two soldering irons and a lot of bad language) and dismantled it to find the swarf that had caused all the grief.

I should mention that Darryl had offered to replace the unit, despite it being over 5 years old, so I did have that option if my attempt at repair had failed.

I was pleased to find the fault at last, but that connector was a pig to remove, and I wouldn't want to have to do another. The chances of this happening to any other Aurora are slim indeed, so I don't think we need to worry.

The attached photo shows the connector, with the threaded barrel removed. The swarf can be seen as a thin dark line against the translucent insulation. It had been resting against the centre pin, making and breaking contact at random.

Roy
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