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Old 25th Nov 2020, 8:39 pm   #1
Skylark UK
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Default Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

I have a Trio TS830S which has been in my loft since the late 1980s. Iíve recently connected it to mains power and a basic antenna and the receiver works well.

The transmitter employs a valve amplifier. My next step is to power this up and put a small amount of power into a dummy load.

Are there any special precautions or safeguards that should be taken to wake it up after 30+ year sleep?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 8:51 pm   #2
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Make sure - before trying to feed rf into an antenna - that your antenna is actually resonant at the necessary frequencies. Good to see you're using a dummy-load.

Some Japanese radios from that era had issues with the coupling-capacitors between the driver- and PA-stages. When [and it was a matter of when, not if] these went leaky/failed, they would put a few hundred volts onto the control-grids of the poor unfortunate 6146 PA valves, which then passed vastly-unnatural levels of standing-current.

Whether the 6146s failed first, so saving the power-transformer - or they struggled-on and the power-transformer was the first to go - was a lottery.

Changing a few -relatively- cheap parts before trying to drive it in anger could be a sensible pathto follow.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 12:36 am   #3
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Do you have a variac or similar which would allow the mains volts to be raised slowly? I have a TS-530 and I recall that the 400V HT (and doubler) is present even when the Rx is on.

There is a very active "kenwood-hybrid" group at https://groups.io/, the 830 is probably the main topic of conversation. There are a few "known issues" which arise as they age, but mostly those which you'd expect and easily dealt with.

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Old 26th Nov 2020, 9:36 am   #4
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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Originally Posted by Skylark UK View Post
I have a Trio TS830S which has been in my loft since the late 1980s. Iíve recently connected it to mains power and a basic antenna and the receiver works well.
I use a TS830S routinely on the air but always wind it up on a variac (2 secs 0-240V) to avoid the switch-on 'thump'. If you have connected to the mains and switched on without any smells, smoke or explosions, that indicates that the HT smoothing capacitors and other HV electrolytics are OK.

Make sure that you are familiar with adjusting drive and then tuning (dipping) and loading the PA output pi-tank. The 'Tune' position enables you to take your time on this operation - do not attempt on full-power CW. The RF speech processor is especially effective and the output audio quality can be monitored on headphones. Join the .io group as suggested elsewhere.

Peter G3PIJ
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 12:30 pm   #5
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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If you have connected to the mains and switched on without any smells, smoke or explosions, that indicates that the HT smoothing capacitors and other HV electrolytics are OK.

I would say that if doing this for the first time in 30 years, you need to be doing it very slowly and with great caution. You could well wind up a variac over say 5 - 10 minutes, observe nothing, and wrongly think its all fine. Half an hour later, an electrolytic could spew its guts out.

Generally when reforming old electrolytics I monitor the current they are taking (if its not obvious how to do that - we can discuss techniques). I don't let the current get much over 10mA per capacitor usually. If its say a 300V rail, then the power being dissipated by that 10mA is 3 watts. Whether that's too much heating power is hard to say - depends on the physical size of the electrolytic I guess. I have not had a problem though in following that limit in the past.

Obviously people get away with a fairly rapid switch-on, and not monitoring the capacitor leakage currents a lot of the time, and most people will risk it. Once you have had an electrolytic explode, and had to then clean up the mess, you tend to play on the careful side!

Richard
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 5:56 pm   #6
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Many thanks to you all, much appreciated. I've joined the kenwood-hybrid groups as suggested.

I don't have a variac but, gingerly, today I threw the switch to warm up the valves. I followed the tuning procedure to the letter and pleased to report that it loaded into a dummy load on all bands.

Next step is to load an antenna. I have the matching AT230. I plan to keep the output as low as possible. Any additional advice is most welcome.

David
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 12:21 pm   #7
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

That all sounds pretty good for something that's been in the loft for so long.

Among the know issues, 2 of them relate to the HT line. Firstly, there are a number of resistors of the old composite type and these tend to have gone to high value. These include the ones intended to blead the high voltage electrolytics on the HT line, so making them safe after switch off. Secondly, many people do decide to change those caps; doing both the caps and the resistors at the same time make sense.

Take a look at this https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...=Kenwood+TS520 and the follow up thread. All of the Kenwood/trio hybrids share many common features.

As yet, I've done nothing to my 530, other than fit an additional antenna input socket to allow the use of separate transmit and receive antennas at the same time (inverted V and magloop respectively).

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Old 27th Nov 2020, 2:26 pm   #8
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

I connected it to a home made half size G5RV, also unused for 30+ years, today and all seems fine. Loading the PA and minimising SWR through the AT230 was quite straightforward. First contact on 20m was into Russia, doesn't look as though much has changed

I'd be very interested to hear more about monitoring currents through the electrolytics, Richard?

Also, to help longevity, is it worth investing in a variac - any model / type suggestions to buy or avoid?

Thanks for the link to the 520 thread, Bazz.

Perhaps worth adding that I'm a retired mechanical engineer. I tried to resurrect my TS120V before this 830S. It had a couple of problems and after removing the covers I thought about "first do not harm" so I've taken it to a pro for repair.

First impressions, after such a long period of absence, is that the TS830S is a very nice piece of kit. I'm delighted that, so far, it seems to be working well.

Thanks to you all for being so helpful and welcoming.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 3:27 pm   #9
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Regarding the big electrolytics on the HT line, with the quality improvement in those components over the last 30 years, and the low price of replacements, it wouldn't make any sense in looking at the old ones; just leave them or get some good quality new ones, preferably from an established supplier. Vishay components from RS would be my go to place for both the 470k resistors and the capacitors. With the reduction in physical size, some people have fitted components of larger capacitance; I wonder how that impinges on diode ratings?? People seem to have gotten away with it.

Variacs, nice to have but have got a little pricey to buy. I only use mine on my 530 when it has been silent for at least a month or two.

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Old 27th Nov 2020, 8:07 pm   #10
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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Originally Posted by Bazz4CQJ View Post
Vishay components from RS would be my go to place for both the 470k resistors and the capacitors. With the reduction in physical size, some people have fitted components of larger capacitance ...
B
Make sure that the 470k resistors are each rated for 500 VDC or better. With regard to increasing the two series HV capacitors, the well-renowned Ken K4EAA at https://www.k4eaa.com/parts.htm suggests that 120uf 500WVDC electrolytics "... fit the existing mounting hardware perfectly, and the 20% increase in capacitance will provide higher power output". Like all things - don't overdo it!

Peter G3PIJ
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 12:23 pm   #11
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Yes, Ken's site is very informative. He passed away some months ago, but I believe that his family intend to continue to run the business, at least for while. Shipping costs tend to discourage any thought of buying from them.

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Old 28th Nov 2020, 1:11 pm   #12
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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Originally Posted by Skylark UK View Post

I'd be very interested to hear more about monitoring currents through the electrolytics, Richard?

It sounds like you have got well past the stage of powering up for the first time now, but I will tell you what I do just for completeness. Might help someone else.

Here's a very simple HT power supply schematic which will do for illustration purposes:

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The fact that your power supply will have different voltages, different values, may have a choke rather than resistor R1 is all irrelevant - the same basic architecture is common to virtually every HT power supply.

What I do is the break the connection to the reservoir capacitor, C1, and smoothing capacitor, C2. Then I reconnect them but with a temporary 1k0 resistor in series with each capacitor. That allows me a very simple way to monitor the current into each capacitor - by connecting a DVM across each 1k0 resistor. 1mA leakage current reads as 1V on a DVM.

If there are likely to be more electrolytics across the HT supply elsewhere in the unit, I may well disconnect the power supply from the rest of the system. Better safe than sorry!

I power the unit in question with a variac so I can bring up the voltage slowly, keeping a careful eye on the leakage current in these capacitors. Quite often, I get to something like 180V AC mains input, and the leakage in one of these capacitors has reached my limit (10mA or 10V on the DVM across the 1k0). At that point I walk away and leave it - and have a cup of tea. Or maybe coffee, lunch and tea, and go to bed and come back the next day. Some capacitors take a very long time to reform - but often patience means you can avoid having an explosion or feeling you must replace the component.

My general rule is not to accept any electrolytic with more 1mA long term leakage - though I will vary that figure depending on a) the size of the capacitor (big ones will stand more leakage), and b) how difficult its going to be to find a replacement!


Richard

P.S. Its quite possible to get away with just switching the unit on - as you apparently have. Trouble is that you never know whether you can get away with it or not - only time and usage of the unit will tell.......these capacitors give little warning that they are going to explode unless you keep a very watchful eye on their temperature and possible bulging as the gas pressure builds up - but it seems to me that all that is more faff than just doing what I set out above. Horses for courses of course!!
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 12:54 pm   #13
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

....... And, as for not having a variac,...... I have recently been in the same position, ( Yaesu FT101B in the loft since Feb, 1990!! ) I powered it up with a standard mains lampholder in series with the rig power lead, ran it for an hour or so with a 25watt mains bulb in,... then uprated the bulb to an 80 watt one for another hour or so, then took the lampholder out of circuit, and applied full power to the rig. ( Mind your fingers, mains voltages around!! ) Happy to say, no bangs, no escaping magic smoke, & all seems to be coming along, fine!!
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 1:24 pm   #14
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Way to go! FT101 - remember playing with one of those back in the early 70's at the local radio club.

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Old 15th Jan 2021, 5:03 pm   #15
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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....... And, as for not having a variac,...... I have recently been in the same position, ( Yaesu FT101B in the loft since Feb, 1990!! ) I powered it up with a standard mains lampholder in series with the rig power lead, ran it for an hour or so with a 25watt mains bulb in,... then uprated the bulb to an 80 watt one for another hour or so, then took the lampholder out of circuit, and applied full power to the rig. ( Mind your fingers, mains voltages around!! ) Happy to say, no bangs, no escaping magic smoke, & all seems to be coming along, fine!!
Really good to read. Nice radio.
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Old 16th Jan 2021, 8:31 am   #16
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little-Freddie View Post
....... And, as for not having a variac,...... I have recently been in the same position, ( Yaesu FT101B in the loft since Feb, 1990!! ) I powered it up with a standard mains lampholder in series with the rig power lead, ran it for an hour or so with a 25watt mains bulb in,... then uprated the bulb to an 80 watt one for another hour or so, then took the lampholder out of circuit, and applied full power to the rig. ( Mind your fingers, mains voltages around!! ) Happy to say, no bangs, no escaping magic smoke, & all seems to be coming along, fine!!
Really good to read. Nice radio.

Why, thank you, Sir!! Just retired, & refurbishing it is fun!!
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Old 16th Jan 2021, 8:39 am   #17
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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Why, thank you, Sir!! Just retired, & refurbishing it is fun!!
I retired 4 year ago......best career move I ever made

So many of my "toys" have been brought out of hibernation.

I'm currently enjoying CW and I've just purchased a paddle key and keyer (with grid lock for our valve rigs). Nothing wrong with my 1939 ex-MoD 8AMP Mk2 straight key but it's good to learn something new
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Old 16th Jan 2021, 12:59 pm   #18
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

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Next step is to load an antenna. I have the matching AT230.
The TS830 has a valve power amplifier with a 'pi network' output arrangement. This operates as a combined lowpass filter and impedance transformer.

Because it's all variable, there is the capacity to handle a moderate range of antenna impedances around the nominal 50 Ohms.

Think of the transmitter as having a built-in ATU, capable of handling moderately off-tune antennae. So you may not need to use the AT230.

The Japanese 'big three' manufacturers liked to have a matching ATU in their product line because they made good profit margins on them, and they extended the range of antennae impedances their transceivers could be used with. But the range they could tune was still limited, mostly to keep components small enough to fit into the elegant matching cabinet. Some people built or bought monster ATUs to get wider ranges of impedance matching.

However, using one with a valved transceiver is inconveniently involved. Done properly, it's a two-step process. You first connect your transceiver into a 50 Ohm dummy load and tune its pi tank (tune and load controls) to get it transmitting happily. Then you connect the antenna and ATU and tune that up so that the ATU metering shows it's presenting a reasonably close 50 Ohms to the transceiver.

You soon learn the value of noting the settings you need for your favourite frequencies.

So, unless your antenna is outside the comfort zone of your pi network, try the TS830 without the ATU. It's a lot less work!

David GM4ZNX
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Old 16th Jan 2021, 4:54 pm   #19
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark UK View Post
I connected it to a home made half size G5RV, also unused for 30+ years, today and all seems fine. Loading the PA and minimising SWR through the AT230 was quite straightforward. First contact on 20m was into Russia, doesn't look as though much has changed

I'd be very interested to hear more about monitoring currents through the electrolytics, Richard?

Also, to help longevity, is it worth investing in a variac - any model / type suggestions to buy or avoid?

Thanks for the link to the 520 thread, Bazz.

Perhaps worth adding that I'm a retired mechanical engineer. I tried to resurrect my TS120V before this 830S. It had a couple of problems and after removing the covers I thought about "first do not harm" so I've taken it to a pro for repair.

First impressions, after such a long period of absence, is that the TS830S is a very nice piece of kit. I'm delighted that, so far, it seems to be working well.

Thanks to you all for being so helpful and welcoming.
Welcome back to the hobby, quick question, have you revalidated your licence with Ofcom?, has to be done every 5 years
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 9:52 am   #20
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Default Re: Trio TS830S. First power after 30yr hibernation. Any safeguards/precautions?

..... " have you revalidated your licence with Ofcom?, has to be done every 5 years " Is that correct 10 years rings a bell with me, I do visit the Ofcom site every 3 or 4 years, mind......
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