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 Post subject: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 3:01 am 
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I see this referred to in various thread and was wondering what it means. Is it a matter of leaving the radio powered up for several hours after a re-cap ? What is the purpose? Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 3:18 am 
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The term "burn-in" can apply to operating a piece of equipment for an extended period after it has been serviced or modified.

Burn- in doesn't necessarily apply just to equipment that's been recapped.

The intent is to operate the equipment long enough to reveal any problems or instability that may still exist. It can also allow all components to stabilize long enough to permit any final calibrations or alignment.

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 3:22 am 
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Some folks will let a radio play for 24 hours or more as a stress test before sending the radio back to their customer or putting it on display. The idea is to give any weak or intermittent components or poor wiring a chance to fail or act up with the radio and transformer at maximum heat. They aren't burning in any caps (which is nonsense) but they are preventing call backs or rework by ensuring the radio can play long term rather than trust just a brief test on the bench.


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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 3:36 am 
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Burn in tests on newly manufactured equipment of all types are also common in industry,
but the reasons are the same.

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 3:46 am 
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Burn-in is more so to find a original part that may fail vs a new cap...

I can guarantee new consumer electronics isn't burned in, at least not more than long enough to verify it's working...


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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 3:52 am 
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Ok Thanks guys! I have most often seen the term used for capacitors so, I had to ask. Extended testing does make sense when doing repairs.

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 4:06 am 
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Extended testing for reliability is fine, and a good thing to do.

There is no such thing as burning in capacitors, and anyone who suggests there is has no understanding of even the most basic electronic theory. They are blowing smoke. You shouldn't believe even 10% of what you see on some internet sites.

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 4:56 am 
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Having done enough solid-state and tube repair when employed full-time in broadcast, burn in was running a completed project in a dummy circuit for a day or two to make sure it was as OK as could be before putting it back on the air.

Most important gear was redundant, so time for such work was usually available.

I never had a cap fail in burn in, but plenty died upon power-up.

DDG

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 5:06 am 
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Mr. Detrola wrote:
Extended testing for reliability is fine, and a good thing to do.

There is no such thing as burning in capacitors, and anyone who suggests there is has no understanding of even the most basic electronic theory. They are blowing smoke. You shouldn't believe even 10% of what you see on some internet sites.


Yes, Dennis has it 100% correct. However don't try telling an Audiophile.. aka Audiophool that he doesn't need to "Burn In" his new capacitors. Those guys hear stuff that us mere mortals don't even know they exist!!
John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 6:45 am 
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my burn in period after a restore is playing a set for 8-10 hours per day for about a week or so.

in the last week during the burn in period of three emerson 301's, one Delco 1X2, one emerson 543, and one grantline/Belmont 502 has weeded out:

three 50L6 tubes that ran away with grid leak / cathode-heater shorts

three 12SQ7 tubes that fell way off in emission

two 12SK7 tubes that did the same thing

one 35Z5 that became buzzy and noisy

one 35Z5 that no longer gives 115v DC output and decided to give 82 vdc

every tube tested great on my stingy tube tester with load and voltage.

the burn in period is a very important because it is a step in the restoration process that can weed out future problems (and may be a step that's overlooked ?).

the burn in period also allows everything to settle in before final alignment.

that's my method and it has worked extremely well.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 1:25 pm 
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100% ditto to Steve's comments above.

Think about this. I restore Joe public's radio. When done I put it into a box and return it to him. With a years warranty for anything that goes wrong with the radio. Customer either has to return the radio to me or if I determine that the problem is a tube then I have to ship off a whole tube set with instructions for the customer to put in this new set of tubes. And then see what happens. So in Steve's illustration above I am out 3 of 4 full sets of tubes. Plus the postage to ship the tubes to the customer. Customer although we solve the problems still isn't real happy that he had to take the radio apart and swap tubes in it. Or if something that can't be solved by tube replacements then the chassis has to be shipped back to me. I fix it again. I spend my money to ship it back and customer is sort of mildly happy.

After well in excess of 2500 radios we have restored I can say that only 4 chassis had to be returned for warranty work. And I think I have only sent out maybe 6 or 7 sets of tubes. I do the same with my own radios in our collections. I don't want to waste my time going back and reworking a radio the second time around.

John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 2:58 pm 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:
my burn in period after a restore is playing a set for 8-10 hours per day for about a week or so.

in the last week during the burn in period of three emerson 301's, one Delco 1X2, one emerson 543, and one grantline/Belmont 502 has weeded out:

three 50L6 tubes that ran away with grid leak / cathode-heater shorts

three 12SQ7 tubes that fell way off in emission

two 12SK7 tubes that did the same thing

one 35Z5 that became buzzy and noisy

one 35Z5 that no longer gives 115v DC output and decided to give 82 vdc

every tube tested great on my stingy tube tester with load and voltage.

the burn in period is a very important because it is a step in the restoration process that can weed out future problems (and may be a step that's overlooked ?).

the burn in period also allows everything to settle in before final alignment.

that's my method and it has worked extremely well.

steve


Yikes! That's a helluva fail rate! I like to burn in my restorations for several hours as well, but haven't noticed such a high tube fail rate. During your burn-in, do you notice degradation in the radio's performance, or do you routinely re-test the tubes after the burn-in period? I have, on occasion, had degradation of performance and failures during burn-in, but not to the same degree.


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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 4:21 pm 
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yes, this was an unusual fallout. however, it consisted of 6 radios and 30 tubes. the tubes are all used that were in the set originally but tested good right before the restoration.

i don't fix for others, only on an extreme rare occasion. this all is for my own personal collection.

like posted above, i do not like to rework my rework, especially after i take a set down from the shelf to enjoy or show someone...and it messes the bed.

a few years ago, i pulled one down to demonstrate for a friend. there were instant static crashes then silence.

it was a 39 cent mica capacitor that i did not replace b/c i was from the mindset of "micas never go bad".

over the past 4-5 years, i've seen my fair share of defective mica caps and originals fail during the burn in period too.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 5:48 pm 
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Looks like the rabbit could benefit from a good tube tester. Ten bad tubes out of 30 is not normal.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 6:38 pm 
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i tend to disagree, but i do agree it was a lot in this setting.

here is why.

all were used tubes that were in the sets when i received them. they were powered up and used like they never have been used in the past 30-40 years, perhaps longer.

:arrow: they all tested well before the burn-in period.

they just decided to give way, kind of like me at the end of the day :) .

when i have purchased big boxes of used tubes and go thru testing them, sometimes i will have a bad run, such a bad run, that i will pull out my other testers to verify.

most of the time, i have a good run on big boxes of used-pulls ; same with a group of restores.

it's the luck of the draw and this time, there was not much luck.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 05, 2016 11:16 pm 
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Wow, 6 radios per week for your own collection! You must have LOTS of shelves.

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Wed 06, 2016 6:30 am 
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i don't like clutter so i have downsized from a few hundred over the past couple years. i kept my favorites and the ones that i can't live without.

i have about 25 pristine restored bakelite/wood table sets in my room now. i have about another 15-20 in the queue on shelves in the shop.

back in 2014, i purchased a few van loads of radios from a friend who was downsizing.

i kept the good stuff and kept the duplicate junkers for the good sets. there are about 20 of those on the "do not restore-for parts" shelves.

the other 200 or so radios were just fodder and in bad shape. i stripped them down and filled the parts bins.

i'm finished with radios for a while. i have one of those heavy duty pp 6V6 motorola HiFi amps with the big irons to start sometime in july. this is an amp from one of their big box HiFi's with the 15" jensen, a few mids, and a few tweeters in it. they pound and pound hard.

i have to order dial plastics to finish these 6 radios. once i get them back together, i'll start on the motorola amp.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Wed 06, 2016 6:53 am 
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You may be confusing the term "burn in" with "reforming" .... as far as capacitors go.
ref:
http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/fun ... e_cap.html

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Wed 06, 2016 7:02 am 
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At the risk of sounding harsh, it sure does sound like an Audiophool term. They swear by it just as they swear by cathode stripping. Reforming is for sure a bonified process; burning in capacitors is most likely bovine scat.

But burning in is a valid process that applies to the entire circuit, not capacitors specifically.

(Fire away! :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: What does it mean to "burn in" capacitors?
PostPosted: Jul Wed 06, 2016 7:32 am 
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Don Cavey wrote:
But burning in is a valid process that applies to the entire circuit, not capacitors specifically.

(Fire away! :wink: )



no firing away from me. i completely agree.

steve

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