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Generic problem with Marshall valve amp mains transformers?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by N_Cook, Oct 18, 2012.

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  1. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    In conjunction with British weather/ garage storage.
    Well I can't believe I'm unlucky enough to have 2 such repairs.
    Earlier one Marshall 1962, year 2003 bluish-white flash from the HT area of
    the mains Tx secondaries.
    Small arc over just 1mm or so , moving the wires apart and cleaning and
    telling the owner to store the amp properly, cured that (or at least did not
    bounce back).

    This time Marshall JTM Tremolo 50W , 1998. The giveaway is that the HT fuse
    failed at switch off to standby, mains sw on. Replacing fuse and running up
    on a variac amp would work fine up to 95 percent mains and switching back to
    standby but 100 percent and switch to standby and Tx saturation noise and
    dramatic long bluish-white arc from near an HT(ac) terminal. As fuse is in
    the ac line and the o/c voltage goes up on removing the load on the valve
    rectifier at sw off.
    Between the purple "o" s on this pic,
    vertical black smudge presumably a carbon track. The wire removed from the
    red tag by me, 2 wires to the black ground tag. The black mark and the 2
    bare copper patches lie along the edge of the nylon , the o-o line , not
    distinguishable in the pic. As the wire is .27mm diameter you can see the
    "carbon arc" was 2.5mm or so long and colour white, not green or blue.

    No obvious organic mold marks elsewhere on the amp or even abnormal rusting
    of the steel bits.
    Any opinions on the derivation of this problem. I assume marginal invisible
    mold growth that carbonise over amp use, and chafing? and 500V or so pk-pk
    then carbonising of the nylon or Tx lacquer.
    Hopefully recoverable by cutting away/cleaning nylon and silicone sleeving
    over the wire and exrending to rejoin the tag, to move it away from the
    edge. Would there be some Marshall treatment/coating that may promote the
    initiation of this problem? yes I know its due more to owners than
  2. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    Like the white spotting on the TV in the other thread below?
    Whatever it is, "chooses " this one edge posistion on the outside of the Tx,
    or 2 out of 2 occassions , I don;t like coincidences. Condensation/damp I
    would have thought would make its presence felt well inside the windings.
    There must be closer gaps inside to ground than this 2.5mm . I know high
    voltages like to discharge from/to sharp points , is that what is coming
    into play. Perhaps the nylon moulding should have rounded edges, a/ to
    lessen scuffing of the wire covering, b/ lessen HV discharge possibility.

    2.5mm is an enormous distance to jump in normal circumstances for 500/550V
  3. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    Basically what facilitates corona discharge, relevant to this particular
  4. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    I think the edge is the key to it, it was that edge previously but the
    wiring spacing was nearer 1mm than 2.5mm. As in that pic there is only 1mm
    or so spacing between those 2 wires with the pd across, farther back to the
    core, but its on the flat there.

    I somehow don't think mold would go for edges, and similar I don;t see
    spider piss would concentrate at edges. I once came across a failed scope
    where the smps would not power up. The isolation of the opto-coupler had
    failed because mold had grown on the glass sliver between each side and then
    became conductive, scope stored in a shed.
  5. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    Sleeved and moved/extended the wire away from the nylon and its now back
    working without flashover/ blown fuses
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