Interesting photos

Click on the photos for a better view.


This poor beast is a Xantrex 458 2KW inverter charger. The A/C board caught on fire and made quite the mess. In spite of it’s horrible appearance, I successfully repaired it.


This is the burned up terminal strip of a Xantrex SW4024MC2 inverter charger. It pays to periodically check your connections. They naturally come loose over time and the results can get out of hand. This unit also needed 2 new relays. One has been removed (upper left corner). It’s quite a chore to get them out. LOTS of copper on both sides of the board make it exceptionally difficult.


This is a thoroughly dismantled Xantrex Prosine 3.0 – showing 2 of the 3 power boards removed – allowing access to the logic board at the bottom. By the book, these units are not considered repairable, and the manufacturer does not provide parts or schematics. In spite of these limitations, I successfully repaired it. The unit had multiple problems – the most significant were on the A/C board. I was able to finally sort it out – once I reverse engineered the board and drew my own schematic.


This is a ribbon cable connector on a Furuno NavNet VX2 (Black box) logic board. The original was badly water damaged. Removing the connector was a breeze – replacing it was a new adventure in hell. The pin spacing is SO ridiculously close – about .5 mm – enough to accommodate ONE sheet of paper and no more! It was extremely difficult to create 30 precise solder joints – and NOT have the solder form a “blob” that connects to an adjacent pin. As the photo shows – the repair effort was successful – and I still have my hair! That’s my thumb – shown for scale. Yes – the solder blob in the middle is intentional – it resolves a small spot of water damage to the circuit board.


The jewelers screwdriver in this photo points at a small (fried) surface mount FET and a melted inductor – both are parts of the chart reader power supply switching circuit on a Raymarine E120. When the chart is improperly inserted, the pins can bend and touch together – this damage is often the result. Sometimes the damage extends to the CPU – then you have a real problem on your hands…

In this case I successfully restored normal operation by replacing these small components (and replacing the bent chart reader assembly).


This is the FET assembly removed from a Victron Energy Quattro 5KW sine wave inverter – charger that my friend Bill Bishop gave me. Several of the FETs had nuked (fairly common), and several more had their leads sheered off at the body – and I don’t have a clue how it could have happened! I’ve nearly completed the very labor intensive task of replacing all 48 power FETs, the 24 driver transistors and the 2 control I.C.s. There is a lot of copper in this beast making any task involving molten solder a great challenge.


Up next is the CPU from a Garmin GPSMAP2010C. The unit came in exhibiting erratic behavior. Sometime it turned on and worked fine – for a while. Sometimes it would not turn on at all. I re-soldered all 160 pins using my hot air re-flow soldering system, then tested it on the bench for over 4 hours – periodically subjecting it to “mechanical abuse” before finally returning it to the customer.

Once again, note the exceptionally tight spacing between the pins.


This photo is the inside of a 600 watt HF power amp with a fresh set of power FET’s installed. I am not particularly impressed with this circuit, and have a number of modifications in store for it that should improve its reliability – considerably.


This photo shows the final result of a conversion process where I replaced the serial port and associated circuitry in this HF receiver, with USB hardware. A good analogy would be – installing a Porsche engine in your old Ford sedan. Quite a bit of engineering went into the mod – and I am quite proud of the results…


No – this is NOT “Jabba the Hut” (though clearly there IS a striking resemblance). The toys on the left are: Blue box at the top; GPS disciplined 10.00000000 MHZ oscillator – feeding extremely precise “master oscillator” signals to the rest of the toys, and keeping them on frequency. Below is a IFR FM/AM 1600S “Service Monitor” (radio test set / spectrum analyzer). Next is a Gigatronics RT-1009 X Band radar test set (NOT to be confused with the lowly and primitive “target simulator”). Barely visible at the bottom is an IFR RD-301 X Band radar test set. Barely visible at the top is the corner of an old military A/N UPM-145 X Band radar test set, but it does not see much action anymore.

Several views of the primary equipment  rack.

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” The Rack” – consisting of:

(from the top)

1. AN/UPM-145 X Band Radar test set.

2. Datum GPS time code and frequency generator.

3. IFR FM/AM-1600S communications test set / spectrum analyzer.

4.  Gigatronics RT-1009 X Band Radar test set.

5. IFR RD-301 X Band Radar test set.

6. Eaton 707M spectrum analyzer.


E.D.I. DSTS-3A Depth sounder test set – connected to a Furuno FCV-585 – set to produce a bottom @ ~ 50 feet.


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