Help! – RAXfit Yard tunes on mute

[Disclaimer: RAXfit is a pet name, not the official name of the program.]

Backstory

Sometime last year, I conspired with our internal Workplace Services Team (Real Estate then) to secretly install a massive sound system in the workout yard at work.  This was to be considered a collaboration between Workplace Services and the K-RACK Radio Teams.  The group that started the RAXfit program started it on a shoestring budget, much like the way K-RACK started.  There was a lot of beg-borrow-steal going on, and it reminded me of how K-RACK got its start.  I wanted to pay it forward for these Rackers, and this was my chance.  Who wants to work out without tunes, right?

A pair of PC speakers do not a impressive sound system make…  We hung a pair of passive 15″ Peavey PA speakers, and a 2x 700W amp.  This would certainly give them the boom they desired!  It certainly packs a punch; so much so, that they need to make sure to keep it down when doing the early morning WODs.  We do have neighbors after all.

 

The Day the Music Stopped

Sometime last week, I was informed the music stopped, and asked if a setting on the mixer could have been jacked with.  Taking a quick trip from my desk, I noticed everything was in order.  There was one small issue, after further investigation…

Looking up at the amp, flown overhead, I could see a solid red clip LED on Channel 2.  In most cases, the first thought would be, “oh, it’s clipping, turn it down.”  Well, sure, that would be the case if their was music playing.  Seeing as how nothing was even connected to the system at the moment, and the clip was solid, not blinking, I knew there was a problem.

 

Cracking the Case

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The amp is a Behringer EP1500.  From what I have read, a solid clip LED is an indication of a fault in either the power supply (PSU) or op amp on each channel.  Seeing as how this is only on one channel, I am ruling out the thought of it being the PSU.   This post was a bit helpful in looking around.

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Opening the amp, I immediately saw the tell-tale sign of a blown capacitor.  There were two blown caps on Channel 2 side.  I hope that is the only problem with this thing, but I’m not totally convinced that is the only issue.  Even though Channel 2 was the only side showing a clip fault, neither channel was playing music at all…  What would cause both sides to be dead, but only show the fault on one side?  If anyone has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them!

Well, off to bed for the night.  I guess I’ll go grab some caps, and see if that does the trick…

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One Response to Help! – RAXfit Yard tunes on mute

  1. Sweetums says:

    That appears to be an electrolytic cap. They tend to be the things to fail, or at least fail first. I can’t say for certain that’s the only problem, but I would replace those busted caps – actually I would replace all those caps, with new ones. You’re talk about less than $10 more likely, even for the higher end awesome caps.

    Note, be sure to discharge any of those caps before you start desoldering them. Typically just running a screwdriver over the bottom terminals can do it. I can’t tell how big they are from the pic, but it can be a nasty jolt.

    Another thing to note – what makes electrolytics fail sooner is heat and voltage. So if this amp was outside or not in an air-conditioned space, and/or was on all the time, it could have attributed to the failure. So when you buy new ones, you might check to see if you can find ones which good temperature ratings. If those are power caps, you can also get caps with a higher voltage rating – though they tend to be bigger and might not necessarily fit on the board.

    Hope all that helps! It’s before coffee so…

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