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Thread: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

  1. Back To Top    #11
    Noob Ge0's Avatar
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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Now, finish assembling the PCB and make sure everything is secured. It may be a good idea to do a quick power-up before putting everything back together. Yep, amp comes out of protection mode. Green light means go and fans are spinning:
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    This is the noisy / howling fan:
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    Now, clip the leads on the old fans and solder them to the new ones:
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    Fans re-installed and ready to go
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    One of the toughest parts is to make sure all the indicator L.E.D's are aligned properly when putting the cover back on. They are easy to bend when handling the board:
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    Ge0
    Last edited by Ge0; 1 Week Ago at 05:20 PM.
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  2. Back To Top    #12
    Noob Ge0's Avatar
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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    OK. Got the lid on tight. Let's power this sucker up and put the juice to it
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    Need to use my old test mule. Can't seem to find my box of 500W load resistors. Trust me, these things are large. How could I misplace them? Each one is about the size of a shoe . Well, we won't be testing the amp to full load today. But, we can give it a good burn in within the 300W limit of the sub.
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    Signal generator maxed out at 20V and only applying about 130W to the sub.
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    The jumper settings are too high on my high level input converter. I don't feel like digging out the manual to make the proper jumper connections. It's easier to just switch over to the line level converter:
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    There we go. 30Hz at 9.8V input is giving 300W output. I purposely set my current limit at 30A to protect the sub. Its only rated for 300W. So, ran the amp at 10V and 30A for an hour to burn it in and test it. Fans ramp up and down properly under heavy load. But, most of all they are whisper quiet. If you remember, this was the entire reason I started this exercise in the first place. A noisy / dying fan. Well, mission accomplished...

    Ge0
    Last edited by Ge0; 1 Week Ago at 05:33 PM.
    Scanspeak - Bose

  3. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Hmm, can't see the pictures for the last posts, that's a shame...
    So all the crap you clean off the transistors - is that essentially the same stuff you use to assemble computers, CPU to heatsinks - thermal paste?
    What do you use when you reassemble it - is Arctic Silver the stuff, like it is for computers?

  4. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Quote Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
    Hmm, can't see the pictures for the last posts, that's a shame...
    So all the crap you clean off the transistors - is that essentially the same stuff you use to assemble computers, CPU to heatsinks - thermal paste?
    What do you use when you reassemble it - is Arctic Silver the stuff, like it is for computers?
    The photo hosting on this site is hit or miss. Need to re-upload photos again for the 4th time. Makes wanting to post anything here a hassle. But, to answer your question yes. Thermal paste is thermal paste. However, you can buy grades with better thermal conductivity. The stuff I tried is highly rated. But, not easy to apply to weak and floppy transistors. I ended up using an industrial grade like I use at work.

    Ge0
    Scanspeak - Bose

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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Quote Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
    Hmm, can't see the pictures for the last posts, that's a shame...
    So all the crap you clean off the transistors - is that essentially the same stuff you use to assemble computers, CPU to heatsinks - thermal paste?
    What do you use when you reassemble it - is Arctic Silver the stuff, like it is for computers?
    After my 4th attempt it appears the photos are sticking now. I'm going to go ape shit if I need to redo another post.

    Ge0
    Scanspeak - Bose

  6. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Awesome results. What a can of worms, when you just expected to replace some fans! But you have to be glad you cracked it open, finding all that stuff.
    Basically a complete amp restoration, for an amp that's totally worth restoring and keeping going.
    Such good work.

  7. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Quote Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
    Awesome results. What a can of worms, when you just expected to replace some fans! But you have to be glad you cracked it open, finding all that stuff.
    Basically a complete amp restoration, for an amp that's totally worth restoring and keeping going.
    Such good work.

    Thanks. I paid nearly $1000 for this sucker new 10 years ago. It was the best of its time. Even though Zapco name brand has been reduced to eBay lately I still like the design of this amp and will support.

    Ge0
    Last edited by Ge0; 1 Week Ago at 11:56 PM.
    Scanspeak - Bose

  8. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    On a related note - do you ever watch Barevids videos?

    I'm NOT an amp tech, and I find them super interesting. He's great at taking them up a level so it's not all tech talk, but yet deep dives enough to point out individual components in amps, potential failures, things to inspect and look for, points out which amps are truly manufacturer engineered vs. salad bar contract manufacturer house specialty jobs...
    Highly recommended.

    I haven't really been paying attention much, and suddenly here we are in a world with... Skar? Taramps? Orion and Soundstream reduced to cookie cutter contract manufacturer brands? Pretty interesting seeing him (and Williston too, for the test side) pick them apart. Wish these guys were around in the 90's.

  9. Back To Top    #19
    Noob Ge0's Avatar
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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    Quote Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
    On a related note - do you ever watch Barevids videos?

    I'm NOT an amp tech, and I find them super interesting. He's great at taking them up a level so it's not all tech talk, but yet deep dives enough to point out individual components in amps, potential failures, things to inspect and look for, points out which amps are truly manufacturer engineered vs. salad bar contract manufacturer house specialty jobs...
    Highly recommended.

    I haven't really been paying attention much, and suddenly here we are in a world with... Skar? Taramps? Orion and Soundstream reduced to cookie cutter contract manufacturer brands? Pretty interesting seeing him (and Williston too, for the test side) pick them apart. Wish these guys were around in the 90's.
    I've seen a glimpse at one of his vidoes but have not followed him. I'm still looking for more documentary videos debating the murder mysteries in Tiger King...

    Ge0
    Scanspeak - Bose

  10. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: Zapco DC Reference 500.1

    All this work on this amp making sure it would last another ten years. Well, I was testing subs tonight and I think it shit the bed. It heated up rapidly and blew a 40A fuse. Diagnosis does not look good. More on this in a few days...

    Ge0
    Scanspeak - Bose

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