Author Topic: Repair of Oltronix B602D Power Supply  (Read 430 times)

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Offline JohanHTopic starter

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Repair of Oltronix B602D Power Supply
« on: April 14, 2024, 11:38:17 am »
This is a repair/maintenance description of a 70's linear bench power supply. Oltronix LABPAC B602D.

I bought this old power supply from a scrap dealer. Haggled a bit and got a good price. It's a nice 70's linear laboratory power supply with two channels, 0-30V 1.4A and 0-60V 0.7A. The two channels are fully independent with isolation voltage between them and chassis +-500V DC (according to the manual). And it has a "digital" voltage display! Oltronix is (was?) a company that was based in Sweden that made high end laboratory equipment. I'm not sure if they still exist, couldn't find much info.

There is a similar three channel model B603D that has an additional 6V power supply.

I opened it an cleaned some dust, before powering it on. Take it apart! It didn't look too bad. So I then powered it up. The 0-30V channel worked fine. But the 0-60V channel did not. So I began some more detailed teardown and testing.

Things that I observed and fixed:
- The transformer can be selected for 220V or 240V with a soldered jumper. I changed it to 240V, because nowadays we have practically 240V (nominally 230V).
- Took out output transistors (Darlington NPN 2N6385). Tested them. They tested fine, except one that showed only half the hFE of the others. However, it's in the crude "pre-regulator" (yes, not really) that is used to halve the voltage to the output transistor on lower voltages. So no problem, it works fine. Applied new heat sink paste and remounted.
- Pin headers for the separate regulator PCB and connectors for potentiometers were corroded. By mechanically cleaning them, I got the 0-60V channel working, too. But the pins looked so corroded, so I carefully desoldered them and put in new pin headers.
- Current limit potentiometers. They were in bad shape and current limit was irregular. However, they were 500 ohm and 6.3mm shaft, so I had a hard time finding suitable replacement. Finally ordered a pair of Vishay 14910F0GJSX10501KA. The axle is a bit longer, but could potentially (sic) be cut down.
- Voltage adjustment potentiometers are high quality multi turn, mounted on an axle connected to the counter. They seem to work fine and could be a pain to renew, so hopefully they stay OK.
- The "digital" voltage display had some numbers missing, with paint flaking off from the two leftmost digit wheels that are made of some rubber material. I just painted new digits with white paint, but it doesn't look so good.
- User guide with schematics is available on the Internet. There is a version A and B schematic. It turned out this power supply is Version A. But I could find some issues with the schematics. Version B clearly has a short in opamp A30, input 5 and 6 (I corrected this in the schematic in the pictures shown below, but the pdf is unchanged)! Also diodes CR91-CR92 are connected as in schematic Version B on the real PCB, even though this is version A.
- The regulator circuit is mounted on a separate small PCB that can be removed. The boards are identical for the 30V and 60V channel. In the schematic, it's in the area enclosed in the dashed line. There is a 10 pin header that connects to the main PCB. It's a simple circuit with a 1N823 zener diode as reference and five opamps taking care of voltage, current limit, driving the output transistor and a separate opamp for driving voltage or current limit LED.
- Ammeter didn't work on the 60V channel, which turned out to be bad connection in the Volt/Amp switch and really corroded adjustment trimmer for the meter. I opted for desoldering the meter trimmers and getting new ones. I just lubed the switch, but if it doesn't work good in the future, I might have to replace it.
- I didn't replace any capacitors, because they tested and looked fine.

I've uploaded a cleaned version of the pdf user guide at https://johanh.net/Oltronix/Oltronix_b602d_b603d_laboratory_supply_1977.pdf (15.5 MB). Note that the schematics contain some errors, as mentioned above!

There could be some academic interest in studying the schematics for this PSU. Some things that I noted:
- There is no voltage regulation for the power supply regulator part. It's about 32V (- to +).
- It's a floating design, so identical regulator circuits are used for the 30V and 60V channel (I checked the PCBs and they are identical; you can swap them).
- It has a temperature compensated zener diode 1N823 as reference voltage.
- In version B of the schematic they changed to a 1N4576 that is optimized for lower current. At the same time they dropped CR60 ZF12 zener. I don't really understand the difference there. What was the point of having CR60 in the version A schematic?

If someone wants more pictures, I can upload.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2024, 02:39:51 pm by JohanH »
 

Offline JohanHTopic starter

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Re: Repair of Oltronix B602D Power Supply
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2024, 02:33:56 pm »
I reverse engineered the regulator PCB, to make sure it matched the schematic. As I already mentioned, it was same as the Version A schematic, except for the two diodes CR91-CR92 that were connected like in the Version B schematic.

I created a copy of it in KiCAD, if I ever need to create a new PCB (or as a base for modifications). The KiCAD project is attached.




 

Offline m k

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Re: Repair of Oltronix B602D Power Supply
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2024, 02:07:04 pm »
A version input is leveled very directly by 680R and zeners.
Maybe they found out that less is just fine.
Advance-Aneng-Appa-AVO-Beckman-Danbridge-Data Tech-Fluke-General Radio-H. W. Sullivan-Heathkit-HP-Kaise-Kyoritsu-Leeds & Northrup-Mastech-REO-Simpson-Sinclair-Tektronix-Tokyo Rikosha-Topward-Triplett-YFE
(plus lesser brands from the work shop of the world)
 

Offline Zenith

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Re: Repair of Oltronix B602D Power Supply
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2024, 02:29:20 pm »
Oltronix is (was?) a company that was based in Sweden that made high end laboratory equipment. I'm not sure if they still exist, couldn't find much info.


There's some information on the history of the company here.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_hersteller_detail.cfm?company_id=14212

Parts of the company still exist and are based in the Netherlands.
 
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Offline JohanHTopic starter

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Re: Repair of Oltronix B602D Power Supply
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2024, 03:18:52 pm »
A version input is leveled very directly by 680R and zeners.
Maybe they found out that less is just fine.

It looks like that. I see some other model of theirs from the later 70's that have the Version B design with 1N4576 zener. Then in newer 703 series design (1984) they have replaced it with a TL431 shunt reference. Today, such temperature compensated zeners are expensive, whereas 431 compatible shunt references are very cheap.
 


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