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Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

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g8tzl2004
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Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:02 am

Will every single Astro Spectra radio eventually have bad cap issues? So radio's manufactured in 1991 and 2005 (ie a 14 year gap) will all suffer from bad caps...or are late production run radios OK?

tvsjr
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby tvsjr » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:34 am

I've never seen one that didn't, at some point in its life. The wave of China crap caps pretty much affected everything (including consumer electronics) during that period.

g8tzl2004
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:38 am

In what year did the caps become "good caps"?

Do any other Motorola radios suffer from bad caps such as XTL's or MCS's?

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motorola_otaku
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby motorola_otaku » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:04 am

I seem to be the lone outlier in that I have never seen an Astro Spectra with bad caps... and I have seen a *lot* of Astro Spectras. Analog Spectras are another matter entirely.

Analog radios with white serial tags (manufactured between 1991 and 1994-ish) almost always had bad caps, and at this point in their life are most likely unrepairable if they haven't been fixed already. Black-tag radios (1994 and onward) were hit-or-miss. IIRC the Astro Spectra didn't go into production until 1994 so (and again, this has not been my personal experience) they are also hit-or-miss. Radios that spent their lives in hotter climates were also much more likely to leak and damage the boards beyond repair.

MCS and XTL radios were unaffected. This is strictly a Spectra issue as far as Motorola mobiles go.
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W3AXL
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby W3AXL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:14 am

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the leaky cap gods, I'm going to agree with Moto_Otaku here. I've owned thirty or so Astros and haven't seen the bad caps issue pop up yet. Hell, I've got a classic railroad spectra from '91 that hasn't died yet. (knock on wood, I've been meaning to recap it for a while)

Obviously I'm not saying it's not an issue that occurs. I do wonder though, since they're getting up there in age if all of the radios that were going to fail have already done so and we're just left with all the survivors?

jry
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby jry » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:03 pm

Would suspect they will all eventually fail but most of the failures I have seen were on the analog Spectra's. These were in the 5 to 10 year old range.
One of the clues was a black deposit on and around some of the higher voltage ( 12vdc ) components from the caps starting to leak and corroding the parts and PCB.

g8tzl2004
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:12 pm

W3AXL - did you acquire 30 "random" untested Astro Spectras or were they all tested and working radios when you acquired them?

Has anybody recently bought a late production P25 Astro Spectra (not the analog Spectra) and had the leaky cap issue?

g8tzl2004
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby g8tzl2004 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:50 pm

I've just been reading about an Astro Spectra PLUS which is an XTL5000 in a Astro Spectra body.

The write up said that the caps had already been professionally replaced (just in case).

As the PLUS is actually an XTL radio, presumably replacing the caps was a complete waste of time...or is it something to do with the old Astro control head?

kj4chv
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby kj4chv » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:31 pm

g8tzl2004 wrote:I've just been reading about an Astro Spectra PLUS which is an XTL5000 in a Astro Spectra body.

The write up said that the caps had already been professionally replaced (just in case).

As the PLUS is actually an XTL radio, presumably replacing the caps was a complete waste of time...or is it something to do with the old Astro control head?


Astro Spectra Plus by firmware/software is pretty much an XTL. However hardware wise (minus vocon board) are the same as a regular astro spectra. With that being said the only thing different between astro spectra and analog spectra is the command board/vocon.

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motorola_otaku
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby motorola_otaku » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:13 am

g8tzl2004 wrote:Has anybody recently bought a late production P25 Astro Spectra (not the analog Spectra) and had the leaky cap issue?

I have a clean cab Astro from 2003. Clean as a whistle.
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tvsjr
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby tvsjr » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:47 pm

I've seen it happen in newer Astros, but will dramatically less frequency. Hard to tell if that's a function of age or if things got better in later years. But I don't have anything Spectra/Astro Spectra left.

TWEMARS
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Re: Astro Spectra - bad caps - every production run?

Postby TWEMARS » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:21 am

Astro Spectra Plus by firmware/software is pretty much an XTL. However hardware wise (minus vocon board) are the same as a regular astro spectra. With that being said the only thing different between astro spectra and analog spectra is the command board/vocon.



I realize I'm a few years behind on this BUT the Receiver Synthesizer board is also different in an Astro
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