Thursday, December 22, 2016

Power supply toroid in Mackie SRM450 PA loudspeakers

A friend brought one of these very common PA powered loudspeakers over to the workshop. An internal T4A mains fuse had blown and when I replaced it and re-powered there was a very loud 50hz hum for a few seconds and the fuse in the power cord blew. I assumed it was the audio path that was making the noise and I assumed that one one the probably faults was a short/open de-coupling capacitor that was letting 50hz through to the audio stage.

I found the schematic at Mackie-SRM450 (although this is for the rev.C of the board, but the PSU appears not to have changed).

So - I made sure both fuses were good and with Dave Jones's words "thou shall always check the rails" in my ears I disconnected the output of the large toroid from the two rectifiers/smoothing caps and tried again. I figured I'd make sure the o/p of the transformer was good (there is some de-coupling on the primary). However I got the same loud 50hz for a couple of seconds and one of the fuses failed. The toroid was also noticeably warmer than it had been! So - checking the DC resistance of the primary side showed it to be less than six ohms (so it was pulling an inrush of at least 40A!).

A quick flail around the web showed that the transformer is a known weak point of this design.

 The real bummer is that the transformer isn't stocked by Mackie (or indeed anyone else) and the folks at Save My Light only do a minimum order (ten pieces) from the Chinese factory that wind them when they have enough orders (and the chap there told me he sells an average of two a year).
So, do I just wait or pay him the thousand quid to have ten made?!

Time to keep my eye on eBay for a hopefully working second hand replacement?

UPDATE 16/01/2017: 

So after lots of flailing around the web and finding a few reclaimed ones for more than £150 I came across AJAudio on eBay (Alex Mathew was super-helpful) and he sold me one for £99.
Job done.

For info - the failed toroid had around 5 ohms DC impedance across the primary whereas the replacement has 8.5 ohms.

It's been shaking the workshop with loud music all afternoon!


nealk said...

These guys made the transformers for Meridian when I worked for them (I believe they were known as St. Ives Windings back then) They might be able to help with something similar if you can describe the requirements!?!

With warm regards,


Michael Gossen said...

It sounds like I have the same issue with a pair of MR5mkII that have been sitting on my shelf for almost a year...I wonder if it could also be the same transformer? I haven't really had time to get into them, but sounds exactly like what I was seeing.

Phil Crawley said...

Looks like I've found an alternative;

I'll be ordering in the next couple of days and will update the post accordingly.