Thursday, 22 September 2016

Quad FM4 drifting and amnesia.

So here it is, the wonderful Quad FM4 tuner. A thing of beauty.

This one is an early example and dates from around 1982-83.

It's suffering from amnesia (it won't store stations after a power off) and even in manual tuning the frequency falls after a few minutes use....

Let's see what's wrong...

It's a simple layout. First off the memory battery is shot, and leaking. Thankfully it hasn't damaged the board, and a replacement (Varta Mempac 4.8V, 150mAH) restores it's memory... as for the frequency drift...

The tuner operates by a voltage controlled tuner, there's no synthesiser in here! The memories work by digitising the tuning voltage and storing it, recreating it with a DAC when the preset is selected. The fault is the tuning voltage is falling off. Turns out it's our best friend (and foe!) the elctrolytic capacitor. The guily parties are all 100uF 6.3V types. I changed them all. I dislike 6.3V electrolytics, they seem to give more problems than higher voltage types, even though they were all working well within voltage limits. Perhaps it's their physical size that makes manufacture difficult? ....  (perhaps they just don't like me?!)

Zoom in on the picture and you can see where they are physically leaking.

This cured the drift, but one of the 220uF 16V caps that smoothes the regulated 12V supply looked like it had seen better days, so I changed both of those too... even though they measured OK. One is adjacent to the 12V regulator transistor, which runs a little hot. Never an ideal location for an electrolytic!

Sound quality is great, and will give many years of service now!

1 comment:

  1. Yup, a couple of friends are still using these lovely Quad beasts.
    I have always liked Quads styling, restrained!
    You are not alone with 6.3V 'Leaktrytic's. Strange thing is I have only found dodgy ones in gear related to RF...