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Re: [Amps] Amplifier lifetime

Subject: Re: [Amps] Amplifier lifetime
From: Manfred Mornhinweg <>
Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:44:43 +0000
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_Good_ equipment and machinery should be designed and built well enough to work all the way until becoming obsolete, which is when the owner decides to replace it because new-technology equipment simply performs better, is more efficient, more portable, etc.

Anything that needs to be replaced because it wore out before something better became available to replace it, was inadequately built or designed, unless it was abused instead of used.

However we should not extend these rules to parts and things that by their nature are wear items. Then again, even wear items might in many cases be designed and built to last long enough. For example, consider brake pads for cars: They are certainly wear items, but it should be possible to make them thick enough so that they will last until the car is totally obsolete. And a better car wouldn't have brake pads, relying instead on purely regenerative, wear-free brakes. Some wear items are unavoidable, though.

We can apply all of this to ham gear. That's for example where PIN diode switching comes in, and solid state instead of tubes.

Unfortunately even the best design can't totally rule out premature equipment failure due to freak failure of components, let alone accidents or mis-use. That's why good equipment should also be designed to be repair-friendly, and adequate service manuals should be made available.

I fully realize that what I just wrote clashes against the business practices of many modern companies, which operate under the principle of making desirable-looking products that are designed to fail soon after the guarantee expires, and making them as hard as possible to repair, in order to force people to throw them away and buy new ones. But I don't consider those to be good products, and whenever I have any choice, I buy those that are designed to work without failures until naturally becoming obsolete. And sometimes I build my own instead of buying something ready-made.


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