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Lectrosonics SM transmitter power LED red on startup


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I have two SMB transmitters, two and a half years old. For the last two shooting days I have had this problem with one of them: when I power it on the power LED is red and the batteries seem to drain remarkably faster than on the other one, had to change 5-6 times a day. I use white eneloops but they have served me well so far and still do on the other Tx. 

 

Strange thing: when I unscrew the battery door a little, the LED goes green.

 

I talked to my vendor, they said I should clean the battery door screw, which I did with WD40, problem persists. Swapped the battery doors of the two Txs, still the same thing. Tx 1 LED red, Tx 2 green. They will send me some of the magic silver paste, whatever that is, but in the meantime I was wondering if anyone has some quick suggestions that help me get through the next shooting days without having to change the battery every hour or so.

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CS: " I talked to my vendor, they said I should clean the battery door screw, which I did with WD40, "

wrong...

" They will send me some of the magic silver paste, whatever that is, "

this has been covered here several times before.

" some quick suggestions that help me get through... "

what did "they" suggest..?

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I have two SMB transmitters, two and a half years old. For the last two shooting days I have had this problem with one of them: when I power it on the power LED is red and the batteries seem to drain remarkably faster than on the other one, had to change 5-6 times a day. I use white eneloops but they have served me well so far and still do on the other Tx. 

 

Strange thing: when I unscrew the battery door a little, the LED goes green.

 

I talked to my vendor, they said I should clean the battery door screw, which I did with WD40, problem persists. Swapped the battery doors of the two Txs, still the same thing. Tx 1 LED red, Tx 2 green. They will send me some of the magic silver paste, whatever that is, but in the meantime I was wondering if anyone has some quick suggestions that help me get through the next shooting days without having to change the battery every hour or so.

Hi Christian,

DW-40 is not the right thing to use though it probably won't hurt anything. The highly conductive magic silver grease is what you want to use. Try one other thing we have learned in the last three days: remove the circlip from the thumbscrew. This is the c shaped washer that retains the thumbscrew. We are finding that it is hitting the case before the door is pulled down. You will have to be careful with the thumbscrew if you completely remove the door because the thumbscrew can fall out. Of course, you can just put it back in if it doesn't fall down a hot air register. You can pry it off with the handy Lectro screw driver. 

 

Let me know if the circlip is the fix and we can send you new parts. New units are now being made with more relief (travel) around the circlip notch.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

Lectrosonics

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Hi Larry,

thanks for the suggestion and your quick reply. After removing the circlip, with some of the charged Eneloops I have here, the LED flashes green, others still result in the red LED (on my other SMB it's always green). When the LED is red, if I unscrew the door a tiny bit, it always turns green and the battery indicator on my SR shows a higher voltage than when it was red. Weird. So locking the door tighter is probably not the solution in my particular case?

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I had the exact same problem not long ago with a SMa transmitter.

I didn't know what was the cause of it, but after I cleaned the inside of the battery door and the bottom part of the pack itself (underneath the battery door) everything went back to normal.

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I had the exact same problem not long ago with a SMa transmitter.

I didn't know what was the cause of it, but after I cleaned the inside of the battery door and the bottom part of the pack itself (underneath the battery door) everything went back to normal.

Larry should we use magic silver paste for cleaning these areas or something else? (There is such a tiny amount of Ag paste in the tiny tube I have.)
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The battery contacts are gold over stainless steel and usually don't get corroded. Clean the contacts with a clean piece of cloth, dry or wetted with alcohol. Try alkaline or lithium batteries. NiMh are right on the edge of the point where the LED turns from green to red. However, having them go green when you back off the door is strange. That may indicate an unstable output stage that is kicked into normal operation when the battery power is "noisy" from the turning the thumbscrew. That one unit may be broken and drawing too much current. It may work fine with the higher voltage of alkalines or lithiums. It still should work with NiMh's though if everything were correct.

From everything you've said so far, it may need a trip to repair.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

Lectrosonics

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2 of my Block 24 SMDa's have been doing something similar to this, in some cases not even powering on, while the same batteries power on all my other various Lectro Tx just fine.

I was able to undo the battery door slightly and they would then power on.

Sounds very similar but who knows. Lectro has fixed one of my Tx and the other is at Rio Rancho as we speak. If it is the same issue they should know about the fix...

From Lectro;

"We found the cause to be a shorted inductor. We have replaced the inductor and the transmitter now powers up reliably all the way down to .9 volts".

The thought was perhaps my batteries were the cause, but it was happening with all of my rechargeables (Eneloop XX, Powerex, & Immedion) and some were quite new, and all regularly re-conditioned, and again the same batteries were powering on all my other Lectro Tx.

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2 of my Block 24 SMDa's have been doing something similar to this, in some cases not even powering on, while the same batteries power on all my other various Lectro Tx just fine.

I was able to undo the battery door slightly and they would then power on.

Sounds very similar but who knows. Lectro has fixed one of my Tx and the other is at Rio Rancho as we speak. If it is the same issue they should know about the fix...

From Lectro;

"We found the cause to be a shorted inductor. We have replaced the inductor and the transmitter now powers up reliably all the way down to .9 volts".

The thought was perhaps my batteries were the cause, but it was happening with all of my rechargeables (Eneloop XX, Powerex, & Immedion) and some were quite new, and all regularly re-conditioned, and again the same batteries were powering on all my other Lectro Tx.

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the input.

Best,

Larry F

Lectro

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I have a similar problem - but not sure if it related or not. I have 4 smqv and three have an odd intermittent battery issue. There are times when the transmitter will only draw from one battery and not the other. I did a test that Karl suggested where if I put one new battery in the tx and check the voltage on the rx then take the same battery and put it in the other slot and note the voltage. Some of the time the voltage is the same on both sides, some times one is significantly lower and a couple of times the tx won't even power up with a new battery in one slot because the tx isn't getting power. Its very intermittent. The tightness of the battery door has no affect and I have tried cleaning the screw and applying the silver paste. I've spoke to the service department and they suggested to send them in. I have an ra number but I haven't fond the time to send them in. Larry is this possible related to circlip?

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I have a similar problem - but not sure if it related or not. I have 4 smqv and three have an odd intermittent battery issue. There are times when the transmitter will only draw from one battery and not the other. I did a test that Karl suggested where if I put one new battery in the tx and check the voltage on the rx then take the same battery and put it in the other slot and note the voltage. Some of the time the voltage is the same on both sides, some times one is significantly lower and a couple of times the tx won't even power up with a new battery in one slot because the tx isn't getting power. Its very intermittent. The tightness of the battery door has no affect and I have tried cleaning the screw and applying the silver paste. I've spoke to the service department and they suggested to send them in. I have an ra number but I haven't fond the time to send them in. Larry is this possible related to circlip?

Hi Jack,

Very possible. It is relatively easy to remove the circlip. Putting it back on is a little harder but not bad. Let me know.

Best,

Larry F

Lectro

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Interesting .. I have been having similar issues with one of mine, very early serial number.

I wonder if it is age related?

Cleaning terminals, and threads, and a dab of silver paste helped a bit, but not 100%

Mine has just gone to Rio Rancho too, as I am soon to start a big job where 3 of us will pool our transmitters and tune in to each as required.

Didn't want to be the guy with the fussy gear!

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Update: Tried the silver paste, green LED with most eneloops now, though it still drains much quicker than the other SM I have (consecutive serial no.s). I suppose it got dropped at some point and something isn't proper, so it will go to service. Thanks for the helpful comments and as always, thanks Larry for the great light speed support!

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I struggled with this problem with many of my SM transmitters. I found that the spring washer was grinding a circle off the coating on the battery door. If you remove the circlip and flip the spring washer upside-down you will get extra life out of the battery door. I work in very dusty environments and now as a matter of course blow canned air under the spring washer with the battery door off the transmitter, to remove grinding particles. Give it a try...

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I struggled with this problem with many of my SM transmitters. I found that the spring washer was grinding a circle off the coating on the battery door. If you remove the circlip and flip the spring washer upside-down you will get extra life out of the battery door. I work in very dusty environments and now as a matter of course blow canned air under the spring washer with the battery door off the transmitter, to remove grinding particles. Give it a try...

Yep. We are going to a gold plated wavy washer that will spread the forces over a very wide area. We are having these specially made and still have to make sure hydrogen embrittlement in the plating process doesn't rear its head. 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

Lectrosonics

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