National over Eimac or Econco

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REW
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National over Eimac or Econco

Post by REW » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:23 pm

Looking for a YU148 tube for use in an Energy Onix ECO-10 transmitter. I know a new Eimac should be top of the line but has anyone had any experience with the National or new Econco. I have been using Econco rebuilds with good results until last time when I had to get three tubes before I got a good one. Also what do you think of the Kennetron rebuilds? Just looking for recommendations.

Thanks
Robert

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by kkiddkkidd » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:41 pm

REW wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:23 pm
Looking for a YU148 tube for use in an Energy Onix ECO-10 transmitter. I know a new Eimac should be top of the line but has anyone had any experience with the National or new Econco. I have been using Econco rebuilds with good results until last time when I had to get three tubes before I got a good one. Also what do you think of the Kennetron rebuilds? Just looking for recommendations.

Thanks
Robert
I had a customer purchase a NEW Econco YU148 and installed it several months ago. It seems to be holding better than any of the previous rebuilds and is at least as good as the last few Eimacs.

The YU148 is a horrible tube (2nd only to 5CX1500 in my opinion) for broadcast service and even new Eimacs were troublesome in a CCA FM10000g back when Eimac knew how to build tubes.

All modern tubes are junk, rebuilt tubes are even junkier...

Regards,
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REW
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by REW » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:53 pm

I was thinking about trying a new Econco over a rebuild. A new Econco is what came in the transmitter when it was installed new around 2010.

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by kkiddkkidd » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:37 pm

Right now, that is what I would do. The YU148 is one of the only tubes that Econco can build new and they seem to have as good of a handle on it as anyone right now. AND IIRC, their price for a new YU148 wasn't much higher than a rebuild and substantially less than an Eimac.

Good luck,
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by RodeoJack » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:42 pm

So... given that Eimac and Econco are both divisions of Communications and Power Industries, Inc (CPI), are they basically coming out of the same factory and, if so, what would the practical difference be?

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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by kkiddkkidd » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:01 pm

RodeoJack wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:42 pm
So... given that Eimac and Econco are both divisions of Communications and Power Industries, Inc (CPI), are they basically coming out of the same factory and, if so, what would the practical difference be?
I do not know for sure but assume that the new Econco tubes are actually assembled on their rebuild line.
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REW
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by REW » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:03 pm

The Econco NEW tube is also about $700 cheaper than the Eimac. Management ordered a 4CX3500A for me a few years ago and of course they got the cheapest one they could find. They got a PRO-TEK from D & C electronics. I told the boss it probably wouldn't last 3 months. That was 4 years ago and that thing is still making a full 3.5Kw power out and shows no evidence of going soft. I dont know what magic they put into that tube but I sure wish I could get some of it put into a YU148..

fm-engineer
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by fm-engineer » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:39 pm

Four years on a 4cx3500 is pretty amazing. Most life I've gotten out of a typical Eimac 4CX3500 is about two years at full power, 12-16 months from an Econco. I believe ProTek is the former Richardson Electronics. At one time I was taking care of five Harris transmitters that used that tube, but all but one has been replaced with LDMOS rigs.

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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by ChuckG » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:58 pm

As I understand it the new Econco tubes are the same as the rebuilds internally, using new ceramics and metals.

Pro-Tek is a Chinese tube, D&C used to do some final testing on them and they were generally good. I had very good luck with them in a Gates FM10K....or did, RIchardson owns them now too since they bought up D&C....so who knows.
Richardson bought up a lot of old line tube names..National, Amperex....but the product is not the same. They are mostly all Chinese now. The French Amperex plant was shuttered a few years ago.

I agree with Kevin that YU148 is one of the worst broadcast tubes ever. Probably why Econco offers them new...the duds are all junk with cracked ceramics. Several tube types are now "rebuild what you send in" as they have no more duds coming in.
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TPT
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by TPT » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:36 am

On that note--I have three tubes from a decommissioned Harris 10K. One had about a year on it when the IPA tube socket died, one pulled at 80% power, & one unknown condition. Make any reasonable offer--only have one shipping box, though. In WV.

Also have the plate transformer from that 10K--stored in dry, heated transmitter building.

My Nautel 10NV/lt doesn't need any kind of light bulb! :D

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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by fm-engineer » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:18 am

TPT wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:36 am

My Nautel 10NV/lt doesn't need any kind of light bulb! :D
TPT, how do you like that NV10? I'm getting ready to install a Nautel GV10 in the coming weeks. What size primary conductors did you use on the 10? I just applied for an electrical permit and the inspector wants us to use 4 gauge primary conductors instead of 6. We are using 3 phase primary and the nominal current draw is 45 amps. If it was single phase, the draw would be over 60 amps, then I would understand his logic.

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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by TPT » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:36 am

Been no real problems with the NV-lt. We had one pa amp fail early on (under warranty). Pulled the module out--transmitter dropped down to 5 kw, put the module on the bench made about 5 solder connections for the new module, popped it back in & the transmitter went back to full power.

I don't remember what we used to power the transmitter--believe we used #6, which is what we ran for the old Harris 10K it replaced. Did notice an immediate drop in electric bill year-to-year (although not exactly an apples to apples comparison since the studios are co-located).

Oh, and don't let the electrical inspector give you line of nonsense about not being able to connect the transmitter to a good external ground using strap. There's another post on this site (Jeff Welton, I believe) with reference to the revised NEC section specifically addressing this.

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RGORJANCE
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by RGORJANCE » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:49 am

I just got a wake up call two days ago with replacement of a 4CX3500 in a Harris FM-3.5K. Long story short, we were getting some really strange stuff with a 1.5 year old ECONCO still making plenty of power, but had some spurs. Swapped it out with a Chinese jug which didn't want to go in socket without help from the foot of an elephant. Tube didn't make power.

Put project on hold till ECONCO jug could be brought in. Set new rebuild in resl easy, made power but had weird tuning issue. Found that problem which was PA tuning shaft/finger stock messed up.......then for giggles reset neutralization and now everything good. Suspect old ECONCO jug is still good.

Anyway, over the past 20-30 years I have run into several different brands of tubes that appear to have altered the outside dimensions of the tube. Some wouldn't even go into the sockets. n One case, they resized the finger stock to fit repl. tube, which wouldn't make power. Old tube then put back into socket and dropped like a rock as the finger stock was so loose (to fit repl) that now it wouldn't make contact at all.

Quality control has certainly has taken a hit. Nearly as crazy as the old 5CX1500 war story.

Fossil

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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by TPT » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:39 am

Local station had to borrow my VS300 for a couple of weeks because Econco didn't have a tube in stock for their Harris 3.5K. Had to wait while they sent in the tired tube for a rebuild by Econco.

REW
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Re: National over Eimac or Econco

Post by REW » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:24 pm

I keep a weak tube as a spare. I know how it tunes and the readings I normally get. If I have a problem with the transmitter I can put it in and if it tunes normally I will know to suspect the tube I pulled out.
Econco told me around 20 days to rebuild a tube on rush or about 25 days normally

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