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TRun
11-18-2010, 09:04 PM
I was getting ready to leave for work this morning and when I went to plug in my 690se a bright spark came upon inserting the cord. It was very dark out and the spark actually appeared inside the detector as I saw it through the speaker grill. I was really worried that it cooked itself or something but I had some good K and Ka encounters today so it appears to have dodged a bullet. Anyone else had something like this happen before???

Sandman76
11-18-2010, 09:06 PM
All electrical devices operate on smoke, once you let the smoke out, they don't work no more.

TRun
11-18-2010, 09:07 PM
I did not see or smell any smoke

Sandman76
11-18-2010, 09:13 PM
I did not see or smell any smoke

Of course you didn't, you said it still works.

languy99
11-18-2010, 09:17 PM
I say it is normal, the only reason you saw it is because it was dark out. Electronics use capacitors to absorbe these spikes of high voltage. Anything that has a mechanical hook up will spark like this, light switches, relays, motors and such.

Jag42
11-19-2010, 12:36 PM
I have had this happen and i think the LED'S get stuck on when this happens.

Freebird
11-19-2010, 12:52 PM
WOW, never seen that one before...

MOPARado
11-19-2010, 05:25 PM
This is not normal.
If you were lucky, there was maybe a small sliver of free floating solder other conducting left over junk from the manufacturing process that just happened to be between a B+ trace and a ground trace and got vaporized. Might of even been a marginal trace to trace short circuit that decided to go solid and got vaporized or some component that got fried.
The good news is it didn't blow the inline fuse which means whatever caused the spark was relatively low current or else the thing woulda probably smoked.

You might want to shake that detector and see if something rattles inside and keep a close eye on its performance.
If it were mine, I wouldn't trust it anymore and send it in.

upstatedoc
11-22-2010, 01:07 PM
a bright spark came upon inserting the cord. It was very dark out and the spark actually appeared inside the detector as I saw it through the speaker grill.


All electrical devices operate on smoke, once you let the smoke out, they don't work no more.


I did not see or smell any smoke



I did not see or smell any smoke

Of course you didn't, you said it still works.

Classic thread progression.

Michael B
11-24-2010, 08:34 PM
Does not sound like an issue. Any electronic item that has a draw of 100ma or more when plugged in will have a noticible small spark at the point of initial electrical connection. It was only noticed because it was very dark.

languy99
11-24-2010, 08:42 PM
Does not sound like an issue. Any electronic item that has a draw of 100ma or more when plugged in will have a noticible small spark at the point of initial electrical connection. It was only noticed because it was very dark.

Thank You just like I said.

ivirovets
11-25-2010, 12:53 AM
He said it happened inside the radar detector, not at the point of plugging in the adapter. No connection is ever initially made inside the detector. NOT normal.

MOPARado
11-25-2010, 09:48 AM
Does not sound like an issue. Any electronic item that has a draw of 100ma or more when plugged in will have a noticible small spark at the point of initial electrical connection. It was only noticed because it was very dark.

Thank You just like I said.
FWIW, i disagree.
The OPer said he saw the spark through the speaker grill internally in the case, not at the power connecter area.
A spark deep inside the circuitry is not normal unless there's a some component like a neon type spark arrestor to suppress high voltage spikes which is unlikely in a RDer.

On the other hand if a spark occurs at the power connector, i fully agree with MB's comment. As i said earlier, since the low amperage inline fuse didn't blow and the unit still appears to work, whatever happened wasn't catastrophic at least permanently (so far).

The other remote possibility is if there was some kind of a glitch in the power-up sequence where a single LED brightly lit up prematurely then shut off instantly, in the dark that might of looked like a spark. Or if there is a mechanical relay in the RDer circuitry which i highly doubt. Its normal for relays to spark.

If it were mine i'd send it in for evaluation especially if it happened a 2nd time.

FWIW, some of the electronics i've worked on in the past with similar circuit sparking, here's a few of the root causes i've found that i can remember:
- shutting off the device causing a hi-voltage inductive arc between two components. The continual arcing at power-off eventually caused a carbon track PCB short which finally rendered the circuit permanently inoperable.
- a stray strand of coax shielding intermittently shorting to a nearby PCB trace.
- a few incidences of defective capacitors one of which was a tantulum capacitor which flashed while blew up.
- glass diodes which became defective and blew.
- resistors which flashed before they shorted out.
- cold solder joints causing intermittent sparks in a high amp, high voltage control circuit

Some of the above were high voltage high amperage industrial control circuitry which would not apply to low power devices like RDers. When i worked for a petro pipeline company years ago, our 3 phase booster pump motors were powered by 2.2KV at 180 amps/phase. Man i hated trouble shooting those things! Rubber gloves, hot sticks and always a buddy around just in case!

MOPARado
11-25-2010, 05:03 PM
He said it happened inside the radar detector, not at the point of plugging in the adapter. No connection is ever initially made inside the detector. NOT normal.
Yep, if the OPer's description is accurate, i agree as i also indicated. A feeble 100 ma. spark, IMO... i would find it hard to believe that anemic spark could be reflected deep in the circuitry to be seen via the speaker grill, speaker and all. Something was go'n on IMO!

Just thought of another remote possibility. If the Relative Humidity was low, the OPer had synthetic clothes and the car seats are synthetic, maybe just maybe it was a static discharge. If that was the case, there's high possibility some component could of been hi-voltage stressed and degraded which would eventually lead to its permanent failure. Just saying, been there, seen that.

TRun
11-25-2010, 05:32 PM
So far I had a bunch of Ka false alerts in the last couple days that I can't really explain. I just did a hard reset of the unit and now its starting to calm down. As far as humidity yes there is tons. Plus crazy cold temps that killed the battery on my video camera. I shall see what happens in the next couple days as things are expected to warm up a little. Today I witnessed K band range got cut in half due to so much snow and the speed sign was completely buried and iced over. Brrrrrr