Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

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NY_EE
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Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by NY_EE » Tue May 05, 2009 8:39 pm

Thought some of you might be interested in this thread, I copied the first post here. ToyMaker, ever measure the power factor of a Carver amp?

Full thread - http://www.speakerplans.com/Forum/topic23310.html

First Post - Topic: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor
Posted: 26 January 2009 at 12:09am
Just had an interesting experience on the bench. Been working on a pair of old Carver PM1.5's for a long standing forum member. The one on the bench at the moment had been attacked by someone rather ham-fisted with a soldering iron and started working once the solder bridges and unnecessary wire links had been removed. Have had to replace the low voltage supplies smoothing caps as they'd gone dry and stopped actually storing charge. That was a highly entertaining job for starters because of their location and the fact that whoever built them had used a whole roll of solder on the board! I could go on for ages about how strange a design they are: Lighting dimmer for PSU regulation, no less than three sets of supply rails, 10 output devices per channel but only two connected to the output!

Anyway, I started running the amp up into a 4R load as a kind of final check before screwing the case on and deeming it finished but after only a few seconds of running at full power (slightly clipping) the amp cut out. Very quietly, no bangs or anything. Turned out the mains fuse had blown (6.3A slow blow). So I replaced it with the one from the other amp, same value. Started the testing again and it blew the fuse again. Now at this point I've run out of 6.3A 35mm fuses so it's now got a 20A one temporarily but have downrated the plug fuse to 5A for testing and I decide perhaps measuring the input current would be a good idea.

Very quickly the reason for the fuse blowing was obvious, the amp has an appalling power factor. At low powers it's about 0.3, rising to 0.5 at high power. To give you an idea, with the amp delivering 300WRMS from one channel into a 4Ohm load, it's drawing over 5A or 1300VA from the mains!!! Just before it took out the 5A fuse in the plug I clocked it at over 3000VA and this is still only with one channel running! Maximum output power is about 800WRMS/4R for short bursts (100 ms or so)

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by stereo_buff » Wed May 06, 2009 8:29 am

...that's why, once upon a time, some Carver manuals instructed the owner to plug the amplifier into the wall, NOT the convenience outlet on the back of the preamp. (Yes, I know, some did state that you could use the convenience outlet.)

At any rate, the large power factor shouldn't be a huge surprise. It is, after all, the basis of how Carver amps work, i.e., they suck the required power out of the wall on demand, rather than having a power 'pool' stored in large capacitors.

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by NY_EE » Wed May 06, 2009 9:48 am

Actually 0.3 to 0.5 is a very low power factor. Power factor is the ratio of delivered power to reflected power. Low power factor implies that the device has high inductive current, which does not do any work (like move the speaker element) and this current is reflected between the device and the power supply (utility grid). I think its the "magnetic field" design that causes this, like an induction motor, expanding and collapsing magnetic fields require high inductive power (aka imaginary power) which is reflected back to the source (generator) when the field collapses.

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by BillD » Wed May 06, 2009 9:51 am

Anatech defense was good, but incomplete. He needed to do a better description of field coils and why they work the way they do (not swinging through the zero voltage region and fighting the magnetic collapse in the core at full voltage). Also the part about running only highs with a Carver amp was a little thin. It's the time constant in the rail commutation RC circuit that needs to be observed (or changed).
It should sound like it isn't there!
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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by NY_EE » Wed May 06, 2009 3:40 pm

BillD wrote:Anatech defense was good, but incomplete. He needed to do a better description of field coils and why they work the way they do (not swinging through the zero voltage region and fighting the magnetic collapse in the core at full voltage). Also the part about running only highs with a Carver amp was a little thin. It's the time constant in the rail commutation RC circuit that needs to be observed (or changed).
Sorry I don't follow, who is Anatech? Is there another thread you are referring to? :-k

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by BillD » Wed May 06, 2009 3:49 pm

Did you read the whole thread you posted?
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by NY_EE » Thu May 07, 2009 8:46 pm

BillD wrote:Did you read the whole thread you posted?
Oops, I replied to your post while looking only at page 1 of the posted thread.

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by NY_EE » Thu May 07, 2009 8:49 pm

#-o

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by kingman » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:21 am

NY_EE wrote:Thought some of you might be interested in this thread, I copied the first post here. ToyMaker, ever measure the power factor of a Carver amp?

Full thread - http://www.speakerplans.com/Forum/topic23310.html

First Post - Topic: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor
Posted: 26 January 2009 at 12:09am
Just had an interesting experience on the bench. Been working on a pair of old Carver PM1.5's for a long standing forum member. The one on the bench at the moment had been attacked by someone rather ham-fisted with a soldering iron and started working once the solder bridges and unnecessary wire links had been removed. Have had to replace the low voltage supplies smoothing caps as they'd gone dry and stopped actually storing charge. That was a highly entertaining job for starters because of their location and the fact that whoever built them had used a whole roll of solder on the board! I could go on for ages about how strange a design they are: Lighting dimmer for PSU regulation, no less than three sets of supply rails, 10 output devices per channel but only two connected to the output!

Anyway, I started running the amp up into a 4R load as a kind of final check before screwing the case on and deeming it finished but after only a few seconds of running at full power (slightly clipping) the amp cut out. Very quietly, no bangs or anything. Turned out the mains fuse had blown (6.3A slow blow). So I replaced it with the one from the other amp, same value. Started the testing again and it blew the fuse again. Now at this point I've run out of 6.3A 35mm fuses so it's now got a 20A one temporarily but have downrated the plug fuse to 5A for testing and I decide perhaps measuring the input current would be a good idea.

Very quickly the reason for the fuse blowing was obvious, the amp has an appalling power factor. At low powers it's about 0.3, rising to 0.5 at high power. To give you an idea, with the amp delivering 300WRMS from one channel into a 4Ohm load, it's drawing over 5A or 1300VA from the mains!!! Just before it took out the 5A fuse in the plug I clocked it at over 3000VA and this is still only with one channel running! Maximum output power is about 800WRMS/4R for short bursts (100 ms or so)
I have one of these and found the article very instructive.
In reality, it only matters what it sounds like to YOU!!!

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by Impedance » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:06 pm

What's the difference between the PM 1.5 and the PM 1.5a?

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by kingman » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:40 pm

2 fans on the a ?
In reality, it only matters what it sounds like to YOU!!!

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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by F1nut » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Lighting dimmer for PSU regulation, no less than three sets of supply rails, 10 output devices per channel but only two connected to the output!
Ugh!
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Re: Carver PM 1.5 Power Factor

Post by BillD » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:15 pm

Boy, was this a resurrection, or what.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

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