error fpga fan speed

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Is there a fix for this problem or do I have to send it in? I see others have had this problem.

Don...w2xb
running a flex 6500
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Don

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Posted 2 years ago

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Delbert McCord

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Ok so Flex has some fans still is stock. Can I buy some? That was one of the original questions knowing that they are discontinued and I have 2 6300's I do not want to be stuck with expensive paperweights in a couple years.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think Steve made it clear that Flex will not let the radio turn into a paper wight. He said they are looking to other options for cooling,,  So I don't see the panic here.
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Delbert McCord

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I am not panicking I just want to have some spares. I already had to send one of them in for the fan problem and I have a friend that is about to send his in for the second time.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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@Don / W2XB
I hope you don't mind the discussion about the USB ports here.  I know this was intended to be a post about the fan failures.   It started when Steve mentioned that the fan failures were second only to lightning failures.   Anyway I should probably have copied that comment and started a separate thread.   I originally thought it would result in a quick answer but it evolved to much more.  

So I apologize for that....

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10
 
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G8ZPX

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interesting sentiment and anecdotes from N5AC, but lacking any facts about reliability, MTBF figures, part numbers, why they are failing so early and repeatedly, what is valid technical solution for the end-of life-part code in a raido only 3 years old?

Did I say part number?

(Edited)
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Gene - K3GC

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I contacted Mouser last week regarding a replacement for the obsolete fan.  They sent me data sheet for the replacement.  They have to be ordered in lots of 20 at $13.12 ea.
The first thing I noticed was that the fan only has 2 wires (no tach)
For those of us who would like to have spare for later self install the only option appears to be Flex unless someone can find another source.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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2-wire fans will not work.  The radio will not boot without the tach line.
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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See G7BCX's post a week ago in this thread. There is a fully compatible replacement. Same rpm monitoring function. Plug an Play, just that it uses a newer "hyper bearing" internal design. PN AP0512HX-J96

They are not normally stocked by the distributors (Mouser, DigiKey, etc). 

As I mentioned earlier in the week, if there is enough interest, I can do a bulk (100pc) purchase direct from the manufacturer. Price will be just below $15 each, plus postage.  


Eric
K2CB

(Edited)
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Gene - K3GC

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The data sheet I got from Mouser does not show the 
Tach line which as Tim said will not work.
Link to data sheet: http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/6/adda_ap5008-608356.pdf

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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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That's because that is not the correct replacement.  The PDF referenced above is for the J90 version which is a two wire design. The J96 version has the third-wire rpm monitoring circuit.


Here is the correct version. 

http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/6/Adda_AP0512HX-J96-A-347536.pdf



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KC2QMA_John

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Eric I think you might just have to take a chance and order the fans. I’m sure once you have them you can just sell them on ebay as a replacement part for the 63/65/6700. And at that point you can just charge around $20-$25 each.

And as time goes on with such a high failure rate you will have no problem selling them.
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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I have confirmed availability and am getting ready to place an order. They will be $15 each, and flat rate shipping to you will be approximately $9 regardless of quantity.  Email me direct with your desires, and once I have a total count, I will place the order. Quoted lead time is 1-2 weeks.


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Gene - K3GC

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There is a link at the bottom of that data sheet that shows obsolete, not available.
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KC2QMA_John

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Gene they are special order from manufacture. Meaning they are made to order.
(Edited)
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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According to Mouser, yes. 

However, if you commit to a large quantity, you can still get them direct from the manufacturer. I have already consulted with the manufacturer, they have stock, lead time is 1-2 weeks. They are ready to ship, once we have enough interest.

If I don't get enough takers to cover the minimum, another option is to up the price slightly per unit to cover my total cost of the minimum buy requirement, but let's hope there are enough takers as is.

There is a large minimum, so I need enough takers to make it worthwhile. Believe me, it is not really worth the aggravation or time involved. I am only offering to do this for the benefit of my fellow Flex owners, and to have a few on hand for my own two radios.

Any remaining units after the group buy will just go into my parts inventory, and as John NY suggested, may be available down the road as needed.

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Manuel - W4SSB

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Eric,  I sent you a PM to your ARRL email address.  Let me know if you didn't receive it.
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Gene - K3GC

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I sent one also
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Bill W2PKY

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Would it be a good idea to start a thread for those who want to purchase fans?
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Eric / K2CB,
I appreciate your effort to help make the improved fans available for us.  I'd jump on the offer but would like to hear more about the concerns Steve H. raised about the cage re-install.  It would be great to have someone document or video the process so we can determine whether it is something we want to do.  Steve makes it sound difficult.....or risky. 

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10


From above.....
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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I have received everyone's emails. I think I have replied to everyone so far. It looks like we will make the minimum. I will wait till Monday to get a final count, then I will place an order Tuesday.

Please let me know by Monday at the latest if you want in. I'd appreciate the PayPal payments by Monday evening, as I don't want to get stuck "holding the bag" on this!   I'll be ordering just enough to cover all the "paid" requests, and maybe a handful more "just in case".

 I'll respond to those who emailed me directly as well.

Thanks,

Eric

 

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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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I agree, Al.   My own 6300 and 6500 are fine at the moment, so I really don't want to open them up for no reason at this point. Therefore, I also would appreciate someone else picking up the "documentation" portion of this "project", or whatever you want to call it.....But from past experience with similarly designed equipment, I think as long as one is careful, it should not be too difficult to properly replace the cover.  One just needs to pay close attention to the overall alignment before snapping it down into place.


(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I wonder how much the fans are from Flex, but I think they are the complete set, heatsink and fan together, Steve says they have stock of them and they are not in trouble of depleting the stock as yet.

Eric, perhaps if you order a few more then you have commitments, you will still have some to sell later on.
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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Same deal. Fan and heat sink combo. You can simply unscrew the fan off the new heat sink and swap it with the existing fan.
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Delbert McCord

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Thank you Eric for doing this. I know I feel a log better knowing I have them coming and will not have to worry about it anymore.
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John - K3MA

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Jeez for the $24 shipped Eric is asking for this spare part it should be a done deal.  I applaud Eric.  Finally someone is doing something other then typing comments on the forum.  Heck even if you can't install the fan yourself or have trouble with the cage the $24 to have a try is less than the insurance you will pay to ship your Flex back to the factory.
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Delbert McCord

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Bill Buchanan-VA3WTB

When I had mine fixed Flex replaced 2 fans and they charged 30$ each.
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Douglas Maxwell

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Luckily my 6300 fan failed within warranty, Flex honoured all costs for it to be fixed so no beef there, however the cooling arrangement used (IMO) is something I would expect to see on a Xilinx development platform laid flat on a desk with no ruggedness specification and not as in Flex usage for inverted orientation in a high end transceiver likely to be used in the field. I am surprised it even survives shipping reliably. I have grown to love my Flexradio and it's currently the only radio I want in the shack, so hopefully the new radios passive cooling solution doesn't completely rely on tape to hold the heatsink onto the chip.
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Delbert McCord

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Thank you for the info, I also love my FLex and am spoiled its all i want to use. When it was in I was at my cabin and had to use the Icom 746 there (backup rig) and it worked I was able to check into the net but is was not a Flex...... Tape hu? I am underwhelmed! 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Doug, they don't use tape to secure the heat sink to the chip. They use a very strong adhesive. It would be very hard to remove the heat sink without damaging the chip. It would never just fall off.
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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If anyone has any photos of the opened cage, original fan, and actual pin connector where it plugs into the board, I would greatly appreciate an email with a photo or two.  I want to be 110% sure the mfg is supplying me with the correct connector and lead length, so it is truly a plug and play swap.  They have asked me for a photo of the original unit and connector so as to verify.


Also, with the photos, I could possibly photo shop them and prepare some sort of how-to doc to enclose with the fans when they ship.


BTW, we have met the minimum, but there is still time to get on the list, as I can increase the quantity if needed.


Thanks,

Eric

K2CB

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Douglas Maxwell

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Bill, I wish that were true, my limited edition 6500 fan and heatsink arrangement simply "fell off" and had to be "stuck on" again. Hence my comments here from experience.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Wow never ever heard of that happening, well, see anything can happen...
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Douglas Maxwell

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Just finished a thorough clean out of the 2 side fans and the FPGA and processor active heatsinks. I removed the fans from the heatsinks to aid cleaning using a small brush and a vaccum. Tip here is to support the heatsink when removing the fan screws to prevent the heatsink from twisting off the adhesive tape that holds the heatsink to the chip. Removing the RF screen was easy by ensuring a small upward movement on each of the three sides available thus lifting the top off without using force. I found re-installing the RF screen difficult as there are 2 rows of metal tongues which the lid edge needs to be secured between. The tongue rows are interleaved and the ones with holes in them go on the inside of the lid edge and the solid tongues go to the outside of the lid edge. The problem is that the fourth side of the rf screen box is located under an aluminium chassis bar and its difficult to see in there. The trick seems to be to ensure the 4th obscured side of the rf screen box lid has located correctly between the tongues. Start with this edge first, then align the other 3 sides and push down evenly on all 4 sides in turn till pushed fully home. A check round the box can then be done to ensure no tongues with holes are visible. It really was rather simple but obviously you do so at your own risk.
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Douglas Maxwell

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I took some measurements when I was in there. The rf screen box is 20mm high
the heatsink is 50mmx50mmx8mm and hovers over the pcb by about 4mm. So there is approximately 8mm gap between the top of the FPGA active heatsink and the rf screen lid. There is a 13mm gap between the top of the rf screen box and the aluminium bar. The FPGA fan is directly in line with the side fan.
I wonder if Flex would consider engineering a mod something like the following:
A 16mm deep aluminium block can be taped to the top of FPGA then a thermal gap pad to the rf screen lid. This would provide a massive passive heatsink (block & rf screen). An additional heatsink could then be secured to the top of the rf screen box and the side fan would provide airflow through it. The RPM lead from the processor fan could then wired in parallel to the FPGA RPM lead meaning the firmware thinks it has 2 fans when actually it only has 1 fan. This would double the reliability by removing one of the fans. The FPGA is the real heat problem anyway as this should always draw way more current than the processor.
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Gene - K3GC

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Thanks for sharing Douglas,
Was there sufficient dust and crud in and around the fan/heat-sink to justify removing the rf shield and fans?

A sufficiently dirty fan can easily cause premature failure.  Blowing compressed air through the shield to the fans will be helpful but in my experience  compressed air will will blow some but not all of the dust adhering to the surface.

 I look forward to your observations.
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Scott N8UMW

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No dust in mine. No radio online. Fan must have died again. Time to send it in while I have a month and a half of warranty left.
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Michael Aust

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How many of these fans are in 6500 compared to a 6700 on the FPGA

Assume 1 Fan for 6500
Assume 2 Fan's for 6700

If FRS had an cooling upgrade kit for the 6700 that was Fanless, I go for that !
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Michael Aust

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How many of these fans are in 6500 compared to a 6700 on the FPGA

Assume One Fan for 6500
Assume Two  Fan's for 6700

If FRS had an cooling upgrade kit for the 6700 that was Fanless, I go for that !
(Edited)
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Each radio has a CPU and an FPGA, one fan for each regardless of model.
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Douglas Maxwell

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Gene, my 6500 was opened up before, approx 2 years ago to reattach the active heatsink to the FPGA, it was also cleaned out at that stage. This time there was only a light dusting over the blades, but 1 hours effort for peace of mind was worth it for me. There are 4 fans visible when you open the underside of the 6500, 2 large fans on either side that you can see from the outside and 2 fans within the rf screen box which you can't see from the outside. The ones in the rf screen box are mini fans mounted within heatsinks that are "stuck" onto the Xilinx virtex 6 FPGA and the TI Da Vinci processor chips.
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Douglas Maxwell

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Gene, my 6500 was opened up before, approx 2 years ago to reattach the active heatsink to the FPGA, it was also cleaned out at that stage. This time there was only a light dusting over the blades, but 1 hours effort for peace of mind was worth it for me. There are 4 fans visible when you open the underside of the 6500, 2 large fans on either side that you can see from the outside and 2 fans within the rf screen box which you can't see from the outside. The ones in the rf screen box are mini fans mounted within heatsinks that are "stuck" onto the Xilinx virtex 6 FPGA and the TI Da Vinci processor chips.
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Michael Aust

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So does the 6700 have Two CPU's and Two FPGA's with a fan on each ( 4 Fans) 
or just Two Fan's to cool the CPU's and FPGA's

Seem we know there are only Two Fans for the CPU/FPGA on the 6500,
asking does the Fan Count go up by twice  ?  Four Fan's ?? for the 6700

From what I hear, but not sure from Steve only Two of these fans 
on CPU/FPGA for Flex6300, Flex6500 and Flex6700

Not Counting any side Fan's just those needed for CPU's and FPGA's
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Each radio has one CPU, one FPGA, one fan on each (two total).
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Gene - K3GC

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Thanks Douglas
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k3Tim

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I pulled the bottom cover on the 6500 here and peeked in the EMI cage to be sure the fans were secure. I've taken this radio backpacking, portable and  mobile - the fans look to be stuck in place pretty well. Didn't pull the cover as the portion under the bracket looks like it would be a lot of fun to get it all lined up. Should a fan replacement be required I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Blew out some dust using the recommended procedure. On the chassis fans had to use a brush to loosen the dirt. 
Radio is over 2 years old, has many hours on it and NO problems at all.

Thanks of the interesting information and also a special thanks to Eric for  putting the fan order together.  I'm in for several. I have a '76 Camaro that the thermal vacuum trip valve in the carb filter snorkle cost like $5 back in the day. Today that little plastic piece will set you back $200, if you're lucky enough to find one. Will stock some fans just to be safe!

Regards All,
TiM
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Michael Aust

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Well, On the list for 4 fans from Eric K2CB, just as insurance
if ever needed or if FRS runs out !
Thanks Eric !
73 Mike
WB6DJI
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Al / NN4ZZ

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The TOTAL number of FANS varies by 6xxx model per the "help desk."  See snapshot below about the fan cleaning process. 

But all models have 2 fans inside the cage which are the ones Eric / K2CB is offering. One for the CPU and one for the FPGA.   I ordered 2 and figured if I have to remove the cage to replace one, might as well replace them both.   (although the only error I've seen reported is the FPGA error so wonder if there is a CPU error as well or do both get reported as the same FPGA error)

 


@Eric, what about replacements for the other fans?   Should there also be a supply of the other one (1) or two (2) main cooling fans at the front of the chassis?   Assume they are a different model, is that correct?

I haven't seen much about the failure rate for them or whether they generate any specific error codes.   But in a few posts there have been references like  "FRS replaced all 4 of my fans."    

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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The engineering sample arrived Friday.

It is a full drop in replacement. Same OEM manufacturer, same wire color coding and connector, same heat sink, and the same thermal adhesive pad. The only difference is the bearing technology, as the oem no longer offers the older style design. I am told the Hypro bearing is better, but I'm no fan design expert!

Most will opt to just unscrew and swap the fans, but for the purist, this is a complete replacement. No cutting corners. See pics below.

For those who preordered, I expect the fan order to arrive here Wednesday, and they should be in the mail and on the way to you by Friday. Watch for your shipment notification email.

For those who may wish to purchase fans in the future, I will have a limited stock on hand for $20 each, plus $10 flat rate shipping in the US. Inquire for shipment rates outside the US. If you think you want to purchase a fan, don't wait too long, as I don't foresee ordering another 100 fans anytime soon!

Thank you to everyone who preordered and made this possible!

Eric
K2CB

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Delbert McCord

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Thank you sir for all your effort on this. It will be a lot of work for you to package and sent all these out and I for one appreciate all your effort for us Flex owners.
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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UPDATE-

The fans arrived yesterday, and were shipped out to everyone last evening.  Everyone should have received their tracking notification emails by now, and those in the US should expect delivery by Saturday. Outside the US, allow a week or two.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and made this "group buy" possible.

For those who missed out, I have approximately 8 fans left at this point in time.  $20 each plus $10 shipping. Once they are gone, that's it! 


Eric

K2CB

(Edited)
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Terry Tankersley

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Thanks Eric, great job. I received mine today.
Terry
K7NY
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Delbert McCord

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Thanks!
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Larry Williamson

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Eric,

I would like to purchase one please?

Thank you
Larry
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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Email me direct. k2cb@comcast.net
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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As of this afternoon, the fans are sold out.

Should there be significant interest in the future, I'll consider another pre-order list.

Once again, thank you to all who participated.

Eric
K2CB
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Paul Burton

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Eric - I received mine today.  Many thanks for your efforts.
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Scott N8UMW

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They work perfectly. Thank you Eric.

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