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Beocenter 9500 smell...

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pat17
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pat17 posted on Mon, Mar 4 2019 1:08 PM

Hey all,

New to the forum and hoping to get some direction on a fix. I was gifted a Beocenter 9500 - my first B&O product - with a pair of Beovox Penta speakers. Got everything set up, turned it on and after realizing one of the woofers in my right speaker is toast, everything sounded great!

Left the unit plugged in but in standby overnight and woke up the next morning with a pretty strong electric smell. Kind of a hybrid of burning or hot plastic and the smell of shorting a component. It was so strong it was actually giving my wife and I a headache. I unplugged it and did some research but was unable to find anyone posting similar issues online. Found this forum and thought I'd give it a shot.

I've opened to unit and the only obvious things are that the entire unit is littered in dust so I will be using some Deoxit to clean it up a bit. Also, as seen in the picture below, the transformer has some sort of liquid that I believe is paste down one side, but it's not running - it seems to have solidified in that position. However when I look at images of other people's transformers I don't see that liquid there. Curious if anyone has seen that before?

Otherwise I'm open to suggestions. I've taken the rectifier board out to check voltages as well as the caps for leakage and they all seem fine on the outside. The transformer was originally set to 110V, but I've changed it to 130V to better represent the ~122V from our house. This reduced the smell a little bit but it still smells like hot electronics.

Below are some pictures of the unit if it helps at all. I am completely new to this design but I do have a background in EE so I'm willing to take things apart and check them out, just not sure where to look. Thanks for any responses!

P.S. Any idea where I can find a replacement woofer for the Beovox Penta as well? It's the type 8480197

 

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TheTinman
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That is part of the resin used to pot the transformer.  It's normal.

The "smell" is a pretty unique smell that most old philips based electronics have.  All of mine have it and it never seems to completely go away.

You do seem quite sensitive to it.

 

I have a 9000 and a 9500, but to conserve power AND prolong the life of this old gear, all of it is plugged into a power strip.  Why burn electricity 24/7 when I only play the B&O maybe an hour here and there.  It may be worse if the unit was not run in a long time, as the one that is always "on" in another room only has that "electronics smell" when you put your nose by the rear vents.

 

Hope this helps.... somewhat at least.  Welcome to that "Old Philips" smell.

 

 

pat17
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pat17 replied on Tue, Mar 5 2019 1:47 AM

Hey Tinman,

Thanks for the response. Totally get it. I'm definitely familiar with the typical smell of anything designed and manufactured in the 80s. Has its own charm, for sure.

This is definitely that coupled with something much stronger. I've also been in electronics labs long enough to know the smell of something that's hotter than it wants to be - which is a bit of what this smell is. Also slightly chemical.

As far as my sensitivity to it, the unit is in our living room and you can easily smell it in the adjacent rooms after being plugged in for an hour or so. My wife text me the next day when I was at work saying she needed to unplug it because it was giving her a headache. We had a friend over that night and they also immediately smelled "something weird" as soon as they came in the door and it had been unplugged for a couple of hours.

I can completely appreciate it has it's own smell that may never go away, but I am certain this is quite extreme. You definitely don't need your nose anywhere near the rear vents to smell it, much less think it's very strong.

I can definitely see myself unplugging it while not in use, but even after an hour it's really bad and takes a few hours to dissipate. A coworker suggested it's likely a leaky cap or two somewhere so I may just begin taking boards out one by one and inspecting/checking capacitance. The unit was probably in storage for a couple of years before being given to me. Who knows if the heat/cold affected it and/or being moved around.

Any other suggestions welcome! Thanks again.

Spassmaker
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Hi there

Maybe this is an sugestion:

I've had a bad smelling in a BC 9500 caused by Rersistor R 131 ( 22 Ohm) on the PCB wich is placed in the upper  "Bonnet".

It is a Resistor wich goes directly from the Rail Voltage (13,8 V) to the Capstan Motor of the Casette Deck. I could not figure out what the resistor made burning but i have taken the Motor apart and relubed it as far as i came to the Bearings. Also I pulled out the capstans cleand and relubed them.

The same I 've made with the Fast forward and Reward Pulleys.

But beware of the tiny plastic Ring wich holds the Pulleys on their Axels, it easyly snaps somewhere  and is rather hard to search for, I've made this expirienceCool

Also I mounted a new Belt.

The Deck is in my case the one with only one Belt.

The Casette Deck is always initialised by the Microcontroller when the BC 9500 is connected to the Mains and the Capstan Motor runs for a short time.

The resistor burned right about 2 or 3 seconds  after connectet the BC to main, not always.

Here are 2 Pictures, one of the burned Resistor and my repair attempt

Since the new Resistor and the new Belt is mounted and everything is cleaned and relubed I've had no Problems anymore with this Resistor or smelling.

The Motor:

The Pulleys, the toothpic sows to the Plastic Rings wich hold the Pulles in Place.

 

Good Luck and Best Regards

Christian

pat17
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pat17 replied on Mon, Mar 18 2019 11:08 AM

Christian,

Thank you so much for the detailed response with pictures! I will check this out soon. I had to put this project on hold recently but I should be able to get to it sometime this week. I'll let you know what I find.

Again, I appreciate the advice.

Take care,

Patrick

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Mon, Mar 18 2019 4:24 PM

pat17:

Hey Tinman,

Thanks for the response. Totally get it. I'm definitely familiar with the typical smell of anything designed and manufactured in the 80s. Has its own charm, for sure.

Glad I'm not the only one that seems to notice this. In my last job the guy who was doing audio/sound system design for the training areas we were building and I talked about it, he first brought it up when I told him I had gotten an old HK amp and was looking into it. He said does it have that 80's smell? Yes, it did.

Do you know why this smell is so prevalent and dominant in late 70s through 80's consumer electronics gear? Is it some brand of component, or as I likely think, the kind of conformal coating, if any, on the circuit boards? My 80s B&Os have it, my late 70's HK integrated amp has it, my old Carver amp has it...

It is indeed a unique aroma.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

solderon29
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I allway's assumed that the "beopong"was due to the material that was used in the pcb's?

Later and current product uses glass fibre in the pcb's,but this just seems to emit a different albeit lesser smell.

The B&O policy of their systems being in standby continuously means that some components are getting warm and giving off scent too of course.

With the hysteria over energy conservation of course,all equipment nowaday's is very frugal in consumption.

Nick

TheTinman
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That's interesting about the tape motor resistor.  The exact same thing happened to me. 

Spassmaker
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Hi Tinman

Have you found out what the cause of the burned resistor was?

Best Regards

Christian

TheTinman
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Never did.  It just fried one day and I swapped it.  It has not happened again and the tape deck has been fine. 

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