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Author Topic: AD15 Heater Connection Repair  (Read 1756 times)

Sooner

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AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« on: November 21, 2019, 01:29:17 PM »
This has been discussed in depth on the official Orange forum but, with the future there in limbo, a discussion here seems appropriate.

A common problem with AD15 models is failure of the valve heater connectors.  Symptom are no sound, no jewel light, and the rectifier is the only valve that glows.
The heater wires are the red and black wires that connect all the valves heaters and jewel light.  There are 4 connectors, one in the center of each valve and one under the rat's nest of wires behind the power switch. While it's possible that any of these could fail, the most likely is the one behind the power switch. It's the first one off the primary transformer and carries the most current. If another were to fail the symptoms would be different but I've never seen that occur.

Here's the step by step procedure for how I repaired mine. You might be able to do it without a complete disassembly but I found it tedious enough with the PCB removed. 

WARNING: The capacitors contain dangerous high voltage even when the mains power is disconnected. They must be discharged before attempting to repair.

1. I discharged the caps by connecting one end of an alligator lead to ground and touching the other end to every exposed connector and solder joint I could get to.
2. Remove valves
3. Remove all screws on the back side of the chassis that hold the PCB and tube retainers
4. Remove knobs
5. Remove nuts on the front of chassis to the pots and input jack.
6. Remove nuts inside the chassis to the switches.
7. Take pictures
8. Remove connectors to the switches and remove the switches.
9. Remove jewel on indicator light
10. Remove the nut inside the chassis to the indicator lights.
11. Slide indicator light forward and unscrew the chrome piece from the plastic base.
12. Pull indicator light out
13. Remove hot glue around mains input housing.
14. Remove the mains input housing by using a screwdriver to press the retaining tabs in while pushing the housing out, one corner at a time.
15. Take pictures
16. Disconnect all connectors to the main PCB
17. Remove the three PCBs and the indicator light together.
18. Remove all of the heater wire connectors. You may get lucky and they will pull off without a problem. I wasn't lucky and  went to plan "B":   Use a soldering iron to melt the top of each plastic connector while gently pulling on the heater wire. After about 20 seconds the connector will come off leaving three metal posts and a plastic base with tabs on two sides.
19. Use a soldering iron to melt the two plastic tabs off, leaving just the plastic base and three metal posts.
20. Use needle nose pliers to bend the middle metal post back and forth until it breaks off. This post is not used and just gets in the way.
21. Using two long pieces of new small gauge wire, strip the ends and wrap them a couple of times around the metal posts for the V1 heater.
22. Twist the wires together moving towards the metal posts for V2.
23. Strip enough of the wires to wrap them a couple of times around the metal posts for V2. I did this with the soldering iron... :-)
24. Repeats steps 21 and 22 for the remaining valves and HTR0 leaving enough wire remaining to go to the indicator light. I made sure they were all connected with the same polarity. Not sure this makes a difference since it's AC voltage.
25. Solder the wires to the metal posts being careful to heat just enough to make the connection. Too much time with the iron could cause the joint on the back side of the PCB to come loose.
26. Unsolder the indicator light from the original wiring and solder it to the new heater wires.
27. Reassemble while referring to pictures to make sure you get it connected back correctly...

In hindsight it probably would have been easier to mark all the connections during disassembly instead of (or addition to) taking photos. Using different colored replacement wires would have made it easier to make sure the polarity was correct.  I also read somewhere afterwards that it's best to route the heater wires straight up from the connections and bent at 90 degree angles between valves so they are as far from possible from other wiring and components. 
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Sooner

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 01:46:02 PM »
Heater connectors:
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Sooner

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2019, 01:46:35 PM »
Bad heater connector
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Sooner

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 01:47:13 PM »
Bad heater connector
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Sooner

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2019, 01:47:58 PM »
Heater connector after removal
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Sooner

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2019, 01:49:29 PM »
New wires in place
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Sooner

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 01:50:00 PM »
Back in the saddle
Sooner AD1512 Serial No. 001

"Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep." - Neil Young

Les Paul Lover

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Re: AD15 Heater Connection Repair
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 03:15:41 PM »
Yeap.


Ive done that of each of the 2 AD15 I've owned.

I've helped diagnose the same issue on an AD200 and R30.

My Rocker 30 has the same splicing connectors for some valves of the valves, and I'm sure will develop that issue too at some point.

Good thing Orange have stopped using those, they were a weak feature for sure.
Orange AD5, AD15, R30, RV50 MKI  & PPC212

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