Leaving equipment on

N4KVE

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My XTL’s, & XPR’s in the base have been on since 2013, & only get turned off if I go away on vacation. They are plugged into a UPS, so if the electricity shuts off, the radios don’t.
 

RockyBennett

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I am a hi fi buff and I leave my stereo amplifiers on 24/7. I have had an amplifier on for over 15 years at a time, not counting local blackouts. Of course I am talking about larger 500 watt amplifiers, so why would I turn them off just turn them back on again.
 

Golay

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Nankin Township, Michigan
Interesting thread. When I'm not in the shack, I always turn everything off. And then turn off the power strip that feeds everything. Seems like it may of been because I was worried about lightning or something. It's such a habit now, I can't really say for sure why I started.
 

WB9YBM

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Niles, IL
Not sure this is the proper forum but here i go. Just wandering if you guys leave your radios on all the time or turn them off when not using them. I am mostly speaking about base station transceiver/receiver. I for one leave my radios on all the time but not really sure if i should or not. What do you guys do ? any recommendations ?
I've been told that, back in the vacuum tube days, the filament in-rush current during initial turn-on--just like with the old-fashioned filament light bulbs--because the cold temperature resistance was a bit lower than resistance once turned on. To spare filaments from degradation ops would leave their radios on all the time. (Although given the idle current of tubes when the radio's not in use to transmit it would, eventually after enough hours, would maybe exceed the cost of replacing the tubes if the filaments wear out quicker with constant turned on & off).

Probably not as big of a deal with solid state gear...
 

jonwienke

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It's definitely not. The temperature difference between on and off is far less with solid state.
 

jonwienke

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Not really. It's about thermal expansion and contraction as temperatures change. Over time that can break things, with enough heating/cooling cycles. Solid state temperature changes are a lot less dramatic, and therefore put less stress on components and connections.
 

VK3RX

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I don't leave any of my gear powered up, after a capacitor in a power supply blew up in a spectacular fashion, noise and smoke.

Fortunately I was home when it happened to shut the power off.
 

danesgs

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I had equipment at work that had been powered up continuously for 20+ years. Honestly, we were afraid to turn it off since we were never sure if it would turn back on again.

There's some logic to keeping it turned on all the time if the power supply is stable.
I agree there . Depends on your situation. Older scanners for instance that have a dimmer switch will keep the led bulbs lasting longer. Ham rados that use certain type of bulbs burn out if left on all the time (Alinco 1200) for instance. But my FT-990 runs 24/7.
 

majoco

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Way back in the 60's when I was a marine radio officer, all the radios were on 24/7 - more for temperature and therefore frequency stability than anything else - but of course they were all tube receivers and transmitters, so the current inrush was avoided too. At the end of the voyages on that particular ship, if my relief arrived before I had left, then they were still left on. Bigger ships with more than one radio guy the equipment was probably never turned off from launching to scrapping!
 

needairtime

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There is a duty cycle number for receive much like transmit. Some (many) semiconductor receivers are fine for 100% duty cycle. My Icom IC-U400 I end up leaving on 24/7 for no good reason, just wastes electricity. However kind of funny, the LCD's backlight - two incandescent bulbs - both burned out within a few weeks from each other, probably the only drawback of leaving it on 24/7, probably has the same issue as vacuum tubes.

I jury rigged them with T1¾ LEDs. Not very good but good enough...
 

jonwienke

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LEDs can last indefinitely if you drive them conservatively.
 

TailGator911

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My main transceiver, Icom 746Pro, I turn off after using simply because I don't want to leave the power supply turned on. I do leave a few choice scanners on 24/7, my BCD536HP, SDS200, and my BCT15X.
 

Duckford

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This thread got me to consider leaving on more of my gear 24 hours a day on trial basis. Last night around 2 AM, a lonely Ham was talking to another, with the one man having medical trouble and in town for medical appointments. It was a good thing, a true productive use of the radio Service, helping someone even if it wasn't an emergency.

Still, I'm not sure if I want to leave my 2 meter rig monitoring the local repeater just so I can wake up out of the bed to hear some jaw jacking. The price of radio vigilance I guess.

As for unattended, I'll probably go back to turning everything off. As already stated in the thread, if you are in attendance of your equipment if something blows up or starts on fire, you can quickly react and stop the problem. If something lights up when you aren't there, you can't do a thing.
 

mmckenna

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Still, I'm not sure if I want to leave my 2 meter rig monitoring the local repeater just so I can wake up out of the bed to hear some jaw jacking. The price of radio vigilance I guess.
I have one in the kitchen that's on 24x7. That's a good application for CTCSS squelch. I set our radios to TX with the tone and that opens the radio in the kitchen. All the other radios are carrier squelch on that frequency.
 
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