Fuse burned out in shipping? ?


Okay, I bought an amp--a Halfer DH220--from a 'gent' who assures me it was in perfect working order prior to arriving. It arrives and one channel doesn't work. It was poorly packed, so I wasn't surprised, but it also had a burned fuse on the channel that no longer worked. Bad sign.

So I write this 'gent' who continues to insist that the amp was functioning at the time of shipping and he can't imagine why a fuse would of burned out. ---- He suggested that perhaps something happened in shipping to cause the fuse to burn out!! ---- Okay, I'm not an electrical engineer, but I smell BS. However, I decided I would give his story one tiny modicum of the benefit of doubt and come here and post. Soooo.....

Is there ANYTHING that could happen to an amp, packed inside a friggin box and not plugged in, that could cause it to burn out a fuse? I think this is complete crap, but hey, I'm not gonna crucify someone if I'm wrong.
aewhistory
If you replace the fuse and the amp works fine then do not worry about it.
Even a split second of a speaker wire shorting would blow a channel fuse.
Maybe right when he was taking it off it touched. No big deal. that is what a rail fuse is for.
Replace it. If the amp works, then forget about it as if it never happened. Be certain to use the right fuse though.

If it blows another fuse right away.., then the seller was cheating you.

If it works. don't worry, be happy.

(I agree no way is the fuse going to blow while in shipping.. but some old geezers cannot admit they were wrong. If it works fine, then just forgive him. If not, then just make it clear the amp is broken and get your money back.)
Aewhistory,

The only way to tell if the amp had a blown fuse when you received the amp from the shipper was if you checked all the fuses in the amp before connecting it to the AC power.

The more practical, likely, explanation is the fuse blew when the amp was powered up in your home after you received the amp.

I would suggest you try another fuse of the same type/rating. Before doing so I would suggest a visual look around inside the amp for damage that may have occurred during shipping.

If it blows another fuse right away.., then the seller was cheating you.
08-30-12: Elizabeth
Disagree.
I am betting the fuse blew when Aewhistory hooked up the amp and turned it on.

Was the amp damaged in shipping? Aewhistory says the amp was poorly packaged.

Also it is not unusual for a shipping handler to drop a heavy item to the ground/floor/stoop from a standing position.

So the next question might be was the outer case, cabinet, enclosure, of the amp damaged in any way? What did the shipping box look like? Any evidence of excessive abuse?
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The above answers are intelligent discussions of what may may have blown the fuse, but none even hint at an unplugged amp blowing a fuse on its own. So the straight answer is no but investigate the problem as suggested.
The above answers are intelligent discussions of what may may have blown the fuse, but none even hint at an unplugged amp blowing a fuse on its own.
08-30-12: Mechans

Mechans,

He suggested that perhaps something happened in shipping to cause the fuse to burn out!!
Aewhistory

You know the way I read that?.... The amp could have been damaged in shipment and when the buyer hooked up the amp and powered it on the fuse blew.

Doesn't that make more sense?

Aewhistory,

Is there a chance you shorted the speaker output terminals, with the connected speaker wire terminations, of the channel with the blown fuse?

Before you install the new fuse and try to power up the amp again make sure the speaker output terminals are not shorted.
Jim
Is is very common for shippers to leave things on the roof of a truck during lunch breaks and while driving slowly, thus subjecting items to lightening storms and wind driven falling power lines which can blow a fuse in an otherwise packed and sealed amp. Airplanes used in shipping get hit by lightening also, and often a criminal perpetrator is near or sitting on a box containing audio gear when being tasered. Very common, happens all the time.
It's possible the fuse got damaged in shipping from mechanical vibration. It's easy to tell if the fuse was damaged mechanically vs. was blown. Mechanically, the fuse element would be totally intact and just broke off. If the fuse blew you would see melted fuse element or charring of the element and sometimes the element gets deposited on the glass of the fuse. That being said the fuse would have had to sustain a rather large impact to break the element which begs the question, was the amp dropped in shipment?
There could be a cold solder joint at the outputs that got loosened due to shipping damage. I had a set of monoblocks sent by a complete dumb^%$ who threw them into a weak cardboard box with a few peanuts and some bubble wrap. The box was toast, a big hole in it, the amp corners were bent, a complete mess. One amp didn't work at all and he didn't even help with the claim other than to say he packed them well. I got the claim paid but it was a pain. I advise to work with the seller to come to a reasonable solution but wouldn't be happy so far. You should expect it not to be DOA. Did you use paypal or credit card? I'd ask the seller to put in a damage claim asap.
Hi guys, this is a fantastic response and I am very appreciative! It is apparent my original post left out some critical information. As I am a bit short of time I will post again, but here's what I have for the moment:

Packaging: the amp was wrapped in one very thin layer of bubble wrap and then put in a box stuffed with shredded paper. Since the box was only a bit larger than the amp itself--about 1" extra on most sides--there wasn't much room for packing material to begin with. Sadly, the shipper didn't even really stuff the box with shredded paper, so the amp could easily moved inside. So it is entirely possible this amp was damaged in shipping.

The box looked like a big ball of tape. I'm not kidding. Every inch was taped, sometimes three, four, five times over. The top of the box had caved in some during shipping, but the massive amount of tape kept it all together, so to speak. I'll take another, closer look later tonite.

As for the amp, I haven't noticed anything that I would call shipping damage. There are plenty of signs of aging, but no bent fins, dented structure, visibly broken internal parts, etc. What I DID find, though, was that is was readily apparent that this amp has had many hands inside it before. It is missing some of the screws for the top case and those that are there are different (and visibly different ages as well).

The fuse- the fuse isn't broken, it is burned. There is a lovely scorch mark in the center of the glass where it is blackened. However, I did not check this before plugging the amp in. Here is what I did:

I happened to have one speaker readily on hand that wasn't already hooked up, so I hooked it up to the left channel. Sounded peachy. Turned the amp off and waited a few seconds. Disconnected the speaker cable and moved it to right channel. Turned amp back on and never heard a peep. Turned amp back off and checked the fuses. Left channel fuse looked fine, albeit a little old. Right channel fuse looked like it had been the main course in a BBQ.

Okeedokee, so I wrote the seller about this. Meanwhile, I went and put the left channel fuse in the right holder and tried turning the amp on again. Still no sound. I went and put the fuse back in the left channel and moved speaker wire back to left to make sure that the fuse was still good. Left channel sounded just fine... Again. So this time I left the left channel fuse and put in my own fuse with same ratings. Nothing. Tried raising volume. Nothing.

One point of note: all the new fuses put into the right channel fuse holder have been fine going in and coming out. The channel isn't blowing fuses AND it isn't making sound.

Could I have crossed some wires? I hate to say never, but I feel very connfident about this. I did all of the attaching and detaching with the amp off and even allowed about 3-5 seconds for drain time. Even so I try to be sure that leads never touch because electricity can remain in the amp well after that short period. That said, I won't pretend to be infallible. What I am sure of is that I didn't check any fuses before turning on the amp. I didn't think of it although I may in the future.

I'll write more a little later, I've got to put the kids to sleep right now. Thank you all very much!

Aaron
IIRC, the Halfer amps have "inside" fuses also. Make sure you check them. I think they are on the botttom of the inside of the amp in dual mount fuse holders, (2 for each channel). I bet they are toasted too.
I have a few moments here to add to my post: I actually did get to remove the top panel (I alluded to that in my previous post) and looked for damage. There was nothing out of the ordinary that I could detect. None of the capacitors look like they are bulging, I didn't notice any loose parts, broken connections, etc. But the real kicker is that the internal fuses were intact. That said, they looked newer (less age accumulated crud) than the back fuses. Also, as I mentioned before, the top of this case has been removed, probably MANY times. It was a hodgepodge of screws of different types and ages.

Still, the fuses aren't blowing when I turn the amp on or anything, there is just no sound. I know this amp is old, but I don't see any VISUAL evidence of a problem. Then again, I'm sure I could be more thorough
As well as more educated about what to look for, so feel free to take that with a bit of skepticism. I build computers a lot, do soldering, etc., so I'm not lost inside an amp case, but I'm just not an expert either.

In any event, I can buy, in theory, that the amp was damaged in transit and that the fuse blew when I turned the amp on. But then why doesn't it blow when I put a new fuse in? That's what bothers me.

I could buy that maybe I shorted the terminal and blew a fuse (in theory, I feel confident I didn't) but then why doesn't a new fuse get things going again?

Finally, I think what bothers me the most is that the channel never made a peep. It wasn't like there was this very brief sounds and the fuse blew cutting the sound out, I mean it was like my speaker was hooked up to nothing. The closest I came to getting sound from this channel was when I jiggled the connection a bit to keep it from sliding off and I got a nasty type of static (and come to think of it I can't recall for sure which channel that was.... Damn my brain).

I specifically asked the seller to package this amp well because I have had an awful run of luck getting electronics lately (this is the 5th item damaged in transit in 3 months). He ignored me completely, at least IMO, and I've got a damaged amp. Nevertheless, I don't want to accuse him of trying to steal if this is a shipping accident. OTOH, if he did send a dud then he can go @&!&$@! himself.

Oh, he told me I should file the insurance claim.... AFAIK, doesn't the sender have to file this? After all, he is the one who purchased the insurance. This just feels like someone trying to send me off on little errands until I either forget or don't care.

PS- I paid with Paypal, so if the seller is trying to scam me he is going to be disappointed.

Sorry, that turned into a little bit of a rant.
Do a PayPal dispute immediately. They will put a hold on the money. That will get him to do something. Doesn't sound like he wants to work with you. If you bought here you can initiate a dispute as well. Keep us posted.
If you are not happy ( and I wouldn't be), PayPal will take care of you on this matter.
If the seller isn't responding to you in a fashon that you are satisfied with, I would open a dispute with PayPal and forward all of the emails to them and ask for a refund.
Good luck with your venture.
Finally, I think what bothers me the most is that the channel never made a peep. It wasn't like there was this very brief sounds and the fuse blew cutting the sound out, I mean it was like my speaker was hooked up to nothing.
It appears you hooked up the left speaker first. Just guessing when you powered up the amp the right channel fuse blew.

I happened to have one speaker readily on hand that wasn't already hooked up, so I hooked it up to the left channel. Sounded peachy.
08-30-12: Aewhistory

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Still, the fuses aren't blowing when I turn the amp on or anything, there is just no sound. I know this amp is old, but I don't see any VISUAL evidence of a problem.
08-30-12: Aewhistory

I went and put the left channel fuse in the right holder and tried turning the amp on again. Still no sound. I went and put the fuse back in the left channel and moved speaker wire back to left to make sure that the fuse was still good. Left channel sounded just fine... Again. So this time I left the left channel fuse and put in my own fuse with same ratings. Nothing. Tried raising volume. Nothing.
08-30-12: Aewhistory

Sometimes a shorted component will clear itself under power and become an open, causing a circuit to be open..... Just guessing that is what happened.

Oh, he told me I should file the insurance claim.... AFAIK, doesn't the sender have to file this?
08-30-12: Aewhistory

I believe so..... The seller did insure the amp, right?

Packaging: the amp was wrapped in one very thin layer of bubble wrap and then put in a box stuffed with shredded paper. Since the box was only a bit larger than the amp itself--about 1" extra on most sides--there wasn't much room for packing material to begin with. Sadly, the shipper didn't even really stuff the box with shredded paper, so the amp could easily moved inside. So it is entirely possible this amp was damaged in shipping.

The box looked like a big ball of tape. I'm not kidding. Every inch was taped, sometimes three, four, five times over. The top of the box had caved in some during shipping, but the massive amount of tape kept it all together, so to speak. I'll take another, closer look later tonite.

As for the amp, I haven't noticed anything that I would call shipping damage. There are plenty of signs of aging, but no bent fins, dented structure, visibly broken internal parts, etc. What I DID find, though, was that is was readily apparent that this amp has had many hands inside it before. It is missing some of the screws for the top case and those that are there are different (and visibly different ages as well).
08-30-12: Aewhistory

No outside physical damage on the amp? I bet the the shipper will look for outside physical damage.....

If I could ask, how much money are you into this amp?

[url]http://www.hafler.com/techsupport/pdf/DH-220_amp_man.pdf[/url]
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Hey guys, thanks again for the replies. To be frank, I'm not into the amp for much money. I think it is $120 or so. Even damaged the DH220 has some value, so absolutely worst case scenario is that I overpaid for a fixer upper amp. If that was what I was buying I'd be fine, but I asked about the working status of the amp and was told it was in perfect working order.

For me these things are a matter of principle: the amp was a good deal, in theory, so if he is honest and telling the truth then I don't want to be a d$ck. Otoh, if he is trying to swindle me, even if for a few bucks, then I take a completely different attitude. As you've all noted, it won't take any
effort to file a Paypal claim and I will be doing so later tonight or tomorrow seeing as he has stopped communicating with me now. Moreover, if I don't say anything then he is all the more likely to try this on other people. I don't pretend to be some world policeman, I just don't like this crap.

Anyway, I took another look at the amp and there is really nothing to call outside physical damage. There are scratches and whatnot, but frankly the casing of this amp is in decent shape. I've seen some Hafler that look like Rocky in round 15.

I also took another look around inside and I'll be damned if I could find anything in there that looked out of the ordinary. The ONLY thing that caught my attention was the state of the the 5th internal fuse or 7th overall fuse. The DH220 has a total of 7 fuses, 3 per channel: 1 external fuse and 2 internal fuses protecting each channel for a total of six and a seventh fuse that seems linked to the power button in some way. This fuse has staining inside. I've always associated this staining with a fuse that has repeatedly come VERY close to burning but didn't quite blow. This is a weird fuse tho. It doesnt have one Just one thin filament; it also has a filament that sort of spirals around the glass. I've never seen anything like this before, so I don't know if my description does this justice.

Jea, yes, I did power the left speaker first, so it is possible that the right channel fuse burnt while I was listening to the left channel. That would explain a few things. I'm a little puzzled by your description of a shorted component and clearing itself. It isn't that I disagree or anything, I merely don't think I understand. Would you mind elaborating?

Would this explain why the right channel might burn a fuse and then the
subsequent fuses would be okay? I guess this is where I am stuck. With some kbservable damage I am having a difficult time buying shipping damage. However, it is a 30 year old (plus) amp that was poorly packed in glorified confetti, so I can imagine a relatively modest event damaging something. But if I understand what you're saying--that a temporary short killed the fuse but then resolved itself--why does the channel not function? What I mean is, if the short is the problem, and it resolves, then it should play, right? Am I being WAY too simplistic here?

Anyway, I appreciate everyone's feedback. This has been informative above and beyond just resolving this minor little shipping issue.

All the best, Aaron
The fuse you describe is a slo-blo fuse. These are usually inline with the power switch/supply. They do indeed get an inrush of current, thus the discoloration of the fuse.

Did you check to make sure the right channel RCA input jack is wired and also the right channel binding post wiring. Also on the RCA jack, make sure the center pin is touching the contact. If this amp has had a bunch of different interconnects in and out of it, it might not be making a good contact. You can see from the inside of the amp, if the center pin is touching the contact. Sometimes those wires can come loose. I was a Hafler dealer, back in the day, and built many of these amps.

One of the posts above has a link to the owner's manual which also has the build out instructions with pictures, (these amps were available as a kit or factory built). Maybe follow through the diagram to make sure all the wires are hooked up. It's a pretty simple design.
I'm a little puzzled by your description of a shorted component and clearing itself. It isn't that I disagree or anything, I merely don't think I understand. Would you mind elaborating?
08-30-12: Aewhistory
Aewhistory,

By clearing itself I mean the shorted component burned itself free, open. The component is shot. Or a shorted item may have caused a resistor to blow. Again causing an open circuit to exist.

You say you got around $120 in the amp. Does that include shipping?
The way PayPal works if you win a dispute resolution you eat shipping both ways.....

You say the seller has stopped communicating with you. That is a shame.

I was going suggest you take the amp to a repair shop and get an estimate on the damage.
Most sellers will work with the buyer in paying for a repair. It could be something simple you know....

Didn't you say you build/ repair computers?

I assume you have a multimeter. I posted a Link in my last post of the amp. Lots of info there....
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Paypal saves the day. As mentioned, enter a dispute at once. If as Elizabeth mentioned a new fuse doesn't cure the problem, ship it right back, and do it quickly. You will be out the return shipping but that will end the problem. As the seller to pay you the return shipping directly, if not agreeable, leave negative feed back.
Also, leave feedback accordingly.
It sounds like the seller did a VERY poor job of packing it, and he should have known better. Amplifiers are usually quite heavy, and a mere 1" of packing material all around, between it and the shipping box it came in was quite absurd on the seller's behalf. He should be responsible for any damage due to such poor packing. 3 or 4 inches of strong, protective material should have been the bare minimum, especially if it is a heavy amp.
You got ripped off dude!!
Ive heard that you should not turn on an amp without speakers hooked up.Can damage be done to the RTch since it was turned on without a speaker attached?
Yes it can. Tube amps have to have a load on them to be turned on. If you turned on the amp without the speaker connected, you could possibly be the reason the amp is damaged.
Solid state has no worries about this, but tube amps do.
Ray, Zman: thanks for your responses. The Halfer DH220 is an early MOSFET SS amp. However, having never owned a tube amp, I have to admit that I've never even heard that you must have a speaker connected to all of the terminals in order to turn on a tube amp. I can't see how not presenting a load to drive would affect a SS amp, but I suppose tubes really are a different beast.

I have a quasi-ending to this. I ended up filing with paypal and offered the seller a compromise. I would keep the amp and he would refund $50 of the $120 purchase price. Given that I was already out the $20 for shipping and I'd have to pay another $20 to send it back it seemed more cost effective to end up paying $70 and still have the amp and maybe fix it instead of going to the trouble of packing it up and sending it back to get a net $80. Essentially I figured it was a choice between being out $40 and have nothing to show for my trouble or be out $70 and I can use the Hafler to practice my "why won't this work" skillset. There ya go.

In the end the seller wrote back and accepted my offer, so now I am the proud owner of half of a Hafler DH220. The seller has been adamant that the amp was sent in working condition. He has no reason to lie at this point and I'm not going to argue--I think it is very likely the amp was damaged somehow in shipping. Now I am hoping to figure out what happened and try to fix it. This will likely be more difficult than I hoped at first since I have not found any outward signs that the amp isn't functioning save for a burnt fuse and no sound.

So that's where I am at right now. A few people have mentioned that I might have blown the fuse when I turned it on. I suppose this is possible. If the amp was damaged it is possible that the fuse blew when it was turned in. I have what is perhaps a naive question. It has been quite some time since I have blown a fuse--in fact I've only ever done it once and that was almost 15 years ago--but doesn't a fuse blowing make a little sound? Or am I just off my rocker? (the answer to that question is probably yes, but you know what I mean). I ask because I never heard any sort of noise. The channel was always dead silent, I never heard what I would have thought was that sound of a fuse dying, and even the cooling fins on the right side don't heat up (on the left they get toasty).

As usual, any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks, Aaron
I sold a CJ MF-2500A a few years ago.It was working perfect 1 hour before I carefully packed it up to ship ,from Fl to Conn. When I recieved an email from the buyer telling me that only one channel was working.So I had him ship it to Conrad Johnson .They said a capacitor went bad and replaced it.The buyer got the amp back in about 2 weeks and quickly fell in love with the amp.Of course I paid for the shipping and repair.Chalked it up to the cost of doing business and doing the right thing.Wish I still had that amp!
I have blown a fuse--in fact I've only ever done it once and that was almost 15 years ago--but doesn't a fuse blowing make a little sound? Or am I just off my rocker? (the answer to that question is probably yes, but you know what I mean).
09-08-12: Aewhistory
Short answer, no.... You would not hear anything....

Simple solution? Take the amp to a service repair shop.
The problem could be something simple to repair.....

Take this Hafler website address along with you.
http://www.hafler.com/techsupport/pdf/DH-220_amp_man.pdf
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