Things are getting weirder and weirder. My original post is at the bottom.
I have received the replacement relay and capacitor today.
Installed them (it was a 2 minute job).
Plugged in the fridge.
The compressor happily started working normally, mildly vibrating and
indicating in all respects that it is running fine.
Happy after 2 minutes, I turned off the fridge, and reinstalled the
rear insulated covering panel and ground.
Plugged in again and I HEARD THE SAME OLD DREADED BUZZING SOUND. Now,
the compressor motor would not start again! It busses fomr several
seconds and the relay clicks and turns it off.
I am completely puzzled as to why exactly it turned on once, but would
not turn on again.
No doubt someone mor knowledgable will have something to add here, but
it sounds like the compressor is trying to start against a load. How
long was it unplugged while you were replacing the cover? I imagine it
should be unplugged at least three ininutes, and probably five.
However, I'd also imagine that there would be a timer of some sort to
prevent short-cycling. Of course, the thermal protection in the motor
would kick in eventually, but my air conditioner, for example, simply
will not run the compressor for a few minutes after you plug it in if
it had been running just prior to unplugging.
Anyway, I'd suggest that you let it rest a few minutes and then try
Take the cover back off and see if anything changes? Mebbe fridge got
shoved into the wall, and the cover got bent, and is making something
I'm no fridge expert, but when something stops working when you put the
lid on, that tells me the lid is somehow binding something up or
shorting something out.
re: "when something stops working when you put the lid on, that tells
me the lid is somehow binding something up or shorting something out."
In a much earlier life, I used to install and repair Radio Shack
TRS-80 workstations. My company also used the Storage Expansion Unit
which could house up to three additional 8″ drives as shown here:
These expansion bays were notorious for not working once you put the
cover back on. You'd repair the unit or add a drive, test all three
drives with the cover off and then install the cover and the 84,000
screws that kept it on. Invariably, one of the drives (it would be
random as to which one) would no longer be accessible.
You had to loosen screws, tweak the cover, slap the box, whatever, to
get it working.
With hundreds of these workstations installed in everything from
offices to chemical processing areas, you can be sure that we did a
lot of bench work trying to determine what the problem was in an
effort to make our on-site work easier. We never figured it out and
were thrilled when they started replacing them with the original IBM
re: "chips that fail when heated"
We know it wasn't heat since the problem occurred immediately after
securing the cover and could be fixed by tweaking the case.
re: cracked connector solder
Maybe, if it was a manufacturing defect since it happened on so many,
They cut one corner too many by tin plating the edge connectors, then
plugging them into connectors with gold plated contacts. At one time
there was a special connector sold that you soldered to the tin plate,
and had gold plated contacts to mate with the ribbon cables.
Politicians should only get paid if the budget is balanced, and there is
enough left over to pay them.
re: "At one time there was a special connector sold that you soldered
to the tin plate, and had gold plated contacts to mate with the ribbon
Trust me, I know all about the many corners they cut! ;-)
However, how would this particular connector issue be impacted by the
installation of the case? The case had no connectors, it was just a
P.S. Before installing the TRS-80's, we opened up every keyboard and
ran a wire from the circuit board ground to the plastic case. Before
we did that, weird things would happen when the user touched the
The worst was seeing the disk drive light turn on and knowing that the
program and/or data disk was now corrupt. The least was hearing the
daisy wheel printer print out a single character.
We had some users that were so paranoid about their data that they
wired a grounding bracelet to the sprinkler system and would hook
themselves up before they touched the system.
Just a guess but tightening the crews could distort the case enough to
put stress on the drives, altering their alignment thus they (especially
with the old stepper-motor drives) no longer have proper track
alignment. Solution would be to leave the drive mounting screws on one
side a little loose so they support the drive but don't put any load on
it--a little Loctite would keep them from working loose in service.
The problem hasn't gone away.
We've been farkin' with a CD duplicator for a month. It would randomly fail
to eject a CD. Replacement of the CD drive with a new one didn't help. We
finally got it to work flawlessly but when we tightened the screws holding
the drive in place, back to the same symptom.
Turns out, tightening the screws distorted the drive (made of old beer-can
Loosening the screws somewhat returned the duplicator to perfect
Snort. I used to see that issue in brand new PCs just out of the crate-
hard drive had 2 screws on one side, but only one on the other. Thought
it was a production boo-boo, so started checking all the other ones as I
was installing the memory upgrades and tape drives (yeah, this was a few
years ago), and they were all like that. Only using 3 screws was a real
common trick on early CD drives, before they got the hang of designing
them cheap but stiff.
Back in the late 70's I worked for Tandy repair and most of the trouble
with their equipment was caused by cold solder joints. The connections
made with plated through holes on the circuit board were always suspect.
The lit symbology indicates that the internal temperature doesn't agree with
the set point. From your description, I'd say that the compressor has an
internal problem (stuck valves, galled bearings, dessicant particles in the
compressor, etc). Most consumer grade refrigeration compressors aren't
servicable, meaning that you need to get your checkbook warmed up for a
sizeable deduction from your bank account.
That said, there are a couple things for you to do. First, remove the back
cover, leaving the ground wire unconnected, and see if it kicks off again.
If it continues to run, connect the ground wire to the chassis. If it kicks
off when you connect the ground wire, then you have to find out where the
ground fault is. Most likely, that will be inside the compressor. Don't use
it in this condition; it is a lethal weapon without the safety ground
If you have an AC clamp meter, measure the current on the hot wire going
into the compressor. It should kick up to 10A or so when the compressor
starts up, and quickly dropping down to its normal running current of a few
amps. If the current stays high after a few seconds, that means that it
isn't starting normally. The overcurrent relay tripping in a few seconds
indicate that fact. In any case, the compressor is highly suspect.
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