Great, my VT52 is shot.--Progress!

Chris Zach cz at
Wed May 13 13:56:02 CDT 2020

So with the op-amp replaced and the unit still whining and putting out 
-15+ volts on the -12 rail I decided to just punt and pull the Q12 
transistor. Removed it, will test but doesn't look happy and replaced it 
with a 7912 -12 volt regulator mounted to the big heat sink with the 
three wires going to both sides of capacitor C17 for ground and input 
voltages and the -12 volt output going off to the top side of capacitor 
C54. Kind of a hack, but I just want to see if this thing works.

Tested the power supply outputs with a bench voltage tester at -20 volts 
and sure enough E2 is reading -11.98 and E3 is reading a solid -5 volts. 
Put the power supply board in the unit, hooked it up, fired up the VT52.


Dead silent. No whine, no high pitched sounds, no nothing. Quiet. Then I 
saw the little blinking cursor underline on the screen and found that 
the keys make the clicking and I realized not only is it working, but 
it's better than before.

Turned it off, will wait a few hours for the HV to dissipate, then will 
screw everything down. I'm thinking this -12 volt supply has been a 
problem for some time as it used to make a high pitched TV whine but now 
it's nice and quiet. Possible the root cause is something in the Q12 
power transistor, but to be honest more modern technology in the power 
supply can only be a good thing :-)

Should have it all back together tonight, I'll see if it talks to the 
computer. If so we have a working VT52 and now people know that if the 
screen looks like mine did the problem is most likely in the -12v circuit.


On 5/6/2020 9:53 PM, Chris Zach via cctalk wrote:
> Well, I pulled the E2 op-amp and replaced it with a NOS one of the same 
> model. Put the supply together and now I am getting -17 volts on pins E2 
> to ground (E10).
> I'm thinking of just replacing the power transistor Q12 with a 7912 -12v 
> regulator that I have here and bypassing the whole op amp/transistor 
> mess. That should give me a solid -12v on the E2 line and provide power 
> for the -5 volt divider circuit.
> Thoughts?
> C
> On 4/22/2020 11:52 AM, Jon Elson via cctalk wrote:
>> On 04/21/2020 10:09 PM, Brent Hilpert via cctalk wrote:
>>> On 2020-Apr-21, at 5:27 PM, Chris Zach via cctalk wrote:
>>>> Meantime reading the manual I found an interesting test: If you 
>>>> short emitter to base on Q4 (easiest way is to jumper diode D10) the 
>>>> voltage on the -12v supply goes to .4 volts. They're saying it's E2, 
>>>> R15,R17,R14.
>>>> Is there a way I can test the op-amp in circuit? Maybe it's dead.
>> Well, if the circuit **IS** regulating, then the voltage on the two 
>> inputs will be identical.
>> But, since it might not be regulating, then these voltages would not 
>> be equal.
>> But, if you can see that the + input is more positive than the - 
>> input, yet the output
>> is pegged negative, for instance, then you know either the op-amp is 
>> bad, or another circuit is overloading
>> the output and forcing it that way.
>> Jon

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