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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own 6 Current Satellite + fixtures (4 x 36", 2 x 48"). The oldest fixture is 2 1/2 years old, the other 5 are newer (youngest fixture lost it's AC adapter at 14 months). Of the 6 fixtures, 3 of the power supplies have failed. All lights/adapters have remained bone dry, are all on manual timers for 10 hours per day, in well ventilated, temperature controlled areas. There has not been an issue with any other AC adapter in my house, and I assure you there are plenty of wall warts here.

Current un-apologetically informed me that the fixtures are only covered under warranty for 1 year and provided the url for the same garbage adapter for $29.99 + $8 shipping. This adapter is $1.68 from the Chinese mfg directly; I would have to buy 1000 of them and I am not expecting that many more failures before I replace these lights.

So as a question to those of you who have purchased aftermarket AC adapters (such as the replacement Ben Q), how are they holding up for you? Any experiences with specific models? I'm looking for a replacement that I hopefully won't have to buy every 2 years (or less). Thanks!
 

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I own 6 Current Satellite + fixtures (4 x 36", 2 x 48"). The oldest fixture is 2 1/2 years old, the other 5 are newer (youngest fixture lost it's AC adapter at 14 months). Of the 6 fixtures, 3 of the power supplies have failed. All lights/adapters have remained bone dry, are all on manual timers for 10 hours per day, in well ventilated, temperature controlled areas. There has not been an issue with any other AC adapter in my house, and I assure you there are plenty of wall warts here.

Current un-apologetically informed me that the fixtures are only covered under warranty for 1 year and provided the url for the same garbage adapter for $29.99 + $8 shipping. This adapter is $1.68 from the Chinese mfg directly; I would have to buy 1000 of them and I am not expecting that many more failures before I replace these lights.

So as a question to those of you who have purchased aftermarket AC adapters (such as the replacement Ben Q), how are they holding up for you? Any experiences with specific models? I'm looking for a replacement that I hopefully won't have to buy every 2 years (or less). Thanks!
What are the specs on the power supplies?
 

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I'd buy something with the same voltage with a slightly higher current rating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like they use a 12v 36W wall wart for all sat. models...
Correct - all the power adapters are 12V 3.0 A.

After Current provided the URL for the replacement adapters I replied asking if there was an alternate purchase location or better quality adapter available. I did not receive a response. Am I to assume they do not care? There is obviously a problem, as there are many reports of the same red & blue flashing behavior indicative of an AC adapter failure.

I am considering replacing the AC adapters for the remaining three lights to prevent any damage to the fixtures and to prevent my current situation (several clamp on work fixtures with 6700k CFLs on the tank). The item you posted looks interesting Jeff - I'm going to dig into this as an option.

I might just ditch the lights entirely and go with a better product. What a bummer :/
 

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I have also had pretty high failure rates on CurrentUSA fixtures. I don't think any worked after the 2 year mark.

Failed power adaptor for one, two had the LED banks partially fail. I was able to recover the light with the bad power adaptor by using an adaptor from one of the failed lights.

I also noticed that my tanks had way more brown algae when I was running the CurrentUSA lights, and that went for any tank they were on.

After they were swapped out for a different manufacturer's light, the brown algae went away in about 10 days.

Given their poor longevity and the fact that I wasn't overly impressed with their plant growth, I haven't looked at another CurrentUSA light in over a year now. There are too many decent alternatives to bother with their BS.
 

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Correct - all the power adapters are 12V 3.0 A.

After Current provided the URL for the replacement adapters I replied asking if there was an alternate purchase location or better quality adapter available. I did not receive a response.
That is not unexpected. They OEM adapters and probably haven't changed their supplier.
The only answer they could give is "no".. ;)

That said, even re-purposed computer power supplies would power them..
Being 12v makes it easy to find cheap alternatives.. though, of course, that is not what people want to hear nor an excuse for a poor supplier. Then again I've had small wall (amp or 2) warts fail w/ power surges on the line, or even brown outs.
Again, not an excuse nor "apology" for cheap parts..
no "budget" LED uses Meanwell or TDK Lamba power supplies...
To be honest, for most things I consider ps's "disposable" due to their manufacture in China..
THAT said, Current needs to do a wee bit better...
and THAT said I do understand your frustration..
And diode/controller failures rank much higher in the scheme of things that annoy me..
 

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To be honest, for most things I consider ps's "disposable" due to their manufacture in China..
THAT said, Current needs to do a wee bit better...
Thought I would post some pics of the inside of the adapter. I'm a bit scared with what I'm seeing.

Upon pulling the plastic housing off of the unit, I immediately noticed unmistakable smell of burnt electronics. This thing was generating enough heat to discolor the plastic on the inside of the housing, right where the large 400V capacitor sits. Unfortunately there are no markings stamped on the pieces at all, (aside from a "1" on the wall facing side and a "2" on the other half) so I cannot tell what kind of plastic it is and therefore know how much heat was needed to create the lovely rainbow effect.

Look at these hand soldered joints. The bigger the glob, the better the job? There are burn marks on the solder side of the PCB, and many brown stains (burns from soldering?) on the other side of the board. None of the flux has been cleaned off, and the entire board is slightly greasy to the touch.

See that aluminum heat sink you see next to the large capacitor? It's not connected to the board at all....it is held into place with that surface mount mosfet. The mosfet also wiggles.....solder joints are not tight which is surprising considering how much solder is clumped down there.

Bump: The inside of this adapter is filthy; there is flux splatter everywhere, lots of dirt, and metal fillings. Good thing that white glue is in place...those main leads (they go into the wall) are wiggly even though there are large clumps of solder there as well.

If I were a betting man though, I'd put my money on the failure being that bulging Yungli 16v 1000uf capacitor (on the right....the one on the left looks a bit squatty too...not as cylindrical as it should be). These capacitors are listed on several forums for having very high rates of failure and measure roughly half of the rated capacitance. Cheap garbage.

While this is definitely not the worst I have seen, I did expect something better from Current USA. I'm aware that Current does not manufacture these adapters...but c'mon, how many people looked at these and decided "eh, screw it, good enough, when they burn out we can charge $30 for the same replacement!"

I am going to dump these fixtures entirely because frankly that lack of QC/QA makes me a bit nervous.
 

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I bought
when my power supply failed.

It's been working fine for about 6 months, but I can't say longer than that. I have been using the same one on my under cabinet lights in my kitchen for about 2 years now. That being said, when I built my own light for my new aquarium, I used a meanwell power supply.

-Justin
 

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If I were a betting man though, I'd put my money on the failure being that bulging Yungli 16v 1000uf capacitor (on the right....the one on the left looks a bit squatty too...not as cylindrical as it should be). These capacitors are listed on several forums for having very high rates of failure and measure roughly half of the rated capacitance. Cheap garbage.
Yea I was expecting to see that in the first set of pictures..
This problem is soooooooooooooooooo common still in all power supplies.
Actually I think the Chinese have this down to an "art" knowing exactly how long till they fail...
So they beat us at the "planned obsolescence game" we started.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This problem is soooooooooooooooooo common still in all power supplies.
Actually I think the Chinese have this down to an "art" knowing exactly how long till they fail...
So they beat us at the "planned obsolescence game" we started.. ;)
Why is this okay, though? Why should we just accept it as "that's the way it is?". I have wall warts everywhere in my house. Many are very old as I rarely lose one. More common than not, the device fails before the AC adapter does (hence the reason I have an entire box filled full of them).

Maybe I am being too optimistic, but I have a problem with the fact that these are failing at a high rate. It's not just me. Lots of people are having the same issue as I.

Had I known that this would be a concern I would not have purchased a single one of these units.
 

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I never wanted to imply it was OK, just not uncommon for cheap over 1A wallwarts.
As to your case you have to deal w the hand that was dealt...
Failure rate duly noted...
A 1/2 doz. other things that shouldn't happen.. ;)


Until You get China to do better Q/C (they won't) or use better more expensive parts (they won't) manuf have to accept losses.. HOW they handle them is a different story..
this
https://www.verical.com/pd/tdk-lamb...pperformer=0&gclid=CMes6vTh38sCFdcZgQodDh4MKQ
vs this:

Amazon.com: Replacement 12V 3A 36W AC Adapter For Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition Model: WD10000H2U, WDH2U10000, WD20000H2U, WDH2U20000, 100% compatible with DA-36G12, WDPS039RNN, DA-24B12.***Free Notebook Parts Outlet Microfiber Adapter Pouch***: Computers & Accessories
 
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