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July 20, 2018
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Microwave Mortuary 2004

Have you ever thrown a shopping cart out of a convertible at 80 mph to observe the sparks? How about hooking up a power amplifier to 115 volts AC just to see how it craters? Your fellow engineers have done these things and more! If you have a great picture of totally destroyed hardware, or a photo of a blown circuit, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If it gets on the web site you will receive a free Microwaves101 key chain pocket knife! Impress your friends, if not your boss!

New for January 2013: the mortuary has now been separated by year, as we have had a few complaints about how long it takes to load. But maybe it is time some of you considered a better broadband connection to the internet?

Note to mortuary contributors: please consider that your boss may not find your submission in the best interests of your Big Company. Lately we've been getting a lot of "please remove my submission" emails, try not to send us anything that you might regret.

Note to Big Companies: Don't blame us for posting your spectacular failures, we only post what your employees send us. On the other hand, please don't rip off Microwaves101 pictures for presentations without permission, that's bad manners. Maybe it's time for some training!

Note to mortuary fans: We put new stuff here at the top, but older disasters are still here too--just scroll down.In many cases, if you click on pictures on this page you can see higher resolution images.



New for December 2004: here is a waveguide adapter employing split-block construction. The seam is in the worst possible place, and it has solder voids inside. We have a separate page explaining why this adapter is worthless.



New for July 2004: here is some mice damage from a remote transmitter terminal. This photo was taken after the other mess that the critters made was wiped up. Photo contributed by Jonathan Zane, a.k.a. KC2SHO!



In this second photo from Jonathan, we see a "field return" unit that probably doesn't smell so good either...



How's this for a blown ceramic capacitor? This was a DigiKey Panasonic cap, rated at 100 volts. It blew with only 28 volts on it, and it sure stunk up the lab! Gonna have to return it and get $1 credit on the next order...



Here's a contribution from the Unknown Editor hisself. Known to occasionally hang drywall on the side (we don't pay him that much), this is a picture of a tape measure that almost killed The Man. "I was up on a ladder using the tape to locate a hole for a ceiling light. It was extended maybe six feet to the wall, when it decided to droop down. Right into the 200 amp service panel, which was missing its cover (awaiting the drywall). The tape lodged itself between ground and one of the hot strips, and exploded into flames. I found myself tugging on it, I didn't like the idea of it being stuck in there. I can't say why I didn't get the shock of my life, except that I was 'chosen' by aliens to do this web site. I wonder if this voids the warrantee?"



Everyone who knows him knows that the Unknown Editor thinks that Hewlett Packard computers completely stink. It stinks squared if you are a small business that has only a couple of HP boxes that you depend on and can ill afford any trouble from one of them. Maybe six months out of the box, and you get the mysterious system lockup problem. You HP owners know what we're talking about. The keyboard freezes, and you have to reboot by pulling the power cord (or pushing the power button for at least ten seconds if you happen to read the directions (which we never do). Once or twice and this would be a nuisance. Five times a day and you start to lose your mind. Hp's technical hotline keeps telling you to replace stuff like the hard drive, the modem, and eventually the motherboard. They tell you "you need more memory", then "you have too much memory", then "why don't you replace all the memory?" Hewlett and Packard meanwhile are doing grave spins at 33 RPM. About time someone did something about this travesty...

Here at Microwaves101, we have an HP Pavilion computer that literally cost us 10 times more in killed productivity and repair charges than its purchase price, which was more than a comparable Dell (we were stupid). We are about to get even. We now have on hand a large bag of Mexican M-80 firecrackers (approximately 1/4 stick of dynamite) which we will use to blow up the HP box while we record it digitally for permanent display in the Mortuary. Below are some preview pictures of this impending catastrophe; stay tuned and come back soon to see the results... anyone have Carly Fiorini's email address so we can send her this data?



Below are three shots of a crashed Cascade Microtech Ka-band RF probe where the center conductor has lifted off of the teflon insulator (so they are no longer co-planar). Two things about this incident... the guy who crashed this probe into a second probe is six foot six and looks like he might know his way around a boxing ring, so there's no way to give him any crap about it. We just said "thank you sir for all of your help!" And second, the Cascade Microtech bastards wouldn't fix either of the two crashed probes, claiming that they won't touch anything that is over a year old! But they were more than happy to ship us two new probes overnight for $1400...



What's that below, one "slightly used" HP 4034A meter? Our largest exhibit yet, we're told this unit actually still works! Maybe if you're lucky you can pick up a similar unit on Ebay.



Ed Nisley sent us this picture of blasted RF connectors. He says "These are connectors I salvaged from a friend's satellite TV installation after a lightning stroke hit the LNA. It chewed up a security system, flashed a square yard of aluminum off a Celotex panel, punctured an air-conditioner Freon line, and blew out a bunch of RF cabling. Yes, he had lightning protection on the incoming lines. Nothing protects you from a direct hit..." Thanks, Ed, for your thoughtful photo!




Below are three pictures sent in by a fun-loving quality guy with an evil laugh, who who shall remain nameless. The first one is an optical photo of a blown silicon nitride capacitor on a MMIC. Hey, tell the bonding chick to keep all three wires on the bond pad next time!



The second picture is a SEM micrograph of a blown HBT. Tell the process clowns we need a little higher breakdown voltage!



The third photo is another SEM micrograph, this time of a blown bipolar power transistor. Hey Moe, I see the problem, there are too many wires sticking out of it...



Keep those pictures coming in!

Here are links to our new Mortuary pages:

Main Mortuary Page

2012 Mortuary

2011 Mortuary

2010 Mortuary

2009 Mortuary

2008 Mortuary

2007 Mortuary

2006 Mortuary

2005 Mortuary

2004 Mortuary

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Last Updated: 06 November 2017
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