Please, in the future contact me so I can respond to your questions. SOTA takes great pride in our Customer Support and warrany services. We are only an e-mail away or telephone call away.
I can assure you we would "never" send you a "dud" unit. Each of our products pass numerous quality checks before they leave our facility. Each unit is built to very high standards to ensure the greatest reliability.
Now, let me try to help you here...
I assume you have an MPG5 unit? The unit has a series of GREEN lights that when in operation these lights come on in sequence. The lights are an important "test" feature as well. They show the actual voltage on the main capacitor as the capacitor charges up. If all the green lights come ON, that tells you the capacitor is getting fully charged up. If only a few green lights come ON then that indicates a problem and the unit will need warranty repair.
So, I assume that ALL the green lights are coming ON. On the MPG5 a RED light flashes briefly indicating the charge has been released to the COIL. There is approximately 35,000 Watts of power that will be delivered to the coil at the time of discharge. If there was a problem with the releasing circuit, you can imagine that 35kW of power would have to go somewhere. So, I have to assume the RED light is working and the COIL is getting the charge stored in the capacitor.
You mention the washer to test the output. This is a very unreliable method to test the coil's output. Why? Because in the process of testing the coil, the washer will become magnetized and the it will get de-magnetized. The washer might jump at first then it will not jump as much. The ONLY definitive way to test actual magnetic field being produced is to use a GAUSS meter. This is what we use here to test our units.
Also, on the coil there is actually a "sweet spot" that allows the washer to jump more. Try this:
Make 1/8" tick marks from the centre of the coil to the outside edge. Now, place the washer on each of these marks in succession and pulse the unit. You will notice that at one "mark" the washer will suddenly jump off with great force. Move 1/4" off that mark and you get little washer action!
Another good test is to drop the washer test altogether and to this: Place the coil next to a lerge metal surface like on the side of an oven / stove / fridge. On each pulse you will feel a tremendous magnetic release! This test is a very good one.
Know that we get many Customers asking about the washer test and after they try what I suggest here they see that it is indeed a poor way to test their MPG's.
i can assure you that if all the GREEN lights are coming on, and the release circuit is working (you might even hear a faint clck in the coil) then your MPG is working to specification and is indeed relasing a very powerful magnetic field that penetrates up to 9 inches.
Please try what I have suggested here and e-mail me directly as I do not check this forum regularly. My direct e-mail is russ "at" sotainstruments "dot" com. "at" = @ and "dot" = "."
And please, if anybody has any technical questions regarding any of the products SOTA Instruments makes (www "dot" sotainstruments "dot" com) contact us! We are real people who actually answer the telephone! Futhermore, I respond to each and every e-mail I get. That is our commitment to you.
I hope this helps!
SOTA Instruments Inc.