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Thread: AC Variable Speed Motor wiring

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    AC Variable Speed Motor wiring

    OK, this is actually for an old printing press, but it's an AC (110-220V 1ph) brushed motor with a "speed control". That is, you change the position of the brushes and the speed changes. I'm trying to figure out how to wire it for 110V AC. Anybody have any information? I honestly can't even get my head around why changing the position of the brushes changes the speed... I'm a simple man.

    Here are some photos, via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teddillard/...17212478163536
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    i may have answered my own question: http://www.briarpress.org/41319
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    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    Looks like it's a sort of series wound motor. Does it have coils in the stator (outside of the motor)? Changing the direction of current through series motors doesn't change the direction. Drill motors and other motors are brushed AC series wound motors. Pretty cool. That thing looks awesome.

    So basically by advancing or retarding the brushes, you can change the speed and even reverse it! I had an OLD OLD erector set, and while it was DC, it would still change speed by advancing or retarding the brushes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Yeah, there are coils on the outside, you can just see them in one of the photos. It looks like you just group the wires by color, and connect them to the plug. Yellow to one side, orange to the other. I'm not sure what the gray wires are, but I think it may be a switch. That should be easy to figure out. I'll probably add a ground to the chassis too. It doesn't seem like anything that you couldn't handle with a VOM and a beer.

    This shows the brushes being moved: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkmpijDF...dcollaborative

    We're def. gonna clean up that copper too...
    Last edited by Ted Dillard; 29 June 2018 at 0250.
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    Looks like you're basically dialling in what would otherwise be 'slip'... interesting way of doing things, not one I've seen before.

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    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    What are you planning on using it for?
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
    Current builds: WORX.VOR.v3.2

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    It's for a friend's letterpress printing press. OEM.

    Yeah, there was no solid state high-power capable variable speed control back in 1940. Not until 1986, if memory serves! (...don't MAKE me read my own book lol) I do wish I'd known about this, when I was putting the motor history piece of the puzzle together.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    After we poured through everything on the interwebs, and talked to a few people, and texted my electrician ("take it to a motor guy and let him figure it out, I'm busy!") I looked at it a little closer and realized that all the wires had been cut so that you could see what went to where, more or less. It was the "less" that had me nervous.

    We wired it up, fused the hell outta it, tested for any possible shorts, and covered our eyes when we threw the swtich... here's what we got:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk-hAGHF...dcollaborative

    CRAZY I KNOW RIGHT??
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  9. #9
    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    Great job Ted! That's pretty sweet. Old tech is still pretty awesome. It's amazing what advancing the timing does for a motor. The old series wound motors that were re-worked by Jim Husted back in the day, were used a lot for racing. He'd advance them 5-20 degrees! I had one we put in a car, that he advanced about 12 degrees. It rocked.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Right? It sounds so sweet, too. Imagine starting up an 80-year old gas motor that hadn't run for 40 years or so... if you could even get it to start! It has so much momentum, it takes a while for it to spin down and up, that part was a little disarming. I threw the control lever all the way to one end, plenty slowly I thought, but it was complaining as jamming on the brakes to get stopped - I didn't even realize I'd pushed it that far. Backed it right back up, and it was happy as a clam.

    I'm gonna admit, when I was making the connections and getting ready to throw the switches, some of your sage advice about fuses and switch capacities was coming back to haunt me...
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
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