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Old 5th January 2006, 07:10 PM   #1
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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Default milling machine needs more power!

so, im planning on converting my milling machine to CNC, but ive never been able to use the top 3 speeds on it because it wont turn on.

its belt driven, and has 3 pulleys with 4 positions on them, for a total of 12 speeds. i cant use the fastest 3 because when the machine turns on, it draws a lot of current, and trips my breaker every time. it starts to turn and ALMOST starts, but doesnt quite make it. if i use the slower speeds, it turns on fine (after a bit of light-dimming).

the motor is a 2.0HP single-phase induction motor. it uses a 150uf and 20uf cap for starting. i could figure out how its all wired, i just need to take it apart again, which is easy.

the obvious thing to do would be to install a 20amp line, or wire it for 220, and install a 220 line. well, those arent options for me. i cannot mess with the electricity in the house. its not my house and my landlord wont let me do this.

can i add a bigger cap, or more caps to make it start up? once its running, it doesnt draw all that much current, its just when it starts up, it takes a lot of juice. or maybe some kinda slow-start thing like we do with amps? any help would be appreciated!

edit:

i can get diagrams, pictures, and more data if needed...
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Old 5th January 2006, 08:13 PM   #2
Gelroos is offline Gelroos  United States
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You may want to try a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) rated for the max draw of your device, and then put a time delay on the mains connection of the UPS. What this would do is to start the motor under UPS power, then once the motor is started (and the amperage has dropped to normal), you restore power to the UPS, which then provides the running draw you need, while trickle charging the batteries. I used this kind of set-up in an Apartment in a similiar setup. I only had a 15 amp circuit to use, but I was running a Salt Water Reef Tank with 1200 watts of HID lighting. While the amperage of the circuit was roughly around 13 when everything was up and running, it spiked to 28 or so (Tar ballasts are notoriously inefficient) when everything was igniting. Please note: I make no claims that this is SAFE, or anything, it is just what I did in a similiar scenario, and overloading your electrical wiring could cause a fire.
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Old 5th January 2006, 08:29 PM   #3
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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hum, thats a decent idea...

the problem is, if im pulling more than 15 amps, which is tripping the breaker, i would need one HELL of a UPS. that would be at least a 2kva or so, which would be a few hundred dollars...

i couldnt use like a 500va for a few seconds or so? i would have to have a larger one?
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Old 5th January 2006, 09:11 PM   #4
gl is offline gl  United States
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The 220 option is the way to go. I re-wired a table saw this way and the performance difference is night and day. It's safer to operate as well. If the owner won't let you add a 220 outlet then you could make a custom extension cord to use the dryer outlet. First rewire the milling machine and put on a 220 plug. Then build the extension cord with a 220 receptacle on one end to match the plug on the machine. On the other end put a dryer plug. DON'T MIX 220 AND 110 CONNECTORS.

A word of warning: dryers usually run on a high amperage circuit like 40 amps. If there's a problem, and if your machine is supposed to be used with a 15 or 20 amp 220V circuit and breaker, then something could really get wrecked before a 40 amp breaker goes.

It's chance I decided to take years ago and I have been fine.

GL
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Old 5th January 2006, 09:16 PM   #5
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Make a cord to connect to your dryer or your stove outlet. It should 10 AWG wire You can get the male end of the cord from an old appliance (free). Then rewire your motor for 220... instructions are on/in the motor.

You should be able to get it all together for $25 or so...

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Old 5th January 2006, 09:19 PM   #6
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Hey ql,

Great minds..........................
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Old 5th January 2006, 09:25 PM   #7
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I am familiar with single phase mills and will only say that when we talk about single phase, we are never even thinking about 110VAC.

The extension cord to 220V at the stove or dryer is the hot setup. Fuse both sides (the two black wires) with ~15A on #12. If the run is longer than 30', jump to #10.
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Old 5th January 2006, 09:38 PM   #8
gl is offline gl  United States
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It's good to see that others have done the same. My Extension cord is #10 at about 30ft. I used the dryewr as the likely connection because it's probably physically closer to the milling machine.

I presume that you offered to have an electrician come in and professionally add a 220 circuit at your expense. The owner is sort of dim to turn down an offer like that since it would add value to his property!!!!!.

GL
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Old 5th January 2006, 09:46 PM   #9
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Hey... what DYI'er is going to hire an electrician??? Scr$w the landlord... he can take the extension cord with him when he goes!

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Old 5th January 2006, 09:49 PM   #10
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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wow, its like no one read my post...

i CANNOT do what you guys are suggesting, period. running a 220 cord is a possibility, but the closest outlet would be around 30-50 feet away, and through many walls and up a level. it would be easier to add a 220 line.

secondly, my landlord (and actually my roommate, same guy) will not allow the modifications for whatever reason. so, its NOT an option. i need to do it another way.
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