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Troubleshooting a broken electric potter's wheel


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#1 blacknapkins

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:00 PM

Yesterday I plugged in my wheel, flipped the foot pedal switch to on, and depressed the pedal. I got a flicker of sound and maybe some rotation of the wheel but only briefly. Checked wall plug, extension cord, etc everything fine. The power cord was old and looked awful so I decided to replace that before I did any troubleshooting. Cord replaced, still doesn't work. So I try hard-wiring through each of two fuses to see if the light goes on. Sure enough, one of the fuses is shot (ceramic fuse, 10a@250v) so I decide that I will put a little bit of copper wire in there that I am guestimating will burn out at a capacity somewhere near but below it's rating and use it for the time being at lower speeds, drawing less power through the temp fuse. But it pops the copper wire instantly, so I go up in "guage" and it pops that too. It looks like for some reason the fuse is being made to bear tremendous loads of electricity when it shouldn't and I have no idea why this is occurring. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the trouble might be? Everything inside the foot petal box (this is entirely where all the electronics are, as opposed to, say, a Brent) looks very clean and there's no indication of a simple short caused by something bent, broken, or worn out.

Don't have a dime to my name and won't get a new one for a really long time if I don't fix this myself.

Halp?
Thanks

#2 neilestrick

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:50 PM

Which model Brent? What does the control box look like. If it's the kind that has the smooth panel and switch, you'll have to replace the whole box. Those were lemons and can't be repaired. If it's another kind, then you've got something in there drawing too much power. Could be the pedal, could be the controller. Brent's are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Whenever I get into them, unless it's something terribly obvious like a fried pedal rheostat, Brent tells me to send in both the pedal and control box. They can't/won't even diagnose them over the phone.
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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:52 PM

Yesterday I plugged in my wheel, flipped the foot pedal switch to on, and depressed the pedal. I got a flicker of sound and maybe some rotation of the wheel but only briefly. Checked wall plug, extension cord, etc everything fine. The power cord was old and looked awful so I decided to replace that before I did any troubleshooting. Cord replaced, still doesn't work. So I try hard-wiring through each of two fuses to see if the light goes on. Sure enough, one of the fuses is shot (ceramic fuse, 10a@250v) so I decide that I will put a little bit of copper wire in there that I am guestimating will burn out at a capacity somewhere near but below it's rating and use it for the time being at lower speeds, drawing less power through the temp fuse. But it pops the copper wire instantly, so I go up in "guage" and it pops that too. It looks like for some reason the fuse is being made to bear tremendous loads of electricity when it shouldn't and I have no idea why this is occurring. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the trouble might be? Everything inside the foot petal box (this is entirely where all the electronics are, as opposed to, say, a Brent) looks very clean and there's no indication of a simple short caused by something bent, broken, or worn out.

Don't have a dime to my name and won't get a new one for a really long time if I don't fix this myself.

Halp?
Thanks

What Brand of wheel and model is this-This would ba a good thing for us to know so we can help.
Did the wheel ever work and how long has it been siting-and do you live where its humid and was whell outside???
You should use slow blow fuzes(find these at an electronics store not copper wire to short curcuit the fuze.

Mark


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#4 blacknapkins

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:19 PM


Yesterday I plugged in my wheel, flipped the foot pedal switch to on, and depressed the pedal. I got a flicker of sound and maybe some rotation of the wheel but only briefly. Checked wall plug, extension cord, etc everything fine. The power cord was old and looked awful so I decided to replace that before I did any troubleshooting. Cord replaced, still doesn't work. So I try hard-wiring through each of two fuses to see if the light goes on. Sure enough, one of the fuses is shot (ceramic fuse, 10a@250v) so I decide that I will put a little bit of copper wire in there that I am guestimating will burn out at a capacity somewhere near but below it's rating and use it for the time being at lower speeds, drawing less power through the temp fuse. But it pops the copper wire instantly, so I go up in "guage" and it pops that too. It looks like for some reason the fuse is being made to bear tremendous loads of electricity when it shouldn't and I have no idea why this is occurring. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the trouble might be? Everything inside the foot petal box (this is entirely where all the electronics are, as opposed to, say, a Brent) looks very clean and there's no indication of a simple short caused by something bent, broken, or worn out.

Don't have a dime to my name and won't get a new one for a really long time if I don't fix this myself.

Halp?
Thanks

What Brand of wheel and model is this-This would ba a good thing for us to know so we can help.
Did the wheel ever work and how long has it been siting-and do you live where its humid and was whell outside???
You should use slow blow fuzes(find these at an electronics store not copper wire to short curcuit the fuze.

Mark



WELL. There's the hairy part. It's not going to be a known model, likely, to anyone. It's made by "G&L Industries" who basically was some smaller company, I gather, who welded up a small steel table and bolted a 3/4HP variable DC motor (which is why I say "like" a Brent). The bearings and belt drive on it are very nice! Anyway, I've been using it since feb but I'm a goof-around potter and am not putting it to work full-time. I work outside, yes, but under cover and it's not left overnight EVER. It was moved inside the other night by someone else and there was clay water all over the floor so I know it spilled. Maybe it spilled into the motor? It just doesn't look like it spilled into the motor (no obvious traces of clay water residue) and inside the foot pedal, where all the electronic parts are, indicates NO water damage that I can tell.

The rheostat is a good starting point but until I can get the thing seen by my pops, which might take quite a while, I won't be able to determine this myself. I don't even have a multimeter, ridiculously. I've always decided that electrical stuff should be off limits to me so long as it's working on "hot" components because I'm a space-cadet creative type.


I could snap a picture with my ipod I suppose(??)

#5 neilestrick

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:22 PM

My bad. I misread and thought it was a Brent. Carry on...
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#6 Mark C.

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:25 PM

No need to take a photo they look like these
http://www.interscho...p?items_id=8153
I do not know this wheel and my guess is your are on your own-have someone look at it who IS GOOD WITHE ELECTRICITY-.You should stay away as you may do more harm than good for it. Over riding the fuze with wire is what you do as a last resort to return from earth orbit(space -cadet) to get back home not fix a wheel.
Mark
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#7 blacknapkins

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:10 PM

No need to take a photo they look like these
http://www.interscho...p?items_id=8153
I do not know this wheel and my guess is your are on your own-have someone look at it who IS GOOD WITHE ELECTRICITY-.You should stay away as you may do more harm than good for it. Over riding the fuze with wire is what you do as a last resort to return from earth orbit(space -cadet) to get back home not fix a wheel.
Mark


I meant take a picture of the inside of the foot control for diagnosis

Is there a possibility at all that the motor is shot which is the source of the short?

#8 Mark C.

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:20 PM


No need to take a photo they look like these
http://www.interscho...p?items_id=8153
I do not know this wheel and my guess is your are on your own-have someone look at it who IS GOOD WITHE ELECTRICITY-.You should stay away as you may do more harm than good for it. Over riding the fuze with wire is what you do as a last resort to return from earth orbit(space -cadet) to get back home not fix a wheel.
Mark


I meant take a picture of the inside of the foot control for diagnosis

Is there a possibility at all that the motor is shot which is the source of the short?


I doubt that is the issue-Most likely its in the foot pedal-You would have to have energized (meaning give it alll you got Scotty) when it was wet or it burned by luck at this time both would be unlikely.I doubt the motor got wet from a stranger moving it whith water bucket on it.The electronics in the pedal can go bad with water or short curcuiting with non fuzed material
Is this wheel manufacturer still in business?? or is this a Desoto of wheels?
A good detailed photo inside the foot pedal would be my last request.
Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#9 Bobg

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 02:56 PM

By-pass the rheostat in the foot pedal. just wire it direct. If it works it's the rheostat. if not it's something in the motor or controller.

Bob

#10 MichaelP

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 03:29 PM

Blacknapkins, where are you located?




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