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Brent Wheel Controller Problems.


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Hi, I have a Brent C made in 2008. Yesterday after about an hour of use the wheel stopped all of a sudden. The pedal needs adjustment from time to time, but not in this case. The controller box started to make clicking sounds and the light would flicker accordingly. When I pressed the pedal it would turn for a short while and then stopped regardless of the light being on or off. I unplugged it from the multiplug powersurge I normally use and then tried a plug with a different breaker without noticing any changes. About 5 hours later. I plugged it again and the on/off switch esa on the whole time, pushing the botton would not make the clicking sound.

 

Today everything seems to come back to normal.

 

Any ideas what could be the cause of the malfunction?

 

thanks,

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I'd open everything up and check for loose connections, pedal and control box. Also try pushing on or wiggling the fuse holder and seek if that does anything. I've seen several loose fuses on Brent wheels. Replacing the fuse holder fixes it.

 

Is this the smooth black control box with flat buttons?

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Thanks! I'm not a tech-abled kind of person. I've opened the footpedal because I saw pics on the manual. I looked around the web for a PDF with the box's diagram, but no luck.

 

Do you think voltage changes coming in from the grid could make the controller act up?

 

Sadly it is the flat type of controller... I saw that they went back to the "classic" controller after the flat. Some how this reminds me of Coke! :)

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Thanks.

 

I've turned the wheel on several times since the incident and it seems to be back to normal. This was the only time it has happened. I want to check all the variables before I change the controller.

 

Anybody knows if voltage drops and/or spikes can cause a controller to act up?

 

Why does the manual advices against using an extention cord? Is a power surge also to be avoided?

 

 

Does upgrading the controller bring any other benefits? For example, is the new controller better at lower speeds or has a more even acceleration? Other than the pedal (which was a pain in the butt to adjust and still needs occasional adjustments) the only other things that bother me are that it has little power at really low speeds for such a big motor and goes from really slow to really fast with a slight pressing of the foot pedal.

 

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Thanks.

 

I've turned the wheel on several times since the incident and it seems to be back to normal. This was the only time it has happened. I want to check all the variables before I change the controller.

 

Anybody knows if voltage drops and/or spikes can cause a controller to act up?

Yes it can screw things up

 

Why does the manual advices against using an extention cord? Is a power surge also to be avoided?

they want this run on full amps at plug

 

Does upgrading the controller bring any other benefits? For example, is the new controller better at lower speeds or has a more even acceleration? Other than the pedal (which was a pain in the butt to adjust and still needs occasional adjustments) the only other things that bother me are that it has little power at really low speeds for such a big motor and goes from really slow to really fast with a slight pressing of the foot pedal.

 

New controllers just make the wheel work better without many adjustments

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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I would have to look up the amp draw as I recall thats a 1/3 horsepower motor?

If your cord is a long one? say 50 feet Yes that would not be good.

When it comes to motors of all types you do not want to starve them of amps.

I would go with a bigger cord and as short as you need.

# 12 is best #14 would work

#16-#18 use for christmas lights or a table lamp or charging a I-phone.

Mark

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Check the fuse holder.  Ive serviced several were the ears of the fuse socket have broken off (fatigue/age).  This creates a intermittent power supply issue.   A fuse holder is like $3 at radio shack.

 

If the wheel quits, you can do some basic trouble shooting on it while its non-operating.  Take the control box off,  open it up and check the voltage on into/out of the rectifier. 

 

Its a small metal sq with 4 spade connectors on it.  1 corner is labed with a ~ .  The opposite corner generally has no lable.   the other 2 corners have + and - on them.   The corners with the ~ are AC power in.  the other 2 are DC power out.   

 

Square_Bridge_Rectifier.jpg

 

No AC power indicates a supply issue or control circuit issue.   If no AC you can back up to the AC input (just after fuse).   If you have power after the fuse and no AC input to the rectifier, its likely a control board issue.

 

If you have AC input to the rectifier, and no DC output then the rectifier is acting up.   Generally they dont work indeterminately,  usually if they fail they permanently quit working.

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Thanks. In the flat controller the fuse holder seems to be glued/soldered to the board. I wasn't able to identify the rectifier. Nothing seems to be loose or out of place.

 

 

The other thing I found out is that the wheel uses 10amps according to the label beneath the wheel, but the wheel's motor is 5.8amps and not 7amps.

 

It seems I'll need to install a new controller...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update,

 

 

Amaco's customer service is truly great, they went the extra mile.

 

 

I installed the new controller almost two weeks ago. My subjective appreciation is that it feels more solid/even and the pedal response is a lot better too. The Tech worked on the pedal so that might have something to do with it. Throwing this past weeks has been a joy.

 

 

Thanks to all that helped me.

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  • 1 year later...

Update,

 

 

Amaco's customer service is truly great, they went the extra mile.

 

 

I installed the new controller almost two weeks ago. My subjective appreciation is that it feels more solid/even and the pedal response is a lot better too. The Tech worked on the pedal so that might have something to do with it. Throwing this past weeks has been a joy.

 

 

Thanks to all that helped me.

 

 

Ok, I know this has been over a year but I'll give it a shot. Did they charge you for a new controller or for repair work? Thanks.

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My guess is yes as they charge something -often it less than a new part. I sent them a old controller with foot pedal about 8 years ago it came back with new controller and new foot pedal. They charged me for a circuit board replacement with a note that they rarely see and like to see a foot pedal with that much wear and tear and mud on its they gave me a new one.Yes it did cost some so if you are Dirt poor I would get those costs upfront when talking to them. At that time I did not care so much about cost I needed the darn thing to work well.

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Yes it did cost some so if you are Dirt poor I would get those costs upfront when talking to them. At that time I did not care so much about cost I needed the darn thing to work well.

 

Yes, I am.  Eleven wheels, as many kilns, I forget how many pouring tables, a pugger, always at least 1000#s of clay,  more glazes and chemicals than can possibly be legal and thus; I'm "dirt" poor. I considered "dirt pour" but I really don't like slip casting stuff. We did a lot of it for a production line so..

 

I just can't see putting a lot of money in this thing. From what I see it's $445 for a new controller and another $95 for the pedal pot. For that kinda bread I'd rather have a brand new Axner. For the amount of clams; it sure is hard to beat an Axner. Don't worry, I'm gonna know to the penny how much anything is gonna be first. I've already been screwed out of equipment by a manufacturer offering to "test" something for us.

 

Mark, how many cash American dollars did they charge then for the new board? Thanks.

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My last circuit board if I recall was around 80-100 US doll That was over 5 years ago. Seems its always at least 100$ with them. That said I have gotten many freebies over the past 40 years with them.I have no complaints about the service end.. It has gotten a bit worse in the last 5 years as some old timer retired. Not like it once was when they shipped me a new 1/2 motor to try out as it was experimental at zero cost-that was over 25 years ago.

Or like it once was when they where in Healdsburg making clay in the 70's and  fixed things for free  or next to it and sent you away with free clay to try.

I still have that board as a spare as mine is not yet completely fried and that wheel still works with a few idiosyncrasies thats board related.

The foot pedal guts are usually the main source of issues and I often stock a spare but I used one on a friends wheel and have yet to need another..

I did buy a spare 1/3 hp motor with controller and pedal minus the  rest of the wheel off e-bay a few years. I like having spare parts

Of my 5 Brents I have had very little trouble considering all the hours on them.I have a A,B,two Cs and a CXC-three get used a lot

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