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  • Helping a young business owner

    Took my son to a candle stick bowling alley. This alley is owned by a 19 year old girl who was previously an employee and she bought the business during Covid. She is down to four operating lanes and the parts she needs are easily replicated in a home shop. Think of a shaft and two pulleys, mounted in a pillow block. This is up in Maine and I want to help her out. It's rare to see such entrepreneur spirit in a young person these days.
    Besides some parts breaking, her biggest problem is a lack of electric motors. These machines are from the 1950's, and so are the motors. She has a large shelf of burnt out motors. She showed me one and I took some pictures. These motors have four wires coming out.
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    So, the four wires, why four?

  • #2
    Starter winding? If there's a centrifugal switch in the motor the second set would be for the starting winding that is controlled by the switch?

    And yes, kudos to her for having a longer term game plan!
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #3
      Those 1/20 hp motors don't generally have start windings or centrifugal switches, most are impedence protected.
      Southwest Utah

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      • #4
        4 wires might mean a start/run capacitor.

        Might also have a start circuit just like a bigger motor.

        How are the existing working motors wired-in?

        The motor in the picture does not look burnt... the visible windings are still copper and varnish colored
        Last edited by J Tiers; 07-31-2022, 01:22 AM.
        CNC machines only go through the motions.

        Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
        Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
        Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
        I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
        Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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        • #5
          I wondered about a capacitor as well. But there's a "cap" item on the label with no value.

          Time to check what the setup is on the motors that are still surviving and in use?
          Chilliwack BC, Canada

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          • #6
            It's likely either for a cap or a start winding, since there is only one voltage listed.

            How's the betting on the "burned-out" motors quitting for some external reason? The capacitor does not have to be right at the motor.

            Yep, time to look at a working one and discover just how it is wired, and to what.
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
              It's likely either for a cap or a start winding, since there is only one voltage listed.

              How's the betting on the "burned-out" motors quitting for some external reason? The capacitor does not have to be right at the motor.

              Yep, time to look at a working one and discover just how it is wired, and to what.
              No kidding, I didnt think of that.

              Why the motor and not the drive train. Have you manually tested the drive train? JR

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              • #8
                As said above, look at how a working motor is wired. I suspect it is an induction start motor which has no capacitor. The reason for the 4 wires is for direction control. Depending on what it is doing,many operations in a pin setter require reversing the mechanics. I am just not sure what a 1/20 Hp motor would be used for...
                Robin

                Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first

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                • #9
                  It looks to me that the name plate does not show a capacitor value.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Years ago, I happened to be at the local landfill just after some guys had dumped off two truckloads of old bowling alley equipment. You're not supposed to scrounge or salvage, but I still managed to slip over a dozen motors into my truck.

                    Turned out all of them were single-phase which kind of surprised me, and also, despite their size- they were huge, like fifty-sixty pounds huge- most were only rated at 1HP.

                    Never really had a solid explanation for that, except that they were used for many hours on end. I suspect they were well overbuilt, to put up with the constant use and load.

                    Rewinding small motors like that is unfortunately not cost effective. If it were my setup, each time a motor burned out, I'd replace it with a bigger, better one. There's rarely a space issue in most of the bowling alley equipment, so swap out that antique 1/2th HP for a Baldor or a WEG or Leeson, in 1/2HP constant duty.

                    If it's an odd frame mount, alter it. (Often easier said than done, I admit.)

                    Doc.
                    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                    • #11
                      Testing the windings is but a few moments work. My guess is that the motors more likely have dried out bearings than burned out windings. The one in the pic shows windings which apear to not have suffered overheating. If you want to help her out scrounge up an old megger and show her how to use it.
                      Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                      Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                      Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                      Monarch 10EE 1942

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                      • #12
                        Most 19 yo girls do not have their ducks in a row.
                        Most 29 yo girls don't either, for that matter.
                        Bravo for her, making money (hopefully) and taking
                        ownership in something big. Awesome.

                        ---Doozer
                        DZER

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                        • #13
                          This motor in particular is her last good one but she is the one that tied the wires together and tried to test it, her words, "results were not good".
                          She showed me videos of the machines in the back, the problem is the state threatened to close her down for showing people the machine room where absolutely no safeties are in place. She said she has broken two fingers in the past back there among other injuries.
                          She also tried a newer motor but it started to smoke.
                          From what I remember in the video, each alley uses four motors, there's a conveyor belt that moves among other things. I have not been in the back because of the state threatening her.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Peter. View Post
                            Testing the windings is but a few moments work. My guess is that the motors more likely have dried out bearings than burned out windings. The one in the pic shows windings which apear to not have suffered overheating. If you want to help her out scrounge up an old megger and show her how to use it.
                            So the two theories is that one set of wires is for starting, or reversing the motor. What am I looking for with the ohm meter? Just finding the pair of wires for the appropriate winding? Are the two windings separated from each other? Looking for the same ohm reading or continuity?

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                            • #15
                              If she has less than 10 employees,
                              OHSA rules don't apply. Customers
                              in the 'Mechanical area" is an insruance
                              company thing. Not clear what the state
                              has to do with telling people where to go
                              or not go. It's not a nuclear missile silo.

                              -D
                              DZER

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