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OT Where to get a 360degree 110V swivel?

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  • OT Where to get a 360degree 110V swivel?

    I am having trouble finding a swivel for 110V to pass threw. Maybe I am searching with the wrong names or something but I can't find anything like it anywhere. I need a swivel that can turn 360 degrees (spin continuously in circles) that 110V of electricity can pass threw and its outdoors. What is it called and any ideas on where to get it?

    For a visual say you would have an electric motor on a platform that spins slowly and you need to power the motor on the platform.
    Andy

  • #2
    google "slip rings"

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    • #3
      I repourposed an alternater for this. I took the comustator apart, then built a fixture for holding everything and tada. I have a 100a slip ring. Hope this helps.

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      • #4
        Not rocket science. Easy to build using slip rings, keep some space between conductors, keep water out, etc. A brush holder from an alternator is a good start, and you can build your own slip rings from copper pipe and some non-conductive material. It won't matter which side of the coin the brushes are, unless the speed of the rotating part is significant, in which case the brushes would be on the non-rotating part.

        I've built similar things a few times, usually using just brass contact strips instead of brushes. The main problem with that is contact resistance, as that generates heat and heat is an enemy of many non-conductive materials. If you built with brushes and copper rings, you shouldn't have any problems with that.

        A lot of electrical enclosures are built from pvc these days, so you could probably buy a plastic box suitable to build it into. The box already would have an input for the wire, with strain relief etc, and waterproof boxes are easily available.

        One thing you may have to deal with is seating the brushes. Because you probably aren't going to have a rapidly rotating part to cause the brushes to seat, you'll have to manually sand them in place against the rings to get a decent contact area. But on the plus side, you can probably use a higher than normal contact pressure since you won't likely have much wear going on for the life of the mechanism. More pressure will equate to less contact resistance.

        One of my similar projects used the contacts from standard wall switches. I used copper pipe to make the slip rings from, but then used the brass strip with the silvered contact on it from the light switch to make the contactor from. One from each switch in my case ( those switches are cheap) or you could adapt both contacts from one switch. I found it easier to rob two switches, since then I got two brass strips that were easily usable in the same way.

        And then there is redundancy- for one project I used three contacts per slip ring. That completely eliminated any variability in the contact resistance, and reduced arcing to zero.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          Take a look at a 1/4" stereo phono plug and socket for an idea of what is required. You could even use the phone plug and socket if current requirement is very low.

          If you are going to make something like that you need a conducting shaft, over which you fit an insulating sleeve, then a conducting sleeve, another insulating sleeve and conducting sleeve and finally an outer insulating sleeve. Put that in your lathe and reduce it to steps of conducting surfaces...
          Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 11-19-2010, 03:57 PM.

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          • #6
            You could scavenge an old vacuum cleaner, retractable cord reel. If you couldn’t use the contacts, it might give you some ideas.

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            • #7
              You can buy 'spring return' extension cords that have one of these in the center.
              Also, 'spring return' trouble lights are like that.

              Making your own is cool too but be advised you're outside UL/CSA so be certain it isn't going to cause trouble.
              Mike

              My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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              • #8
                'vacuum cleaner retractable cords'- quite the cheap mechanism they are. I've seen those come in burnt up. Not much quality goes into those. You would do at least as good using plain brass and no special contacts.

                Thinking about the problem a bit more- this is probably for a continuously rotating mechanism, like maybe a rotating santa claus or something- brushes would be the way to go rather than a metal contact of any kind. Even at slow speed, if you have this working hour upon hour the metal to metal contacts will wear out far more quickly than a brush on a copper or brass slip ring. One of the projects I did (with my dad) was just such a thing, a christmas light flasher/sequencer. It lasted the season, but it sure did need maintenance, all to do with the brass finger contacts.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  Google Mercotac, I use them all the time. There isn't a traditional slip ring that can touch them.
                  James Kilroy

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the help and input so far!



                    The motor on the receiving end of this deal is a 1/3hp 110V motor so there will be a considerable current draw. The rotation of the slip will be about 1 revolution every 30 seconds to a minute. This unit will be running 24/7/365.
                    Andy

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                    • #11
                      Would bearings work as slip rings?
                      Andy

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                      • #12
                        You can use bearings for that on low voltage projects, in this case, the bearings would probably arc and get EDMed away.

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                        • #13
                          Ok, I'll make it easy for you....

                          http://www.mercotac.com/

                          They don't get any better than that!
                          James Kilroy

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jkilroy
                            Ok, I'll make it easy for you....

                            http://www.mercotac.com/

                            They don't get any better than that!
                            Interesting. I wonder what sort of seals they use between the tracks?
                            I would guess they are mercury wettet concentric rings. I do wonder
                            about those max frequency ratings though, with the spacing that
                            would be necessary it may be they are measuring at a pretty low
                            impedence.
                            But interesting in any event.
                            ...lew...

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                            • #15
                              "I took the comustator apart, then built a fixture for holding everything and tada. I have a 100a slip ring. Hope this helps."

                              The slip rings on an alternator don't carry the output current, so I doubt they're really good for 100 amps. I'd guess a 100-amp automobile alternator would have about 4 amps on the field at maximum output, and less most of the time.
                              Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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