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Thread: My Rotary Phase Converter build

  1. #1
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    My Rotary Phase Converter build

    WARNING - RPC's are dealing with high voltage and amperage. ENOUGH TO BE LETHAL! If you don't know what you doing this is not something to learn on!

    With that out of the way I finally have started building my Rotary Phase Converter. It purpose is to generate 3 phase power for the Lab for a couple of restored old machines

    First step is to get a plan or design for the RPC. I got mine from Bruce Norton and no doubt he will share his plans. His designs incorporate potential relay for safer start up. With his design you simple hit the start button and once it spins up and start generating power the potential relay kicks out the start circuit. Most designs depend on you to hold down and then release the button once the RPC starts. No expert but I am impressed with Bruce's design. It's not the simplest or the cheapest but I believe is a very safe design for you and the machines. I will ask Bruce about posting his design(s) in PDF format.

    Next step, find the components. New components would be very expensive, so surplus and used are the way to go. If your seriously thinking about building one in the future and know what size you want. It's a good idea to start looking now and buying parts.

    The hard parts to find are a suitable electronic enclosure. A motor overload relay and the motor starter. I got lucky on the enclosure. Someone I know gave me a large one. I just had to pay shipping on it. The rest of the components came off of EBay after a lot of digging around the site.

    Attachment 9535 Attachment 9536

    I studied the plans and finally decided on a layout of the components and start mounting them in the box.

    Attachment 9534

    Just have to remember to allow space for the capacitors and there are several of those that will go in the box.

    Attachment 9533

    Now I am ready to start wiring up the all the components. I have a couple of items I searched for and just now found. They should be in the mail but I can still start wiring.

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    WARNING - RPC's are dealing with high voltage and amperage. ENOUGH TO BE LETHAL! If you don't know what you doing this is not something to learn on!
    So...are you saying that it's not OK to lick the leads to see if they're hot?






    Thanks for starting this thread. Ill be watching with interest.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    So...are you saying that it's not OK to lick the leads to see if they're hot?

    Only for you Vaughn, not for anyone else.

    I forgot to add this little tidbit and I am sure it varies by area. I went to the local electrical supply house where the big boys deal. Bought from them when building the house. I wanted to buy a few feet of wire. To my surprise the smaller more common sizes, like 12 and 14 gage, they only sold in 500 foot rolls. Needless to say that would last me..... ummm, the rest of my life! I did get the short lengths of larger gage wire I needed however.

    I can get it the hardware store, it just darned expensive. I remember I have a dead.. well dying washing machine in my garage. So I decided I will just pop the back off it and see whats inside. I was going to do that anyway so I will see if there is any wire in the that is suitable. Strip it out and save a few bucks.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
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    When we remember Jeff is mad, the mysteries disappear and his life stands explained. Or is that Vaughn whose life is explained. Oh I'm so confused.

    Anyway Jeff this is going to be an interesting project to follow.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    So...are you saying that it's not OK to lick the leads to see if they're hot?
    Rule two, courtesy of Red Green:

    "When you're standing in water, don't touch anything that hums"

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    So...are you saying that it's not OK to lick the leads to see if they're hot?






    Thanks for starting this thread. Ill be watching with interest.
    VAUGHN!

    As my grandmother used to say, "Don't tell the baby not to put beans in it's ears!"

  7. #7
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    Vaughn fro

    Hey Vaughn, I want to watch! I can just imagine the large circumferance fro you'l git when you lick them leads. On the other hand, those large caps will probably cause a reaction not unlike a large bug zapper. Got to remember that even with the power disconnected those caps can be deadly unless they are discharged at shutdown.

  8. #8
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    I spent a little time in the Lab working on the RPC. I thought I was going to have all day but lots of things came up and I didn't get to spend much more than hour on it today.

    This morning I stripped the old washing machine and got a lot of good stuff for the rat hole. Actually I grabbed the wiring harness. I was surprised at home much wire was in there. And a few pieces here and there. Just what I figured I would actually use. The wire came in very handy tonight.

    I am waiting on the distribution blocks to get here. Just about everything connects to these so there is a lot I cannot do. But I could wire the start and stop circuits. Bruce's plans are pretty simple to follow. I had one difference from his plan. He shows a indicator light (to show it's running) and I had a lighted switch instead. No biggie, I would just wire it so the light was only on when it was running. Of course I got confused and had to do this for a bit.

    Then I decided that Bruce had a mistake in his plans. He had changed them for my needs and just knew what I was looking at was mistake. It just wouldn't work. After finally just walking up stairs, getting something to drink and then sat down and traced through the schematic again and finally realize that Bruce was just cleaver! What he had looked wrong but was really just a slick answer to a problem.

    Till I get the distribution blocks I can't do much more.

    And I will organize the wires and bundle them once I get more done. It won't look like a rats nest when I am done!!


    Attachment 9556 Attachment 9557
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  9. #9
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    Well almost finished with the wiring. Not much to talk about. Except now that I see it wired, I would have mounted the components to have routed the larger heavy wires in a straighter line. Wasn't hard to install them, just would have looked better.

    I need to install the capacitors now and mount it to the wall and wire it in the panel.

    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Tokiwadai, Japan
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    Jeff,

    Do you have a schematic diagram and parts list for your project? Specs as to it's capacity and performance?

    Thanks.

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