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redbugsullivan

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Today, my mother's Kenmore 1803 came home. She bought it from Sears Bargain Basement in about '74. I'm certain it was either a return or a trade-in. Hundreds of hours I spent sewing in my youth. Cams, monograms, accessories and the manual are all here. It is clean, oiled, everything moves, light turns on and that's it. No motor response from the foot controller. This is a new problem for me. 2017-08-14 16.37.39.jpg  Help! The "Solid State" has me intimidated.


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Annette
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redbugsullivan

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Here is the foot controller. 2017-08-14 16.38.01.jpg 

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Annette
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penny

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Reply with quote  #3 
Solid state is an old term for electronic. Have you ever cleaned the foot controller? I was surprised at how much lint got inside mine. It was over 30 years old and I had never opened it. There is the possibility that the controller is worn out. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can diagnose this better than I can.
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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #4 
Annette,

Start simple.

First, check all wiring connections to make sure they are connected.  Wiggle the wires near the motor to see if they are broken inside the insulation.
Look for pinched or crushed places in the insulation.  The wires could be broken internally.
Taking the controller apart shouldn't be too hard, I've got one like it, but have never had it apart.  

Go slow and you'll find the problem.

Joe

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Visit our Etsy store for pet related goodies and other items too.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/TBearsAndOtherWares?ele=shop_open

I love the old iron and wood machines. They're solid and reliable.
JM in FT Wayne, IN

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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #5 
Confirmed, power to light and foot controller. All brass contacts cleaned, wires appear to have not been compromised. Light dings and scrapes to wiring should not effect power.

The controller was easy to separate with a narrow straight blade.  As expected, it was very clean. There is a bulb inside that lights briefly when plug becomes active. It also glows when switches are activated but not consistently. It appears to be a problem with the power from the controller to the motor but without an alternative foot pedal, I cannot be certain.

This machine clearly means more to me than I imagined. Bringing it back home yesterday was emotional. Flipping through the manual brought back memories of hemming pants (a chore I know well) and fitting shoulder seams in my choir dresses. Momma did all the oiling and making certain lint didn't build up. It was nearly spotless inside. Well, I guess it has more lessons to teach me! 




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Margaret

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Reply with quote  #6 
Annette, good luck fixing your foot controller! It must be nice to have the machine you grew up with, and it's so wonderful that your mom knew how to take care of it! I'm sure you'll get it fixed, or be able to buy a new controller, and have many more hours (and years!) of sewing on it.  It's sure a pretty machine.
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #7 
Shoot a pic of the end that goes in the machine. I might have a controller
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #8 
KenmoreControl.jpg Three flat prong controller 



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Annette
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redbugsullivan

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I have many controllers and not one like this. Of all the things I can do, electronics is my weakness. There is continuity but it is not consistent and I have no idea how to fix it. I have found a much older foot pedals with the three slot plug in on Bonanza but hesitate to purchase it if other component failures cannot be ruled out. 

Ah! This is how I remain humble.  Near tears, but humbled by the things I still have yet to learn. If only my school year didn't ramp up tomorrow. Classes for me to retain my certification are required. Once on the roller coaster, I cannot get off. Yet this Kenmore is worth fixing! I've sewn with it, monogrammed pieces with love.  Oh Miriam, I hope you can help. If not, just your support means more than you may know.

Annette

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penny

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Reply with quote  #10 
Wish you lived close by, that's the same plug as the one on my lavender Kenmore. If Miriam can't help you, they still make that plug and cord set.

  http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/foot-control-kenmore-fc-6605.aspx   I found it on a quick search and have never bought from them so I don't know their reputation.

http://shop.sew-classic.com/Cord-3-blade-slot-Kenmore-White-Sewing-Machine-SCE-660-5.htm plug and power cord only but she also sells controllers. Others on the board highly recommend her.

I know it's frustrating but you'll get her running again.
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #11 
I do not have a spare but as mentioned you can buy them!
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #12 
I believe the solid state/electronic foot controls can get fried and just not do anything if there's a power surge or something while it was being used. A new foot control would be easy to attach - you wouldn't even need a new cord. If you get another electronic one, use a surge protector when you sew.
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #13 
I am going to purchase another foot controller. The options on this machine make it a worthy save!
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Annette
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PeteH

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Reply with quote  #14 
The light inside the pedal is a current limiting device. Does not use a modern mosfet uses an old school Thyristor. Thats why the pedal has 3 wires going to it. If you look at the pedal it will have a a small microswitch also.

I agree replace the pedal. If you can't find one with weird kenmore plug. Just get a generic one. Easy to wire in. A small note some of the kenmores of that age have a diode and capacitor in the motor itself. The capacitor goes bad from age. It's easy to remove (not needed) You will know if the capacitor is bad after you replace the pedal especially if it is an electronic one. The pedal won't control the speed very well.

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi,

       I understand what having your mom's sewing machine means to you. My dad was a "Singer man" who sold and serviced Singer machines. He passed away unexpectedly in 1960, and the last new Singer machine that he had bought for my mom was a Singer 401A. Mom treasured that machine, and she used it quite often over the next few decades.

      When mom quit sewing (using her Singer 401A machine), I tried to buy it from her. She told me that when she died, it would go to my sister. My sister does not sew at all. Mom also said that she told my sister that if she ever wanted to get rid of the machine, not to sell it, but to give it to me. I found another Singer 401 and acquired it. When mom passed away in April of 2010, I went back home for her funeral.

      While I was in Omaha for mom's funeral, my sister gave mom's sewing machine to me. She told me that mom had given her the machine, and because mom was living with her, she had kept it, as mom would ask her to get it out every so often, just so that she could see it and sew few stitches with it. So, I have my mom's Singer 401, its portable sewing table, set of attachments, owners manual... the whole shebang.
 
       I live near Grass Valley, CA....I don't know where you live, but I have more than one of the flat-blade socket, three-prong Kenmore foot controls that are not "Solid State", they are the older rheostat type of foot controls.  IF you live somewhere near me, I would be happy to try one of my Kenmore foot controls on your sewing machine, and that would narrow down the problem with your machine to its foot control. All of those Kenmore foot controls that I have belong to the Kenmore machines in my "herd", so I don't have spare.

      I would think that if someone in this forum lives near you and has a Kenmore sewing machine with the  correct three-blade foot control, they might be willing to let you try using their machine's foot control on  your mom's machine for diagnosis. The other thing is that if you know someone near you who is into tinkering with electrical /electronic devices, that you could ask them to check your Solid-State foot control with a multi-meter to see if it has gone bad.
         

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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #16 
What a great story! It sounds like your parents raised good children. I live about an hour south of Seattle in Western Washington. My only vintage SM friend moved to Arizona a few years ago, rather sad.

I have another foot controller inbound. The seller is one I have used before and is quite dependable. If this doesn't work, the next step is the plug in circuit. I need to dig out my multi-meter and see what works and what doesn't. I did discover that the brass contact spring had been over compressed and once it was cleaned and re-sprung, the controller appeared to be fully functional. Plugged it in and no-go. One day, it will sew again.

Thanks!

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Annette
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #17 
Annette you must be really close to me. If I had a Kenmore of that type I'd offer a controller for you to test your system but I have two older ones and a much newer one, not one like yours.

Cari

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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #18 
Cari, I live very close to Eatonville. You are so sweet to think of me. 


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Annette
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #19 
Peter, your post has appeared much later than expected. You addressed exactly my concern. A capacitor within the motor itself may be bad. I have not yet received a new foot controller. As soon as I do, an update will be posted. This is great insight! If only my father had lived long enough to share some of his electrical understanding with me!!
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Annette
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #20 
How do I find out if the capacitor within the motor is bad?  I am feeling very undereducated when it comes to electronics. Yes, I own a high end multimeter and the manual that goes with it. Now if I could find a translator to explain what I am reading!!!


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Annette
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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #21 
How are you doing at the moment, is it running at all? If it has a capasitor near the motor you will have to take of the casing to access it. I don't know exactly how it's done on your model but; look for screws and joints in the body, sometimes the  casing covering the motor in the back comes off, sometimes it's the bottom of the machine. From the picture it looks like the side panel under and around the hand wheel comes off too.

I am assuming your model isn't electronic, only the part in the pedal, and it's separate from the functions in the machine (which means any replacement pedal should work with it as long as you find the right plug). The capsitor is often a square bit of plastic connected to the wiring near the plug or motor inside the casing, it can be a round, square, rectangular bit. On later machines like yours I assume it's about the same size and shape as the replacements we get today, on older machines they tend to be larger.
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #22 
It isn't running, at all. I put the head down into the cabinet so it doesn't mock me.  The only electronic bit is the foot controller. I will tear it apart enough to check out the capacitor at the head. I've dealt with capacitors in other devices and they usually look compromised if they are. If so, I hope there is enough vital information available to order a replacement one. 

Usually, non-running machines don't poke at my heart strings. This one does. I want to make baby quilts with their ducks in a row! There is special quilt that is waiting to be bound using the tree cam. Crickey, that machine...  What is it about my mother's sewing machines? Her featherweight and I used to battle!!! Oh, the bird nests in all the wrong places. Now this one. They were the only two she ever owned.

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Annette
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #23 
IT'S Alive!! Long story short, the head was removed to triage the problem and my son started turning the motor bearing by hand. A hum began and then movement! Yep, I hooped and hollered. Thank you to everyone for your words of advice. Hopefully, this thread will help someone else. All those years of sitting, gummed up sewing machine oil, and not enough consistent handwheel turning while pushing on the foot controller just had seized. 

I am a happy gal today!


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Annette
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #24 
Great news. Now go get your ducks in a row! [wink]
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redbugsullivan

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Reply with quote  #25 
A happy, semi-related update- One of my daughter's friends sent me a text message about a sewing machine cabinet by the dumpster at her apartment. The cabinet was water damaged and the end support was totally broken. Long story short, she pulled the head out and hauled it up to her apartment. Yep. The exact same machine! And it works beautifully. She's one happy young sewer!  Poignantly, it happened on the 10th anniversary of my mother's passing. Nice little shoulder tap that was much needed.


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Annette
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbugsullivan
A happy, semi-related update- One of my daughter's friends sent me a text message about a sewing machine cabinet by the dumpster at her apartment. The cabinet was water damaged and the end support was totally broken. Long story short, she pulled the head out and hauled it up to her apartment. Yep. The exact same machine! And it works beautifully. She's one happy young sewer!  Poignantly, it happened on the 10th anniversary of my mother's passing. Nice little shoulder tap that was much needed.



What a great story! I get those taps once in a while too, and it's always when one is needed. <3

Cari

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #27 
I enjoyed this story.  Those departed are really with us in many many ways.
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