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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #1 
After much cleaning and oiling, including motor bearing, buying new cord set and foot pedal, I took the plunge and decided to attempt motor investigation.....do not laugh too much, as I have never done this before. Yes, I realize now I did not investigate brushes in the right way. Should have opened those little tube ends and removed them. But, now that I can get a visual of how long they are, I'm feeling like they are not the problem.

I am still trying to learn names of these parts.....the commutator is the only motor part lightly cleaned so far, and I am comfortable doing less and not doing harm. Started with an eraser, and then moved on to q-tip w/alcohol. Any suggestions on what to do next? Hubby has looked over my shoulder once, but seems content on letting me figure this out for myself. Son commented that Grandpa would have been proud!

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Mavis
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #2 
Rain's tutorial on rewiring covers the commutator.
http://vssmb.blogspot.com/2012/01/complete-how-to-re-wire-potted-motor.html?m=1
(I'm not sure about those last characters in the link after .html)
Our version:
DH put the end in his drill, in the vise. A strip of 600 grit (the really fine black...Emery type?) looped around the commutator, run the drill, sliding the strip up and down the commutator so as not to groove.
Do you think the motor had been apart previously, and the brushes inserted incorrectly?

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Christy

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Reply with quote  #3 
So far it all looks good to me, except where the brushes meet in the center but I can understand what happened.  I usually take the brush holders and brushes out and clean gently with alcohol if there is a lot of carbon dust or any oil.  Then reassemble making sure you get the brushes and brush holders in correctly also getting that little curved piece in next to the brushes.  I am always careful when reassembling and down to those last two screws to turn the piece at the top of the motor making sure it turns nicely.  Sometimes if the case doesn't go together just so it can bind up the motor.  It's a hairs difference but I like to find the sweet spot where it moves the best!

Don' forget to put a tiny drop of oil on the end of the shaft when you put it back into the casing.

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #4 
Mavis,

Consider watching Andy Tube's YouTube tutorial on restoring these PA motors:


This is a multi-part series and he goes into a lot of good detail.  

He also does some tutorials on the Rocketeer that may be helpful to you.  I think your time to work on this machine to get it back to its glory is well worth it - a wonderful machine to have!
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #5 
Update on my failure to launch....
The third photo I posted above was nagging me, as there is obviously a huge amount of dried, cartelized oil settled onto the one half of where the two parts come together.  Hmmm, perhaps someone in the past got a whole lot of oil into the motor and ruined it?  

The other nagging idea was that when I changed the cord set/foot pedal, it didn't behave any differently than with the old one.  My gut feeling when using this machine was that there was an electrical or motor problem.  I might push the foot pedal 10 times or more before it showed any signs of wanting to go.  And at a snail's pace.

After watching many blogs, u-tube, Andytubes, I learned a lot.  Got real good at putting brushes and springs, etc. back in and almost had motor back together many times before discovering the wedge had fallen out, or the insulator for the terminals had again slipped out.  Hubby felt I did well and had done no harm in my cleaning of the commutator.  Had him help me figure out how to get that retaining plate back on as the motor went back into he machine.  Plugged it in, light works, hit the foot pedal....and NOTHIHG!  Oh bugger.

Next step, Dick went out to his work truck, and brought on a multimeter for testing voltage.  My ignorance in electrical issues is massive.  I couldn't believe it when he narrowed down the problem all along was the foot pedal.  After several adjustments to the screw for the pedal, IT WORKS!   

Rocketeer has finally launched, and now I'm going to attempt to make Dick a MN Twins themed quilt!





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Mavis
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #6 
What a happy ending to your story!  So nice to hear everything is working now and all along the foot pedal.  But now you've expanded your skills so all was not lost.  Congratulations on getting this one up and going.

Can't wait to see your quilt - which I think your quilting skills are at least if not more complex than working on your Rocketeer...
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #7 
On things like a motor not working, or a light out, I use a jumper wire. This is nothing more than a spare power cord with plug and two open end leads that I have twisted and soldered for mounting to a connector block. The usual caveat here -"Don't try this at home." That's for the stupid people who haven't figured out that plugging this into a wall socket will give you to live wires at the end of the cord. Also do not cross the leads or let them touch each other. If you have the standard IQ of someone with a high school diploma that can actually read it, then you can touch the leads to the connections for the light and motor to see if they turn on or run. If not, then it's something to do with the light or motor or wiring and will need to be traced. 

Often I use these jumpers to test motors out of the machine, light housings, etc. Easy to use and will easily show if they work. A volt/ohm meter will show a lot too, if you know how to use them, but just have the dial set wrong and touch live wires to them and you can burn one out. Ask me how I know. 

I make jumper wires every now and then because I wind up using them to wire a machine that came without cord sets. Quick and easy, just remember to follow common sense safety unless you enjoy having your tears boil. 

-Bruce
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement and sticking with me on this.  Bruce, you nearly made me choke on my hot tea on the "unless you enjoy having your tears boil" comment.  Too funny.  

I am feeling a bit better about having to learn a few new things every once in a while.  Makes one appreciate these machines even more.  Hoping I can spend many hours quilt piecing with this machine and a lot less tearing apart!

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Mavis
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Christy

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesHand52

I make jumper wires every now and then because I wind up using them to wire a machine that came without cord sets. Quick and easy, just remember to follow common sense safety unless you enjoy having your tears boil. 

-Bruce


I use the same thing here only hubby calls it a "suicide cord".  I think I'll keep calling it that because it reminds me to be very careful with it!

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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #10 
I got a bit careless one time and accidentally touched the ends of my jump wire together. Aside from the quick light show, it blew a fuse (my house is and old one) and I had to replace that, but otherwise there was nothing. The copper wires melted where they crossed and I had to re-do the ends and solder. 

- Bruce
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Christy

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesHand52
I got a bit careless one time and accidentally touched the ends of my jump wire together. Aside from the quick light show, it blew a fuse (my house is and old one) and I had to replace that, but otherwise there was nothing. The copper wires melted where they crossed and I had to re-do the ends and solder. 

- Bruce


[eek]  I hope to never have that happen!

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  • Christy
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Rocketeer

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Reply with quote  #12 
It's funny how much the foot pedal can be a problem! If you can get the motor a full charge and it hums and doesn't vibrate too much, it's likely good. There's some motivation to clean the carbon dust, but if you use it, that's just going to reaccumulate quickly. I worry more about varnished oil or evidence that oil has been put where it shouldn't be, and that the carbon brushes are long enough to have some life left.
I can replace the bearing on a PA motor, but thankfully it's not terribly often necessary -- I think to do it when you turn the shaft and can feel or hear grit in the bearing [frown]. Check out my post in the vendor/supplier category...
https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1310544501&postcount=47&forum=501752

Matt
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #13 
Matt, Yes!  And the fact that I had purchased a new cord/pedal set gave me a false sense of security and I immediately eliminated that part as being a problem.  Just 'cause it's new, doesn't mean it doesn't need adjusting!  My husband showed me how that new pedal, when pressed all the way down, was not making contact, or at best, very light, and never giving full power.  I was relieved how smooth the machine runs once that got sorted out!

I believe, Matt, you are the one I've followed  recently (on another site), with photos of your Rocketeer fully disassembled?  You did a fantastic service, restore on that machine!  Hope I don't ever have to take that many parts off, myself!

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Mavis
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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavis
Matt, Yes!  And the fact that I had purchased a new cord/pedal set gave me a false sense of security and I immediately eliminated that part as being a problem.  Just 'cause it's new, doesn't mean it doesn't need adjusting!  My husband showed me how that new pedal, when pressed all the way down, was not making contact, or at best, very light, and never giving full power.  I was relieved how smooth the machine runs once that got sorted out!

I believe, Matt, you are the one I've followed  recently (on another site), with photos of your Rocketeer fully disassembled?  You did a fantastic service, restore on that machine!  Hope I don't ever have to take that many parts off, myself!


Yep that's me! Post is here:
https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/singer-500a-rocketeer-complete-restoration-t307908.html

I can proudly say I can completely service a 500A now...for whatever good that does, haha! My next project is a 319W. My dream is to have someone bring me their machine and I fix it for them... someday!

Matt
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