Cam Haslehurst

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since Sep 01, 2020
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I am a professional dabbler. I will eventually be an electrician by trade, but I also know a little bit about bike repair, welding, gardening, guitar, piano, photography, philosophy, and some other stuff. Doing my best to help build an alternative to the current order of things...
Northern Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Cam Haslehurst

Mike Barkley wrote:Nice write up Cam. Already looking forward to the next installment.

2 amps x 575 volts = 1150 watts. Now if we convert the 1.25 horsepower into watts we get 1.25 x 745.7 = 932.13 watts. Why the mismatch?

A. The true measured current is probably slightly less than the label indicates. To give the person building something with the motor a safety fudge factor in determining an appropriate circuit breaker to use.

B. The horsepower to wattage conversion calculation doesn't take into account losses like friction, eddy currents, skin effect, hysterisis, etc. That conversion is accurate for purely resistive circuits.

If memory serves TIME CONT indicates it can be run continuously.

I think FORM KXM refers to the form factor of the stator & possibly some other parts.

Wondering if that hefty motor is actually a generator? Could be, the 2 things are basically the same. Anytime there is current through a conductor an electromagnetic field is produced & vice versa. In one an electromagnetic field moves magnets to cause rotation. The other uses rotating magnets to generate electric fields which then induce current into conductive wires. The devil is in the details.

Don't lick the terminals. Check.

Glad you like it Mike. Thanks for your additional input! Especially about the difference between the HP to watts conversion and the volts x amps calculation. I just learned something new.

And yes it is pretty neat how close motors and generators really are. I took a video recently of me spinning a DC motor from an old drill with my multimeter leads connected, and it was very neat to see the rise in voltage (however small) when I spun the rotor. If I remember that I can include that video in another post.
2 days ago
I visited the metal scrapyard today. Why? Motors! Specifically AC induction motors, because those are mostly what I spotted out there. I also got two tools that retail for ~$125 CAD for just $6! More on that later, maybe in another post.

Electric motors...they are everywhere. From where I sit I can hear the dryer running. And the bathroom fan. Off the top of my head: in my angle grinders, drills, sawzall, our blender, in our furnace, in the miniature fan I repaired. It’s safe to say that life would not be the same without these gizmos. The thing is, do you know how they work? How DO they convert electricity in motion? What’s the difference between single phase and three phase motors? What about direct current motors? I hope to answer some of the questions in this little series, and we will all end up learning something along the way I think, because I tend to make mistakes when I get overconfident about this stuff. For today, let’s take a gander at some motors in the scrapyard.

Here is my first photo.

This is an old General Electric motor that runs on alternating current. Starting on the second line, you can read that it  is ¼ horsepower, which translates to 186 watts. To convert horsepower to watts you just multiply the number of horsepower by 745.7, or just 746 if you like. The ‘PH 1’ tells you that this motor ran on single phase power - this is a hint that this could have been used in some household item. Not as clearly it says ‘V 110’ which just means it ran on 110V power. It ran at a rate of 1725 revolutions per minute which is pretty darn quick. If I had to venture a guess I’d say this is out of some sort of fan...I’m open to other guesses though! Finally if you look at the very bottom of the plate you’ll see that it says ‘THERMAL ______TION’ which used to say thermal protection. Whenever you see this on a motor plate it means that there is a device inside the motor that will shut things down if it senses things getting too warm. This keeps the motor from burning itself up, which is a great feature.

Onto a bigger motor:

Starting on the third line we read HP 1.25 - 1 ¼ horsepower. Next up is SF 1.00. SF stands for service factor. According to this website it is the percentage of overloading the motor can handle for short periods within the correct voltage tolerances. It says, “I was made to operate at a certain level, but if necessary I can work a little harder for a shorter period of time without burning out”. Next up is PH 3...this means this motor ran on 3 phase power - 3 phase power is most often seen in commercial and industrial settings where a lot of power is needed. 3 phase power is what is generated at most power stations as well. Next line! HZ 60 means this motor ran on a frequency of 60Hz. When discussing AC this means that the waveform completes a full cycle 60 times every second. Or to put it another way, the electricity flow is changing directions 60 times per second. Now how many volts? 575!! Do not lick the terminals. This is another hint to this not being a household electric motor. Or maybe it was…? Just imagine a VERY powerful ceiling fan in your bedroom. Can you imagine how quick you’d cool down? You might die though when it caves your ceiling in. Anyways. This motor pulls two amps of power, which is very low relative to the volts. For perspective, most household breakers max out at 15 amps. This doesn’t mean this motor isn’t powerful though. Want to find out how many watts this motor would use at the rated output? To do this you simply multiply the amps by the voltage. 2 amps x 575 volts = 1150 watts. Now if we convert the 1.25 horsepower into watts we get 1.25 x 745.7 = 932.13 watts. Why the mismatch? Quite honestly I don’t know. Anyone who does know feel free to chip in here. The second last line, consisting of TIME CONT, ENCL and FORM KXM is a complete mystery to me. The last line starts with CODE K. From, “A letter code defines the locked rotor kVA on a per-hp basis. Codes are defined in MG 1-10.37.2 by a series of letters from A to V. Generally, the farther the code letter from A, the higher the inrush current per hp.” So K being pretty far from A means this motor would take a large amount of inrush current to get going. Why? Picture yourself on a bike in a high gear at a standstill. Try to would be very challenging right? You’d need to push way harder to get the bike rolling than you would to maintain your speed. Motors, especially large ones, are similar to this. INSUL CLASS B. This stands for insulation class, which is, “a letter designation such as "A," "B," or "F," depending on the winding's ability to survive a given operating temperature for a given life.” The further away you get away from A, the better insulated the motor. AMB 60C says that this motor can run at a maximum ambient temperature of 60 degrees celsius before you risk overheating it. If I had to take a guess, I’d say this motor powered some sort of large fan, maybe in a condenser? Lol now if you haven’t already noticed, in the top right corner you can read that this is exactly what this motor did.

Okay now let’s see a real hefty motor.

I didn’t get any info on this one because I couldn’t access the info plate, but just take a look at that thing! Where do you think it was? Maybe some sort of heavy duty ceiling fan? Sorry, that isn’t even a good joke but I do find it funny. Next!

This is not a full motor… in technical terms it is the stator, because it is the part of the motor that remains stationary. The rotor (part that rotates) is missing.

And here are some more bonus photos, with less detailed commentary.

This motor is a little cutie relative to the others. I almost want to snuggle it.

This one someone got kind of frustrated with I guess.


Ever ripped into a microwave? I haven't but when I visited the appliance section of the yard I saw around 12 laying there. Here is a capacitor I found.

0.95 microfarads, but at 2100V. What do we say when we see a high voltage capacitor? Come on, you know it by now. Do not lick!

And another DNL I found in the bottom of a freezer.

And as a teaser for another post: check out my haul in the back of Singer (my car's name that sounds like a sewing machine when running).

More to come.
2 days ago

Mike Barkley wrote:Any interest in kicking this up a notch with explanations of inductors & capacitors? How series & parallel components interact? Or something else along those lines?

Oh heck yeah. If you think it'd be helpful I would gladly do some writing about that stuff!! I have plenty of free time as of now. In welding school which is great fun, but it is no where near the workload of university.

I could do a whole little mini series if that sounds good. It's good for me to really cement the concepts in my head and to teach some folks on here some of the basics of how stuff actually works. I remember before I learned about electricity I thought it was some sort of magic....flick the switch and light comes on. Or the microwave heats up some food. But HOW? That is where the real fun lies.

William Bagwell wrote:
If your going to pursue this long term, search for "security bit set". Have a 100 piece set in a nice case that comes in handy from time to time. See almost the same with an added handle for $15 and a 214 piece set for $31. Actually bought it for tiny Torx and the smallest was too large, had to buy a smaller set of just Torx...

And yes I did! Both enjoy and learn.

Now that I think of it I do own a set of those. Full of Torx bits and the security bits. Facepalm for not checking that set to deal with the stupid screw. I will take a peek in there to see if I have the proper bit. I told my mom tonight that no matter how hard the companies try to keep me out of their appliances, they will not succeed. I will create my own tool if that is what it takes. Of course getting the proper bit might be easier
1 week ago

Mike Barkley wrote:

Do you think the shaded pole got knocked loose or something?

Yes, a very good chance it did.

Thank you! I will check that out. I have also submitted an edit of my original post correcting the part about the second 'resistor' that is actually an inductor. That way folks will not have to scroll all the way down to see what is actually correct.
1 week ago

Mike Barkley wrote:

I recently "repaired" a fan by cutting a hole in the cage that usually blocks the blade. It's so you can get your finger in there to get the blade moving initially.

AC motors often have something called a shaded pole. It's a small piece of shielding inside the motor to cause a tiny bit of electromagnetic disturbance. If the motor magnets happens to stop in exactly a neutral position between the coil windings the electrical unbalance helps insure that the motor starts. Do you hear anything rattling inside the fan?

That may be the issue exactly.  There was a slight rattle to the fan. The issue was upon start up the blades would be stuck. I'd hear the distinctive 'hum' of the motor trying to get started, but it wouldn't get going without a boost. I put a couple drops of lube on the shaft which seemed to help. Then the next day it was stuck again so I just cut the hole. Do you think the shaded pole got knocked loose or something? I never knew AC motors had something like that. It makes sense though, because they work through changing the poles or directions of electric current which forces the motor to turn...but if it happens to stop exactly in between how would it start.

Thanks for introducing me to that...I will have a google and see what they look like. Then I can take a peek inside the fan out of curiosity.
1 week ago

Mike Barkley wrote:Actually, the L1 marking by the green component indicates it is an inductor. Sometime called a coil. Here's the color code for those.

It looks like there are some diodes & a simple integrated circuit of some sort on that board too.  D9 is the diode & U4 is the IC.

T usually indicates a transformer but T6 doesn't appear to be a transformer. The manufacturer might be calling a coil a transformer there. Or it might be a misprint. It looks more like a diode but it doesn't have the cathode stripe.

CX might be some kind of proprietary component. That's not a standard designation. Is it ceramic? It kind of looks like a power resistor.

F1 is a fuse.

Capacitors are usually labeled with a C. Some of those are marked with E. For electrolytic? I guess ZhuHai does it their own way.

Another thing to note on this board is the RoHS label. That means restriction of hazardous substances. Specifically lead solder on circuit boards. Which means if it needs soldering use silver solder & the appropriate flux or the board will likely be destroyed trying to fix it.

Wow thank you Mike for the correction and the additional info!! Lots to learn here. This reminds me of my post about tempering steel and getting politely corrected about the process. As long as I end up learning I am happy - and if folks reading this learn something that is even better.

Mike Barkley wrote:
If they are hooked together in parallel it increases the amperage & the capacitance. If they are hooked in series it is to increase the voltage. Either way ... don't lick them!!!

I couldn't quite see how they were connected as they were tucked away, but noted. One label said 200v and 1500 micro farads. Damn. I will not be licking them.

Thomas Dean wrote:
My coffee pot stopped working.  It was just a standard coffee pot.  I couldn't see buying a new one... I took it apart, hard-wired the electric cord directly to the heating unit (same unit keeps the bottom of the pot warm and boils the water to put over the grounds)  Now, it runs when plugged in, unplug when done.

Nice fix. As long as everyone remembers to unplug you are golden! I recently "repaired" a fan by cutting a hole in the cage that usually blocks the blade. It's so you can get your finger in there to get the blade moving initially. Obviously don't put it in once the fan is going, lol. It works great. Looks ugly but better than it being in the landfill!
1 week ago
That is much smarter than my solution. Thanks!
1 week ago
I took an electrical techniques program last year at my local college. In it, I learned basic skills for being a good electrical apprentice. I also learned the basics of electricity and electrical components.

Today I dismantled a single cup coffee maker that went dead a few months ago. It had begun to leak and the grinder either would not turn on or the beans were not being fully ground, I forget which one. After pulling it apart I give it a repairability score of 3/10. Most of it was screwed together with philips screws...that's great! However to actually get to the important parts I needed to do some prying, which ended in fragile plastic snapping. This was more of an exploratory mission than a rescue one so I wasn't too stressed.

Also, what ground my gears was seeing one of these.

I call it the bullshit screw because that screw's only purpose is to stop the average consumer from opening the machine up. Did I bypass it? Yes. Was it kind of violent? Yeah, it took some prying. I'm sure I can either fabricate a proper bit or buy one, but the fact that I have to do either of those things in the first place is frustrating to me. I do understand the liability factor, but how about writing some stuff into the legalese to cover the company if someone injures or kills themselves opening up a machine? I will keep an eye out when purchasing stuff to see how it is put together. It is easy to dismantle without damaging? Are parts replaceable? Learning to repair is definitely making me more discerning in this area.

So what was inside that little coffee maker? Quite a bit actually! Here is what makes your coffee nice and toasty. On the intake side it had a one way valve that would let liquid in but not out. I tested this by blowing air through it.

Here are some relays. If I had to guess one of these would be activated depending on which button you pressed. The maker had two buttons. One that just brewed, and one that ground and then brewed. So one would activate only the element while the other would also activate the motor to grind the beans. I am just making this up though, so if anyone knows better feel free to correct me.

Here is the brains of the maker. We have a variety of capacitors as well as resistors, and some completely unknown (to me) items as well. Resistors slow the flow of electricity. They are often manufactured out of an insulating material. There are many types, but these little ceramic ones are very common, at least from what I've seen. Take a look at R5 and R79 that are sitting next to the large yellow rectangular components. If you look closely you'll see they have colored bands on them. They are yellow, purple, red and gold if looking from left to right. These little bands tell you a lot about the resistor. They give you the resistance in ohms, as well as the tolerance. Sooo how do you read it? The first two colors in a four band resistor count for numbers. For example brown is 1, red is 2, and so on. The third band is the multiplier. So R5 would have a 4 (yellow), 7 (violet) multiplied by 100 (red as multiplier). Finally, the fourth band determines the tolerance. R5 has a gold band, which stands for a 5% tolerance. This means that the resistance could actually be anywhere between 4465 and 4935 ohms. If this all sounds like gibberish, don't worry it did to me too last year. Take a look at this chart though, it should help out.

Let's do one more example. *Edit* Mike politely corrected me here. The green resistor looking thing is actually an inductor, not a resistor. See the top right corner of the circuit board. From wikipedia: "An inductor, also called a coil, choke, or reactor, is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it.[1] An inductor typically consists of an insulated wire wound into a coil." Inductance is measured in henrys...yeah really! 1 henry is the amount of inductance that causes a voltage of one volt at a rate of one ampere per second. Here is the chart Mike posted for inductor color coding

Based on that we can say that this is an inductor with an inductance of 330 (orange, orange, brown, silver) micro henrys with a tolerance of 10%. I still cannot get over the name, it makes me think of 330 small men named Henry running around. Thanks Mike!Look up in the top right of the control board and you'll see a bigger green resistor. You'll see the bands are orange, orange, brown and silver. Take a peek at the chart and see if you can find out its resistance. Got it? 3 (orange), 3 (orange), multiplied by 10 (brown as multiplier) makes it a 330 ohm resistor. The silver band gives is a 10% tolerance, which makes its resistance range from 297 ohms to 363 ohms.

The little black cylinders at the top of the board are called capacitors. They are used to temporarily 'store' some electricity and then to release it when needed. They are similar to batteries, but not quite the same as they tend to release all the pent up electricity in an instant rather than over time. The ones in this circuit are wimpy, but some huge ones can be found in other appliances. Washing machines often have large capacitors to deliver the large amount of amperage needed to get the motor moving initially. My welder also has 3 capacitors about the size of a D battery! I think they would be for delivering the amperage to strike an arc more easily. Don't lick those like you would a 9 volt.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed and learned something. I like writing about this stuff!

1 week ago
Glad you found it interesting!

Here is a video confirming.
2 weeks ago
Just reading this now. I strongly agree with Trace's comment.

Some advice I received a while back was to take a step back. Whether it be thinking or reading about people doing bad things, it is emotionally draining. I know because I did it. I'd learn about which species was added to the endangered list most recently, or how yet another tract of forest was cleared to build another cookie-cutter subdivision, or how deep the corruption is in many levels of our can go on and on. That's what you need to remember, and what I forgot. There is NO end to this stuff, especially if you actively think about it or seek it out.

In terms of other folks, that is completely out of your control. Most people are completely in denial about the state of the world, and that's okay. There is nothing you can do about that.

What you can do is focus on your strengths. What are you really good at? What makes you light up? For me it's metalworking and exploring new disciplines. it might be completely different for you. Try answering those questions and focus your energy on cultivating those strengths.

if you're really down, take a break from the internet or wherever it is you do your thinking and reading. Go for a walk, feel the sun and the breeze. This advice is coming from my own experience.

Hope you found something helpful here. I'm rooting for you Edward!
4 weeks ago