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Can a commutator be replaced?


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#1 Zippity

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 09:31 AM

I have a BOW G12 armature that I would dearly love to save, but the comm is stuffed. :(
 
Can it be saved?
 
RootedBOWG12armature.jpg




#2 Cheater

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 03:04 PM

Ron,

I've never heard of anyone successfully doing this. The lack of other replies suggests that's the case with most everyone.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#3 Zippity

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 03:34 PM

That was what I suspected, but just had to ask. :(
 
Thanks for replying.

#4 Steve Deiters

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 03:35 PM

Back in the early '70s Rick Davis from Detroit was running armatures from legendary East Coast winder Big Jim Greenaway. Rick told me a couple of years ago if he a particular armature that was good, but the comm was at the end of its service life he returned it to Jim to have it replaced. The arm came back "like new" for another life on the track.
 
How practical this would be with contemporary armatures I don't know. I didn't think if could be done back then, but evidently it could, but when you have a magician/skilled hobbyist doing the winding then anything could happen... and did.
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#5 slotcarone

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 06:59 PM

I can confirm Steve's post about Jim Greenaway!! :)


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#6 Zippity

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 07:08 PM

Well I have just placed this over sized armature into a setup and it is currently breaking-in smoothly at 4 volts.

 

Will drop it into a chassis within the next couple of days and take it for a test run :)


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#7 Phil Hackett

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:41 PM

When The Spin Doctor was doing its armature servicing there was an exploration into a method of renewing commutators without replacing them. I was advised by a trusted chemical engineer about what it would take to do so in house. Let's say that it would have required dealing with some nasty chemicals and even though I had dealt with them in previous employment, it just wasn't going to be worth the time and the headaches to pursuit.
 
Yes, it can be done. Like everything else, how much do you love that arm? ($$$)
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#8 Zippity

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 09:04 PM

Amazing, isn't it?
 
We can land a man on the moon. Land a robot on a comet millions of miles out in space. Transplant a live human heart.
 
But can we replace a commutator on a simple slot car motor armature?
 
Noooo...

:dash2: :dash2: :dash2: :dash2:

#9 Mike Patterson

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 09:34 PM

If the comm hadn't been tied and epoxied, it could probably be replaced. As it is, well, I think you're SOL.


We all need to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.


#10 Zippity

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 10:13 PM

So out of luck??    :laugh2: :laugh2:



#11 Phil Hackett

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 10:21 PM

Well, Zippity...
 
It's a matter of whether to deal with some deadly toxic materials to make a few bucks. Now if the US gov'ment were to find that saving slot car arms would be worth $100/each (just some wild figure pulled from the air...) there might be someone already willing to do the work. But with many metal finishing plants closing down because of environmental/regulatory reasons, and also lots of this kind of work exported to China, India, and other places where "dirty" work has been encouraged to go, there's not many places left who'll even try... Me? My cyanide and heavy acid days are long passed by.
 
Again, it's a matter of money and there's no guarantee that the process would result in an armature that would be any good after processing (I left a lot out about the process in the previous post). It would have been a great experiment *but* I was highly encouraged NOT to go down that road by a chemical engineer I had worked with years before.
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#12 Zippity

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 02:24 AM

Alas the BOW is well and truly knackered. :(  :(
 
Dropped it into a BD3 chassis today and took it for a run test tonight. Slower than a house car.
 
Oh well. :)

#13 havlicek

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 06:54 AM

If the comm hadn't been tied and epoxied, it could probably be replaced. As it is, well, I think you're SOL

 
That's only the half of it. The wire has been either welded or brazed to the comm tabs. If this weren't the case and it had been soldered, it might be at least "possible."

 

In any case, all the work involved and the most likely outcome being failure makes this a fool's errand.
 
-john


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#14 wbugenis

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 08:11 AM

I have some of Monty's lams around here somewhere...


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#15 Zippity

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 10:51 AM

Bill,
 
Please PM me with what you have. :)
 
Ron

#16 Buzz-A-Rama

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:18 AM

Bill, 

 

I plan on having a class for youngsters between 10 and 13 years of age to wind their own motors.They would eventually compete with each other in a race with said motor.

 

My problem is getting commutators, as I have everything I need including the motors that we will be rewinding. Call me at Buzz-A-Rama any time as I have my number forwarded to my cell phone.

 

Buzz


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#17 Steve Deiters

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:22 AM

Buzzi,

 

I think John Havlick could be your "go to guy" for comms. See his posts above. He's always winding something.



#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 12:21 PM

Steve,

 

I believe Bill has the former RJR comm manufacturing equipment. In the past, past, he has sold small lots of them. I know several people, including myself, who have gotten them.

 

I think Bill lives in Brooklyn, too.


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#19 wbugenis

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 01:00 PM

Buzz,

 

I'm in. Will give you a call.

 

Bill


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#20 havlicek

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 01:35 PM

Bill,  I plan on having a class for youngsters between 10 and 13 years of age to wind their own motors.

 
Now that is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while.  Teaching kids the techniques and a little of the science that goes along with it can't be anything other than a VERY good thing!  I was about that very same age when I got bit by the bug.  Until that point, I ran motors until they didn't work anymore.  Sometimes others would help replace or repair something for me, and it all seemed like "black magic".  The first time I opened a motor up and was able to fix something and later see that motor run again, it was like the clouds parted and a heavenly chorus of angels started singing.  No doubt many of these kids will get a huge charge of seeing their motors run!  
 
Tell you what, I don't know for sure if I can make it, but when your plans firm up, let me know and I'll try and be there *if you want*.  You can always PM me.
 
-john


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#21 Cheater

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 02:11 PM

Somebody has got to document this in some way! I insist on it...

 

It needs to get as much publicity as we can generate, if it does come off.


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#22 wbugenis

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 02:33 PM

Breaking News!

 

Havlicek travels to a slot car raceway! 

 

(in Brooklyn no less...)


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#23 Phil Worthy

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:02 PM

That's so cool!
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#24 havlicek

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:57 PM

Breaking News!

 

Havlicek travels to a slot car raceway! 

 

(in Brooklyn no less...)

 

:)

 

-john 


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#25 Samiam

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 05:15 PM

Great idea Buzzi. :good:

 

This is the coolest thing since  "Buzzi's Bunnies"


Sam Levitch
 
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Support your local raceway, or you won't have one.
Slot cars are quad-pods.
Support your "Local Racer."
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#26 brucefl

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 05:54 AM

Buzzy did it happen your motor winding project, (I was at your place in 1969)and I tried winding arms. (Things like that inspired me to eventually become a dentist,after I went into digital electronics,it developed my hand skills and I guess my mind as well).

Buzzy you're an amazing holdout a true diehard,how did your enterprise survive so long what's your secrets for the future bill gates of the world and especially in brooklyn.
Bruce Schwartz

#27 brucefl

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 06:05 AM

Hi John it's Bruce from a few years ago.
Big Jim used to replace my commutators on his armature that I bought from him,the key was they were soldered on,with welding the wire would be severed in removal can that be overcome probably.
As far as getting through the epoxy and wrapping maybe with one of my dental microscopes and a steady hand you could remove strand by strand the wrap chord,tedious but if you're retired and have all the time in the world or independently wealthy anything can be done,lol.maybe the one of the balancing services might concierge offering this service,thorp used to renew or refresh old arms and I think that included re-epoxying.
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#28 wbugenis

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:46 PM

All of  the materials  and processes necessary for making an new armature are readily available  - drill blank shafts,

a wide selection of laminations,commutators, high temperature wire, silver brazing wire, epoxy powder coat stack insulation,

encapsulation epoxy, kevlar thread for tying  the winds, presicion stack grinding and balancing.   

 

The combination of these means the overall quality can be  better than most anything previously produced.

All you need to do is cough up enough cash to make it worthwhile for a competent craftsman (like John)

to produce a new, and better, armature.

 

You can even learn to do it yourself, using John's incredibly detailed instructions. The secrets have all been revealed.

The combination of factors that allow the average guy on the street enthusiast to do this have no precedent in the history

of  the slot car. 

 

Why would anyone go through  agony of recycling the old?  


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#29 MSwiss

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:52 PM

Because they think that particular arm was exceptional / magical.

Along with the insanity of trying to do it, what they probably don't realize is that there is a good chance the "magic" of that particular arm, was the comm.
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Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
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#30 wbugenis

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 03:20 PM

Nothing compared to the insanity of reproducing the "magic arm" on a recycled blank.

 

That Koford comm  and Koford racer, Brad Freisner (I hope I spelled his name correctly, forgive me) has been killing them in the Czech Republic over the last few years

despite the money spent by a certain local industry magnate  in Prague to reproduce that "magic" with his own armature.


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#31 havlicek

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 07:59 AM

Hi Bruce...good to see you again!

 

-john


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#32 brucefl

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:41 PM

Hi John good to here from you too.

I've got an idea let's all go back in the time machine and you'll be the master arm winder/motor builder like big Jim green away or Bill Steuben sr.,and Steve O'Keefe (as emmott so correctly knighted him as chassis builder of chassis builders as well all others dc-65 and sell your wares and we'll race like the old days,I used to buy from jim,emmott,Ed sohl,and they built my cars and I raced,Tony used to deliver chasis to hockdorf,Andy crotty big Jim and rich boltizar used to build his cars.
I used to build and wind for fun just to run when the car didn't have to go through tech.
So now we've got an answer,Back to the future when vintage ways meet the future,1968 to 1970 style replica racing original parts not needed jut take the old racing news and copy/prefab those cars and winds and size of stack,I'm first on the list for my replica boltizar,sohl,emmot,etc,etc.cars for replica races with professional builders supplying the chassis,motors,bodies.
Now if the pro builders want to mentor the youth in learning how to build we'll build another generation of replica slot car enthusiast and my be build skills for the rest of their lives.

Like our love for this wholesome,we're building a movement let's make slot cars and the youth great againagain
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#33 brucefl

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 05:10 AM

Hey if you guys don't start this movement I will,I have enough of the old original vintage stuff to emulate,now I'll just have to be creative enough to fabricate from scratch and buy on eBay what u don't have,hopefully this will be motivation for you guys,u will call Monty to see if he wants to get intoo.

OK I'm dusting off the cobwebs.

And I'm going to get the local youth to join in and make it fun to bend wire and solder and wind arms.Im still waiting for you future pro builders to start the factory up.

What say you.
Bruce Schwartz

#34 Bill from NH

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:06 AM

Who is the Monty you mention in post #33?  Monty Ohren has been gone 5 years. Monty M.. of Camen, has been known by his real name, Joel, for 20-25.


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#35 brucefl

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:57 AM

Joel is who I was referring to sorry for the mixup.

Monty ohren(OBM) I spoke to we'll before he passed and we shared moments reminiscing.

But Joel was the one I met when I was young and I believe is still active and may professionally be able to have impetus in reigning this dorment aspect of our sport.
Although I wish for it to be revived and maintained in a bubble,it seems I'm not alone,due to its appreciation,and I'm sure as a result of the nature of reminiscence,they say you can never return that you must keep it as a sacred memory that it's never the same as when you first live it,but I say as with antique car collectors,showing appreciation of high level craftsmanship of the past is simply that appreciation.
Like we show for the history of America's history.
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#36 brucefl

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

Did you guys know there's a ceramic coated winding wire available 1200 degrees f
Bruce Schwartz

#37 MSwiss

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:57 PM

It might be of value if it wasn't for 3 or 4 other parts of the motor failing first, especially on a G7.
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
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Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#38 Benno - SAC

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:29 PM

Maybe it would be possible, to true the comm down to the inner diameter of a copper tube, solder it on and re-cut the segments?

Will have to google for copper tubes :-).

Schöne Grüße (Kind regards)

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www.SAC-Stolberg.de


#39 Phil Hackett

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:13 PM

Did you guys know there's a ceramic coated winding wire available 1200 degrees f

 

ML wire. Stripping it is mucho funno.... so I've been told....


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#40 Bill from NH

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:30 PM

Maybe it would be possible, to true the comm down to the inner diameter of a copper tube, solder it on and re-cut the segments?

.

Solder wouldn't be strong enough, The copper tubing could fly off when the armature was at speed., Brazing or welding might be better.


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#41 MSwiss

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:40 PM

Maybe it would be possible, to true the comm down to the inner diameter of a copper tube, solder it on and re-cut the segments?

Will have to google for copper tubes :-).

I think you would damage the phenolic, from the heat, sweating the tube on the old comm.

 

If somehow, you didn't, I doubt it would hold on an open, with high RPM, and more heat at the comm.

 

Even with a group arm, it might peel off from centrifugal force.


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Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#42 Bill from NH

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:01 AM

There has been a reason why slot car arms with worn-out comms have been replaced by a new arm over the years. I'm not aware of them, but are there industrial motors available with rebuildable comms?


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#43 havlicek

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:14 AM

 

ML wire. Stripping it is mucho funno.... so I've been told....

 

ML is an enamel.  Ceramic coated wires need to be used with special cautions (*including very light tension) when winding coils because the coating, while very resistant to high temps, is naturally more brittle and subject to mechanical failure especially at places where it needs to make tight bends.   I don't know if they all are (?), but the ceramic coated wire I've seen was either all or part nickel, as opposed to copper.

I'm pretty sure that Mike has covered the reasons why this sort of thing just doesn't make sense.  Even the basic economics (cost of doing this versus just replacing the armature) probably make it not worth it.  Then too, trying to extend the life of one of those "magic" armatures wouldn't make sense from this angle because a LOT of the "magic" probably comes from the commutation, which obviously would no longer exist.  The only conceivable way I can think of is to design a commutator from the get-go designed to be "serviced" when worn, by removing a "shell" and replacing it somehow with a new one.  Even that seems like an engineering nightmare.

 

-john


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#44 brucefl

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:59 AM

Does anybody know where to buy the highest temp epoxy like Jim used and koford uses for encapsulating the armature windings.
Bruce Schwartz

#45 brucefl

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:32 AM

Nothing compared to the insanity of reproducing the "magic arm" on a recycled blank.
 William are you producing the components to make slot car armatures.A blogger mentioned you make commutators.If so would you sell to individuals,if not could you suggest a source,for the 1969 to 1971 G7 cars,thanks in advance.
That Koford comm  and Koford racer, Brad Freisner (I hope I spelled his name correctly, forgive me) has been killing them in the Czech Republic over the last few years
despite the money spent by a certain local industry magnate  in Prague to reproduce that "magic" with his own armature.


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#46 Hermit #1

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:32 AM

Does anybody know where to buy the highest temp epoxy like Jim used and koford uses for encapsulating the armature windings.

PM sent.


Dave "Hermit" Jones

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#47 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:24 PM

whos your source


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#48 havlicek

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:09 PM

I don't know where to get the stuff Koford uses, or if it's available in less-than-industrial quantities, but I've been using Cotronics "Duralco 4461" and it seems to work just fine.

http://www.cotronics...og/07 4461.pdf

 

-john


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#49 brucefl

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:35 PM

Jim used a single component made by 3m,which cotronics sells their products.
Jim told me that he preheated the armature around 350 degrees then he applied the epoxy and it became like water flowing in between the windings,amber colored when cured.

How does the product you use work in comparison.

His product cost about $150.for a quart back in the day.with an expiration date.

And when I call 3m a few years back they told me that the organic material has not been improved on and that organic compounds have limits that can't be improved on (unless they are combined with inorganic substances,which cotronics sells but they most probably don't flow the same because they are ceramic in nature)650f has always been the max temp capacity,so when koford says he used something that has a temp capacity of 900f I wonder how's that possible if the scientists from a multi billion dollar corporation 3m/corning say it's not possible or available.but of great importance besides temp capacity and viscosity is modulus of elasticity,deformation during vibration,at 100,000 rpm plus plus (250,000 to 400,000 rpm)centrifical forces would shift if not rip the winding off the arm.
Bruce Schwartz

#50 havlicek

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:54 AM

 

 

Jim used a single component made by 3m,which cotronics sells their products.
Jim told me that he preheated the armature around 350 degrees then he applied the epoxy and it became like water flowing in between the windings,amber colored when cured.

 

 

I preheat as well, but only to around 200-250F.  The stuff I use is already low-vis at room temp.  When you warm up the arm, it runs like water and easily penetrates even the tightest windings.  It's basically water-white, and after catalyzing (it's a two part epoxy) and speed-curing, it's a light amber.

***Of course, organic compounds such as resins used for potting armatures do have temperature limits, and even the most "high temperature" of them will break down at the upper limits.  I can't speak to the claims of 900F epoxy or some other resin, but it really doesn't matter.  In most all cases, even if an armature "only" reached a temperature of 450-500F (which would be screaming hot), any number of other components of the arm and motor in general would likely have already failed.  I suppose it's possible that the motors at the really high end can reach operating temps at or above 500F (???) and survive, but have no knowledge of whether or not that happens or is even possible.


John Havlicek





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