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Phase converter - advice needed


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  #1  
Old 12-11-2007, 12:16:17 PM
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David Parfitt David Parfitt is offline
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Default Phase converter - advice needed

We have recently purchased a Colchester Student Mk1 lathe with a three-phase motor. As we only have a single-phase supply, we are looking to buy a phase converter in order to use the lathe. Can anyone recommend a good place to buy a reasonably priced phase converter in the UK? Are there any particular features we need to be aware of, or specifications we need to check on our lathe, before buying a converter?

Many thanks

David
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:49:32 PM
John Merry John Merry is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

David-- I purchased a static phase converter on e-bay last year and so far has worked very well. You need to match the HP rating of the lathe to the converter when selecting the right size converter. The rotory converters are more heavy duty and would probably give better service life but cost quite a bit more.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:14:17 PM
eeleater eeleater is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...splay.php?f=11

The able site will provide all the information you need to evaluate your options.

If you are going to run just one machine I would suggesty you look at a VFD instad of a static converter.

You can easily find a VFD which with single phase input will produce 3 phase output which will provide at the full 3 HP the lathe motor is rated for ( assuming you have the original motor).
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:44:24 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

I built a rotary convertor using a three phase motor, two contactor relays from old A/C units, a starting capacitor, and run capacitors to balance the load on the third leg. You should have a motor 1/3 larger than the motor you're running. Mine works well, got plans off the net, modified them a little. All I had to buy was a toggle switch and a momentary on push button switch, the rest was scavenged.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:40:52 PM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

I've built several static converters myself. Pretty easy to do. I've used a momentary on switch on some rather than a relay. Depending on what mfd capacitor you need, you can often get them at a junk yard off a clothes drier or other type appliances. They don't cost much if you have to buy them. I bought a few momentary on switches at a flea market for 50 cents each. I probably don't have more than $5 in any of the converters.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:34:44 AM
Rick McKay Rick McKay is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

Homemade phase convertor is the way to go if your on a budget. I have been running my machine tools for 12 years that way. My first one was an easy rolling 5 horse motor that I would plug into single phase 240, give the pulley a couple of kicks with my boot, and presto! Three phase power (almost). Crude, but I was able to run my mill, lathe, shaper, or surface grinder off of it. My current homebuilt convertor has a momentary switch to a capacitor for starting, and on the next iteration I would like to add a run capacitor to balance the legs.

Machine tools generally start with no load, so these homebuilt convertors work just fine. Compressors on the other hand, don't seem to work as well off of a convertor, nor are they too practical as the convertor would have to be left running all day.

Happy Wiring,

Rick
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:38:31 PM
Jim18655 Jim18655 is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

Try the VFD route. It will probably be about 1/3 of the cost of a phase converter and give you variable speed control, which is one of the common modifications. You'll need to buy a slightly larger unit for the single phase in - three phase out and not all VFDs can be used that way.
Jim
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:53:27 AM
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David Parfitt David Parfitt is offline
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

Thanks for all your help with this - I'll follow up the suggestions you made.

Best wishes

David
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:40:43 AM
tcalhoun
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Default Re: Phase converter - advice needed

Jand L industrial supply should have a static phase converter or you can find an electric idler motor and put a static phase converter with it and have a rotary phase converter which is pretty good for use it has a slight voltage loss on the 3rd leg but works great I have ran one for years but if i had one machine and not a shop full i would buy one of the static phase adapters. should not cost much depending on your motor size.

the vfd i have worked with in the past were for adjusting the speed on a motor by varying the frequency applied to the motor and they are usually kind of pricey, maybe a brand out there i have not seen that is alot cheaper.
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