What's new
What's new

Advice On 3 Phase Power Options For My First Mill

Nust

Plastic
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Hi Everyone,

I have an Excello 602 that I recently picked up as my first Mill. The unit is built for 220/440 3 phase power. My workspace is just a home shop with only single phase power. I tried one of those VFD's by a name we shall not speak and clearly made an error and its no longer with us. This brings me to all of your experts and your thoughts on best solutions to this problem. Electrical matters are not my strong suit but it seems like a VFD is the most versatile cost effective solution. Perhaps someone who may have done a similar conversion can provide some insight or recommend a VFD?

I had previously removed the drum switch, wired the VFD to the motor directly, keeping all the motor wire groupings the same and set the motor voltages and current settings for what the name plate suggested. not sure where my error was at this point but on first start I heard the motor twitch and then it errored and when I tried again to get the code and consult the manual it simply popped quite loud at the vfd and tripped the breaker.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

thermite

Diamond
Hi Everyone,

I have an Excello 602 that I recently picked up as my first Mill. The unit is built for 220/440 3 phase power. My workspace is just a home shop with only single phase power. I tried one of those VFD's by a name we shall not speak and clearly made an error and its no longer with us. This brings me to all of your experts and your thoughts on best solutions to this problem. Electrical matters are not my strong suit but it seems like a VFD is the most versatile cost effective solution. Perhaps someone who may have done a similar conversion can provide some insight or recommend a VFD?

I had previously removed the drum switch, wired the VFD to the motor directly, keeping all the motor wire groupings the same and set the motor voltages and current settings for what the name plate suggested. not sure where my error was at this point but on first start I heard the motor twitch and then it errored and when I tried again to get the code and consult the manual it simply popped quite loud at the vfd and tripped the breaker.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Small mill, small motor, (1 HP? 2?) ....many 'ere would just strap the mill for 2XX 3-Phase running, find a 2, 3 or 5 HP 3-Phase motor to use as idler, and build a box-of-rocks dumb RPC.

No other wiring changes to the mill

You haven't blown-up enough money in VFD yet to be ready for that.
Gots to pay yer dues for: "seems like a VFD is the most versatile cost effective solution."

Go and blow-up another VFD and/or fry the OEM motor first.
THEN come back for common-sense RPC advice.
 

Nust

Plastic
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Yes just a small motor, 1.5hp motor. I'd prefer not to blow up anything else if avoidable... I have a basic offshore VFD that is setup on my Harrison lathe with some electrical help from a friend. I'll do some looking at RPC options, not sure how easily I can find another motor for an idler to build that but I'll take a look.
 

thermite

Diamond
Yes just a small motor, 1.5hp motor. I'd prefer not to blow up anything else if avoidable... I have a basic offshore VFD that is setup on my Harrison lathe with some electrical help from a friend. I'll do some looking at RPC options, not sure how easily I can find another motor for an idler to build that but I'll take a look.

3 HP Idler will do fine, then. A 5 HP one can prolly power most any other 3-P machine tool you are likely to add for perhaps several years coming.

RPC are dumb and rugged. Pretty much "wire and forget" for 20 years and more.

VFD - and even Phase-Perfect...need new capacitors after a period of years, even if never once powered-up. Chemistry thing. "RTFM". 3 to 12 years, typically. Cheaper ones sooner, and they tend to cost as much as a new VFD, so colour the VFD a "consumable", like truck tires, as economics go..

Idlers... a used motor costs as much to ship as a new one.

So I use new. But.. several are "scratch and dent". High-grade Extreme Service motors written-off by first-tier customers for minor shipping damage.

So I pound a dent out of a sheet-steel fan housing that didn't break the fan, monkey-patch a cracked Cast-Iron fan housing that didn't break the fan, replace a couple of sheared-off lube fittings, sub in for one torn away "peckerhead" wiring connector box.. but get otherwise as-new virgin-clean Reliance Duty-Master extreme service weather proof units for small money and simple, cheap, and easy fix-up minor flaws.

No sweat putting them outdoors to deal with noise. These buggers were built to live long and serve well on the exposed decks of deep-water oil rigs and blue-water ships.

Check with NRI. You don't need THAT sort of armour. It was just cheaper because nobody ELSE did, either!

:)


IIRC, my 3 HP one even had free shipping - arrived foamed-into a UPS triple-wall pasteboard carton right to my front door.. not on a pallet over to the local freight terminal ....as the bigger ones did.

New, Surplus & Used Industrial Parts & Equipment For Sale | NRI

They have competition. There are recyclers in Canada.

** PAY ATTENTION TO VOLTAGES **

PITA to get a "screaming deal" on a 3-Phase but 575 Volt ONLY motor ....when you need a 2XX Volt one!

:D
 

jim rozen

Diamond
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Location
peekskill, NY
You cannot go far wrong with a rotary converter. However.

Something clearly went wrong with your previous VFD and it's worth understanding what. Might have just been a fubar unit right out of the box. If so then a VFD that is functional out of the box might still be your best bet. If there is something wrong with the load motor that smoked the VFD, might be best to figure that out now.
 

Nust

Plastic
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Thanks Thermite, I'll track down a suitable motor, have you got a source for assembling the remainder of the RPC? Again electrical Isn't my strong suit so I will definitely need some info on the assembly. I appreciate the info.

Jim, I'm looking to see where my error was, the wiring looks correct so I would assume my settings were the issue. The first time I hit start the unit spit an error code. not sure why the second time it failed without the code and just blew. I was under the impression it had measures to prevent just such an event. Without being able to check all the settings again its impossible to know if I made an accidental error programing something. I'll also be looking to get some info on how to test this motor without power to ensure everything is good there.
 

tnrcboatracer

Plastic
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
I just got done replacing the OEM Yaskawa 380-480V 3ph VFD on my ACRA mill with a 200V Yaskawa 3ph VFD. Running it on 1ph 230V. I found a 5.7kw unit used for my 3hp (2.2kw) mill. Running fine so far. Heading out to the shop to power it up now. Rule of thumb is to size the VFD to 2x the 3ph hp (kw) when running on 1ph. Used Yaskawa units are available in 230v 1ph or 3ph. Just be sure to size the 3ph VFD appropriately if running on 1ph power.

I also have a 7.5hp RPC, but boosting the 230V 3ph to 460V was going to cost 10x-20x more than the $60 I paid for the 200V 20A VFD. Maybe one day I'll find a 230/460 transformer for the right price.

I also picked up the same unnamed Chicom VFD, but decided to relegate it to my 1.5 hp 2x72 belt grinder project.

Sent from my SM-P905V using Tapatalk
 

dalmatiangirl61

Titanium
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Location
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
The first time I hit start the unit spit an error code. not sure why the second time it failed without the code and just blew. I was under the impression it had measures to prevent just such an event. Without being able to check all the settings again its impossible to know if I made an accidental error programing something. I'll also be looking to get some info on how to test this motor without power to ensure everything is good there.

Double check how you had motor leads connected, and ohm the motor windings, and check for shorts to ground. Schematics for Fitch Williams design is in the vfd/transformer forum, or you can just buy a pre-wired box and just source a 3phase motor locally.
 

thermite

Diamond
I just got done replacing the OEM Yaskawa 380-480V 3ph VFD on my ACRA mill with a 200V Yaskawa 3ph VFD. Running it on 1ph 230V. I found a 5.7kw unit used for my 3hp (2.2kw) mill. Running fine so far. Heading out to the shop to power it up now. Rule of thumb is to size the VFD to 2x the 3ph hp (kw) when running on 1ph. Used Yaskawa units are available in 230v 1ph or 3ph. Just be sure to size the 3ph VFD appropriately if running on 1ph power.
Yaskawa/Magnetek are "Tier ONE" industrial VFD. Hard to go wrong. But check the manual, even so.

ISTR a 12-year life since date of manufacture and they recommend new capacitors?

Which is longer than average. But still... bought used could mean already old?
I also have a 7.5hp RPC, but boosting the 230V 3ph to 460V was going to cost 10x-20x more than the $60 I paid for the 200V 20A VFD. Maybe one day I'll find a 230/460 transformer for the right price.
Still have the 15 KVA Delta-Delta elliptical-coil R.E. Uptegraff surplus from when I decided to NOT get into 600-Volt-Class power (anything above 300 V but LESS than 600 V, AKA "4XX" qualifies).

Free to whomever cares to haul the heavy bastid away.. from Sterling/Dulles, VA.
I can load it. Ramp or cherry-picker.

CAVEAT: Right around 400 lbs Avoir. R.E Uptegraff, Pennnsyltucky "Deutschers", are sorta the Pierce-Arrow of custom-built last-ALMOST-forever powerco transformers. I did say "elliptical coil?" 40+ year design life. Roughly double the life of squared-corner bobbins.

I also picked up the same unnamed Chicom VFD, but decided to relegate it to my 1.5 hp 2x72 belt grinder project.

I decided to first eyeball my one visually:

Opened up.
Threw up.
Threw out.

Never bothered to connect power to it.

And am far the better for it!

:D
 

Nust

Plastic
Joined
Dec 27, 2021
Hi Rons,

It was one of the Huanyang units. It did initially toss an error code. I hit stop and went to get my manual to reference the code. I made the mistake of assuming the exact same issue would occur when I hit start again. Sadly it did not, instead this time it let out a rather startling pop, tripped the breaker and filled the shop with a confidence shattering smell. When I reset the breaker the unit shows nothing. Perhaps it has some internal fuse etc that might be tripped but I haven't gotten that far into it yet.

With no real experience with VFD's my initial assumption was that I had made an error in one of the settings and asked to much of something in the system. All of my understanding and information is strictly gathered from various posts, videos etc. Unfortunately no real knowledge or experience with them. I assumed another would be the easiest replacement with people here providing proper settings etc. Perhaps the wiser choice is to solve the 3 phase problem with a more simple RPC unit.
 

tnrcboatracer

Plastic
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Still have the 15 KVA Delta-Delta elliptical-coil R.E. Uptegraff surplus from when I decided to NOT get into 600-Volt-Class power (anything above 300 V but LESS than 600 V, AKA "4XX" qualifies).

Free to whomever cares to haul the heavy bastid away.. from Sterling/Dulles, VA.
I can load it. Ramp or cherry-picker.

Thermite, i have family in Alexandria ares. Let me contact him to see if he can come over with a trailer. I'm very interested in the transformer.

I may need to re-cap the Yaskawa VFD. The ACRA mill has OEM VFD speed control. I would prefer to go back to the original 460 3ph VFD, run off my 230V RPC + transformer. Shop has a comptessor shed that has space for the RPC and transformer. I will check mfg dates on both VFDs, thanks for the heads up.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

thermite

Diamond
Thermite, i have family in Alexandria ares. Let me contact him to see if he can come over with a trailer. I'm very interested in the transformer.

I may need to re-cap the Yaskawa VFD. The ACRA mill has OEM VFD speed control. I would prefer to go back to the original 460 3ph VFD, run off my 230V RPC + transformer. Shop has a comptessor shed that has space for the RPC and transformer. I will check mfg dates on both VFDs, thanks for the heads up.

Date is rubber-stamped right on the external label, usually. I wrote-off and scrapped an otherwise-nice top-end Schneider Altivar 71 over the cost of new caps.

Caps:

In general, are cheap. Ones that FIT the physical space and connections provided, not so much.

Worst case, get advice from some among as - there is more to an AC power capacitor than just Voltage, ripple, and MFD - and house alternatives in an external box.

Transformer:

I'm over fifty years DC & NOVA, have lived - and shagged - in Alex. Bound to be able to find an address.

:D

That close, I can deliver.

Into the Range Rover with my engine hoist, out by corner-walking it down a ramp.
No sweat. Literally.

Once out.. so-called "1000 lb" HF furniture dolly is STRESSED as their ratings are 100% plus optimistic, but they'll do for temporary movement once it is OUT .. before they start to sag and bend. I'm sure I can spare a "fresh" one.

Hate to see an all Copper-wound transformer of that size go to waste. Especially as I had hauled it back from McKean - clear up in Ohio!

Use PM's 'Send email to" feature by clicking on my login handle. We'll sort it.

Bill
 

tnrcboatracer

Plastic
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Thermite

I tried to PM several times, but it doesn't seem to go through. If you have several copies of my message, i apologize. Perhaps you can PM me, and i can reply.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

thermite

Diamond
Thermite

I tried to PM several times, but it doesn't seem to go through. If you have several copies of my message, i apologize. Perhaps you can PM me, and i can reply.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

"PM-PM" fills up too fast. I optioned mine OFF ages ago. Can neither send nor receive.

Use the PM "Send email to" feature instead.

It doesn't clog up PM's server, sends only the initial-contact note.

After the initial contact, folks exchange traffic on ordinary off-PM email. No load at all on PM's resources.

Or directly:

[email protected]

Bill Hacker
 

akjeff

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Location
AK
If this mill is the only 3 phase machine in your shop, and you don't plan on adding another, I certainly wouldn't dick around with an RPC. Just get a good basic VFD like a Hitachi WJ200, follow the instruction to the letter, and make chips. The first thing to do is follow dalmationgirl's advice and ohm out the motor and insure that it is a.) sound, and b.) there aren't any bonus conductors scabbed on in the peckerhead that are feeding another transformer that is powering single phase devices elsewhere on the mill. The only thing that should be between the VFD and the motor, are three current carrying conductors and a ground conductor. Or go super simple and buy a very affordable static converter from H&W Machine, watch Barry's video on how to hook it up, and Bob's your uncle. You'll lose a third or so of the motors rated power, but for home hobby use, you likely won't even know it.
 

thermite

Diamond
Or go super simple and buy a very affordable static converter from H&W Machine, watch Barry's video on how to hook it up, and Bob's your uncle. You'll lose a third or so of the motors rated power, but for home hobby use, you likely won't even know it.

"Super simple" indeed. The mind of he who makes that worst of all choices. Not the device.

Do your own research.

A "static" converter only "converts" a 3-Phase motor to run as one-third of a SINGLE phase motor. ONE winding powered, not three, pulls more power and dissipates more heat than it was designed for under load.

- One NEVER gets even into top third of the power rating at all.

- Under light/medium load, that ONE powered winding draws more current than it was designed for as well.. struggling to couple some of it via its own rotation, Iron, and Copper structure to the UNpowered windings.

- Only at ONE third and under does it function reasonably smoothly.

"In the fullness of time.." it can fry that one over-worked winding. And NOW you need a new motor, not just a power source. he motor you need may be scarce and even non-US standard. DAMHIKT.

Photos of the burnt winding are on the 'net. Do your own Due Diligence.

If you doo this? Just add an idler.
And now you have an "RPC".

"Perfect"? No. But good for 90% of "nameplate" and a bit... even if they might draw more than 100% of the power a "true" 3-Phase would draw for the same loading.

And smooth the whole while. No risk to the motor.

Did I forget to mention an RPC won't trash the load-motor? Only modest heat imbalance, no switching spikes to sustain corona discharge, "flute" bearings, nor pierce old insulation.

That's actually kinda neat, as benefits go, given not all motors are equally easy to find replacements for, let alone "free" and with free shipping and installation.
 

Winchesterguy

Plastic
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
As a guy with 3 VFDs, all decent quality ones (offshore but couple thousand $ between them) I do not like them and do not recommend them if you don’t need the variable speed function. I didn’t like the idea of losing 1/3 of the horsepower from a static converter so I went with the VFDs, and now that I’ve set them up and reset them up and tried to reset them up again so they function properly i can confidently say I’ll never have another one. I now work in a large machine shop and everything is static converter ran, we have some very large lathes and 2 very large mills and have never once wished we had/needed more power. I’m talking 70” plus tables all hydraulic feed 10-15 horse mills and 30” plus swing lathes with 200” plus between centers doing large shafts and they never miss a beat. I have a Millport mill, axelson 20” and a southbend 14 1/2” at home and in the process of swapping over to static converters.
 

Lonster

Plastic
Joined
Nov 25, 2021
Diy rpc

When I was in the market for an RPC (something I knew nothing about), I looked at what was available both new and used. When I understood them a little better, I realized I could probably build one for a lot less money, but would need some help doing it.

I researched the DIY designs available online, and for whatever reason, decided to follow the Fitch Williams design....if I was going to do it. I was still on the fence on what to do.

The turning point for me was when I watched this 3 part series on you tube.

Once I got started, the guys on this forum (including some who have replied to this post) have been immensely helpful to me when I needed it. I'm not done building it yet, but in the final stages.

Another helpful video on the tube was this one.
 








 
Top