Aciera F5 Spindle Lock Electrical Interlock Repair
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  1. #1
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    Default Aciera F5 Spindle Lock Electrical Interlock Repair

    My Aciera F5 was originally equipped with an interlock switch that was supposed to prevent turning on the spindle motor when the lock was engaged. That feature was broken when I got the machine. I figured that the cable that leads to the interlock had fatigued off because it had to move with the Y axis. The cable comes up to the bottom of the Y axis from the gearbox underneath and swims in oil.

    The spindle lock is handy when loosening either the horizontal or vertical drawbar. It is not a necessity, because shifting into low gear and wrenching against the motor's inertia accomplishes the same thing. On the rare occasion when I would switch tools and leave the lock engaged, the drive belt would slip if I started the spindle. A couple of weekends ago, however, I started the motor against the lock while in low gear, and the belt did not slip. Instead, the lock skipped teeth and made awful noises. Fortunately, there was no permanent damage. I decided I needed to fix the interlock.

    Access was a challenge to say the least. The first photo shows the view from the rear with the headstock slid forward. Unlike a Deckel or Schaublin 13, power is transmitted into the headstock via a long double-keyed shaft instead of a long pinion. The whole works is immersed in the transmission and, on my machine, looks practically brand new. There is a "carrier" piece that has a hollow shaft with captive keys that slides along the stationary drive shaft. The hollow shaft has a gear that sends power upward into the headstock. This carrier piece also has the bronze Y-axis feed nut parallel to and below the drive shaft.

    img_3713.jpg
    The electrical connection for the interlock plugs into this red insulating plastic block fastened to the side of the carrier. The carrier normally belongs in under the headstock where a machined arced surface mates with the ground arced surface on top of the carrier. Four ground screws go through the bottom of the headstock into the carrier. The screw bodies are ground to act like dowels.

    img_3664.jpg
    img_3717.jpg
    img_3711.jpg
    The F5 is famous for having an unnecessarily huge volume of gear oil, like 6 gallons. I siphoned it out so I could control the flow, hence the hose seen here.
    img_3700.jpg

  2. #2
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    Here are the broken wires.
    img_3667.jpg
    And here is the new cable partly installed.
    img_3720.jpg
    The cable is routed under a clip on the side of the carrier below the red block, down to the floor of the gearbox where there is another clip, and then back up and out the far side of the gearbox above the waterline. The clips were hard to access and the screws holding the red block were nearly impossible to install in the narrow space between the carrier and gearbox wall. I hope I never have to mess with that again.

    By the way, the Y-axis scraping still looks very good.
    img_3666.jpg

    I ended up putting the interlock switch in series with the E-stop circuit. I don't think that's how it was originally configured, but I don't have a wiring diagram to know for certain. As it was originally configured, I think the interlock might only have inhibited restart after an E-stop, but would not have prevented starting the spindle if the E-stop had not been pressed. I'll follow up later with another post about the quirky relay and pushbutton logic on this mill.

  3. #3
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    Great work rich. My switch works but the spindle lock absolutely does not so I need to get into the same place very soon!

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by rklopp View Post
    Here are the broken wires.
    Postmorten: were the broken wires the origin of the problem? Did they indeed break because of fatigue? Have you found a way to mount/support the wires so that any flexing now takes place in the body of the wiring and the ends are supported against any motion that might fatigue and break them in the future?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Postmorten: were the broken wires the origin of the problem? Did they indeed break because of fatigue? Have you found a way to mount/support the wires so that any flexing now takes place in the body of the wiring and the ends are supported against any motion that might fatigue and break them in the future?
    Replacing the wires with intact wires fixed the problem. The original wire seems to have stiffened and possible shrunk away from its retaining clips. The replacement wire is more tightly gripped by the clips. I expect the repair will outlive me.


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