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Thread: Vintage VFD?

  1. #21
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    The ge 5062 crosslinks to a 20 amp 500 volt darlington. Can get them for 30$ each from nte.

    Im still skeptical.

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    I'll +1 on Jraef's suspect identity of LoveJoy... and if not that, it MIGHT be a really, really early TB Woods drive.

    I got a chuckle out of it, though... it looked surprisingly like a mix of stuff from a Randall RG-80 and a Heathkit SB-220...

    I would take good photos of all the capacitors' labels, then power it up, let it sit quietly and think about it, then work it. If it runs, use it... if it blows up someday, you'll have good record of the capacitors. You can find a much-more-modern replacement VFD, but who cares? Use it 'till it blows up, then decide wether to fix or replace. Ain't worth a feud... let that dog hunt.

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    I would, on general principles, just not screw with it.

    If you want to get it working for reasons other than actual use, OK. It would help you a lot to have a service manual.

    As a useful device, it is not worth the effort. Partly because it is old and has many parts that are unavailable and maybe not even identifiable if they are special part numbers, as I would expect. Also because it is likely on the far side of the "bathtub curve" of failures vs time. And because it is very complicated, with many connectors and a huge number of solder connections.

    All those considerations suggest that it is not a good candidate for use past being a demonstration of some interesting but seriously old tech.

    I will grant you that it is newer than a thyratron inverter. But I don't know but what I would rather use and work on a thyratron inverter than that unit.

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    You probably will be operating with sinusoidal PWM.

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    Thanks to everyone for all the good info. The VFD does definitly work even after all these years. I don't intend to use it for any serious work, maybe testing out the odd 3 phase motor now and then. I got it mostly out of curiosity and I kind of feel like it should be saved for a museum somewhere. Its impressive to see the thought and workmanship that went into building this thing from what appears to be relatively simple components, it almost seems like you could reverse engineer a home built VFD kit from it if you tried. Hats off to the ingenuity of those early designers to be able to build something like that from scratch.

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    You crack me up with this talk of 'early designers' - how YOUNG are you all. That to me is a relatively modern design in that it is using ic's

    I was designing stuff in the 60's 70's, 80's, and 90's but at college all they taught us was valves (tubes to you yanks)

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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    ...
    I will grant you that it is newer than a thyratron inverter. ...
    Wow, I haven't seen that word in print in a decade or more... The last time I used it myself was probably 20+ years ago when I was explaining (to a pup) my use of the word "thyristor" as a generic term covering both SCRs and Diodes, because it came from combining thyratron and transistor; then he asked me what a thyratron was.

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    Lots of 10EE still have them in, and the drives apparently work very well.

    I started with tubes, and ended up working with IGBTs and micros.

    " early designers" to me would be in radion, with coherers for signal detection, and spark gaps or Alexanderson generators for transmission. I must be a dinosaur, or "Alley Oop"

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  12. #29
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    If you are into the novelty of old electronics, run it until it lets the smoke out . . . if you want a reliable test inverter, look elesewhere and buy new. Your time will be worth more than futzing with an antique drive with elderly components.

    That drive reminds me of my first experience with drives working for Anderson Electric Controls where they both designed and built drives from scratch as well as modified OEM designs for full FOC control from a Delta Tau controller using a bi-sine wave current reference and an analog current regulator (in the late 80’s before switching to full digital current regulators in the 90’s). Lots of lab experiments with boxes of parts that looked just like this.

    I remember testing a 150 HP Eaton Dynamatic 5000 drive with an Anderson / PMAC FOC front end connected to a TEFC 50HP Reliance Motor on the 230V t-leads and getting 200+ HP @4000 rpm for a 30 second peak power test. That motor could put out 150 hp all day long on the dyne. A later test on this same setup suffered a drive fault on the load motor and I experienced my first runaway with the DAQ system recording speeds in excess of 12,000 rpm complete with explosion shattering of the cooling fans inside the cast fan shrouds. I wrote overspeed detection software for the drive that same day.

    AEC still does this kind of work, but does more development with inverters for renewable energy and electric vehicles than industrial motion applications. (Which is why I left the company as I had more interest in the Motion aspects of the Delta Tau controllers than I did in the FOC engine that it had embedded within it.)

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  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYShaper View Post
    The unit appears to be really well made
    That is why it has lasted this long, a teco it is not.


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