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Wiring problem!! Two machines come on when one is turned on!!!!


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  • Wiring problem!! Two machines come on when one is turned on!!!!

    We've been having wiring issue on one end of our center. We have a 20 lane center that had the last 8 machines added on in about 1990. The machines are older than the first 12 machines that are A's and the last 8 are converted A's! We had an issue with lane 20 blacking out and the night mechanic got it running after the machine cooled down. Now the machine won't come on at all. We've had a problem with these machines before and if we turned one machine on with the mechanics switch lane 16 would come on as well. Now lane 16 is coming on, but lane 14 is. I don't understand how turning on one machine will power another machine. The only connection would be where the 19 conductor cable comes to the junction box for the 8 machines. I have old wires and it appears they used the original wires from the machine and they are old and brittle. The transformer looks to be leaking something or got hot cause you can't tell the color of the wires with all the black sticky stuff on them. I've been working with bwhite and am starting a rewiring process and have ordered electrical parts for the project. Any ideas why another machine would come on at the same time? Thanks in advance for all the help! Bruce

  • #2
    The machines are wired together on the low voltage side into banks of 8 machines. Somewhere in those 8 machines you have a short and it will definitely turn on wrong machines and do some other funny stuff!
    Unplug the managers control cannon plugs from the top of the electrical boxes in the bank of 8 and turn on lane 16. Then one by one plug in the managers control plugs when 14 turns on then you know which machine has the short. Then start looking at the low voltage circuits.
    Sometimes we have to do stuff to get by....Just go back and do it right when the "by" has passed!!


    • #3
      You stated that the wires are old and brittle. When wiring becomes brittle, it doesn't necessarily mean that the actual copper wire is brittle; however, the insulation surrounding the copper becomes brittle. When that happens, the insulation will start to fall off the copper. This will happen a lot if there is a lot of vibration. Even if the wiring is inside a metallic conduit, the insulation will fall off. Once that happens, problems arise. Two seemingly unrelated wires can come into contact with each other and cause problems down the line.

      To learn if your wiring is brittle, unpower the circuit, and give the suspect wire a light twist of the insulation. If the insulation cracks, replace the whole wire, from one end to the other. The reason for this is simple; if the insulation is brittle where it can be seen and touched, it will be brittle the entire length, even if it's in conduit.

      Now comes the tricky part. If the wire is in conduit, check the conduit run to make sure there are no junction boxes. If there are, you'll have to replace the wire in stages. This can be done relatively easily; however, two people will be necessary. The easy way is to use the old wire as a "pull" wire. At one end, disconnect the wire(s) from their termination, and splice one end of the new wire to the loose old wire. Make certain that the splice is extremely secure. Double to tripple wrap the splice with Scotch 33 electrical tape. (Scotch 33 will not unwrap as you pull. Usually other brands will unwrap itself. They don't have the holding strength.) Then it's a simple job of pulling in the new wire with the old one. At junction boxes, pull from that point; then continue on to the next junction box. The second person will help feed the new cable into the conduit. Then, all you have to do is reconnect the new wire(s).

      If this is done right, you'll have a splice-free wire or cable from one end to the other.

      (Added note: as a broadcast engineer, installer, technician, and bottle washer, I have used this method hundreds of times when installing or replacing cables. It wasn't much fun, as some of the crawl spaces weren't hospital clean; but the job had to be done.)


      • #4
        I certainly appreciate the fast reply and help!!! Thanks, Bruce


        • #5
          Unplugging the Managers canon plugs is an excellent way to find out which machine is causing your problem. When you get down to which machine is causing the problem, I have found in the past that one of the rear mechancs switches was grounding out against the wire channel. I would just unscrew the switches from the wire channel and let them hang down and see if your problem goes away. If your machines have a middle "bypass" switch on the rear of the wire channel, that's the most likely culprit. Your problem maybe on lane 14, or whatever machine is coming on when its not supposed too.


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