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Overloading Transformers *poof*


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  • Overloading Transformers *poof*

    I was called in to the center to service a machine that wouldnt run. The tech there had changed the transformer, the main motor relay, and the motor start relay. I found the original problem, one of the jam switchs had lost a bolt therefore was always open. But now whenever the machine is turned on the main transformer begins to smoke. the machine is running but the transformer is frying. the only thing I can figure is it is getting to much juice from somewhere. I have compared all the wiring on it to the next pinsetter and they are the same.

    Someone smarter than me better fill me in fast

  • #2
    Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

    Hey Ibowl
    The first thing I would check is the 3.2 amp fuse or if it is a jap machine check the fuse for the right amperage.
    It should blow a fuse before it starts smoking the transformer.
    It sounds like you have a low voltage ground somewhere.
    Try unplugging the accellerator plug from the back of the pinsetter electrical box and see if it goes away.
    Check the masking unit switch and 1-2 ball lights, sometimes the pins inside the light bulb holders can touch each other.
    Check for any frayed cables around the rake assy.
    Check the mechanics on off switches to see if any thing is touching.
    I think you said someone changed the transformer, LOOK over the way it is wired very carefully to another machine.
    Some machines do not use all the transformer wires and one of them is taped off.
    Sorry I could not help more but low voltage shorts are a hunt and find type of problem.
    I would DEFINETLY first check the transformer fuse for the proper amperage and that nobody has bypassed the fuse holder.
    Good luck


    • #3
      Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

      Grambo's pretty much covered it, but I would also suggest checking the one amp fuse(in the case of 220v mch).
      Unplug the pin lite , take one AC wire off of selenium, see if it stops overheating. Shorts can also occur on HV side
      Let us know.


      • #4
        Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

        Graham's ideas were all good, but My thinking is going in roscoe's direction. My first culprit would be the pin light ballast, and/or the wiring to the fixture coming from the ballast. Had a machine running like a champ, some wires let go in the pin light fixture, flat smoked a transformer!! As I later found out, someone had stuffed a BIG fuse in the HV fuse holder, otherwise that would have blown, saving an expensive transformer. Make sure the HV fuses are not bigger than they're supposed to be, after all, they are supposed to protect the machine.



        • #5
          Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

          All the suggestions which have been made are very good but one thing that has not been mentioned is to take a clamp on amp probe and check the current draw on one of the wires going to the 1 amp and the 3.2 amp fuse.If the current is above what is the rated value for that fuse shut the machine off right away because you have not yet found the problem and will burn up the new transformer.

          [This message has been edited by David Johnson (edited 08-13-2000).]


          • #6
            Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

            not knowing the age or type of your machine...some help might be to realize that many older pinsetters did NOT have a 1 amp fuse on the high side. There is NO protection on the high side...if this is your case, change it so you have some protection.

            I have installed a circuit breaker sold by Grainger (4A039) right above the motor contactor (main motor relay). Drill an 11/16 hole in the top of the electrical box...install the circuit breaker and tie across TS1-F and TS1-G. Remove the metal jumper that is there. Now this paticular example is for an older 208 or 220 volt machine.
            In your says you're a manager. I am assuming you have some mechanical background attempting all of this...if not, a phone call to another local mechanic might be helpful...good luck.

            Hope you find the problem - and again (as always)

            Just my two cents worth...


            [This message has been edited by JBEES (edited 08-12-2000).]
            TSM & TSM Training Development
            Main Event Entertainment
            480-620-6758 for help or information


            • #7
              Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

              Hey Guys
              Good call on checking the pin deck light.
              My machines were 115 volt and I did not need the transformer to run the deck light.
              Reading your replies jogged my memory of other centers having the exact same problem you described.
              I liked the post about putting in a breaker since the old boxes are not protected.
              Let us keep learning from each other and work safely.


              • #8
                Re: Overloading Transformers *poof*

                Owing to the fact Mike archives everything, can you imagine what would not be covered two years from now ?
                This is already approaching the service manuals, in practical experience. I tell many people new to the industry, not to worry, post your problem, others will fight to be first to give you good advise.


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