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Old GE Motor Problems

Discussion in 'High Voltage' started by Cozumel, Aug 9, 2018 at 5:41 PM.

  1. Cozumel

    Cozumel New Member

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    Please allow me to re-awaken an old set of posts (https://www.electro-tech-online.com...ld-ge-single-phase-dual-voltage-motor.150379/) and I apologize, in advance, for my lengthy introduction.
    I am facing a problem similar to JonesPrecision. I inherited a property in upper New York State that includes a very balky tramway powered by a 1960's vintage single phase 2 hp GE motor. I'm working on replacing the control panel for this system, but to get it right I need to understand the wiring of the motor itself. I've spent hours on the internet and this is the only message board that seems to come close to my problem. The system was designed by a GE engineer at the GE Research Labs in Schenectady, now deceased. The only documentation that I've found are a bunch of tags on the wires leading from the control panel to the motor and a couple of hand scribbled notes inside the cover of the motor junction/capacitor enclosure. None of this is consistent. Some of the wires coming out from the motor have numbers on them, others are clipped and unmarked. The GE wiring diagram on the same panel is identical to the one posted by JP at the beginning of the above thread.

    In my Dad's files I found an old GE motor catalog and the model number of the motor appears to be 5KC182JI (maybe JL)240. Nowhere does it tell me if this is a capstart/caprun or just capstart motor. It does use two 340-408 mfd caps rated at 115-125 VAC. Power to the whole system is supplied by two hot leads from a single phase residential supply, implying that the thing is wired for high voltage. The control panel uses four DPST power contactors and two 4PDT power relays for managing the control (pushbutton stop-up-down) inputs and reversing the power to the starting coil(s).

    I'm gradually working out how the relay and contactor logic works, but the connections at the motor junction box remain a mystery. There are nine leads coming from the control panel to the motor plus a ground wired to the motor chassis. Two of the leads go to the electric brake and disengage that brake when power is applied to the motor. The remaining six, if I can believe the numbering on the leads coming from the motor are as follows:

    1 and 2 connect to the terminals of one of the capacitors
    4 connects to one terminal of the other capacitor and the other terminal connects to the control panel relays via a heavy duty yellow lead
    5 is connected directly to another heavy duty yellow lead to the control panel
    9 and 10 connect to a heavy duty red wire each going to the control panel
    Haven't found anything marking 3,6,7, and 8, but at least one of these pairs is wired together

    It's hard to tell what's going on with the unmarked leads because they have been clipped short and are hidden behind the rat's nest of other wiring. None of this seems to match with what the formal GE wiring diagram suggests. I believe power to the main windings is supplied via two heavy duty wires coming from the power contactors. Somehow it is also supplied to the two yellow leads that go to the up/down control relays and returned in forward or reverse mode via the two red wires to the start/auxiliary windings and related capacitors.

    If someone can help with this, I would be happy to get in direct contact and/or to post photos of various parts of the system. I am reluctant to take apart the motor because it is embedded in a fairly massive arrangement of electric brake, drive shaft, gear box, and cable spool. I'm not an engineer or electrician but am reasonably handy with tools, etc. and have a healthy respect for electric power. My ultimate goal is to replace the current control panel with SSR's and microprocessor logic using an Arduino.
     
  2. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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    A schematic of how it is wired or you think it is wired, will help you get more help.
     
  3. Cozumel

    Cozumel New Member

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    shortbus=: Don't have a scanner here so here's a photo of a sketch of what I know. As mentioned in my original post, the black leads (which would probably be considered L1 and L2) are connected directly to clipped wires coming out of the motor. There are also two other clipped wires from the motor that are tied together. None of these have numbered markings. The "notes" on my sketch are from the inside of the capacitor/junction box and read:
    1,2- Start (Small)
    3 4 Run
    4- Always 220
    5&8 Yellow
    9&10 Red
    Sorry I can't be more informative at this point.

    IMG_1602.jpg
     
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  4. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  5. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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  6. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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    If this is a dual voltage motor you need to first figure out how it is wired for voltage, Then the control wiring can be sorted out. There should be a diagram in the lid of the wiring box on the motor, or near the name plate.

    There are two members here who are much better at this than me, MaxHeadRoom78 or Les Jones . Maybe they will come and help now that I tagged them.
     
  7. Cozumel

    Cozumel New Member

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    KeepItSimpleStupid: I don't think a thermocouple is involved. I believe there is a centrifugal switch on the motor shaft and I need to understand how that connects with the starting capacitor(s).

    shortbus=: Part of my problem is that the observed connections don't seem to match the wiring diagram in any way for either voltage. Everything I've learned so far points to the motor running on 230 V. Following is a close-up of the two 4PDT control relays. The thick yellow and red wire pairs coming up from the bottom are the ones wired to the motor in my hand-drawn diagram. Given the cross-over structure seen in the red wires, I believe this is how power to the starting coils is reversed. The top relay activates when the tramway runs up, the bottom one when it goes down. The thinner wires on the two right legs of the relays are the inputs from the various up/down/stop buttons and the limit switches at the top and bottom of the tram rails:

    IMG_2974.jpg
     
  8. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  9. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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    Well after seeing that rats nest, no disrespect meant, I'd probably pull it all out and start over. Trying to figure out what someone else did and didn't document is a nightmare in my view.

    There are quite a few schematics showing what you want to do online and they all follow similar conventions of motor control. But to try and adapt one of them to the wiring that you already have? Not something I would try and tackle, if your time is of any value over the cost of new wiring.
     
  10. Cozumel

    Cozumel New Member

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    shortbus=: No disrespect taken and I really appreciate the time you've taken on this. "Rat's nest" was my immediate reaction when I first opened up the control panel AND the junction box on the motor.

    Anyone: To "start over," what I'm really hoping for is that someone might be able to draw for me a more complete diagram than the standard GE wiring diagram shown on the motor, showing where the capacitors tie in and how the relay-based phase reversal circuitry should connect to the motor. Below is a hand-drawn copy of the GE wiring diagram which is on a tiny printed label that would be unreadable if I just take a photo of it. Since this is a dual voltage motor, I assume the main and auxiliary windings both consist of two separate coils. Where would they connect? Where might the centrifugal switch tie in to disconnect the start capacitor as the motor approaches full rpm? Given that the two capacitors have the same mfd rating, is this motor designed to run with both capacitors always active? GE must have made a bunch of these motors. This one is vintage 1967. Is anyone out there familiar with the internals of their Tri/Clad KC182T models? Sorry, lots of questions. :)

    IMG_1605.jpg
     
  11. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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