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Old 11-27-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
Steve Plucker
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Default Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor...GOOD NEWS...I HOPE

Just finished rebuilding and assembling my 5-brush Powerhouse generator.

Paid close attention to everything I did.

Put it in the vice, hooked up a 6 volt charger and will not motor (spin).

May have to take it all apart again.

Any thoughts?

Pluck
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Last edited by Steve Plucker; 11-28-2019 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:06 PM   #2
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

This is probably silly, since this is directed to Steve Plucker. Does the charger have enough capacity to motor the generator? Perhaps try a battery?
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:40 PM   #3
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Closed Cab PU View Post
This is probably silly, since this is directed to Steve Plucker. Does the charger have enough capacity to motor the generator? Perhaps try a battery?
Not silly...Maybe not...It is a very small charger but had it on 6V/6Amps.

Pluck
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Old 11-28-2019, 12:20 AM   #4
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plucker View Post
Not silly...Maybe not...It is a very small charger but had it on 6V/6Amps.

Pluck


Thought I read somewhere that a starter draws 60 - 80 amps, That's why you have to use such large gauge cables when jumping a battery, and not jump without the original battery hooked up. So maybe 6 amps is not enough to motor the gen.?
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Old 11-28-2019, 12:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Should know better by now not to answer and post at 11:20 PM after a long day, my previous post does not make sense, even to me. Starter has nothing to do with a generator.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:27 AM   #6
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

My generator notes call for 2.5-3.0 amps to motor
Field draw 2 amps at 6 v

What did you do to the fields? I know you were asking about field coil tape--- did you have them all out, or just loosen the one to replace brush wire?

On some I had trouble with brush connections and had to solder the posts for good ground path

If you turn it by hand with power on and watch amp draw does it stay constant or vary depending on armature position?

If you had all the fields out is possible to have one in backwards and wrong magnetic polarity, it's been a long time and don't remember the exact order on a powerhouse, usually each pole is opposite, put power to fields and go around with compass, don't use expensive one, if the power is turned on with compass close it can change compass

If the charger you are using is a modern charger it may not turn on without existing voltage, this testing is best done with battery
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:37 AM   #7
al's28/33
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Where's Tom Wesenberg, he's the Powerhouse Guru!!!
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

The field pole shoes can be polarized the same as any coil will magnetize a piece of iron or steel on a DC current shot. If it has already been polarized then disregard.

The powerhouse has an unusual armature. Have all possible tests been done? Is this a 3 brush or a 5 brush generator? Ok I went back and saw that it's a 5 brush P3.

I'm not a big fan of motoring them but is a rudimentary test. Starter motors draw more current due to the heavy windings they have and that's what gives them the torque they need. Generators have relatively fine windings by comparison and the brushes are lighter duty. I've used a buffer wheel to turn generators with a test light to see if it will generate enough power to light up a bulb. If it will then it will bring the cut out on line.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 11-28-2019 at 11:01 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Did you do a continuity check on the armature to check for grounds? If not, since it is assembled put some cardboard spaces between all 5 brushes and the armature and check the armature.
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:14 AM   #10
Keith True
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

You aren't by any chance using a modern smart charger are you? I inherited one from somewhere,and found I can't use it for any kind of testing without a battery in the circuit.I have some old benchtop chargers and they will motor a generator over OK.The smart charger just makes a little spark and that is it.I have an old Marquette 6-8 volt charger that will start a car,although the tag says it is not to be used for boosting.
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:41 PM   #11
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor...GOOD NEWS...I HOPE

Well after reading all the posts, I did discover I was using a smaller wire battery charger as Keith mentioned above.

So I hooked up the Heavy Duty charger and off she went. The battery charger was regestering 4-5 amps. So I guess I need to back it off a bit?

Also thanks to Tom Wesenberg for helping me thru this.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Pluck
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Closed Cab PU View Post
This is probably silly, since this is directed to Steve Plucker. Does the charger have enough capacity to motor the generator? Perhaps try a battery?
No...So I used the Heavy Duty charger and off she went.

Pluck
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt in NJ View Post
My generator notes call for 2.5-3.0 amps to motor
Field draw 2 amps at 6 v

What did you do to the fields? I removed the assembly and cleaned them up. Then spray painted with Electrical Grade Red Urethane Seal Coat which did a very good job. I know you were asking about field coil tape--- did you have them all out, or just loosen the one to replace brush wire?

On some I had trouble with brush connections and had to solder the posts for good ground path

If you turn it by hand with power on and watch amp draw does it stay constant or vary depending on armature position? Amps staied at 4-5.

If you had all the fields out is possible to have one in backwards and wrong magnetic polarity, it's been a long time and don't remember the exact order on a powerhouse, usually each pole is opposite, put power to fields and go around with compass, don't use expensive one, if the power is turned on with compass close it can change compass No. Did not disconect the original Field Coil asembly...just laid the six sections out and carfully cleaned them up then spray painted them.

If the charger you are using is a modern charger it may not turn on without existing voltage, this testing is best done with battery
Went to the Heavy Duty Battery Charger and it started right up. Used a smaller one at first but the settings were the same as the large one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank55a View Post
Did you do a continuity check on the armature to check for grounds? Yes, followed Mcree's book except for some things I did not. He recomended to drill out and make larger the 12 holes to secure the 12 screws to the Pole Shoes. Did not want to ruin the appearence of the original look of the Powerhouse Generator so I reused the original screws. These I found very hard to remove, even with the "steaking" somewhat removed. So I decided to heat each screw to just a point of being red hot but not. Let them cool down and they came out fine without ruining the appearence of the hole and the screw. If not, since it is assembled put some cardboard spaces between all 5 brushes and the armature and check the armature.
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Last edited by Steve Plucker; 11-28-2019 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 11-28-2019, 03:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor...GOOD NEWS...I HOPE

Interesting. Perhaps the small charger did not have enough umph for a start up surge to get things moving?
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith True View Post
You aren't by any chance using a modern smart charger are you? I inherited one from somewhere,and found I can't use it for any kind of testing without a battery in the circuit.I have some old benchtop chargers and they will motor a generator over OK.The smart charger just makes a little spark and that is it.I have an old Marquette 6-8 volt charger that will start a car,although the tag says it is not to be used for boosting.
I have one of those "smart" chargers, and only bought it because it was so cheap at a swap meet. I consider it a stupid charger, and never use it. My Sears 6 amp 6/12 volt with an ammeter is by far my favorite charger. Sure too bad Sears and Wards went away.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: Rebuilt Powerhouse will not motor...GOOD NEWS...I HOPE

Smart chargers a best for the sealed glass mat type batteries. The charger will draw some current then charge for a while to keep the battery in function. It can make that type battery last longer. If a person exercises the battery at least every 2 weeks through a start and charge cycle than a smart charger is not needed.
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