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Author Topic: Open frame motors  (Read 4842 times)
Bill Baker

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« on: March 13, 2007, 09:57:23 AM »

I was wondering if there is any type of cleaning spray that you can spray on the bushes and rotors of an open frame motor?

Years and years ago when TV viewers used to have to get up and manually change the channel selector (Auuugh!), there was a spray our TV repairman used to spray the contacts.  They were made of copper back then and every so often a slight film of corrosion would form.  He would spray the solution, rotate the channel selector a few times, and viola, it worked!

I have been tempted to use alcohol, but as bad as my motors are sparking, I'm afraid of a major conflagration.
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Bill
Rich R
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 11:54:30 AM »

It's called electrical contact cleaner and has been used by the CB radio boys forever and a day. I wouldn't use it on an open frame motor myself but ... You could I guess.
Best bet would be to simply spin the motor by using your fingers and clean it with a swab dipped in alcohol. Let it dry and then use a pencil eraser to clean the commutator. This can be done with the motor running semi slowly. Clean th gunk out of the segments with the tip if a #11 blade or similar. (power off of course)
Check the brush tension as well. Too much is worse than too little.  A small amount of lite oil on the bushings and you should be good to go.

Just some thoughts,

Rich R
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Ken Huck

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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 04:04:28 PM »

Hi Bill,

     Radio Shack sells some stuff called 'Color TV Tuner Cleaner'.  It's non-
flammable and safe to use on plastics.  That may be just the thing to use.
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lanny

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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 05:01:11 PM »

Hi Bill,

I have some open frame motors (Bowser and Hobbytown heavy duty). You won't have any problem with a Q-tip and alcohol. Power up your motor and gently apply a Q-tip with alcohol and then, when you see a shiny copper commutator, use a dry one.

Be careful not to leave any 'Q-tip' material on the brushes and communtator and follow Rich R's advice about cleaning the groves carefully inbetween the commutator.

I have tried the Raido Shack type electronic cleaner and it also works, but, I 'overdid' it and the motor began to short. So, whichever you use, don't 'overuse' as has already been suggested.

When I have done this, these motors, though some are over 20 years old, run like a top.

Personally, I would not recommend any kind of abrasive material to clean the motor. If an erasure has any kind of 'grit' in it, be careful ... others can give better advice, but I think a 'liquid cleaner' like alcohol is much better than any kind of dry abasive.

lanny nicolet
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ICRR Steam & "Green Diamond" era modeler
Stephen Warrington

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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 05:28:56 PM »

I agree with Lanny stay away from erasers I have seen several motors ruined this way while they were being cleaned.

Stephen
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japasha

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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 05:39:23 PM »

Electrical contact cleaner or Radio Shack tuner cleaner will work fine. I would not clean the contact area unless there was evidence of carbon build up.

While lubrication of the two beaings in an open frame motor is a big help, just a little goes a long way. Do not use WD-40 for that task. Very light machine oil sold at the hobby shop will do the job nicely. Sewing machine oil works as well
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Rich R
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 05:41:31 PM »


Common sense should tell you how to use a pencil eraser to polish the commutator AFTER cleaning with whatever cleaner you prefer.
I said pencil eraser and maybe that's where the misunderstanding came in.
Pencil erasers ( On the end of a pencil) are more soft gum than abrasive. Use them to polish only after you clean. Never use grit to clean the commutator. Also never use power while using a Qtip type applicator to apply cleaner of any sort. Shorts? Not much but it'll rip the fuzz right out of a Q tip and then you've got some serious cleaning to do.
However, 600+ emery paper used carefully will also put a nice even shine on your motor and not hurt a thing if used with common sense.

I also suppose you could use a jack hammer if you were careful and knew what you were doing. Don;''t think I'd try that unless I had a really dirty motor though.


Cheers,
Rich R
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Seasaltchap

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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 06:05:38 PM »


No one has suggested bedding-in a new set of brushes. Often the spring arrangements become slack after a certain amount of wear on the brushes
- like 20 years!
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Rich R
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 06:18:38 PM »


No one has suggested bedding-in a new set of brushes. Often the spring arrangements become slack after a certain amount of wear on the brushes
- like 20 years!

Good point.
Nothing carbons up a motor as fast as breaking in (bedding) a new set of brushes.
Oddly enough the older open frame Athearn motors that I've cleaned seem to have more than enough spring tension ( length) to work even without the brushes. I nip about a quarter of the top of each (new) spring off and you would be amazed at how much less voltage is required to start your loco and how much slower they will run.  Brushes wear, replace them or stretch out the spring slightly. It's not rocket science it's been done that way for ever. If anyone is interested I can post several URL's on the care and feeding of these motors.


What the he heck. http://www.mcor-nmra.org/Publications/Articles/Athearn_TuneUp.html#TRUCKS
http://hackitup.railfan.net/athearn.html

Cheers,
Rich R
« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 06:22:58 PM by Rich R » Logged
brad

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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 08:45:02 PM »

When I ran older Mantua open frame motors I would polish the comutator with 2000 grit paper for wet sanding automotive paint. I cut a small stip and placed it in between the brush and the comutator and spun the motor by hand apllying GENTLE presure to the brush.

 I also tried, as an experiment , gluing thin strips of plastic in between the pickups on the comutator and CAREFULLY shaving them down flush with the brass and then polished with 2000. I also aded shims to take out some of the endplay in the motor.

 I didn't have an amp meter on the track, but, the motor seemed to run much better with these modifications. I read about them in an old MR (I think) the reasoning was to give the brushes a smooth uninterupted surface to travel on and reduce wear. I noticed a marked reduction in sparking on the motor, but wether this was from the polishing or the added plastic spacers I can't say for sure.  Just thought I'd put this out there.

brad
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PietL

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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2007, 06:29:08 AM »

WD 40 works fine.
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Bill Baker

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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2007, 09:39:43 AM »

Rich,

Thanks for the great websites.  Again you have gone far and above.
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Bill
Rich R
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2007, 11:42:21 AM »

Hi Bill,

Pleasure believe me. But the credit goes to those who made the web sites in the first place. I just use Google.  Wink


Cheers,
Rich R
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