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Old Feb 16, 2002, 05:53 PM
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DerekB's Avatar
Cape Coral, FL
Joined Nov 2001
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Help with power supply to foam cutter

I got this old model train transformer today to use for hot wire foam cutting. I don't get along with electrons, so could someone tell me which terminals to hook to my Nichrome cutting wire?

There are 4 terminals, numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4. The label says: Revell 800 Plus Power Station Model A Toy Transformer.
Input: 115 volts 60 cycles AC
Output: 15 Volt - Amperes
Terminals: 1 & 2 for 22 Volts AC
3 & 4 for 1 to 18 Volts DC

Which terminals do I hook up to. Does the control knob vary the AC output or the DC output? Will I be able to vary the heat in the wire?

Please help. I have my first foamie all ready to cut.

Thanks,
Derek
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Old Feb 16, 2002, 06:28 PM
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Boulder Municipal, Colorado, United States
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Normally the AC is used to power the lights, etc. on the layout. Use the DC for you foam cutting. If in doubt, just hook up your wires and do a test on a scrap of foam while varying the speed on the transformer. If the wire continues to cut at the same rate, you have it hooked up to the wrong terminals.
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Old Feb 16, 2002, 06:37 PM
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Cape Coral, FL
Joined Nov 2001
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Thanks 'ifly',

Should I just hook alligator clips directly to the nichrome near the ends of the nichrome? Or, I've seen other rigs with wheel collars on the 5/32" rods, up near the wood handle. The power supply wires are soldered to the wheel collars then taped along the wood handle to exit at one end. This seems more sensible for safety and easy handling. But is first way better for delivery of power to the cutting wire?

Derek
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Old Feb 16, 2002, 07:01 PM
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Boulder Municipal, Colorado, United States
Joined Sep 2001
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Not real sure about the collars. I've always just used the alligator clips. Mainly because I have 2 foam cutters (one for cutting out the blocks and thicknessing them so I can attach the templates. The other cutter is used to cut the cores.
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Old Feb 16, 2002, 07:15 PM
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Are you going to have a friend helping you cut the cores by calling out the numbers? If so it works better to be able to have an adjustable clamp for each person so the distance from the templates are about 2" or so. That way you can clamp the alligator clips just inside the clamps. For my clamp, I cut a slit in 2 thick 2 pieces of fiberglass blocks for each side (about 2" square), drilled 2 holes in each and clamped them around the wire so the slits are at 90 degrees to each other. This makes a pretty good handle. I also suspend my bow from the ceiling so it dangles just above the templates. This gives me a good balance on the bow with no friction as is the case with a tail wheel runing on the table. I can take a picture later and post it if youd like.
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Old Feb 16, 2002, 08:25 PM
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Cape Coral, FL
Joined Nov 2001
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It's working

I'm cutting foam!!! I got it working. Thanks 'ifly'. Here's a photo of my bow. It's just 12" and I'll make a longer one later for the wings. It cuts fine at half setting, so lots of power in reserve.

Yes, please post a photo of your bow for wings.

How tight should the wire be?

By the way, here is my project:

http://216.40.226.212/~admin2/forums...threadid=27799

and the resulting templates:

http://216.40.226.212/~admin2/forums...threadid=28758

Thanks,
Derek
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Old Feb 17, 2002, 12:29 AM
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Cape Coral, FL
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Fuselage is cut

I got the fuselage rough cut. Thanks. Some photos are posted on my original thread:

http://216.40.226.212/~admin2/forums...threadid=28758

Derek
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