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Old Apr 13, 2002, 11:38 AM
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Tim H.'s Avatar
USA, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Nov 2001
4,356 Posts
Foam Cutter Power Supply Help

Hello all,

Just ordered a Feather Cut last week. Should get it in a few days. I didn't order the power supply (another $140) I need to build a variable output power supply for it (about 2-20 volts, 7ish amps). What are you guys that are cutting cores using and does anyone have plans or schematics for one. I have done a pretty comprehensive search on the web and found a few ideas, but I'd like to get some input as to what is working well for people.

Thanks in advance,

Tim H.
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Old Apr 13, 2002, 11:53 AM
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Jim Phelps's Avatar
Elizabethtown/Ft. Knox, Kentucky, United States
Joined Jan 2001
1,125 Posts
Tim, I bought a feather cutter and the power supply at Toledo last weekend. I started not to get the power supply, but after looking at it I gave up and bought it. It's already calibrated for their different size bows. Really nice setup.
Jim Phelps
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Old Apr 13, 2002, 12:53 PM
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Admiral_Red's Avatar
San Antonio, Texas
Joined Oct 2001
2,413 Posts
I have used a variable speed HO train power supply in the past with great success. The one that I had worked from 3-18 or so volts. I have not cut in a while, but a car battery and charger with a light dimmer has worked well for me as well.

James
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Old Apr 13, 2002, 02:34 PM
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Joe Elston's Avatar
Orange,CA
Joined Jul 2000
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Feathercut

Tim, I too have a Feathercut and like Jim bought their powersupply to go with it. It really is slick and I have yet to burn a core. It works great and once you get used to it you really can cut cores by yourself
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Old Apr 13, 2002, 10:09 PM
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Ed Waldrep's Avatar
Las Vegas, NV
Joined Dec 1996
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Check with www.aircraftspruce.com

They have a foam cutting power supply that you wire up yourself, it uses a ceiling fan type control. It's not pretty but the kit was like 25 bucks. It's a big transformer, weights about 3 pounds, and I just foam taped the control on the top. I ran wires out ending in alligator clips to attach to my bow. Next time I'll used a deans ultra plug. It's got variable output so you can set the power according to the length of the bow.

I've seen the feather cut system in action, it's nice.
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Old Apr 14, 2002, 08:35 AM
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orlando fl
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I use a variac I got from a surplus store, 100$. Work great with very good current control.
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Old Apr 14, 2002, 09:04 AM
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Dave Lindsey's Avatar
Brighton Ont. Canada
Joined Jan 2001
627 Posts
I use a RS 12.6v 3A transformer($12 CDN) regulated with a light dimmer switch ($4 CDN) on my bow and several other homemade cutters including a hot wire band(scroll) saw and have never had a problem. I also have a variac but the transformer is easier to regulate.
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Old Apr 14, 2002, 10:43 AM
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Palmyra VA
Joined Apr 2002
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Here is link for a Power Supply.

http://denverrceagles.freeyellow.com...owersupply.gif

I built with variable control. Total cost I believe was under $25.00.

You can view control pics and custom cutting table here

http://www.on-the-web.net/~cam/foamtable.htm
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Old Apr 14, 2002, 10:50 AM
FoamyFactory.com
Tim H.'s Avatar
USA, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Nov 2001
4,356 Posts
Thanks for all the input guys. I think I will try the train transformer thing first because I have one with all my train stuff I had as a kid. The Aircraft Spruce setup looks good, and cheap too.

Tim H.
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Old Apr 17, 2002, 04:33 PM
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West of California Speedway, East of LaLa, North of Disneyland
Joined May 2001
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Killer Cutter

After using car batteries, battery chargers, lamp dimmers and Radio Shack 24 vac transformers with reasonable success, I switched to using a flight pack (7 to 10 cells), a 30 amp (20 A will do) ESC and a servo tester to adjust the current. This setup works incredibly great !!! Very precise control over the wire temperature. If you don't have a servo tester (under 20 bucks), then just fire up your radio (extend the antenna a foot) and plug your ESC into Ch 3 of the Rx, the batt into the ESC and attach the cutting bow to the motor wires. Voila !!

I use 90 lb. stainless steel fishing leader for cutting wire. You can run it hot, and it still stays taut !!

I cut both white (exp. bead polystyrene) and blue foam with this setup.
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Old Apr 17, 2002, 04:54 PM
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Joined Nov 2000
667 Posts
I love it! Radio controlled foam cutting!

Tim, I also have the the Tekoa "Thermal Generator" power supply and have had great success with it for the past 8+ years. I bought it and the foam cutter back shortly after they came on the market and consider it to have been well worth the added cost. Sort of goes along with Keith Shaw's adage of buy cheap, buy twice. We did a club one design sailplane a few years ago and cut over 100 separate cores and it was about as close to a production line set up as my workshop could handle and the Tekoa combo worked like a charm.

I mailed off the F-100 info to you yesterday so you ought to get it shortly. Hope it helps. I see you are in Wichita, KS. I've seen posted elsewhere some info that there is an F-80 Shooting Star on display over at McConnell AFB on the Air National Guard side of the field. Do you by chance know of that's true and if so, is it in decent shape?

Fly Fast! Mark
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Old Apr 17, 2002, 05:18 PM
FoamyFactory.com
Tim H.'s Avatar
USA, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Nov 2001
4,356 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Nankivil
I love it! Radio controlled foam cutting!
I mailed off the F-100 info to you yesterday so you ought to get it shortly. Hope it helps. I see you are in Wichita, KS. I've seen posted elsewhere some info that there is an F-80 Shooting Star on display over at McConnell AFB on the Air National Guard side of the field. Do you by chance know of that's true and if so, is it in decent shape?

Fly Fast! Mark
Thanks Mark,

Never been over there so I don't know, but I will ask around.

Tim
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Old Apr 17, 2002, 06:18 PM
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Troy's Avatar
United States, CA, Lake Forest
Joined Feb 1999
6,017 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Ed Waldrep
Check with www.aircraftspruce.com

They have a foam cutting power supply that you wire up yourself, it uses a ceiling fan type control. It's not pretty but the kit was like 25 bucks. It's a big transformer, weights about 3 pounds, and I just foam taped the control on the top. I ran wires out ending in alligator clips to attach to my bow. Next time I'll used a deans ultra plug. It's got variable output so you can set the power according to the length of the bow.

I've seen the feather cut system in action, it's nice.
Ditto on the aircraft spruce power supply. I've been using mine for years and it is a very simple operation. I actually have it all bolted to my foam cutting table and I also use a normal house light switch in line so I can set my temp where I want it, leave it, and just flick the power on. Why spend 140 bucks when you can have basically the same flexibility for $25 and spend therest on Carbon, epoxy, and stuff you need to build the wings after you cut them
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Old Apr 18, 2002, 01:41 AM
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Huntington Beach, CA
Joined Dec 2001
264 Posts
Anyone have the link to the product on the Aircraft Spruce website? I looked on their site, but couldn't find it.

david
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Old Apr 18, 2002, 11:04 AM
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West of California Speedway, East of LaLa, North of Disneyland
Joined May 2001
2,345 Posts
I love it! Radio controlled foam cutting!

Don't knock it 'till you try it. Why pay ANYTHING for a foam cutting power supply when you've got one sitting in your shop (or one of your planes) already? Since I started using this setup, I have found it to be the most precise method that I've used yet.....and I've tried a bunch (see the lead post on this thread).

Last night I performed hot-foam-cutting surgery on a FlyZone A6 Intruder EDF to section out the fan with this setup so I could replace the motor. Hooked my Whattmeter onto the battery pack to get a reference reading for current, then dialed in just the right amount of heat to cut the wire with a minimum kerf. Dang, that was easy !!!
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