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 Post subject: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 18, 2016 12:20 am 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
This is the cap from a Solenoid meter (Bakelite). I am wondering if anyone can identify the manufacturer? It came from a deceased estate. The coil is open & water has been very busy internally, like there are about six coils of the spring left.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 18, 2016 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 12437
Location: Powell River BC Canada
The originals were made by the Wiggington Electric Company ?

Industrial electricians carried ( the modern version) in their back pocket- always.

It was stupid proof. Coil, Solenoid, Spring.

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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 12:10 am 
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Thanks for that, they apparently date from 1918. There is a very small possibility that it is repairable. With my chemical background the rust it the least of the issues. The coil is possibly open at the base, but many do not have a tail from the centre that be got at. It may just end up a Museum piece / shelf Queen..... Tossing it is criminal.

I have tried a few searches but nothing of its vintage has yet appeared.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 12:59 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 12437
Location: Powell River BC Canada
You could try to restore it, but don't use it.

That old tester is made for AC DC voltages up to 600.

Here is an Ideal Electric cat 61 067. Replacement probe lead
sets are available. The leads do wear out.

More modern testers look the same in shape, are electronic, and are
as slick as the kids that use them.

But then again, certain regulations require the wearing of arc flash suits too.

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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 6:35 am 
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I have someone that can possibly rewind the bobbin, but the first priority there is to find where it is open. The test leads are a thick rubber, at this juncture I have not shown them 1KV (Insulation tester) to see if they are OK. It is primitively simple after all.

The biggest issue is the compression spring, its fine wire, its long and its cactus (whats left of it) and its parameters are critical, should one want some semblance of nominal accuracy (Ie they are a guide not an absolute)

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 8:09 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 12437
Location: Powell River BC Canada
The warning that comes with the testers includes the time on/off as a function of the voltage.
The leads also had probes that were stored in the side slots. Additionally, when testing, one
probe could be stuck into the top of tester. in that way, the hand holding the tester also
would move the probe to the contact, and hold it there while testing. The loose probe could
be moved to the other side of the circuit using the other hand.

Often, what I did was push the loose black probe to a voltage common so it would stay. We
also stored jumper clip leads inside our hard hats. These could be used to connect the black probe too.

It was necessary to find out which interlock was open. Using the one line diagram, and the wiggy, it was easy.

This tester has a resistance of 4160 ohms on a Chinese LCR meter, no inductance was reported.
On a Sencore Powerite II it drew 2 watts at 120 volts.



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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 8:35 am 
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I have a photo of the internals, but did not post it, as it to me I saw no contribution by it in actually identifying its manufacturer.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
As you might gather, I have few of these yellow ones, and also the black ones,
more resembling yours. I think I might have a dead black one.

If this link makes sense, its a old (1935) article on solenoids from Popular Mechanics.

If the pin is iron, it will draw in when voltage is applied, if copper or brass, it will
be ejected if the voltage is AC.

How much copper of what gauge ? image/calculate volume of old coil or weigh it, then
find out weight/resistance of what size equals about 4000 ohms. Just wind it so
a zap of DC wont jump end to end.

Perhaps I will measure mA DC and AC at 400 volts and ? volts 60 cycles. Curious about
how inductance varies with pin position.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=wN8DAA ... er&f=false

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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 20, 2016 12:04 am 
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Irrespective of its application, a coil is not a simple as it looks. E.g. for DC it has to be wound so it has a distinctive N & S pole. People often forget that with speakers; when there is DC on the VC, polarity is important. That's why the VC is marked with a polarity: When the polarity is correct the cone should jump outwards.

The critical elements in this thing are the field strength developed by the coil, which of course will increase with voltage and the springs mechanical resistance (grams) that is countering the force developed by the coil (rather like a D'Arsonval movement). So despite it being a very simple thing in principal of operation. It does require the parts within to balance and have a degree of precision, in order to function properly.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 20, 2016 12:28 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 12437
Location: Powell River BC Canada
There were implementations of a dc polarity indicator on some Square D models. A little
magnet that flipped over. The polarity indicator on the Ideal model is a neon bulb.

It is not a precise item, its a rugged thing that can be and is dropped, sometimes from off
ladders. The voltages on the face, are system levels. The beauty of this thing, it wont
indicate phantom voltages.

90 % of my use, was to find blown fuses in MCCs(motor control center) .

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VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 20, 2016 2:43 am 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
The big thing with meters is that it all comes down to "suitability for application". Any meter used in the wrong area can lie. Analogue meters where there is DC and RF, can often prove the more accurate as they don't see the RF, but some DVM's will, and RF can cause flash-overs at a low voltage.

Dirty DC and fluctuating voltage is another area DVM's get into strife. My tractor & oldest road vehicle (both 50's) have DC generators and an analogue meter is the only way to set their regulators due to the brushes & RF.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sun 21, 2016 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Jun Fri 19, 2009 6:34 pm
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Location: Long Island NY
The Square-D company in the US either bought Wiggington, or the rights to the tester, because they made a huge number of similar ones. The early ones had "Wiggins" labels on them, so the resemblance was probably not by accident. They were once so common, old timer electricians around here used to ask for "a Square-D" when they meant that kind of tester.

So it may be possible to find an old Square-D "Wiggins" online and use it for parts to fix yours. I do not know for certain that it would work out, but there is a possibility that they did not change the internal arrangement too much for a while and the parts might fit.

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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sun 21, 2016 1:45 pm 
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I might have a chat to a neighbor. He works for a company that is the parent of them. As intimated the balance between the coil & spring are the crucial elements. At the moment it has not made it into the repair line. There are three radios, two vehicle services, a tractor engine that needs a MOH (last one 1986) and a few other items well ahead of it.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 27, 2016 3:20 am 
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As an industrial electrician I had one but didn't use it above 240 vac. Some earlier designs with slow fusing could explode if connected when the power was at peak voltage, so we weren't supposed to use them on higher voltages.

In a plant with 90% of all AC power being 480 volts 3 phase and a smattering of 600 volts or more this was ridiculous. Our supervisors ordered Fluke 27's for us. My Fluke never blew up, which is a good thing.

Regards, -BMS-


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 27, 2016 4:58 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 12437
Location: Powell River BC Canada
The plant I worked for had mostly 600 volt motors up to 200 HP. We jumped to 2300.
then 6600, and 13800 for bigger stuff. The biggest was 20,000 HP. It was a refiner that
ran 40,000 HP. There was one spare motor.

We never blew up a Wiggy on 600 volts, and that is what 90 % of the crew calls were.
All the high voltage motor controls were dead front. No one ever blew one up. They did
melt down on there own, from time to time.

Every motor in the place had spares. The motor shop rewound everything up to 600 volts.

All history now....

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_________________
de
VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
ve7aso@rac.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Solenoid meter (Wiggy)
PostPosted: Aug Sat 27, 2016 4:41 pm 
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radiotechnician wrote:
We never blew up a Wiggy on 600 volts, and that is what 90 % of the crew calls were.
All the high voltage motor controls were dead front. No one ever blew one up. They did
melt down on there own, from time to time.


I've never actually seen one blow up, but that was the safety dept.'s mandate. I didn't mind having the Fluke to use.

I worked on three outages (shutdown / repairs / updates time) at Diablo Canyon, CA nuke plant when I was anIBEW inside wireman. Interesting place.

The sea water for condenser cooling is pumped uphill from an artificial lagoon through two 15' x 15' tunnels by six 27,000 HP motors fed by 24,000 Volts. Good thing they didn't have to pay for the electricity ( which was suppled from the Morro Bay Ca. natural gas fired plant with two sets of 175, 000 volt redundant lines ). Nothing in a nuke plant is run with its own power.

Pacific Gas & Electric later sold the Morro Bay plant to Duke Energy so I think they get a pretty big monthly bill from Duke.

Running at full tilt, each side of the Diablo plant outputs a set of 3 phase lines to the grid. 1428 amps per phase at 500 Kvolts. Pretty serious juice.

-BMS-


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