Author Topic: Warco 180M DOA  (Read 916 times)

Offline Gopherit

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Warco 180M DOA
« on: December 15, 2020, 05:00:06 PM »
Well, I'm new to this forum, so please excuse me if i am not posting correctly.
Found Madmodders after getting totally frustrated with my newly delivered Warco 180M. It arrived a few days ago and I installed it on it's new sliding tracks (space savings at the weekend. Yesterday, having everything checked i powered up - of tried in vain to be more precise.

Checked all the interlocks, Panic buttons - appear to have more than necessary but more on that later. NO SIGN of life from the Warco. Pulled all the fuses, checked power to socket, nothing.

After an hour on the net found 2 or 3 postings about Warco lathes on this site, impressed by the knowledge og the internals and found 1 post where a m/c that was about 2 yers ols was refusing to play but the cure was to switch everything to "On" and then spin the chuck by hand.
Tried this and after a couple of goes IT WORKED.

Still didn't seem correct as after that it wouls start without the spin, but the Forward/Reverse switch had to be on and then press the Green button under the (2nd) panic switch cover. Didn't think this was correct do called Warco this am and spoke to Tech support only to be told this is how you start the lathe. I/m amazed, this seems a very cack handed way of operating. My experience of lathes runs through Myfords to Colchester 2000s via Boxford etc. albeit all a bit distant now. I have never come across such a counter-intuitive way of starting up.

MORE IMPORTANTLY I was told by Tech Support that:
1. When you start up the Speed Control must be at the lowest setting.
2. Stopping by turning Forward/Reverse to Zero is not good.

Failure to observe 1 & 2 above supposedly leads to circuit board failure. NONE of this is win the documentation that comes with the Warco. I will be writing to them. If I'd known this before purchase I might well have gone elsewhere.

Sorry for the rant but there's a couple of points above might be useful to other owners/prospective purchasers.

Offline John Rudd

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2020, 05:19:38 PM »
Gopherit,
If the lathe is new,fresh, just uncrated as delivered, it must be under warranty...

If this is so, then contact Warco and reject  under the sale of goods act as being unfit for purpose....
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2020, 05:48:03 PM »
Yes, return if possible. Doesn't sound like something you'll be happy living with in the years to come.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline Pete.

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2020, 06:42:51 PM »
I'm not sure if I'm understanding this correctly. Did Warco say that having to spin the chuck manually to get it started is normal? If so, that's not right.

The bit about having to set the fwd/rev switch to fwd then hitting the green button sounds correct, that's normal for a lot of lathes. Also you should use the stop button , not the 3-way switch to stop the machine or you run the risk of putting it into reverse inadvertantly. You might even put a huge electrical load on the controller board if you over-shoot into reverse. The easiest way to stop the motor is to lift the chuck guard.

Speed pot should be low when starting because the startup loads are much higher than the running loads and you don't want to blow the board. There are plenty of examples of that and it's similar for many of the dc-motored mini-lathes.

I've no idea why the chuck needed turning the first time. Perhaps the speed sensor needed a liitle signal pulse to get going where it had been off for so long. If it doesn't happen again (or only happens after an extended power-off) I wouldn't worry about it.

Offline Gopherit

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2020, 05:08:38 AM »
Thanks Pete, that's reassuring and your explanation better than Warco's, perhaps I'll get used to that way of operating!

Thanks also to the other respondents, this is such a good forum. Now, where's that 50mm stainless bar.........

Offline John Rudd

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2020, 05:35:15 AM »
Ok, I shall elaborate a little more.....

The FWD/OFF/REV switch is just that....but it is also interlocked with circuitry on the speed control board IF it is of the Sieg speed control board....and prevents the machine starting if not in the correct position after the Fault light or a power failure occurs.

I dont know which boards the Warco machines use, I suspect they use either KB Controls or a Chineses knock-off.....In which the F-O-R switch reduces the speed of the machine when in Rev mode.

Both types of boards, Sieg or KB, have circuitry that controls the ramp speed of the motor, I doubt the tech dept are aware of the functionality of the electronics in detail...However the fact that  they claim that the speed pot needs to be reduced to Zero prior startup is part of their warranty terms...misuse of the machine? ( btw, the Sieg and KB boards use the same elctronic circuitry...)

In my opinion you should not have to spin the chuck by hand to get rhe machine to run, this is a dangerous practise that could result in personal injury...but its your choice...

Hope you have fun with your lathe..
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Offline lesterhawksby

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2020, 11:10:56 AM »
OK...

I have a WM180, about 9 or 10 years old now so may not be identical.

Mine never required giving the chuck a push to start it, and I think that is very clearly a fault, and a potentially unsafe one. I'm very unimpressed with Warco if they told you that's normal. I've seen a few other machines with the same kind of (DC brushed) drive system and none of them needed that either. The speed sensor is unconnected to the motor drive so it probably isn't that (some DC brushless drives use sensor info as part of the drive but these don't). These machines are not by Sieg and their systems are not identical so far as I know, but they are really pretty similar; mine doesn't have the "fault light" described by John Rudd, I think that's a Sieg thing. The green "on" button should be the only way to turn it on and it shouldn't stay down unless the interlocks and direction switch are in good-to-go positions. The push-start problem may never recur if it is just some "first startup after shipping" weirdness, in which case the machine may well be fine, but if it comes back I don't think you should have to put up with it.

I don't think of the forward/off/reverse switch as a form of on/off, it's just a mode setting, stays in forward, if I need reverse then I switch it back after I'm done. If you switch it while the machine is running, the no-volt release under the green start button is tripped and you have to use that green button to get it going again anyway. I got into the habit of not stopping it that way and I don't think this is an operating inconvenience in practice, whereas the cover over the ordinary red/green start/stop buttons is a nuisance in my view. I imagine the aim of that cover is to prevent an unsafe scenario of "I meant to press stop but I hit the start button instead" but it also adds the unsafe scenario of "I meant to press stop but that stupid cover is in the way", so I reckon it's zero-sum in safety terms - perhaps it provides token conformity to some poorly-thought-through rule. My normal procedure (perhaps unwise, but it works for me) is to leave that cover open and use the green and red buttons under it for start and normal/planned stop, saving the separate emergency-stop button for a "real emergency" (very, very rare). That feels low-hassle to me as it's one press each time and no fiddling, but then again I'm used to it.

I never heard any instruction that the speed has to be right down to start. Turning the speed down on every stop/start would be a right pain on lots of work and I don't think it would be an acceptable limitation, I certainly never do. I have heard that some people have had problems attributed to going straight from "on" to "high" but that hasn't happened to me - maybe I'm doing it wrong and am lucky? I'm not sure if it's a real problem or not, but I don't think I leave it on really high. I do find it a helpful technique to start low and dial the speed up if working with something imperfectly balanced, or when testing what cut I can get away with, as a way of accommodating the small size and relatively low power of the machine - just slightly different thinking compared to what you do on bigger machines.

I must admit I did eventually harm my WM180 motor by driving it too hard too long on a bad cut in large-diameter bad material, got it too hot. It still runs, but less well. Time to retire it. After 9 years and having got away with a couple of similar jobs before when I did a better job of judging when to back off, I can't blame the machine - the fault's all mine. Anyway, I think this is a little evidence that the control board can't be as feeble as some people say, since it coped ok.

Good luck and I hope this turns out to just be teething trouble on an otherwise good machine!

Online awemawson

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2020, 11:22:54 AM »
Surely the controller is meant to ramp up to speed at a pre-determined rate that is safe for the electronics and the mechanics  wherever the pot is set to at start up :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
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Offline John Rudd

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2020, 11:42:37 AM »
Andrew,
On the Sieg boards there is no adjustment for the acceleration ramp, however the KB Controls boards do. They are factory adjusted to give an optimum acceleration time.

Given that, it should not make any difference to where the speed pot is set, ergo, you could stop the machine with the Stop button, then restart with the 'Go' green button. I dont think that Warco understand this hence their instruction is that the speed pot should be reduced to zero on stopping, and ensuring it is at zero on starting....I guess they have found that many users dont do this and it has resulted in the demise of the speed control board hence they state this method of stop/starting to reduce the number of warranty claims
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Online awemawson

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2020, 01:30:59 PM »
Good reason not to buy one then. Sounds like a rubbish design if it doesn't preserve it's own life !
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline lesterhawksby

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2020, 12:27:34 PM »
I really doubt that turning the speed down to zero before starting makes all that much difference, on any control board that has ramp-up. The Warco board definitely doesn't "jolt" into action when turned on with the speed not at its lowest. I have played with some of the old generic minilathes and the WM180 is definitely better all round than those (that's why I got one back then) but the modern improved Siegs' brushless drive is better electrically. I wouldn't entirely trust Warco to know the details of the electronics, judging by Gopherit's report of what they said about swing to start... My experience with them was never bad, though they can be confused, but I think it really depends who you get on the phone.







Online WeldingRod

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2020, 11:16:00 AM »
Swing to start works when you have a 3 phase motor running with a lost phase ;-)

Very rough running, of course!

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Offline gazz

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2020, 03:58:04 PM »
i think what was said is that that lathe needed it's spindle spinning by hand just once or twice, then after that it starts up on it's own?    as to why it needed that at first... wonder what motor it is, standard permanent magnet DC motor then maybe a dirty commutator?

i'm kinda thinking of generators where if they have been standing for a while they lose their residual magnetism, so you apply DC to the field winding to get them to start producing output,   but a motor should always start as you are putting power to it in the first place, and that's not relevent to a permanent magnet type motor.

maybe a brushless motor without a position / direction sensor... commonly used in radio control models, they sort of vibrate forwards and backwards very fast before figuring out which way to turn using feedback from the motors coils.. that's the weird ttzzzziinggg noise you hear a model plane make when the  brushless motor starts.



As for the way to start the lathe,  my reel bull lathe had an interlock board in it that required you to turn the speed knob to zero...where a switch opened,  then you pressed the no volt release switch (green button)  and only then turned the speed knob up and it'd start up, it simply would not start any other way.

if you lifted the chuck guard (or even just caught it) it'd cut out and you had to do that annoying start up procedure again, same if you operated the forward - off - reverse switch, but that's a good thing as applying reverse polarity to a motor spinning at speed wont do it much good at all.

The board also braked the motor when you cut power... the only feature i liked about it, but alas it was unreliable and died shortly after i got my lathe (second hand), i asked amadeal (place the lathe originally came from) about the cost of a replacement board, or a circuit diagram so i could try and repair it, and was told i'd be better off bypassing it, as a new one will likely do the same in a few months time!!

So for the past 10 years or so i've just left the speed control knob where i want it, and start and stop the lathe with the no volt release switch.. the red and green buttons.


BUT my lathes speed controller board has an acceleration feature, it dosent just apply what ever voltage to the motor the speed control is set at, it ramps it up over about 2 seconds, i've been told by John Rudd who knows these boards well.

If the warco speed controller does not have that feature, then they really should have an interlock board that makes you start up with the speed knob on zero, sounds like they don't :(



Offline lesterhawksby

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2021, 08:05:14 AM »
Following up on this: now I've taken my wm180 apart, I can report that mine definitely has the kind of motor drive that has acceleration (and a little "accel" trim pot to tweak it). This probably explains why I always got away with turning it on at whatever the last RPM was and not bothering to wind it up from low speed. I suspect the other kind are only on the smaller "mini" machine.

I am in the process of swapping in a Sieg brushless motor in the hope of more low speed torque... fingers crossed.

Hope Gopherit's machine is now behaving itself!


Offline vtsteam

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Re: Warco 180M DOA
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2021, 04:49:50 PM »
The surprisingly inexpensive Samgold brand AC to DC speed controller that I originally bought as a stopgap for my new lathe before buying a higher capacity DC converter/controller seems to have a similar feature as well.

I was at first confused by the fact that when I turned the speed up it wouldn't start right away, but now I realize it's a quite sensitive surge limiting control. I thought it couldn't start at a very low setting. But actually there's simply a delay in starting, so you can set it quite low from the off state, and in a second or two it will start.

Though I always intend to start slowly and ramp up from a stop, once or twice it happened that the control was set well above off when I switched the motor on. The delay and ramp up prevented the over current circuit from shutting it down completely or a circuit breaker from cutting out. Instead it just ran after the delay.
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