Friday, 8 April 2016

Don't let fear stop you

Sometimes we come across projects or sub projects that we don't want to take on because we are worried what others might think, if it's safe, if others will think it's safe, if it's too expensive. The problem is that when we let these fears and concerns govern what we allow ourselves to do then we end up not accomplishing anything near what we are capable of.

This is something that I have struggled with on various projects over the years, is it safe? What will others think of me doing it? Whatever the case may be. On the instances when I have put these fears into their place by stopping and working out just what the impact will be, then after putting into place safety controls I have always found these projects to be worthwhile. This one today is one of them. Here was my problem:
The controller for the CNC Lathe runs on 110V not the 240V that comes from the walls here. When I got the machines I had a few cords that would connect them to a transformer box  so they could be used with a 240V wall supply. Unfortunately I have lost said cables and to be able to run the Lathe I need to get 110V to it. Bugger.

This is where fear came into it. From the time I have started playing with electronics there has always been an unspoken rule that you just don't have anything to do with line voltage as a hobbyist. This is a very safe rule. However in this situation it would've stopped me from being able to run the lathe again unless I found the power cord (Unlikely). So after taking stock of the risks (electrocution) and working out controls (unplug and leave for a while to let any charge dissipate, test to make sure nothing is shorted to the case before re-connecting) I realized that this could be fixed safely.

And here's the finished product. I can now use a normal power cord like I would use for a computer to power the lathe with 110V.

That's where the scaryness happens. The transformer is potted in epoxy so that's all quite solid.

Looks like I'm not the only one who chain drills and doesn't fully clean up the edges. I had to take off some of the peaks before the new socket would go on.

Testing all of the connections. I'm using an old analog multimeter on ohm reading to check for shorts. It does still work, certainly well enough to show a short circuit.

That's all for today, the next post will be my 100th post on this blog so I am working on something cool for that so stay tuned.

And remember, don't let your fears tell you that something can't be done. There's always a safe way.

Cheers,
Rex