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Old 01-04-2010, 11:18 PM   #91
CodeRage
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Gotcha, Yeah, You'll be okay. Make sure you keep both services isolated (they should never mix match anyhow!) or your gfci's will go bonkers. Tie both grounds to the chassis as well.

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Brutus 20e build | Electrical Primer for Brewers | Auber SYL-2362A2 PID Install & Config
So as I am walking out the door this morning I think to my self:
"self, going to work on Monday is like knowing you're going to get kicked in the nuts. You just don't know when or by who"
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:47 PM   #92
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That's what I was hoping to hear! In a couple years when I finally build my garage addition/brew shed I'm sure I'll be redesigning the rig again, but this will get me through until then!

Thanks again CodeRage! I'll post a new thread when I get closer to having the CP done.

MrH

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Old 01-05-2010, 03:09 AM   #93
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Not a problem bud. I look forward to seeing it.

So, in a round about way I managed to get a small narrative about control panel buttons and switches.

Here is a general explanation of switches/buttons and contact blocks.

There are 2 Main categories of switches, Push Buttons and Selectors.
Push Buttons
Are exactly what the name implies, you push the button to actuate it.
Push Buttons are divided into 2 main modes of actuation.
Momentary - Push the button down the button turns on, remove your finger and the button returns to off.
Push On/Push Off - Push the button down and it turns on, push it again it turns off.
E-Stops E stops kind of fall into the Push On/Push Off category but their action is a bit different. They still Push On but they either Pull Off, or Twist Off, and some even need a key to turn off. These are designed so when they are pushed they actuate but require a different action to reset or turn off. There are a couple of reasons to explain this but the prime one is the panic reaction. Some one may repeatedly smack an E-stop to shut something down in the case of an emergency. This way the button isn't cycled on and off.
Selector Switches
Selector switches are multi position switches, typically 2 or 3 positions. There are two different main modes of actuation for selectors as well.
Return To - Return to means the switch will return to a standard position when released. Two position switches either Return To Right (RTR) or Return To Left (RTL). Three position switches are usually Return To Center (RTC)
Maintained - A selector switch with a maintain function will stay in the position they were last placed.

Switch Actuation
A panel switch itself does not control electricity, it is a mechanical device. When a push button is in the 'on' position a piece of plastic protrudes from the bottom, when the switch is in the off position it retracts. Two position selector have one mechanical actuator as well. When the switch is in one position the actuator sticks out and retracts in the other position. Three position selectors have two actuators, one for the left hand position, the other for the right hand switch position. When a three position switch is in the center, bother actuators are retracted.

Contact Blocks
The actuators on a switch interact with contact blocks that are attached to the back of the switch with screws. Each contact block has 2 wire terminals, one on each side of the contact. There are 2 types of contacts blocks
Normally Open (NO) - When the actuator is retracted the contact in the block is open, not allowing electricity to flow. When the switch actuator is extended it causes the contact block to close allowing electricity to pass.
Normally Closed (NC) - These work directly opposite of a NO contact. When the actuator is retracted, the contact is closed allowing current to pass. When the actuator extends it causes the contact to open, prohibiting the flow of current.

Contact blocks are stackable! you can screw another contact block on top of another of any variety. The contact blocks have their own spring loaded actuator to pass on the position of the switch actuator below it. This allows for control of multiple circuits using the same switch.

How do you tell if a three position switch is in the center position? Easy! Put two NC contact blocks on both sides of the switch and wire them in series (In one, connect the other side to the other block, and out the second block). When the switch is in the center position both actuators are retracted closing both NC contacts allowing current to pass.

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Brutus 20e build | Electrical Primer for Brewers | Auber SYL-2362A2 PID Install & Config
So as I am walking out the door this morning I think to my self:
"self, going to work on Monday is like knowing you're going to get kicked in the nuts. You just don't know when or by who"

Last edited by CodeRage; 01-05-2010 at 03:14 AM. Reason: E-stop addition
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:46 PM   #94
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Great thread! Gonna be building a box for my pump with all the fancy wiring stuff and this information is incredibly useful!

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Old 02-12-2010, 05:41 PM   #95
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First of all I have to thank CodeRage for this thread and information in some of the other threads floatign around. I am not sur if this is the best thread to ask this question in or not, but I figured it was better here than in a new one. Anyhow I have been trying find unique ways to save some money on my build and I happened to find a few PDUs at work that are no longer being used and I figured I could at least scavenge the cords etc. I am thinking I might want to use the cords for my elements. So it turns out most of them are 30A125v or 20A125v so these aren't going to work for the 4500W 240v Elements. One piece I did find that was 30A240v is a pdu with 2 input cords both wired with L15-30 plugs. These look very similar to the L6-30s but apparently they are three phase. I am not really familiar with how three phase works but I am wondering if I can use these on 240v single phase outlets? Any info on what the diffrence in wiring is and if I can adapt these would really be appreciated.

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Old 02-12-2010, 05:56 PM   #96
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Well the more I look at these the less I think they are going to do the trick. They have 4 conductors which is really one to many for an element. I was really looking for some L6-30s which I think would be perfect. I may have to hold out.

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Old 02-12-2010, 06:15 PM   #97
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Are you planning on using the cable and plugs, or just the cable? Most cable is rated to 600V so the big concern in the amperage. A 4500W element draws 18.75A at 240 so you are still safe from a cable standpoint as long as your run is short. The other concern is the connectors. Generally the current rating of the plug is more important though some connectors are rated for lower currents at higher voltages. You should make sure your connectors are properly rated for your requirements.

If nothing else, it looks like you will have some good quality cable. Keep in mind that it may be a different color code instead of the Black red green, or black white green you are used to.

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Old 02-12-2010, 06:52 PM   #98
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Yeah I was going to try to use the connectors, because 30A connectors aren't cheap. Though neither is wire rated for 30A so I guess if the only thing I was able to salvage was the wire it would be better than nothing.

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Old 02-12-2010, 08:19 PM   #99
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So I am now wondering if I can use a 20A250V L6-20P with 12/3 wire for a 4500w element. Under ideal circumstance the math says 18A but I am sure my house not putting out 240 exactly so is 20A cutting it too close?

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Old 02-12-2010, 10:03 PM   #100
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well, if the cable is in good condition you should be ok, its not like the cable will explode at 20A. It will probably get a little warm, but it wont hurt anything. Plus, if your voltage is low, your going to draw less current. Also, I imagine the element will be the only thing on the line so the little bit of voltage drop you get over the cable shouldnt hurt anything. If this is a long run, you might want a better cable but for 20 or something feet, you will be ok.

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