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Thread: Running a master caster on 240v

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Running a master caster on 240v

    Hi guys

    I recently purchased a master caster and had it shipped to australia. So it'll be running on 240v 50hz instead of 110v 60hz. I've got the plug wired correctly but noticed I get a bit of a buzz off the machine when it is plugged in and turned on. The fan seems to run fine.

    I contacted magma and they said this sometimes happens, but don't have a solution and to call an electrician.

    I know there are master casters in aussie already, has anyone else had this problem and if so, what can I do? I intended to run the machine with a pid, but am reluctant to advance that until I understand this situation better.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    A small buzz is normal, it's just the noise of our 50 hertz. When the power is running through a coil, it can vibrate somewhat, i really wouldn't be worried. All our stuff is earthed, so if something was to fail ans short to ground, your earth leakage unit will trip. The heating bands used in magma pots now are susceptible to getting moisture in them till they warm up, so they can trip the breaker.

    No issues running it with a PID, i'm running mine with one.

    Been running mine on 240v for YEARS without issues.

    What did the freight cost you to ship it to aussie land? Mine was $200 from canada 15 or so years ago now.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sorry I should have explained better. When I said buzz I mean I can feel a tingling sensation when I touch the black shroud on the outside of the pot. Also when I touch the pour lever.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Freight was $300

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    That freight seemed pretty decent.

    Oh..... That is less than ideal, you do have earth leakage setup to this circuit? You should get no tingles from touching the machine. When just warming up, they have been known to have a little leakage through the heating element till it dries out any moisture, but when hot, there should be nothing at all. I'd ensure you have a good ground connection.


    It actually may be a good idea to get an elechicken check it out, just to be safe. Do you have any mad mates that are sparkies or know a thing or two about mains wiring to check it out for you? at the very least, check for resistance between active or neutral to the ground pin.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Driver man's Avatar
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    You've got a bad or no earth by the sound of things. Get someone who knows what they're doing to check your wiring and earth continuity and leakage. You should have less than 1 ohm to earth from your earth pin to ground. Leakage should be over 1 Meg ohm.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've taken the machine in to work. Hopefully one of the bright sparks will have a look over it today.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatch View Post
    I've taken the machine in to work. Hopefully one of the bright sparks will have a look over it today.
    Good idea, best to be safe than crispy Hopefully it's something simple

  9. #9
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    Sounds like the heating element or maybe one of the power connections are touching the metal frame.

    Put a ground wire on the metal frame



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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Turns out the earth wire was not connected inside the machine. That's all it was.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Glad it was easy, yet a surprise something that important was not done as the heating bands on these pots are known for earth leakage when they absorb moisture.

    Now you can enjoy casting with it!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Now is it possible that there's so much earth leakage from a moist heating element that it would trip my circuit breaker?

    If so what would be the next step? Remove the pot and run the heater element not in contact with the pot to heat it up and dry it out?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Hopefully it will be fine, but i know a guy that had issues with his tripping the breaker.

    The safe way to do it if the element is leaking, you warm it up powering it with an isolation transformer then when hot, plug it into the mains and you're good to go.

    An isolation transformer is just a big transformer with 1:1 ratio of windings, so 240v in, 240v out, it has no ground connection to the neutral so the active and neutral have no potential to earth. With our 240v, active is 240v above ground potential, neutral is supposed to be the same as ground, so this is how you get zapped. With an isolation transformer, active and neutral have no ties to ground potential, so if you touch ONE connection at a time, you will not get zapped, but if you touch both you're ash, no saving people from being stupid.

    Without an isolation transformer, there is no safe way to do it, you need to disconnect the ground connection till the pot warms up, or it will just trip over and over. I can't suggest to do this, but if you have no choice, you get an extension cord and cut the earth pin off, ensure the pot is on an insulated bench and keep people away while it warms, when warm, take that lead away and use an earthed cord. Again, i don't advise to do this, mains power can kill, be careful.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ok I understand. Probably a good time to install a pid then..

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    It's always a good time to install a pid for a new to you melting pot, they do a very good job at holding temperature. I'm using the cheap and nasty chinese REX-c100, i have had one fail in like 3 years, when it fails, slip it out, and put another in.

  16. #16
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    I would put a ohms meter and check for a short between the heating coil and the metal frame/pot


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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by HATCH View Post
    I would put a ohms meter and check for a short between the heating coil and the metal frame/pot


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    I'm not super savvy when it comes to using a multimeter so you'll see me ask lots of questions. When you say check for a short, that would mean low resistance between the pot and the coil? Whereas if there's no short, it would be very high resistance?

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by HATCH View Post
    I would put a ohms meter and check for a short between the heating coil and the metal frame/pot


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    I think I am using the same. Someone posted a link on another thread to one they had used and I think it might be that. Costs $20-25 off ebay. I've hooked up two already and have another two at home, one is for the master caster.

  19. #19
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    Correct.

    0 (zero) ohms is basically a piece of wire with no breaks in it.

    You have 3 power connections on the MC pot (240v)

    L1 - hot 1
    L2 - hot 2
    Ground

    Between L1 and L2 should be low resistance (could be 10 ohms but definitely low)
    Between ground and L1 or L2 should be high resistance.
    If you measure low resistance between ground and any L then you definitely have a short.





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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Exactly, when you check the power plug, active and neutral should be low resistance, from either active or neutral to ground should read nothing on your meter.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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