Author Topic: Feeder issue solved.  (Read 2845 times)


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Feeder issue solved.
« on: October 23, 2015, 08:27:29 PM »
I had some feeder issues over the last few days and it may help others if they have similar problems
some of it is obvious, some less so.  sorry no pictures as I was too busy trying to fix the problem.

The first issue was that I bought some capacitors that were too tall for the feeder guide plates.

I found phonoplug's post on the forum with pics of some custom feeder guide plates, unfortunately for a different feeder design to mine.
but, knowing they could be modified, and since I have a milling machine, no excuse not to try, I decided to have a go...

I used a feeder I had not been using as it never worked very well, stripped it down, machined the plate (10mm end mill) and re-assembled in a couple of hours, ( with new nitrile belts) all relatively smoothly.

When I came to test with the feedertest utility, it didn't work very well, the pins seemed to grab the (plastic) tape and not retract properly.

First I cleaned the pins and bearing blocks with IPA, flooding the area and working the pins thoroughly..  I then dried it with hot air before retesting.
The cleaning made little difference, but I did spot the problem.

The pins did not line up correctly with the holes in the tape, they were well off centre and because of this they were binding.
I had not altered anything that would affect pin alignment so the problem must have been there since before I obtained the feeder last year.

Re-alignment was easy enough, just a couple of allen set screws to loosen then tighten...  I averaged the error so that the outer lanes have about the same offset but in opposite directions..

The big issue came when I reassembled and tested..  the main moving carriage now fouled on the inside of the cover...  to anyone who has had these apart, the left side of the carriage is machined away even to part way through the oilite block on the left hand side to clear the case..    It looks like it should have been machined even more...

The long term solution would be to machine a bit more off the side of the carriage, but in the interim, I refitted the side of the feeder with a couple of washers to space it out.

The feeder now works perfectly, probably better than it did new !

If you have a feeder that misbehaves, check that the pins line up with the tape sprocket holes!