MEP-003A percent load meter reading very low

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Ray70

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I recently got my first -003A machine and got it up and running. It runs good and produces a boat load of power, my problem is that the ammeter is reading very low. Probably in the neighborhood of 25% of the actual load.
When I put a 9000W load on it the gauge is reading in the 25% load area.
I put a meter on the wire to the gauge and it looks to be about .2A with a 9000W load.
I was under impression (possibly incorrectly) that adjusting the R3 resistor would adjust the signal to the meter, but adjusting R3 has no effect. In several other posts people talk about having a bad R3, does anyone know what the symptoms are when R3 goes bad?
My CVT has 4 windings through each hole and the main breaker is correct for a -003A, so I'm sure its the right ac reconnect box for an 003.
The selector switch is in the correct position for 120/240 single phase.
So my question is: does R3 affect the ammeter reading or only the trip point of the main breaker?
And what else should I look at to determine why the signal going to the gauge is so low?
There was a mouse nest on top of the CVT, but there doesn't seen to be any damage or corrosion, but I have not yet ohmed out the CT/CVT windings.
My next step will be to do the R3 adjustment according to the TM, but apparently that isn't going to fix my load meter problem.
 

Ray70

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Upon closer inspection it looks like the mice did a little damage to the insulation on a couple of the wires going to the diode bridge, mainly the wire to pos.#6 but the damaged areas are very small and its only the insulation, not the conductor and the exposed areas can not touch anything else. So tomorrow I'll print out the values of the CT/CVT and test that first.
 

Ray70

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Problem solved!.... The CT tested good so I took a look at the schematic and noticed the wires for the gauge go through the AC reconnect switch. So I exercised the switch a few times, fired it up and voila... 9000W gives me about 72%. Threw another 1200W from a heat gun on the convienance outlet and gauge is at 80%.
 

Triple Jim

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Good to hear. Now you have me wondering if I should take may spray can of DeoxIT D5 and spray it all over/in/through the switch while turning it back and forth.
 

rustystud

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Problem solved!.... The CT tested good so I took a look at the schematic and noticed the wires for the gauge go through the AC reconnect switch. So I exercised the switch a few times, fired it up and voila... 9000W gives me about 72%. Threw another 1200W from a heat gun on the convienance outlet and gauge is at 80%.
I also have had troubles with the reconnect switch. One actually broke on me when I tried to exercise it.
 

cuad4u

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I had a similar problem with the metering on the very first 003A I bought. The reconnect switch was also stuck in the 120V (12 o'clock position). If I remember right the back end (smaller end) of the reconnect switch is where the metering wires are connected and selected. I loosened the long bolts that hold the reconnect switch together so I could just separate the wafers and sprayed a lot of contact cleaner and PB Blaster between each of the wafers. After tightening the long bolts I carefully gave the side of the reconnect switch a couple of good raps with a hammer hitting the end of a 3/4 inch brass rod positioned against the switch wafers. After that the reconnect switch became un-stuck and I exercised the reconnect switch and all was well. I am still using this 003A as my whole house generator over two years later and it has never missed a beat.
 

rustystud

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Between the reconnect switch and CVT1 problems I have just given up on the whole "lets switch to 3 phase" thing altogether. I've just started gutting my second MEP-002A generator. When that's done I'll start on my MEP-003A, then the other two generators. I've never in all my years needed 3 phase power for anything and now in my later years I don't expect anything to change.
 

Triple Jim

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And even if you do need three phase power, these days you can get an affordable single phase powered variable frequency drive to power a 3-phase motor. I sold my old rotary converter that was powering my vertical mill years ago, and bought a VFD that not only runs it, but gives me a knob that lets me vary speed without moving the belt on the pulleys all the time.
 
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Ray70

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That's exactly why I picked up this -003. I came into some real nice 3 phase machine shop equipment when they closed the engineering tool room at my work ( lathe, 2 vertical CNC mills, a big VMC and a surface grinder.)
My plan was to sell some or all of it, but my -002's circuit breaker won't let me start any of them without tripping. I was going to go the VFD route if I keep anything, but for testing and demonstration purposes ( plus I always wanted an 003 ) I opted for another generator instead :beer:
 

Triple Jim

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VFDs are really fun, if you're into that sort of thing. Programming a starting ramp greatly reduces the starting current so that just about anything that can run the motor can start it. Plus you get variable speed, electric braking, and lots of other features. Also, now the not-cheap Allen-Bradley reversing switch on my mill is carrying only signals to the VFD, so its contact wear is just about zero. Of course 003As are fun in a different way.
 

Ray70

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Not to veer too far off topic, the VMC is a 10hp spindle so I assume I would need at least a 30% larger VFD to run it off single phase. Luckily the machine has a sweet Baldor H2 Vector Drive already on it which could be rewired for single phase input, the bad news is the Vector drive only runs the spindle motor. all the rest of the controls and servos are also 3 phase. So the plan is to power the VMC off the -003A so that I can demonstrate it to potential buyers, then If I keep a lathe and a CNC knee mill I'll run them off a VFD since they are much smaller motors.
 

Johncar48

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Very new to Steel Soldiers. Tremendous amount of very useful information. I have an MEP 003a that runs great and puts out plenty of power. However, the ammeter either goes wild with a very nervous needle or it just stays at 0. Will it damage the unit if I just disconnect the meter and insulate the terminals and run the generator. I will never put more than 10Kw’s on it.
 

Johncar48

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I’ve put 3 other, used ammeters on unit with the same results. Not sure if it’s the gauges or the unit. Sprayed the disconnect with plenty of contact cleaner then rotated switch 1/2 a dozen times but no luck.
 
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