Universal III power carriage motor adaptation

5427VanderMotor-1 VanderMotor-2 VanderMotor-3Hello: Almost 3 years ago I wrote with some questions regarding the motorization of a Universal III I had acquired without the motor. Paul and others had thoughts to share on the matter, (much thanks for this input to all involved), but it was apparent that this would not be an easy task to accomplish. Last Tuesday, Ignacio Colorado, a brilliant local offset repair technician spent the evening installing a standard Baldor DC motor controller card and a second strip of electronics he custom built for the braking, reversal, delays, etc. involved in the operation of the press. It´s a 21-century solid-state electronics solution to the clutch, relays, solenoids etc. (of admittedly wonderful construction) of the original Vandercook. Although some details remain to be worked out in terms of overall operation—I have yet to find a potentiometer for speed control with the “feel” of the original variac transformer knob, or the genuine mechanical switch (not the knob) for “manual, cycle, and run” (suggestions here appreciated) and a couple of other fine tuning issues–it looks like a very successful adaptation. If anyone is interested in further information regarding this lengthy sojourn, or the specifics involved in contemporary gear motor/controller card, etc. employed in all of this I am happy to provide the details.

4 thoughts on “Universal III power carriage motor adaptation

  1. Byron T. Brauchli - February 28, 2016

    In addition to the motor, gear, dc controller card (KB ELECTRONICS REGENERATIVE DRIVE KBRG-212D(8819), and controls made by Nacho, I had to have an extension shaft for the motor and a mounting plate also made (photos attached). Nacho put it all together and I then I spent the afternoon with a hacksaw and file trimming down the original cover to fit the new motor. The variac variable transformer (speed control) had to go, becoming a potentiometer with a very different feel (too easy to spin) to moving it, although the original knob still fit. Ditto for brake rheostat. And I´m still looking for the real switch for the manuel, cycle, and run switch. The current regenerative braking setting stops the carriage in an instant, (maybe good for safety) but feels hard on everything when you stop half way out to check ink roller hight or whatever, so he´s going to have to add another circuit to adjust this.

  2. John Henry - February 27, 2016

    Yes, of course much depends on the feeding of the stock & comfort with the speed of the press. At least the gear motor drives at a fair speed for your use.

    I must have been looking at the photos with my head in a bag. of course the drive gear is on the backside of the cylinder.

    Thanks for posting you photos and discussing your solution.

    John Henry

  3. Byron Brauchli - February 26, 2016

    Impressions per hour sounds like something which would be very dependent on operator talent, messing with the ink on the rollers, etc. all of which in my case is probably not so good. But the job time back and forth at 100% is 5.5 sec. up to 11 sec in the slowest print position.
    I think that you are reading the photos backwards, the motor is exactly where the original one was–there´s no gear to mount a motor to on the operator side…

  4. John Henry - February 26, 2016

    Great solution with a very minimal footprint. What kind of speed can you get from the .25 Horse driving that weight (relative impressions per hour)? It certainly gives hope to those who might have irreparable damage to their drive system as you did. Why the position on the operator side (unless I’m reading the photos wrong)?

    Good work.

    John Henry

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