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Porter Cable Bench Top Jointer PC160 JT

Discussion in 'Power Tools' started by rocky1, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Have a technical question that maybe someone has confronted and can help me with. Or, maybe the electricians amongst us can maybe help me out.

    Bought a used Porter Cable PC 160 JT Benchtop 6" Jointer some time back, broke the speed control knob off on the way home from the auction sale. Other goodies fell over in the back of the car, and hit the knob, Chinese junk, it's a plastic shaft on the potentiometer behind the knob.

    Was going to replace the Speed Control Module, it's a simple little board, nothing to it, until I looked it up. Morons want more than I paid for the machine for that little bitty board, in fact they want half the price of the machine NEW for a replacement board... IF you can find it. Most places it is listed as no longer available from the manufacture. Which this is hard to believe since Porter Cable still sells it, AND... Delta sold the same identical jointer under their brand name. Same model number, same parts list, same part numbers, whole works... So it's not like there isn't a few of them out there. And, I'm not paying $300 for a board the size of a credit card, with $5 worth of parts on it.

    I can buy a sack full of the needed potentiometer on Amazon for $10, 3 pins to desolder and resolder. It's a simple enough fix, but no specs on the potentiometer, so I'm not sure what I need there. And, schematics on the control module to help out. But, then I started looking to see if maybe I could buy the speed control module on E-Bay, and I can buy speed control modules complete for anything from $2 - $15 dependent upon application on E-Bay, IF I knew the specs on the board.

    Before I spend all the time to dig up all the necessary specs, to sort this out, has anyone here replaced one of these speed control modules with after market, and if you have would you happen to have a part number?
     
  2. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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  3. Sprung

    Sprung Amateur Sawdust Maker Full Member

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    I was trying to do a little digging for you, but couldn't really find any good information. Can you determine if the motor is AC or DC. Sometimes, for variable speed, DC is used.

    If AC, would one of those router speed controllers work? If DC, perhaps a DC speed control rather for at least at, or above, the specs of the motor?

    I think I found the replacement speed control for as "low" as about $180. But, if you really want sticker shock, price out the motor assembly, which includes the switch and motor controller. I found that for $450 - more than just buying a new one.
     
  4. barry richardson

    barry richardson Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    Never heard of a variable speed jointer. Could you just straight wire it to the on-off switch and give up the variable speed? Don't know why one would want to run it less than full bore anyhow....
     
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  5. William Tanner

    William Tanner Member Full Member

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    Rocky, this is the same type of deal I ran into when my Delta midi lathe flamed out. I feel for you.
     
  6. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Checked the link... No listing for the model #, no number or manufacturer on board. I can't see Porter Cable tooling up to build boards, I would imagine those are bid out, and purchased from lowest bidder, lowest responsible bidder, bosses nephew, whatever...




    I'm guessing AC Matt, there is no label, plate, or stamp of any nature visible on the motor and you can see everything but the very top side without disassembly of the entire unit, it's all open underneath. No replacement motor available, it's sold in pieces. Motor housing has no label on it, found the housing on E-Bay for $44.

    The control module isn't complex enough to convert to DC, pretty simple board, a few resistors, capacitors, 1 little bitty chip, and the speed pot. And, it's the only electronics on the machine. (Certainly not worth the $168 - $287 price tags I've found.) Wire runs from the plug, to on/off toggle, from the toggle to the speed control module, and from there to motor. It's pretty straight forward and about as simple as you can get for variable speed. Router speed controller would probably work, but it would be nice to get it back in the cabinet. There's not a lot of room to work with there however, this thing is only slightly larger than a credit card.

    VS2.jpg




    :headscratch2::headscratch2::headscratch2:

    I don't either. By the same respect Dewalt makes a 2 speed planer and I've often wondered why you would want to slow a planer down. I'm assuming there has to be a reason, and I just haven't found it yet. Lack experience on multi/variable speed planers or jointers to say, "Yep, it works good for..." But the Owner's Manual suggests you adjust speed dependent upon the width of cut, and material being cut. (Guess I can kinda see that.)


    VS.gif



    Knob pictured there at A is the one that's broke off in front of silver gizzy on left side of board pictured above.

    I would assume it could be direct wired, pretty easy Barry. Wouldn't be difficult to figure out either. Have 3 wires going to the board, ground, input, output; should be able to test input and output voltage, to determine if the module is putting out 100% of input voltage. If it is, direct wired is as simple as soldering the two wires together and applying heat shrink. But then I'd still lack the experience to say, "Yep, it works good for..." :lol2:

    The speed control module still works fine, it's just kind of a pain to get hold of the little bitty stub of shaft that sticks out to turn it up and down. Pretty sure I can repair the board for under $10, although it will require purchase of a $10 desoldering tool as well. Or, I could find someone who plays with electronics and buy them a case of beer.



    Yeah, this one is just inconvenient. I can fix it pretty easy, and that's probably why there is NO information available on any of it. They don't want you to be able to fix it that easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure you can replace that speed control module for about $15 - $20 and Porter Cable doesn't want you to know you can do that while they're charging $168 for them. I may attempt blackmailing Customer Support and see what I can figure out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  7. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    I can tell you on planers the 2 speed does have a purpose. If you are working with a burl or something that is more likely to tear out you want a slower speed, it does help. I guess on a jointer it's the same thing.
     
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  8. Sprung

    Sprung Amateur Sawdust Maker Full Member

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    I have that planer - the DW735 - and when you slow it down, it doesn't change the cutterhead speed, but rather the feed speed. Slowing down the feed is good for finishing passes or figured woods. I've used it on occasion for pieces that want to tear out and it makes a difference. But, yeah, I'm not sure why you'd want variable speed on a jointer. Really easy to adjust how fast it's cutting by how fast or slow you feed the board through. Any way to skip the speed controller and just have it run one speed? Get it working yet?
     
  9. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Still works, just don't have the knob to adjust speed. I'll simply turn it up and let it go before spending $200 on a board to repair it, as that is simply ridiculous. But I know enough about such things to know that's $2 part on that $200 board that needs replacing, and only 3 pins to desolder and solder on the back of the board. It's a simple fix, any monkey with $20 worth of electronics tools could fix it, it's just a matter of getting the right potentiometer so I don't blow the board up. I'll get slowed down in a few weeks and figure it out, trying to get bees gathered in from watermelons, gone through, treated, fed and ready to ship in a week, at this point.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  10. Nathan W

    Nathan W Member Full Member

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    I might be a little late to the party, but I might be able to help if the problem hasn’t been resolved yet. If you have a basic multimeter with resistance settings we should be able to narrow down what potentiometer you need. Let me know if you still need some help.
     
  11. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Nope, you're not to late Nathan, and yes, I do have a Fluke multimeter.
     
  12. Nathan W

    Nathan W Member Full Member

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    Test the resistance of the two outside pins. Start with the lowest setting on your meter. If it reads an open, increase the setting. It should be a 5k, 12.5k, etc. pot. If I’m not mistaken, this number should remain the same regardless of the position of the dial.
     
  13. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Does it need to be removed from the board Nathan? Had someone else suggest testing in that manner, but they were saying it had to pulled out of circuit to get an accurate reading.
     
  14. Nathan W

    Nathan W Member Full Member

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    In my experience it did not have to be removed from the board. My experience, however was in 24v dc systems.
     
  15. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    I'll give it a shot and see what I come up with. I'm thinking, either it will or it won't give me a reading close. I truly suspect it's a standard 3 pin 5k pot, but numbers on it get me nowhere for verification.
     
  16. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Tested two outside poles... 4.74 ohms resistance. Likewise, found that right side to center pole, left side to center was 0.3 ohms. Made no difference turning the shaft on the pot; didn't fluctuate at all.
     
  17. Nathan W

    Nathan W Member Full Member

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    That’s odd that the resistance does not change when turning the pot on one of the outside poles. It theory, a properly adjusted pot will range from o.0-4.74( or slightly different depending on each pots parameter) while turning the knob. Your reading would be the exact opposite when testing the opposite side.

    That does not change the fact that it is a 5K pot. I found a forum about your model last night where a guy had bypassed this pot giving him full power all the time. I am sorry, I don’t know enough of the difference in AC/DC currents to safely suggest an off the shelf alternative.

    Your best bet outside of customer service doing right by their product would be to find a used unit and chop it up for parts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  18. Nathan W

    Nathan W Member Full Member

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    I think my cabinet shop has this same unit. I’ll be there tomorrow and might have time to play around with it for a minute to help brainstorm the issue.
     
  19. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Didn't think to test resistance on the center pin when playing with the knob Nathan, it maybe changing output on the center pin. I do know the board controls the speed as it's supposed to, checked that before pulling the board. Works fine, just mickey mouse plastic stem on the pot broke off.

    I already contemplated contacting Customer Service, but I'm pretty sure that I already know where that's going... "Due to liability concerns, we cannot give you that information. You should ship the unit to our service center in (insert address in that bum place in Egypt here) for repairs." Wherein I'll wind up with $150 in repairs for a $2 part again.
     
  20. Nathan W

    Nathan W Member Full Member

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    If you do test the center to outside pins and find it’s range, you should be able to replace the part with any pot that matches.

    I did electric wheelchair service quite a few years. There were not many variations of these speed pots between manufacturers. Occasionally I would get a call from a nursing home asking me to govern a clients speed who kept running people over. In these cases I could special order a pot that had a lower max resistance. You would not need a lower max in your case, but the pot could be designed with a higher low resistance to keep the motor from turning too slowly.

    I think I described that in a way that makes sense.
     
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