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Device Identification and Specs?

Posted on 2006-04-18
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
A friend brought me a control box for a hydraulic pump that went bad.  The dealer wants US$1600 for a new box and I thought I might be able to repair or replace it for less than that.

Amazingly there are only two components inside the box, a DPDT switch and a control connected to a knob that is the speed control for the pump.  The control is labeled:

PARKER MC3100-0016
D/C 007   S/N 8043

12V/125HZ CNTRL PWM

I'm assuming that this is (as it says) a 12V 125Hz PWM (pulse-width-modulation) control unit.  It has 4 leads.

I've been to http://www.parker.com but don't find any reference to this part or even one similar to it.

I'm looking for any or all of:

1) A source for this part in the USA.
2) A spec sheet so I can build a work-alike.

Thanks...
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Question by:jhance
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16476832
Would the National Stock Number used by the government and military help?
NSN=3895-01-348-5253
http://www.iso-parts.com/Public/Search_NSN_Details.aspx?NSN=3895-01-348-5253
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by:jhance
ID: 16476844
Not really.  Still no specs or sourcing information there.  It does seem to be the same device, however.
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Expert Comment

by:NacMacFeegle
ID: 16476875
You might have better luck at some of the auction sites such as http://www.farmauctionguide.com/cgi-bin/assoc_guide.cgi?cobrand=&sec=v&type=cal&date=April+7,+2005&anum=1105150370
they were selling one  last week drop them an email and see if it went?
Is this an Apitech Pulse Width Model Controller #MC31000016 ? If so searching on this might get you closer
Sorry not be more help
~
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by:jhance
ID: 16477238
I wasn't able to locate any specific data on APITECH.  Seems to be a few references but can't locate either their part number or their company web site.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16477334
Any piece of information might trigger a thought in someone else that's looking's mind.
Ideally someone with access to detailed NSN data will stroll through.

I saw that auction. Looking at Apitech.
Apitech seems to be the UK branch of Parker. - Or somehow related.

The 01 in the NSN indicates it's a NATO part, meaning it could have come from any NATO country.

It seems to have been used in cement mixers? - allrighty-then...
.
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by:jhance
ID: 16477368
This one is from a control box used on a Vermeer HP fluid pumping system.  This thing, specifically:

http://www.vermeermfg.com/vcom/TrenchlessEquipment/Model.jsp?PrdlnID=3616&ModID=18579
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16477905
Can you give me some specs on what the 4 leads go to?
Also is there any chips you can get numbers off of?
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by:jhance
ID: 16478340
As I mentioned, the control box containing this part contains only two components.  A DPDT switch with center OFF (which is the pump VARIABLE/OFF/MAX control) and this unit connected to a knob on the front panel that controls the pump output from 0-100%.  When the switch is centered the pump is OFF, then it's LEFT the control varies the pump output.  When the switch is RIGHT the pump is 100% regardless of the variable setting.

I know I can build a work-alike for probably $20 but I don't want to go through that trouble for something that I can purchase for $50 or $100.  It's clear the Vermeer dealer is "porking" their customer to the tune of $1600.  I would offer to build one for $1000 and save him $600 but it's a friend of mine and so I'd certainly do it at cost for him.

I'm pretty sure the box gets +12V and GROUND and there is a single line back to the pump control that have a PWM waveform of 0-12V that varies its duty cycle from 0 to 100% based on the control position.  When the switch is in the MAX position the 12V is simply returned to the unit and you get 100% pump action.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16482594
I think I'm confused:
I've been looking for the device with the knob. The rest is easy.
There are 4 leads to the whole box or just the device with the knob?
How many wires to the device with the knob. Any numbers on it?
Are the numbers PARKER MC3100-0016 (and such) for the whole box or just for the device with the knob?
Is the box connected directly to the motor or to a motor controller?
If this box goes into another controller then the knob may just be a variable resistor (remote control) for the PWM which is actually inside the other box.
.
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by:jhance
ID: 16482629
The box itself has 6 leads in the connector but I'm not sure they are all used.  The device with the knob (i.e. the device we're talking about) has 4 leads.  It's marked:

PARKER MC3100-0016 (as above.)

There are NO markings or other identifiers on the box itself.

The box connects via a 100' cable to the Vermeer unit and allows the operator to control the amount of fluid being pumped to a directional drilling machine from the machine operator seat.

The device connected to the knob is not a variable resistor and there are no electronics on the pump itself.  Some of the leads go to the ignition switch (I'm guess these are the power) and others go to a hydraulic valve mounted on the hydraulic motor that drives the pump mechanism itself.
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PCBONEZ earned 2000 total points
ID: 16483765
So this is a valve control and not a pump control.
I've been looking for pump controls.... ):

Are there any markings on the valve. Make/model or specs?
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16492415
I got part way into an NSN database.
It gives the supplier as:
FLUIDTRONICS
Phyical Address: 551 S YOSEMITE AVE  
P.O. Box: 338  
City: OAKDALE  
State: CA
ZIP: 95361 - 4067  
Voice Phone Number: 209-848-8688
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16492487
And just a general FYI thing..... The govenment pays $426.00 for the MC3100-0016.
That must be one heck of an on-off switch if it accounts the the rest of the $1600.
.
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by:jhance
ID: 16493325
I'm sure the rest of the $1600 is the "porkage" fee...  Thanks for the information.  If I'm not successful in building a substitute I'll check into buying one.

Did you find any specs anywhere?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16493632
No I haven't.
If you can tell me what the valve is I can try looking that up to see what it needs and work backwards to a control.
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16565613
Thank you...
What was the final outcome?
.
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by:jhance
ID: 16565778
I decided that $500+ for that device was highway-robbery!

After getting my hands on a working unit (borrowed from the Vermeer dealer) I looked at the "goes-intas and comes-outas" with my multitester and scope and determined that this wasn't rocket science.  It was just a 125Hz PWM circuit with a 1A drive capability @ 12VDC.

So I ended up building a work alike out of a 555 timer and a handful of other parts.  With a new box, switch, and some other parts I probably have $50 in it.  Works perfectly...
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16567001
Congrats!
Yes, I figured $500-ish was a porking too...
Quite nice of the Vermeer dealer to provide a means to discover the technical data to build one.
Should send'em a Thank You card.
hehehehe
.
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Author Comment

by:jhance
ID: 16568474
Actually they were in disbelief about the price as well.  The owner of the equipment went in to buy one but the dealer couldn't believe the priced was so high either.  So he let my friend hang on to the box until they researched the price.  In the meantime I looked at how the new one worked (really just confirmed my suspicions) and completed my design.
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