August 11, 2005

What I'm up to.

I believe I've mentioned that I've been modernizing some older elevators. Now I've got a real treat for you...Pictures!

See the extended entry if you are interested.

Let's start off with a shot of a 1960's era Otis controller.

You can click any image to make it bigger, but beware, some of these are at very high resolution, so you might have to scroll around a bit.

Folks, there's only one way to say this, and it is: "Wholly Crap! That's a LOT of relay's". I can sit and watch this thing work for hours I tell you. All the relay's "picking" and "dropping" and doing all the thinking for this machine is like a dance, but with sparks flying. The little round, black things in the second and third row from the top were originally vacuum tubes, and the big blue thing in the lower right is the Generator that provides power to the Machine. Neat!

Next up is the "Machine" itself.


That skinny, Silver-topped thing on the left is the "overspeed governor" that will stop the car in the (unlikely) event that it goes too fast up or down the hoistway. The black thing in the middle is what is known as a "Pie Plate" selector. The wheel at the bottom of it is turned by the movement of the car. The wheel turns a reduction gear that is attatched to the corkscrew thingy that runs vertically up the middle, and to the chain that you see hanging at the back-left. The chain moves a series of switches up and down in conjunctin with the spinning plates, and they tell the elevator where to slow down, level in, and stop at each floor. Essentially it is a miniature image of the entire hoistway. Fascninating device that.

The big green thing in the background is (of course) the drive machine. That's what does all the work. This little jewel is a 44 horsepower, 400 Volt, 200 Amp, Double-wrapped Gearless Traction Machine, roped two to one. You can see how it is double wrapped around the shieve, as there are twelve slots for the ropes, but only six go down through the floor. Gearless means that there is no type of transmission to this thing. Newer traction elevators use a reduction gear attached to the motor to enable them to have smaller motor's. On this one, the shieve is attached directly to the motor armiture, eliminating all of that stuff. It's simpler, but the motor has to be huge in order for this system to work. Traction denotes that there is nothing grabbing or gripping the ropes other that the friction created against the shieves by the weight of the cab and the counterweight. The two to one roping denotes that the ropes are arranged in such a manner that one rotation of the drive shieve moves the car twice the distance. It's a bit antiquated, but it's still got another 50 or 60 years of good service in it.

If you are interested, I can turn these little picture updates into a quasi-regular thing. I've got more pics to post, and more things to say about my trade, but I've blogged enough about it for now. Please advise me if you'd like to see more.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at August 11, 2005 10:20 PM | TrackBack

More is good :-)

Posted by: Harvey at August 12, 2005 09:23 AM

Is this typical of what you run into with older elevator systems?

Posted by: Tuck at August 13, 2005 12:14 PM

Can't resist....write this 100 x's to remember...pronounced "shiv" spelled - SHEAVE. lol Really cool pics!!! More more more. Remember I am just a lowly office worker who gets corrected when I mispell things but hardly ever gets to see what I'm data entering about lol. Hope to see ya at the lake this weekend.

Posted by: ME at August 13, 2005 12:34 PM

Do you have any pictures of naked elevators...possibly getting it on with a few other naked elevators?

Posted by: SarahthePenguin at August 13, 2005 06:36 PM

Cool stuff!! Do you have a take your blogniece to work day?

Posted by: Sissy at August 16, 2005 09:25 PM

For you Sissy, I'll make one up! ;^)

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at August 17, 2005 05:37 PM

Yeah! Field Trip!

Posted by: Sissy at August 17, 2005 09:51 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?