Losing Power - Very Frustrating

graeme

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Graeme McKay
Hi guys, I am looking for some advice. I have upgraded all my equipment and only used it all 3 or 4 times but each time I lose power with both liner and shader.
The liner has a clean crisp buzz at 7.9-8 volts but after about half an hour it starts to get quieter. The shader loses power after 10-15 minutes to the point where it just cuts out.
I bought the foot pedal and clip cords from killer ink and like I say only used them a handful of times, I would be happy to buy recommended ones if I knew it would solve the problem.
I use a Skytronic power supply with banana jack converter wires.
It is really frustrating and am not enjoying tatting with this happening and really don't want it to put me off.
I know this has been answered in the forums previously and that's why I replaced all my cheap kit stuff for (hopefully) better gear.
I know it would be difficult to pin point exactly any faults without seeing the set-up.
Any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 



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marked 4 life

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Hi guys, I am looking for some advice. I have upgraded all my equipment and only used it all 3 or 4 times but each time I lose power with both liner and shader.
The liner has a clean crisp buzz at 7.9-8 volts but after about half an hour it starts to get quieter. The shader loses power after 10-15 minutes to the point where it just cuts out. .
Are the coils of the machines getting hot?
If you leave the machines for 30 minutes do theythen start to work normally again for a while?

I use a Skytronic power supply with banana jack converter wires.
It is unlikely to be both machines at fault unless really badly set up, can you remove the foot pedal and banana converter and use the clip cord direct to the machines, thus elimanating a piece of hardware (the foot switch) then get a length of 2 core cable and use it in place of the clip cord to eliminate that part.
Does the skytronic have a voltage and amperage meter, if so, what does that say when things start to go wrong?

You could test everything with a multimeter in a matter of minutes if you have one and know how to use it.
 

Fozz

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I wish I could help Graeme. I don't know if this works for tattoo machines, but it's what I've done in the past for other electrical setups......

You could diagnose it if you have/could borrow, to the point of having two of everything......
Keep your setup as it is and then wait for it to pack in, then replace something and try again (working your way back up to the primary machine). If it still does it then switch it back to the original part and switch something else instead until you find the faulty part.......

Like I say though, not sure if this works the same for a tattoo setup......
 

graeme

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Thanks guys. Unfortunately I don't really have much experience with electrical workings :icon_cry: but I agree Andy in that I don't think there is a problem with the machines.
The skytronic does have both voltage and amperage meters and I am pretty certain the voltage stayed steady throughout but I didn't think to look at the amp meter so I will have another practice tomorrow, or I might just run the machines for a while and see what happens i.e. if the coils heat up or loss of power.
I also noticed that when the power drops, if I adjust the position of the clip cords at the machine sometimes the power picks up again, I will give the contact points a rub with emery paper and see if that makes a difference.
Fozz, both my cheap kit liner and shader packed in and my cheap kit foot pedal all packed in at pretty much the same time :icon_rolleyes: and that's why I had to buy all new stuff so unfortunately I don't have two of each but that would have been a great way of fault finding.
Thanks again fellas, much appreciated. :thumbsup:
 

marked 4 life

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Sounds like it could be cheap metal ends or very thin cable on the clip cord, or even the foot switch, I have 2 clip cords, each with diferrent size cores and if you connect a multi meter to the machine and run the machine even though the power supply says 7 volts, the thinner cored cable reads low volts at the machine end with high amperage and the thicker cord reads normal, so back to my original suggestion, bypass the foot switch and get a short length of 2 core cable and connect directly to the power supply and the machine, sometimes clip cord connection or even binding posts can be bad contacts, even the size of the clip cord end which attaches through the tiny hole on the tattoo machine rear spring shelf, if the hole is big and the connector small, a poor contact which can get hot can be created thus creating a "volt drop".


PS. Get a spare clip cord as there is nothing more annoying than the cable or connector breaking during a tattoo then you have to start fault finding, get the soldering iron out ..........

I prefer these heavy duty items http://www.tattookit.co.uk/product434/Heavy%20Duty%20Clip%20Cord
 

graeme

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OK, had a wee chance to have another practice yesterday with the same set-up.
Shader first - did 10-15 minutes then it stopped which I expected, I checked all the screws to make sure nothing was loose and found that the screw to the front coil was loose so I give it a wee nip up only to find that the thread inside the coil is threaded, so that might explain that:icon_redface:
The liner - It was hand built, tuned and tested at 7.9 volts (UK supplier) When I first got it this is what it ran at - but not for long. I noticed that if I hold it by the back of the frame or even by the clip-cord it runs sweet at 7.9 - 8 volts but when I hold it by the disposable grip the power really drops - volts stays the same and amps drop ever so slightly, and if the back of my hand comes into contact with the underside of the frame the power drops even more, as if taking the vibration out of the machine. I then turn the volts up to 9.5 to get it running better but is still not great and I don't really think I should be going much higher than that??.
Sorry for the long post, I would just like to know if the liner needs to go back to the shop or if it sounds like something else.
I haven't tried Andy's suggestion 'cos I'm not very technical that way :icon_rolleyes:
Thanks again guys.
 

Tattooz

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Just make sure there is no bare wire touching the frame, either near the capacitor, of in fact trapped under the coils. Sometimes just as the wire comes from the coils there is a bare piece of wire. Tape it up.
Another quick suggestion is to loosen the back screw off slightly, turn the full armature/spring set round 90 degrees and bend it one way or the other (up or down) ever so slightly. Spin it back into line, and nip up. If not, try the other way with more force and try all different spring tensions until you hit the sweet spot.
 

graeme

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Thanks Dave, will give that a bash.
The shader is a cheapy from thetattooshop and it is a Puma, a quick search shows that at is distributed by Worldwide Supplies - a Chinese company :icon_rolleyes: I was going to send it back but might as well get some spare parts and practice fiddling around.:icon_neutral:
I have PM'ed you Andy.
Cheers.
 

itshurts

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hi
just read the posts ,its a minefield .could be the clip cord ,connections , could be cheap coils . could be the amp with no steady voltage . might read stable but will not be , need to use a multimeter to take readings . there is a lot of junk out there for sale and its looks ok , but not really , ok for a tiny tattoo , few minutes . try another amp and cord first. see how the machine runs with that , still suspect then try another machine on the same setup . see if that runs better . if you have Chinese machines , get rid of them , you will get 1 good one out of ten that you will buy , geometry is all out.it will never run right regardless of what you do to it .e-bay has good machines for sale second hand . not the stupid copy ones that fetch daft money because of the name stamped on them .
in my studio i use a lab amp ,smooth power and does not heat up ,goes up to 24 volt ,6 or 12 switchable , will run 2 machines at once . its 24 years old ,*£ 80 never missed a beat, now i have put the kiss of death on it for sure ,make sure it is a good english made one ,no power adapters etc for the uk market. all the latest types with all singing dancing meters and cycle duty , are pointless and not necessary.lot of suppliers have got them from t-mart etc . junk . basic with a turn set dial is great for most and if your kit is getting hot then you need to turn it down and reset your machine to run with low volts as possible . the machine that you use must be set up right to work with the amp, once set right it should run great for a very long time .itshurts:icon_biggrin:
 

lordbaalnox

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I get it sometimes with one machine or the other, dirty contacts, lose wires, poor connections, bad soldering, weak clipcords, reversed clipcords, post holes wearing, coils over heating, pitty spring blaa blaa blaa will all cause volts drop and grind your machine to a halt, I find that after about an hour continuous use will overheat my coils and I get problems but thats mainly because I use a latched type foot pedal which I prefer and therefore my machines are running a lot longer than most when tattooing, if I let them cool down for a while they work fine. If yours are losing power after 10 -15mins and youve checked all the above, change your coils. You say it cant happen to two mchines, but if both have stinking cheap coils then they will.

This is only my opinion based on what ive read and 20years in the electrical industry :icon_cheesygrin:
 

beppe

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Fault-find by substitution mate! If you know anyone else who tattoo's try and borrow a machine, clip cord, power supply, footpedal, even the power cable for the power supply, and just swap stuff out till you figure out what the problem is, feel for stuff getting hot etc.
 

graeme

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Thanks for all the excellent advice guys :thumbsup:.
I have since renewed everything-turns out both machines were cack after all :icon_rolleyes::icon_smile:
Cheers.