Strippit Bubble Memory Fixes Strippit_Bubble_Memory_Fixes
Strippit  Houdaille
HECC80/3  Bubble-Memory  Controls
D.C. Power Supply Adjustments 
&  Preventive Measures
This page was last updated: February 3, 2023
Above is a FC1000/3  Servo & Control Cabinet Installation Diagram,  From a
Strippit Serviceman's News Letter  I Published at Strippit Co. in the Early 1980's.
2 --- Make sure  8 foot Ground Rod is Installed & Attached Tightly  to Machine's Ground-Strap!

3 --- Check  Internal Control  A.C. Voltage.    This is Very Important!!!
       It should be about  115  to  125 V.A.C.,   if it is  Higher  or  Lower,   have a Good 
       Technician  Change the Transformer-Taps  (in the Servo Cabinet)  to Fix it!

Purchasing Dept. at Strippit bought some Transformers  (To Save Money?)  that
Did Not have Standard Plus & Minus Taps that we use to Correct High or Low Voltages.

Some Used Machines that I have worked-on were Installed where Incoming  A.C. Voltage was Only 208  (Not  230VAC  Machine was Wired for)  and  Control A.C. Voltage was only 101 Volts A.C.,  Way Too Low!   Transformer Did Not have Voltage Adjustment Taps to Fix Low Voltage.

Customers Reported that Machine Always had Odd Intermittent Control Problems.
We Changed the Step-Down Transformer in Control for a  New Transformer with  Proper Taps for their Voltage.  This gave us the  Correct 120 Volts A.C. Control Voltage,  and
Intermittent Control Problems  All Went Away.

4 ---      Locate  All  Welding & Plasma Machines  Far From CNC Machine!
  Especially  Hi-Frequency  TIG-Welders!

      They Make All Kinds of  Electrical-Noise That Causes  Intermittent Control Problems
      and  Random Electronic Failures.    Keep Them  Far  From Your Strippit Machines!

      Installing a  8 foot Ground Rod on  EVERY  Welding Machine  also sometimes helps.

5 --- Arcing  CRT-Monitors Displays,  and  Crashing  NO-Punch Zone Sensor can disrupt 
      12 volts to Bubble Board,  and cause Problems.   We sometimes Modify Control Wiring
      and add a second 12 volt Power Supply for these Functions,  but this is tricky work to
      be done by a very Experienced Technician,  or  you risk Damaging Control.

      We also sometime Add  "CRT Isolator Board"  Underneath the CRT-Cage to
      Isolate Arcing Electrical Interference from Control Cardcage.  
      More information on this can be seen on   "HECC80/30x Boards Types".

6 --- Do Not allow  Too-Many Old Part-Programs  to  Accumulate in Memory!
       Delete  Old Programs  to keep Total to  40  or  so,   and  Always  Under  60!
       You can   Clear Them  ALL  Out   using          DELETE *.*

7--- Make sure Program-Names are Always in Capital-Letters,  or  the Control will
      make  Nonsense-Files out of them,  which are  Very Difficult to Remove.

8 --- Front Panel Controller Board  is in Slot  #7,  and  has Ribbon-Cables going to it's
      2 Connectors.    The Inside Ribbon-Cable Rubs against Sharp Backside of Bubble Board
      in Slot #6  and  sometimes can  Short-Circuit to it and Damage Both Boards!

      Take a Roll of Black Electrical Tape,  and  Carefully Tape Around this Cable, 
      Starting at Inside-Connector and going Back about  4 Inches on Cable to protect
      it from Sharp Pins on Back of Bubble Board.       

10 -- Machine Technologies  has  Modifications that help  Bubble Board Reliability.
       Send your Board-In   and  we can do these Changes in  Only 1 to 2 days!

11 -- I sometime fit a In-Line  Fuse-Holder with a  1.0 Amp.  Fast-Blow Fuse  to Feed the
      12VDC  to  3LTB  and  4LTB  which Powers some Machine Switches.   This way,
      if you  "Crash"  a  No-Punch Zone Sensor,  you will  Blow the Fuse,  and Protect Both
      Power Supply and Bubble Board from Failures.   This work needs to be done
      by a Good Technician as there are wiring variations from Machine to Machine.

12 -- Sometimes  LH Power Supply will Completely Fail,  Control Shuts-Off,  and has 
       a   "Red-LED  Fault Light  ON"   on the  Monitor Board. 
       Usually the  12 VDC section  goes Bad,  but there are other Failure Modes.

       Other times,  the Supplies will just  "Drift"  and  Not Stay at Set-Voltage.  
       This will also cause Intermittent Problems  and  "Drifting"  Supplies  Must Be
       Replaced!   New  LH Supplies are No longer Available  as the  LH Company
       No  longer Exists.   However,   We Do Keep Rebuilt  LH Power Supplies  In-Stock!

13 -- Always   "END"  a  Part-Program when you are Done Running Program!
       Failure to Properly   "END"  Part-Programs  can cause  Programs to be Corrupted!

14 -- Remember,  the  Bubble-Memory Board  is  Really like a Disk-Drive.

       Always give the  Bubble-Board  a  Few Seconds to  "Finish Ending"
       or  whatever Job you have it doing,   BEFORE   Shutting-Off  Power to Control!

       If you  Shut-Off Control-Power  or  if  A.C. Power to Machine Fails when Bubble-Board is
       Still-Busy doing Some Activity,  Like  "End",  you may Corrupt both Your  Part Programs
       And  Corrupt  the  System-Programs  that  Run  Control  &  Machine!

      If this Happens,  you will get  Error Messages like   #DF42   or   "Bubble Read Errors"
      and  you will  HAVE  To Ship  Bubble-Board  to  Machine Technologies  for  Repairs.

  The  LH Power Supply
1  --  Shut-Off  A.C. Power to Machine  and  Lock-Out  the A.C. Power so it Can Not
        be Accidentally Turned-On while You are Working on Control & Machine!

2  --   This Step is Optional,  But will Improve Voltages to Bubble Board,  and therefore Board
         Reliability.   This Step can Only be Done by a Good Technician that Knows What He's
         Doing,  or  Much Control Damage Can Result From Wire Errors!

I Often see Intermittent Voltage Problems caused by Crimped-On Spade Connectors on the
4 Heavy-Gage Wires going from  LH Power Supply to  FTB2 and  TB1 Terminal-Strips.
These Crimped Connections have a Varying-Resistance that Causes Intermittent
Voltage-Drops which can Cause Bubble Board and other Control Problems.
To Fix,   Remove the following  4 Wires:
                                                LH Supply 4 (or 5)     5 VDC-Return      to      FTB2-4
                                                FTB2-4                        5 VDC-Return      to      TB1-3
                                                LH Supply 6 (or 7)     5VDC                    to      FTB2-3
                                                FTB2-3                        5VDC                    to      TB1-1

Cut-Off Plastic Coverings around the Spade-Terminals at Each Wire-End.  
Using a  Hi-Wattage Solder Iron,  Solder Crimped Terminals at Each Wire-End. 
Then Flat-File and Sandpaper Each Terminal until they are  Flat  &  Clean.    Reinstall Wires.
Double-Check  Wire  &  Terminal  Positions,  and that  All Terminal Screws are Very Tight!

3  --  Pull-Up a Chair,  and  Tighten  ALL Screws  &  Terminals  in Both  Control  and  Servo
       Cabinets,  which Fixes a Lot of Intermittent Control  &  Servo Problems!
       Do This  Before  Making Any Power Supply Adjustments!!!

4  --  Use Only a High Quality Digital Voltmeter!  
        If it does not give Accurate Readings,  it may cause more Problems than you fix!
        I only use   FLUKE   (Model 87)  Brand of Meters as they are The Best.

5  --  Use a Plastic Tuning Wand  or  Insulated-Screwdriver to lessen chance of Shocks.

6  --  Use Test Leads with  Micro-Clips on the Ends,  so you can  Clip-On to
       Test-Points,  and have your  Hands-Free to Safely make Adjustments.

7  --  Turn-On  A.C. Power and Machine Control,  and let it Warm-Up for a few minutes.

8  --  These Voltage Adjustments are made with  Both  Meter-Leads  on  Test-Points
        ONLY  On  The Bubble-Board Itself!    NO  Other  Places!

9  --  Set your Meter for  D.C. Volts,  and  Clip the  Black-Lead on  GND. Test-Point.
        Above it should be the  5V Test-Point,  Clip your  Red-Lead on it.

10 --  Most Controls have the  LH Power Supply.
        Early  FC1000/3 Machines had  Deltron Power Supplies,  But Deltrons were   
        Discontinued as they were Not as Rugged as  LH Power Supplies.
        Most or all Deltron's were Removed in the Field,  and  Replaced with LH Supplies.

        On the  LH Power Supply,  using   V1-Pot.  (R26),
        Set the  5 Volt Supply to   5.080  to  5.100  Volts.

11  --  Move  Red-Lead to the  12V Test-Point  to Set  12 Volts.   Some early Bubble Boards
         did Not have this Test Point,  so you may have to  Clip-On to Bottom of
         Capacitor  C30   or  other convenient place on Bubble Board,  to Monitor 12 volts.

12 --  On the  LH Power Supply,
         using   V3-Pot.  (R41),   Set the  12 Volt Supply to  12.200  to  12.300  Volts.

13 --  Do  NOT  Adjust any other Pots on the Power Supply!

14 --  Go back in 10 Minutes or so,  and  Recheck  2  Voltages to make sure that they have
        not  "Drifted",  and to be  Sure You  Set Voltages Correctly!    This is Very Important!


There is  120 Volt A.C. Voltage  On  and  Near the  LH-Power Supply,
and  Also
Hi-Voltage  200 Volts D.C.  Inside the  LH-Power Supply!  

Use  Extreme Caution,  or  You Can  Shock,  Injure, or  Kill Yourself!  
As You will be  Dead  A Very Long Time,
Try Very Hard To Avoid This!  

Mistakes Could Also Damage Power Supply and Other Parts of Control!
Have an  Experienced Electronics Technician  Make the Adjustments!

The Strippit  HECC80/30x Controls use a Bubble Memory Board for Both System and
Part-Program Storage.    HECC80/30x Controls are Actually Primitive  P.C. Computers
Running under the Old  CP/M Disk Operating System,   and the  Bubble Memory  
Board  Acts as a  256K  (NOT  Meg!)  Solid-State  Hard-Drive  for this System.

These Boards are Very Voltage Sensitive When they are Actually Accessing Data from
Bubble Memory Modules.   It is Believed that Most Problems are Actually Caused by
Bad Power  (Surges,  Sages,  Spikes, and  Electrical-Noise  in the  A.C. Power to Machine)
or  Improperly-Set  Machine A.C.  and  Control D.C. Power Supply Voltages.

If these Voltages Fluctuate or are Not Set Correctly,  Boards may Work Intermittently, 
or Not at all,  causing Loss of Memory and Various  #DFxx  Bubble Memory Failure Errors.

Using CNC Control with Bad A.C. Power or Improperly Set 5 & 12 Volts Power Supplies can Even Damage Bubble Chips on Bubble Memory Board,  Requiring Expensive Replacement
of Bubble Chips or Bubble Board.     Check  A.C  and  D.C. Voltages  Regularly!

The Deltron Power Supply
Machine Technologies
Strippit  Repair-Parts  &  Strippit-Service

Phone  704-233-5229

Other Items to Consider for
Bubble Board  &  Control Reliability;

1 ---  Most  Used FC1000/3 Machines  are  Installed  Incorrectly!

    On Both  Control  &  Servo  Cabinets,
     ---   Each Cabinet  is Jacked-Up Slightly using its  4 Leveling-Feet.
     ---   4 Bolts at  Bottom of Machine Frame  (under Each Cabinet)  are Removed,
     ---   2 Bolts at  Inside-Top of Each Cabinet are Removed
     ---   2 Bolts at  Inside- Bottom of Each Cabinet are Removed
     ---   Bolts at  Cross-Bar  Between 2 Cabinets  (under back Sheetmetal Covers)
           of Machine are Removed,

     When this is done Correctly,  the 2  Electronics Cabinets are Isolated from
     Shock &  Vibration of Punching  because they  are  "Floating Free"  on
     Rubber Barry-Mounts   Away from Machine Frame. 

     Failure to Install Correctly Machine & Cabinets will lead to Many Control
     Hard-Failures,  as well as  Intermittent  Control  &  Servo  Failures.
Remember to  Reinstall  All Cabinet Bolts,
and  Jack-Up Cabinet-Feet  when  Moving  or  Shipping  Machine,
Control  &  Servo Cabinets  Can  (and  will)
Fall-Off  of the  Machine Frame!

When Replacing a Power Supply,  You have  No Idea How the Voltages are Set-Up!

So,  Before Turning-On Control,   I Pull  Bubble Board  Out of  Slot #6,
and  Test  5 and  12 Volt  Supplies  with  Bubble Board Out of the Cardcage,
so it can Not be Damaged if Voltages are Wrong.

Clip-On your Voltmeter Leads to  CRT Controller  Board in  Slot #8.
Test Point  TP6 for Ground,  and  TP5 for 5 Volts,  and  Set Voltage as Listed Above.
Repeat with  TP4  for 12 Volts  to  TP6 Ground.

When Voltages are Set Correctly,
Turn-Off Control,  Reinstall Bubble Board,  and
Reset the Voltages  AGAIN  on the  Bubble Board  as Listed in Above Steps.
Note!   As New   L.H. Power Supplies  are  No Longer Available,
We Keep Rebuilt  L.H. Power Supplies  In-Stock.

We also have  Brand New  Replacement Power Supplies  In-Stock,
But these usually take a  Service Call  to Install.

To Improve Reliability,  we often Retrofit  1 or more Extra 12 Volt Power Supplies to Control.
This way,  CRT-Monitor  has it's Own Supply,  Machine & Switches  have their Own Supply,
and  Bubble Memory Board gets It's 12 Volts from Main  L.H. Power Supply
with No Interference from any  CRT-Arcing  or  Machine Switch Crashes.
Strippit should Never had  Bubble Board  &  CRT  &  Machine Switches  on  1 Power Supply!
The Little  Bernini  Bronze
behind us is 

Be SURE to See it at   St. Peter's Basilica.

Control  Power Supply Retrofit Kit

As the  Detron  and  LH  Power Supplies are No Longer Available 
and are Very Difficult to Repair,    We have Developed our  Power Supply Retrofit Kit
using a New Advanced Power Supply to replace these Old Power Supplies.

In  FC1000/3 Machine Controls,  Strippit Located Power Supply in Bottom Left Corner
of Control where is was Very Difficult  to get to for Adjustments or Replacement.

We use a Modern and Much Smaller Size Power Supply that we Install in the
Front-Middle of Back-Panel where is is Very Easy to  Mount,  Reach,  and  Adjust.

Installation is not Difficult,
But should be done Carefully by a Good Technician as there is Wiring to be Re-Done,
which Must be Done Correctly,  and  2  Small Changes on 2 Circuit Boards.