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brenray cleaning machine

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Hi folks :)


I have been using my trusty Brenray for many years but the motor speed controller is a little knackered i think.


It used to work on low speed fine when i first had it ( long time ago now ), but now the speed varies and is never constant and i can no longer set it to a low speed for the drying process.

Although not a major issue id like to fit a new controller but i have no clue as to what i look for or where to begin ? Can any of you clever folk guide me to a suitable replacement ?


I should have no trouble fitting electronics ( soldering wiring etc ) but i don't know what im to look for in terms of buying parts ? Any help will be appreciated :)


Heres a pic so you get an idea




If i can get a new controller i may completely overhaul the unit, new paint and control front, switches etc. :)

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if i was you if you can find an old fashioned radio repair shop give it to them to repair or if you are sure which part has failed which from your description could be the variable resister take the machine apart where you should find the values of the resister and if your lucky the maker with this information and the physical dimensions go on line for an electrical component supplier, steve 

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Have you seen this site ? http://watchinprogress.com/new-toy-brenray-watch-clock-instument-cleaner/

Electrically speaking it doesn't look very complicated.

I'd try to find a replacement for the variable resistor first and see what that does. If nothing, the next step is the motor... Might as well get some modern wiring in there while it's in pieces :)

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Well i figured i might as well give her a clean up so i decided to strip her down :)


After looking at the motor controller i see no variable resistor ( or im blind ), but i have given the contact points a clean which removed some old gunk, so maybe things may improve after the clean.

If after re assembly the issue persists i may design and make a new control panel from scratch with a digital interface and new LED's and switches.


As you can see from photos the unit was stripped right down to its parts. With much effort i have stripped most of the old paint off ( man this stuff is hardcore, even industrial paint stripper did nothing ! ) and given it a good wash down.

Currently it is out in my garden with a second coat of primer drying nicely and awaiting a color coat in a few hours time ( personally i like the color choice but you guys be the judge when i upload pics :) )






Given the age of the unit i figured the paint might be lead based so i took safety precautions with stripping using mask and goggles :)


More photos once i have her painted :)

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The big thing in the middle of the control panel (labeled YEC) is the variable resistor. A.k.a rheostat


Ahhh lol at me :) Thanks for pointing out the glaringly obvious, i surprise myself sometimes with how i miss things. I have now found a suitable place for replacements :) Yay !!

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Well initial results and....... im not sure of the colour, im thinking darker blue ( similar to Elma products ). Of course this is first coat so early stages, i will have to sand it down and re apply a few coats.










Im thinking it is too light a blue, any opinions ? (Still work to be done so i can change colour )

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Well i managed to find some time to give her a better color finish, which i think is a definite improvement on the cyan color. I gave it two good coats ( so 2 x primer 2 x colour ), and am fairly pleased with the result.


The front plate was a little worse for wear but i plan on making a new one in the near future hopefully. I did however i give the front plate four coats of plastic type paint ( which makes for wipe away cleaning )  which is a little better than before. I do plan on overhauling the electrics in the future ( new rheostat, led, switches, wiring , etc ), but since i have a ton of omegas waiting for a clean it will just have to wait for now :)


I also need to order a new jar for the final rinse since i broke  the old one a few months back....oooppps !


Anyways feel free to share what you guys think :)




Back next to one of my other cleaners :) ( i think they missed each other :P )



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This looks a lot like the one that I bought off eBay that was an old Zenith.  I assumed it came with the baskets but I was wrong and had to buy one off eBay.  I'm still in the process of restoring it and hope it comes out as good as yours seems to be coming along. 

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The machine is very simple in design and even easier to use. She may not have many bells & whistles but clean well she does :)


I don't think in all honesty i could part with it, the amount of watches this has cleaned and restored has paid for itself 100x over and then some. I do have a professional Ultrasonic 3L tank, ( which also is extremely effective ), but the Brenray cleans in a gentle but effective way that i can sit safely knowing all the parts will come out exactly as i put them in.


Take your time restoring the machine BlakeL and it will be worth it ( oh and yes we do wanna see pics when you finished :) )

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Re: motor not running consistently, you can buy and electronic cleaner. It comes in a spray can with a plastic  nozzle. It is available from Radio Shack.

You can clean the potentiometer/variable resistor with it. Need to get the cleaner to the coils. From the picture, it looks like that silver coil around the perimeter. Spray it on and move the dial back and forth. The coils most llikely has accumulated alot of carbon deposits and is interfering with the contact, hence the inconsistent speed. This is the simpliest option.

BTW, nice job on the painting.

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Here is the photo from the eBay listing.  One of the jars broke in shipping but I ended up getting refunded the full price except the shipping which was about $45.  I have removed most of the paint and plan on painting it hammered black but I'm really liking the blue color you used.  I also want to replace the power cord because it is very old.


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What size is the jar? I have spares in two sizes.

 The jars are approx 4" x 8" in size, ive seen that cousins uk have some almost identical in stock which i was going to go for. Anyone have a decent rinse agent that they can recommend ?



Thanks for the tips evn137, unfortunately i have cleaned the contact points ( with electrical contact cleaner ) which has made little difference. After 50+ years i think it is safe to say a new rheostat is needed, the only trouble i have is which one do i pick ? Its been a very long time since i had to use voltage/current/imp calculations i was hoping there would be some clue on the original rheostat as to the type but it only says YEC F-50, so if anyone can point me in the right direction id be most grateful :)



Quite a nice machine you have there blake, id have to agree with going the blue colour route, but then im a little biased :)  Just take your time and i bet you'll have a "good as new " look on yours too :D

Oh and replacing the wiring is a good idea, doing it all together will make the overall job much better.



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That's really looking nice. You can turn the motor by hand easily, correct ? 



The speed control knob turns with no problem at all, i think it has just had its day tbh. Its not a major issue but id like to have a low speed for the drying cycle.

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