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  • dasbase
    started a topic Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    I am using the 5amp CC-CV pwr supply from Caswell. I have read that I should be plating at aprox 3volts & that I should set the supply at 6 volts to allow for resistance in wires & anode. The pwr supply manual says to set the current by shorting the leads and dialing in my desired amps. I want to plate at 3 volts and .09amps, BUT display reads 1.5 volts & .09amps (even when i dialed in 6volts).Also the pwr supply manual says that display should show cv / mine reads cc when in use. I am getting very thin dull grey plate on polished copper pipe. My fist attempt was on a cheap wrench that I burnt. I ran the amps to high on it. Thanks for any and all help.

  • dasbase
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Thanks again for all the help. I will try it out and let you know how it goes.

    Leave a comment:


  • woodjames
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    This might be a lot to swallow, but here goes...

    Always go in live. It may not be a problem today or tomorrow, but someday going in without the power on will come back to bite 'cha. Immersion deposits aren't bonded well, and copper will become immersion plated by nickel. So you get this poorly adhered base deposit, and then a good plate on top of that, and you end up with a poorly adhered top plate. Some baths will actually passivate a surface without the power applied too. For a good example - if you have an acid copper bath, put a raw piece of steel in it, no power whatsoever, and the copper will form a thin coating on it. See how easy it scrapes off.

    That and make sure your connection is tight, not so much a problem if you're doing copper, but certainly in any nickel bath - whether bright nickel or copy chrome. If it jiggles around at all, it'll create laminations in the metal, which will just peel right off. That or it will create a bi-polar condition. The hanging wire will always be ground and any stray metal in the bath will take the positive charge. So when the jigglin' loses connection, it takes a positive charge and plates out, rather than on.

    As far as the PS, I just set the volts and go have a cup of tea, with the exception of chrome. But I've gotten a very good idea as to what needs what. At first - set the amps until you get the hang of things - not to belittle you, but think baby steps. Don't get to far ahead of yourself or you'll get lost and discouraged. In your case, as mentioned already - turn the voltage knob all the way up, and the amperage all the way down. Turn on your power supply, and introduce the piece into the bath. Then turn the amperage up to where it needs to be. Pay no attention to the volts yet, get to where you consistently apply a good plate. Most baths do better when you ramp up the current. You can actually burn the plate at the bottom of the piece when it first enters the bath if the amps are too high. The power that would normally plate a full piece is suddenly applied to a very small area, and it's too much to handle. Soo, just turn up the amps after the piece is fully submerged.

    If you only turned the voltage knob up a little - as soon as the amperage surpasses that voltage, as they will both go up in respect to each other, it'll revert to CV mode. So, with voltage all the way up, you can adjust the amps without surpassing the voltage limitation. Without doing it, the best I can come up with is this - Pretend your PS is a car. Voltage is like gears 1-5, and amps is like your mph. If you turn the voltage to 5, you'll go as fast as you want. If you leave it in first, you're not going to going to fast - as you're limited to being in first gear.

    As far as the anode - you absolutely need a 2:1 or so anode to cathode ratio in terms of surface area. You will quickly get your bath out of whack if you don't (I found this out the hard way). So make sure you don't put too big of an item in the bath without adding more anode area. As far as depth, optimally you want the depth of the anode around the same depth as the item (cathode). If the anode is deeper, on a very small scale, it'll deposit more on the bottom of the piece. It'll become apparent the first time you leave a piece in a bath for a few hours - but for right now, full depth is just fine.

    4" is fine. I think Ken recommended no closer than 3, and not farther than nine already, that's good. There comes a point where you'll find that further away is better.

    Too be honest with you, at this point, don't be afraid to SCREW SOME THINGS UP. Just don't ever reverse the leads!!! Don't sand metal anywhere near open tanks, and don't ever get oil in your baths. And always rinse the heck out of a piece in between steps Really though, turn the amps up way too high and move the item right next to the anode so that it burns and you recognize it. Don't activate a surface and see how the plate will peel right off after a few days. Man I read that plating manual about 3 times when I first got my setup, keep it on hand when you're plating. Most of the time though, I learned best by making a mistake, and finding out what I did wrong.

    Th-th-th-that's all.

    -Jimmy.



    Originally posted by dasbase View Post
    Thanks for the info. I also read that I should connect power leads (both annode & cathode)- turn on power supply then lower item into tank. is this correct? So if plating is to be done at .09amps just set pwr supply to correct amperage & crank up the voltage? I have the annode all the way in with aprox 1 inch above solution surface- is this correct? I have kept test item(copper tee) approx 4 inches from annode.
    Thanks again for the advice.
    Last edited by woodjames; 09-21-2009, 09:10 PM.

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  • CarWiz
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Set your PS and connect as noted above for CC. You can't set amps without a load. The "load" is the item your plating IN the tank.

    Here it is again:

    "To set CC, turn the volts all the way up, turn amps all the way down. Connect your leads to anode and cathode, turn on the PS THEN turn amps to desired level."

    Leave a comment:


  • dasbase
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Thanks for the info. I also read that I should connect power leads (both annode & cathode)- turn on power supply then lower item into tank. is this correct? So if plating is to be done at .09amps just set pwr supply to correct amperage & crank up the voltage? I have the annode all the way in with aprox 1 inch above solution surface- is this correct? I have kept test item(copper tee) approx 4 inches from annode.
    Thanks again for the advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • woodjames
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Yeah, double what they said. That and as far as the wiring issue, you won't have to adjust for voltage drop set it to 2.5 to 3 volts and let it be - If the wire gets hot - make it bigger, that'll take care of it. I've melted a lot of gloves not paying attention. Few times I melted into the side of the tank, and once melted right through the wire. But that was when I was pulling more than a hundred amps in the chrome tank. Just use copper whenever possible, and it won't be an issue. 14 gauge should cover all your needs.

    Leave a comment:


  • seanc
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Originally posted by dasbase View Post
    I want to plate at 3 volts and .09amps
    You DO NOT have the ability to control both voltage and current. You get to pick ONLY one, and mother nature controls the other.

    If you want to plate CV at 3 volts, set the voltage control to 3v, turn the current knob all the way up. The power supply then automatically adjusts current to whatever it needs to be in order to maintain constant 3v.

    If you want to plate CC at .09 amps, set the current control to .09A, turn the voltage knob all the way up. The power supply then automatically adjusts voltage to whatever it needs to be in order to maintain constant .09A.

    Sean

    Leave a comment:


  • CarWiz
    replied
    Re: Need Advice on Amps/Volts

    Originally posted by dasbase View Post
    I am using the 5amp CC-CV pwr supply from Caswell. I have read that I should be plating at aprox 3volts & that I should set the supply at 6 volts to allow for resistance in wires & anode.
    Huh? What kind of wires are you using?

    The pwr supply manual says to set the current by shorting the leads and dialing in my desired amps.
    I think you misread. Shorting out your PS will shorten it's life. To set CC, turn the volts all the way up, turn amps all the way down. Connect your leads to anode and cathode, turn on the PS THEN turn amps to desired level.

    I want to plate at 3 volts and .09amps, BUT display reads 1.5 volts & .09amps (even when i dialed in 6volts).Also the pwr supply manual says that display should show cv / mine reads cc when in use..
    If you start in CC, it remains in CC until the voltage can't maintain the load based on the resistance of the circuit. To run a higher voltage at the same current, you need a higher resistance. Your item may be too close to the anode or you don't have enough anode in the tank for the size of your item. The ratio is normally 2x anode to 1x item surface area. You can raise/lower the anode(s) to adjust the amount exposed. The item to be plated should not be closer than 3" nor further than 9" from the anodes. I would set your PS as noted above to CC and adjust the location of the anodes to reach your desired voltage. (If necessary)

    I am getting very thin dull grey plate on polished copper pipe. My fist attempt was on a cheap wrench that I burnt. I ran the amps to high on it. Thanks for any and all help.
    1. Current too high.
    2. pH not in range.
    3. Temperature too high.
    4. Not enough brightener.
    Last edited by CarWiz; 09-21-2009, 01:18 AM.

    Leave a comment:

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