Turning Archive 2007

I'm ticked with Triton

Joe Pack
>I don't have time to be doing this because I am in a middle of turning for a show tomorrow, but I am doing it anyhow.

I bought a Triton powered respirator a little while ago. I brought it home, charged it up and tried it out. Not the strongest airflow, but enough to give me fresh air and keep my glasses from fogging. All in all, it did the job I bought it for. I tried it out, but, never having been one to do anything in advance, did not use it until three days ago when I finally started getting ready for a show this weekend.

About an hour into turning, the fan began losing power, then going off completely, then losing power, then going off, then coming back on...all while I was standing at the lathe, barely moving around.

Remembering a mention some time ago about loose wiring in these, I opened up the unit and found that a wire connecting to the fan motor had come loose. More specifically, the 3 micron thick solder connection had come loose. The wire did not break, it came unsoldered (unstuck is more like it). I soldered the wire back and the unit ran just fine. That is, it ran just fine until about 45 minutes ago.

This time the motor just plain quit. No hesitation or slowing down, it just quit.

Being in the middle of a job, I grabbed my regular face shield and Resp-O-Rator setup and finished the job.

After I finished, I opened up the battery pack and found...you guessed it...another loose wire on a fan connection. Like the first, this wire had been barely stuck to the terminal. There was not even a dot on the terminal where the wire would have been soldered. In fact, I could not see solder on the wire. The wire was not broken, it just came loose.

Again, I soldered the wire and the unit was like new. Correct that, it is better than new because the joints are now soldered.

Being the ornery cuss that I can be, I called Triton. I spoke with a very nice young man, Adam, who was most willing to listen to me gripe. He indicated that probably the #1 reason for returns of the Triton respirator was wiring connection related; they were looking at making the wiring assembly more stable.

I suggested to him that they were barking up the wrong tree. The wires that came loose were very stable; they barely moved in their clips, certainly not enough to cause wires to break from the very limited movement they would encounter being worn around the user's waist. The problem was the soldering, more specifically, the lack of soldering. There was absolutely no indication of solder ever being applied to the wire. It appeared that the wire was merely stuck to the side of a solder drop on the terminal, not actually soldered in.

Anyhow, Adam was very considerate, and I know there was really nothing he could do about it except listen. He did say that he would file a detailed report of my call, pointing out the lack of a compentently soldered joint.

Thanks for reading. I feel a little better after venting. Maybe now I can go back to work and not mess up because I'm mad.

Now, if I could just find the blasted live center set I bought last winter and stuck aside so I wouldn't lose it!! But that's another story.

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