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The Three Types of GE BMY Centrifugal Switches  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed Jan 27th, 2021 09:13 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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I been searching through my BMYs trying to find a replacement front-of-the-motor-entry-headwire centrifugal start stator for a BMY that has the plunger in the neck to provide a simple conversion to a wall fan configuration.  So far, no luck in that search, but I thought I'd take or resurrect some pics of the three different versions of centrifugal start switches that were used in the BMY line of fans.  I'm showing these in Serial Number sequence, but I can guarantee that the type of switch used doesn't depend 100% on the Serial Number.
First we have S/N 332927, a rear headwire entry BMY with flat cage supports on the front of the motor and uses a CSS with 3 flyweight contactors and the split copper cone male portion of the CSS:





Next we have S/N 334431, again, a rear entry headwire, flat support arms mounted on the front of the motor and the twin plunger type CSS, which seems like a very nice design and quieter than the others, at least as I've noticed.  The male portion of this switch isn't the copper cone like the other types use, but rather an insulator type cone that has two copper bands for the contactors on the female portion of the switch.





Lastly, we've got S/N 388038, which uses a front entry headwire and the flat cage support arms with the a 90 degree bend to mount on the outside circumference of the motor.  It has a two flyweight CSS that uses a copper male portion of the switch:




These are the only types of CSSs I've seen on BMYs, but it'd be interesting if anyone has any others that they've come across.  Hopefully this will at least be of some interest to folks.

Stay away from those da*n Covids!

Jim

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IMG_8546.JPG

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 Posted: Wed Jan 27th, 2021 09:23 pm
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Tom Morel
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This is good Jim. I was aware of the various start switch setups but not how elaborate the motor windings were. I don't have one of these yet so I can't be of help. Best of luck.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 28th, 2021 10:08 am
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Rick Huckabee
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Interesting pictorial/topic  Jim, I've seen all three types . The real problem with BMY centrifugal systems is the ceramic Male End piece ,as the brass bands get worn down no longer will allow the plates to contact and complete the circuit , also wires get old and brittle break off inside ceramic piece and I have found several that I could not repair

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 Posted: Thu Jan 28th, 2021 02:33 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Rick, I've got one like you mentioned, wire broken off somewhere inside the ceramic part of the CSS.  Also, did you happen to notice the difference in the windings for the first two stators I pictured versus the last one.  Any idea what's up with that?  The first two look like there are more individual windings, while the last one looks like just 4 windings.  Just a matter of curiosity, since they all do the same thing in the end I guess.  Jim 

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 12:18 am
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Russ Huber
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Jim Humphrey wrote:
First we have S/N 332927, a rear headwire entry BMY with flat cage supports on the front of the motor and uses a CSS with 3 flyweight contactors and the split copper cone male portion of the CSS:



















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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 12:20 am
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Russ Huber
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Rick Huckabee wrote: Interesting pictorial/topic  Jim, I've seen all three types . 







Last edited on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 12:23 am by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 12:44 am
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Rick Huckabee
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Yes, the 3rd pic Jim Humphrey wrote: Rick, I've got one like you mentioned, wire broken off somewhere inside the ceramic part of the CSS.  Also, did you happen to notice the difference in the windings for the first two stators I pictured versus the last one.  Any idea what's up with that?  The first two look like there are more individual windings, while the last one looks like just 4 windings.  Just a matter of curiosity, since they all do the same thing in the end I guess.  Jim Yes the 3rd picture showing the windings. If you turn that stator around you will probably find it looks like the others. Depending on the motor winder that day, put his/her good side of stator windings to the front other side has connections taped and pressed down. Can hook up from either side just depends.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 01:05 am
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Russ Huber
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The Introduction Section, GE Bulletin #4806 (Jan 1911) includes this quote:

"The alternating current 8-, 12- and 16-inch fan motors contain a new form of induction winding which eliminates the necessity of the centrifugal switch with its attendant troubles, for the control of the starting winding. As a result, the motor contains no moving contacts, and is, therefore, extremely simple in construction. This change in fan motor design is of prime importance, since it insures reliability of action, low energy consumption, quietness of operation, and great speed range."


Westinghouse stamp steel models with their unique centrifugal start mechanism hit the market in 12. GE centrifugal start models 08-09. Would the early Westy stamp steel model centrifugal mechanism make a good donor for a failed GE BMY centrifugal mechanism at a fan motor shop back in the days?  :D


Last edited on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 01:19 am by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 02:05 am
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Russ Huber
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339176 and 332869 - Pre-1950 (Antique) - Antique Fan Collectors Association - AFCA Forums

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 05:37 am
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Russ Huber
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Edit.


   

Last edited on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 05:57 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 02:39 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Russ, I agree that the GE CSS is like the Westy CSS to the point that I doubt GE could have simply started punching them out for themselves without running into patent infringement problems.  So either GE bought this style CSS from Westy, or made them themselves with a royalty to Westy?  I don't know if all the dimensions like screw holes and whatnot are identical between the Westy and GE CSSs and I don't have a Westy CSS readily to hand to compare to the GE, but I think I can dig one up somewhere.  Jim

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 03:12 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Morning Rick,
Regarding the configuration of the coils in the S/N 388038 fan, I had to pull the stator because the headwire (coming in the front of the housing) had been pulled out and the leads were broken off down in the coil(s).  Here are the pics of the stator, rear and front, and both ends look almost identical as regards configuration.  I think GE must have come up with some much simpler winding arrangement that functioned the same as the stators in the first two fans I pictured.  I found one broken off wire that shows up in the front view of the stator for this fan, but can't find any more.  I have another stator that might work, but it's possible I may need to call for you to rewind this stator.

Jim

388038 Stator Rear with leads going to the CSS





Front of stator, windings almost the same as the rear of the stator.  There's a broken off wire visible at the bottom of the pic, but that's actually the top of the stator, so I don't think one of the headwires would have been attached there.  Hel!, I shouldn't even be talking about wires and stators and the like, I don't know what I'm talking about anyway.




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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 03:20 pm
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Russ Huber
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Jim Humphrey wrote: Russ, I agree that the GE CSS is like the Westy CSS to the point that I doubt GE could have simply started punching them out for themselves without running into patent infringement problems.  So either GE bought this style CSS from Westy, or made them themselves with a royalty to Westy?  I don't know if all the dimensions like screw holes and whatnot are identical between the Westy and GE CSSs and I don't have a Westy CSS readily to hand to compare to the GE, but I think I can dig one up somewhere.  Jim
Jim, I am sorry for such a blunt intrusion on your well intentioned post, especially to such a fine human being such as yourself. 


There is very little doubt, if any, in my mind your original GE centrifugal mechanism was replaced with a later 12+ Westinghouse desk fan centrifugal switch. 


Here is the logic. Your GE BMY fan based on its construction and serial 332927 with little doubt dates 1908, and at best 1909. The centrifugal switch in question in your fan didn't go to market until 1912. This was the introduction date of the Westinghouse drawn steel models that contained the redesigned switch in your fan.


It would be very difficult for you to contest that the only Westinghouse desk fan centrifugal switch on the market at the time of your GE BMY manufacture was the Westinghouse (tank) fan motor. 


The image below is the Westinghouse tank centrifugal switch that I am sorry to say is not in your fan.




  

Attached Image (viewed 435 times):

161_271641_280000000.jpg

Last edited on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 03:21 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 03:32 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Jim Humphrey wrote: I been searching through my BMYs trying to find a replacement front-of-the-motor-entry-headwire centrifugal start stator for a BMY that has the plunger in the neck to provide a simple conversion to a wall fan configuration.  So far, no luck in that search, but I thought I'd take or resurrect some pics of the three different versions of centrifugal start switches that were used in the BMY line of fans.  I'm showing these in Serial Number sequence, but I can guarantee that the type of switch used doesn't depend 100% on the Serial Number.
First we have S/N 332927, a rear headwire entry BMY with flat cage supports on the front of the motor and uses a CSS with 3 flyweight contactors and the split copper cone male portion of the CSS:





Next we have S/N 334431, again, a rear entry headwire, flat support arms mounted on the front of the motor and the twin plunger type CSS, which seems like a very nice design and quieter than the others, at least as I've noticed.  The male portion of this switch isn't the copper cone like the other types use, but rather an insulator type cone that has two copper bands for the contactors on the female portion of the switch.





Lastly, we've got S/N 388038, which uses a front entry headwire and the flat cage support arms with the a 90 degree bend to mount on the outside circumference of the motor.  It has a two flyweight CSS that uses a copper male portion of the switch:




These are the only types of CSSs I've seen on BMYs, but it'd be interesting if anyone has any others that they've come across.  Hopefully this will at least be of some interest to folks.

Stay away from those da*n Covids!

Jim

I've got a 1950s vintage Sears Homart Cooler Window Fan 20" model that has a CSS like one pictured in pic 2 in its original 1/6 HP Craftsman motor and that CSS sticks on that motor, at least it did at first, but then I finally got it freed up.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 29th, 2021 06:08 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Hey Russ, I know, we're both princes of guys!  I wasn't smart enough to figure out exactly what you were saying originally, but I can see how the clever folks in the early 1900s would sometimes need to sometimes hybridize things just so they'd have some breeze.   I'd like to check and see if the Westy can motor CSS will fit on the BMY rotor and/or rear cover as needed, but I don't think I have a 1912 or later Westy fan and for sure I don't have the CSS for one.  But I'm sure I can eventually come up with one.  Be interesting to see if it would mount up or if mods would be needed to either the CSS or the rotor/rear cover of the fan.


Levi, did the plunger type switch hang up in the open position or did it stick closed?  I'm assuming open, but just curious.

Jim


Last edited on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 07:50 pm by Jim Humphrey

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 Posted: Sat Jan 30th, 2021 01:49 am
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Russ Huber
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Jim, the brass disc itself measures roughly 1 3/4" in diameter. If you took your rotor out and removed the centrifugal switch from the rotor it would have tell tale signs of screw modification on the rotor.......'IF' the rotor is original to the the BMY?





Both BMY rotor mounted centrifugal mechanisms has a 2 screw mounting with screws opposing each other. The screw sizes are a size 6 with odd threading.  

Last edited on Sat Jan 30th, 2021 01:51 am by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Sat Jan 30th, 2021 01:19 pm
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Rick Huckabee
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One end of the stator has the connections soldered and taped off , this is the unattractive end . Not so obvious with all the aging dirt etc.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 2nd, 2021 01:10 am
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Levi Mevis
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Jim Humphrey wrote: Hey Russ, I know, we're both princes of guys!  I wasn't smart enough to figure out exactly what you were saying originally, but I can see how the clever folks in the early 1900s would sometimes need to sometimes hybridize things just so they'd have some breeze.   I'd like to check and see if the Westy can motor CSS will fit on the BMY rotor and/or rear cover as needed, but I don't think I have a 1912 or later Westy fan and for sure I don't have the CSS for one.  But I'm sure I can eventually come up with one.  Be interesting to see if it would mount up or if mods would be needed to either the CSS or the rotor/rear cover of the fan.


Levi, did the plunger type switch hang up in the open position or did it stick closed?  I'm assuming open, but just curious.

Jim


I think it was stuck in the open position because when I would turn the fan on I would hear the CSS "open" but I wouldn't hear it "close" after it got up to speed. I think that's the right order of CSS Functions.  

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 Posted: Mon May 24th, 2021 06:27 am
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Jeff Jones
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Hello....I just bought a bmy with the plunger style start switch and discovered tonight the insulator part is broken. And the part thats broken off is missing.

Would anyone happen to have one, or know where I might find one? It's the 2nd style you have listed in the very 1st post. Has plungers on the rotor and the 2 brass rings on an insulator of some sort. Well...in my case 1 ring attached to the wire, the other one free.

Thanks,
Jeff

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 Posted: Sun May 30th, 2021 10:30 pm
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Jeff Jones
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Anybody?

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 Posted: Sun May 30th, 2021 11:24 pm
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Thomas Peters
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It is entirely possible switch copying was done on a cooperative basis. Contract manufacturing by one company for another was commonly done. Whole fans like Westinghouse for R & M. Also, why not parts and/or, just their designs.
A little bit later than when BMYs were manufactured, GE and Westinghouse pooled both their patents and their money to form RCA. 

Sharing was far more common than we know.
 

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 Posted: Mon May 31st, 2021 01:23 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Thomas Peters wrote: It is entirely possible switch copying was done on a cooperative basis. Contract manufacturing by one company for another was commonly done. Whole fans like Westinghouse for R & M. Also, why not parts and/or, just their designs.
A little bit later than when BMYs were manufactured, GE and Westinghouse pooled both their patents and their money to form RCA. 

Sharing was far more common than we know.
 

Yes, and that's why Westinghouse, GE and RCA radios shared the same Chassis designs for the first 20 years of their history in making radios. I had an old Westinghouse Tombstone Radio from 1932 that shared the same chassis design as an RCA and GE from the same time period, and the schematic was actually listed under RCA in the Rider's manuals.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 08:19 am
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Steven P Dempsey
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Now I want to dissect my Centrifugal Start BMY!!

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 Posted: Thu Jun 10th, 2021 06:00 pm
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Jeff Jones
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Anyone have one or any ideas on reconstructing the part with the rings?

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