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[TCML] My new "Swords On Demand" VTTC Interrupter Controller

Hi all.
Gave a hint on this earlier, in a different thread.

Starting a couple of weeks ago, I started to think about some things, while
I was converting my "breadboard" interrupter to put in a case, I am always
thinking, even when working on other things...

I used to work as printer on newspaper printing presses for a lot years.
Just left this industry for good a couple of years ago now. Dying trade.
Besides running them, also worked on them. Lots of mechanical and
electrical controls involved. In addition, used to work on all kinds of
support equipment in mailroom department, which handles the papers after
they come off the press. Again all kinds of mechanical and electrical

I started to think about rotary encoders on lots of different equipment we
had. Then, I thought about SSR's (Solid State Relays), again on several
different things.
SSR's have been around for quite some time now.

I started to remember, some types of SSR's have a zero cross trigger
method. And it does this on the actual load, vs. the indirect method of the
other 2 interrupters that I have modified and use on my VTTC's. Trigger on
the actual load should be even better, since especially using a level
shifted supply.

This should work I thought. Then I thought about an encoder to use. The
ones on machines there were used for feedback. I thought, about an encoder
that was more convenient to use and thought about CNC machines that I have
run before in the past. They have a rapid handwheel rotary encoder. The big
plus is these have mechanical detent stops between the optical slots.

So with just a little looking around, I found some very economical ones,
just in case it does not work, so I would not be out much coin if I fail.

When I got them in, I did a couple a very basic encoder output tests
scoping it. Looked at the pulse width times and decided it is most likely
going to work.
Just another note, the detent stop is actually not "centered". Designed
that way. At first I thought this was going to be a problem, then I
realized it will not. Because of not being centered, when you initially
turn the handwheel, because of the detent, one direction you get a "quick
pulse snap".
And the other you get a "longer pulse snap". Instantly, after looking at
the pulse width duration on the scope, I thought "burst mode" in the long
one. Cool! And a single shot in the short one. Can also achieve bursts by a
quick flick of short ones, not quite as intense.

Decided, since I was pretty confident, to put all of this in an enclosure
from the get go, before even trying actually on the coil. Normally I would
not do this, I would admit.

I must say, it is working greater than expected.  Trigger timing is great.
Long straight swords. No shorter wandering problems, like the EVR one
originally had and even the former breadboard one had when using a level
shifted supply. Really neat to be in full manual control. The things you
can do are so numerous. A very fun controller. Get lucky once in a while
right out the gate...

Since I was having so much fun, I have decided to give it a fun name,
borrowing some from Greg Leyh's: Lighting On Demand big fellas coils :^)

So I will call it:
Swords On Demand

Just a few more thoughts here.
I suppose you could also use a regular encoder with a stepper motor and
controller, or even fancier if you want, say a PLC or something else in
conjunction with the SSR.

Also, I suppose using this SSR with  several other numerous devices to
supply a "drive" signal to it.

For me for now, I like the extreme simplicity of this setup. Just 3
economical parts and very easy to hook up :^)

But I just today earlier, received a second SSR, to play with...

Going to attach several pictures, some info, a quick crude drawing of the
wiring,  and a video of me running the coil with it.





Chris Reeland
Ladd Illinois USA

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