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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there's the normal cheap router speed controllers like the HF controller.
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And then there's the Super PID controller that's used on CNC machines.
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I've also seen several DIY web sites that show how to make Arduino based controllers, But that's a little out of my skill level unless it was something I could follow a diagram & downloading the codes.

I seen this Dart 55AC15C that states it's a full wave controller, So you wouldn't get that half-wave clipping assonated with the cheaper controllers. However at $126 it's almost the cost of the Super PID controller?

Is there anything in-between the lower cost controllers & the higher priced ones?

Doug
 

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I know there's the normal cheap router speed controllers like the HF controller.
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And then there's the Super PID controller that's used on CNC machines.
View attachment 398846

I've also seen several DIY web sites that show how to make Arduino based controllers, But that's a little out of my skill level unless it was something I could follow a diagram & downloading the codes.

I seen this Dart 55AC15C that states it's a full wave controller, So you wouldn't get that half-wave clipping assonated with the cheaper controllers. However at $126 it's almost the cost of the Super PID controller?

Is there anything in-between the lower cost controllers & the higher priced ones?

Doug
I use the Rockler controller. It looks a lot like an HT unit. But it seems to work better. My HT one died after about 10 hours of use.
I must be honest. The first Rockler one didn't work right out of the box. One e-mail to Rockler and I had a new one in a week. Didn't have to send the old one in nor take it to one of their stores. Great customer service. But beware none of these less expensive ones will work with Soft Start tools.
 

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A speed controller really doesn't have to be anything fancy. The only time you change the speed is if you are using really big bits or small bits. Even then you can't set it to what the bit is supposed to run at. How do you know when the bit is turning at 12,000 rpm or 25,000? There isn't a tachometer built in so it's only a guess. All you really need is medium and fast. And for that, you can listen to the sound that the router is making. If you are using a 3 1/2 inch panel bit and it sounds like an airplane then you know you're going too fast. For the normal size bits I use I never adjust the speed.
 

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A speed controller really doesn't have to be anything fancy. The only time you change the speed is if you are using really big bits or small bits. Even then you can't set it to what the bit is supposed to run at. How do you know when the bit is turning at 12,000 rpm or 25,000? There isn't a tachometer built in so it's only a guess. All you really need is medium and fast. And for that, you can listen to the sound that the router is making. If you are using a 3 1/2 inch panel bit and it sounds like an airplane then you know you're going too fast. For the normal size bits I use I never adjust the speed.
Ok, I can see your point and somewhat agree. Now the question is where would I find a reasonable 2 speed controller. And how do I know what the rpm of the low setting is? If it seems it's to high or low I have no way to change it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A speed controller really doesn't have to be anything fancy.
Yeah I agree also, However other than the cheap HF style controllers there doesn't seem to be anything in-between the low cost controllers & the higher end style controllers.

There isn't a tachometer built in so it's only a guess.
That's where the higher end controllers like the Super PID & the Arduino based units come into play, They have a speed sensor circuit that reads & controls the speed according to the work load.

Most of the variable speed routers now days have some sort of feed-back sensor that's built into the soft-start circuit which adjusts the speed to the work load according to the speed setting selected. That process is explained HERE pretty well, And also why the cheap controllers are not really that great!

Doug
 

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Yeah I agree also, However other than the cheap HF style controllers there doesn't seem to be anything in-between the low cost controllers & the higher end style controllers.


That's where the higher end controllers like the Super PID & the Arduino based units come into play, They have a speed sensor circuit that reads & controls the speed according to the work load.

Most of the variable speed routers now days have some sort of feed-back sensor that's built into the soft-start circuit which adjusts the speed to the work load according to the speed setting selected. That process is explained HERE pretty well, And also why the cheap controllers are not really that great!

Doug
That's all true but you're dealing with a simple router. The only thing that you need to be able to do is occasionally slow it down. I used a HF one on a Hitachi MV12 that the speed controller died. I noticed a little drop in torque but for $10 dollars I could live with it. I very seldom change speeds. And my router is set for almost the fastest speed. For most of the work I do I use normal size bits. By that I mean 1/2 to 3/4 in diameter. Bits like round over and ogee and V groove. When I first started using a router I copied one of those sheets that you find in routing books and the internet giving the speed for different size bits. I soon realized that in the real world those exact speeds didn't matter or were impossible to obtain. So now I don't even think about them. If it cuts right and sounds right then that's what I use.
 

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Ok, I can see your point and somewhat agree. Now the question is where would I find a reasonable 2 speed controller. And how do I know what the rpm of the low setting is? If it seems it's to high or low I have no way to change it.
Andy I don't know where you would find a 2 speed but even if you find one you won't know what the rpm is. You really have only two choices either buy a controller and I would suggest Harbor Freight (for Doug) or buy a new router with the controller built in. What are you trying to do that your router is not doing for you? Fast speed should only be a problem with really large bits. And really large bits should only be used with really big router which probably comes with a speed controller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What are you trying to do that your router is not doing for you?
It's not that my routers are not working ok, I have a Bosch EVS1617 combination set-up that I use for most of my routing needs. I also have a single speed 25.000RPM 1-1/2HP Craftsman router that I use for lighter/smaller cuts.

Currently most of my routing is done hand held with jigs/fixtures or bearing guide bits, I do have a temporary router table set-up that's basically just a piece of plywood with a Incra plate installed in it, I just set it up on a couple of saw horses when needed.

Fast speed should only be a problem with really large bits. And really large bits should only be used with really big router which probably comes with a speed controller.
I'm in the planning stages of building a dedicated router table that will have a motorized scissor lift system.
The router I'll be using has a single speed (no soft start) 23.000RPM 15A.1850W motor. So that's the reason for wanting a speed controller. I also want to be able to adjust the speed from the top of the table.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now the question is where would I find a reasonable 2 speed controller.
Too bad there wasn't just a simple way to wire in some resistors to a 3-way fan switch like this
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That would provide a High Med Low setting.

Andy I don't know where you would find a 2 speed but even if you find one you won't know what the rpm is.
Something like one of these hand-held digital tachometers would give you a idea of the speeds.
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Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After doing a ton of searches & reading a bunch of articles, I have decided to try out a Solid-State controller like THIS ONE It's similar to the Dart55AC15C I mentioned in my first post,
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But you need to get a separate potentiomer that's wired into it.
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I kind of like the idea of being able to mount just the potentiomer & dial in a separate location.

In another POST OF MINE I mention wanting to mount a control panel for a router lift above the table, The potentiomer & dial could be easily mounted in the same control box.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Only time I slow it down is when I am cutting plastic.
Yeah plastic can be a tricky, I've had some crack on me even on slower speeds.

The Solid State controller is probably going to be overkill, But it will be all wired in if I need it.
I'll probably put in some type of double throw center off switch that will let me run the router at full speed most of the time, And switch it to the speed controller only when needed.

Doug
 

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I use a Shark 510 HD. Give that HFT device a try before you throw some money at it. It has the bypass for full speed or variable. It works. In the past year I have made over 150 cnc projects and many types of wood. The plastic is the only thing I slow things down for. I use 2 flute bits and they cut fine at full speed. Running a vbit as the last final light cut sure cleans up the need for sanding.

Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks guys. I have learned and still learning so much from these discussions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Give that HFT device a try before you throw some money at it. It has the bypass for full speed or variable. It works.
Yeah I don't doubt that it works, But at what cost? Does or can it harm the router in the long run?

I've read both good & bad reviews on most of these style router speed controllers, The one thing I have noticed is that none of them are UL/CSA approved?

The KB Solid State units I'm looking at are UL/CSA approved!

The one question I can't seem to be able to 100% figure out, Is if there's any differences between a standard universal motor & a (ac/dc) universal motor?

I know that the old 120V Craftsman drills & saws use to have (AC/DC) on the label!
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The newer equipment with universal motors don't seem to mention anything about (AC/DC)?

Doug
 
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