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What is it? Is there a modern equivalent? Answered

This is from a 1949 Pfaff 332 sewing machine foot pedal. (I believe the machine was brought to the US by a war bride.) When I tried the machine recently, it wouldn't completely stop when I took my foot off. We opened it up and found this partially decomposed multi layered 'thing'. Other than dust and dirt, it looks like the only damaged part.

Does anyone know what it is? Does anyone know what a modern equivalent would be?

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seamster

5 months ago

Here's an option that's worked for me: I've replaced several old foot pedals on my sewing machines with new electronic versions. You keep the old original plug that goes into your machine and a few inches of the wire coming out of it, and simply splice the new pedal's wires inline.

You can get a generic electronic sewing pedal on amazon for about $15 - the style of the plug that goes to the machine on the new one doesn't matter, as you'll just cut it off and discard it, and then reattach your original machine plug.

I've bought a couple of these exact pedals: https://www.amazon.com/Sewing-Machine-Electronic-C...

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Jack A Lopezseamster

Reply 2 months ago

For the enjoyment of people reading this thread, I want to add a picture of what the insides of one of these, "electronic" foot pedals, look like.

I think the resemblance to a lamp dimmer is apparent, and the interested viewer can point out the TRIAC, the DIAC, the big slider potentiometer, and a bunch of other components too, even if the traces revealing how these are connected, are hidden on the other side of the board.

By the way, this is not my image. I borrowed this from someone's sewing blog, here:

https://www.quiltingroomwithmel.com/2016/11/electr...

As to the visual difference between, "electric" and "electronic", the "electric" version looks less like the inside of a TV or radio, and more like the inside of toaster, including structures made to radiate heat.

electronic-foot-pedal.jpg
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mole1seamster

Reply 5 months ago

Thank you! It may come to that. It would be very easy to simply screw in new wires. No need to even splice. Love the way it was designed to be fixed if needed.

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Downunder35mmole1

Reply 4 months ago

That is the difference between modern and old technology.
Today we design to throw away because a repair is not financially viable.
Or when was the last time you saw a TV repair shop ? ;)

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Downunder35mseamster

Reply 5 months ago

LOL - You could have mentioned that a few years ago!
I wasted an entire weekend to restore my foot pedal after it literally started a fire on my foot.
Winding the new resistor, making a new slider, replacing the cap, cleaning....
$15??? Seriously? I feel a bit $%&/§* now ROFL

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Yonatan24

5 months ago

Looks like a capacitor.
I know that the speed control in sewing machines is basically a container full of graphite discs, so when you compress them (foot pedal), they conduct better and have less resistance making the machine work faster

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mole1Yonatan24

Reply 5 months ago

Thanks for responding, Yonatan24. I think the graphite pile pedal is a later invention. I appreciate your input, though.

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Yonatan24mole1

Reply 4 months ago

Hmmm... The foot pedal on my flex shaft rotary tool has some kind of component that compresses too when I step on it. I think it's a variable resistor though. I should open it up and check.

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Downunder35m

5 months ago

It was a non polar capacitor, the original values are still in your picture.
0.05µF and 250V.

If it is anyway near what my ld machine had then it should be connected parallel to the wires going to the motor,
Purpose is to supress electrical interference.
In old radios you would otherwise get the sound of the running motor.
The modern counterparts are usually small and square block with two wires.
The actual capacitance or value is not too critial either, except of course for the voltage.

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mole1Downunder35m

Reply 5 months ago

Thank you, Downunder35m. I've found some tiny capacitors with the same numbers, made for vintage electric guitars. I don't know what the -50/+100 numbers are about. Only works between those temperatures?

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Downunder35mmole1

Reply 5 months ago

That is correct, back in the days the quality of capacitors was not perfect.
But seeing how long yours survived compared to some in modern TV's.... LOL