10.09.2013

Lawn mower online

The motor used in these mowers is the exact kind of motor you'd expect to find in a tredmill. Circuit #1 controlled by the switch is the connection of the AC "hot" wire to the bridge rectifier. Based on my family's experiences with our 3 electric mowers, it appears that these models are prone to 2 types of failures: switch assembly failure or bridge rectifier failure.
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The AC-DC conversion is accomplished through the use of a bridge rectifier, which is simply 4 diodes crammed into a box.
The 4 lines running through the dashed line represent the wiring harness that runs from the switch assembly down to the mower deck. Heat is the most likely thing to destroy the rectifier since it doesn't have a very large heat-sink and is located right next to the motor (which can get quite hot during operation).


The recifier is mounted in the upper-center of the mower, just adjacent to the motor (see photos below). These factory parts sell for over $10, which is kind of ridiculous since these are such common parts that are available from almost any electronics supplier. The electrical system consists of only 3 parts: the motor, the switch assembly, and a standard bridge rectifier. The motor is a brushed, permanent-magnet DC motor, which is designed to run at about 120 Volts DC. The rectifier used in most of these mowers is in an MB or GBPC package, having 4 "faston" connectors for the wiring and a single screw hole in the center for mounting to a heatsink.
This means that the switch controls two separate circuits and when circuit #1 is "on", circuit #2 is "off", and vice-versa. That's right, when Circuit #2 is "on", it is purposely creating a short-circuit across the motor terminals. This is a function of age and is somewhat expected given the high current flowing through what appears to be a mediocre switch.


Although they have provided years of good service, like all products they have their weaknesses. Additionally, the switch has an area about mid-travel where both circuits are "off" to prevent a short-circuit through the bridge rectifier. Per the wiring diagram shown above, there are 2 AC connections, marked by ~, and 2 DC connections, marked + and - respectively. This is done because it is desirable for safety reasons to have the motor stop spinning as soon as possible after the handle switch is released. Though, the method of dead-shorting the motor to implement plug-braking is questionalbe, it works.




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