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#31095 - 11/10/03 01:08 PM Old Systems
rowdyrudy Offline

Registered: 11/02/02
Posts: 171
Loc: Mascoutah, IL USA
Cleaning out old,old files and some of the items brought back memories. Are any of these systems still in use?

In about 1976, DC in buildings in downtown St. Louis.
1963-Two phase three wire in NYC.
1955-Six phase double delta in Nashville, TN.
Still have a lot of files to read before disposal.

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#31096 - 11/10/03 03:26 PM Re: Old Systems
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I'm always interested in old systems and the way things developed.

Is there anything in these files worth scanning and posting on ECN for posterity?

#31097 - 11/10/03 03:57 PM Re: Old Systems
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I second Paul's appeal.
Please save them, maybe scan and archive them (I know I'm asking for a lot).
I wish I'd taken pics or kept records of all the things I've run across.
As I said at a friend's eulogy, "If I was to tell you the truth, you'd think I was lying, or crazy."...S

#31098 - 11/10/03 07:31 PM Re: Old Systems
wa2ise Offline

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 769
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
1963-Two phase three wire in NYC.

I had an apartment in Westchester County NY that had 120V/208V (2 of 3 phases). More recently I had another apartment (which was fairly new) also fed by 120V/208V (2 of 3 phases). It took a while for me to figure out why my experimental radios run off of 250V were underperforming until I measured line to line.

#31099 - 11/10/03 09:40 PM Re: Old Systems
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
'ise — A 1N4007 along side a 35W4? That's downright dastardly. {But absolutely brilliant!)

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 11-11-2003).]

#31100 - 11/11/03 03:18 AM Re: Old Systems
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA

What you had was single phase (two phases of a 3 phase system), not a two phase system.

I believe rowdyrudy is talking about an old system called two phase.

We still install 208/120 3 phase services in multi unit dwellings and feed the units "single phase", Two hots, neutral and ground.

I have never run across anything but single or three phase systems.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#31101 - 11/11/03 03:55 AM Re: Old Systems
winnie Offline

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 652
Loc: boston, ma
If you have two hots and a neutral of a three phase system, then you do have two separate phases available.

A load connected between any two conductors of a three phase system sees a single phase, but as soon as you have three conductors (any three, including the possibility of two hots and the neutral) then you have different available circuits with different phase angles available.

You are correct, though, that this is different from the 'two phase' systems that were used in the past. In a 'two phase' system you have two separate circuits where the phasing difference is 90 degrees rather than the 120 degrees found in 3 phase systems.

Thread hijack going to new odd systems: EPRI has done research on using 12 and 18 phase systems for power transmission. For a given phase to neutral voltage, the phase to phase voltage goes down as the number of phases goes up. (I can give you the math, but imagine a circle. The radius of the circle is proportional to the phase to neutral voltage. Now draw a set of equally spaced dots around the circle, one for each phase. The distance between the dots represents the phase to phase voltage.) Because the phase to phase voltage goes down, the required phase to phase spacing goes down. The spacing from the conductors to the tower and ground remains the same, but you can pack more conductors into the same right of way, and thus carry more total power.


#31102 - 11/11/03 03:57 AM Re: Old Systems
winnie Offline

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 652
Loc: boston, ma
P.S. I second the call to scanning in some files on the old systems. It's really great to see where modern systems come from.


#31103 - 11/11/03 08:10 AM Re: Old Systems
Spark Master Flash Offline

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 145
Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Are you sure the two phase system is 90 degrees different and not 180? Not that I know...just asking.
"When in doubt, short it out"

#31104 - 11/11/03 08:40 AM Re: Old Systems
C-H Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
The two phase system is indeed 90 degrees. It was essentially two single phase systems mounted 90 degrees apart. Not very useful apart from starting motors.

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