Elna 3 Zig Zag 220v questions

Old 05-08-2018, 11:44 AM
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Default Elna 3 Zig Zag 220v questions

I just got my first Elna! I have been saying I would hold out for a pretty green supermatic with all the fixings, but prices keep going up and up for vintage machines. So I snagged this brown machine at local Goodwill for less than $20.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]594195[/ATTACH]
I have two questions:
1) it is 220v and came with a voltage transformer, but looking at it I think it is a step up instead of step down for using 220v when in US. The transformer says "voltage input 220". If I'm right and this is the wrong transformer, would it ruin the motor if this machine was plugged in and turned on?[ATTACH=CONFIG]594199[/ATTACH]and the plug looks a little funky to plug into a proper transformer[ATTACH=CONFIG]594200[/ATTACH].
2) any suggestions of where to get a manual? I can't seem to get approval for the elna yahoo group even though they sent an email. Maybe because of the oath change thing. I havent found a link that works in my searches so far.

This machine does not appear to have the problematic rubber friction wheel but instead has a metal clear fabric belt like you see in a Pfaff. If I am correct, have you seen that in other Elnas?
Attached Thumbnails 2018-05-08-12.16.05.jpg   2018-05-08-12.16.56.jpg   2018-05-08-12.15.26.jpg  
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:47 PM
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220 is used in England. I would not plug it in in the USA unless you talk to an electrician.
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:34 PM
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Sorry. I should have written my question more clearly. If IN THE PAST, this machine was plugged into the transformer that it came with, has the motor likely been damaged? I am assuming that the machine was used with this transformer, since they came plugged together and both are vintage. Before I invest in a new, proper transformer I'm wondering what is the likelihood that I might have to replace the motor anyway!
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:52 AM
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That transformer is being used as a step-up transformer, as in its converting 120 into 220 for the sewing machine.

For your question about potential damage: I doubt any would have occurred.

Unlike digital circuits, motors don't really care about the voltage it is fed - it just makes the motor run a little faster. The motor is set up for 220 volts, the maximum possible voltage available to domestic house wiring.

From what I've seen, As it's set up, I don't think there is a problem.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:51 AM
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To answer your questions in the first post:

Originally Posted by RotaryQueen
1) it is 220v and came with a voltage transformer, but looking at it I think it is a step up instead of step down for using 220v when in US. The transformer says "voltage input 220". If I'm right and this is the wrong transformer, would it ruin the motor if this machine was plugged in and turned on?
I covered this in my previous post, but I should add: despite the label, transformers can work in either direction. The only problem with this setup is you run into problems with high current devices like kettles, heaters or hotplates where you will overload the 15amp circuits in your house. Your elna is rated at a maximum of 60 watts, so I don't think you will have a problem with power draw.

Originally Posted by RotaryQueen
and the plug looks a little funky to plug into a proper transformer.
That's a normal 120v plug. I'm thinking you should probably change that out for one with a ground connected to the transformer case, as you are dealing with a transformer boosting voltage to 220v AC.

Originally Posted by RotaryQueen
2) any suggestions of where to get a manual? I can't seem to get approval for the elna yahoo group even though they sent an email. Maybe because of the oath change thing. I havent found a link that works in my searches so far.
I happen to be a member of that group. I'll look around and see if there's a manual in there.

Originally Posted by RotaryQueen
This machine does not appear to have the problematic rubber friction wheel but instead has a metal clear fabric belt like you see in a Pfaff. If I am correct, have you seen that in other Elnas?
Is it a fabric cord belt with metal bars crimped on? If so then yes, the green Supermatics had that style of belt connecting the upper crank to the shuttle drive. My mom's Brother XL5000 even has that same type of belt.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:18 AM
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The old Elnas had the double insulation sign, a square within a square. At least the Supermatics I've seen all have had it. The plug probably had a simple cut out plate of sturdy carboard or a bit like mdf to cover the wires. I don't think you would gain much by adding a three pin earthed plug unless it was truly grounded some how? Plugging it into US 110V will result in a machine running very slowly if at all. I think this zigzag model has the rubber friction wheel, but you have to take off the hand wheel to check it. It is similar enough to a Supermatic to use the manual for it. It has slightly different thread guides, and I don't think yours have an Elnagraph (the cam mechanism) or any built in stitch patterns. You have the wrong bobbin for it, the correct bobbins have holes on ones side and solid metal on the other, and they are sligthly curved. My Supermatic needs the bobbins with a groove inside the hub to go properly on the winder. On top of your machine there's a class 15 bobbin (holes on both sides). They are too tall for the bobbin case and will act up with the tension spring, the flat sides will make them turn less smoothly too. As a temporary replacement a class 66 bobbin will do for some test sewing.

Last edited by Mickey2; 05-09-2018 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:08 PM
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Thanks for the clarifying responses! I was checking out an orphan bobbin to see if it would go all the way onto the bobbin winder. It sits flush with the top of the bobbin case, but in looking at pictures of other Elnas with elna bobbins in the case it looks like the top of the bobbin is lower than the edge of the case. So I will order some, although I read that repro bobbins may not work in the older series of machines. If 66 works better than 15, I have plenty of those! I've cleaned and oiled her, so excited to see how she sounds. Yes, I am going to replace the plug and transformer first ;-)
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:29 AM
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I bought a few old Elna bobbins from Helen Howes in the UK A set of 12 is a minium for me on machines I use and I adde a few to fill up the accessory tray. They have the groove in the hub, I'm not sure your model requires it. Postage isn't too much on a few bobbins, but I guess there's always better offers to be tracked down. For the 66 bobbin, you might have to wind it on another machine, you will notice. Elna bobbins are right-side-up with the holes upwards. The bobbins have to go in the right way from which it is wound and the bobbins are made to make it easy to tell the difference. You have to make a point of pulling the bobbin thread down behind the bobbin case and properly into the tensionspring.

You probably have to clean it, mine was packed full of lint and dust. I think the top comes off on your machine as well as the top of the freearm. The face plate is hinged in the back and slides open, make sure the presserfoot lever is down (at least it's so for my Supermatic). The paint is a delicat on these, much the same as on vintage Bernina models. I used resin type polish for cars on mine, with the hope it might protect a bit.
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