Model Engineering In Thailand and South East Asia

A Complete Loss Of Power To The Argo (Bridgeport Clone) Milling Machine – And The Simple Solution

Bridgeport Owners – This Could Well Apply To Your Milling Machine

The Argo 3VH Milling Machine is a close clone of the renowned and ubiquitous Bridgeport milling machine.

Even the electricals seem to have been copied closely so if you have this problem on your Bridgeport this may the answer for you.

The Loss Of Power Issue On My ARGO 3VH Milling Machine (AKA Bridgeport Clone)

Shortly after I bought the Argo milling machine, a Taiwanese Bridgeport clone,within a few weeks I would say, I encountered a fault with the power supply that had my head scratching for a while.

The fault was easily cleared after a bit of investigation and I am describing it here in case any other Argo or Bridgeport owners have the same problem.

This was the problem with the machine, which was fitted with a low-voltage halogen work-light as I  described it in an email to the vendor, John:-

Query on the Milling Machine
This is really weird and you may have some advice. It’s to do with the electrics.
I had difficulty getting power on to the machine until I turned on the halogen light. It works like a switch to turn the power on and off to the complete machine. If the light is turned off no power to the complete machine.
But with the halogen light turned on no light is emitted.
When I was in your workshop I remember turning on the halogen light and it worked. It seemed to have nothing to do with the power to the machine.
I have not changed any machine wiring – just fitted the 3 phase plug.
Also the transformer buzzes for quite a few minutes on start-up sometimes. When it does that I turn it off and try again.
Any ideas on the above, please?

Well, John didn’t have an answer but he did kindly put a phone call through to the machine supplier at Forcelink who phoned me later.

This is John’s email reply to the one I sent above:-


Hi Alan,Something is not right. The start up procedure should be;Plug into the wall. At this point there should be no power to functions including the DRO and the light.Push the green button on the remote. Now there should be power to each individual function and each function is independent of the other.Start the machineIt would seem that there is an issue somewhere. The whole electric wiring was checked before I sold the unit and as I mentioned I changed over to the new remote system. All of the electrics except the motor are essentially new. There must be something simple like a wire has crossed or shifted during transport.

I can only suggest that you find a local electrician that is familiar with 3 phase and get him to have a look.

The other option is to get the dealer to check it but I am not sure if they will go to Pakchong. I would suggests to try to find a local guy if possible.

However, let me know if you want the dealer to have a look and I give him a call.

Best Regards

Well, I thought, a power problem could most likely be something amiss in the Control Panel. Perhaps a blown fuse?

So I opened the Control Panel (power off and machine unplugged of course) and saw a batch of three glass fuses.

One of them was blown. I matched these fuses up to the wiring diagram that came with the mill which said they were to be 3 Amp.

I hunted around in the tool boxes John gave me with the lathe and found a 10 Amp fuse of a Similar pattern.

In it went and voila ~ problem solved.

About The Machine Fuses On The Argo Milling Machine

These three fuses are all in 110 V circuits and the wiring diagram rates them at 3 and 5 Amp. They feed the halogen work light, the table power feed and the DRO.

I thought 3 Amp for the power feed was a bit low, but on checking actual power feed units it seems to be big enough.

I was worried about what to do if another of those fuses was to blow. Where would I get a replacement?

Well, as I discovered, they are standard automotive fuses and readily available. I even bought one from our local shop and didn’t need to go to the big shops in the town (Pakchong (Pak Chong)) to find one.

So in all I was relived and happy to have that problem solved.


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