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Re: Non-GFI NSTs

Original poster: FIFTYGUY@xxxxxxx


FWIW, I just bought a coupla new GFI-type NST's off Ebay. Made by "ACTOWN", apparently an American company. White painted. 15kV/25mA (yes, 25! Catalog lists all other normal voltages and currents available. They rate the 25 the same capabilities as the 30's. Dunno why they make them...)
They have a small button on the side that, according to the manual, temporarily disables the GFI function for troubleshooting.
Out of the box, my units wouldn't run a Jacob's ladder a full second, no matter what I did. You have to power them down to reset the GFI, but no combination of power cycling and button pushing helped.
Top cover removal via a single screw. GFI override button at the very top of the side, so it was easy to dig through just a little potting. Potting is weird stuff, soft, beige/tan, but crumbly when picked at and spongy. Smells like it didn't finish setting up.
Soldered the two wires to the switch together and voile! Ran a Jacob's ladder just fine. Actually seemed to run pretty strong.
HOWEVER, when I put them under my TC to power it, every time the safety gap fired or I ran past 90VAC input the GFI protection triggered and shut them down. It also shut down whenever one side of the safety gap fired to ground.
So I pulled them out and stuck a used France 15/60 under instead (I had been using a mismatched pair of 15/30's before).
When I get around to it I'll have to de-pot them to rip out the GFI crap. It looks like whatever they potted them in will soften up better than tar does with a little time in the oven. What the heck, they were cheap...
Perhaps if we all do a little research, we can come up with templates showing the locations to drill on the outsides of the cases of the major brands' GFI NSTs to access the "brain" (which sounds like it includes a relay that clicks in and out). Sort of an instant "lobotomy". :)

-Phil LaBudde