Butler Winding Conquers a Reverse Engineering Power Transformer Challenge

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Butler Winding completed a challenging reverse engineering project for Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Butler Winding recently completed an electronic reverse engineering effort for the Tobyhanna Army Depot. This was quite a challenge of reverse engineering. BW began work on, what they initially thought, was a multi-tapped power transformer in an encapsulated box with connectors.

Butler's engineers were given a non-functioning assembly of an EMP Electronics Inc. part and some system level drawings but nothing specific about the assembly. Upon disassembly, they realized this was more than just one transformer. There was also a wound toroidal inductor connected across two of the leads of the transformer. (See toroidal inductors at http://goo.gl/lVyZBo ) They determined the transformer size based on physical measurements and concluded it was an EI-65 lamination and made of 12 mil thick silicon-iron. By unwinding the transformer, Butler engineers determined the turns ratios of this four winding transformer.

Unfortunately the wound toroidal inductor broke into several pieces during disassembly. They could physically count the turns that were on it and had to get a material analysis done on one of the broken core pieces to determine the core material. It turned out be a 60 permeability MPP core, Magnetics 55894-A2. Using both a resistance meter and an inductance meter, they were able to determine the schematic and connection points.

They built one prototype (without encapsulation) for our military customer to electrically evaluate. It performed as needed in a military static inverter power system. They were then able to proceed to encapsulate the prototype and build the remaining units.

Other military and research institutions Butler Winding has worked with recently include the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, NAVAIR or the Naval Air Systems Command, NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Sandia National Laboratories, Applied Research Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Applied Research Lab of the University of Texas at Austin. To see more images from the reverse engineering project, go to: http://goo.gl/PVGhRv.

Butler Winding is a precision manufacturer and supplier of custom electronic transformers and custom inductors. Our winding capabilities include custom manufacturing & building, custom designing, custom prototyping and more. We produce electronic transformers and inductors to our own design or the customer specifications. Please contact Butler Winding at 724-283-7230 or find their website at http://www.butlerwinding.com

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Jay Smith
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