Discussion Category:  Centrifuge

Does not get up to speed

We have an Allegra 6R that will start and get up to about 50rpms before stopping spinning and giving us the 8880 error code. We are having trouble finding a technician in our area (Houston, TX) and wanted to know if there were any suggestions to repair before we replaced it. Thank you!
avatar placemark

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avatar placemarkReply by

The 8880 error code is a generic code for a lot of different possible issues.  That's why Beckman factory engineers had a special test box in order to determine which problem was causing the problem.  Generally, the first thing that I would check would be the drive motor brushes as historically they were the biggest source of the code.  The other issue had to do with the TACH sensor coming loose or actually breaking and it is found in the bottom of the drive motor assembly.  Either way, you need to remove the drive motor to check for either issue.  To remove the drive motor you must first disconnect all of the cables that go from the drive to the control board.  You start by unplugging the centrifuge and then start removing all of the allen screws and hex head screws that hold the control panel to the chassis.  Trace out the cables coming from the drive, I believe that there are 3 but it has been over a decade since I saw one.  The drive is removed by popping out the black boot that is in the bottom of the chamber if indeed you have the refrigerated version.  IF you only have the Allegra 6 then that cahnges the procedure.  Then remove the 6 nuts that hold the drive motor in place along with the metal and rubber washers.  DO not be surprised that you have difficultly getting the motor out of the centrifuge as the blue ring that separates the drive from the bottom of the chamber sticks very tightly between the two places.  You have to try prying the motor up around the drive motor until it breaks free.  Then you should be able to feed all of the cables and the motor out of the unit.  The brushes are found behind the two blacks buttons with a single slot in them.  Take them out but watch what their orientation is in case they are not bad.  IF they are bad and need replacing then replace the brushes and FOLLOW the instructions as to how to break the brushes in if you want them to last for any length of time.

If the brushes are good then move on to the bottom of the drive where the protective bottom cover is for the tachometer.  SOmetimes the nut holding the tach wheel to the bottom of the drive comes loose and that will indeed cause an 8880 error code.  IF it has come loose, remove the nut, apply some thread lock compound and reinstall the nut.  You can also check the tach wheel itself to make sure that the magnets that encircle the wheel on the bottom are still in place.

Get back to me when you can.


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