Power Unit for Tattoo Machines

Tattoo machines run on direct current. In the beginning, you may want to use a battery set-up. They are simple and cheap at first. The drawback is they have to be maintained and charged.
You can get a good Power Unit for less than the price of two batteries. A Power Unit is handy because it can be plugged into the wall socket, and is fairly trouble-free. Excellent units are available on the Market today. Even if a Power Unit is used, a battery set-up is a useful piece of spare equipment to have around.
Also, if you have a cellar, you may want to use two 12 volt auto batteries and a trickle charger. If so, use caution as overcharged batteries are highly explosive, and you don’t want any battery acid around the area of your work.
A rheostat mounted on a bakelite panel provided with connecting posts may be available from your tattoo supply house.
Power Units come in different sizes. Buy the best one that you can afford. A good power supply is very important.


Other important type of Tattoo Machine

One more type of machine should be mentioned. The very latest state of the art in tattoo machines is the Spaulding & Rogers “Revolution” machine. Totally different in appearance and operation than the regular tattoo machine, it delivers more efficient needle movement, runs smoother and virtually noiseless and is considerably lighter in weight. Also to note is the lack of a steel frame, the Revolution is made of indestructible high-impact nylon plastic and the workings are totally self-contained. A big advantage also is the lack of rubber bands, as this machine utilizes a patented action cam to not only supply movement, but also to securely hold the needle bar. This new machine is changing the tattoo industry and is worth checking out.

The electrical link between the machine and the power supply is the clip cord. One end has two phone jacks for the Power Unit and the other a spring clip connecting device. One hook from the clip cord slips into the hole located in the rear underside top part of the frame, the other hook goes into the hole located in the rear binding post.


Parts Description of Tattoo Machines

A. Machine Frame — Although many frames look different, they all have these basic features; the jaws in which the needle tube is clamped in (via wing nut . The base of the frame is where the coils are mounted. The spring brace is in the rear and supports the rear binding post and armature bar. The side arm holds the front binding post.

B. Machine Coils — Steel Core, come in eight or ten wrap (wraps of wire around core) cotton or enamel wrapped wire. These coils act as electromagnets. They attach to base with screws . Spacing washers ride underneath cores.
C. Machine Springs — Front spring holds contact point . Rear one attaches to armature bar and spring brace on frame with screw and washers . Provides resilience for up and down needle motion.
D. Armature Bar — Provides steel mass for magnetic pull. Also is link to tattoo needle .
E. Front Binding Post — Holds contact screw and adjusts for align ment by use of nylon washers. Contact screw can be locked in position by lock screw .
F. Rear Binding Post — Provides contact point for clip cord. Adjusts for alignment with washers .
G. Capacitor — Usually 10, MFD, 25 volts standard. Can be fitted to any machine to minimize sparking and arcing.
H. Bands — Provide even pressure on needle bar. Should be replaced often. Tubes — Use only Stainless Steel open Sanitary Tubes. Encases needle and bar . Provides good gripping surface.


Parts List for Tattoo Machines

1. Front Spring
2. Washer - 10/32″
3. Washer - 8/32″
4. Screw
5. Rear Spring
6. Screw, Binder Head - 3/4
7. Screw, Binder Head - 3/4
S. Extruded Washer, Black Nylon
9. Soldering Lug
10. Cap, Contact Screw
11. Contact Screw Sterling Silver, 6/32 x 1
12. Binding Post
13. Screw, Black Nylon, 8/32 x 1/4
14. Rubber Bands
15. Machine Frame
16. Binder Screw (3/4)
17. Washer, Black Nylon, Flat
18. Band Hook
19. Screw, Flat Head Machine, Stainless Steel, 8/32 x 1/4
20. Screw - 8/32 x 3/4
21. Needle Bar
22. Needle Tube
23. Tube Cap
24. Capacitor
25. Steel Shims
26. Machine Coil
27. Hospital Tape
28. Armature Bar
29. Contact Point (Sterling Silver)


Machines and Power Sources for tattooing

It is often said that a machine is no better than the person operating it. This can also be applied to tattoo machines. A tattooist must have confidence with his machines and must learn to run them properly, not have them run him.
Tattoo machines may vary in appearance but they all run basically the same, and perform the same function, driving a needle up and down very fast, perforating the skin and driving ink in as the operator steers it along while leaving a trail behind. This is done when the machine is connected into a power source and turned on, a full electrical circuit runs through it. When this happens, the two coils become magnetized (an electric magnet) and attract the metal armature bar down to it. As the armature bar moves down, the needles move down. When this happens, the contact points separate from each other, causing a break in the electrical circuit. As soon as this happens, the machine stops, the coils become unmagnetized and the armature bar springs back up. This makes the needle go back up. When it springs back up, the contact points touch each other and make a circuit again, and this starts the process all over. The machine becomes magnetized and unmagnetized and the needles go up and down. This happens extremely fast, too fast for the eye to follow. All that can be heard is a buzzing, as the circuits separate and contact again.