Motors · Necchi

Wiring Necchi Supernova

Necchi Supernova machines have an electrical block regulating the current to the motor and the lamp. Necchi Supernova Julia has a somewhat different block, see Dan’s post.

Here is the underbelly of a 1955 Necchi Supernova flat bed with the electrical block at its right end. This is the European version of the “First Edition”, i.e. the Supernova mark 1, the first version to come out.

The block contains an AC/AC voltage converter for the motor, another one for the light, a mighty capacitor and the motor and light switches.

There is a socket on the bottom where you can plug in the pedal for the in-table or free arm version, or where you plug in a lead to a socket mounted in the back wall of the case for portable models.

The above block is for European distribution, so it converts voltage from 200V, 220V or 250V – the voltages used in different European countries in 1950s when this machine was made. The motor in my Supernova is rated at 220V, so this transformer converts all current to 220V. Models meant for USA have a similar block, and probably a different motor.

The light runs at 12V AC. There is only one wire going to it, and the return current is routed through the body of the machine. Forgive me if I don’t like it. 🤔

The capacitor in my flat bed Supernova burned out.

Since my Supernova’s motor takes 220V which is roughly our mains voltage, I removed the whole block and wired a socket directly to the motor. We have plenty of household appliances and other sewing motors rated for 220V, and they are all doing fine.

Note: later Supernova models used 160V motors even for the European editions, so you need that transformer there, you can’t just wire that to your 240V mains! Always check your own motor first!

But some people prefer to keep the original kit 😉, and for them here’s how you wire the plug.

The grey wires run to the pedal. Black is neutral, red is line, green is earth.

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25 thoughts on “Wiring Necchi Supernova

    1. the light on my 55 supernova runs from the transformer on 12V AC. I would avoid taking the transformer assembly apart because the wires fell off of mine.

      Checking the wiring is easy though. On the left side of the bakelite transformer housing are a pair of motor wires – and one wire that terminates on a screw-terminal that runs the light. One could remove that single wire with the oh so small teeny screw, and put a 9V battery between the wire and the chasis. If the light comes on the problem is either the switch or the transformer.

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    2. Hi Elena,

      How can I connect the machine directly to a lower socket? I bought a Mark 1 recently but it is missing a connector pin.

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      1. Apologies for the typo, I meant to write power socket. My old one missing a connector pin and I am trying to find an alternative.

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      2. I think you just connect like wire to like – line to line, neutral to neutral and earth to earth. You can solder them, then insulate, or use a “chocolate block” connecting strip.

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  1. I think yours is a slightly newer than first generation model because it has the molded resin switches. The first gen models had metal ones from what I’ve seen in the limited information available.

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    1. Well, then it must be generation 1A because Supernova mark 2 already had white knobs and mine still has olive green ones. I mean the big round knobs on the front – stitch length, pattern elongation and the tensioner dial. And anyhow mark 2 has “mark 2” written on it, so this one is definitely mark 1, serial number 35-0221799.

      I also had a Supernova free arm with serial number 6009, and it had the very same moulded switches. May be it was just an odd batch with metal switches that you’ve seen – quite unusual!

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      1. Sounds like anything’s possible with our beloved Necchi’s. Not much different in the vintage Italian motorscooter world – their postwar records were sometimes sketchy at best. I have a 1955 (or earlier – original purchase date was Dec 21, 1955) Supernova that has metal on/off hi/lo switches). I love your original blog post and pics, thanks!

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    2. The molded resin switches on mine were broken off at some point in the past. I can still flip them with the edge of a penny, but for how long? I want to put metal toggles in there. Mine was bought in Europe and has green knobs.

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  2. I just wanted to say that I have two BU Supernovas that have metal toggles. The BU Supernova predated the Supernova Automatica which I believe came before The Mark 1. I’m not sure exactly when they changed from metal toggles to the plastic toggles. Just wanted to add that I am in the USA, so perhaps there is a variation in the machines that were exported from Italy.

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      1. If there is a mark 2, there must also be a mark 1. 🙂 It is the original version. It seems that some of the earlier machines had metal toggles, but Necchi switched to plastic ones quite early on with the Supernova.

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  3. Hi Elena. I’m busy fixing my mothers Necchi, but have a wiring problem. It’s got exactly the same ac block and wiring as shown above. Do you perhaps have a complete wiring diagram for this machine?

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  4. You should join the Vintage necchi Facebook group. They have digital copies of service manuals in their file section.

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    1. You don’t need the capasitor, as it is only there to reduce the motor noise on radio equipment. If you want to, you can join two ceramic capasitors (in series) and use it.

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      1. You can join 2 x 400v 0.1uF capacitors, where the joint “legs” are connected to ground.

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  5. Hi, I live in France and have a French Lycia 524. Obviously working on 220 volts, it has an old style 2 pronged plug that goes into the wall socket. The cord from the machine to the electrical socket has three wires. This old plug has the earth wire dead-ending to a screw in the plug and the other two wires go to the two prongs. I would like to replace this plug for a modern one and would like to know if I should run it through the new three pronged plugs… the third prong being the earth, or should I retain the current set-up and run it only on a two pronged plug? These are european standard plugs… as found in France and Germany… not the British plug.

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    1. Hi, I think it’s best to use the Earth wire in the new plug, that is, to connect the earth wire from the machine to the earth prong in the plug and not just cut it off. The machine will work with or without the earth, but having it earthed is safer.

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