Author Topic: hobby motors - what do I need to know?  (Read 874 times)

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Slartibartfast

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hobby motors - what do I need to know?
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:31:37 PM »
I'll be the first to admit my enthusiasm for engineering things tends more towards the "what do we have in the junk drawer?" rather than electronics, but I'm stretching out  :)  I'm trying to build an Inspector Gadget costume for Dragon*Con this year (huge science fiction convention which draws a ton of people, many of whom like to go in costume).  As part of the costume, I'm trying to make the helicopter hat thing - I've got the fedora, I've got the lightweight corrugated plastic for the blades, I just have to figure out how to make the thing spin.

Any suggestions for good places to learn about building a simple circuit with a motor?  Ideally I want to fit a lightweight motor into the hat, run a battery pack with a switch down one sleeve, and hook the motor up to the blades so I can flip a switch and have the blades turn.  They don't have to turn very fast, so I *think* this means I need to find a way to get a low RPM but a high torque motor (not sure if I have a full grasp of how that works), but I do need something powerful enough to get them started from a standstill without burning out.

So yeah, suggestions would be appreciated  :)  I see that eBay has a ton of "hobby motors" for sale for cheap, but I don't know if that's what I'd need or what else I would need to modify them with and make the rest of the setup.  (I do have an awesome fedora and trench coat, though, which will go a long way toward making me look like Inspector Gadget even if I don't actually look a thing like him!)

o_gal

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Re: hobby motors - what do I need to know?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 07:54:11 AM »
Any suggestions for good places to learn about building a simple circuit with a motor?

A good tool/toy for learning about electric circuits and motors is Snap Circuits. My son has the version which is Snap Circuits Pro. What you get is a large number of connectors, transistors, capacitors, motors and other fun stuff like light switches and noise makers. DS's set came with 3 books with example circuits to build and play with (there are about 300 examples in those 3 books). The more complicated circuits can be used to build things like small radios. You'll learn all the basics and more about building circuits. And it's fun to play around and get something working, especially the ones that light up or do stuff with the motors.

Melle

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Re: hobby motors - what do I need to know?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 07:57:36 AM »
There are kits for building rotating baby mobiles - but they are of course made to turn slowly, so I'm not sure if that would be any use for you.

Acadianna

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Re: hobby motors - what do I need to know?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 07:48:55 PM »
Check out companies that sell science supplies for classrooms.  They usually have motor kits for sale.

You might want to try Carolina.com, ScienceKit, and Amazon.  Amazon has some very inexpensive ones, but I don't know how powerful they are.

Jinxy

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Re: hobby motors - what do I need to know?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 07:59:38 PM »
Have you seen the Dragon*Con costume track page on Facebook? There are tons of people there that can help there.

A simple DC motor should do it (low voltage) this one spins at 1,000 RPM's
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/dc-electric-motor-low-speed/p/EL-MOTOR2/

You may need to slow it down so a gear set
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/mini-gears-set/p/MC-GEARSET/

 and a battery pack.
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/battery-holder-joiner-d-cell/p/EL-BATHOLD/
or
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/battery-holder-for-aa/p/EL-BATHAA1/

you may want to think about a switch, but you could just take the battery in and out.



I normally hand all electronic projects to my hubby, you should see the light up purse he helped with. I'll have the updated one with me this year, but I never get out of the Guest Ops. office until wicked late.
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