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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Motors for Haunt and Halloween Props



There has been a lot of talk about the shortage of electric motors for Halloween prop building since the supply of surplus wiper motors and vent motors has dried up. For the January meeting of CalHaunts SoCal I put together the equivalent of a 10th grade science project to demonstrate some potential haunt prop motors. After visiting all the usual sources of surplus parts (More to come on that...) I gathered what I thought were the best candidates for electric motors to build into props. Most are 12 volts and less than $20 dollars for the motor.

The benchmark project in mind was the classic Flying Crank Ghost. Motors needed to be strong enough and slow enough to replace the $50 motor specified by phantasmechanics.



What we ended up with was 7 motors that seem to be good prop building candidates. Six motors are 12 volts and one is 110 AC. To demonstrate the available torque I modified each motor to accept a 6" crank arm and tested it using an 8 once weight.

To deal with motors with high RPM, I demonstrated two inexpensive PWM modules available from ebay.com to control motor speed. (More information on Pulse Width Modulation controllers in a later post.)

Note: Thanks to Dennis Griesser (of Wolfstone fame) for these photos and all the closeup photos of motors to come. (Dennis - Could you please Photoshop away 20 pounds from me next time?)

If there is interest, I'll post individual motor reviews over the next week or so.

For those that can't wait to see the Prop Motor Reviews, sneak over to my blog for previews
ScaryTinker
 

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Thanks for posting this! Individual reviews would be lovely. The search for replacement motors is ongoing as sources dry up, and this thread will be of interest to a lot of folks here.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to do this, it will save lots of time (and $$) for those of us looking for prop motors.
 

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Yes, we are interested! That is some valuable information ScaryTinker. Thanks for your time and sharing!
 

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Hey Steve,
This was a great Demo and certainly was helpful to see and hear the motors put thru the test. I Have already started looking on ebay for aPWM. I think posting the individual results here would be a great help for everyone. See you at the next build.
 

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Please pardon my sidestep, but do you have a direct link for CalHaunts SoCal? I've actually been looking at some kind of local Make and Take group.

Thanks. Back to your regularly scheduled thread...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Please pardon my sidestep, but do you have a direct link for CalHaunts SoCal? I've actually been looking at some kind of local Make and Take group.

Thanks. Back to your regularly scheduled thread...
Of course the website is down for the first time in years right now.... so here's the scoop.

Basically CalHaunts is a Southern Calfornia group that meets 10 months a year on the second Saturday of the month. We meet at a members house which can be in the Valley, Inland Empire, OC, or LA. Attendance is typically 50-60 people per meeting, we do M&Ts, presentations, Potluck lunch. PM me if you have addtional questions or signup issues. When the site is back up the info is at www.calhaunts.com. There is a meeting this Saturday - PM for sign up details.
 

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Just to add to this, I purchased some of those stripped down reindeer motors on ebay and yes they work EXACTLY like a reindeer motor should just no plastic case wrapped around them which I actually like better as they are small and easier to install. You can find them in both 110V or 12v if you prefer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's the next installment...

Here's one of the motor evaluations -

AllElectronics.com DCM-351


http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/DCM-351/24-VDC-GEAR-MOTOR-W/TURNTABLE/1.html

Description:
24 VDC GEAR MOTOR W/ TURNTABLE
Relatively powerful, low-current DC motor and gearbox with a 4.9" diameter plastic (nylon?) turntable with a rubber o-ring circumference that could be used to drive another wheel. Turntable can be removed from motor and rubber ring on turntable can be removed as well. Motor gearbox has a 5/16" diameter shaft that is flatted and splined.

Specs:
•45RPM @ 24 Vdc, 60mA - operates at 12Vdc at 1/2 speed.
•Drive motor - Mabuchi RS-380SH. 1.1" diameter x 1.67".
•Gearbox - Molon #CHM-2435-1. 2.75" x 3.00" x 0.57" Threaded mounting holes in four corners. 5/16" diameter shaft, flatted and splined.

Price for one - $9.75 Shipping for 1 - 7.00
Price for ten - $9.75 each Shipping for 10 - $7.00

PROS -
Medium Torque
Seller has good shipping policy
Good price
Good customer service
Seems happy in low torque continuous use
Electrical connection are very easy to get to.
This motor had enough torque at 12 volts to spin the 8oz test weight at high rpm with some strain.
Comes with 4.9" plastic wheel. This should provide lots of easy way to drive loads.
Easy to mount using 4 existing through holes in the gearbox.

CONs -
A bit noisy under load
RPM a bit high at rated 24 volts
Output shaft a bit short

Modifications -

I removed the wheel from the drive shaft. I did this to demonstrate how easy it was to adapt the ouput shaft. I used a U-bolt to attach the crank arm to the shaft. For this test I ran the motor at 12 volts. RPM at 12 volts is a bit high for a FCG but for a spider or other animation this motor at 12 volts should be a good choice.

The ideal solution would be to use a PWM module with this motor and 24 volts. This will give you good torque over a wide RPM range.

Comments - I have not tried this yet, but repacking the gearbox with a heavy (wheel bearing) type grease should reduce the noise level.
 
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