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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Parts I need: Motor

As stated before, I need to use PMDC (permanent magnet direct current) Brushed type motors for Regen to work, AFAIK. So finding a cheap but quiet and hopefully reliable motor would be useful.
If not using Regen, then Brushless DC motors are the next choice, as they're supposed to be more efficient than brushed motors (due to less friction from not having a commutator, I think).
AC motors are right out.
Series-wound DC motors (like most starter motors in cars) are not desirable because of the extra power it will take to run it, just wasted on energizing the stator windings.
Low RPMs-per-volt is fine with me, because it means less reduction I have to do to get to the speed I really want to use to turn the wheel with. It might mean less torque, though, which I still have to figure out. I'm not good with math (I can solve an equation, but I don't really *comprehend* it).

Sources of possible motors I could recycle into this machine include but are not limited to:

-- Old big line printers, the type that feed wide paper out so fast you hardly have time to blink. There aren't many around anymore, and I'm sure some of you have never seen one.

-- Battery powered power tools. Some of the heftier ones that have a lot of torque are likely to have enough power to run this. If they're quality, it's even possible the reduction gearing could be used from them, which would be a great help. Most of the ones that work for this are bigger pro-end tools, with separate battery packs, rather than the ones with built-in batteries and such (like one little one I have here).

-- Some lawn tools. My Black & Decker electric lawnmower was AC powered, but had a rectifier and a PMDC motor in it, which would almost certainly have been big enough to do the job. Unfortunately something cracked the magnet, which got sucked into the armature windings and cut them up, resulting in what looks like the worse bad-hair day ever. If it turns out to be possible to unspool the wire off an old AC fan motor I have (without damaging the wire or insulation) I might be able to rewind it, and possibly epoxy the magnet back together, but I doubt it will perform like it used to.

-- Car window motors. I might be able to use one off this old Ford in my driveway--they don't work anyway because the crankcases for rolling them up are stripped out. That's 4 motors, potentially. But I don't know what kind of continuous power they have available. Have to take one out and see if they're marked.

-- Possibly certain old motorcycle starters, if they are PMDC instead of series-wound (because I don't want to waste the extra power energizing that stator coil set).

-- ?? feel free to add any other possibilities here.

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