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electric motors and controllers


ken collins
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I have some extra garage door motors and want to use them to power some devices I've built.. Can I control them through a controller without frying the board?

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Basically, (standard) electric motors have a large start up current (usually twice or more the 'operating' current. You need to find out what this is for these motors, and insure that it is less than 8 amps (assuming you have the heavy duty heat sinks). And if it is anywhere near 8 amps, ensure that the motorized contraption can never bind so it could not rotate, since that could increase the current further.

Safer would be to power the motors through relays and control the relays with your channels. Or put 5 or 7 amp fuses inline with them.

Furthermore, the control you would have would probably be on for a while then off for a while. Trying to 'dim' or 'sparkle' a motor, or even just turn it on and off rapidly, will probably not be a good idea.

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Thanks John, kinda what I thought. Was trying to use a low speed gear motor on a lift system. I could use a smaller motor, but had these avail. Might check into the relay thing though, just for future info

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Hey Ken,

I too had some old Electric Garage door Motors kicking around the garage. I brought them into work and had my Electrician friends look at it and we got it working by just powering it up but, the trouble with Garage Door Motors is that they are only designed to work for a short period of time. IE As long as it takes to open the door.
We left it running on the bench for 2 minutes and smoke started to erupt from the motor. Turned it off and we could get it bump for about 45 seconds before it started smoking again. I guess these motors are designed for High Torque and short run time.

Just my 2 bits worth!

Cheers
Evan

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John Hertig wrote:

Basically, (standard) electric motors have a large start up current (usually twice or more the 'operating' current. You need to find out what this is for these motors, and insure that it is less than 8 amps (assuming you have the heavy duty heat sinks). And if it is anywhere near 8 amps, ensure that the motorized contraption can never bind so it could not rotate, since that could increase the current further.

Safer would be to power the motors through relays and control the relays with your channels. Or put 5 or 7 amp fuses inline with them.

Furthermore, the control you would have would probably be on for a while then off for a while. Trying to 'dim' or 'sparkle' a motor, or even just turn it on and off rapidly, will probably not be a good idea.


To combat the surge you can also attach a capacitor

I agree with not putting them on a card, but control with a relay as I am not sure what the power output liiks like on the lor controller. If it chops the sine wave (as how a electronic dimmer controls the output) then there is the possibility of damaging the motors.
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