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BEAM Pieces is a BEAM Reference Library site.

DC motors
"Rollin', rollin', rollin'.... keep them motors rollin'...."

A tiny pager motor (image courtesy of Solarbotics)

Small DC motors give many BEAMbots their motivating power... These range anywhere from tiny pager motors (like that pictured above) to salvaged motors the size of a small peach. "Raw" DC motors have pretty high output speeds -- you can use them as-is in some applications (say, in photopoppers), or add your own gearbox to turn them into gearmotors.

In any case, you'll want a bit of data before you start. I'm in the process of testing all the interesting DC motors I can get my hands on, just to compare their performance (more on this as I get things pulled together).

Meanwhile, if you would like a bit more background on what makes DC motors "tick," check out my "Starting Block" article on DC motors and how they work.

For more information...

Need to get more info on a Mabuchi motor you've salvaged? Check out its specs at the Mabuchi Motor Co. site.

The RobotRoom has a nice writeup on how to remove the weights from pager motors here.

A good description of what goes on inside a DC motor is on the "How Stuff Works" site here; meanwhile, the University of Queensland has a higher-level writeup here.

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Page author: Eric Seale
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