linear actuator - need help with wiring/switch

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by c0rp53, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. c0rp53

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    I bought a used linear actuator (110v) and it has 4 wires. It used to have 3 wires hooked up to a rocker switch. the rocker switch has 3 terminals. up position made the motor contract, down position made it expand, middle position was obviously not engaged. Awhile back the wiring was cut and I can not safely figure out what wires are for what - I DO NOT want to fry the motor, so I have not experimented.

    The wire colors are: Black, White, Red and Green.

    the linear actuator is from Hubbel, model MC42-1003. Since Hubbel seems to be out of business, I can't find any information online about this motor's wiring. If pictures would be helpful, I can take some - but I don't think they'll show much more than I've explained.

    I can either use the existing 3-terminal switch (knowing that it worked once before), or I can go to radio shack and purchase something else if recommended.

    Thanks a bunch for the help!
  2. creakndale

    Active Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    I have experimented with two different linear actuators originally designed to move the old type Satellite dishes. However, they were driven with 24 to 36V DC.

    The Red and Black are for the drive voltage connections. With the Red wire connected to positive voltage and Black wire connected to common (0V) the linear actuator moves in one direction. Connecting positive voltage to the Black wire and common (0V) to the Red wire runs the linear actuator in the opposite direction.

    The White and Green wires connect to a magnetic (reed) type switch, built into the linear actuator, whos contacts open and close as the linear actuator shaft moves. These wires are not polarity sensitive and are used as pulse counts so the electronic circuitry "knows" where the linear actuator is positioned. You will see specifications like "30 pulse" or "48 pulse" which refers to how many times the switch contacts close per inch of linear actuator travel.

    Sometimes there is a schematic diagram inside the gear housing cover.

    If your operates off of 110VAC then the above description may or may not apply at all.

    You might try contacting Southwest Specialty: