Motor selection for outdoor 'Christmas Card'

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by andrewgcross, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. andrewgcross

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 13, 2009
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    Hey everyone, I stumbled across this forum in searching for a couple of questions I have, and this is quite the resource of information!

    I am building a 'Christmas Card' for the community that is essentially Santa on a sleigh cut out of a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Unfortunately, I can't make anything too simple so I'm trying to figure out how to make one of Santa's arms "wave." :)

    Here's where I could really use some insight from you guys. I really don't have any experience in selecting (or where to find) motors. From my research, I think I'm looking for a AC induction motor that spins between 30-60RPM and offers no more than 5 ft-lb of torque. I haven't had any luck finding a motor anywhere close to these specs, but I guess I'm either not looking in the right places (or those types of motors don't exist!).

    Another question I have is, if the AC motor that meets these specs isn't rated for 120VAC and is a 24VAC, how do I go about transforming that signal down? Is a transformer like one of these simply the answer?

    I'm trying to make this card as easy for someone to use as possible, so I'd like it to be able to just be plugged into an outlet and a switch flipped to turn it on/off. I figured this would suffice? Should I incorporate some sort of fuse just in case?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  2. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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  3. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    If you are willing to get a 12VDC supply, you might look in to a car windshield wiper motor. They are weather proof and already have an arm on the shaft to link to Santa's arm.

    And because they use 12V that's a safety plus.
     
  4. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    You must not use line-powered devices outdoors unless they were specifically designed to do so, or unless they are completely enclosed in a box that meets NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturer's Association) ratings, UL specifications, and federal/state/local regulations/codes for electrical appliances.

    The windshield wiper motor idea is a good one; it eliminates most of the high voltage concerns.

    Still, if the power supply for the wiper motor is line powered, it will either have to be rated for outdoor use, be in a suitable enclosure (I.A.W. the 1st paragraph) or be located indoors.
     
  5. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    Check out yard sales for things that move you
    may find your motor doing something else and
    pay .50 cents. Spec-motors are expensive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  6. andrewgcross

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 13, 2009
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    0
    That looks like a great resource, thanks for the suggestion. From some of the other suggestions, I think I may take a slightly different route with this project, but I've bookmarked that site for future reference.

    That's a GREAT suggestion! I was just driving in the rain the other day, and didn't manage to make the connection. Thanks!

    It makes every bit of sense that there would be some standardized way of doing this for outdoor use. The last thing I need is for my electronics to short in the rain and ignite poor Santa haha...

    You convinced me to take the 12 VDC route with the windshield wiper motor, so now I just need to find a transformer power supply created for outdoor use. I found these power supplies for outdoor LED installations, would this be a safe route to pursue?

    http://www.kicklighting.com/12-volt-12v-power-supplies-for-LED-lights.htm

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Indoor-Outdoor-...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item1e582f3e0b
     
  7. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Not knowing how far you are going to be, Santa to house/building wise, you could use a car battery. You would have to charge it every day or every other day. Depending how many hours a day it was used.

    The wires from the motor could just have alligator clips on them.

    Or if you have a old computer power supply you could use that to power Santa. Keep the power supply indoors and run the wires out to him.

    Cary
     
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