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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:40 am
Posts: 192
A reader writes:
For the animated Santa where Comet is lifting him onto the roof. I am unable to find what kind of motor is being used. Do you have any ideas. Popular Mechanics left out that tiny detail and I am trying to recreate it this year from the display my grandfather did as a surprise to my mother! Thanks in advance for your help!!

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Thanks for getting in touch.

Sorry, in the 1950s and 1960s, Popular Mechanics readers were expected to "know this stuff." Of course hardly anybody takes on this kind of project today. Plus there were a lot of table-mounted motors people used to use to belt-power their lathes etc. Going into a hardware or electronics store and asking for an electric motor that turns 12-15 rotations per minute and produce 12 to 24 pounds of torque was as easy as picking up a bag of rice at the grocery store.

Unfortunately this sort of DIY project is not so popular these days, and these things are harder to find.

Sorry, I went shopping online and if you try to buy any of those motors by themselves they're a lot more expensive than they used to be.

12 to 15 rpms means that the motor turns fairly slowly. Most motors today turn very fast and use pulleys or gearing to slow the rotary motion down enough to be useful. Exceptions would include ceiling fan motors or the motor out of a "direct drive" turntable. But you'd need someone mechanically and electrically-minded to help you adapt one.

I could figure out most electric motors, as long as they could be mounted - if they turned much faster that they "should," I'd just make the pulley on the motor end much smaller, or not use a pulley at all - just put the belt around the axle sticking out of the motor, and make the "big pulley" larger if necessary. But you'd still need someone electrically and mechanically minded for this. You'd also need to protect it from the weather and make certain it's plugged into a Ground-Fault-Interrupt controlled circuit (one that shuts down if it senses a short).

Sorry I can't be more specific.

Please let me know if you figure something out.

Paul Race
FamilyChristmasOnline.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:16 am
Posts: 326
Sooooooooooooooo following this one!


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