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Discussion Starter #1
Help Needed! My 14 year old son & I are trying to build our first zombie to come out of a coffin. We have a motor from a floor fan. We attached the zombie (made of a wooden stake, pvc arms and a styrofoam head) on to the part of the fans that oscillates. However it seems to be slipping & not able to move the prop. Any help you can give us??
 

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burmistrzak, Unfortunately, that motor is not strong enough. It moves a fan, and that is what it is intended to do. Also, Fan motors don't do well without their "fans" as they run very fast and heat up very quickly.

I think you have the right idea, just the wrong motor. Personally, I am a fan of "reindeer motors" which are the motors that run the white reindeer in peoples yards around Christmas time. I find them easy to use and they will run forever unless you subject them to too much weight. Others on here like wiper motors. I have not dabbled in these, but wiper motors require an external source of power -12 volt- (reindeer motors you can just plug in.) Wiper motors will give you much more torque, and are "variable" meaning you can run them faster or slower. Wiper motors are the way to go if you want fast and heavy.

I think your prop is too heavy for what you intend to do with it with a fan motor. Again, great idea, just the wrong motor.

Any one else?
 

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Burm..... First Questions about your prop?
Is the coffin laying flat on the ground, leaning against something or what??
Is this a "life size" coffin and zombie or near "life Size"?
Is your fan motor taken off of the stand? (so that you're using the motor and gears only)

I have 7 or 8 props that all use fan motors for the movement. All are taken off the their stands. Some are turned completely upside down (gears are now on the top and movement is side to side like the original movement), some are turned on their side so that the gears are on the side which gives an up and down movement... I have one that is actually standing on end with the gears now on the side and gives me a push-pull movement.

My first animated prop using a fan motor was for a jack-in-the-box for Christmas. The motor was turned on it's side and I added an 10" aluminum "arm" across the moving part of the oscillating mount. This was to give me the length of movement to raise the head ( an 8" styrofoam ball ) high enough to be above the side of the box. The "neck" holding the head was a 20" piece of aircraft aluminum tubing fastened to the end of the aluminum arm.
The fan motor gears would not lift the "neck" and head and kept slipping.
The only way I could get the movement needed was to add an extension opposite the 8" aluminum arm and hang a counter balance weight on the end of that extension arm.

Jack's head
W
I_________________Gears _________
................................... ^ ...................CBW
CBW Needs to be equal to or very near equal to the weight of Jack's head..

If you have enough room you might pivot the zombies body somewhere near his waist and add a counter balance weight beyond that toward where his feet would be... That weight would have to be equal to or almost.... the weight of the upper part of the body...

Kinda long an drawn out but maybe it'll help....
 

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Depending on the weight, I'd go with the wiper motor. It sounds as though you're trying to use the oscillating gear in the fan motor to push (pull) the zombie to an upright position. Those gears are meant to have virtually no load on them, just the horizontal movement of the fan. The low-torque fan motor can't handle that load.
Just curious - is this prop meant to run constantly or are you using something to trigger the motor?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I also have a reindeer motor. Will post pics soon on what we have so far. How can I use the deer motor? Can I do anything easy with the fan motor? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The motor is off of it's stand. The coffin is a wooden box about 2' x 4' that my son has propped up on one end about 6 inches off of the ground. It would be constantly moving also. Anyone have ideas of something easy we can make that moves? My son is determined to have moving props this year. I can build & decorate but don't know much about motors! Thanks, Michelle
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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As Otaku has pointed out, Oscillating fan motors aren't designed to bear weight of any significance.
They are useful for simple animatronics, such as head turning props where a light styrofoam head can be mounted on a shaft running through the body of the prop and attached to the oscillating motor, causing the head to turn side to side. Or for operating simple light linkages.
 
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