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This is my first year jumping into the animated props. I have decent graveyard and plenty of static props, but I want make things a little more entertaining this year.

My question is, how difficult is it to wire and work with motors? Please keep in mind when replying, I have very little mechanical and/or electronic skills. I'm not afraid to try, but I don't have natural mechanical abilities.
 

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Don't let it intimidate you. I was similar back when I started my haunt. I usually ended up getting shocked by my wiring initially but once you start something larger and more complicated than you ever did before, work through some problems or issues as you go, then see what you create work and the effect it gives you're hooked!

Go for it! Send pics of what you create to show the group.
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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This is my first year jumping into the animated props. I have decent graveyard and plenty of static props, but I want make things a little more entertaining this year.

My question is, how difficult is it to wire and work with motors? Please keep in mind when replying, I have very little mechanical and/or electronic skills. I'm not afraid to try, but I don't have natural mechanical abilities.
You might want to search the forum for wiper motors. You should be able to find some great projects built with them. I bought my wiper motor kits from Halloween Prop Building Supplies For The Home Haunter - Monster Guts . This is a great route to go. Good price, and it comes with everything you need to more or less just plug it in so wiring isn't really an issue. They are also really good to deal with. :)
 

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Blaberus craniifer
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I'll second that. Wiper motors are great and work really well. Just two wires to connect (either hi or low speed). MonsterGuts is a great source for them also!
 

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Stay with 12V DC

As others have indicated. Wiper motor is good place to start. Or you may be able to find what are called gearmotors at an industrial surplus store if you have one nearby. Without backround in electro/mechanical processes, please stay away from AC. Also even though DC is low voltage and safer, you still need to be aware of issues that relate to load. A motor at no load draws much less current than one under load. Thus you need to design your prop with this in mind. Using counter weighting is a good way to reduce the load. The easiest way to describe this is to take a long pole or long piece of wood. Try to left the pole with one hand from the end horizontally. Notice the strain on your wrist and hand. Now lift the pole from the center. This is a balanced load. Your goal is to attempt to achieve the same effect as much as possible in your prop. If the movement is on a more vertical plane, then less concern for this aspect of load is needed. Good mechanical design is also important. Bearings and rotating surfaces should move freely with little if any binding. When using plastics, be aware that lubricants are in general not to be used on plastics. There are some non petroleum based that can be used. Graphite is one. It is a bit messy though. Most if not all petroleum based lubricants will actually attack the plastic and you don't want that. A synthetic lubricant like lubriplate may be ok. Many people use PVC in their proprs and this is why I mention this.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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The first motorized prop I built was to make my (static) witch stir her cauldron. I know next to nothing about electronics and mechanics, and was able to figure it out.

I also recommend the MonsterGuts site. I ordered a Power Pack, which is the motor, the plugs and all of the wiring already completed. You just have to attach the connectors and plug it into the wall and it works. (two little wire end clamps to the motor's connectors - it's easy. There is something like 6 little motor connectors, and depending on which two you attach to it will do the standard 5PM, a faster in reverse direction and nothing... just attach and see which ones work)

Electric Motors for Props - Power Pack - Halloween Prop Building Supplies For The Home Haunter - Monster Guts (it currently says it is out of the 5 volt power supply - they offer 5 v and 12 v. The 5 v is the slower motion that is the one I got and I've repurposed it for several different props. I'm sure there are great uses for the faster RPM motor, but I like the slower personally and it is $4 cheaper)

The easiest props to make from a novice's point of view: stirring cauldron for a witch, grave pop-up, grave grabber. Oh! And I just tested this same motor to make a full sized rocking chair rock and it works beautifully!
 

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Frankie:

You mentioned the wiper motor doing 5rpm.

How do you get it to turn so slowly? I seemed to recall on the website the RPM's were closer to 15RMP @ 5 volts.

Thanks

Shad
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Frankie:

You mentioned the wiper motor doing 5rpm.

How do you get it to turn so slowly? I seemed to recall on the website the RPM's were closer to 15RMP @ 5 volts.

Thanks

Shad
Don't know, it just does. :) It may be 5 or 6 RPM, but when I counted it and used a stopwatch, it came out at 5ish. I did notice that plugging the connections in at different spots got a faster turn reversing the direction that the slow setting had.
 

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Using the 5 volt power supply and connecting to the "slow" connection on the motor will slow the wiper motor to about 5 RPMs.. If you need or want the motor to turn a little faster use the "fast' connection. Faster yet use the 12 volt power supply and it can be connected to the slow or fast connections on the motor.
Note: using the lower voltage power supply will take away some of the motor's torque...
 

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Using the 5 volt power supply and connecting to the "slow" connection on the motor will slow the wiper motor to about 5 RPMs.. If you need or want the motor to turn a little faster use the "fast' connection. Faster yet use the 12 volt power supply and it can be connected to the slow or fast connections on the motor.
Note: using the lower voltage power supply will take away some of the motor's torque...
Wait, you mean there's more than one way to connect the power supply to the wiper motor?

Here's how I have mine wired:


Unfortunately Monster Guts didn't send any directions, so I guessed that this was how it was supposed to be setup, and honestly, it seems like it moves pretty quickly, so I need to slow it down.
 

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Looking at the connection ends where you have your power supply connected there are 5 contacts.. the two direct to the motor which it looks like your supply is connected and three others . the farthest one from the motor housing is the common.. common to the next contact ( blue wire) is if I remember correctly the slow speed. Common to the fourth contact over (blue/pink) would be the high speed.. I may have those speeds reversed, but this is the way I remember it...
 

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Dminor... Here's some info on wiper motors and power supplys that may or may not help you... On page two there's a picture of the connection contacts and it's a little different than the motor from Monster Guts, but the connections are the same.
Quite a bit of info on these two pages.
Wiper Motor Page
 

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My very first wipermotor from Monsterguts.com just arrived today and I was surprised to see there were no instructions. I bought the power pack because I know absolutely nothing about wiring! I'm hoping these pictures help but you stated they were on the monsterguts website. I couldn't find any instructions there either.
 

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That's WAY more expensive that MonsterGuts. They only charge $15 for the wiper motor. For the cost of the Grainger motor I could get a few from MonsterGuts.
 

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My very first wipermotor from Monsterguts.com just arrived today and I was surprised to see there were no instructions. I bought the power pack because I know absolutely nothing about wiring! I'm hoping these pictures help but you stated they were on the monsterguts website. I couldn't find any instructions there either.
If you goto Electric Motors for Props - 12VDC Wiper Motor - Halloween Prop Building Supplies For The Home Haunter - Monster Guts - Wiper Motors for Haunting Needs and click on the "more images" link they have the two pictures that I posted. That's really all they've got on their site.

I will say this, I sent an email this morning and got a response from Dean within 15-20 minutes. He answered my question and linked me to the photos for reference.

Great customer service!
 

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livin Halloween every day
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Monster guts is the way to go. Remember the power supply also affects how fast the motor turns not just the connection. That why you get so many different speeds between the 2 available power supplys and the high and low settings.
 
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