Technical Information

A major problem for common conventional motors is the presence of brushes, which limit the motor life and also create friction and noise. Brushless motors eliminate these disadvantages but in most cases they are more expensive and too complicated. The simple and inexpensive brushless motors shown on this site have quite good parameters even when they are compared to industrial motors.

The most impressive result was achieved in the no-load efficiency test: one of the reed switch motors built from the kit worked non-stop over 50 hours on one 1.5 Volts AA size battery. This result is better than most industrial motors with comparable power can provide. To achieve this result the reed switch was moved slightly away from the rotor. The motor axles were lubricated with WD-40. The motor torque in this experiment was too low to do any real work.

Stan's science project included over 3000 measurements comparing the speed of the motors. All of the motors worked quite fast. Some of these speed measurements in rpm (revolutions per minute) are shown in the table below:

Motor type RPM(1.5V) RPM(3V) RPM(4.5V) RPM(6V)
Build-it yourself motor (2 magnets) 1000 1500 1900 2200
Reed switch motor (2 magnets) 1200 1900 2300 2500
Reed switch motor (4 magnets) 1500 2600 2800 3000
Reed switch motor with transistor 0-900 1800 2200 2500
Motor on a Hall effect switch X 0-1200 2500 3000
Motor with optical control X 0-700 1400 2200

Project CD available at the ordering page contains full information about Stan's experiments including all graphs, tables, etc.

Your results may vary significantly as they depend on the accuracy of assembly, position of the sensor etc.

The last two motors in the table do not work on 1.5V and may not even start on 3V. If you want the motor with optical control to start on 3V or even less you need to make the blades of the disk wider. However, the motor will be less efficient and the transistor may become hot.

Different load tests showed that the motors have quite large torque. With a string attached directly to the motor's axle most of the motors lifted 75g on 6V. When the motors were connected to a speed reducer some of them were able to lift up to 4 kg (9 lbs) on 6V (the motor was slow, though). More about this experiment is described in Experiments / Applications.

The motors may consume a significant current in case the rotor is stalled. Since the resistance of the coil is about 6 Ohm, the maximum current according to Ohm's Law is about 1A when 6V applied to the circuit. This current is much smaller when the rotor spins at optimal speed. Large current may overheat the transistors and the electromagnet itself. This is why it is not recommended to exceed 6V in your experiments. However, if you have some experience in electricity and electronics, you may try higher voltages - most of the motors showed great results on voltages up to 12V. If you decide to do this, please, follow these recommendations: