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Author Topic: HOW TO Help- Spinning electrical Switch  (Read 1079 times)
Steampunk Coasters
Swab

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« on: January 09, 2016, 11:50:42 pm »

Hello! Need some ideas. I turn 1930s/140s fans into lighting fixtures as in the picture, they are very cool and people love them, and I love making them but they ALWAYS ask "oh wow, does it spin?" I'm positive there is a way, I just don't know how. Any ideas? I would need some sort of switch that would make this posible, I can see it working in my head just can't find the actual switch to make it happen THANKS!!

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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 01:14:58 pm »

The main problem with spinning the lights is getting the power to them without tangling wires- some sort of slip ring system perhaps.
The second problem is getting them to spin more slowly than the fan blades normally would...

HP
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Steampunk Coasters
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 04:02:30 pm »

The main problem with spinning the lights is getting the power to them without tangling wires- some sort of slip ring system perhaps.
The second problem is getting them to spin more slowly than the fan blades normally would...

HP

Thanks! Yes, I since have came to the conclusion that a slip ring is the answer to the spinning issue. Slowing it down is not so much a problem, just need to tweak the components that are already part of the switch and I think I can slow the speed down this way. Now I just need to figure out a way to dake the slip ring work!
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 11:16:39 pm »

The main problem with spinning the lights is getting the power to them without tangling wires- some sort of slip ring system perhaps.
The second problem is getting them to spin more slowly than the fan blades normally would...

HP

Thanks! Yes, I since have came to the conclusion that a slip ring is the answer to the spinning issue. Slowing it down is not so much a problem, just need to tweak the components that are already part of the switch and I think I can slow the speed down this way. Now I just need to figure out a way to dake the slip ring work!

Did you ever have a scalextrik set?

The cars pick up electricity from the track through brushes.

In your lit-up-fan, two concentric discs provide the phase and neutral (for AC) or +ve  and -ve (for DC), and the revolving boss has brushes to pick up the current for the bulbs. The motor arbor goes through the centre of the discs.
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Narsil
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 11:38:40 pm »


I would add that if your fan uses a mains current supply you need to be extremely careful about making home-made components for any part of the electrical system and unless you have a very good idea of what you are doing it is best to stick to standard components from a reputable source.

For a complex build like this by far the best advice is to stick to low voltage DC for anything which requires modification or scratch building of electrical parts.

Note also that for most single phase AC motors the output speed is determined by the frequency of the supply rather then the voltage (as with many DC motors) so it's not usually practical to have electrical speed control of an AC motor, so the fist thing to do is work out what sort of motor you have and whether is is suitable for variable speed use.

You should also be ware that slip rings, while being the simplest solution to this sort of problem are not without problems of their own, in particular they are subject to a lot of wear and, if not properly maintained can develop bad or intermittent contacts which can potentially lead to a a serious fire risk as well as causing voltage spikes and RF interference.
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Steampunk Coasters
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 12:31:20 am »


I would add that if your fan uses a mains current supply you need to be extremely careful about making home-made components for any part of the electrical system and unless you have a very good idea of what you are doing it is best to stick to standard components from a reputable source.

For a complex build like this by far the best advice is to stick to low voltage DC for anything which requires modification or scratch building of electrical parts.

Note also that for most single phase AC motors the output speed is determined by the frequency of the supply rather then the voltage (as with many DC motors) so it's not usually practical to have electrical speed control of an AC motor, so the fist thing to do is work out what sort of motor you have and whether is is suitable for variable speed use.

You should also be ware that slip rings, while being the simplest solution to this sort of problem are not without problems of their own, in particular they are subject to a lot of wear and, if not properly maintained can develop bad or intermittent contacts which can potentially lead to a a serious fire risk as well as causing voltage spikes and RF interference.

Narsil,
Thank you. I agree with everything you have mentioned. I have been trying to find a thru-bore slip ring that would work for this and as I go through it in my head I am running into more issues than solutions i.e. the RPM of the fan vs. what a typical slip ring can handle, the wear and tear issue, the already limited space I have to work with if I left the current fan motor in tact, etc. I might just gut the current housing of all its components then utilize a low RPM electric motor in conjunction with the original shaft while incorporating the slip ring. There are components I can buy to safety slow the motor speed down to overcome the high RPM problem but they are large and could not be hidden, since I want it to still look like a fan instead of a Franken-fan gutting it might be the simplest/safest solution.
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montrehomme 50
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 10:40:32 am »

I would suggest that the best, easiest, and safest option would be to reply, "no, it doesn't spin" Smiley
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Maets
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2016, 01:57:31 pm »

I would suggest that the best, easiest, and safest option would be to reply, "no, it doesn't spin" Smiley


Ditto

People ask for a lot of things, are they willing to pay the extra for it is the big question.
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Steampunk Coasters
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 04:03:03 pm »

I would suggest that the best, easiest, and safest option would be to reply, "no, it doesn't spin" Smiley

LOL. Now where's the fun in that! I can't let this beat me!! Smiley
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Lord Pentecost
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 04:54:16 pm »

Your main problem is not going to be transfer of power to the bulbs your main problem is balancing it. A fan is precision made to ensure it does not vibrate excessively when running at high speeds, if you are planning to run this at anything close to the speed of the fan then you will have to spend a lot of time adding small amounts of weight to each 'blade' to balance it. If you don't, at best it will be very noisy and wobbly at worst it will literally shake itself to pieces.
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Steampunk Coasters
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2016, 06:22:34 pm »

Your main problem is not going to be transfer of power to the bulbs your main problem is balancing it. A fan is precision made to ensure it does not vibrate excessively when running at high speeds, if you are planning to run this at anything close to the speed of the fan then you will have to spend a lot of time adding small amounts of weight to each 'blade' to balance it. If you don't, at best it will be very noisy and wobbly at worst it will literally shake itself to pieces.

That is correct. I could use the fan motor but I would need to use something to vary the speed of the motor, the fan I am working with is simply on or off. The issue is I want to be able to have everything contained in the fan, no extra stuff so to speak, this fan I am working with is a smaller one so my space is even more limited. I really only want it to spin at 1-2 RPM max. I think what I will end up doing is gut the motor then replace with a small electric one or a gear reduction motor and use that in conjunction with the split ring. It is possible to make it work, the issue (for me) is I do not have a retail outlet near by that I can go to and just start putting parts together until it works. So making sure what I get online will work is pretty important otherwise I end up blowing a bunch of cash with trial/error. Not the best strategy!
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Serrac
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2016, 10:19:40 pm »

A few thoughts to throw in the mix:

 Use a small DC motor with a worm gearbox, for example: http://www.motionco.co.uk/motors-worm-gearbox-gearmotor-c-54_73.html

 Use low voltage lamps - If you use 12V, a power supply could be built in to the base and used to drive both the motor and fan.

 A low voltage supply would simplify the design of a slip-ring (insulation requirements wouldn't be as demanding), and would make the whole thing a little safer in use.
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 10:29:24 pm »

You could get rid of the whole problem of transporting current from the base to the bulbs by using low voltage LEDs running off rechargeable batteries held in the boss.

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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 11:32:20 pm »

My solution is probably not what you're going to do, on account of complexity and extra parts.  But me being me, you’d have noticed that you can generate oscillating magnetic fields and let the magnets transfer the energy magnetically. I'd have a ring behind the  rotor ("fan") with magnets (a source of oscillating magnetic fields), and the on each "blade," I'd have a coil on ferrite, generating a small current by induction fed into very low voltage lamps, possibly LED...
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 11:53:09 pm »

My solution is probably not what you're going to do, on account of complexity and extra parts.  But me being me, you’d have noticed that you can generate oscillating magnetic fields and let the magnets transfer the energy magnetically. I'd have a ring behind the  rotor ("fan") with magnets (a source of oscillating magnetic fields), and the on each "blade," I'd have a coil on ferrite, generating a small current by induction fed into very low voltage lamps, possibly LED...


There are some bicycle lights that, I believe, work on this principle.

A magnet on the wheel induces a pulse of electricity in a pick-up mounted on the frame. Some circuitry smooths out the pulses into a longer flow of current which powers an LED.

Here we go…
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RJBowman
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2016, 05:49:46 am »

With slow rotation from a gearbox, and low-voltage white light LED lamps, I don't think that slip rings would have problems.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2016, 08:51:55 am »

This is quite buildable, but will take some work. It will probably require replacing everything in the motor housing. You can get hollow-shaft slip ring assemblies (Moog makes some) and hollow-shaft electric motors (gimbal motors for cameras on drones are of about the right size). You need one or the other, not both. For drive circuitry for running a brushless gimbal motor with speed control; see here. Then you'll need support bearings and a support structure to hold everything together; those motors can't support the fan blades by themselves. Parts cost maybe $125.

With enough time reading Alibaba and searching for parts, maybe you can get the price down.


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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2016, 03:28:11 pm »

A potential effect using spinning LED lamps: Strobe the lamps so it looks like an old movie of a spinning fan.
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Enkidu
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2016, 07:03:38 am »

If they ask if it spins you should answer, "Yes, its spinning right now.  Very slowly.  Once per day, as a matter of fact."
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