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Old 07-07-2008, 04:19 PM   #1
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


I have a little pet project I'm doing just for fun, and to learn a little. I want to take apart a 110v drill, and mount the motor and housing to a piece of 6x6, and then attach a dial so I can adjust the speed of the drill with the dial. I mix a lot of mortar and concrete patch mix in my garage, and want to have this in the corner mounted up like a little mixing station. Anyway, I have looked and looked and came to the conclusion that these are called potentiometers?? And I need to find out what type I need for this application. I had thought of a dimmer for lights, thinking that would carry the same current, but I know nothing of electrical work so I figured I would come here and ask. Thanks for any suggestions or ideas!

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Old 07-07-2008, 09:16 PM   #2
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


Most household dimmers are only rated for 600 watts, some are rated for 1000 watts. Usually these are rated for incandescent loads only not for motors or fluorescent loads. I have a feeling that you will end up frying the dimmer switch if you use a standard dimmer. Doesn't your drill have a variable speed on it?

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Old 07-08-2008, 06:30 AM   #3
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


If you can find one off of an old car or truck that was used for the blower motor. Up until about 62 I believe they used them on all Chevys. Not sure it will work. Does a whole house fan have one? You may try Radio Shack. Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


I should have Googled first

http://www.potentiometer.com/
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:48 AM   #5
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


A potentiometer won't work. Its just one component, (the human interface), in a much more complex circuit. Even cheap dimmers have a fair amount of circuitry in the case. Kinda like . . . you can't add a potentiometer to your stereo to "turn the volume up".

You need a true motor speed controller designed for the load. You can either build one from a kit, like this:

http://www.electronickits.com/kit/co...or/vek2636.htm

Or you can buy one premade, like this:

http://www.houseoftools.com/product....530&catid=1885

Those are just examples. There are many similar products to choose from.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:34 AM   #6
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Artie2 View Post
A potentiometer won't work. Its just one component, (the human interface), in a much more complex circuit. Even cheap dimmers have a fair amount of circuitry in the case. Kinda like . . . you can't add a potentiometer to your stereo to "turn the volume up".

You need a true motor speed controller designed for the load. You can either build one from a kit, like this:

http://www.electronickits.com/kit/co...or/vek2636.htm

Or you can buy one premade, like this:

http://www.houseoftools.com/product....530&catid=1885

Those are just examples. There are many similar products to choose from.
Right; The drill is controlled by an SCR or Triac circuit, which employs several components.

FW
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:32 AM   #7
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


Artie2, Thanks for the links. Especially the first one.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


Thanks for all your replies everyone. But I am still a little confused. That link for buying the complete unit says it wont work for variable speed or slow start motors, which is what this drill already is. So the switch on the handle of this drill does exactly what I want it to do, lets me control the speed. I just want to take the wires off the trigger, and attach them to a dial. Does that make any difference in all this?? Again, I am doing this for fun and to learn, I could certainly just pull the trigger and be done with it, but then I dont get to tinker with the guts of it all and make something.

Heres another thought I had from googling and reading........would it be possible to use a servo?? And just mount it to the wood and attach the mixing rod to the end of it? Maybe thats insane, I know nothing about them.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts guys.

Last edited by plzfl8me; 07-08-2008 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:11 PM   #9
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


If you remove the wires from the trigger and connect them to a potentiometer of the same resistance value, I don't see why it wouldn't work. In reality, the trigger is nothing more than a potentiometer that slides instead of turns. The rest of the circuitry will still control the motor.

The trigger will be an open circuit when it's not pressed. Connect an ohmmeter to it, and pull it just enough to get a reading. This will be the ohm value of the pot. Next, pull it all the way. If it's more than 0 ohms, you'll need to insert an appropriate resistor in the pot circuit. Remember to subtract this resistance from the original ohm value of the pot.

Rob
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


The drill probably has a rheostat rather than a potentiometer. A "pot" can be made from a 'stat just by how you wire it. The problem is, the 'stat inside the drill is probably very low ohmage. Maybe as low as 10 ohms. It will be some resistive wire wrapped around a form, so that it can handle the current. Its not likely that you'll find a pot anywhere in its range.

Rigging something up mechanical would be a better way to go. Or . . . get a single-speed drill from a flea-market or something. Even new ones are fairly cheap.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:26 PM   #11
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potentiometers...dials...quick question.


A bit off track, but I just had this thought:
Since you are building this circuit outside the normal enclosure of the drill, and I assume you are going to have the parts exposed (hopefully insulating all electrical connections), it would make good sense to connect the contraption to a GFCI receptacle.
If it's in the garage, I think that GFCI is a requirement anyway.

Always err on the side of safety.

FW

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