16 SERVO 04.2017
your motors. Anytime we can introduce some variety into a
motor’s operation, we increase its effectiveness.
Relay boards provide an inexpensive choice, and there
are many models with timers available online. This device
simply turns your motor on and off for certain specified
times. Other models can be triggered wirelessly using a
pushbutton controller (Figure 2).
If you would like some additional options to control
your motor, take a look at the PicoVolt (Figure 3) from
Fright Props (see Resources). This unit allows you to not
only turn your motor on and off, but reverse it and control
its speed as well. You can create a sequence of movements
which can then be played back when the unit is triggered.
It only takes a minute to record your sequence with no
actual programming required, greatly increasing the
functionality of your motor.
An additional reference source has been put together
by fellow builder, Scary Tinker (see Resources). Although
his blog post is a bit outdated, it does include much of the
relevant info you should consider when looking at motors.
So Many to Choose From
Now that we know what to look for in a motor, let’s
explore some of our choices. We will look at some
conventional models, as well as some you may not have
considered before. Who knows, they may be just what you
These motors are the same as those found in the
familiar Christmas lawn decoration, and they provide a
useful 110V option (Figure 4). They come packaged in a
waterproof enclosure with mounting holes and an easy
method of attaching a linkage. They are an excellent choice
for someone putting together their first animated project as
Robives Linkages — http://tinyurl.com/j7tocaz
FrightProps PicoVolt — http://tinyurl.com/guk4brb
Scary Tinker Labs — http://tinyurl.com/zzn866o
Kindy’s Reindeer Motors —
ServoCity Motors — http://tinyurl.com/jxzkgex
Shiatsu Video — http://tinyurl.com/gqw85vy
Shiatsu Thread — http://tinyurl.com/jgopp46
Flexible Screwdriver — http://tinyurl.com/j3r3fg4
My You Tube Channel — http://tinyurl.com/nma2doj
My Website — www.halstaff.com
DIY Animatronics Forum —
Figure 4. Reindeer motors come ready to go.
Figure 3. The PicoVolt allows for much more control.
Figure 2. Wireless relay control.