Monday, September 26, 2016

Electric Toothbrush Aircraft - Part 1 - The Motor

I lost my electric toothbrush so my wife bought me a low cost one from the local supermarket. This was remarkable for how powerful it was. Big noise and big brushing action. Then I found the previous more gentle one. And I thought - what to do with a spare high powered electric motor? Try powering a model aircraft with it! Maybe there is good STEM education value in here somewhere.

I cut around the case to remove the top and bottom. I needed to cut vertical slots in the middle section of the case to get it off. See photo below. After removing the interesting and possibly educational gearbox arrangement there is a compact motor drive unit with a rechargeble 2-cell NiMH battery. The cells are of miniature size so it delivers 2.4 V from half the usual NiMH battery weight.
I kept the bottom 5cm as a handy vertical stand. It also holds the unit nicely in the battery charger.

The toothbrush is "Express". Here in NZ it sells for NZD 20 in "Countdown" supermarkets. My checking suggests that this remarkably high power motor plus rechargeable battery plus charger for that price in one handy unit competes very well with the equivalent from gadget and hobby shops. Now .. can this thing fly?

Youtube Video:

Photos: I added the red insulation tape around the motor to tame its wild array of wires.

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