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Author Topic: Does a PowerWheels motor need to be powered by a chunky 6v?  (Read 1885 times)
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Hello,
This is my first post to this forum. Please excuse my *stupid* questions as I am new to working with motors, power, electronics and Arduino.

I need to write up a general purpose description of the project I am doing, but for now, I am posing a few, more general, motor related questions to start. There are many unknowns about my project and perhaps this will help my direction.

I have acquired an older PowerWheels motor and gearbox from a Kawasaki trike. I also have the momentary switch which is wired to the motor. It did not come with a battery, though I believe it used only a 6v however, I do have the charger.  I have no idea how many amps this motor will require and no way to test it.

BTW, I have searched through the modified PowerWheels forum and have not been able to find answers to any of my questions. I did not post there only because they appear to be specific for maintaining the use of the toy car and I would be using the motor for a completely different application.

Basically, I am trying to determine if I must buy a big 6v battery - is this the only way to power this motor?

Is it possible to power it using an Arduino Uno R3 with an L293D Motor Drive Shield and 6xAA battery pack?

Does anyone have any idea what the RPM of these motors are with and/or without the gear box?

I don't know if this helps at all, but the charger says it is Type H Class 2, 120VAC 60Hz 12W, 6.0VDC 800mA

The switch wired to the motor is rated at 16A/12V - I think that means it can provide up to 16 amps powered by a maximum of 12 volts.

Hopefully I have provided enough info here, so please let me know if not and thank you all for taking the time to read through this post.
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I have no idea how many amps this motor will require and no way to test it.

Well then you will have to buy a multimeter. Not really anyway around that unless you have a part number or wattage rating. If you want us to give you a general range then we wold need a photo, and your application.... Take the Ampflow motor I'm using right now in my robot. Under no load it draws around 3 amps. At stall it sucks 300 amps! I My estimate is it's typical usage will be 40 amps.   Anyway if you want an estimate tell us what your doing and send us a photo.

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The switch wired to the motor is rated at 16A/12V - I think that means it can provide up to 16 amps powered by a maximum of 12 volts.
Again not that helpful. For their application thats all they need, but for what your doing you might want more from the motor.

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Is it possible to power it using an Arduino Uno R3 with an L293D Motor Drive Shield and 6xAA battery pack?

Not a chance. The motor Driver can not even output 1 amp! The batteries will hardly last any time. For a motor driver you going to need something on the mid section of this page, or more.

http://www.orionrobotics.com/Motor-Controllers_c_125.html



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Basically, I am trying to determine if I must buy a big 6v battery - is this the only way to power this motor?

No. You could buy a Ac-DC converter (the charger might even work), or you could buy a lithium based battery (small, but more $$$).
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I have acquired an older PowerWheels motor and gearbox from a Kawasaki trike.

Do you have more information than this - because there were multiple Kawasaki Power Wheels made:

http://service.mattel.com/us/instruction_sheets_results.asp?brand=168

The closest I could guess based on your limited information was the "W6214 - Lil Kawasaki" - which was a small, single motor 6V ride-on toy (though that shows it as a quad, not a trike). The link for the 6V battery manual details that the battery has a 25 amp fuse, but the manual for the toy itself says it is a thermal fuse.

So I would say it is some kind of resettable fuse, rated at 25 amps. That would mean (if this is the same vehicle) that your motor can pull at least 25 amps when stalled, possibly more. When running and no load, it probably pulls at least an amp, maybe more. When loaded, you can figure 5-10 amps.

Without measurements or some other details - we'll just be guessing, so you need to do some more research or take some measurements for us.

That said - that kind of a number for amperage on those motors is about correct; they are fairly beefy things. In short, an L293 and 4 AA batteries will not cut it for this motor.

For a battery, you will need basically the same thing the ride on toy used - a 6V 4 aH (or better amp-hour) battery. You will want to put an inline fuse as well (as close to the positive on the battery as possible) - of whatever amperage was originally specified (or start with 10A and increase to 25 if it keeps blowing).

For the h-bridge, you're going to need something beefier - check pololu for something with a rating of around 30 amps (you size based on stall current plus around 20% extra).
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I have no idea how many amps this motor will require and no way to test it.

Well then you will have to buy a multimeter. Not really anyway around that unless you have a part number or wattage rating. If you want us to give you a general range then we wold need a photo, and your application....

I did recently get a decent multimeter, but I don't think I can test the current without powering it up, correct?

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Basically, I am trying to determine if I must buy a big 6v battery - is this the only way to power this motor?

No. You could buy a Ac-DC converter (the charger might even work), or you could buy a lithium based battery (small, but more $$$).

Not sure I understand why to use an AC-DC converter if the motor is a DC motor? And how is it that I could use the charger?

Ok, so I figured out which Power Wheels model it's from - I forgot I had looked up the numbers on the motor before and determined it was a Kawasaki ZX-7. Here is a link to the manual:

http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com/content/pdfs/192178-1.pdf
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I have acquired an older PowerWheels motor and gearbox from a Kawasaki trike.
Do you have more information than this - because there were multiple Kawasaki Power Wheels made:
Yes, please see my reply just prior to this one.

That said - that kind of a number for amperage on those motors is about correct; they are fairly beefy things. In short, an L293 and 4 AA batteries will not cut it for this motor.

For a battery, you will need basically the same thing the ride on toy used - a 6V 4 aH (or better amp-hour) battery. You will want to put an inline fuse as well (as close to the positive on the battery as possible) - of whatever amperage was originally specified (or start with 10A and increase to 25 if it keeps blowing).

For the h-bridge, you're going to need something beefier - check pololu for something with a rating of around 30 amps (you size based on stall current plus around 20% extra).

I'm thinking this motor may be overkill for my project. I think I'll start a new topic then with the full description of my project because there are obviously a number of options and I really have no clue which way to go. Thanks for your input and please watch for my new post.
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Not sure I understand why to use an AC-DC converter if the motor is a DC motor? And how is it that I could use the charger?

If your project is not portable, and is near a wall outlet you can use a AC-DC converter to power the motor. The converter will take the AC power from the wall and turn it into DC power for your motor. If you just have standard changer (not one for Lithium batteries) you can just plug the motor into the charger and you should be good to go.



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I'm thinking this motor may be overkill for my project. I think I'll start a new topic then with the full description of my project because there are obviously a number of options and I really have no clue which way to go. Thanks for your input and please watch for my new post.

Sounds good.
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Which says quite clearly it uses a Power Wheels Type H battery.

Here is a Power Wheels Type H battery:
http://www.monsterscooterparts.com/6vo13ahbatoy1.html
$25.

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Out of curiosity, what would I need to power this motor using the battery charger as previously suggested? Is it just a matter of connecting the motor directly to the charger as if it was the battery?
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Out of curiosity, what would I need to power this motor using the battery charger as previously suggested? Is it just a matter of connecting the motor directly to the charger as if it was the battery?

No - generally a "dumb" battery charger for an SLA battery is limited to 600 to 800 mA; while the motor may start to turn with no load, it more than likely will just sit there, and potentially burn out the charger.

What you need is a power supply capable of supplying at least several amps in a short burst, and then 1-2 amps continuously - even then, this would only be enough to run the motors with no load on them.

If you want to be able to have some kind of load on the motors, then you need to supply the proper amperage - likely around 25 amps.

Your difficulty will be finding a 6 VDC power supply capable of outputting such amperage (if it were a 12 volt system, you could use a cheap 50 amp car starter/battery charger).
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Ok,  thanks. I was just wondering about that. I still would like to use that motor for some other project, so I'll just get the proper battery for it when I figure out what I'll do with it.
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Ok,  thanks. I was just wondering about that. I still would like to use that motor for some other project, so I'll just get the proper battery for it when I figure out what I'll do with it.

Just make sure when you do get such a battery, you hook up a fuse (or circuit breaker) near the positive terminal of the battery, so that it trips in the case of a short or fault. Such batteries can easily pump out well over a hundred amps of current for a short time, vaporizing wires, starting fires - and, in the rare case where the short or fault is over a conductor capable of handling the current - the battery itself can explode.
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Ok, I will. Thank you for all your help - here and on my other post.
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