Sunday, July 7, 2013


Getting the drive system right for the field sorter has been our focus for the last month.  Originally we felt that we could adapt a portable 18V electric drill to power the sorter but discovered that the high speed, relatively low torque of a drill motor was not well suited for attaching a drive pulley to drive the round belt and rollers. We started looking for an inexpensive DC motor with the specs that we needed.  First we tried a small rotisserie motor ($59.99)  which had adequate torque but turned at 50 RPM, which would have taken a very large pulley to step up the speed of the rollers.  Next we found a little DC motor with high torque that turned at 192 RPM ($14.75).   It was a surplus auto seat motor with a metric worm gear shaft.  We have mounted it on the frame and put a 2" pulley on it to drive the round belt.  In a test using a fully charged Makita 12V drill battery the motor ran the roller sorter for an hour without loading any clams on the rollers.  Next we run the clams.

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