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Student Name:

Lab Partner Name:


Total Grade (Out of 100 pts):
Introduction to DC Motors
EE 448 Lab 1
Purpose
The purpose of this lab is to provide and introduction to DC Motors. In this lab, you will examine the
construction of some real DC motors as well as measure the speed/torque curve for a dc motor.
Direct current motors are unsurpassed for adjustable-speed applications, and for applications with severe torque
requirements. Millions of fractional horsepower DC motors are used by the transportation industries in
automobiles, trains and aircraft where they drive fans and blowers for air conditioners, heaters and defrosters;
they operate windshield wipers and raise and lower seats and windows. One of their most useful functions is for
the starting of gasoline and Diesel engines in autos, trucks, buses, tractors and boats. The DC motor contains a
stator and a rotor, the latter being more commonly called an armature. The stator contains one or more
windings per pole, all of which are designed to carry direct current, thereby setting up a magnetic field. The
armature and its windings are located in the path of this magnetic field, and when the winding also carries a
current, a torque is developed causing the motor to turn. A commutator associated with the armature winding is
actually a mechanical device, to assure that the armature current under any given stator pole will always circulate
in the same direction irrespective of position. If a commutator were not used, the motor could not make more
than a fraction of a turn, before coming to a halt.
In order for a DC motor to run, current must flow in the armature winding and the stator must develop a
magnetic field (flux), either by means of a permanent magnet, a shunt winding, a series winding or both a shunt
and series winding. The torque developed by a DC motor is directly proportional to the armature current and the
stator flux. On the other hand, motor speed increases when the voltage applied to the armature increases. Motor
speed will also increase when the stator flux is reduced. As a matter of fact, the speed can attain dangerous levels
if, accidentally, there is a complete loss of the stator field. DC motors have been known to fly apart under these
over speed conditions. Just like most energy conversion devices, the dc motor is not 100% efficient. In other
words, all of the electric power which is supplied to the motor is not converted into mechanical power. The
power difference between the input and output is dissipated in the form of heat, and constitutes what are known
as the "losses" of the machine. These losses increase with load, with the result that the motor gets hot as it
delivers more mechanical power.
In a shunt motor, the field winding, as well as the armature winding, is connected in parallel (shunt) directly to
the dc supply lines. Therefore, the current generating the field is independent from the current providing power
to the mechanical load. This separation of the current is why the shunt connected DC motor and the permanent
magnet DC motor are very similar in operation. They both have the same speed/torque curve for a constant
applied voltage. You can always distinguish the permanent magnet motor, however, by the presence of a magnet.
Most small DC motors are permanent magnet motors.
The series motor behaves quite differently. In this motor, the magnetic field is produced by the current which
flows through the armature winding; with the result that the magnetic field is weak when the motor load is light
(the armature winding draws minimum current). The magnetic field is strong when the load is heavy (the
armature winding draws maximum current). Consequently, the speed of the series wound motor is strongly
dependent on the load current. The speed is low at heavy loads, and very high at no load. In fact, many series
motors will, if operated at no load, run so fast that they destroy themselves. The high forces, associated with high
speeds, cause the rotor to fly apart, often with disastrous results to people and property nearby. The torque of
any dc motor depends upon the product of the armature current and the magnetic field. For the series wound
motor this relationship implies that the torque will be very large for high armature currents, such as occur during

start-up. The series wound motor is, therefore, well adapted to start large heavy-inertia loads, and is particularly
useful as a drive motor in electric buses, trains and heavy duty traction applications.
INSTRUMENTS and COMPONENTS:
Vacuum Base Vise
Dremel 7700 Rotary Tool
Rival Hand Mixer
DC motors, Jameco 253446 and/or 253471
Philips Screw Driver
Hex Wrench Set
Tape Measure
Hanging Weight Set
Fishing Line
Multimeter that can measure voltages and resistances
DC power supply
Procedures (80 points Based on doing the experiment and answering the questions below)_____________
NOTE: The lab consists of 2 parts. The parts can be done in any order depending on the availability of
lab equipment.
Part I:
The goal of the first part of the lab is to determine how two common appliances/tools operate. Specifically, you
are to take them apart and determine the type of motor and how the speed of the motor is controlled.
1. Begin with the Dremel 7700 Rotary tool.
2. Connect the battery and flip the switch to the high and low setting. What happens to the speed? ______
____________________________________________________________________________________
3. Now remove the battery. Unscrew the plastic ring near the rotating end and CAREFULLY remove the
two screws using the hex wrench set. Do not let the motor or any pieces fall out. You MUST put the
tool back together again exactly as it was before to complete the lab.
4. Carefully look into the motor case by looking down the rotating shaft while keeping the motor level. You
should be able to see the rotor windings. Are there any stator windings?______________________
5. What kind of DC motor is in the rotary tool?________________________________________________
6. Now lets consider speed control. Remember the speed varied as we changed to switch.
7. Measure the voltage from the various terminals of the battery pack. What is the largest voltage between
the positive and negative voltages of the battery pack? ________________________________
8. Now examine where the battery connects to the motor. You should observe a blue ring with multiple
connections. Notice that two of the connections are connected together when you look into the slot
where the battery goes. What happens to this connectors when the switch is in the high position? ___
____________________________________________________________________________________
9. What two terminals does this connect in the battery? ________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

10. What does this due to the voltage applied to the motor? _______________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
11. NOW PUT THE ROTARY TOOL BACK TOGETHER. IT MUST WORK. DEMONSTRATE TO THE
TA THAT THE TOOL STILL WORKS. YOU WILL LOSE HALF OF THE LAB POINTS IF THE
TOOL DOES NOT WORK WHEN YOU ARE DONE. TA CHECK HERE IF THE TOOL WORKS
_____
12. Now consider the Rival Hand Mixer. With the Mixer plugged in, how can you vary the speed of the
mixer? _____________________________________________________________________________
13. UNPLUG THE MIXER!!! IT IS NOT SAFE TO PROCEED UNLESS IT IS UNPLUGGED.
14. Using the Philips screw driver, remove the 4 screws from the mixer.
15. Then, flip the mixer over so that the power cord is on the bottom and CAREFULLY pry the mixer apart
UNTIL you can see the motor. DO NOT TAKE THE CASE COMPLETELY OFF OR IT WILL BE
VERY DIFFICULT TO GET BACK TOGETHER. Where are the stator windings? _______________
____________________________________________________________________________________
16. Are the stator windings in parallel or series with the power cord? _______________________________
17. What kind of motor is in the mixer? ______________________________________________________
18. Does this motor belong in a DC motors lab? Why or Why Not? ________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
19. Now take another look at the stator windings. You should see an orange, blue, yellow, red, and white
wire connected to the windings. These wires also connect to the switch at the top of the blender.
Measure the resistance from each wire to the wire that connects to the rotor and record the resistances
below.
a. Red = __________________

d. Orange = ________________

b. Blue = __________________

e. White = _________________

c. Yellow = ________________
20. Does a higher resistance correspond to a faster or a slower speed? ______________________________
21. How does the switch control the speed of the motor? ________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
22. NOW PUT THE MIXER BACK TOGETHER. IT MUST WORK. DEMONSTRATE TO THE TA
THAT THE MIXER STILL WORKS AND THAT YOU CAN ATTACH AND EJECT THE BEATERS.
YOU WILL LOSE HALF OF THE LAB POINTS IF THE MIXER DOES NOT WORK WHEN YOU
ARE DONE. TA CHECK HERE IF THE MIXER WORKS _____
Part II:
The goal of this part of the lab is to measure the torque/speed curve for a small DC motor. The motor
provided has an included gear box with a gear ratio of either 50:1 or a gear ratio of 10:1.

1. Attach the motor/motor holder to your lab table close enough to connect wires from your motor to the
provided lab DC power supply. Set the DC power supply to provide 12 V. The motor should have a
winding pulley attached with about 3 ft of fishing line. At the end of the fishing line, there should be a
hook for attaching the various weights. Position the motor so that the line can run freely past the edge of
the table and down towards the ground. As the motor spins it should lift the weights from the floor to the
edge of the table (approximately).
2. Circle the part number for your motor:

253446

253471

3. Measure the distance the motor will be lifting the weights using the tape measure. _________________
4. Using a stop watch on your phone or watch, time how long it takes for the motor to lift each of the
following masses the distance measured above and demonstrate the measurement to the TA.
Table 1: Measurement of Lifting Times

Weight (g)

100

200

300

500

700

1000

1500

2000

Time (s)
5. Now convert the times into speed in revolutions per minute and the weights into torque in Nm given that
the diameter of the winding pulley is 20 mm.
Table 2: Torque/Speed Values

Torque (Nm)
Speed (rpm)
6. Plot the speed as a function of torque and attach the plot to the end of this lab report. Clearly
label your plot and all of the axes of your plot. (Plot 1)
7. What kind of motor is the provided DC motor? _________________________
8. Now we want to translate the measured speed/torque curve to the speed torque curve of the motor minus
the gear box. If you recall, the gear box exchanges speed for torque. Therefore, a gear ratio of N:1
means that the if the output shaft is spinning at a speed of n s, the input or true motor speed is nm N ns .
Likewise, if the output torque of the gear box is Tout, then the torque being supplied by the motor into the
gear box is approximately Tout N . The real torque will of course need to be slightly higher than this,
however, to account for power loss in the gears.
9. Exchange your motor for a motor from another group with a different part number. If you had 253446,
exchange it for 253471 and vice versa.
10. Assuming the DC motor of the two parts is basically the same with the only difference being the gear box,
design a simple experiment to determine the gear box associated with each part number. Describe your
experiment below: ________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
11. Match each motor to its appropriate gear ratio below.
253471

10:1

253446

50:1

12. Re-plot the speed torque curve for your motor (minus the gear box) and attach the plot to the end
of this lab report. Clearly label your plot and all of the axes of your plot. (Plot 2)
Demo (20 points Based on showing the TA how you made the measurements)________________________