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Motor Slip Ring Connector-1
Stephan writes – “”This site describes how to make a slip ring power connector by using four ball bearings. It then is connected to a motor’s axle and allows to continuously power a rotating fluorescent light.Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. rehorstmark@netscape.net says:

    Great idea! Are you using just mechanical pressure to keep the wires attached to the rotating parts of the bearings? It seems like it might become a noise/reliability problem. Soldering to stainless steel is probably difficult…

  2. KWillets says:

    I wonder if you could just wind together a non-contacting magnetic ballast and rotate that. A ballast is mainly a step-up transformer; it would be something like two concentric helices of wire with an iron core.

  3. guero says:

    Where was this idea when I needed it 3 months ago!

  4. RobCruickshank says:

    Very elegant!
    I recently was helping an artist with a kinetic piece, which required a slip ring for a fairly high-current power connection- he wound up using a mercury slip ring- something I’d never seen before. Not something you’d want to home-brew, but cool to know about:
    http://www.mercotac.com/index.html

  5. N3OX says:

    Cool idea! Probably not a good idea for substantial currents as there could be welding/unwelding of the balls leading to crunchy bearings after not too long. It’s probably pretty noisy for signal transmission too. For the purpose here though, fantastic!

    The transformer thing would work, KWillets. I’ve used tuned coupled circuits for RF as well. Non-contact is good for high speed rotation and AC signals.

  6. stephanschulz says:

    Thanks for your interest.
    So far I have not had any problems wit reliability or noise. It seems to work find to run 120 Volt through the bearings.
    I will set up the project in Berlin in a few weeks and then let it run for a while. I will report back to you.

    I will also try to run audio through the slip ring connector, just for fun to see how noisy the connection really is.

  7. stephanschulz says:

    Am I using mechanical pressure to hold the wires?

    The outside rings have small screws that are touching them with terminal connectors.
    On my site I have more images on how I build the inside connection.
    http://maybevideodoes.de/howto/slipring.html

    But yes I use mechanical pressure. I grinded a small space in the inside ring for the wires to fit in and then pushed the ball bearing ring over it.

  8. stephanschulz says:

    I just finished the show in which I used the slip ring connectors. They worked great for my purposes (fluorescent light tubes). I had them running for about two hours straight and no power cut outs. This means the rotatable connection is pretty solid.

    I also tried running an mono audio signal through the rings but it turns out the electrical connection creates too much noise and the audio gets cut up.

    cheers
    stephan schulz

  9. stephanschulz says:

    I just finished the show in which I used the slip ring connectors. They worked great for my purposes (fluorescent light tubes). I had them running for about two hours straight and no power cut outs. This means the rotatable connection is pretty solid.

    I also tried running an mono audio signal through the rings but it turns out the electrical connection creates too much noise and the audio gets cut up.

    to see a video and more images go to
    http://maybevideodoes.de/sites/neon.html
    cheers
    stephan schulz

  10. RicG says:

    I am quite interested in making the slip rings I don’t require more than 2 amps and 12v ac. The ideas on the 2 coils and the iron cores is also interesting. Any body got any ideas on the coil sizes etc.?
    Cheers
    RicG

  11. SP says:

    I did a quick check on the internet and there seems to be many companies making standard slip ring connectors, such as http://www.polysci.com/ .

    Maybe they have something that can transmit audio without much noise.

  12. ptwy says:

    Hey I know it has been awhile, the website does not seem to be there anymore is it posted somewhere else? Would love to see the details. Thanks!

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