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Meet the Flap Motor

January 15, 2014
Vans Flap Motor

Vans Flap Motor

The flap motor is pretty simple.  DC electric motor that turns a gear which telescopes the actuator arm in or out depending on the polarity of the DC charge.  The part that moves is the black part at the end.

So its time to get it mounted.  The pictures of the mount that I took aren’t light enough so I wont bother posting it.  What?  OK….here it is.

2014-01-11 13.50.37 HDR

See? No you cant see.

I didn’t think that picture sucked so bad.  Anyway, you mount the motor end of the back brace.  The other end is connected to the flap actuator…that white bar I was mounting before.

2014-01-11 13.50.31 HDRThe result is that when you engage the motor, the flaps go up or down.  Pretty simple. As with everything else on this build there is a requirement to put it on and take it off a dozen times before you are ready to leave it on, so I didn’t presume to think I was done.

Of course before I mounted it for the first time I had to test it.  Take a look at the video.  See if you can spot the moment where I thought I had a bad actuator.

That was some snazzy test rig wasn’t it?  Nothing but the best for me.  So where do you get 12V for a test like this?With  If you are a computer nerd like me you probably have a computer or 2 (or 7) that are broken and should have been thrown away years ago.  Surely one of these has a power supply that I can sacrifice.

Precision test power supply

Precision test power supply

Having scavenged that it was time to find 12V in all that wiring.  It isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Some are 3.3V some are 5V.  But quickly enough I found a 12V lead.

2014-01-11 11.02.24Now that I’ve procured 12V its time to wire it up.  As I said before, DC motors turn one way or the other simply because of where you have the + and – leads attached.  I was just going to strip the ends of the wires and twist them together with the motor, but I thought what the heck….lets wire up a switch.  I started combing through old electronics and such looking for a switch I could use and was easy to get to.  I remembered that Vans supplies a switch with the flap kit; why not use it?  I find the switch easy enough and start perusing the schematics.

2014-01-11 10.53.10Looks like the switch has 6 terminals.  Four of them need cross-overs, the supply comes in the middle and the motor goes on one of the ends.  Simple.

2014-01-11 11.05.34I know, you’re thinking its a wonder I didn’t electrocute myself.

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From → Build Log, Fuselage

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