Can you use a 240 v light dimmer to control the speed of a 12/24 v wheel chair motor ?


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lemonie7 years ago
Get a motor-controller that's right for the job.
One example:
Note how that page advises it's not suitable for other uses, in a similar way the dimmer-switch isn't suitable for motor-control

I will reckon he'll need up to 50A for a wheelchair motor though. Its a beast of thing to drive.
Re-design7 years ago
No.  It's a different technology.  One is a/c and the other is d/c.  Controlling the motor is going to take a high amp. dc motor controller.
hoplite66 (author)  Re-design7 years ago
 I am new to this electronic lark so do not have much of a idea as to what can and can not be done.
Thank you all for your answers.
I will try to make sense of it all.
How many amps would you guess?Also, since the throttle is very small potentiometer, I am guessing it operates a relay in the actual motor control console in the rear rather than taking the entire load.But thats why I need help. Thank you for your help!
If you have the motors they should be marked, but 35 amps is very common on the wheel chair motors.

This link should get you started on the right track learning about controllers.
IF you have a 240V supply, then probably Yes, if you use a transformer to generate the 12/24V.

The caveat is because a large transfomer is a pretty rough load for a standard lighting dimmer.

There is always the other side of the coin.  I didn't even think about this way of working it.  I guess a second point of view is a good thing.
I also should have added "and  a hefty bridge rectifier". It works quite well, though for complicated reasons, the transfomer needs to be ~50% bigger than the naked Watt rating of the load
I once had to bodge together a "speed controller" for a 110 VDC gear motor to run it off 110 VAC wall current. I used a wall rheostat and a bridge rectifier, and it worked just fine.

Of course, there was no transformer involved, and the motor only had to run for 20 seconds at at time, twice a day for three weeks, with not very much load....
kelseymh7 years ago
No.  You can't use a light dimmer to control motor speed, for the same reason you can't use a regular light dimmer to control a ceiling fan.  You need a motor-controller, as Re-design said, and if you have to buy something, you're best off buying one specifically for your chair's motor.