Introduction: Fix a LitterMaid Mega (The Under $15 Better Version)

This goes with my other instructable. Fix a LitterMaid Mega for under $5

I was not satisfied with how the motor was running. Sometimes stopping whenever it hit a big "cake".

This one cost more then the other one, but it now has more power when it hits a "cake".

Step 1: Safety Safety Safety (Don't Do What I Did.)

'This involves electricity(low voltage)and a hot soldering iron.'

I burned my thumb and index finger on my left hand trying to switch hands with the soldering iron(35W). grabbed the metal end and started to solder with out knowing I grabbed it.

I know I burned my hand, but I don't feel anything. I will throw a picture up later if it starts to blister.

No blister. The part of the soldering iron that I did grab was the area that is black from the heat.

Step 2: The Parts

There are a lot of wires in a LitterMaid litter box, so wire does not need to be bought.

What is needed (I went to local Radio Shack). $ 11.56 + tax for parts

  • Size M female power jack #274-1563
  • Full-Wave Bridge Rectifier #276-1152 (or a 6v 1A DC power supply)
  • 2 Push button switches #275-1556(not pictured but comes in a 2 pack)
  • DPDT Switch #275-664 (not pictured)
  • 25v 2200uF Capacitor (it is the purple one that can be found on the main board)It helps get the motor going and smooths out the rectifier
  • Standard Soldering Equipment(iron, solder, bandages, burn cream, etc)

Push button switches are not need if you use a DPDT that has a center off. I used one that had a center off just for preventing it from moving.

Step 3: The Schematic

This is the circuit schematic.


Step 4: The Power Plug

There is a lot of room inside the main board area, but I went with the battery compartment so that nothing would snag the cable retractor.

The screen moves on a track. It comes off the the box by two latches. Easier then working on the whole box.

Step 5: AC to the DC

This is not needed if you have a 6v 1A DC power supply.

A full-wave bridge rectifier coverts AC to DC.
Look at your box or manual to see how it wires up.

Apply power and check with a multi meter that you are getting DC.

Step 6: Cap It.

The capacitor is fairly strong it can still move the screen unplugged for a little.

Attach the capacitor positive to the positive and negative to the negative.

Step 7: Push Button Switches

The switches are from before.

Place them where you want. I placed them on the front cover.

Add wires to the switches. one wire from each switch goes to the positive wire.

Step 8: Motor

The wire for the screen motor is on a cable retractor. I added wire to the ends and ran them to the battery compartment. I also added a wire from the ground. Hot glue was used to hold everything.

Step 9: DPDT Switch

The DPDT switch is wired like the schematic. Pace the switch where you want I put mine in the middle above the two push buttons.

Wiring

||123||
||456||


1) wire from push button switch
2) motor wire
3) Ground connected to 4 and connected to ground on power
4) Ground connected to 3
5) motor wire
6) wire from push button switch


Step 10: Testing

If everything is hooked up apply power and see if it works.

Move the switch to the color and push the button.

Move switch to RED then push RED button - forward
Move switch to BLACK then push BLACK button - backward

Switches don't move how you want. It is most likely that the push button wires are switched

Short 16 second video of it working.

Dam You IE for forcing me to use Firefox to get the video to work.

If everything works put it back together and try it with litter.

Comments

author
DonavonO (author)2016-06-22

I need wheels and gears were do ya get them

author
tamara6 (author)2013-09-29

My littermaid gears are shot. Any idea where I can find replacements???

author
griffgraff (author)2008-09-30

We have the Mega and the motor gear is turning but the axle is not turning the outside gears. Any ideas?

author
griffgraff (author)griffgraff2008-10-01

The rake will move by hand but the axle still does not move. Does the big gear drive the axle? Also, one side of the tiny pin that is on the big gear came out, we put it back in and nothing is engaging the axle. And when we opened the casing 2 small springs came out. Any ideas? This is a wonderful site for resources. Thanks for answering so promptly.

author
Rob K (author)griffgraff2008-10-09

Sorry late response. I know that the 2 springs are for the metal rod that is on the back of the rake. If you look at the video I removed it . I'm not to sure on the inside of the rake itself since it has been a while.

author
tamara6 (author)Rob K2012-08-10

Rob, I regret not having gone to electrical engineering in college. I went with chemistry and them in computer science.. bummer bcs I want to put a more powerful motor in my littermaid and unfortunately and don't really understand your instructions :(
Do you think there would be a way that I could do it as in electrical repair for dummies?? or am I just hopeless??

Thanks,
Tamara

PS; my gears were shot and I was able to repair that so maybe I'm not that hopeless

author
Rob K (author)tamara62012-08-28

I'm not sure about changing the motor out. Might have to cut to make room. I was going to do a version 3 o the littermaid fix but the one that i got from my brother was in a basement flood and everything was shot in it. I just gutted it and made just a plain litterbox. Version 3 I was going to do with an arduino.

author
Rob K (author)griffgraff2008-10-01

you might have the axle gear stripped. Can you move the screen by hand on the track? Also could be that the axle gear slid to the side of the motor gear.

author
Momma Diver (author)2008-10-09

If anyone is interested, I have 3 non-functioning Megas with parts that are usuable (I did not find the instructable for fixing and have had a very bad string of luck with them!). None of them have battery covers; 2 of them have power cords and the rake cords are intact (to get warranty replacements, you have to send them the cover and a piece of the cord)

author
user18 (author)Momma Diver2010-03-15

Check here:
http://mcs.uwsuper.edu/sb/Electronics/LitterMaid/

author
hammer9876 (author)2008-10-30

Gee, I hope the LitterMaid people are reading these intructables. Maybe they could figure out how to keep them from breaking so often.....

author
gamer (author)2008-03-26

Look, I'm really sorry to say this, but whenever an Instructable is full of spelling mistakes, i stop reading. maybe changing "safty" to "safety" and "latter" to "later" would help, and I only read the first step.

author
Rob K (author)gamer2008-03-26

I don't spell that well. English has never been one of my better subjects. Thank you for correcting me.

author
gamer (author)Rob K2008-03-27

I'm a little picky about spelling, because it is one of my best subjects. Always glad to help people spell correctly. -gamer ps. There is a spell check built into firefox, in caser you use that, and there is also a spell check built into Instructables

author
GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-24

Nice! I like the use of the small items. Any project using small items from RadioShack are just awesome. Great job, you soldered very neatly and stuff! You have my vote! (And rating).

author
Rob K (author)GorillazMiko2008-03-24

thank you. Good thing I had burned my fingers working on that tiny DPDT switch after I did everything else or the soldering would have been messier.

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