Introduction: How to Make a Vibrating Motor.

Sometimes you need a vibrating motor but just don't have a spare massager on hand to take apart. This usually leaves you with three options:

1. You can buy one online from your favorite electronics site (but this will cost you an arm and a leg).

2. You can take your chances with a massager from the Goodwill Store (but who knows where that has been).

3. Or if you have five minutes to spare, you can build your own.

Not liking to spend great deals of money or break out in strange rashes, I prefer option number 3.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff.

You will need:

- DC motor with a plastic gear attached to the shaft (easily found in tape players, VCRs, printers, etc.)
- An alligator clip
- Soldering iron
- Some solder

Step 2: Attaching the Weight.

Clamp the alligator clip to the plastic gear. It is best if you can clamp it so that the alligator clip is grasping on to the gear's teeth. However, as was my problem, sometimes the gear is too big or the clip too small. I got around this by clamping the clip to the top and bottom of the gear. It will work both ways, but needless to say the latter method is not ideal.

Since a vibrating motor is just a weight attached off-centered to a motor shaft, you are theoretically done.

BUT WAIT!

Before you turn it on and possibly lose a perfectly good eye when the clip goes flying off, you should think about reinforcing the alligator clip's grip on the gear (as we will do in the next step).

Step 3: Attaching the Weight Better.

Attaching the clip better is simple.

First, make sure that the clip can rotate around the motor shaft without catching on to any parts of the motor.

Once you are sure of this, turn on your soldering iron and wait for it to get very hot. Once hot, hold it to the alligator clip for about 20-30 seconds. This should be more than enough heat to melt the clip's teeth into the plastic.

After heating up the clip, carefully without touching the alligator clip and burning yourself, solder the top and bottom half of the clip together at the side hinge. This will prevent the clip from being able to open up.

It now should be melted and permanently clamped into place.

Step 4: Power It Up.

Connect the ground and power wire to the motor. Keep your finger clear of the violently spinning alligator clip.

You may want to consider housing your new vibrating motor in something where it has room to spin but can't hurt yourself or others (such as a section of PVC pipe).

Comments

author
rthomas424 made it! (author)2017-01-26

This is a good idea. I have a neighbor who lives in an adjacent townhouse who plays music all the time, very loud. I set up a powerful AirKing fan in an unfinished utility room in my basement. I turn it on and lean it against an exposed stud on the side of the room his house connects. The vibrations are so strong he gets the idea. This idea can be used to have vibrating motors attached to more disturbing places along the shared walls.
The fan is in a closed room and I have tinnitus so the noise of the fan and motor though muted is good for me, unlike the neighbor's music.

author
mona7727 made it! (author)2014-12-12

Hi,

I am working on an invention and would like to know how to make the vibration move back and forth within a cylinder that is maybe 10 - 12 feet. Would it be possible for me to get the agitation for a lengthy pvc tube or other tube like apparatus?

author
stuffdone made it! (author)stuffdone2016-05-02

Not sure if you got what you need...long time ago. But that sounds more like a linear actuator application. You may need to use a reversable gear motor (12 vdc) and a cycle timer to reverse it. Using a shaft in linear bearings and some pully arrangement to move it in your cylinder then reversing.

author
stuffdone made it! (author)2016-05-02

Been there. I don't mind the goodwill route since I'm going to throw away all but the motors and controls. I have had occasion to need vibrating motor in the past and just cut off a short piece of bar stock ( aluminum or steel ) and drilled a tight fitting hole next to one edge and press that onto the motor shaft. A drop of super glue!

Shake that tray of etchant!

author
cesar harada made it! (author)2012-08-03

And if you want you can even make that vibrating thingy into a block that would allow you to build any modular LEGO vibrating robot !!!

Instructables here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-your-Modular-Vibrating-Robot/

author
bf5man made it! (author)2006-11-25
Or a cork, here's how i did it:

author
randofo made it! (author)randofo2006-11-26

Nice. Even simpler than my method.

author
Sir-fix-a-lot made it! (author)Sir-fix-a-lot2009-12-03

Here's another simple method:
use the metal part of a screw terminal as shown in the picture. There are different sizes, so you can choose different weights or you can remove one screw for lighter vibrations. It works really well! I use these in adult toys I make for friends.

Vibrator.jpg
author
cesar harada made it! (author)cesar harada2012-08-03

I like this method best !

author
pagosapig made it! (author)pagosapig2010-03-31

I usually use the spinner from a CPU disk reader. They have the middle whole and three symmetrical holes about a half centimeter out. It works very well for vibrating beam robots.

author
mcdonn123 made it! (author)mcdonn1232008-04-26

With a cork you can adjust the vibration. Sweet!

author
knoxarama made it! (author)2008-11-12

i stuck a piece of clay on the gear head and it worked just fine

author
mohtaprashantrocks made it! (author)mohtaprashantrocks2012-04-06

although it could fly off and stick on the mirror like mine did (the clay ) lol

author
ethiran made it! (author)2011-12-09

is this can be used for tamiya motors?

author
vishalapr made it! (author)2011-07-15

This is soooo useful!
I was making a vibro bot and I needed a vibrating motor but couldn't get any in hand so I was wondering what to do and then I notice this instructable and then think! I had lots of spare motors so I made this and it works perfectly!
Thanks for sharing such and awesome tip!

author
headlessknight made it! (author)2011-02-22

don't you mean "roach" clip sorry for the spelling no sleep for 2 days
trying to be funny there but i would have never tthink that up

author
Drasa made it! (author)2010-11-30

lol, melting the clip. Great 'ible!

author
prodo123 made it! (author)2010-07-26

Or you could hot-glue it.

author
Jodex made it! (author)Jodex2010-10-08

I know - from experience - hot glue won't hold it well enough. Or at least with my motors, but that may depend on the motor's power.

author
prodo123 made it! (author)prodo1232010-10-08

Overkill...but epoxy it on? :V or melt the gearhead with a hot glue gun and mold the clip in place?

author
Wade Tarzia made it! (author)2006-11-20

How about an adjustable vibrating motor? Attach a large gear on the motor with holes drilled radially (make them balance on either side of course), then use a screw set into the holes -- the farther from the edge, the more vibration. You know, Instructables really makes me think -- before today, I never ever thought about how to make an adjustable vibrating motor; I don't know why this will be important to me someday, but I think it will; I have that confidence in The Ways The World Works, and to hell with the despair of Cold Chaos! (though I believe in that too).

author
PR22 made it! (author)PR222007-07-20

just adjust the voltage with a variable resistor

author
Saint_Awesome made it! (author)Saint_Awesome2008-08-15

That would work but would waste a lot of energy via heat, which won't happen with Pulse Width Modulation and such.

author
redneckjaybyrd made it! (author)redneckjaybyrd2010-07-22

A potentiometer would work.

author

I am looking at the PWM circuits floating around. In the meantime, Sir Fix a Lot sent along an idea...old train transformers!

author
Flyinseamnky made it! (author)2010-03-23

Now if someone could write an instructable on how to turn your bed into a vibrating bed like in cheap motels. LOL Pay timer optional. LOL I am sure you would need 4 of these one for each bed leg, or one for the center post running sycncronized with a standard 120 wall plug, and a switch of some kind. Is anyone up for the challange? LOL Probably better (no jail time required) and cheaper than stealing on from a motel as my friend wanted to. LOL Thanks.

author
josh1001 made it! (author)2009-12-15

 u could have also shaved of some of the teeth form one side of the gear, it would look better. 

author
wildgorilla made it! (author)2007-10-31

Help. Need instructions. Read that rats can lose weight by standing on a plate vibrating at 90 times/minute. Need to build a vibrating platform for my overweight daughter who has cerebral Buzz Platepalsy. Should have ability to vary vibrations. Thanks.

author
Sir-fix-a-lot made it! (author)Sir-fix-a-lot2009-12-03

Hello Wildgorilla!
There's more than 2 years between your post and mine, but I hope this is still usefull:
Scientists have proven that the vibration plates that are used in gyms and sold commercially have no effect, or even are counter productive. You can read about that here: http://www.ergo-log.com/vibplate2.html
I understand you are talking about another frequency, I'm curious about how effective this is in humans.
Good luck!

author
randofo made it! (author)randofo2007-11-01

I'm not sure it would work for people..... but all you would need to make such a thing is a large motor with a weight on it and a 555 chip to pulse width modulate the motor and an h-bridge to keep the motor and 555 chip voltages seperate. You can probably find 555 timer kits and h-bridge kits online.

author
wildgorilla made it! (author)wildgorilla2007-11-01

Thanks randofo.

author
beetn_chan made it! (author)2009-09-10

is it possible to fix the vibrating motor in cuff to make a massager? Does the motor produces large amount of heat?

author
jesse99 made it! (author)2009-03-19

how do you power this?

author
coatesy900 made it! (author)coatesy9002009-04-16

with a battery...

author
Th3Snip3r made it! (author)2008-11-28

You could also take one of the motors from a PS2 controller. But just for this, its not really necessary especially at the controllers being $25 bucks. But I have a bunch of broken ones my buddies give me to hold onto for parts and things.

author
CanDo made it! (author)2006-11-15

Neat, what times have you needed a vibrating motor?

author
lucianoabcd made it! (author)lucianoabcd2007-03-31

I will try one for making a smooth bzzzz on the snare drum. I think it should work, however in my case the shaft should be small (ie shorter than the radius of the motor, so it doesn't touch the head of the snare) yet powerful. Any ideas?

author
masterochicken made it! (author)masterochicken2007-12-09

I would use an old xbox controller's motor

author
PR22 made it! (author)PR222007-07-20

sex toys

author
trebuchet03 made it! (author)trebuchet032006-11-15

All sorts of uses -- sifting materials of dissimilar density, leveling your cake batter, getting bubbles out of resin-concrete-glue-etc. and more. Simple drawing circuits (there was a project on Make: that did this).

author
Wade Tarzia made it! (author)Wade Tarzia2006-11-20

Yes! Your neighborhood archaeologist can use that! Fill screen, turn on motor, eat lunch, come back, and your glass beads, clovis points, and diamond-eyed idols are jingle-jangling there at the bottom of the screen.

author
CanDo made it! (author)CanDo2006-11-16

Cool, I see... something to keep in mind then.

author
rarcke made it! (author)rarcke2006-11-15

Give one in a case to your girlfriend, she'll know what to do with it.

author
Jack Daniels made it! (author)Jack Daniels2006-11-16

by the looks of it somone already knew what to do with it...

author
TheCheese9921 made it! (author)TheCheese99212006-11-15

lol

author
randofo made it! (author)randofo2006-11-18

You can make a USB-Powered vibrating apple

author
lemonie made it! (author)2007-01-20

Please tell us what motivated you to do this. I got one for free out of 'Operation', but found no use for it...

author
jownathown made it! (author)2007-01-01

I did this instructable. i didn't have a crocodile clip around, so i tried it with a screw instead. works perfectly.but i did have to melt the gear quite a lot. Great instructable!

author
_soapy_ made it! (author)2006-11-18

Nice idea. Commercial ones do this in two ways. One is to simply fold a bit of lead flashing over the end of the spindle, then crimp it on tightly. The other, which lets you drive things, is to take a circular bit of brass, drill an off-center hole, and then add a grub screw through the side. File a flat on the spindle, then put it on and tighten the screw. You can then add an axle with a bearing to it for a really powerful linear arcing action.

author
nrdesign made it! (author)2006-11-17

Just use a piece of a Hot-glue stick, for example about a half cm or so

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Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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