Introduction: A Complete Guide to K'nex Motors
Hey guys! It's been a long time since I posted something, so i decided to compile information on K'nex motors and put it up so that everyone could get some knowledge about them! This will be my first and only entry in this year's K'nex contest, so be sure to vote for it!
To start off with, first let's list off the types of motors that K'nex supports and creates to make all sorts of amazing things!
- Spring Motor
- Tethered Battery Motor
- Mains Powered Motor
- Enclosed Battery Motor
- 2-Speed Motor
- Solar Motor
- Battery Motor + Controller Pack
- Brick Motor
In this instructable, I will go in-depth on each of the motor type, giving some important information and how to operate it.
Step 1: Type 1: Spring Motor
The K’NEX Spring motor is a well-designed pull-back-and-let-go motor. It is enclosed in a transparent case, so that you can see that pulling back winds up a spring, and letting go releases the spring, via a series of gear wheels.
Where They Are Useful: Spring motors are very good for models where you want a motor to turn a rod quite fast, but you don’t need a lot of power, such as a racing car.
How To Use It: To use a spring motor, first push a rod (quite hard) through the hole in the middle. There is an arrow on the case of the motor, which shows the direction of travel. Turn the rod the opposite way to the arrow a number of times, and then let go to see the motor spin the rod.
How To Get It: A few K'NEX sets include spring motors. They can also be bought as individual items at K'NEX online shops.
Step 2: Type 2: Tethered Battery Motor
The K’NEX Tethered battery motor is an electric motor attached to a separate 3v power pack. The power pack has a three-way switch allowing the motor to be run in either direction. It takes two AA batteries. The motor is enclosed in a transparent case, so that you can see how the motor drives the rods through a series of gear wheels.
Where They Are Useful: Battery motors are very good for models where you don’t need the motor to turn a rod very fast, but you do need quite a lot of power, such as a Bulldozer or Ferris wheel.
How To Use It: To use a Tethered battery motor, first push a rod (quite hard) either through the hole in the middle, or into the hole at the end. Experiment by turning on the switch on the battery pack to turn the rod in each direction.
How To Get It: A few older K'NEX sets still include Tethered battery motors. They can also be bought as individual items in online K'NEX shops.
Step 3: Type 3: Mains-Powered Motor
This motor is powered from the mains via a 12v adaptor, and is also supplied with a special white gear wheel.
Where They Are Useful: The motor is ideal for situations where you need maximum power, or where you want to have a K'NEX model running for long periods of time.
How To Use It: To attach the motor, first push rods through the two holes in the underside of the motor so as to connect it to the model.Then place an axle across the front of the motor, so that the teeth of the white gear wheel engage with the worm gear on the motor shaft.
How To Get It: Personally, I have never seen this motor, but according to internet sources, you can buy it from K'NEX online stores with the option to change the adaptor. You can also get it from the set "Double Ferris Wheel" (credit to lucas_the_boss for that!)
Step 4: Type 4: Enclosed Battery Motor
The Enclosed battery motor is an electric motor which includes an integral 3v power pack. The power pack has a three-way switch allowing the motor to be run in either direction. It takes two AA batteries. It is the most common K'NEX motor.
Where They Are Useful: It can be used practically anywhere! The sky's the limit!
How To Use It: To build the Battery motor into a K'NEX model, simply push a classic K'NEX rod (quite hard) through the hole in the middle. Experiment by turning on the switch on the battery pack to turn the rod in each direction. The easiest way to attach the motor to your model is to fit a white connector onto the lugs at each side of the motor.
How To Get It: A number of the larger K'NEX sets include Enclosed battery motors. They can also be bought as individual items in online K'NEX Shops. There are a variety of colors each running at a different speed.
Step 5: Type 5: 2-Speed Motor
The 2-Speed Motor is similar to the Enclosed Battery Motor, except it is bigger and better!! The 2-speed battery motor is an electric motor which includes an integral 6v power pack.
Where It Can Be Used: Anywhere where the Enclosed Battery Motor can fit, but it will require a bit more space as it houses 4 batteries, not 2.
How To Use It: The power pack has a three-way switch allowing the motor to be run in either direction, plus a second switch will allows the speed of the motor to be set to "slow" or "fast".
How To Get It: It may be purchased in online K'NEX shops. You can also get it from the set "All Terrain Trekker" (credit to dr.richtofen from that!)
Step 6: Type 6: Solar Motor
The K’NEX Solar motor may be powered via the K'NEX Solar panel. The motor runs at low voltage, and will turn quickly whether sunlight or the light from a 100w light bulb falls on the solar panel.
How To Use It: Press a rod (quite hard) into the hole in the Solar piece. Then connect your solar panel to the motor and attach it to your model.
How To Get It: A few K'NEX sets include solar motors. They can also be bought as individual items in online K'NEX shops.
Step 7: Type 7: Battery Motor + Controller Pack
This interesting pack includes 2 x 92875 battery motor (see Hint M2), both connected by a long flex to a single hand-held controller.
Where It Can Be Used: This approach is ideal for K'NEX robots and other steerable vehicles.
How To Use It: The two motors may be attached to K'NEX models in an identical way to the tethered battery motor.The two rocker switches on the controller provides forward and backward movement independently for each motor.
How To Get It: Sadly this type of motor can no longer be purchased.
Step 8: Type 8: Brick Motors
There are a number of motors that are designed to be attached to models built using K'NEX bricks.The first type is the K'NEX Brick Battery motor. Another is the Spring Brick Motor.This is operated by pushing a classic K'NEX rod through the hole, turning the rod against the direction of the arrow to wind up the spring, and then letting go.
Where It Can Be Used: Classic K'NEX wheels may be fitted directly on the axles on this type of motor.The Battery motor is best if you want a more powerful motor operating at low speed. The Spring motor is best if you want a fast motor to power a very light model.
How To Use It: These motors require 2 AA batteries (not supplied).To insert batteries into any Brick battery motor, first use a small Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the screw. Then insert 2 fresh AA batteries (LR6) into the compartment with the correct polarity (+/-), as shown in the photo.
How To Get It: A few K'NEX sets include brick motors. They can also be bought as individual items in online K'NEX shops.
Step 9: Thanks!
Thanks for viewing my instructable! Please vote for it in the K'nex Contest! Sorry that I couldn't post any more but I'm pretty packed up with school these days. So I'm trying my best to remain active. Drop a comment on how you liked this guide and let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve it.
Thanks a bunch for your support!