Introduction: How to Make a Vibrating Motor.

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

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.

Update (04/2020):

For more complete and current instructions please visit my Vibrating Motors instructable.

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.


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).

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