Noob Maker Project Advice

Hey hey, I’m pretty new to electronics, but I’m looking at a starter project. Previously I wired up a very simple induction heater with a dc power supply and an on/off button. (no soldering) So that’s where I’m at.

My next Idea:
My partner got a La-Z-Boy rocker chair, and I want to try and get it to automatically rock.

So my theory is to get a high torque slowish motor (50-60rpm) with a swing arm. Attach that to the rear of the chair (underneath to the rear wooden leg frame) then run a cable to the underneath top front of the frame. Maybe with some sort of spring so it feels gentle not harsh? This way it’s all underneath the chair.

Then I’m guessing that I’ll want a variable speed controller with an on/off switch to fine tune the speed of the rocking. (and turn it on and off)

But I’ve no idea how the motor and controller work together, or if there are other things that I would need to consider?

So, I found this motor which runs at 66rpm, and I assume reducing the speed would be better on the life of the motor rather than trying to get a lower rpm motor and speed it up?

Then use something like this to reduce the rpm to exactly the right rocking speed? (what are the compatibility considerations between motor and controller?)

I’m also assuming that the same notebook power supply would work well? Stepping AC down to 12v DC? (I’m too scared to work with 240v!)

Thanks heaps in advance for any advice or recommendations for different components.

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Hi Andy,

Interesting project! A spring could take out some of the super sharp accelerations using some elastic cables (hockey strap kinda deal).

The motor controller that you linked looks like it basically handles it all. The rotation of the knob correlates to a speed of the motor, using a PWM signal (super fast on and off pulses to limit the speed of the motor) to vary between fully off and on by the looks of it.

Yeah keeping the percentage of the total load as low as possible should extend the life but I’m definitely no expert here!

PWM controllers are spot on for DC motors, you would be looking for the correct threshold voltage and the maxiumum current that can be supplied by controller.

I think the mechanical side of this will have the greatest effect.



you have the right idea the gearbox will provide the torque needed …im not shure of the stats or values but the idea is correct…e gear box takes the strain off the motor …gives the power to move things like arms etc…and provides the means to increase torque on the whole .


Thanks Liam & Brian! I’m going to get those ordered then start the tinkering process.

I’m not sure that the 10kg@1cm will be enough torque, but because the chair has its own mechanism it’s a pretty light touch to get it going. (might need to physically rock then turn it on??)

I’m guessing getting any load moving is always the hard part? Plus fine tuning the mechanical stuff like arm length, rotation, and cable tension. (hockey straps are a great idea too!)

I’ll report back when I get some progress.

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You might be able to mimic the way those little bobble heads work:

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Wow!.. I hadn’t thought about an electro magnet type coil and magnet…that is a super interesting idea!

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Interesting video! He sounds a bit like Scott Manley, Fly Safe!

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