Help with Student Project, Motorized Turntable


Thread Starter


My daughters high school band director asked for me to build a turntable large enough for a student to stand on and rotate on it.
the design is simple enough but the sizing of the motor is my biggest issue.
Here are my thoughts and please I am in no way an electrical engineer I am more of a DIY builder.

Platter will be @ 24"
person that will stand on the platter will be no more then 150lbs
Would like to have remote on/off and maybe onboard speed control to fine tune the speed
the turntable will be on wheels and made of welded tube steel
the size of the frame that the platter spins on will be ~36"x30"
I should have room for a car battery inside the framing
The motor will need to spin for @ 15 min. and then once off the field they can recharge.
So my question is
What type of motor would be best, Stepper/Server/direct DC
What Size motor
What controller

thanks for your time on this

Bob Peterson

This sounds like a lawsuit in the making.

Having said that, I would think a small PM DC motor would work best. Probably with a gearbox to step down the RPMs from the motor shaft to the turntable shaft. Maybe a DC drive to vary the speed.
I don't think you need stepper motors for this, a DC gear motor should work.

Here's a few ideas:

Simple case, use a gear motor originally for automotive uses such as a winch, starter, window, or seat motor, connect with chain and sprocket, pulleys with v-belts, or a wheel that contacts the turntable adjusting speed with sprocket, pulley, or wheel diameter ratios to get the fixed speed that you need.

Some example motors that may be suitable:

A more complicated case with variable speed wireless remote control, add a motor controller such as made by Pololu:

These can connect directly to a standard RC receiver as commonly used for radio-controlled model airplanes, cars, etc.