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Motors from old printers

Motors from old printers

Postby Cmcandre » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:52 pm

I was just handed two old printers, HP LaserJet 2100 and HP LaserJet 1012. The parts of them are still good and I'm looking to pull out the motors just to try out building a laser sweeping device (with existing lasers).

Has anyone done this before on these or other printers before. What exactly am I getting myself into. Would it be more efficient to simply purchase a motor I know there are a few that are fairly inexpensive but I am looking at it almost as a challenge to keep things inexpensive while improving my setup.

Any help is much appreicated.
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Postby WalterMo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:59 pm

I think nobody of this forum has built a scanner with a stepping motor from a printer.
About one year ago I have presented my motor stepper here: ... ?p=238#238

It's still working and in the meantime I have substituted the 3.75°-motor with a 0.9° one. But because the two coils of the new motor had a lower impedance it was necessary to use another driver-IC.

My suggestion: Buy a small bipolar motor with a fine step angle and a suitable complete board with the driver-IC. Such a board has only two inputs: One for the clock rate and one for the direction. (And of course two for the power supply.)
See it as a challenge to build a clock generator, e.g. with a 555 or a 74HCT4060 and the mechanics.
Have also a look at the post of Jerry In Maine from 9 May 2007 in the same thread.

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Postby Cmcandre » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:56 pm

Thank you for the details, I had done a search for a few things but somehow this post didn't turn up in any of the ones I did, although I knew it was there because I had seen it before. I'm going to go with one of the kits for a quick standardized solution as I plan to try to build multiple setups. I'll post pictures and my experience once I have something working.

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Postby nicanor76 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:36 am

I'm doing something similar. I took an old printer apart and took one of the motors out, not a stepper motor but a basic 2 wire one so I don't need a driver to use it. If you wire the two wires coming out of it to a AA battery, it'll turn slowly. Put 2x AA and will turn faster, a 9v would make it turn even faster, etc. Reverse the wires and will spin the other direction. For our use the slower the better, so a single AA will do. I guess you put a potentiometer to control the speed as well

My setup is similar to a CNC setup: somehow attach a screw on the spinning part of the motor to make the screw thread turn. Put a nut in the middle of the screw (which is attached to an end of a teeter totter-like pivot, pretty much a single sided see-saw plank).
motor spins --> nut moves up or down --> make teeter totter pivot up/down

On the other end of the teeter totter is the laser. The further the nut is from the pivot point, the slower the teeter will move. I attached a 1/4" nut in the bottom so it can easily screw into a typical camera tripod to adjust for height, angle, etc

Makes sense? Can post picts later. Right now just using spare parts (cardboard box) for mockup "prototyping" so doesn't look like much.

Alternatively instead of an old printer motor, you can use a broken CD drive motor (there's 2 inside, the one that opens the tray is easy to salvage)... or better yet even a normal computer fan case as well and just clock down the speed by reducing the voltage. Maybe easier to do for people w/o broken gadgets with built-in motors
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