These are common steps in troubleshooting your motor:
- Make sure that your rotor spins freely if you give it a slight push with your hand. For this test you might need to remove the electromagnet from the board as its metal core attracts to magnets on the rotor and stops it quickly.
- Test your electromagnet. Connect one 1.5V battery to electromagnet wires briefly. The electromagnet should push the closest magnet on the rotor. The rotor should turn 45° if you have 4 magnets on a rotor, or 90° if you have 2. If it does not – switch the wires.If your electromagnet does not work, it may be shorted. Sometimes re-winding the electromagnet may solve this problem.
|Newly assembled motor does not work: rotor does not spin.||Rotor is in a “dead spot” – the magnet is outside of reed switch working range. This usually occurs with 2 magnet rotors.||The rotor will not start spinning on its own. Give it a slight push.|
|Rotor is jammed.||Plastic washers may be rubbing against side bricks. Squeeze bricks slightly to move plastic washers in to create a small gap. You may even remove plastic sleeves completely.|
|Try to swap side bricks with holes.|
|Make sure that all four 1×2 bricks on both sides of the rotor are seated properly. You may try to rock them slightly to find the position that provides minimum friction.|
|You may lubricate the axles with WD-40 or any other lubricant.|
|Electromagnet attracts the magnets instead of repelling them.||Switch the battery connection wires.|
|Bad connection in wiring.||Thoroughly clean the wires to remove the insulation.|
|Reed switch is too far from the rotor.||Move reed switch closer.|
|Reed switch does not function when a magnet passes near its center.||The most sensitive part of the reed switch is not in the middle of it, but more to the side. Move the reed switch left or right.|
|The battery is dead or battery voltage is low.||Motor does not work on voltages below 1.2 Volts. Make sure that the batteries are fresh.|
|One of the magnets is not repelling.||Tear this magnet off and glue it upside down. All of the magnets should have the same pole
|Rotor turns 45°, bounces up and down, and then stops in this position.||If the magnets are not centered on the rotor surfaces two of them might be too close to each other. In this case the reed switch may activate prematurely not allowing the next magnet to pass by the electromagnet.
It may also happen if the reed switch is too sensitive.
|Try to slide the reed switch under the cable ties in and out until the motor starts reliably in all four positions of the rotor.|
|Center all four magnets on the rotor flat surfaces.|
|Change the position of the reed switch and/or electromagnet.|
|Motor worked fine for a while but then stopped working.||The battery is dead or battery voltage is low.||Get a new battery. Motor does not work on voltages below 1.2 Volts.|
|If you use high voltage (6V or higher) you can see a blue spark inside of the reed switch. Sometimes it may weld the contacts together.||Disconnect the battery. Flick the reed switch tube slightly. In most cases it will fix the problem temporarily. Afterwards it is recommended to lower the voltage or connect a ZNR parallel to the reed switch. You may also need to replace the reed switch.|
|The electromagnet gets hot.||Not enough wire used for the electromagnet.||Make sure that the electromagnet coil has enough wire. Use almost all the wire from the spool.|
|Short connection inside the electromagnet.||Re-wind the electromagnet. It is better to use a new spool of wire, but sometimes the old wire may still work.|
|Magnets hit the reed switch.||Reed switch is not aligned properly with reed switch brick.||Tighten cable ties. Align the reed switch trying to move it away from the rotor. If you have trouble with that you may add a couple of toothpicks:|
|Magnets hit the base plate.||Magnets are not properly centered or glue layer is too thick.||You need to find five 1×2 plates and place them under 1×2 bricks. You may also need 1×1 plate under electromagnet support brick. Glue additional 1×1 plate under speed control knob for kits #13-14.|
|Electromagnet is not aligned with rotor axle.||1×1 supporting brick lifts the end of the electromagnet too high.||Remove the knob on 1×1 brick with sharp knife or sand it down to decrease its height.|
|Motor is too noisy and does not achieve the speed stated in technical parameters.||Too much friction or worn holes in side bricks.||Lubricate the axles where they contact blue side bricks. You may use a drop of oil from your car dipstick, WD-40, or even vegetable oil.|
|If you want to make your motor look nicer…||Add four 1×2 tiles:|