Hard Disk Motor Speed Controller using Arduino, DIY Sander

(Last Updated On: June 30, 2020)

In this tutorial, you will learn how to turn your old Hard disk Motor

Hard Disk Motor Speed Controller, Project Description:

Hard Disk Motor Speed Controller using Arduino, Diy Sander–  In this tutorial, you will learn how to turn your old Hard Disk Drive Brushless DC motor into an amazing Electric Sander. The HDD “Hard Disk Drive” Brushless DC motor speed will be controlled using a Potentiometer.

The Hard Disk Motor Speed controller is based on the Arduino Nano, ESC, and 11.1V 2800mAh Lipo Battery Pack. Instead of using the Lip Battery Pack you can also use a normal 12V DC power supply.

You might have watched some videos on YouTube explaining how to make a Sander from an old Hard Drive. In almost all those videos, the Servo Testers are used to control the speed of the Hard Disk Motor.

In this tutorial, we will do it in a different way, instead of using a Servo Tester, we will be using Arduino Nano and will write our own code to control the speed of Hard Disk Motor using a Potentiometer.

The reason I made a video tutorial was just to confirm if this Sander actually works in real. As I had all the components from the previous RC plane Wireless control system. I only had to purchase the Old Hard Disk Drive.

I used the Lip Battery Pack as the Power source, this battery pack provided the need power. I don’t what could be the result if I had used a normal 12V adaptor. But seriously for me, it worked. So, after a successful test, then I decided to write an article about this and share all the details with you guys.

Without any further delay, let’s get started!!!

Note: For the step by step making watch video tutorial available at the end of this article.


Amazon Purchase Links:

Arduino Uno:

Arduino Nano:

1000KV brushless Motor, 30A Speed controller, and Propellers

11.1V 2200mAh Lipo Battery Pack (best offer 2 pieces)

*Please Note: These are affiliate links. I may make a commission if you buy the components through these links. I would appreciate your support in this way!

About the Hard Disk Drive:

A typical HDD has two electric motors: a spindle motor that spins the disks and an actuator (motor) that positions the read/write head assembly across the spinning disks. The disk motor has an external rotor attached to the disks; the stator windings are fixed in place.

For this tutorial, we only need the Hard Disk Motor and the housing. The other parts can be used in some other projects. First let’s start with the Circuit Diagram.

Hard Disk Motor Interfacing with Arduino, Circuit Diagram:

circuit diagram of Hard disk Motor paper sander

The Hard Disk Motor 3 wires are connected with the 30A Speed Controller. The common wire of the Hard Disk Brushless DC motor is not connected. The Red and Black wires of the 30A speed controller are connected with the Lipo Battery Pack.

The three wires Black, Red, and White from the ESC can be clearly seen. The White wire is connected with the Arduino’s pin number 3, which is used to control the speed of the Hard Disk Motor. The other two wires Red and Black are connected with the Arduino’s Vin and ground pins.

A Potentiometer is connected with the Analog pin A0 of the Arduino. By rotating the Knob of the Potentiometer, the speed of the Hard Disk Brushless DC motor can be controlled. The other two legs of the Potentiometer are connected with the Arduino’s 5V and GND.



Hard Disk Motor Speed Controller Arduino Programming:

Hard Disk Motor Speed Controller Code Explanation:

I started by adding a library Servo.h. We need this library to control the speed of the Hard Disk Brushless DC motor.

#include <Servo.h>

Servo BMotor;

The ESC Signal wire is connected with the Arduino’s pin number 3.

int B_Motor = 3;

Potentiometer is connected with the Arduino’s Analog pin A0.

int Pot = A0; // Potentiometer is connected with A0 of Arduino

int speed_data; // brushless motor speed data

void setup() {

  // put your setup code here, to run once:

BMotor.attach(B_Motor);

pinMode(Pot, INPUT);

 BMotor.write(0);

}


Inside the loop() function, we simply read the Potentiometer and store the value in variable PotData. Next this value is mapped and is stored in the variable speed_data, this value is used to control the speed.

void loop() {

  int PotData = analogRead(Pot);

speed_data = map(PotData,0, 1023, 1000, 2000);

BMotor.writeMicroseconds(speed_data);

}

Sander Making from the Hard Disk Drive “HDD”:

For this tutorial, I purchased an old Hard Disk Drive for around 1 dollar.

Hard disk Motor

removing the circuit from Hard disk Motor

I removed the circuit, and the upper plate, and in no time I was inside the HHD.

Hard disk Motor


Now, we will remove the read/write head assembly across the disks.

Hard disk Motor 4 wire for connection

After removing the circuit, on the bottom side, you can see the 4 wires coming out of the Hard Disk Motor. The Left-most wire is the Common wire and will not be used in this project. Next, I soldered three wires. Later, these three wires will be connected with the 3 wires of the ESC. Make sure you connect the Middle wire of the Hard Disk Motor with the Middle wire of the ESC.

The right and left wires can be interchanged, if you want to change the direction of rotation of the Hard Disk Brushless DC Motor.

3 wires of the Hard disk Motor

Hard disk Motor how to connect the wire connector

Hard disk Motor how to connect variable resister


Fixed the potentiometer. Orange wire will be connected with the 5V, Yellow wire will be connected with the A0 pin, and finally, the green wire will be connected with the ground.

connecting the lipo battery with Hard disk Motor

I connected everything as per the circuit diagram. Before, fixing the sandpaper I decided to check my connections and Arduino programming. I successfully controlled the speed of the Hard Disk Motor using the Potentiometer.

After performing my first test, I disconnected the Lipo Batter and the ESC. I unscrewed the plate.

fixing the read/write plate on Hard disk Motor

Next, I cut the Sand Paper as per the Plate.

cutting the paper sander for Hard disk Motor



Hard disk Motor how fix paper sander in motor

Finally, my Electric Sander was ready for the final test.

Hard disk Motor

Again I connected the ESC and Lipo Battery to power up my electronics.

Hard disk Motor paper sander testing

This is an amazing DIY Sander project based on the Hard Disk Motor, ESC Speed controller, and Arduino Nano. This is an ideal project for beginners with less programming, easy interfacing, and can be easily built at home.


Watch Video Tutorial:

 

 

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About the Author: Engr Fahad

My name is Shahzada Fahad and I am an Electrical Engineer. I have been doing Job in UAE as a site engineer in an Electrical Construction Company. Currently, I am running my own YouTube channel "Electronic Clinic", and managing this Website. My Hobbies are * Watching Movies * Music * Martial Arts * Photography * Travelling * Make Sketches and so on...

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