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Small Linear Actuator for Hobby Project

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by n, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. n

    n Guest


    I found the perfect linear actuator for a hobby project of mine at:

    Unfortunately, it is produced in England and would probably be too
    expensive for me to ship to the US. Does anybody know of any US
    distributors that carry this sort of thing? I have looked everywhere,
    but can only find heavy-duty, industrial grade linear actuators for

  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    It does cost a lot more, maybe because of fuel cost. My sister forgot a
    few items last time she was here. Just a few lbs, nothing major or
    expensive. The post office wanted a whopping $40 for the cheapest method
    of transportation.

  3. This happen to you often?

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Well, I have had good luck with the USPS so far. If it ain't urgent I
    even have Digikey ship the stuff USPS. BTW the private carriers wanted
    princely three-digit sums. More money than the few clothes were worth.
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yep :-(

    No idea but this would be the perfect time for the mainstream shipping
    lines to wake up and offer surface freight deals.
  6. default

    default Guest

    Their product looks pretty slick but you could: Build it

    Piece of threaded rod and follower nut. Small motor and some plastic
    tubing for couplers.

    I used that in the 60's for the rudder on an RC boat.
  7. Not a hope in hell. They're not set up for small shipments- the actual
    sea shipment cost is cheap (particularly on a weight basis) but there
    are 'nickel and dime' extra costs that add up something like $100 per
    shipment. It's surprisingly fast, maybe 10 days from Asia to the west

    Sometimes if there is a large immigrant population you'll see deals by
    sea to the old country (for example, the Carribean islands around
    here), for domestic stuff, cars and that sort of thing.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    In L.A. there is a large German immigrant population so there are ads in
    the German-Californian paper. But it doesn't work when you live 500
    miles from there because you must deliver to their dock.

    There are small package deals in some places already. One poster in a
    German NG moved to Paraguay where there are many German retirees. He has
    some deal that allows AFAIK one two-kilogram parcel per month from any
    German address to Asuncion (the capital) for a flat fee of 100 Euros a
    year or so. So his sister puts all the magazines she read in there every
    month and ships it to the freight company which then compiles all the
    Paraguay parcels for freighter transport. Much cheaper than a regular
    overseas package. No such deals (yet) out here :-(
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Those can usually only be found in Europe, not so much in the US where
    Phil lives. Plus they are really slow. When I rented a truck over there
    in March and had a ton of stuff loaded up I wanted to scoot the
    headlights down. Thought it didn't work until my German co-pilot told me
    "Just wait, it'll take several seconds before you see the beam moving down".
  10. default

    default Guest

    Roger that

    All electronics, and Electronics Goldmine has seatbelt positioners
    (cable drive), Door actuators, and even some mirror positioners
    (pan-tilt) - from time to time

    Is the need hobby or production? Easy enough to find a piece of
    nylon, tap it for a thread and use threaded rod in a channel or square
    tube. I even see motor driven linear potentiometers popping up on the
    surplus market.
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yeah, but with automotive stuff I'd be careful. Since Lopez every tenth
    of a penny is being squeezed. So if they figure that the headlights will
    be adjusted an average of 500 times over the life of a car the motor
    might be calculated to a lifetime in the single digit hours.
  12. Guest

    That's not a linear actuator. It's a "rod/screw actuator", an
    ordinary electric motor driving a screw on which rides a threaded
    block carrying an extension rod. You should be able to build something
    like that pretty quick with hand tools, never mind a machine shop.

    Mark L. Fergerson
  13. n

    n Guest

    Thank you for all of the replies. Does anyone know where I can find a
    small electric motor like this? I have looked at Digi-Key, Mouser,
    etc., but I must be missing it. I don't mind trying to build this as
    long as I can find a similar motor (in size). Any leads?
  14. James Arthur

    James Arthur Guest

    James Arthur
  15. default

    default Guest has a linear actuator for $30 Item number

    Looks more sophisticated than your reference, but along the same
    lines. 6-12 volts 3" travel the motor has a 50 pulse optical speed
  16. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Go to a local hobby shop where they sell RC airplanes, model trains,
    and etc. If they don't have one they can probably tell you who does.

    Good Luck!
  17. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    I wonder if anyone is considering bringing back sailing ships. They don't
    use _ANY_ fuel! Well, except for maneuvering and if you get caught in the

  18. Kites for container ships, looks promising, the global temp will now
    only go up by 3.9998C instead of up to 4C

  19. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Maybe, maybe not, but the guy who owns the ship can probably save a penny
    or two on fuel for the trip.

  20. default

    default Guest

    Neat idea - been using it myself to power my kayak. I have a 2.5, 14,
    24 square foot kite depending on conditions. I can make my
    displacement hull speed of ~5 knots under wind power and up to 45
    degrees off the wind sailing downwind.

    I get a lot of comments and stop traffic with it. It works best in
    open ocean away from trees but I can also use it on big lakes, and
    rivers by flying the kite high enough. I steer by putting a little
    drag on one or the other side with a paddle. Been at it 5 years now.
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