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morepower4me 5th July 2008 06:01 AM

Can I use a computer PSU with a floppy/DVD motor drive TT?
Hello all,

After reading all this great info on floppy/DVD drive powered turntables, I am curious whether I can power the motor with its original source - the computers PSU.

Are there any inherent problems with this I am not considering?

Also, I was planning on controlling the platter RPM via a potentiometer on the DC motor rather than fine tuning pulley size. Can that be done?

Please excuse the 'newb' questions, I am just trying to do this on the cheap, and have it come out better than the equivalently priced Sony or AT off the shelf models. Any suggestions are VERY welcome!!

EC8010 5th July 2008 07:52 AM

Floppy drive motors are designed to run at a fixed speed, and in the ones I've investigated, have a servo to compare pulses from their rotor with pulses from a crystal. I don't see that any potentiometer is going to allow speed to be varied while that servo is working - you'd need a variable division digital divider following the crystal.

If you can use the motor rotating at its original speed, it could be powered from the computer.

morepower4me 5th July 2008 06:25 PM

Please excuse the newbie response, but could the motor be removed from the electronics that control its speed (crystal and such) and just wired directly from the PSU to the potentiometer then to the motor?

Wouldn't it then work like most any other DC motor? Or is the crystal and accompanying bits what make it useful as a TT drive?

I have searched, I just can't find many details regarding this.


Steerpike 5th July 2008 06:40 PM

Floppy drive motors do not work like 'ordinary' DC motors as found in portable cassette decks, windshield wiper motors etc.
They are actually AC motors with integral electronics that generates the correct AC waveforms, using a specialist chip.

If you remove all of that electronics and speed control servo system, you'd end up with a motor that has really terrible speed regulation.

morepower4me 6th July 2008 04:14 AM

Hmm, thats really too bad.

So what are my options. Can I still use the computers PSU to power an ordinary DC motor or will I run into the same speed issues?

Am I better off robbing the motor/drive system off of a cheaper TT (like the Audio Technical PL-50)?

grimberg 6th July 2008 04:35 AM

I am not sure if you have seen the project described at The author uses an inexpensive surplus stepper motor, treating it as AC synchronous, feeding it an adjustable sine wave.

morepower4me 6th July 2008 07:01 AM


Originally posted by grimberg
I am not sure if you have seen the project described at The author uses an inexpensive surplus stepper motor, treating it as AC synchronous, feeding it an adjustable sine wave.

I did actually see that and it was one of my inspirations!
I was trying to avoid going that route due to the extra steps of generating the sine wave as well as needing an extra amp and source, but if that seems to be the best way than I can certainly make it work.

I lack the electrical experience most around here have, so it needs to make sense in my (begginer) head. I had experience with RC cars in the past and was originally trying to set the platter up using that technology and that working knowledge, but it seems as though the 540 or even 370 motors I am familiar with would have the power to turn ANY platter and run smoothly (bearing shafts) but may be too noisy or unstable.

Back to the drawing board I guess...

EC8010 6th July 2008 08:43 AM

Use the Altmann ideas! That's a superb piece of cheap but very effective engineering. I'd (almost) be prepared to buy an MP3 player to produce the sine waves if it weren't for the fact that I can make an oscillator perfectly well myself.

jan.didden 6th July 2008 09:56 AM

Very creative idea! The only question I have would be to the vibration (or not) of the motor. I know you can drive steppers with sine waves which is called microstepping, but I always thought that there was a basic vibration related to the number of pole pairs (which is 48 I guess for a 7.5 degree motor) and the rotational speed. Here you do the 48 steps in 20mS, about 2400Hz?

But I'm not sure. Anybody has more experience with this?

Jan Didden

Steerpike 6th July 2008 11:02 AM

Many (most?) turntables and tape decks with synchronous motors use a hysteresis-type motor, which has no permanent magnets and provides very smooth operation.
I've never used a stepper motor in an application where vibration and noise was critical, but they are generally noisy motors because they contain very strong permanent magnet rotors.

The thing is, NO motor will give you stable speed - with the ability to trim it to the required value - without some sort of electrical/electronic control system.

DC motors as used in car cassette decks, and many mid-range home cassette decks have inbuilt speed regulation: a tiny hole in the bottom for a screwdriver. One of those is probably the easiest route - and they aren't *bad* performers either. And yes, you can run it off a computer power supply, since they need around 9 to 12v unregulated.

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