1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Homemade hopper vibrator?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by OC&D, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Has anyone attempted making their own hopper vibrator? I've got a small Snowex SR-210 tailgate spreader. I do very little salting. I have 4 lots that I salt on a semi-regular basis, and 3 of them are fairly small--like 100-150 lbs to cover them decently.

    The problem I face is that the little spreader I have is rated for bagged rock salt. Bagged rock salt spreads decently most of the time, although I do experience some cratering with it as well, particularly after traveling between sites. My goal is to spread bulk, as the cost is considerably less, and I have an ample supply of 5 gallon buckets with lids that I can fill from my buddies salt pile by hand to eliminate large chunks the spreader is not capable of spreading. I tried spreading bulk and it cratered even worse (as expected) than bagged product, as it has significantly more fines in it.

    I'm aware that Karrier makes a small vibrator specifically designed for tailgate spreaders, but for $200, I'd sooner just upgrade to the Buyers model that comes with the vibrator and larger capacity and re-sell the little Snowex I have. Obviously I'd prefer to save a few dollars which lead me to investigate the homemade vibrator idea.

    I've procured a smallish 12VDC motor from a surplus store for $12.95, and tomorrow (if I'm not spreading salt or plowing), I was going to cut a 2 1/2" disc for an eccentric out of an old cutting edge. I'll then upsize the center hole to the size of the shaft on the motor, and weld this disc to the shaft. I then can either grind metal off or add weld metal on to create an unbalanced sheave thus creating the vibration when the motor is running. This, in turn, would be hard mounted to a steel plate, which would then be mounted to the metal support that the poly hopper is bolted to.

    I'm aware that the motor may not hold up, and I'm aware there is a fine balance between creating enough vibration to get the material to flow, but not so much that you vibrate the whole works apart. I'm curious though, if anyone has tried this, or if you have any ideas or input on the project? I considered adding a rheostat to the system so I could adjust the RPM of the motor, but I'm having trouble finding a suitable rheostat.

    I'm also attempting to make a video of the project and if it works I'll share it with you. I figure if it doesn't work, or fails after a few uses, I'm really only out a few bucks and my time. Plus, I like a challenge and an excuse to putz around in the shop.:drinkup:
     
  2. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    sounds like a good idea. and I bet it works But if it doesn't maybe a few battery operated ones will work. If not you have a few new toys for the wife! purplebou
     
  3. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Well it works. It actually works flippin' perfectly. I went to the salt pile yesterday to test it and when the salt started cratering I waited until it wasn't spreading at all anymore, energized the little vibrator and like magic, the salt began to flow! I made the whole thing for less than about $25.00.

    The key now is durability. I'm not sure how the little DC motor will hold up over time, but we'll see. I've got a couple more motors laying around so I can make two more if I want.

    I took a bunch of video of the process and when I get time I'll edit it all together and post it for you guys to check out.
     
  4. Great Idea think tomm Im gonna make a few for the subs that work for me who have the Buyers without a vibrator! Thanks for the idea!
     
  5. Riccas

    Riccas Member
    Messages: 60

    I'm interested in making this myself. I'm quite proficient in 12v wiring and rigging things up to work. I've never dealt with 12v motors and i do not have a welder. I'm thinking i can have a disc made for me and i can bolt it on instead. What kind of motor are you using and what size? I need some general specifics so i can order one online. Maybe you could find an ebay listing to something similar and post it on here for us. Think we would need to know voltage (12), amps, rpms, shaft diameter, and overall size of the unit. I would prefer to use something small, under 20amps...

    Think we're all after this... http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM1215748401P?sid=IDx20101019x00001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM1215748401
    But WITHOUT the $250 tag...

    And i've solved your rheostat issue... i'm going to cut off the 7 pin connector and install a new one. For the salter i'll make the same connections. The other wiring is going to be awesome though... i can use the reverse lead for a light on the unit and here's the kicker... BRAKE CONTROLLER!! It has a ground and a power lead that you can manually adjust with the brake controller. I haven't thought about the specifics, but using the manual engager (Prodigy of course) you can adjust the voltage to the motor from 0-14v quite easily. You'll just need to install a relay so that it will only engage when the motor is running and not every time you put on the brakes. Best way to utilize in-cab controls without having to add anything and make it completely plug-n-play in any truck.

    -- Rick
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  6. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Hey Riccas.

    I've have no idea what brand of motor it is. Size wise it was about 4-5" long, and 3" in diameter. According to the place I bought it from, it rotates at 2350 RPM. It has a 5/16" shaft, which is an odd size, and likely a little small to tap a bolt into. You could possibly tap the disc and use a set screw, but I prefer welding it as the vibration can't loosen the hardware.

    I was going to see how mine held up and maybe make a couple more and post them on ebay and see what I could get for them.
     
  7. b&b landscapes

    b&b landscapes Member
    Messages: 74

    i made a homemade one last year because we were subbed out and he only use bulk and he got crappy bulk at that....

    Heres what i did and it worked fantastic....

    I had a Converter laying around and I hooked it up in the truck and ran an extention cord to a palm sander and I screwed the palm sander to the spreader 2/3s of the way down and i would turn it on and off thru the converter.....
    I know it sounds hillbilly and was (but worked and only took me 10 mins to rig up)
    but someone COULD take this idea to the next level

    :mechanic:
     
  8. Riccas

    Riccas Member
    Messages: 60

    I'm all for coming up with a great mini vibrator... i'm just not familiar with 12v motors. If someone could lead the way to one i could do a whole write-up on how to make your own complete with pics and vid... just need a little guidance for motor selection.

    -- Rick
     
  9. turboplow3

    turboplow3 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    just screwed a palm sander to mine and ran an extension cord in to my jump pack. works great. also worked with my inverter which i will prob use instead
     
  10. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  11. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

  12. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

  13. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    The video was taken with my iphone 4, so sorry if it's a little rough to watch. I was going to edit it all and make it a bit shorter, but I simply don't have the time.

    I have 2 more motors just like this one that I may be willing to part with, and for a price I might be willing to make the eccentric and weld it to the motor for you. You'd obviously need to figure out your mounting options depending on the spreader. They had 2 more motors where I bought this one, but they may be gone now.
     
  14. icudoucme

    icudoucme Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    Nice setup. Did running the wires to the switch take longer then making and mounting the shaker?
     
  15. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Nope. Actually that was pretty easy. Ford ran 4 wires through the firewall from under the dash by the upfitter switches, so I just wired those up and actually used an old extension cord for the wire and connector back to the vibrator.
     
  16. Dailylc

    Dailylc Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    Thanks Eric! I have my project for this afternoon.

    James
     
  17. Riccas

    Riccas Member
    Messages: 60

    Eric,

    shoot me an email if you get a chance (rick@macricorp.com) i'd like to buy one of these motors off you with the plate you rigged up.

    -- Rick
     
  18. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    has anyone considered using a old starter? weld a counter weight on the spline, i bet it would throw it off enough that you would get a pretty good vibration out of it. it already has holes to bolt it on, and given that you aren't turning the flywheel, i bet it would last for ever too.
     
  19. landscapemike2

    landscapemike2 Junior Member
    from 62269
    Messages: 3

    old starters work great we use ones off of mowers weld on one sied of gear and your good to go
     
  20. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    yeeeeaaaahhh
    and I just paid 170 for the buyers one 2 weeks ago..... grrrrr
    :gunsfiring: :realmad: :gunsfiring: