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Homemade controllers

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by storminyoung, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. storminyoung

    storminyoung Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Has anybody tried making their own variable speed controller? I thought about trying to get a good rheostat that will handle 35-50 amps then run it inline from a fused/switched 12 volt source. If it works it would be a ton cheaper than the $150-$175 or more for a replacement controller. If anybody has any ideas or pics of their set-up please post them so we can toss some ideas around.
  2. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    I would be very interested in this as well, as it seems my Buyers controller is not going to be fixable.
  3. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    Just thinking - the fan speed switch of a vehicle's heater controls - would that work to control the speed of a spreader motor?

    These can be had for next to nothing at any junk yard.
  4. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    For the amount of crap you're going to go through (time+parts) and possibly harming your vehicle or spreader with improper components IMO you'd be far better off to replace the controller.

    From what I hear Karrier Company makes a good product.

    Not trying to discourage anyone from (possibly) saving money or trying something new, just trying to point out the downsides to trying to reengineer parts.

    Also Frank I believe most vehicle fan controls use a resistor block mounted elsewhere to control the speed, it is not in the switch itself and a spreader motor will for sure draw more amps than those are capable of handling.
  5. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    Thanks for the input, Fester.

    I know a new controller is the way to go, but I'm way over budget on this project as it is. I paid more for the spreader than I wanted to, because it is like new. Unfortunately, the previous owner screwed up, and now the controller is shot and he is avoiding me like the plague.
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    look , a reostat , that can handle that kinda of amperage, is hard to find, and they get warm and burn out. western use to use them

    a fan switch will not work, it doesnt carry the amperage

    heres 2 things you can do....

    1. just use a switch ... forget about the var. speed.... 99% of the time, im cranked up all the way any way.... fo small drive thru types... just toggle the switch on/off.... and call it a day. Consider installing a push/reset fuse type , so if the motor jams, it will blow, and u just reset it.

    2. I have done this before as well... If you are REALLY good with electronics, and you have time on your hands. i have taken large ceramic reisitors, calculated the amps/watts so as to not over load them, and basicly mess around with them. I generally find a low, a mid , speed i like, plus high (max) put them on a 3 way switch , there you go. But u need to test it with salt in the hopper, and its alot of try/error
  7. rednekk frank

    rednekk frank Member
    Messages: 36

    Right now I am using a simple switch, but it seems like I'm putting down a whole lot more salt than I need to be. I wanted a variable speed to control my usage.

    Honestly, I'd be happy if I could just set it to run on half speed or so, even if it's not adjustable.
  8. storminyoung

    storminyoung Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    The 3-way switch with different resistors would be a good idea too. I was just gonna hook up a on/off switch and put a shroud around the spinner to limit the overthrow on the sides since I'll be using it on driveways too, may have to get a few resistors and try that idea out.:drinkup: