• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 40,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

Any electrical engineers here? Vibrating motor + time control

Discussion in 'Product Creation, Inventing, Importing, Sourcing' started by Departed, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Departed
    Offline

    Departed Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Europe
    Rep Bank:
    $105
    Hi guys,

    Are any electrical engineers here who could help me get a basic understanding if the following would be simple or difficult to engineer?

    I want to insert a small vibrating motor (like this one for example Coin Motor Vibration Dc Motor Cellphone Motor 0820 - Buy Coreless Dc Motor,Coin Type Motor Vibration 0820,Health Protection Equipment Motor Product on Alibaba.com) into a piece of plastic. Then I want the user to be able to switch between different modes when/how often the vibration should occur (every 2 hours, every 4, every 8). Ideally with just one button, no display, maybe 3-4 small led lights to indicate which mode is in use.

    What would I need besides the vibrating motor? Some kind of micro-controller, a battery and some LED and a button? How would one go about this with no electrical engineering knowledge at all? Who could I hire to help me design a prototype?

    Appreciate hearing your thoughts!
     
  2. jpn
    Offline

    jpn Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    132
    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Rep Bank:
    $821
    I'm not an electrical engineer, but a bit of a tinkerer, this should be very easy to make from an electrical engineering point of view. I think if you go to an smaller manufacturer they may be willing to do the design. Or recommend you someone to do it for you.

    You can also look for en electrical engineer or embedded systems engineer to spec it and write the limited code (if any). And an industrial designer to get the PCB and battery in a housing and do the CAD work.
     
  3. RecoveringTrekee
    Offline

    RecoveringTrekee New Contributor

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $26
    I work as an EE. Pretty much you have everything right, you'd want a battery a button a microcontroller and probably one transistor and however many LEDs you want, and a custom pcb. Do you know how big you want it to be and what kind of battery? I'd probably use an avr attiny microcontroller just because it's easy to program for. The exact one depends on size and how many inputs and outputs. Then you could 3d print a prototype. The big thing on small battery powered stuff is keeping power consumption down when is idle. That's probably firmware thing, not necessarily hard though.

     
    Sheens likes this.
  4. JScott
    Offline

    JScott Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    5,652
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Rep Bank:
    $41,352
    I'm a EE and former embedded guy...

    Design would be very easy -- as you and others said, you'd just need a microcontroller and whatever peripherals you wanted.

    The one piece that hasn't been mentioned -- but that is very important -- is a motor driver. Most microcontrollers will output 25-50 mA current and 3.3/5V voltage at their pins, which isn't enough to drive most DC motors. A motor driver is simply a current amplifier (and potentially a voltage amplifier as well) that will allow you to increase the current (and voltage) to whatever is needed to drive the motor.

    A motor that size probably requires 100-200 mA, and probably 3-5V.

    For anyone that has done any basic embedded development, the circuits and programming should be very easy. The bigger issue is form-factor -- if you need a specific form factor for consumer deployment, you'll probably want to work with a company that provides that expertise.
     
    Sheens and Departed like this.
  5. RecoveringTrekee
    Offline

    RecoveringTrekee New Contributor

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $26
    I was thinking drive the motor with a single transistor. Should be pretty easy to find one that can drive the 200 mA and run at logic levels on the base/gate. You wouldn't need to reverse a vibrating motor ever, and you could always PWM from fimware pin if you had to control speed. Like you say though bigger thing is form factor. It's also easier to prototype stuff that is a little larger in my experience, since it's easy to solder by hand and the circuit boards are a little more standard and cheap.

     
    Departed and JScott like this.
  6. JScott
    Offline

    JScott Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    5,652
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Rep Bank:
    $41,352
    Good point...that would be a cheaper solution. And easy enough to prototype with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi...
     
  7. RecoveringTrekee
    Offline

    RecoveringTrekee New Contributor

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $26
    Problem I've had for battery powered stuff and Arduino is that they have cheap little 7805 regulators that drop like 5mA all the time, and they have a power led pulling another 10 or so. You can always desolder or clip the leads on those I guess though. Then hook the battery to the 5v vcc pin.
    There are avr functions to put the CPU to sleep and then wake up on timer interrupts too, pretty sure you can use Arduino environment and do that. Most (all?) of the Attiny line can run with a 32.768 khz watch Crystal with no load caps too. You have to set some fuse bits to put it in that mode. That keeps the part count down, and the low clock speed lowers power consumption and also is divisible by 2^15 to get seconds.

     
  8. Departed
    Offline

    Departed Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Europe
    Rep Bank:
    $105

    Thank you @jpn, @RecoveringTrekee and @JScott!

    Since this all sounds like Chinese to me I still have to find somebody who can develop a prototype for me. Was thinking to search for a manufacturer on Alibaba. The thing is however, that I am not very sure that my idea is so great... I have been researching a lot in the last couple of days and this would just be a gamble. Not really solving a need. Even though I believe people would buy the product. Anyone interested in discussing the idea, giving feedback and potentially proving me wrong, shoot me a PM!
     
    RecoveringTrekee likes this.
  9. jesseissorude
    Online

    jesseissorude Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    356
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nashville
    Rep Bank:
    $1,436
    Stop right there then! PS Yet another EE chiming in :)

    Any time I am designing a new product, I need some info before I can make decisions on actually spending money or time sourcing products and getting designers involved. Even though I'm doing my own design, I still assign a dollar cost to my design time, and avoid wasting that spend at all cost until I'm confident in the idea.

    You may have to get an Engineer involved, but not for design right now. Just for research and estimates on costs.

    You want to find out:
    -Estimated Cost of the Doohickey
    -Projected Retail Price
    -Profit /unit (Price minus Cost)
    -Projected Sales (/mo, /yr, whatever. Just be consistent)

    You don't have to get anything exact, just do some elbow grease and get good estimates.
    By the time you make a spreadsheet and look at your assumptions all laid out, you'll see if there's something that won't make any sense as a business.

    Next, run them by an Engineer to see if your assumptions make sense.

    Also, don't be married to a specific component. Give the Engineer the model of motor you found, but during the course of design, the designer will likely find something better AND cheaper once they know the size of bulk orders he/she can play with. A good designer can make the product, but will also be sourcing components. (It always blows someone's mind when they bring me a $12 part they want to use and I find a smaller, better one on DigiKey for $1.09).
     

Share This Page