More about DC Motors
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Direct current (DC) motors are perhaps the most basic type of electrical motors. DC motors are everywhere; televisions, CD players, and even computers, all contain several small electrical motors. These electrical motors are powered by the forces of electromagnetism. Remember the fascination that magnets once inspired? The metal seemed to draw iron and steel as if by magic. The basic movement of DC motors, in fact, can be explained in terms of this not-so-magical fundamental law of magnetism: likes repel one another, and opposites attract. With a few commonplace objects, anyone can build their own variation of a DC Motor.
All DC motors contain at least two magnets, the rotor (or armature, which typically consists of a set of three small electromagnets), and a permanent field magnet. The interaction between the rotor and the field magnet-and the series of attracting and repelling forces that occurs between them-creates the motor’s rotational movement. The rotor on most basic DC motors consists of thin wire wrapped around the engine's two (or more) metal cores. To insure the motor operates on a consistently smooth basis, most DC motors use three or more poles to keep the rotor from becoming immovable.
Attached to the rotor is the axle, which in turn holds the commutator. The commutator works with two brushes, usually consisting of two small coiled springs, to facilitate the movement between the power source and the rotor’s electromagnetic energy. The commutator and brushes are responsible for the “flip” that allows for the flow of electrons at precisely the right moment. This electromagnetic force, in turn, allows the engine to turn freely, without stopping. In order to supply constant power, DC motors must be connected to some sort of direct current power supply. AC to DC Converters are available to convert the signal to the desired form, as are the less common DC to DC Converters, (see DC to DC Converter Manufacturers).