How to Make a DC Motor Go Forward & Reverse

Written by william kinsey
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How to Make a DC Motor Go Forward & Reverse
Computer fans use DC motors, which can be reversed. (fan image by Antons Matvejevs from Fotolia.com)

DC (direct current) motors are some of the most versatile motors when it comes to directional control. The direction of current flow through these types of motors controls the direction the motor will rotate. As current flows in one direction, the magnetic field generated by the armature and field coil will rotate in one direction. If the motor connections are reversed, the magnetic field will also reverse. This makes DC motors very popular in the children's toy industry.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 12 volt DC motor
  • 12 volt battery
  • 1 red 16 gauge wire
  • 1 black 16 gauge wire
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut one 2-foot piece of black and red wire. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from both ends of the red and black wire. Connect one end of the black wire to the negative terminal of the motor, and connect the other end of that wire to the negative terminal of the 12 volt battery.

  2. 2

    Connect one end of the red wire to the motor's positive terminal, and connect the other end of that wire to the positive terminal of the battery. The motor should start running in its normal forward direction.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the two wires connected at the battery. Reverse these two connections by connecting the red wire to the negative battery terminal and connect the black wire to the positive battery terminal. The motor should start running in reverse. For DC motors, the direction of current flow through the motor matters.

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