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DIY Sea Swirls

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects' started by SynDen, May 31, 2018.

  1. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Has anyone here attempted to make one of these before?

    Been in need of 2 more sea swirls to go on my tank build. I have a 1" sea swirl now that I managed to acquire used for pretty cheap, but brand new these are way overpriced imo, especially the 1.5" version. The 1" runs just under $300, and the 1.5" is about $500, but I know the parts of these cost a small fraction of that.

    So since I need a 1.5" and a 1", I decided I would try and build my own. The hardest part looks to be building the rotating nozzle/plumbing piece, but the rest is fairly straight forward.

    Dont have a whole lot yet, mostly just been doing research so far, to put together a parts list. So more to follow as I figure out the details of this project.

    Picture of the inside of a SeaSwirl for reference.


    Parts List/options

    Motor (high torque, low rpm motor)
    Speed Control (optional and need dc motor)
    Cam for the motor attachment
    Actuator arm
    Cord and wire
    Plastic/acrylic box
    PVC pipe ( need one size larger pipe for the sleeve and smaller pipe to fit into.)
    2x 90 degree fittings
    Water proof, long lasting, non-toxic lube for inside the pipe sleeve.
    Rubber gaskets to fit inside biggest pipe.

    Part options
    Motors has several options. First is to choose between AC or DC. Then make sure its a motor meant for continuous operation, has 20 or less RPM with torque capable of moving more then a few ounces.

    The motor and all the parts can be salvaged from anything around that house, and I will likely try to find/salvage a few for this build if I can, but even buying all the parts new, I think I can do these for under $100 each

    - http://herbach.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HAR&Product_Code=H1-08 1RPM motor, although not sure 20oz torque is enough
    - https://www.surpluscenter.com/Elect...ns-Hour-115-Volt-AC-Timing-Motor-10-958-A.axd (less then 1rpm and under $1 makes this one a good contender)
    - https://www.amazon.com/BEMONOC-60KTYZ-AC-Motor-Synchronous/ (a bit more expensive but a good option for the 1.5" version

    - http://www.skycraftsurplus.com/6-24vdcgearheadmotor.aspx Not sure of the torque on this one, but the RPM is just about right (RPM (various voltages): @6v: 3rpm; @9v: 4.9rpm; @12v: 6.8rpm; @24v: 14.6rpm) would need a 24v power cord
    - https://www.surpluscenter.com/Elect...25-RPM-24-Volt-DC-Inline-Gearmotor-5-1796.axd
    - https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Elect...=1-51-spons&refinements=p_36:1253528011&psc=1

    Power cords and connectors
    - https://www.jameco.com

    Speed control
    - https://www.amazon.com/uniquegoods-CCMFC-Controller-Adjustable-Switching/

    Servo Arm
    - https://www.hobbytown.com/fxxd-steering-arm-set-by-mst-mxs-230040/p715795
    - https://www.hobbytown.com/fsh38-sail-servo-arm-s3801-by-futaba-futfsh38/p646116
    - https://www.hobbytown.com/tierod-set-835b-by-duratrax-dtxc9634/p643600

    - https://www.miniinthebox.com/en/p/34-kinds-of-plastic-gear-motor-gear-robot-parts-diy-model-
    - https://www.hobbytown.com/servo-horn-set-1-4-scale-hs700bb-by-hitec-hrc56316/p21825

    Would love any feedback, thoughts or experiences you may have
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
    whyamisofly likes this.
  2. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would look into a stepper motor or DC motor for that.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
  3. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    DC gearmotor is the way I am leaning now for sure. Likeling this one currently https://www.surpluscenter.com/Elect...25-RPM-24-Volt-DC-Inline-Gearmotor-5-1796.axd but open to other options if anyone has one like it.
    stepper would blow the cost of this, at least from what I have seen, and its only needed if you need fine precision tuning, correct? That kind of tuning would be total overkill for this application I think. Although maybe I misunderstand steppers?
  4. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Steppers are intended for precision applications but also happen to be very high torque low rpm and easier to drive if you need speed control. The cost may be prohibitive but I definitely wouldn't consider AC as any speed control there is gonna require an expensive VFD.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
  5. Ambrosio Aquatics

    Ambrosio Aquatics Barracuda Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    i thought about hitting the pull and pay for wiper blade motors and making a sea swirl but never got around to trying
  6. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thats a good idea. Those would likely work pretty good for this kind of application
  7. Ambrosio Aquatics

    Ambrosio Aquatics Barracuda Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    i figured they are strong enough and usually have some form of weatherproofing to them just wasn't sure how long they would last with continuous use
  8. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Ya they are meant for intermittent use, so likely would need to put them on a timer or something, but could work. Although there are a ton of other options out there for motors as well. Old BBQ rotisserie motors are one of the better ones I've seen. They have really high torque and meant to run continuous at slow speed. Others that can work, Old kitchen mixers, car window motors, microwave lazy susan motors, etc...

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