Brushless Motor and Prop Thrust Measurement Stand

Proper motor and propeller selection is critical to drone design, and when building his previous “Ludwik” quadcopter, Nikodem Bartnik had…

Jeremy S. Cook
a year ago

Proper motor and propeller selection is critical to drone design, and when building his previous “Ludwik” quadcopter, Nikodem Bartnik had to rely on datasheets for this info. While this is hopefully accurate enough, things become even less predictable when combining different motors and propellers. To find out what kind of thrust his device is putting out once and for all, as well as measure power consumption, Bartnik built his own motor/prop test stand.

It features a nicely-designed PCB, and uses a tensometric beam to measure thrust. A current sensor module takes care of this reading, and pertinent values are displayed on a small LCD screen. Motor input can be dialed in via a potentiometer, and power is provided using a LiPo battery, or by a benchtop power supply as he has it set up in his video. As a bonus, using a benchtop supply would give further verification of the power output via its own voltage and current displays.

The stand is shown in the video testing a large prop, and he’s added a buzzer to warn passerby that there is something dangerous going on. While a beeper is certainly better than nothing, it would be a good idea to put some sort of physical guarding around the prop if you decide to duplicate the project.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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