How do they work?

Well, yesterday i was cleaning the basement of one of my friend's house when i found this:

A very good looking box with a lot of interesting stuff in! Motors, mechanics, gears, belts...and whatever people can drem up! Perfect for some cool robotic projects! So i brought everything in my house and i started testing it. I have no idea of where all this stuff came from, it seems a sort of photocophy machine, or something like that. All the guesses are welcomed!

I have found really good and powerful easy-to-use motors. The problem is that i am only used to these easy to use brushless motors with only two wires! That's why I'm asking for help to undestand what the other stuff is and how it works. And probably so decide what to keep and what to throw away in the garbage. I have tried to make them work, trying to connect some wires to the V+ and the GND, and at the end, after a lot of tries, i came up with these last components, that are out of my knowledge boundaries.

Here are the pictures and the description of the components:

1-  We start with a stepper motor, the problem is that i have no idea of how it works. I'm confused with all those wires! To me, i need only two: the GDN and, what am i gonna do with those 5 wires?

2-  Than we have something that is called "Rotary digital actuator". It sounds really good, but i don't know how to use it! Same story as above: what to do with those 5 wires?

3-  The next component is something unknown but i think that is the same as above because it has the same wires.

4-  Then I found something that is really far away from the boundaries of my knowledge. A "Magnetic IC Clutch"...I have know idea of the pourpose of this component, but it seemed a motor so i took it. It has only two wires. I tried to put 5V, 12V and 15V but it doesen't work as a motor...i mean, it doesn't move.


5-  The last seems to be a little motor, but i cannot understand  why it needs 6 wires!


Well, i already say thanks for the future answers that will help me to understand these components. I welcome all the suggestions about how to use them to a future robot project! Thanks!

Stepper motors need a

Stepper motors need a controller, if they are unipolar, you can make the ones with 5 wires rotate with a 555 time, and a 4017 decade counter, and a few mosfets, or darlingtons


the counter will send a pulse to each of the 4 wires, the 5th is common, and each wire that receives a pulse will rotate one step, a few degrees, these are for precision things.


watch out what you connect those voltages to, as you might damage some of the motors.



Looks like you have a lot of

Looks like you have a lot of stepper motors (ie, the ones with 6,5, or 4 wires). This might help to explain all those wires

Stepper motors

Looks like you have some uni-polar stepper motors there.  Here is a short write up on my page with some info on it.

I believe that all except the clutch and rotary encoder are stepper motors.  You are mistaken in thinking that you just only need GND and V+.  Take a close look at what the ratings are, if any, that will give you the needed information for the voltages to drive the phases of the motor.  The internet is a great tool and will explain better than I can on here.


Ok, tthanks for the

Ok, tthanks for the indications you gave me about the stepper motors. I am gonna read the links you guys gave me to try to understand better how they work.

But what about the rotary digital encoder and the magnetic IC clutch? How do they work? And i really don’t get the purpose of the clutch.

Thanks again for future answers. :-)!