View Full Version : Rewiring Old Meccano Motor

06-20-2007, 07:28 AM
I was asked if I could rewire (for US 110 volts) a very old motor that came in a Meccano building set, apparently the precursor and equivalent of the American Erector set. It was purchased in Europe and I believe it is either English or French.

The nameplate reads:

Moteur Universel
Amp 2/10
HP 1/60
Volts 110
T/m 3000

It looks like the voltage is OK, but I believe European AC frequency is 50 cps vs our 60 cps. Is "T/m" the AC frequency in minutes? . . . if so then T/sec does = 50. What will happen if you connect it to 60 cps . . . I assume it would run faster, but might it be damaged?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


06-20-2007, 08:40 AM

If your motor is a universal motor, then it has brushes and can run on AC or DC. The 50~ power is not a factor - could run OK on 60~ or DC.

T/M is probably "turns per minute"??

Jack C.

06-20-2007, 08:53 AM
I'll second JCC with this addendum
earth that steel can.

I can see no provision for earthing in that 2 pin plug and steel housing.
I can see possible disaster if that thing is used in a meccano setup without earthing or an ELCB.

J Tiers
06-20-2007, 09:27 AM
And, remind the folks its an antique, and its value as such will drop to near zero if "messed with".

06-20-2007, 12:50 PM

Nice unit, keep as is;

I remember 6 & 20 volt with transformer setup, I had to make do with the clockwork type.

Meccano links:




1929 Canadian edition.

1925 US addition/transformer.


06-20-2007, 06:43 PM
If that motor runs now, it will be fine on 60 hz, it just turns a little faster. It will probably run just a bit cooler on 60 also.

It doesn't look like it would have brushes, it's probably a straightforward induction motor. I second the notion to keep it as is, and maybe just pick up a fan motor if you need one to run something. It'll be almost the same thing, and should be available cheap or even free from a defunct microwave oven or even a record player (remember those?:) )

At any rate, rewinding that one would be a bit of a chore. I wouldn't get into that myself. If the idea is to actually use that paticular one, I'd get a 110 to 220 step-up transformer to run it, instead of attempting the rewire. A bonus is that some step-up transformers will give you isolation from the line, thus easing the shock hazard of using an ungrounded motor. The speed will still be higher (3600 vs 3000 rpm on 50 hz) but in all likelyhood that will be irrelevant.