Electric Eel Wheel 2 – An Electric Spinning Wheel

I’ve just finished the second version of my electric spinning wheel. My previous versions have more explanation of how electric spinning wheels work see here and here. I decided to use the original name of Electric Eel Wheel 2. (sarcasm)I really like this new idea I came up with of adding a “2” for the second version of a product. Good thing I open source my ideas, perhaps other products will start copying me on this great idea. (/sarcasm)

There a lot of improvements in the new version. Here’s a list:

  • Much high quality of motor with longer life
  • Lots of changes to greatly reduce noise (quiet running motor, nylon flanges, …)
  • Motor controller runs at lower temperatures
  • No soldering required so the kits easier to assemble
  • Custom enclosure to protect the electronics and create a more professional appearance
  • Larger bobbins (hold over 8 oz)

For lots of details like build guide, FAQs, and a link to a store that sells the Electric Eel Wheel visit the project’s main page.

Here is a video of the Electric Eel Wheel 2 being used:

Here are a few pics:

Don’t forget to visit www.ElectricEelWheel.com.


  1. Louise said,

    September 8, 2010 @ 4:54 am

    How exciting! I can’t wait to persuade someone handy to help me out with one of these! Thanks for all your hard work in making this open source!

  2. Jon said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

    My wife would very much like an electric spinner, and I’m hoping to build one based on your design. I can handle the mechanical aspects of it quite well, but my understanding of DC motors and controllers is weak. I’ve read through your page on the earlier version(s), and just discovered this update. Will you be posting details on the components that you’re now using? The link to the project’s main page just goes to a single photograph.

  3. Maurice Ribble said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    Jon, thanks for pointing out the broken link. I fixed that. Here are some links:

    Project’s main page: http://www.electriceelwheel.com

    Build Guide: http://www.electriceelwheel.com/wiki/index.php?title=Buildguide

    Store with the kits: http://www.dreamingrobots.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2&zenid=s9mjgohps0l7aicc2k242897q2

  4. Jon said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    Thanks for the quick response, Maurice. I’m curious about a couple of the electrical changes you’ve made. For one, I see that you’re using a less-expensive controller than the SyRen you used in version 5. Also, you’re no longer incorporating a battery. I’m guessing that you decided a regenerative driver was unnecessary, and without that the battery became superfluous, but as I said above, I’m shaky on the electrical stuff. Am I on the right track? How is the new controller different from the one you used (and smoked) in version 4?

  5. Maurice Ribble said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    You are correct that without a battery the regenerative charging is not needed. It’s actually a problem because charging without a battery to take the charge can cause voltage spikes and possibly damage the controller.

    The controller in #4 didn’t have proper heating dispersion. There has been a lot of testing with this new motor controller to ensure it works. Originally I had problems with it getting too hot, but once I added holes to the case holding electronics (see build guide) everything has been great.

    (Edited to remove mistakes and confusion.)

  6. Jon said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

    Hmmm… the controller linked from the build guide is rated at 60W, which is 5A at 12V, no? The controller specs also say max. current is 3A. Where does the 15A come in?

  7. Maurice Ribble said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    Hi Jon,

    You are correct. I’ve edited my original comment. I was remembering things incorrectly because of the many motor controllers I looked at. Thanks for correcting my mistake.

  8. Jon said,

    September 29, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    No problem. Thank you for all the work you’ve done on this. I’m a furniture maker so the wooden and mechanical aspects are second nature to me, but choosing and controlling a power source has been a real obstacle. Now I feel I can move ahead.

  9. BeingV said,

    October 31, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

    Thanks so much for developing this e-spinner. I have one that I purchased secondhand. I’ve stained it with a cherry finish and replaced the strap’s staples with brass screws. The original owner replaced the flyer hooks with a sliding hook. This has become my official plying and production wheel. I love the giant bobbins!

  10. Jesus1st said,

    June 28, 2012 @ 2:53 am

    I am curious, why the need for an electronic speed controler, wouldn’t a potentiometer have work’d as well?
    Also, can you porvide the spec’s on the DC motor you are using, the link’ one is not available.
    Can a AC motor be used, provided it has comperable spec’s, and is able to handle the low end torque?
    Thanks for your efforts and time.

  11. Maurice Ribble said,

    June 28, 2012 @ 4:13 am

    Jesus, a standard potentiometer would not work. There are some very expensive (hundreds of $$$$) that would work, but that wouldn’t be ideal since you would loose low end torque. A motor control with PWM is a better solution. The trick with using an AC motor is low end torque. The very nature of AC motor design makes low end torque difficult so you’ll likely have to go with a bigger AC motor.

    I don’t have a source for those motors anymore so I’m sorry, but I have no link. I’m working on a brand new design that will be radically different from any other electric spinning wheel. I have a prototype that’s being tested, but it will probably be 4 months before it’s refined enough to release.

RSS feed for comments on this post