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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stir Plate Build

MiniScribe 6085 Hard Drive
In college I was an Art/Business Double Major.  While my primary artist medium was ceramics (both thrown and formed) as part of the requirements of my degree I had to take ART 102 3-D Foundations. One of the assignments in the class was to do a found art project.  The premise of this is simple, take an interesting object and present it in a new and interesting way.  I did a couple but the one that has stuck with me was I found an old slide projector from the 50s.  I loved the design of it it really had a classic almost art deco feel to it.  I presented it by tipping it on it's side and lighting it up.  It looked like an old space ship taking off.  Shame I couldn't have kept it.  In the end the class gave me a new appreciation for the potential of existing objects.

Fast forward many years to 2009 which found me closing down a company that my work had recently acquired. While sorting trash/scrap/salvage I came across a very old MiniScribe 6085 Hard Drive (Brace yourselves, we're talking a whopping Capacity form/unform 71/ 85 MB !) I absolutely loved the design and form of it and decided it needed to come home with me.

It sat in my office on display for the next two and a half years until I came across the following YouTube video.

I'd been wanting a stir plate to help with my yeast production for a while but couldn't justify the costs given everything else I needed first,but I could do $15. As I was assembling the components I started to search out a box to put it in.  Like the Crate I wanted something that was interesting to look at.  One day I happen to glace over to where the MiniScribe had been sitting and realized right away that I had found my box.

Complete and running
When it came time to build it I started to search out wiring diagrams and other build descriptions to find the details I needed that weren't present in the video. In addition to the video I studied the following builds: Building a Stir Plate, Building a Stir Plate for Brewing, My Stirplate... Cheap and Easy Build and Mad Zymurgists Stir Plate Project. I put together a quick print out with all of the details I needed.

While the build was fairly easy to complete it was far from issue free; the original magnet was too strong and bound everything together, the 5v power supply wasn't strong enough to spin the fan with the magnet on it and the 24v was too powerful and burnt out the fan.

It took a couple of hours over two weekends but in the end I was able to get everything wired up and working.  I'll be breaking it in soon when I make a starter for Project S.C.O.T.T.

Check out the complete build after the break.



The Build

Parts List
  • Enclosure (Old Hard Drive) – Yes
  • 9v Power Adapter From Air Freshener – Yes
  • 4 inch Computer Fan – Yes
  • Rare Earth Magnets (Amazon)
  • 2 Inch Diameter Steel Washer (Home Depot)
  • Power Switch – Yes
  • Light – Yes
  • Wire – Yes
  • Stir Bar – Yes
  • Potentiometer w/knob (Radio Shack - 271-265)
  • Disconnects (Radio Shack - 64-3134)
  • Silver Tone Knob (Radio Shack - 274-424)
Removing all the screws
The insides
All cleared out
(Check out the Guts in the Background)
Getting ready to drill some holes
I needed 3 holes of different sizes for
The Power Adapter
The Potentiometer
The Power Switch

Safety first people!
Drilling the Potentiometer hole
Starting the wiring
Connecting the power to the switch
(Pictured is the massive magnet from the hard drive)
Using the spare knob to raise the height of the magnet
Fully wired and tested
Even the underneath is cool to look at
Running (Side View)
Running (Front View)
Close up of the vortex

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