I decided to try turning a servo into a feedback servo. It didn't go so well.
For some reason it wasn't making a sweep at all when plugged in. The action of disconnecting and connecting it got it to pulse ever so slightly. I should have tested it before taking it apart! Trying to troubleshoot I broke off the plastic tip of the potentiometer. Doh.
I thought well, okay, I guess I'll just convert it to a standard geared DC motor by taking out the little stopper.
Until I ran into this magical metal stopper:
I don't have the tools to grind it off easily. So now I just have a bare DC motor.
Sitting on a shelf in my apartment is this old attempt at a wind turbine for Energy last spring. It didn't work quite as well as hoped but I didn't have the heart to trash it.
Hooking it up to the Adafruit Motor Shield was ridiculously easy. The resistance and friction in the mechanism was significantly more apparent then when we were trying to turn the gears with wind. I spent some type troubleshooting all the rattling and discovered it stopped when you applied significant pressure to the large gear on the turbine shaft. I wasn't able to get it to stop completely, however.
The servo makes some pretty fun noises at low speeds.
Eventually, I thought it might be interesting to see how the different speeds effect a light painting photo.
This is a hyperlapse of the movements in the different cycles:
And some of the resulting photos: