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xBox 360 Brushless DC (BLDC) spindle motors
« on: December 08, 2011, 03:57:06 PM »
Since I've published the Arduino Stroboscope project, I've been asked a few times about the design of the xBox 360 spindle motor and I feel like I need to remove some ambiguity about using xBox as a source of BLDC motor.

I'm not an xBox expert and cannot tell exactly which hardware version uses what kind of motor but I should say that so far I've seen at least three different kinds of xBox spindle motors (see picture attached):
  • 3-wire same motors as in the project and more detailed in the BLDC upgrade post
  • 4-wire ribbon cable. Still the same motor, only slightly different PCB and the fourth wire appears to be the windings' center point traced to the outside
  • 11-wire ribbon cable. This is a different motor that is similar to most every other DVD spindle motor out there. It has connections for three windings, a +5V (or another reference voltage) and a GND for the Hall sensors and three sensor outputs. In fact, judging by the pin count, it is entirely possible that each sensor has it's own reference voltage pin.

Someone with more xBox hardware experience should correct me if I'm wrong  but I think that the "normal" 11-wire BLDC actually comes from an OEM replacement drive rather than an original one but maybe they've just changed the hardware design drastically at some point - I don't know.

In any case, each of the three types of BLDC found in an xBox can be used in the Stroboscope project - you will just have to find the winding leads and disregard the rest. The windings connected in a Y-scheme (center points of all windings connected together and not accessible from outside)  should measure anywhere between 2.5Ω and 4.5Ω.

The 4-wire BLDC motor on the picture has the lead closest to the rotor (the rightmost) connected to the center point of windings. The other three are, obviously, windings.

The 11-wire motor has the three winding leads very obviously connected to the three thickest PCB traces. This one you don't even need to measure, just take a look.

So, with this new info I hope you should be able to tackle this project and any other one that requires a BLDC regardless of what variation of BLDC motor design you encounter when you open that DVD drive. 

If you have a different design still, post a picture here, we'll all take a look!

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xBox 360 Brushless DC (BLDC) spindle motors
« on: December 08, 2011, 03:57:06 PM »


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