Engineers are often tasked with characterizing the power requirements for machines. Power is often generated using electric motors. Just as load requirements vary throughout the duty cycle of a machine, so do the power requirements. The performance of an electric motor in a machine is often evaluated using an appropriately sized dynamometer. Dynamometers are machines designed to load motors or machines in order to evaluate their performance.
Many undergraduate engineering student projects involve the design of mechanisms and machines. Often these projects require the use of small DC motors (Figure1) that are attached to battery packs. To properly size these motors for projects, a small dynamometer is required. A search of manufacturers and distributors of small motors, hobbyist websites, and electronics suppliers revealed that small DC motor dynamometers are not available. This is the motivation for this project.