Handy motor failure and an idea or two

Hi all,

I’m putting this post here for those that might be looking for help in the future. I’m not complaining about the Handy or overall dissatisfied with the product. :slightly_smiling_face:

I bought my first Handy 2+ years ago and used it for quite a while without much issue. I bought a second handy just over a year ago because I was realizing that my first one was wearing out. I saved it in it’s box and continued to use my first one.

About 4 months ago my first unit started to “slip” where the carrier would lose it’s sync with the motor. Heat seems to be the culprit. After cooling off, it would work better again.
That was short lived though and it would slip when plugging in and the motor would continue running after the carrier hit bottom. The motor no longer had enough power to be usable.

I put that one away and started using the second unit 4 months ago. The last few times I’ve used it, it seemed like at some point the carrier was slipping a little and the carrier started hitting the top of the unit during a session. (So I’d reduce the limit and carry on not thinking too much about it)
Yesterday it did the same thing where plugging it in, the carrier would hit bottom but the motor continued to run.

I contacted Handy support and sent 3 emails with increasingly more details. They did reply but a higher level tech will be looking into it.

I went ahead and took apart the motor from my first unit to see what is likely happening. The armature (axle that spins) has a cylindrical magnet on it. That magnet has come loose from the armature and spins even when the carrier (connected to the axle) doesn’t move.
The motor makes noise, but the carrier barely moves and can easily be held in place.

I haven’t found out what the best adhesive might be to get the magnet to stay connected to the armature yet. Some RC motor people talk about JB Weld.
I’m enthused about the idea of fixing this.
I think it could be fixed with the motor shell still in the Handy. (Getting the motor out entirely is a messier process)

Remove the bottom cap, loosen the screw coupling from the axle, somehow release the back plate from the motor (that outer shell material is bent over in three spots and really hard to bend strait again), pull out the armature and reglue the magnet.

Replacement motors would be nice to find as well though!

Anyway, I intend to buy another Handy and keep the failed units as spare parts. (My second unit is likely just out of warranty even though I didn’t start actually using it until 4 months ago)

There are a few changes that I think would make the Handy longer lasting. I like the idea of a metal “screw nut” that would connect the carrier to the screw rod. They come with a plastic one. I’ve seen that someone somewhere had replaced his with a metal one.
The top of the carrier has two metal sleeves that fit on the support rods to the left and right of the screw rod. The bottom of the carrier is plastic only and wears over time. That causes a light clunk sometimes as the motor changes direction. It would be nice if there were metal sleeves at the top and bottom of the carrier to hold it more securely.
A small fan next to the motor might help expel the heat. The Handy is plugged in anyway.

I hope this helps some of you at some point. :slightly_smiling_face:


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BTW, shortly after posting this I realized I had a reply to my email from HandyAlexander. :slight_smile:

Crud, looking back at a picture someone posted, I was wrong about the metal sleeves. I think it would still help to have some at the bottom of the carrier though. I’ve eliminated that direction change clunk by stopping the bottom of the carrier from moving so much towards the case.

At least one more post. :slight_smile:
They are going to replace my unit under warranty since it was very close to being purchased 1 year ago. :slight_smile: It’s really great when a company works with it’s customers like this. :slight_smile:

He also said they would let their motor supplier know of my issue.

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Thanks for sharing. I had a different issue where my device bricked a while back. Would love to know if there would be a way to fix it with direct access to the circuit boards. The Handy still powers on and moves up and down with the buttons. Whenever I have tried to update it, it gets to the last step and then resets and doesn’t accept the update. Could connect to the handy website and control it manually, it just wont take the download for script file.
Did you solder extensions onto the board to troubleshoot?
Also wanted to mention that in my case I had already ordered a replacement when my device stopped working and they did refund that back. Great company like you said.

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Reading posts like this really make me wish I reached out to them when mine just stopped working and I bought a new one… not sure what happened to it. Just stopped powering on.

Hey, I have the exact same issue,

I opened mine out of curiosity to see what was going on, and what you have described and shown is the same that has happened to mine, Ive since purchased a second one (as I knowingly voided the warranty by opening it and wasnt going to clam a fake RMA). The new version of the handy feels and functions a lot better than the previous, I also didnt re-grease/lube the internals of mine like many have suggested which could also lead to the drive slipping after much due to friction. :slight_smile:

Wondering if this has happened to others?

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I didn’t.

I decided to try some JB Weld on the magnet of my original unit. It has been drying/curing overnight. I’ll reassemble that unit today sometime and see if it holds. That poor unit is in kind of bad shape. I wonder if there’s something I can do about the looseness of the carrier on the guide rods.
As slightly mejtioned above I was able to get it running quietly by wedging a strip of Velcro (the soft side) between the carrier and the case and it has polished up the case in that area. :slightly_smiling_face:
It doesn’t make extra noise when the motor reverses though!

The motor repair of my first unit with JB Weld has been successful so far. It’s kind of surprising how much more torque it seems to have which makes me think the motor in my second unit might have been a little loose for a while.

My first unit is noisier in general but it’s nice to have it working again.