Using controller on motor with built-in encoder

I have a motor I salvaged from my mothers old power chair. I’m a software guy, not a hardware guy and am very confused. I also don’t have any information on the motor, seems Pride (mfg of scooter) does not want to share. Here is the motor for reference:

I was told it most likely has a built-in encoder and I am not sure what that means. Ideally, would like to hookup to a Esp32 and be able to control it remotely. I also need to drive it via steps, so I know the extents to which it will travel (think on a rail). It seems that I can feed battery power directly into the motor via the +/- cables and the other four have similar colors to the other motor controllers I’ve been playing with.
Happy for any suggestions/directions folks might share. I need this to move a rather heavy sled on a rail system. It has decent wheels but is heavy, think 100lbs, so I think this motor (and wheel) would be perfect.

Thanks again.


Are there any kind of markings or indicators on the motor (like a serial or model number)? If so, you might try doing an Internet search to see if you can find some information about it, such as a datasheet.

Without any kind of information about the motor, we cannot give any specific suggestions for controlling it. If it is a brushed DC motor with some kind of encoder, I suspect the larger black and red wires are for driving the motor. Encoders are used for tracking the actual motion of the motor (either speed, position, or both). If you want to learn more about them you can read through the Wikipedia entry for “Rotary encoder”. There are different types of encoders, so again without more information about it, I cannot make any meaningful suggestions. You might be able to leave the encoder wires disconnected if you do not need to monitor the speed or position.


Thanks very much, that all makes perfect sense. While I would love to re-purpose this, if successful, i would need to purchase several more of them which means I really don’t need this particular motor. Can you suggest a brand/site where I could get a 12v geared motor for an application where I want to mount a small wheel (say 4-6") that will run on a track moving a dolly that weighs about 100lbs? Need it to get up to 5mph or so. I just need a nudge in the right direction. If you guys have any motors like this, that would be great. Thanks.

None of our motors would be appropriate for a project at that kind of scale. I do not have any specific suggestions for motors that can handle that kind of load, but you are probably on the right track starting with something like wheelchair or scooter motors.