Roadrunner reapearance

I saw on the latest edition of Analog Planet on MF’s video of the show he attended that at the SOTA booth, they had a working product of the Roadrunner w/motor/pulley as a drop in for a VPI. Anyone here have more info or even better, have one in use? It was reported it is now a product for sale @ $1k. No mention of it on SOTA’s website.
Maybe a phone call to SOTA? 
[email protected] I was at AXPONA and missed the SOTA booth. Would have liked to have seen that.
They SOTA came to an agreement with Phoenix eng awhile back
and happened across a video recently where it was being using it on 
their own tables at a show.

Donna at SOTA is great, give her a call

It doesn't seem they offer the Roadrunner with a motor controller except as an upgrade package with a new motor.
I’m hoping they’ll offer the PS, without the motor, at some point. Wasn’t the original, compatible with VPI’s motors?
@phoenixengr- Good information(thanks)! I built my own SAMA, installing an original HW-19 motor, in a 16lb, solid slab of brass(base/adjusters/etc, added another few pounds), with just(barely) enough clearance for silicone heat sink compound. What are the dimensions of your 3 phase motor? I’m wondering if it’ll fit my SAMA housing, without further machining.
@rodman99999-  You can download the motor spec sheet here:

The mounting holes are nearly identical to the Hurst 59 series motor (within 40 mils on center).  The motor has a ¼" shaft, but comes with an aluminum pulley and uses a flat belt rather than multiple round belts.
Got it!  Thanks for that.
Will this work with a VPI Prime Signature? Seems like a good addition to the ADS.

It's not an addition to the ADS.  
So it won't give me a physical readout that my ADS is adjusted correctly? I guess I misunderstood what this does.
The Roadrunner alone could be used to monitor the speed while you continue to use the ADS. But.the entire new ensemble including RR renders the ADS superfluous.
That is what I was thinking, thus the "addition" comment. After going back and rereading the original post from slaw I can understand the confusion. He was talking complete package and I was thinking of just adding the tachometer.
Can the current VPI Prime Motor be retrofitted with the new DC motor.

I think PBN Audio offers a tachometer at a better price?
The new SOTA motor should fit in the Prime SAMA housing with little or no modification.  The AC input on the SAMA will be replaced with a low voltage connector and the motor should bolt into the same holes as the Hurst motor.
@slaw- The PBN tach is a bit of a misnomer. The tach counts pulses from a high speed clock (18.518kHz) so it will produce a reading of 33.333 when it takes 1.8S for one platter revolution. However, it is counting the period of rotation, not RPM, so as the platter slows down, the reading will increase and if it speeds up, the reading decreases. The only time the reading is correct is at exactly 1.8S/rev. There is a separate clock for 45 RPM, so the tach must be switched between 33/45. If you can live with those limitations, it is a fairly clever design.

The RR does not need to be turned on or off; the tach comes alive automatically when the platter starts spinning and goes to sleep when there is no activity for 5 minutes. It also has an accumulated playing time counter that can be used to track stylus wear and can be reset when the cart/stylus is replaced.
Thank you slaw and phoenixengr,
I have talked to met Peter of PBN a few times and own his fine speakers. I did not know he made a tachometer, I will have to look into that.


Thanks for the explanation. I plan on purchasing your complete package for my TT project.

I've got an older VPI motor from a TNT 3 with captive electric cord. How can I determine if the SOTA will fit and what modifications I might need to make?

I've never looked under the hood of my current motor if I just remove the 4 screws will the motor lift out of the base? I'm hoping the SOTA one just drops in. Anyone done this?

@mantistech, go onto the VPI Forum, where there has been some discussion of the SOTA/Phoenix Engineering package. One VPI owner sent his SAMA to SOTA, who installed the new DC motor in place of the stock Hurst, and at a very reasonable price.

Thanks pdp24. The VPI forum is where I found out about it. New VPI owner lots to learn....long time viny guy with a Basis TT.

The SOTA site gives me the feeling you could almost DIY it. Hoping that is the case as to not send my motor to them if at all possible. I'm hoping the VPIForum member paved the way for the rest of us.

I did remove my 4 screws on my SAMA and it seems the motor is a lot smaller than the housing and might just swap out.


If you’re able to read the S/N# and other info on back of your motor....go to

They will have the schematics there.

Don't see an obvious place for S/N on the housing. Is it on the motor inside the housing?
Bill of Phoenix Engineering says the mounting hole dimensions of the SOTA DC motor are very, very close to those the Hurst VPI uses, and can be swapped easily. But there is also the matter of electrical conversion, about which I don’t know and myself need to find out. I would love to convert the motors in my Aries 1, HW-19 Mk.3, and Townshend Audio Rock Elite.

On my motors, the info is on the bottom of the motor itself. You should be able to pull it out of the housing enough to read it.
The SOTA motor drawing shows 2 sets of wires 1 of which seems to not be used. My TNT motor has a captured cord, not an IEC connection. I wish there were some basic instructions. If just attaching wires I'm in tomorrow to buy one. 

Anyone actually have one?
Give SOTA a call, I hear they're great to deal with.
Give SOTA a call, I hear they're great to deal with

I got an email back from them saying a screw driver is all that is needed depending on motor/housing configuration. That seemed too good to be true so this morning I got more adventurous and removed the bottom plate of the motor/housing. Looks pretty simple wire nuts with a few electrical bits (cap/resistor I think) up to the switch and in turn to the motor. So maybe drop in the motor, fish some wires through and some SOTA specific bits to make it change from 2-phase to 3-phase...though I'm not very electrically inclined I get there is a difference.

They also said in coming weeks a VPI specific options for IEC plates and pully options.

I'm still not clear on what is the difference is between the wall plug and the motor base. If there is a wall wort and small wiring then I guess in the case of an IEC connection something is needed. Mine is just a standard cord passing through the SAMA housing. No removable IEC connection on the outside of the housing.

Long time reader of AGon forums but never posted. So I can't seem to figure out how to post pix. As they say worth a thousand words. I've got a round motor on top which sits under a round decorative plate covering a black, square plate with 4 holes about 2" on center. Wires run to the switch which runs to the "stuff" at the bottom in the top part I mentioned in this post.

Never mind on the above...I'm an idiot. The PSU is what handles the power to the motor. SOTA has been great at answering my questions. All the wiring from SAMA to wall goes away because the new set up would be:

Wall plug >> Wall wort/cord >> PSU >> SOTA Motor >> Belt >> Platter

I believe the only function of the VPI, housing once converted, is height and weight.

 Depends upon what is going on with the wall wart, but in general I would guess that a wall wart is not compatible with the Phoenix engineering system. 


That is direct from SOTA. Like I said they have been great at answering my emails. The Condor PSU gets it power from the wall wort which in turn powers the SOTA 3-phase motor. Here is the info form the email.

As far as installation goes, you'd have no need for that line to the wall. The Eclipse motor gets its power from the Condor PSU, which is neatly run in one line with two disconnect points. Installation is very straightforward - drop the motor in and just run the line to the Condor as you please. The condor will sit in the black box shown on the website, and get its power from a wall wart, as it needs 24VDC power.


The 3 phase motor from SOTA is a low voltage motor (24V); the standard VPI motor is 115VAC. The Condor controller is powered by a 24VDC wall wart and produces 3 AC waveforms for the motor, the frequency, voltage and phase depends on the speed and load of the motor.I saw your pics on the VPI forum. The Eclipse motor has 3 flying leads that are normally soldered to a 3 pin male chassis mount plug. The Condor has a cable with a 3 min female connector. You will need to make up a short cable to replace the captive AC cord you have currently. One side of the new cable will connect to the 3 wires on the motor using small wire nuts inside the SAMA housing, and the other side will need a connector like this:

soldered to the 3 wires of the new cable and will mate with the 3 pin female connector of the Condor. The wire order is almost immaterial, the worst that can happen is the motor runs backwards. If that happens, swap any two of the three wires and the motor will turn correctly (you can also change the motor direction in user program mode on the Condor).
The Condor/Eclipse motor cabling can be seen here:

For the record, I thought Mantis was talking about driving a wall wart and controlling the motor with the wall wart on the output side of the PE-sourced gear.  This was based on my initial misunderstanding of the verbal diagram posted by Mantis. Thanks to Bill for his thorough explanation of what is going on.  I am the very happy user of the original PE products on my Lenco.  Would not be without it.
Lew, I too have the PE Eagle PSU and Roadrunner tech running my VPI and Townshend Audio tables (Bill, I’m the fella you made your last Eagle for after you closed up shop, from the parts you had left lying around ;-). But this new DC motor w/ Condor PSU really has me excited. That Hurst motor VPI uses (in even their most expensive non-DD models) is rather low quality in both design and build, and Townshend’s isn’t much better. DC seems to me the way to go.
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