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Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Motor Controller
« on: July 18, 2010, 02:04:49 PM »
Hey everyone!

I decided not to build an H Bridge to control the motors on my robot so now I am looking for motor controlers.... One problem though... I dont know a single thing about them....

I am using this microcontroller: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666
And two of these batteries: http://www.all-battery.com/12v2600mahnimhbatterypack11620.aspx
And two of these motors: http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1102

So what kind of motor controller would be best to run with these components?

Offline waltr

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 02:28:18 PM »
One of the first specs I look at is the Motor Stall Current and then look for motor controllers that can handle the stall current. At least the controller won't go up in smoke if the motor stalls. And of course the controller needs to also handle the applied voltage.

Second, do you need to control 1 or 2 motors? Pick a controller with this in mind.

Third, is the processor interface and what the processor needs to do the control the motors.
There are actually motor Drivers and motor Controllers. The former just provides the switching of the power to the motors and requires the processor to do a lot of work including provide the PWM pulses to set the motor speed (aka L293). The latter has a processor built in and the BOT processor only needs to send a direction and speed parameter. How much code do you wish to write to control the motors?

Pololu and Sparkfun have a few drivers and controllers. The Arduino is a very capable processor board with a good number of IO pins and a large support base in robotics.

Did you look at this page:
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/category/9

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 03:08:16 PM »
Thanks a lot! Your post was very helpful!

Since this is my first robot I think I am going to go with the controller since it seems to be easier...  Thanks again!

Offline futmacl

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 09:13:15 PM »
And two of these motors: http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1102

So what kind of motor controller would be best to run with these components?


12V 5A stall? If you need bidirectional operation and possibly speed control (though ATMega328 you are using has hardware PWM anyway), this is going to be tough to drive with a single cheap IC (the common options - FAN8082, TA7291P, BA6956AN, BA6287F and TA7267BP - are all rated lower). There are several 5A+ full H-bridge drivers, e.g. TLE5206, but they are not exactly cheap ($7+).

You might be better with two pairs of discrete, complementary power MOSFETs (e.g., NTD2955 + NTD4858N) to be honest...

Offline Soeren

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 06:09:26 PM »
Hi,

So what kind of motor controller would be best to run with these components?

If you won't be changing direction more than once every one or two seconds, you miught wanna consider this.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 09:05:30 PM »
12V 5A stall? If you need bidirectional operation and possibly speed control (though ATMega328 you are using has hardware PWM anyway), this is going to be tough to drive with a single cheap IC (the common options - FAN8082, TA7291P, BA6956AN, BA6287F and TA7267BP - are all rated lower). There are several 5A+ full H-bridge drivers, e.g. TLE5206, but they are not exactly cheap ($7+).

You might be better with two pairs of discrete, complementary power MOSFETs (e.g., NTD2955 + NTD4858N) to be honest...


I dont know what those are but ill look into it and see what i can learn... Are they just drivers or controllers? Or neither?

Offline Conscripted

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 09:25:56 PM »
Hi,

So what kind of motor controller would be best to run with these components?

If you won't be changing direction more than once every one or two seconds, you miught wanna consider this.


Soeren
That link didn't work for me.

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 09:30:35 PM »
works for me, try right click, save target as. its a direct link to pdf

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2010, 08:57:52 PM »
The link works for me but it doesnt really help me much... what is it?

Offline madsci1016

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2010, 03:14:43 PM »
That links doesn't work for me either.

Pretty much every link or picture that Soeren has posted in the past few weeks won't come through. Tried it from work as well, no dice. been meaning to send him a message.

Soeren, i think that domain is blocked by some ISPs here in the states, or there's a broken router in-between.

Offline waltr

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2010, 05:54:08 PM »
The linked works for me in Philadelphia USA.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2010, 09:08:21 PM »
Hi,

Pretty much every link or picture that Soeren has posted in the past few weeks won't come through. Tried it from work as well, no dice. been meaning to send him a message.

Soeren, i think that domain is blocked by some ISPs here in the states, or there's a broken router in-between.
That might be, but I wouldn't have a chance finding out where - you (and whoever experience this problem) could perhaps do a traceroute to see where it breaks, but anyway, my only means would be to move the files to a different domain and for the last 1½ year+, I have messed up a wee bit on my domains and servers - a brush with the final going offline (I'm still in medication) really changes your priorities.

Wonder if it could have anything to do with using about 5 times the size allowed by my ISP, but then it would break for all I assume.
Oh well, must get my web sites sorted out (and reacquire my domain names), but it won't happen for a while I'm afraid.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline madsci1016

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2010, 10:38:35 PM »
do a traceroute

Code: [Select]
Tracing route to that.homepage.dk [212.242.42.163]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

[68.86.181.161]
  4    13 ms    13 ms    24 ms  te-9-2-ur01.panamacity.fl.pancity.comcast.net [6
8.86.181.45]
  5    27 ms    20 ms    19 ms  te-3-1-ar01.l3-mobile.al.northglf.comcast.net [6
8.86.181.17]
  6    31 ms    35 ms    30 ms  te-1-4-0-6-cr01.dallas.tx.ibone.comcast.net [68.
86.91.61]
  7    29 ms    39 ms    33 ms  pos-0-3-0-0-pe01.1950stemmons.tx.ibone.comcast.n
et [68.86.86.154]
  8    37 ms   225 ms   216 ms  as174-pe01.1950stemmons.tx.ibone.comcast.net [75
.149.230.150]
  9   212 ms   230 ms   227 ms  te9-1.mpd01.dfw01.atlas.cogentco.com [66.28.4.17
3]
 10    42 ms    52 ms    51 ms  te0-2-0-1.mpd21.mci01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54
.5.218]
 11    64 ms    80 ms    73 ms  te0-2-0-3.mpd21.ord01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54
.30.106]
 12    85 ms    86 ms    94 ms  te0-1-0-6.ccr21.ymq02.atlas.cogentco.com [38.20.
46.10]
 13   179 ms   157 ms   160 ms  te0-3-0-6.mpd22.ams03.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54
.6.142]
 14   226 ms   163 ms   166 ms  te1-2.mpd01.ams04.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.36.
134]
 15   178 ms   162 ms   164 ms  telenor.ams04.atlas.cogentco.com [130.117.14.238
]
 16   167 ms   198 ms   191 ms  ti3004c310-ae2-0.ti.telenor.net [146.172.105.53]

 17   166 ms   165 ms   184 ms  ti3004b300-ae0-0.ti.telenor.net [146.172.105.42]

 18   171 ms   172 ms   195 ms  148.122.9.26
 19   183 ms   168 ms   169 ms  ae0-0.mcr1-albx.ip.cybercity.dk [212.242.6.169]

 20   175 ms   165 ms   176 ms  geth0-2.er1-oers.ip.cybercity.dk [212.242.6.106]

 21   172 ms   168 ms   180 ms  dc0.fnord6-oers.ip.cybercity.dk [212.242.4.201]

 22   191 ms   169 ms   177 ms  uf5.cybercity.dk [212.242.42.163]

so technically the trace route connected? but still won't serve anything to me. That's an awful lot of bouncing.


Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2010, 06:05:54 PM »
um... thread jack? lol

12V 5A stall? If you need bidirectional operation and possibly speed control (though ATMega328 you are using has hardware PWM anyway), this is going to be tough to drive with a single cheap IC (the common options - FAN8082, TA7291P, BA6956AN, BA6287F and TA7267BP - are all rated lower). There are several 5A+ full H-bridge drivers, e.g. TLE5206, but they are not exactly cheap ($7+).

You might be better with two pairs of discrete, complementary power MOSFETs (e.g., NTD2955 + NTD4858N) to be honest...


I dont know what those are but ill look into it and see what i can learn... Are they just drivers or controllers? Or neither?

My question remains unanswered and my problem unsolved.  Im trying to look these things up but im just getting a bunch of nonsense I dont understand...

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2010, 06:12:54 PM »
How much do motor controllers normally go for? because I see a large variety of prices and I dont want to be ripped off

Offline madsci1016

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2010, 07:42:57 PM »
Anywhere from $20-60

If you want an easy to use Motor Controller, look at spending $60 plus.

I like this one. http://www.dimensionengineering.com/Sabertooth2X5.htm

If you want a motor driver, $50 http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/707

It turns out i am using the same motors you linked, with the motor driver I just linked. Works well.

I bought the encoded version of that motor, and I just designed an Arduino board that mates directly with the driver board, and turns it into what i call a 'Motion Controller', using feedback from the motors to maintain a certain speed and report back distance traveled. I'll have a few extra boards when the come from the fab factory if you want one.

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2010, 08:17:00 PM »
Im not sure if im willing to spend $60 on a component like this... would it really be too hard to build an H-Bridge to run this?

Offline futmacl

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2010, 08:27:02 PM »
Im not sure if im willing to spend $60 on a component like this... would it really be too hard to build an H-Bridge to run this?


No; I mentioned NTD2955 + NTD4858N earlier in the thread as possible low-cost MOSFETs to do this. The circuit would be essentially this:

http://www.roko.ca/articles/hbridge/bridge1.gif

There's also an $7 IC that will do this for you (see above); or if you are happy with 4A, UCC27424P is a single chip that goes for under $3.


Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2010, 09:37:28 PM »
The reason i didnt jump on the idea of MOSFETs in the beginning was because i had never heard of them prior to this thread, and i dont know how to use them... But this is a learning experience right? So why not!  ;D

Are there any drawbacks from using a simple homemade h bridge vs a motor controller?

Offline futmacl

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2010, 10:08:12 PM »
Are there any drawbacks from using a simple homemade h bridge vs a motor controller?

Larger envelope, easier to mess up ;-) Otherwise, nope.

Offline Invicta

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2010, 02:10:50 PM »

I am a newbie to robots too, still working on my first robot, but I do have some experience with electronics. If you can buy it ready made, do. Its not the construction that is the problem, it is working out why your circuit does not work when everything looks fine, and you do not want to be spending a fortune and many hours with oscilloscopes etc.   

I have a http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-577-tri-track-chassis-kit-no-electronics.aspx and I used a http://www.dimensionengineering.com/Sabertooth2X10.htm motor controller. I found it easy to test using analogue inputs first from a couple of potentiometers before connecting to a simple serial connection from my Axon2. The user guide is comprehensive and easy to follow. 

Good luck

Offline waltr

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2010, 05:19:55 PM »
If you just want it to work then buy a motor driver or controller chip/board.
If you want to learn how to use MOSFET/BiPolars in a demanding circuit then build your own H-bridge. Many years ago I did do this and learned the many subtleties of a real working H-bridge. Now I buy integrated H-Bridge driver chips as the minimum and would buy controller boards if the requirement came up.

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2010, 09:25:02 PM »
Hey guys,

The TLE5206 sounds like it should be ok for my purposes, but after googling it i just got a bunch of datasheets and pdfs.... Any suggestions on where to buy?

Offline madsci1016

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2010, 06:14:09 AM »
I'd say digi-key but i just checked and they are not in stock.

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2010, 06:44:59 AM »
Check on octopart.com

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2010, 06:43:38 PM »
The links from octopart led to a website where they are out of stock... How do you guys even find out about these things when they are so hard to find???

Any other suggestions on where to buy or a search engine that will lead me to a place where I can buy are apreciated!

Offline futmacl

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2010, 08:32:56 PM »
Any other suggestions on where to buy or a search engine that will lead me to a place where I can buy are apreciated!

Looks like this one is hard to find; have a look at UCC27424P instead, maybe? Cheaper, too.


Offline futmacl

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2010, 08:37:31 PM »
Any other suggestions on where to buy or a search engine that will lead me to a place where I can buy are apreciated!
Looks like this one is hard to find; have a look at UCC27424P instead, maybe? Cheaper, too.

Actually, DigiKey has several hundred TLE52052 chips ins tock. It's pretty close it would seem.

Offline Warhawk87Topic starter

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2010, 08:40:13 PM »
will do, thanks a lot!

How do you know all these products?  I'd like to be able to know about them and not have to ask everytime i need something!

Offline futmacl

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Re: Motor Controller
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2010, 08:43:43 PM »
How do you know all these products?  I'd like to be able to know about them and not have to ask everytime i need something!

Mouser, Digikey, Newark, etc, all have ICs sorted by categories, and support parametric search (e.g. by current, package type). It's a pretty good way to browse.

 


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