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Author Topic: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC  (Read 2213 times)

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Offline TriAdXTopic starter

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Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« on: January 14, 2011, 11:03:35 AM »
I am VERY new to all this and I am trying to build a pretty complex robot... My first step is just this:

I need to be able to connect 1-2 electric motors and 1-2 servo's to my computer through a single USB.

The motors and servos would need to be externally powered (through a single plug).   I need to be able to control speed and direction.

That is all! Can someone point me in the right direction?  Obviously I would like to do this AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE.

Ken

TriAdX(At)aol(dot)com

« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 11:08:23 AM by TriAdX »

Offline TriAdXTopic starter

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Re: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 11:14:08 AM »
Oh.. and I really dont want to have to BUILD anything (by this I mean putting together boards and such).. is there something I can just buy?


I could use RC components if I could plug them in to a wall and instead of using a xmitter and reciever just have the reciever connected to a computer.

Basically 2 RC car motors and 2 RC car servo's powered by the wall and controlled via computer.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 11:46:58 AM by TriAdX »

Offline rbtying

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Re: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 02:02:24 PM »
What about this? http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1350

It has a USB interface and supports several servos, provided an external power source.  You will need to get RC ESCs for the motors.

Offline Admin

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Re: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 07:25:14 PM »
You need three devices to do this, assuming you don't want to program anything.

a USB to serial adapter: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/718

a serial enabled motor driver: http://www.dimensionengineering.com/Sabertooth2X5.htm

and a servo controller, as rbtying mentioned.

That said, I have not a clue on what your required specs are (cheap and easy don't define motor current :P). But if you research the above and browse around, you'll have a better idea on how you'd like to do it. Those links are only examples, not necessarily recommendations.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 10:18:31 AM by Admin »

Offline TriAdXTopic starter

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Re: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 10:24:44 AM »
What is the a USB to serial adapter for? It looks like the Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller that rbtying showed has the USD connection build in.

What exactly does the Motor Driver do?

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Re: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 10:28:07 AM »
The USB to serial adapter is for the serial enabled motor driver.

Offline AtomHex

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Re: Beginner - Controlling Electric motors from my PC
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 07:02:16 PM »
A good source for robot parts is RobotShop.com

 


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