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A Few Words About Motors

A Few Words About Motors

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Published by: fgaluppo on May 06, 2013
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A Few Words About Motors

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A Few Words About Motors – PART 1
By Rob Turner You’ve been thinking about constructing a small robotic platform, maybe control a few motors for some special applications and you want to get off cheap and use dc motors. Well, it’s going to cost you. DC motors usually need things like gearboxes, and location sensors if you want to get any use out of them. But if all you need is continuous rotational motion or linear motion until a switch gets bumped, this is the motor. Speaking of linear motion, here is a little recipe side dish:

A good linear setup can be easily made with a Radio Shack 3 volt DC motor, a square 1/8 inch styrene tube, and about 5 inches of 256-threaded rod. Cut an inch of the styrene tube and pressing it onto your motor, making sure the shaft still rotates. Now you simply start screwing the threaded rod into the other end of the styrene tube. Isn’t it cool how the threaded rod taps the styrene for you? For a real good hold, use modeling or crazy glue to hold it in place.



org/encoder/sep97/motors. to use up some of those micro-switches that you’ve had in your junk box since you where seven years old. a little insulation.3 inch piece of 1/8" styrene as the part that slides up and down the screw. a contact point with a stopper. and I usually just glue the outside of the piece to whatever it is I’m trying to move. or attach a slide to it. With a switch it’s easy to determine where the beginning of the slide is. It seems like I’m forgetting to tell you something… OH YEAH. you’re in business. Let’s build one real quick. an outer case.seattlerobotics. Switches are actually pretty easy to build.07/04/13 A Few Words About Motors Now you can mount the motor into your project. If micro-switches where meant to stop anything with any kind of momentum. Or I press the small styrene piece into a larger brass tube using a little glue to secure it. right? Nope. Sure. THE SWITCH So now that you have this cool linear slide. True gear heads use optical encoders. you can use those switches to sense when the slide is at the end/beginning of the its range. It’s ok I use to think I could use those too. I like to use a 0. The reality is those switches where made to fill space in your toolbox. and I can just send a pulse to the motor and get the assembly to move to approximately where I want it. I even convinced myself that those switches where actually made to stop when something bumps into them. Once again I just use the screw to tap it. you probably think this would be a great app. they would have made them so they activate sooner and not bind up the second an object in motion. A spring. Piece of cake. www.html 2/5 . But fear not! We will simply construct our own. Now all you need to do is determine where the slide is on the screw and you’ve got it made. I like to use a switch.

and crimp the tube shut. you are now free to wind the wire tightly around the tube. Snip off a smaller spring about 0.4" long. and the other piece is glued on so as to add a little bit of tension to the spring. one piece fits flush on the end without the spring. things won’t slide. and the spring is unable to pull back to it's original shape.1" across with bends in it that form hexagonal coils.4 inches of 1/8" Styrene. After you have wound wire down about an inch of the tube. Now assemble like the picture using glue to hold the styrene stops onto the contact rod.2-inch pieces of styrene.4 inches long) that runs down the center of the styrene. Now just pull the two ends of the coil apart and stretch the wound wire until the distance between the coils is a little less than 0. Solder a wire onto the contact piece and one onto the outside of the case. thus securing the wire. CASE AND CONTACT ROD For the case I just used some square brass tube 5/32" actually. snip the excess wire off at the top and the bottom of the spring using an old pair of wire cutters since the steel wire tends to nick the edge of the cutters. if you get it on the contact rod and it glues to the insulation. Using a 6" length of 1/16" square brass tube. it holds well.html 3/5 .seattlerobotics. For the stoppers I cut two 0. INSULATION 0. insert one end of the steel wire into the tube. You’ll learn to love this stuff.1".07/04/13 A Few Words About Motors THE SPRING Its pretty easy to make a spring. I use silver solder. Easy on the glue. making a pretty cool little spring about 0. about 0. The contact is just a thin piece of square brass tube (1/16" about 1. and the styrene insulation in the case. www. The wire will recoil slightly. The styrene is glued into the larger piece of brass.4" of it.org/encoder/sep97/motors. leaving no gaps between the coils.

Your going to have to make adjustments in the tension of the spring and the position of the switch to suite your application. you’re cool. After all. The assembly is now ready to start moving back out with no problems. I would highly www. THE DC MOTOR INTERFACE If you have a small DC motor and you want to hook it up to a processor or a controller easily. You might even want to eliminate the back stopper and replace it with a couple pieces of brass tube so you can make a normally closed switch. +5 volts to the contact rod. Now when the contact rod hits the slide assembly I get a nice TTL low for my microcontroller. that’s what hobby robotics is all about. The spring allows the assembly to come to a slow without binding. As long as you understand the basic concept of what your application requires and what you need to do to get your project to work. On my projects the slide assembly is metal and grounded.seattlerobotics.org/encoder/sep97/motors. So now I can just run a 10kohm resistor from say.07/04/13 A Few Words About Motors Now I glue or solder the case of the switch right below the motor and allow the slide assembly to bump into the contact switch.html 4/5 .

org/encoder/sep97/motors. lets say pin 2. Richard Hughes (h t t p : / / m e m b e r s . and I expect a 200 to 300 milli-amps total for both motors. the crazed slightly psychotic Robohack. www. while pin 8 is the voltage for the motors.7-volt drop for the L293D internal transistors. After being lured to a Twin Cities Robotics meeting. The first motor gets hooked directly to pins 3 and 6. The motor is turned on by sending a high signal to both the enable (pin 1) and one of the two direction pins. For most of my applications I use the Basic Stamp II but I know SRS Robohackers aren’t like the rest of us. His email address is ROBT612@aol. His current projects include ARBi the biped (no ARBi doesn’t walk yet. To stop enable pin is high while both 2 and 7 are low. had to start limiting his caffeine intake when he started getting headaches before AND after drinking coffee.html 5/5 . but he does stand on one foot).com.they’re different. Sorry to say I don’t remember what the specs are for this chip. Pin 16 is the +5 voltage for the chip. and a 3-D maze for the potential Twin Cities Robotics ‘thing’ in 1998. a Hexapod.seattlerobotics. I usually send about 6 volts through it with a 0. To go the other direction keep the enable pin and pin 7 high while pin 2 goes low. Notice that the L293D supports two DC motors. a o l . while keeping pin 7 low.07/04/13 A Few Words About Motors recommend using L293D motor controller chip. The same goes for the other side of the chip. When driving two or more motors I like to hook pins 2 and 15 together and pins 7 and 10. Here is a generic schematic with the control lines labeled. c o m / r i c h 9 2 4 ) has good prices and even got me the surface-mount version. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rob Turner. Rob has maintained affiliation and continually draws on its members for suggestions and support.

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