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.



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

After you have wound wire down about an inch of the tube. and the spring is unable to pull back to it's original shape.4 inches long) that runs down the center of the styrene. leaving no gaps between the coils. I use silver solder. For the stoppers I cut two 0.4" of it.2-inch pieces of styrene. www. The wire will recoil slightly.1". one piece fits flush on the end without the spring. CASE AND CONTACT ROD For the case I just used some square brass tube 5/32" actually. INSULATION 0. thus securing the wire. if you get it on the contact rod and it glues to the insulation. The contact is just a thin piece of square brass tube (1/16" about 1.4" long. 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. insert one end of the steel wire into the tube. you are now free to wind the wire tightly around the tube. things won’t slide. and the styrene insulation in the case. Now assemble like the picture using glue to hold the styrene stops onto the contact rod. it holds well. Using a 6" length of 1/16" square brass tube.4 inches of 1/8" Styrene. You’ll learn to love this stuff. 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.org/encoder/sep97/motors. and crimp the tube shut. Snip off a smaller spring about 0. The styrene is glued into the larger piece of brass.1" across with bends in it that form hexagonal coils. and the other piece is glued on so as to add a little bit of tension to the spring. making a pretty cool little spring about 0. Easy on the glue.07/04/13 A Few Words About Motors THE SPRING Its pretty easy to make a spring.seattlerobotics.html 3/5 . about 0. Solder a wire onto the contact piece and one onto the outside of the case.

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. The assembly is now ready to start moving back out with no problems.html 4/5 . On my projects the slide assembly is metal and grounded.org/encoder/sep97/motors. Now when the contact rod hits the slide assembly I get a nice TTL low for my microcontroller. So now I can just run a 10kohm resistor from say. that’s what hobby robotics is all about. The spring allows the assembly to come to a slow without binding. Your going to have to make adjustments in the tension of the spring and the position of the switch to suite your application. I would highly www. +5 volts to the contact rod. After all.seattlerobotics. you’re cool. 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.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. 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.

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

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