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EGH191: Hands on

Lab 5: Motors
I. Background Information:
I.1 Engineering Applications

Motors are commonly used in the design of machinery. Speed, torque and
electrical requirements are variables that are important to motor selection.
Electrical engineers focus on electrical efficiency where the wire and
brush material, insulation, contact arcs, etc. are all factors. With the
widespread use of digital electronics many engineers concentrate on the
design of motor controllers and position sensors. Industrial engineers must
understand the applications and uses of various actuators in order to select
the best item for a particular job. The power system of any machine must
be selected to best suit its application

I.2 Electric Motors

Electric motors convert electrical energy into rotary motion. This

conversion of energy is not direct.. Magnetism is the intermediate stage.
Electrical current produces a magnetic field that attracts or repels another
magnetic field (possibly a permanent magnet) which causes rotation.

A motor achieves continuous rotation in a manner similar to tying a carrot

in front of a donkey’s nose. The donkey is always trying to get the carrot,
but as soon as it gets closer, the carrot moves farther away. In a motor, the
magnetic fields on the rotor (the rotating element of the motor) and stator
(the stationary part of the motor) are constantly trying to align. But as soon
as they get close, the magnetic field changes to a new orientation which
again draws the rotor.
There are a variety of motor styles, that are controlled in different
manners. The basic categories are DC, AC, stepper, servo and syncro
motors, each having sub categories. The simplest and cheapest type of a
motor is a DC permanent magnet motor.

I.3 DC Motors

A simple DC motor has a wound rotor and a permanent magnet stator.

This means that the rotating portion of the motor (the rotor) has the wound
coils, which produce magnetic fields. The outside of the motor contains a
magnet, which attracts and repels the windings to cause rotation.

The poles of the coils (electromagnets) are changed by the polarity of the
voltage applied to them. The current through the windings is reversed via
the brushes. The brushes complete the electrical connection from the
stationary stator to the rotating rotor coils.

I.4 AC Motors

AC motors function similarly to the DC motor except that it is not

necessary to reverse the polarity of the windings; AC electricity reverses
its own polarity. The brush arrangement for AC motors is different than
that of DC motors.

I.5 Stepper Motors

A stepper motor does not automatically reorient its magnetic field to

achieve continuous rotation. A stepper motor is designed to achieve
alignment of its magnetic fields at fixed intervals through its rotation. A
controller tells the magnetic fields when to shift and 'take a step'. Typical
stepper motors have a resolution of 7.5° per step resulting in 48 discrete
angular positions of the motor shaft. Controlling speed of a stepper motor
is a trivial operation. Simply step the coils at a set frequency and the speed
of rotation becomes fixed. If a 7.5°/step stepper motor needed to run at 1
revolution per second then it would have to take 48 steps/second.

Stepper motors are excellent for light duty position control. If a stepper
motor was presented with a high torque fighting shaft rotation then it is
likely that the motor will 'miss-step.' When a stepper miss-steps it will
typically fall backward 3 steps instead of moving ahead one. The reason it
falls back is because it is not strong enough to move forward so it aligns
itself with an alternate set of coils. A good stepper motor controller is
capable of detecting a miss-step and indicating a fault. When a fault
occurs the controller shuts down and waits for a user to reset its operation.
A fault indicates that the controller is uncertain where the motor shaft is

I.6 Servomotors

A servomotor is one, which is used in position and or speed control of the

motor shaft. Servomotors typically have a shaft encoder on a DC motor,
which senses its angular position and sends it to a controller which adjusts
the current driving the motor in order to achieve a desired position or
speed. This creates a closed loop system. Stepper motors are an open loop
system since it is told to take a step, and it is expected to do so but without
added sensors there is no way to know for sure (there is no feedback
information). A closed loop controller sends a signal to drive a motor,
senses what happens to it and adjusts its drive signal based on the desired
position or speed of the motor at any given moment. A servomotor is a
general term for several different control methods. In industry a
servomotor would indicate a high precision, high performance motor with
very precise positional sensing and complex control circuitry.

Another, simple type of servomotor is one used by remote control

hobbyists. An RC servomotor, like a stepper, is designed to move to fixed
angular positions. This type of servomotor is based upon a simple DC
motor which uses some decoding electronics in order to achieve positional
control. A control signal is an AC wave at a certain frequency. The
frequency of the signal, or signal wave shape (pulse width) is what
commands the position of the servomotor.

RC servos are usually not intended to rotate continuously, but instead to

position themselves at discrete angular locations throughout one
revolution. Remote control cars use servos to control the turn angle of the
front wheels. RC airplanes use servos to control the angle of its wings and
tail flaps. RC helicopters use servos to control the pitch of its blades and
more. The reason RC devices use servos is because transmitters are
designed to send signals in certain frequency ranges. The transmitter
signals can be easily decoded to control servo devices.

I.7 Synchronous Motors

Synchronous motors are a slightly more involved version of an AC motor.

An AC motor alters the strength of the magnetic field of its rotor based
upon the input voltage, the frequency at which the voltage changes
commands the speed of rotation
Synchronous motors are designed to produce rotational speeds at exact
multiples of their input electrical frequency. A synchronous motor using
110V, 60 Hz AC may be designed to run at 120 Hz or 240 Hz instead of
simply 60 Hz. The positioning of the coils in the motor sets the speed.

II. Lab Experience:

Make sketches of equipment used in class; include them in your lab write-up.

Part A: Stepper Motors

Using the stepper motor provided:

o Determine a wiring diagram for the stepper motor provided.

o Determine how the switches can be used to control the circuit
o Connect the stepper motor to a 5V DC power supply and determine the
sequence of energizing, and de-energizing the coils to produce rotation.

1) Show a wiring diagram of your stepper motor and use a table to show
the sequence of switch positions to control your motor for both, clockwise
and counter clockwise motion.

2) What is the resolution of the stepper motor you used? Explain how
many steps can be made within one revolution and how they can be

Part B: AC and DC Motors

DC Motor
Use the kit provided to build a simple DC motor. Make sure that it works
(have your work checked by a TA). Observe how it runs and try to
reverse it.

AC Motor
Inspect a simple AC motor. Do not attempt to run the motor (60 Hz is a
difficult speed to "jump start" the two coil motor). For an AC motor there
is no need to reverse the polarity of the connection, since AC electricity
switches its own polarity in the form of a sine wave. Notice that a different
type of brush configuration is used for an AC motor.
3) Draw the completed DC motor including the electrical connections and
the battery. Label all of the known parts. Indicate how this DC Motor
could be improved.

4) Is the DC motor you built capable of running at a variety of speeds?

How? Why or why not?

Part C: Servomotors

Control of a Servomotor
Servomotors adjust the angle of shaft rotation based upon the shape
(frequency and pulse width) of an electrical signal applied to them.
Servomotors are not meant to rotate continuously. Use the micro
controller, and its running software to control the servo.

o Make sure the Handy Board is attached to the serial port of the computer.
o Run Interactive C (IC) on the PC to:

 Download operating system: PCode

 Download library: servo.lis (or include it into lib_hb.c)
 Download code to control the servo motor: Motlab.c:

o Attach the servomotor to digital pin 9 on Handy Board.

o Observe the servo and Controller (which ports are used?). Make a sketch
of the test setup. Use the potentiometer on the controller to control the
position of the servo’s rotor. Observe the position on the controller’s LCD
o Connect the oscilloscope’s black ground lead to the ground wire extending
from the Handy Board. Connect the oscilloscope’s signal lead to the servo
pin closest to the LCD screen. Be careful not to accidentally short two
Handy Board pins together. Observe the control signal with an
oscilloscope. Determine the frequency of the signal and the corresponding
pulse width for a 0 degree angle.
o Get at least three data points that would allow you to plot Pulse Width vs.
Angle of Rotation.

5) Plot Pulse Width vs. Angle of Rotation. Determine a simple equation
that relates the pulse width of the input signal to the output angle. Be sure
to specify units.

Part D: Small Commercial DC motor

Connect the DC motor provided to mort port 3 on the Handy Board. This
is the motor port farthest from the Handy Board’s LCD screen. Use
Interactive C’s top-level interaction window to run the motor. Use the
Interactive C command:

motor(3, 100)

The first argument in this command is the motor port number. The second
argument is the percentage of power that should be sent to the motor. If
this number is negative, the waveform sent to the motor is inverted. Keep
this second argument in mind when answering the next few questions.
Also note that the Handy Board does not vary the voltage going to the
motor, it varies the duty cycle of the PWM pulse put on the motor lines
and the polarity of the pulse. Recall what the PWM signal looked like
when being sent to the servomotor. In the servomotor case, this signal was
used to send angular information and did not drive the motor directly. In
this case, the PWM signal actually drives the motor. Directing the motor
port to send 50% power directs the PWM signal to stay ON for half the
100% time. Consider how this and the polarity of the pulse affect the
speed of the motor. These considerations should help you answer the next

See the DC motor run. Estimate the speed in RPM. How could you make
an accurate measurement of the speed of this motor? Decrease the power
going to the motor so that you can control the speed of the motor. Also,
explain how the direction of rotation can be reversed. Is the motor direct
drive or gear-reduction? How do you know?

6) How fast was the DC motor? How did you make this measurement?
How could you make a more accurate measurement? Try to think of an
application that would use the speed of a motor in its operation and use
that as feedback controlling the speed of the motor. Why would this be

7) How can the direction of the motor be reversed?

8) Is this a direct drive or gear-reduction motor? How do you know?

Lab Report Guidelines

o Use standard lab report format: http://feh.eng.ohio-
o Other lab report guidelines can be found on labs page: http://feh.eng.ohio-
o Be sure to answer all questions given in the write-up.