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The Raven


After searching, researching, experimenting, and countless hours of pulling out my hair, I located a servo motor controller that is programmable via USB and software. I have yet to power the unit and work with the software, but all of the information about this controller leads me to believe that it will perform the tasks required with a minimum of fuss.

The controller's small size will help to keep the PC board area to a minimum and that translates to lower cost. Plus, this unit requires no external processor to interpret the PWM from the RC receiver. All of the math required to operate the motor at the required speeds will be handled by the software. Once the configuration is complete, it is saved as firmware on board.

Below we see the gearmotor as provided by Pololu. This motor works directly with the controller above, and has a 64 count-per-revolution encoder on the shaft. Thanks to the gear reduction, this equates to 1200 counts in one rotation of the output shaft. Coupled with the controller, the yield should be an extremely fast, very accurate closed-loop servo. Just what my crazy steering system needs.

The cash outlay for both was less than $100. Nice.

Of course, I still have much to work out before operating this system as it will be on the truck. Once the details and testing are complete, I can turn my attention back to the mechanics of coupling the motor shaft to the steering lead screw.

Also, the schematic must continue to evolve in order to adapt to the required voltages. That is the easy part ;-)

More soon.

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Content Updated: Sunday, September 04, 2016 at 10:25 pdt

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