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Thread: Advise needed for simple DC motor control project

  1. #1
    Wicklonious Guest

    Advise needed for simple DC motor control project

    I'm creating an art installation that requires a DC motor turning at varying speeds at very low RPMS. Basically it will be like a disco ball motor except that the speed will increase and decrease. It needs to be pretty quiet. I've never done robotics before and need advise on the following:

    What is a quiet DC motor that can turn at slow rpm?

    What do I use to write a program to control the motor and vary the speed? I a programmer by trade so I'm not afraid of the coding part.

    How do I transmit the single from the PC to the servo control without wires?

    Can someone recommend a servo controller?

    Thanks very much! I saw the YouTube vid on controlling a DC motor and that was a great intro.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Sacramento, CA, USA Area
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    Re: Advise needed for simple DC motor control project

    Welcome to the forum! Would you define "slow" for us, please? And "quiet"?

    You can use XBee wireless to an SSC32 for servo control. But you'd still need a motor controller in there. I suspect you might be wanting a stepper motor and a stepper motor controller rather than a servo controller.

    Again - welcome!
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Sunnyvale, CA
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    Re: Advise needed for simple DC motor control project

    Well it's a funny old world. I haven't had much time for robotics lately, but for my daughter's 11th birthday -- which had a kind of retro 80's theme -- I did build a variable-speed disco ball to go with the strobe, spotlight and fog machine. To summarize it consisted of a low RPM gearhead motor, a motor controller, an Arduino converting analog input to PWM, and a simple pot for UI.

    Oh, and a disco ball. Slowest speed was dependent on how much torque was required to turn the ball vs the RPM of the motor at that duty cycle. Fact was that even with a high gear ratio, the ball spun pretty fast even at the lowest setting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    The devil steals my soul when I go to San Bernardino
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    Re: Advise needed for simple DC motor control project

    Really funny world. I've always felt my 8" disco ball spins too fast. Since I'll need it again in a couple weeks I've been plotting to arduino-mo-tize it to PWM it down (and add volume-reactive blinky lights at the same time).
    Earth's got chinese food and microphones.
    Earth's got porno stars and ice cream cones...

  5. Re: Advise needed for simple DC motor control project

    i personally like the parallax basic stamp + hb50 motor controller for a brushed set up, from my understanding a brushless motor is far more quiet, but needs a special speed controller, i would use a xbee for wireless, there are xbee modules that you can find to suit your range,

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