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Thread: Controlling 4 motors with 1 Sabertooth 2x60 Controller?

  1. Question Controlling 4 motors with 1 Sabertooth 2x60 Controller?

    Hey folks,

    My googlefu has let me down a bit on this one.

    I'm starting a new build for a 4WD all terrain utility platform for lack of a better description. For use around my property.

    My question is is fairly straight forward I think.

    For sake of simplicity (not efficiency), I'd like to use 4 wheelchair motors on the build. Two identical sets. I was thinking I would just pair up the motors on each side on a single channel on the sabertooth. Set it up with tank steering and see what happens.

    The only concern I can really think of would be the motors on a given side being slightly out of sync. i.e. the front one might run a bit faster / slower than the rear.


    Have any of you ever tried this?


    Thank you!

    Glenn

  2. #2

    Re: Controlling 4 motors with 1 Sabertooth 2x60 Controller?

    Not on this scale. I have done it with small 4wd robots like:
    http://www.lynxmotion.com/c-118-ps2-combo-kit.aspx
    and
    http://www.orionrobotics.com/Razor-4WD_p_249.html

    Although currently I am using Orion Robotics (Basic Micro) Roboclaw controllers currently, that have encoder support built-in . My Lynxmotion one started off with Sabertooth.

    Kurt

  3. Re: Controlling 4 motors with 1 Sabertooth 2x60 Controller?

    Thank you Kurt. It looks like the lynxmotion kit is doing exactly what I'm thinking of... just on a smaller scale as you said.

    I'm thinking it's going to be an OK approach, I'm just concerned by the large number of 4wd chain driven examples out there... and what seems like a lack of people just using one wheelchair motor per wheel. Trying to figure out if I'm going down a path that's been attempted / rejected for one reason or another.


    Glenn

  4. #4

    Re: Controlling 4 motors with 1 Sabertooth 2x60 Controller?

    I'm using four gear motors with two motor controllers on Money Pit 2. Each gear motor has an encoder, and I read that encoder using a separate microprocessor, and am using regular H-bridge controllers, one per side. In my control code, whichever wheel is moving slower is the one I rely on for movement speed for each side, to run PID control for the motor controller.

    Note that my Money Pit slammed into a curb and killed a steering servo and a motor driver during the Magellan event, and I'm not yet sure of the reason for this. Haven't had the gumption to boot it back up and read out the data/images I do collect to do some analysis of why. It could be that the approach I'm taking is actually not that robust -- I especially don't know the reason why one of the controllers died. I'm using 18V25A Pololu controllers with current sense, and Pololu 5A stall current gear motors with encoders, driving with 4S LiPos at 14.4V nominal, so there should be plenty of margin, but perhaps an immediate voltage swing from + to - would put 2x16V onto the driver and thus maybe kill it?

  5. Re: Controlling 4 motors with 1 Sabertooth 2x60 Controller?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boomstick View Post
    Hey folks,

    My googlefu has let me down a bit on this one.

    I'm starting a new build for a 4WD all terrain utility platform for lack of a better description. For use around my property.

    My question is is fairly straight forward I think.

    For sake of simplicity (not efficiency), I'd like to use 4 wheelchair motors on the build. Two identical sets. I was thinking I would just pair up the motors on each side on a single channel on the sabertooth. Set it up with tank steering and see what happens.

    The only concern I can really think of would be the motors on a given side being slightly out of sync. i.e. the front one might run a bit faster / slower than the rear.


    Have any of you ever tried this?


    Thank you!

    Glenn
    Hi, i know this post is old..but just wanted to check if you got this to work? i would like to do the same thing but with the 2x12 controller and wondering if its as straight forward as it sounds

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