I particularly like the idea of using bicycle gears/chain for gearing. Whatever we come up with, I'd prefer if the bulk of it was available locally, wherever you live. There are no Home Depots in my country, but there are lots of bicycles. Perhaps we can use the frame of the bicycle to provide materials for the main structural component too! So, one old bicycle could provide gears, bearings, structural components, and more perhaps? :-)
I'm fine with the Arduino as a platform for the software.
The multi-turn pot would obviously work, but I'm a little dubious about it. They aren't that easy to source, and would have to be connected to the rotating shafts somehow that there would be very little backlash and no creep/slippage. I'd thought of the sensors from a couple old optical mice, mounted right over the shaft, and detecting rotation directly, but after a bit of googling, I'm not sure we can easily pull off movement info. Then I thought about a hall-effect switch mounted near one of the (bicycle?) gear wheels, detecting the passage of each tooth. An optical sensor, looking through your bicycle chain, detecting the passage of each link? Or a simple micro-switch, being bumped to produce a pulse for each link in the chain? But how would you determine direction of motion?
Perhaps a design that can accommodate either a voltage variable position sensor, OR a pulse train, making it easier to build the machine with whatever parts are available?
I'm chucking out a lot of silly ideas in the hope that someone can use them as the starting point, and come up with something practical.
On 02/28/2013 12:49 AM, Lizeth Norman wrote:
Gus, I like your thinking. Simply put we need to make feedback position sensor with associated motor/motor control stuff.
The motor rpm's and gear ratio are functions of the number of degrees per unit of time, as you say.
One simple solution that I was going to try was a reversible dc gear motor being polarity switched by a dpdt relay, and a three turn pot for position sensing. The pot is 16$US. Per copy. Need two as well as the associated hardware. Scaling the dac on the uP is a nit.
Then again, since we can fiddle with the values in software, so our inputs can be anything (from a hardware standpoint) of reasonable accuracy.
Just thinking, why use gears and gear motors?? Why not a dc motor, bicycle chain and sprockets? The HD bearings for the shaft are $6.95 as I recall, a piece.
Still set on using stock sizes/materials if I can. This would give me a start modelling this stuff with CAD and make it easier to source.
A note regarding your comment on the Arduino. It really does not matter what we use in terms of antenna rotators at this point. I think that if we coherently model the design process, someone in cost reduced circumstances could reproduce whatever we decide with far more basic tools than available to us. The key is that there is a microcontroller with tons of IO attached to a serial port...
Or then again, CO7WT is bit banging the parallel port. Now that's the way to go.
blah, blah, blah,