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Need some controller suggestions

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Old 11-07-2010, 12:00 AM
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BlackAndChrome
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Default Need some controller suggestions

I'm looking for suggestions on a Airplane style controller that my high school robotics team is in need of (I am a graduate that hears a lot of pleas for help), it's for a competition that they are entered in this year. They are a relatively new team that just ran into some new regulations that are forcing them to purchase a 2.4Ghz controller. There are using it in a treaded dual motor setup with lower output (non-RC) style motors that came with what is essentially an erector set style kit, and unfortunately they have a very limited budget. If you could assist me by pointing me in the right direction for what to present them with that would be great, I have never used electric RCs before only nitro for a short period of time so Ihave never really dealt with electric motor controlling before. Advice on a good joystick transmitter and receiver pair that is sub $150 would be great. As well as cheap, relatively low current, ESCs. I assume that with joystick controllers you can just hook the ESCs up to the channels of each joystick to produce typical tank style controlling?

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated even if it's a quick yes/no and a link as Ihave to go talk to them tomorrow.

Thanks for the help!
-Nick


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Old 11-07-2010, 09:17 AM
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Default RE: Need some controller suggestions

Here's a no-frills transmitter and receiver with no servos (most any servos will work with it) for under $80

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXYWM9&P=ML
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: Need some controller suggestions

Alright looks good for a controller but his robot doesn't actually have any servos, it's entirely motor operated. Will the ESCs work as I am thinking in that they will plug into any of the four channels and then be linkable to the motors?

Thanks,
-Nick
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:29 AM
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Default RE: Need some controller suggestions

Yes, ESC's will plug into any of the channels
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: Need some controller suggestions

Alright so the controller looks good, I came into school this morning and measured the motors under load and it appears they are pulling about .8A with 12v source under ~75% load on the motors. So now I need to choose a ~2A ESC with reverse, cheaper the better naturally. I assume the motors are brushless, although what difference is that in ESCs? They are designing and planning on building a second robot so they will be getting two of the controllers and I would probably want to get some 5-10A ESCs for upgrade-ability with motors on the second. They don't really need high power motors since everything is geared for max torque. If they have the kits that let you build simple ESCs that require soldering I would not mind soldering them or teaching one of the students to do so themselves (I'm an elec engineer student).

This is one of the cheap ones that I found looking at another thread. The thread said that the current rating is grossly overrated and not even the plugs are rated at much over 10 amps but it has the proper voltage requirements and plenty of torque for the motors that they are using.

http://www.r2hobbies.com/eng/proddet...prod=rcps61604

-Nick
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Need some controller suggestions

How many lead wires does each motor have - two? I doubt if they're brushless, none of the motors my son's high school robotics team ever dealt with were.

Brushless ESC's do the same function as the commutator and brushes in a "normal" motor - only electronically. They switch the current through the various windings in order to run the motor in the proper direction.

Brushed ESC's usually just vary the duty cycle of the output waveform, higher duty cycles = higher RPM.

You might take a look at www.hobbyking.com for less expensive brushed ESC's. Depends on your schedule, sometimes it takes a couple of weeks or more to get stuff from them, coming from Hong Kong.

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Old 11-08-2010, 01:08 AM
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Default RE: Need some controller suggestions

I doubt they will want to wait anything longer than 2 weeks, any place that ships from US that isn't too expensive? Even if it is a little more expensive for a decent ESC about $15 each is the budget and on the newer bot they only need enough current to drive a motor which pulls 4.8A at 12v stopped (figured out it's brushed). 12v output is also required so that they can fully drive the motors. What's the situation with reverse in cheap ESCs? Is it not a standard feature? For instance do the HobbyKing Brand ESCs have reverse?

-Nick
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