Low cost DIY esc

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Low cost DIY esc

Postby Max » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:37 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm involved with a robotics club at university, we recently had a little competition where we have teams a kit of parts and they went off and built antweights. We needed to keep the cost as low as reasonably possible so used servo boards as ESCs, Chinese gearmotors, lemon RX's, 2S lipo and a 6V voltage regulator.
We had our competition and everyone had good fun but there was a ridiculous amount of problems with drive and pretty much no one was able to accurately control their robot.
I wanted to see if I could design a simple esc which the teams could solder together themselves and would provide slightly better control. Most of the teams have no experience soldering so all the components would have to be through-hole rather than surface mount. And ideally I'd like to keep the cost to around £6 (the same as a pair of servos) so I imagine it would have to be done on stripboard rather than a custom pcb. My idea was to use something like an L298N motor driver and an ATTiny microcontroller but I wondered if anyone else had any ideas?

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Re: Low cost DIY esc

Postby Roboteernat » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:18 pm

Perhaps a look at Arduino connected to a motor driver, a very simple circuit if you just use the arduino bootloaded atmel chip and make i pcb breadboard to motor controller.

Take a look here: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/348

Then take a look at the motor driver chassis circuit, and design your own driver.
Potentially a bit overkill for the gearmotors used, but a good starting point?

Some projects done: Wirelessly controlled mechanical hand/arm
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Re: Low cost DIY esc

Postby shakesc » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:45 pm

I have used Baby Orangutan B-328 Controller before with a driver chip

Alternative is modified servo boards
I started out with nothing and still have most of it left

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Re: Low cost DIY esc

Postby Rapidrory » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:46 pm

You could do a kit with just a pre-programmed microcontroller, a motor driver chip, a 5v regulator and a few capacitors for less than £6. For that price you could even get some PCBs made up to make the process even easier; I use this company for PCBs these days and they're stupidly cheap as long as you're willing to cut the boards up yourself: http://www.smart-prototyping.com/PCB-Prototyping.html

Sounds like a fun little project which'd help people get more insight into the workings of the controller :)
Rory Mangles - Team Mangler

Robots: Too Many...

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