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Actuator control
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Actuator control

by MrChippy on Mon May 19, 2008 11:53 pm

for a project I'm working on I need to be able to control a 12v actuator making it have a continuous back and fourth motion, what would be the best way to hook it up, I was thinking of using relays or transistors but is that the best way,, or should I just purchase a motor shield? and for software I was thinking of using a code similar to alternating leds am I going in the right direction with this?
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by Silver on Wed May 21, 2008 1:49 am

I think we need a little more information to be able to help you.

Are you trying to move something small? In which case a small Radio Control servo might work for you.

Is it something larger than a servo could handle? If it is bigger, perhaps skip the Arduino and just purchase a used windshield wiper motor?

Give us an idea of the scale of the project and we can offer better suggestions.

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by MrChippy on Wed May 21, 2008 11:30 pm

Well this sounds wrong but it needs to push a rubber fist, it doesn't need to be strong it's only a prop it just needs to go back and fourth somewhat fast, I'm not sure how much the fist would weigh but lets say I need to be able to push and pull at least 10 pounds. it will be housed inside a case mounted on a tripod with a metal pipe poking out of the front it's really hard to explain, it's some kind of old doctors tool we just found it laying around and thought it would work good for this project. I don't think a windshield wiper motor would be strong enough but I like the idea of a servo if I connect a small metal rod to a servo then welded to a pipe that will fit inside a larger pipe to have it slide in and out should work quite nicely and be a lot cheaper.
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by franklin97355 on Thu May 22, 2008 5:14 pm

If the wiper motor isn't strong enough I don't think you will find a servo that will be more powerful.

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by MrChippy on Fri May 23, 2008 8:20 am

hmm really. well maybe I'll a windshield wiper motor out then, I just figured it wouldn't be strong enough since they only push blades back and fourth
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by mtbf0 on Fri May 23, 2008 4:38 pm

if all you want to do is move something back and forth, you don't need much in the way of actuator control beyond an on/off switch.

attach a disk or arm to your motor. attach a rod to the outer edge of the disk or the end of the arm and the far end of the rod will move back and forth a distance double the radius of the disk, (or length of the arm). by further comlicating things with linkages and levers and whatnot you can further increase the range of motion and you never have to worry about reversing the direction of the motor.
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