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Servo Qs

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Servo Qs

Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:15 am

I'm looking into a pan/tilt system to be controlled through USB, so I looked around, and found a few parts that I think will get the job done.

Pan & Tilt Bracket
2 Small Servo Motors
USB Servo Controller

Is it really this simple? I'll bet I'm missing a lot :oops:
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:58 am

Do you write software? Many of those controllers are aimed at software developers or robotics clubs who write their own custom software. Other than that it is really that simple. When moving larger heavier loads, you may need to use heavier servos. Most small servos were not built for moving high mass loads. They are designed to move control surfaces on model aircraft.

You will need a 5 volt power supply or battery pack with decent amount of current to power the servos. The current draw on servos is related to the load. The more power needed to move a load means more power is drawn from your batteries.

The controller you listed does come with some software to test and program the module.

I don't like that tilt and pan bracket. Whatever you mount on it is suspended on the bottom servo shaft. This can place a large amount of strain on the lower servo due to the mechanical advantage against it. Looks like an easy way to break servo shafts.

If you need precision that bracket will provide lots of wobble stacked on the lower servo shaft.

What is your intended application? Small video camera?

A full gimball pan and tilt will be able to handle a heavier load with less stress and higher precision.

For a small light camera, this is the minimal pan tilt you can do with double side foam tape to assemble the two servos.
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Unread postAuthor: PVC Arsenal 17 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:50 am

This is very easy to do with Arduino. The servo library makes controlling servos super simple. And I'm sure an Arduino would provide all the extra functionality you need for whatever else this project involves.

@Tech, I didn't notice that about the bracket. Not good. Coupling the bottom servo horn to the top one is really all you need.
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:42 am

I'm not a programer, nor do I have the software to program, and I also have a mac, which I believe is not suited for programming. I'm looking for a control system with minimal programming, any ideas? Or can it not be done

The simple pan tilt setup you posted will work perfectly, thanks for that.

I have looked a arudinos, and they're way pricier than I want this entire project to be.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:49 am

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Last edited by jackssmirkingrevenge on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: jhalek90 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:50 am

lego Mindstorms from ebay.

Get one of the older yellow "Brain bricks"

It has the easiest programming structure around, simply drag the icons in to the "programming box" and it does all the hard work for you.

Also, a pan and tilt mech is super easy to make out of lego.
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Unread postAuthor: PVC Arsenal 17 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:01 am

Lockednloaded wrote:I'm not a programer, nor do I have the software to program, and I also have a mac, which I believe is not suited for programming. I'm looking for a control system with minimal programming, any ideas? Or can it not be done

The simple pan tilt setup you posted will work perfectly, thanks for that.

I have looked a arudinos, and they're way pricier than I want this entire project to be.


Only $10 more than the controller you posted yet easier to use and capable of so much more?

Buy one, learn to program it, enjoy all the other things you can do with microcontrollers. It's a great starting point... Programming won't get any easier than this. (Except maybe with Legos...)
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:48 pm

Before abandoning the one interface due to the programming, take the time to examine the manual and see of the software is going to be too difficult.

The User's guides are at the bottom of the page.

http://www.pololu.com/docs/0J40 User Guide

http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Robotics/ROB-09664-maestro_windows_091221.zip
Windows Software

http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Robotics/maestro_linux_091224.tar.gz
Linux Software (may work on Mac OSX 10 or Snow Leopard)
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