Simple Microcontroller Project

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by hpanagio, May 31, 2009.

  1. hpanagio

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2009
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    0
    Hello people,

    I am new to this electronics stuff, I am a programmer and I need help in choosing a microcontroller for a project I want to make.
    I want a microcontroller which will control 5 motors (6v-12v motors). I want the microcontroller to start the motors at specific times eg 9 a.m and I want each motor to run for a specifc time e.g motor 1 5s, motor 2 15s, motor 3 8s, motor 4 30s and motor 5 77s. I may want the motors to behave differently depending on the day. For example on Wdnesdays only motors 2 and 4 should run for the specific times.

    What do I need to do this from scratch? Don't know anything about microcontrollers I just know programming.

    Thanks in advance,

    John.
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  3. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    I have done some programming myself and this could actually be very easy. Have you ever heard of the BoeBot from Parallax?

    You will have a start time (to turn on the motors), and end time (to stop the motors), and finally a pause time (until the next day or something). All you have to do is calculate those values and your set to go! You can also have the motors turn clockwise for 2s then counterclockwise for 5s or something until the time is up. Depending on your distance, you might have to have drivers to drive the motors. Unfortunately, I think the BoeBot main board can only handle four motors but they might have a different board that can handle more. This is the board I have: http://www.parallax.com/Store/Micro...ortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/126/Default.aspx
    You might have to ask them how you can do 5 motors. If you need help programming I could help you!

    Thanks!
     
  4. hpanagio

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 31, 2009
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    Hello electronerd and bertus. Thanks for the replies.

    First I want to make things clear in my mind about the whole project. What components to I need to use in simple english please. For example 4 motors, thats all I know :)

    Is a microcontroller a small component that goes on a circuit which has connections? I mean is it like a small CPU?

    What kind of power will I need to have to operate the microcontroller and the motors?

    So that is why I ask what single components will I need so I can understand the big picture! :)

    Thanks!
     
  5. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  6. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    The microcontroller goes on the small PCB with other various components that make up what we call a "stamp." This controls the servo motors from your computer programming. It stores your commands and then carries out your commands. The board i suggested is powered by 4x AA batteries. Do you need servo motors with high torque? You might want to consider that. Also, if you do change motors rather than have the conventional board motors you might have to modify the breadboard in order to satisfy the motors. I dont think that should be much of a problem. Once you have the initial hardware taken care of, the software is a snap.

    If you dont want to use the Parallax board i suggested you'll have to use a microcontroller with a driver to drive the motors.

    Have fun!
     
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