Lab Programmable Power Supply with C Library/headers for drone benchmark

Thread Starter

Oriolly

Joined Apr 5, 2020
5
Hi everyone and sorry if this is the wrong section. I have a problem findings the correct piece of power supply..

What I need:
  • A power supply I can connect at home (220VAC, 50/60hz)
  • Output Voltage/Current enough to Power at least 1 ESC + brushless motor + propeller

  1. Up to 15 V output
  2. Up to 15 A output
  3. Ability to program directly the Power supply
    1. Preferred free C library/headers and free driver using USB COM port
    2. Programming by communicating with a proprietary service is acceptable, as long I can automate using my executable, and service is bundled with the Power supply and supports Win10
    3. Programming using some kind of elettronic interface acceptable if I can do that with my Arduino. (PWM, I2C etc.)
  4. Ability to set voltage and limit maximum current via code.
  5. Ability to read voltage and consumed current via code.
  6. Relatively cheap.

Why I need that:
I want to make a benchmark to automatically test features(consumed power, thrust, torque, RPM, temperature of ESC, temperature of motor, air pressure and humidity) of various brushless motors and propellers combinations at different voltage.

The benchmark will be a PC application that try different combinations automatically once parts are connected and working parameters are provided.

Voltage is setted automatically, then the propeller is runned at different speeds for some time , then another voltage is setted etc. At each step all data is gathered from an arduino (or Maybe 2 I don't think a single Arduino can have so many Pins) connected to sensors and PC.

What I found so far:
Power supplies that are too expensive or lack some of the requisites above.
Most power supplies seems are not really programmable, they have a software that allow to setup cycles but that cannot communicate with another PC program, and this Is essential for me.

  • APS-3320LS DC Power Supply Remote Controlled 600W 30V / 20A 1 Channel programmable
  • RND 320-KWR103 Laboratory power supply unit, 0 - 60 V, 0 - 15 A, 300 W
  • RND 320-KA3005P Laboratory power supply, 0 - 30V, 0 - 5A, stabilised, programmab
  • Sorensen DLM 600 Watt
  • peaktek 1575
  • EA-PS 3000 C 160 W
  • Siglent’s SPD3303X/X-E Series Programmable Linear DC Power Supply
  • APS-7315
  • T3PS11230


These are some pieces that are almost ok, but not ok for a reason or another. I need help from someone experienced to find the right power supply for me. Sorry for the long list but I spent already a good amount of time and sometimes I asked and I was not taken seriously that's why I wrote a very detailed post. Thank you in advance.

Alternatively if such power Supply do not exists I'm starting to consider just setting V manually but at least I need the ability to read precise values of power/current provided, possibly from PC. Or eventually build my own Power Supply ( in that case I think I'm ti unexperienced and I think I will end deal with much more issues).
 
Last edited:

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
9,644
Talk to the manufacturers and/or distributors with your requirements. I did this a lot while I was working in test and found them very heplful even though we might only want one supply - maximum 20.
 

Thread Starter

Oriolly

Joined Apr 5, 2020
5
Ok thank you I found a compromise.
There is a power circuit module that that ghas all output ranges I need (16v and 25 peak ampere), and is theorically I2C programmable. I asked the manufacturer if there is any documentation on how to program it without the proprietary provided software, and if it needs any cooling at sustained 10 ampere usage. At that point I just need a fixed power supply to power the module and an Arduino to program it (if any documentation is given to me). Which seems a nice compromise and probably will cost in total less than 100$. I'll let you know if this results in a good answer from manufacturer
 
Not cheap, but you might want to consider an electronic load: https://www.circuitspecialists.com/array-3723a-electronic-load.html

Power is not something that is generally read back on a power supply.

It's rs322 and can use USB with an adapter. IEEE-488 is optional.

You might want to consider LabView https://store.digilentinc.com/labview-home-bundle/ if this is for home. LabView is a visual programming language is the defacto standard for programming instrumentation.

With an electronic load, you get 4-quadrant operation and you can do battery discharge tests and charging.
 

Thread Starter

Oriolly

Joined Apr 5, 2020
5
That's 700$ in total:/ I need to read Power beacuse since current may have spikes those could go unnoticed between measurements pollo intervals. But measurements can be improved later once I have a basic expandable system..

Does lab view provide ability to interface with pre-existing code?
 
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I never did, but I used early versions. You can call DLL's.

LabView is a really weird language. It's all visual. You write code like you draw schematics. With that ability, parallel processing is easy to write, but race conditions are possible too now.

For commercial use LV is Expensive. There was a reduced functionality "Student version". For educators, LV is cheap.

The "routines" have visible or invisible "Front Panels" when called. The "routines" are called vi's or virtual instruments.

What was missing in real early versions was a way to handle errors. You can't just jump out of the flow. So, you design the vis with an error cluster in and error cluster out. if an error occurs in a prior call, the vi doesn't execute, but you have to make it happen.

I learned and managed a project in LabView when it was developed for the Macintosh only. It was also in transition at the time. there were no "training resources" back then.

"They", National Instruments want you to always run the latest version. It can "convert-up, but not down. Multiversion hops sometimes don't work.

You also get the ability to interface with Excel natively.

The package I programmed and managed one programmer, I created a simulation mode where the instruments were not required so development was much easier. Data collected could also be loaded. I made the file format data position independent.

Area was a parameter that was necessary to input and we generally used a nominal area, so loading allowed the opportunity to change the area and re-calculate everything. Our calibration standards always had an area of 1 even though they were not.

Another file would need a few entries manually edited. This file controlled printing.

Program ran for 17 years until another technology upgrade.
 

Thread Starter

Oriolly

Joined Apr 5, 2020
5
Thank you for sharing your expertise. But It looks like learning a very big amount of stuff. What do you think about this One?
IMP4-1L0-00-A

Still more expensive than I can afford but actually the best deal I found.
 
I wish you would have linked a datasheet.

That really looks like a power supply mainframe with "monitoring". It also looks like you only get +-10% adjustment. You pick a module that can deliver what voltage/current you want.

My guess is that your evaluating stuff for a drone application.

i want to mention 4-quadrant again. There usually is a difference between a voltage source and a power supply. A power supply operates in 2 quadrants (+V,+I), (-V,-I). A Voltage source operates in all combinations of signs, so it can source and sink current at positive and negative voltages.
 

Thread Starter

Oriolly

Joined Apr 5, 2020
5
Yes In testing propeller for drones. It Is hard to find a Power source with programmable voltage and fine voltage tuning and decente amount of passing current (i found One at less than 140$ but Just limited to 5 A which Is too low current. A propeller can likely consume up to 10 A, I don't want to be limited to mini propellers only)

Could you link a sample of what you mean? It looks like something more expensive than a Power Supply while I'm trying to find something not very expensive.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
13,525
Yes In testing propeller for drones. It Is hard to find a Power source with programmable voltage and fine voltage tuning and decente amount of passing current (i found One at less than 140$ but Just limited to 5 A which Is too low current. A propeller can likely consume up to 10 A, I don't want to be limited to mini propellers only)

Could you link a sample of what you mean? It looks like something more expensive than a Power Supply while I'm trying to find something not very expensive.
Versatile and low cost are incompatible requirements. If you want to do something complex and you cannot design it yourself then you have to be prepared to pay somebody else to do it for you. If the item is not sold in large quantities then you have to be prepared to pay a nosebleed price. That is just basic economics, and as they used to say on Wall Street -- "You can't fight the tape".
 
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