machine sizing control

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by seesoe, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. seesoe

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008

    i have a machine that extrudes dough balls, and it currently has a manual knob that i turn to adjust how close the proximity sensor is close to the dough. when close enough it will trigger some stuff to cut it, and so on...

    i thought i'd make a project out of it, so we can have better quality size control and make this functional through some sort of module electronics system, like a phidgets or something.

    basically i need 2 sensors, a keypad (if easy enough), a motor, and a way to avoid a computer....

    the keypad can have preset functions like pressing 1 will make the motor turn till a set amount of time, and so forth, and then 7 can manually move the motor left in set increments, till it hits the sensor and disables the button, and then 9 can make the motor turn right till it hits the 2nd sensor.

    im not sure if this would be something that is easily feasible with no computer and with kits, but im trying to find something out there that would work. how about something like parallax?
  2. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    A keypad will output a binary code representing the number being pressed. If you make circuit out of logic gates then you identify which key is being pressed and output a control signal.
  3. seesoe

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    hmmm, sounds straight forward, however my electronic skills are not the high level
  4. BMorse

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 26, 2009

    You can easily accomplish this in several ways (with out a PC), you can either create logic circuits to do all the controlling of the motor (Quite a bit of work for a newbie), or you can use a microcontroller (this will eliminate a lot of external circuitry, but you will also have to do some programming....),

    To simplify the design and to get it done quicker, I would go with a microcontroller, and I would also use a stepper motor instead of a regular DC Motor.... a stepper will give you better control on positioning.

    My .02