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arduino uses ?

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ronan walsh24/10/2014 22:08:39
539 forum posts
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I have a bit of expertise with plc's and ladder logic, not a huge amount but enough. Looking on youtube and various electronic forums the arduino seems to be a simplified or baby plc. Am i correct ? Can it be programmed to control outputs from various inputs like a plc can ?

Could i use one for instance to control a stepper motor with three separate on buttons to control how long the motor was on for, say 20 sec's , 30 sec's and 1min ?

Michael Gilligan24/10/2014 22:18:18
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14024 forum posts
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Ronan,

I am just about to plunge headlong into Aduino ... with a view to driving my 5-Phase Stepper Motor [as discussed in another thread].

One of the most convenient reference documents I have found so far, is this from RS Components. ... It contains many useful hyperlinks to material on the main Arduino site.

Note: Driving regular 2-Phase Steppers is much simpler.

MichaelG.

.

P.S. Thanks to Jason Udall for his encouragement and support.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/10/2014 22:20:32

Mark C24/10/2014 22:18:27
707 forum posts
1 photos

Ronan,

This post was perfect timing for me! I am putting a PLC system together that runs a couple of inverter drives and other stuff including HMI screen controls with modbus serial network linking it all up!

I also need to do some FFT on the input sensors to get a particular set of frequency magnitudes out for control loop return and the PLC ladder logic just can't cut it..... so I am using an Arduino to do signal processing in real time and dump the conditioned response on the stupid PLC - and you think an Arduino is a cut down PLC, that makes me chuckle! The Arduino is much more capable and is close to the PIC microcontrollers that I am used to as far as I can see but with less development work needed as the hardware probably already exists

Mark

Michael Gilligan24/10/2014 22:29:28
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Posted by Michael Gilligan on 24/10/2014 22:18:18:

Note: Driving regular 2-Phase Steppers is much simpler.

.

These boards are available from many ebay sellers.

I've ordered mine from that seller because he's selling in fives ... Fingers crossed, they are likely to be five from the same batch.

Note that the complete board, from China, is about half the price of buying just the chip from a UK supplier.

... Funny Old World.

MichaelG.

Mark C24/10/2014 22:49:42
707 forum posts
1 photos

Michael,

You might have been better off with the genuine article, I got the Arduino mega 256 development board and a couple of motor drive boards - £30 ish for the Arduine and £15 ish for the motor boards and they have two drivers on each I think. Also, as they are all Arduino make (if such a thing exists) they all plug together in a stack - they appear to be called "shields" probably due to them shielding the main board?

Mark

Les Jones 124/10/2014 23:02:43
2092 forum posts
144 photos

Hi Ronan,
The Aduino is not just one device. It is a family of boards that use different members of the ATMega family of Atmel microcontrollers. The Arduino develpment environment is aimed at programming them in "C". They could also be programmed in assembler using Atmel studio and programming them using an external programmer. The Atmel range of 8 bit chips have some advantages over the PIC 8 bit family. The Atmel devices clock the processor at the crystal frequency where the PIC processor is clocked at 1/5 of the crystal frequency. The Atmel chips also have vectored interrupts where on the PICs you have to identify which type of interrupt has caused the interrupt in software. You could also consider Texas MSP430 launchpad but I have found the development environment for this much more difficult to use then the PIC or Atmel development environments.

Les.

Michael Gilligan24/10/2014 23:22:52
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Posted by Mark C on 24/10/2014 22:49:42:

Michael,

You might have been better off with the genuine article, I got the Arduino mega 256 development board and a couple of motor drive boards - £30 ish for the Arduine and £15 ish for the motor boards and they have two drivers on each I think. Also, as they are all Arduino make (if such a thing exists) they all plug together in a stack - they appear to be called "shields" probably due to them shielding the main board?

Mark

.

Mark,

You may be right [I don't know enough to know] ... but I want to drive the five-phase motor in its vintage mode, which involves five bi-polar connections instead of the new-fangled Pentagon wiring.

£8 has bought me five Boards, each with two Full H-Bridges, [so I have 100% spare, in case the magic smoke appears]; which I shall probably arrange in a nice Pentagonal pattern, with some LED indicators; so that I can easily monitor what's going on.

So far as I am aware, none of the standard sheilds would offer any real improvement in convenience, and I would need a minimum of three [=£45 at your pricing] to drive five phases.

MichaelG.

.

Note: If driving in Pentagon-wired Mode, you need half-H, not Full-H ... which narrows the choice of chip, I believe.

Edit: Here is the "official" Motor Shield

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/10/2014 23:28:53

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/10/2014 23:29:42

Mark C24/10/2014 23:40:02
707 forum posts
1 photos

Michael,

My mistake, the driver I have is only capable of driving a single stepper, but it can drive two brushed motors at 2A. When you see what is on it 2A sounds and looks ambitious but RS tend to be reliable with their specifications so it must be right....

Mark

John Alexander Stewart24/10/2014 23:42:42
752 forum posts
51 photos
Could i use one for instance to control a stepper motor with three separate on buttons to control how long the motor was on for, say 20 sec's , 30 sec's and 1min ?

Ronan - Yes. I've been programming Arduinos for a while - one bit was designed for a conference in Italy in early 2007, and some other designs have been used by others in the intervening years.

Purchase one - they are cheap - it's the best way of figuring them out.

Most of the "RepRap" and equivalent printers use the Amtel processors, but without the Arduino overhead, so, yes, you can drive steppers.

One of my favourite uses is in creating model railway controllers (Lenz DCC compatible) for small, easy to use controllers.

It's all fun stuff - and learning is always a good thing.

ronan walsh25/10/2014 00:08:58
539 forum posts
32 photos

Thanks for the replies. The jargon is a little off putting , so can i ask any abbreviations are explained for the first bit of this thread please ? Otherwise its like reading a russian phonebook.

The motor i want to power is for a system for a local target shooting club, they shoot a turning target at intervals of (i think) 10 secs, 20 secs and 1 (possibly 2) mins. What i want to do is have three momentary buttons , one for each time interval. So when each button is pressed the motor down range is activated and rotates 90 degrees and holds its position for the time alloted by the button. Can wireless be used ? Eg. a control box with the buttons and arduino in it connecting wirelessly to the stepper motor and its controls downrange (25 meters approx) ? Also do stepper motors (relatively large ones) have any issues with overheating if powered for a long (1-2 mins) period of time ?

From my plc days i know its relatively simple (via plc control), i just have zero experience of these arduino's and am a complete novice with them.

What about controlling a rotary table/dividing head using a stepper and arduino ? Sounds do-able.

 

Edited By ronan walsh on 25/10/2014 00:41:38

Mark C25/10/2014 01:15:15
707 forum posts
1 photos

Ronan,

You mean me?

Sorry, it's been a long day and I have spent most of it talking acronym. Anyway:

HMI = Human Machine Interface (used to be MMI or Man Machine Interface before political stupidity took over) or the little touch screen you might find working machines.

PLC = programmable Logic Controller or industrial computer running the machine.

FFT = Fast Fourier Transform which is a way of getting the magnitude of individual (or small groups) frequency in a complex analogue signal (more or less but you need to dig a little if you have never come across them).

PIC is part of the name given to Microchips RISC integrated circuits, try searching for PIC 16F84 and you should find one of their offerings.

Mark

PS, I would have edited the original post but don't seem to have that ability anymore?

Edited By Mark C on 25/10/2014 01:15:54

ronan walsh25/10/2014 01:39:13
539 forum posts
32 photos

No Mark C , not picking anyone out , just in general. Thanks for taking the time to reply wink.

Michael Gilligan25/10/2014 08:22:23
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14024 forum posts
609 photos
Posted by ronan walsh on 25/10/2014 00:08:58:

Thanks for the replies. The jargon is a little off putting , so can i ask any abbreviations are explained for the first bit of this thread please ? Otherwise its like reading a russian phonebook.

.

Ronan,

That was my initial experience, too ... which is why I was so pleased to find, and share, the document from RS Components ... Have you read it? and have you followed the hyperlinks?

  • One of the most convenient reference documents I have found so far, is this from RS Components. ... It contains many useful hyperlinks to material on the main Arduino site.

​Now: On a practical level; I suspect that [for your shooting target] you might need a bigger motor than the typical small two-phase bi-polar that the L298 chip can drive ... but you should be able to build a scaled-down "proof of concept" using readily available components. Let's call that one "Model Engineering", and thus avoid the wrath of those who might not approve of this topic

devil

MichaelG.

Michael Gilligan25/10/2014 08:32:11
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14024 forum posts
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Ronan,

You may find this short document of interest.

I doubt if you will need to know about the Pentagon Drive, but the document does usefully illustrate how the H-Bridge and half-H are used. [note that the very popular L298N chip incorporates two full H-Brige circuits, which are controlled independently]

There is much, much, more information "out there".

MichaelG.

Les Jones 125/10/2014 08:43:49
2092 forum posts
144 photos

Hi Ronan,
If you are familiar with programming PLCs I think I remember seeing a design that created a PLC using a PIC or Atmel micro. You may be able to find the design using Google. A wireless link should be possible using various wireless modules that are on the market. Some types would just in effect provide extended wires to the push buttons. There are other types that would provide a serial link. (As used to connect VDUs to computers years ago.) Although Bluetooth can provide this type of serial link it would not have the range. I would rule out using WiFi communications because of the complexity. To rotate a target by 90 Deg. each time could be done using just a geared motor with a disk mounted on its shaft. the disk would have four notches cut in its edge. A micro switch would be positioned so it rubbed on the edge of the disk. When the notch came round to the micro switch the switch would open. This switch would be in series with the motor so the motor would stop when the switch opened. To cause the motor to rotate by 90 Deg. all you need to do is to short out the micro switch for a short time (Just enough for the notch to pas by the micro switch.)

Les.

Douglas Johnston25/10/2014 09:30:47
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613 forum posts
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Posted by ronan walsh on 25/10/2014 00:08:58:

Thanks for the replies. The jargon is a little off putting , so can i ask any abbreviations are explained for the first bit of this thread please ? Otherwise its like reading a russian phonebook.

A very good point, I am sure some of the complicated electronic stuff can only be understood by very few people on this forum. I have played about for years with basic electronic circuits and have started to use the picaxe system for some simple ideas, but my mind goes numb when I read some of the posts that are filled with electronic jargon. I would love to know more but I feel my brain is in terminal decline, so please take pity on some of us who can't keep up with the jargon.

Doug

Gordon W25/10/2014 09:40:18
2011 forum posts

I don't want to put anyone off learning about modern electronics, but I have found I have had to learn a a new language. And I am finding it hard going, hopefully it will be easier for the younger people! Probably most of it is already known.

Mark C25/10/2014 10:25:14
707 forum posts
1 photos

Gordon,

The problem I find is that I can understand the language that was current when I learnt this stuff but the youngsters invent their own names and these become the default - end result is that you have top learn it all again or try and keep up. If you don't keep up learning again is like trying to learn another language as you then start remembering the conventions you learnt but trying to associate them with the new names!

Mark

Michael Gilligan25/10/2014 10:33:47
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14024 forum posts
609 photos

Just to get one apparently daft piece of nomenclture out of the way:

"Shield" appears to be the jargon generic term for any add-on circuit that is configured to be electrically and mechanically compatible with [at least some of] the Arduino boards.

MichaelG.

Michael Gilligan25/10/2014 10:41:29
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14024 forum posts
609 photos
Posted by ronan walsh on 25/10/2014 00:08:58:

What about controlling a rotary table/dividing head using a stepper and arduino ? Sounds do-able.

.

Ronan,

I don't wish to be rude, but:

Why not try putting three relevant words into a Google search ?

... like this.

MichaelG.

.

Edit: just noticed that my link includes superfluous reference to the Browser, so here is a truncated version.

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 25/10/2014 10:42:52

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 25/10/2014 10:43:21

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 25/10/2014 11:05:35

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