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Author Topic: Many actuators, one motor controller, one power supply: possible?  (Read 477 times)
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I would like to control 5 or more linear actuators (with potentiometers) using a single motor driver and power supply. (to keep costs low)

I'm thinking:

Power supply
Around 12v 6 amp

Motor controller
Pololu High-Power Motor Driver 18v15
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/755/

Actuators
http://www.servocity.com/html/25_lbs__thrust_linear_actuator.html
Operating Voltage: 6.0-12 Volts DC
Current Drain (12V): 800mah operating No load
Current Drain (12V): 3200mah operating Max load
Potentiometer: I0K

I only need to move one actuator at a time. Just direction and position. Speed control not needed.

Is it possible to connect all actuators to some kind of "switch box" that the Arduino could control and monitor?

The idea being:

actuator #1
change direction, watch potentiometer, stop on specified value

switch to actuator #2
change direction, watch potentiometer, stop on specified value

Then the next one and next one.


Thanks for any help  : )
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Could you use a bank of 5 relays coming out of your motor driver, distributing one of the leads to each of the actuators? The Arduino would then switch on one relay at a time.

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I've attached a quick schematic.

I'm sorry it's very ugly  smiley-red

Would this work correctly?

Each actuator would have 2 relays. So 5 actuators, 10 relays.

I don't have time right now to do the potentiometer connections. But could I put the Arduino 5v and GND on bus bars. Attach all 5V and Gnds to the actuators. And then take the signal wires to the Arduino analog pins?


* Relay Schematic.jpg (139.96 KB, 2201x1234 - viewed 9 times.)
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Close...but not quite what I had in mind. I though that the OutA output of the driver would be common to all actuators. The OutB would be the one that is switched by the relays.

It should be doable with only 5 relays then.

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Anyone know if I can put the Arduino 5v and GND on bus bars. Then attach all 5V and Gnds to the actuators. Then take the signal wires to the Arduino analog pins?

Is that spreading too thin?

Should I use another 5 relays for the potentiometers?



Close...but not quite what I had in mind. I though that the OutA output of the driver would be common to all actuators. The OutB would be the one that is switched by the relays.

It should be doable with only 5 relays then.

OK, wasn't sure if it would be a problem because sometimes OutA will be positive, sometimes negative.

Thanks!
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