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Author Topic: Controlling Linear Actuators with Arduino Uno  (Read 3462 times)
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Hello, I have 4 linear actuators that run on 12/24 Voltage

I want to be able to run the program R-Factor and outsource some data such as acceleration to a "look up table" where the arduino will take that data and extend the actuators a specific distance. I know i need to build an amplifier circuit in order to give the actuators enough power to work. I am looking for any help in doing this as I dont have much experience with outsourcing data from R factor to arduino, and dont know if i need a motor driver or if i can just build an amplifying circuit to get the job done.

Thanks
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here is a link to the actuator specifications

http://www.thomsonlinear.com/website/com/eng/products/actuators/linear_actuators/electrak/electrak_1.php
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I want to be able to run the program R-Factor and outsource some data such as acceleration to a "look up table" where the arduino will take that data and extend the actuators a specific distance.
What is R-Factor? Got a link?
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What is R-Factor? Got a link?

Its likely this racing sim: http://www.rfactor.net/

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Hello, I have 4 linear actuators that run on 12/24 Voltage

Hope you bought the 1SP version, because you're going to need feedback control in order to get this to work properly (if you didn't buy them with feedback pots, then you are going to need to come up with a system to figure this out).

As far as motor controllers are concerned, I wouldn't bother with attempting to build a controller for these motors; you are likely to spend more money in the design phase than you would had you simply purchased some controllers.

However, these controllers are likely not going to be cheap, because these actuators aren't small, and they are designed to move large loads; thus, the motors are pretty powerful, and need a controller that can handle their amperage requirements. You are probably looking at around $100.00 for each actuator. You'll want controllers with position feedback capability of course.

 smiley
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Yes i was talking about the racing simulation R factor. and thanks for the help, I do in fact have the 1SP Actuators. I am on a strict budget so buying 400$ worth of controllers is not something I can do.

A more in depth description of the project is to collect data (lateral forces, angle of turn, and velocity) from the simulator, send this data out to a look up table and from that look up table send a signal out to the actuators which will be hooked up to a mechanism that move the front wings and spoiler of a race car, an adjustable aerodynamic system to optimize performance during racing.

could the arduino board be able to receive the position feedback and analyze it?  also would I be able to use Mosfets/ BJT amplifier circuitry to amplify the signal coming from the arduino board in order to accommodate the amperage requirements for the motors?
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I got some actuators laying around too, and made a "Most useless machine ever"

Something like this, just bigger.
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bE7U0fHtQ8[/media]

I just connected relays to it, and made the relays drive the motor in the actuator.

Connected the relays so when not pulled, they gave minus on both poles on the actuator, and by pulling a relay, it would then change to give it 12V, and releasing that relay and pulling the other, it would give 12V to the opposite pole, and make the actuator move the opposite way.

I don't know about the position stuff on the actuators you got, but if I was to make something like it, and wasn't able to get the position, I would use a 3m tape measurer, and a 10k ohm multi turn pot.
Made this once before for my garage door, and it is accurate down to ~5cm, if you need better resolution, you can use a smaller tape measurer, with a smaller roll inside.

To make mine, I just drilled a hole in the side of it, and a hole in the side of the drum, then soldered a piece of solid wire on the pot, bend the end of it, and put that bend in the hole in the drum... job done smiley
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