Controlling 12 volt linear actuator

I need advice on what controller to use for this project. I'd like to use a WEMOS D1 Mini, but it may require an Arduino or perhaps even a Raspberry PI.

The project will use a 12 volt linear actuator, an impact sensor, and wifi input to reset. The actions required are as follows:

Linear actuator runs (extends) for 1 second when an impact sensor detects a bullet strike;
Linear actuator remains static until a wifi "reset" signal is received from Blynk (or other controller);
Linear actuator retracts for 1 second when a wifi signal causes the 12 volt polarity to be reversed;
Linear actuator waits for next input from the impact sensor.

The impact sensor will be mounted behind an AR500 steel plate. While it could be connected to the controller (Arduino, WEMOS, etc.) with wires, it would be better to use Bluetooth or wifi to avoid the risk of the wires being cut. (The impact sensor and controller would only be about 5 feet apart.) Reduced latency is a major design goal.

The reset signal will be via wifi (Bluetooth range is too short) through the club's private network, i.e no Internet.

The operation of this target system will be very simple at first, but it will become much more complex over time. Initially, the target will simply respond to the two inputs, but it will be upgraded to require the target to raise or lower depending upon what other targets are doing. This is where I suspect a Raspberry PI will be required, It's also why I think a WEMOS Mini may not be the preferred controller even if it would work even if it would work with the original dirt-simple operation.

To say I'm a novice at this project would be a gross understatement. The mechanical side of the project was easy, controlling it is another story. I'd appreciate any input.

Thanks,
Chas.

If you want to connect your impact sensor through Bluetooth to the main controller, you're going to need a second microcontroller, Bluetooth board and some form of power (battery?) at the impact sensor. I think a wire is the MUCH simpler solution, and in any case give you less latency.

I don't know why you expect it to be cut, maybe a stray bullet, but the obvious solution is to add protection to the wire.

Also what is the problem of latency when your actuator is going to take 1 second to fully extend/retract? Normal wireless latency is in the order of 1-100 ms. That's negligible on a full second.

As you want WiFi you best get a WeMOS or NodeMCU board; find a suitable impact sensor and make it work; find a suitable controller for your linear actuator - you need an H-bridge, the tb6612fng comes to mind but as you didn't specify the actuator's current I don't know if it's suitable - and make it work; get your device to send/receive commands over WiFi; and then combine them all together. Do it in this order, it's from least hard to most hard.

wvmarle:
If you want to connect your impact sensor through Bluetooth to the main controller, you're going to need a second microcontroller, Bluetooth board and some form of power (battery?) at the impact sensor. I think a wire is the MUCH simpler solution, and in any case give you less latency.

I don't know why you expect it to be cut, maybe a stray bullet, but the obvious solution is to add protection to the wire.

Also what is the problem of latency when your actuator is going to take 1 second to fully extend/retract? Normal wireless latency is in the order of 1-100 ms. That's negligible on a full second.

As you want WiFi you best get a WeMOS or NodeMCU board; find a suitable impact sensor and make it work; find a suitable controller for your linear actuator - you need an H-bridge, the tb6612fng comes to mind but as you didn't specify the actuator's current I don't know if it's suitable - and make it work; get your device to send/receive commands over WiFi; and then combine them all together. Do it in this order, it's from least hard to most hard.

Thanks for the information. I'm going to try to use wires, but I suspect we are going to have problems with them being cut. It's at least worth a try. We can have several replacement cables made up for a quick repair. If this doesn't work, then I'll go back to using either Bluetooth or WiFi between the impact sensor and the controller controlling the relay.

Thanks again,
Chas.

The reset signal will be via wifi (Bluetooth range is too short)

Where is the reset signal coming from? Under what conditions is it sent? What is the distance to the actuator controller from the reset signal source?

cattledog:
Where is the reset signal coming from? Under what conditions is it sent? What is the distance to the actuator controller from the reset signal source?

The reset signal will be sent after a shooter finishes a course that is made up of several targets. I hope we can use Blynk to send the signal, but we have laptop computers, Windows 10 tablets and several Android HP tablets. The wifi connection will be our private network and it will be within 150 yds. of all targets.

Chas.