Controlling multiple LVC actuators with Arduino connected to PC

Hello all!

I am a structural engineering student and I am working on an experimental setup. I am pushing a bridge vertically at different supports.

I want to control these displacements through three linear voice coil actuators (Linear Motor with Internal Shaft and Bearing, GVCM-095-089-01 Continuous Force: 25.0 lb (111.2 N), Stroke: 2.50 in (63.5 mm)) simultaneously via a micro controller (ARDUINO R3) connected to my computer.

I am considering buying a 4 channel DC relay but I am not sure how everything fits in.

You can see the voice coil actuator details on the given links. I already have the actuators and those can not be replaced with other electric motor based ones. I also have ARDUINO R3 but would be open to any advice for a better project.

Can you please help me work a solution?

Thanks!

--
Shivam

Voice coil actuators have been used in computer harddiscs for long. They are fast and accurate. How to control them, I don’t know. Why did You decide for them? What job are they supposed to do? I guess that speed and recision is important, not force, power.

Hi,
Welcome to the forum.

Please read the first post in any forum entitled how to use this forum.
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,148850.0.html .

If you want to control those voice-coil actuators, you will need to use PWM control.
A relay will not give you that control.

Tom... :slight_smile:

You'll probably want to use a control module from the actuator manufacturer:

http://moticont.com/800-series.htm

or a similar H-bridge. Do you plan to have any sort of feedback from the actuators indicating force applied or distance moved?

These will have significant power requirements and you'll likely want to provide power for them from a separate supply than what's powering the Arduino/logic.

Have you checked the power requirements? Each actuator draws up to 5A at 15V, a total of 15A for 3 actuators. You'll need an according power supply, e.g. 24V 15A, and driver modules for 5A with incorporated current control. 12V may be sufficient for your experiment, at reduced speed and force. And adequate cooling may be required, for both the drivers and the actuators. Also add position feedback stuff to your budget.

Railroader:
Voice coil actuators have been used in computer harddiscs for long. They are fast and accurate. How to control them, I don't know. Why did You decide for them? What job are they supposed to do? I guess that speed and recision is important, not force, power.

I chose voice coil actuators for the exact reason you mentioned i.e. speed and precision. I am working with a setup where the movements have to be quick to avoid any lag.

TomGeorge:
Hi,
Welcome to the forum.

Please read the first post in any forum entitled how to use this forum.
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,148850.0.html .

If you want to control those voice-coil actuators, you will need to use PWM control.
A relay will not give you that control.

Tom... :slight_smile:

Can you please expand more on this or direct me to an already executed example? I would really appreciate your help.

DrDiettrich:
Have you checked the power requirements? Each actuator draws up to 5A at 15V, a total of 15A for 3 actuators. You'll need an according power supply, e.g. 24V 15A, and driver modules for 5A with incorporated current control. 12V may be sufficient for your experiment, at reduced speed and force. And adequate cooling may be required, for both the drivers and the actuators. Also add position feedback stuff to your budget.

Good point about about the cooling. I have checked all the specifications and have already considered position feedback.

I have multiple questions since I am new to this.

Will Arduino R3 work well for this project?

Will I need more than one power supply? Can I not use one power supply and direct the power to designated actuator using relay?

Why don’t you read the given instructions? If you don’t understand what you’ve been told, learn more about Arduino and PWM. Come back if you can control a toy DC motor using a H-Bridge.

DrDiettrich:
Why don't you read the given instructions? If you don't understand what you've been told, learn more about Arduino and PWM. Come back if you can control a toy DC motor using a H-Bridge.

Sadly, it did not come with any instructions.

Anyways, thanks for all the responses.

You have been given instructions in this thread. Read it moreoften until you find the instructions in it.