Hiring Coder - fairly simple Art project with one linear actuator+controler+ard

hello everybody!

ive got a pretty small project that im starting out with, it involves moving a small, lightweight wheeled stage, with a single linear actuator, an arduino and a motor controller.

this post started off in the advice forum, and i received some excellent beginning advice, but it made me realize that Im going to need to hire a coder.

id like to have a breadboard button to stop, and another button to start it. one forum poster said it's not wise to use a breadboard on this setup. So Im looking for my coder to also offer some advice on the setup as well. For instance, I need a power supply and wondering what amperage I need for it right now. Received good advice that it should be a 12V 160W for the actuator from JohnWasser in the advice forum.

JRemington offered that a breadboard should be avoided for the project.

id like the code to have a random effect ……. that continually gives a random direction, speed and distance for the linear actuator.

if it's easy enough, id like to have a second set of buttons that just moves the linear actuator back and forth - super simple.

so here's what I've got (it's all in the photos by the way)

-linear actuator with 8'' stroke and built in 5 wire type potentiometer

-arduino - navy blue with "digital PWM" written on it. maybe a knock off.
-arduino uno r3 - official - coming in a few days
-Pololu high power simple motor controller G2 18v25
-breadboard, wires, buttons etc

Id like to keep this linear actuator in constant motion, but it's only got a 25% duty cycle. when i called up servocity they told me id get away with it if i run a fan blowing on it, and also at least run a 75% duty cycle - in other words, it'll be paused 25% of the time.

So ive dug into this a little bit so far, and i think ill probably have to run the randomSeed(millis() command, and i'm looking out for potential issues around commands arriving before others go out, so I'm thinking that as far as the random speed/direction/distance goes, maybe i would be better off calling a minimum distance travelled for each random change, thus giving time for output of the next line of code.

i think that's it!!!! thank you community!


Hm ... and what do you want a coder for?

He needs it for the random movement and buttons making it go.
Regarding duty cycle - that is normally specified for maximum load, for significantly smaller forces both friction, currents hence temperature and overall wear will be reduced.

That's encouraging, thank you for the thoughts, Blimpy

Unicorn, where are you located?
It sounds like you could use some ‘over the shoulder’ help to get this together...
It’s not complex, but you need to do it right for reliability and to get the most out of it.