I'm new and have a very basic questions

Hi, please excuse me if this is not the correct forum, I was looking for a Presentation or Introductory forum but didn't find it.

I'm coming form the RC world, you know, we send 1 to 2ms pulses to our servos and electronic speed controllers.

I think it's time to try one of those Arduino interfaces between my receiver and my motors. Basically, I need to proportionally control the two DC motors of a tracked vehicle. I found a couple of good examples, code included.

Talking about the code: how do I program the interface?

Do I have to download and install the application (Windows or Linux, I can use both, which is recommended?) I am a software programmer so that shouldn't be completely new to me.

Will I plug the interface into the USB port and I'm done?

Which type, model, etc. of Arduino interface do I need to fulfill the need?

Will it be possible to replace my ESCs with Arduino interfaces if in the future I want it to proportionally control one motor (e.g. boats)?

Thanks, Robert

You can run the Arduino IDE on Windows, Linux or Mac. I use Linux and I suspect it is marginally easier than Windows (assuming you know Linux). The Arduino IDE is written in Java.

The Arduino Servo library produces the proper pulses needed to control servos and ESCs. For example myservo.write(90) should move the servo arm to 90 degrees. You can also use myservo.writeMicroseconds(1500) to do the same thing.

The Arduino can send control signals to the ESC but does not replace the ESC. An Arduino cannot handle the high currents and voltages needed by motors. An alternative to using an ESC might be one of the motor shields. But if you already have an ESC I would use that.

You can study Arduino programming using the IDE before you buy an Arduino board. The IDE has many useful example programs (sketches in Arduino speak). There is also a huge amount of online assistance.

The Uno is probably the best board for a beginner as it is the most standard of the Arduino boards.

...R

Hi:

I don't want to send pulse signals to a servo or ESC, I want the Arduino board to drive the motors, of course through a H-bridge. So the output should be a proportional control of motors.

The UNO has 6 PWN outputs, does it mean that it can proportionally (varying the pulse width) control up to 6 DC motors?

What if I need to control just one? Is there any smaller Arduino board for this purpose?

As for studying programming with the IDE, do you mean I can simulate an Arduino without having it?

Thanks for your reply.

There are smaller boards like Nano. It too has 6 PWM outputs :) . You could use a standalone microcontroller, such as ATtiny45 or similar. It's true to the name and really is tiny (only 8 pins, two of which are PWM).

Yes, there are Arduino simulators out there, but I haven't used them really and since I have a few boards, I can always test stuff directly so I don't need them. You may find them useful until you get an actual board, though.

As for studying programming with the IDE, do you mean I can simulate an Arduino without having it?

While there is no simulator available in the arduino IDE, you can compile (named verify on the ide) without having an actual board attached.

rva1945: Hi:

I don't want to send pulse signals to a servo or ESC, I want the Arduino board to drive the motors, of course through a H-bridge. So the output should be a proportional control of motors.

The UNO has 6 PWN outputs, does it mean that it can proportionally (varying the pulse width) control up to 6 DC motors?

What if I need to control just one? Is there any smaller Arduino board for this purpose?

As for studying programming with the IDE, do you mean I can simulate an Arduino without having it?

Thanks for your reply.

PWM, not PWN. Depends on the H-bridge used - some require a PWM pin per direction, so 3 motors, not 6. Others have an enable input that can be PWM'd and thus only need one PWM pin per motor. You will run out of other pins first probably!