Questions of a newcomer [ESC, digital/analog IO]

Hi, I’m starting a project and after some searches I’ve landed here.

I’d need to know how an Arduino can be connected to some ESCs (speed controllers) for little brushless motors. Recently, programming PLCs and Assembly-like programming languages this could have been easy, working with single pin outputs, but with Arduino and C++ I don’t know where to start. I’ve seen from basic examples that Arduino works both with a serial port and single pins, so I decided to ask here what is the best option.

The easiest way for me would be to have a large amount of pins where I’ll be able to attach ESCs, amperometers, etc. and command/read them, and I’m not sure Arduin can do this (I mean, it surely does, but I have to ask you how.)

Thank you all for the attention.

I'd need to know how an Arduino can be connected to some ESCs (speed controllers) for little brushless motors.

Typically, just like a servo.

Recently, programming PLCs and Assembly-like programming languages this could have been easy, working with single pin outputs, but with Arduino and C++ I don't know where to start.

Why not? Individual pins can be turned on or off on an Arduino, too.

PaulS:
Why not? Individual pins can be turned on or off on an Arduino, too.

Sure, but is there a way to extend their amount? I think I'll run out of pins sooner or later.

Sure, but is there a way to extend their amount?

How did you extend the number of pins when programming the PLC in assembly language?

PaulS:

Sure, but is there a way to extend their amount?

How did you extend the number of pins when programming the PLC in assembly language?

Installing more I/O cards on the PLC rack. Arduino has a rack too? The closest thing I found similar to using a rack is this http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ShiftIn

nevetz1911:
a large amount of pins where I'll be able to attach ESCs, amperometers, etc. and command/read them

What is 'a large amount'?

PeterH:

nevetz1911:
a large amount of pins where I'll be able to attach ESCs, amperometers, etc. and command/read them

What is 'a large amount'?

About 40, but it's only the first step. I'm trying to create the project with enough possibilities to expand it in future steps.

To get more pins, assuming you know how many you need, will need either some distributed controller using multiple arduinos. Or, you could look at the Arduino Mega 2560 or the Due. They both have many more pins on them. However, the Arduino does not expand like a PLC does. Another option is to use a single Arduino to control a repeatable subset of parts (Say a motor + associated sensors), and then have something else, like another arduino, controlling what is going on overall. This would not be a simple project.

mirith:
To get more pins, assuming you know how many you need, will need either some distributed controller using multiple arduinos. Or, you could look at the Arduino Mega 2560 or the Due. They both have many more pins on them. However, the Arduino does not expand like a PLC does. Another option is to use a single Arduino to control a repeatable subset of parts (Say a motor + associated sensors), and then have something else, like another arduino, controlling what is going on overall. This would not be a simple project.

I see, also I didn't think about using more Arduinos. It becomes interesting. Thank you.

I have, on occassion, been able to successfully use a screw driver as a hammer, but I have never been able to satisfactorialy utilize a hammer as a screw driver. heen advised that it is something to do with 'selecting the correct tool for the job at hand'.

As one can notice, I also seem to have the same problem with letters… How do you edit a post after submitted?

Arduino may not be the ‘best tool’ for your problem.

nevetz1911:
About 40, but it's only the first step.

A Mega2560 would handle that easily and give you room for expansion. If you need to scale the solution up massively then you could consider daisy chaining multiple Arduinos, or using I/O expanders, or simply buying servo controllers, but I suggest you start with the simplest solution first and only take the more complicated approaches later when you need to.

RC ESCs are driven just like RC servos and this means using the Servo library
on Arduino. On the Uno the Servo library can drive up to 12 pins independently.

With the Mega 2560 you get a lot more pins and the Servo library can drive up to
48 of them IIRC.

The Due isn't appropriate for talking to servos or ESCs directly as its 3.3V only.

For more general IO pins it is possibly to add extender shields using shift
registers or other chips to enable many more pins to be controlled (or sensed),
but you pay for this with less bandwidth available per pin.

Most Arduino boards have several analog inputs, and several PWM outputs,
but not true DAC outputs (Due being an exception).

123Splat:
I have, on occassion, been able to successfully use a screw driver as a hammer, but I have never been able to satisfactorialy utilize a hammer as a screw driver. heen advised that it is something to do with ‘selecting the correct tool for the job at hand’.

Sure you can, the sharp edges of the claw portion can unscrew some screws. You just obviously haven’t had to use it as a screwdriver. : :smiley:

Lefty,

Thanks for the info. Where DO you get your Philips and Torx claw hammers? XD

123Splat:
Lefty,

Thanks for the info. Where DO you get your Philips and Torx claw hammers? XD

MarkT:
RC ESCs are driven just like RC servos and this means using the Servo library
on Arduino. On the Uno the Servo library can drive up to 12 pins independently.

With the Mega 2560 you get a lot more pins and the Servo library can drive up to
48 of them IIRC.

The Due isn’t appropriate for talking to servos or ESCs directly as its 3.3V only.

For more general IO pins it is possibly to add extender shields using shift
registers or other chips to enable many more pins to be controlled (or sensed),
but you pay for this with less bandwidth available per pin.

Most Arduino boards have several analog inputs, and several PWM outputs,
but not true DAC outputs (Due being an exception).

Thank you for your detailed response to my question. I already knew most of the things but you also gave me a good view of the possibilities of the different Arduino boards.

Hi, isn't a hammer an Irish screwdriver?

Tom.... :slight_smile: