Which Arduino or controller do I need for my project?

Hello all,

I am new to this forum and also have no experience with Arduino (only some with SpeedDuino; Arduino ECU project).

However, there are two things I would like to do. Do I need an Arduino for this or are there other options to buy (plug and play). It is not that I am not intersted in Arduino, but for realizing some products during my graduation assignment I don't have a lot of time.

In short, this are the two things I would like to realise:

  1. A controller which can read an engine rpm sensor signal and gives an output when a "set rpm" value is obtained. For example: switch a pin to ground or 5 Volt when 6000 rpm is obtained.

  2. Control the stepper motor of a servo valve from an water brake engine dyno. Instead of original Superflow control I would like to implement inverse torque control instead of original feedback control. In short: I calculated the torque the dyno has to realize. I also have an data table with dyno torque, dyno speed and servo valve position. I would like to jump te servo valve to "pre-set" positions.
    It have to measure engine rpm, pick the servo valve position out of the input table for the programmed torque and control the stepper motor of the servo valve.

Hope you can help me guys! I am searching for the simplest solution for now.

You have not told anything about the nature of the output from your RPM sensor or the input to your servo valve.

Assuming these are simple things then the job should be within the scope of any Arduino.

...R

Robin2:
You have not told anything about the nature of the output from your RPM sensor or the input to your servo valve.

Assuming these are simple things then the job should be within the scope of any Arduino.

...R

I have to do some research for that. But the rpm speed sensor is a like an automotive rpm speed sensor. Mostly they are of the hall effect type. For the servo valve I also have to do some research, but I think a voltage output is equal to a stepper motor position or rotating to the next position.

My question is rather: if I buy an Arduino, is it like connecting some wires and programming the right software? Or do I have to add components to the PCB and build it myself?
I hope it is like my first suspection. If yes, what Arduino would be the best for me?

in a very general way, the UNO/ NANO / Pro Mini are the same processor with almost the same number of pins.

google Arduino RPM and you will find a lot of ways to read it.

a simple IR device that sends out a signal, then bounces off a freflective ( reflective to IR that is ) and then receives that signal. often some white paint on the metal flywheel or gear.

a magnetic sensor that detects the presence of a magnet on the flywheel. treadmills for instance

a gear tooth sensor......

a beam break sensor. take apart an old ball style mouse and see the little wheels with spindles. one emitter LED and one reciver, the spindle breaks the beam.

all the above send a pulse. all are seen the exact same way to the Arduino. some have one pulse per revolution, others many pulses, but every one has a duration ( time) of a revolution.

your need to have an event at some speed is a beginner application and should be satisfying for you to achieve.

======================

#2, I a not sure what a stepper motor for a servo valve is.
but I am pretty confident you can control a motor. the only requirement is that you understand the terms.

controller = logic device, ie : microcontroller works on tiny power signals.

driver = power regulation device that takes large power and regulates it to the motor, gets is signals from the controller.

the controller , ie: Arduino cannot handle power, too many LED's and you burn it out.

the DRIVER can handle motors as large as any human has ever make. 10,000 horsepower....

what the Arduino does is control the DRIVER.
the driver sees the signals and drives the motor.

you might make your own driver with some transistors or MOSFETS, or buy one that matches your motor. either way, yes, you can control it based on the RPM you measured in step #1.

RaceEngineer:
My question is rather: if I buy an Arduino, is it like connecting some wires and programming the right software? Or do I have to add components to the PCB and build it myself?

FIRST - An Arduino board comes ready made but a lot depends on how robust and permanent you want your finished system to be.

With an Uno or Mega you can make connections by plugging wires into the sockets - which is great for prototyping. But it may not be reliable in the longer term as vibration, dust or moisture could degrade things. Soldered connections or screw terminals are much more secure. It may make sense to use an Uno or Mega during the prototyping phase and then change to another board for a permanent project. This can usually be done with little or no change to the software.

An Uno is probably the best board to start with because most software and add-ons work with it.

SECOND - it is possible that your sensors or output devices are not directly compatible with an Arduino and will need some components between them and the Arduino. An obvious example would be a stepper motor driver - an Arduino cannot itself manage the high currents needed by motors.

...R

dave-in-nj:
in a very general way, the UNO/ NANO / Pro Mini are the same processor with almost the same number of pins.

your need to have an event at some speed is a beginner application and should be satisfying for you to achieve.

EDIT:

I was wrong, the rpm sensor that is already mounted has a magnetic pick up signal. This is the only thing the engine dyno manual says about it.

However, do i have to adapt such sensor signal or is it possible to directly connect it to the Arduino board?