open source qr code reader vb.net FIGURE 17.1 An assortment of DC motors. in Software

Generator ECC200 in Software FIGURE 17.1 An assortment of DC motors.

FIGURE 17.1 An assortment of DC motors.
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OTHER MOTOR TYPES 237
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FIGURE 17.2 An assortment of stepper motors.
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ous motors. 19, Working with Stepper Motors, focuses entirely on the stepping variety. Although these two chapters focus on the main drive motors of your robot, you can apply the information to motors used for other purposes as well.
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Servo Motors
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A special subset of continuous motors is the servo motor, which in typical cases combines a continuous DC motor with a feedback loop to ensure the accurate positioning of the motor. A common form of servo motor is the kind used in model and hobby radio-controlled (R/C) cars and planes. R/C servos are in plentiful supply, and their cost is reasonable (about $10 12 for basic units). Though R/C servos are continuous DC motors at heart, we will devote a separate chapter just to them. See 20, Working with Servo Motors, for more information on using R/C servo motors not only to drive your robot creations across the floor but to operate robot legs, arms, hands, heads, and just about any other appendage.
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Other Motor Types
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There are many other types of motors, some of which may be useful in your hobby robot, some of which will not. DC, stepper, and servo motors are the most common, but you may also see references to some of the following:
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238 CHOOSING THE RIGHT MOTOR FOR THE JOB
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I Brushless DC. This is a kind of DC motor that has no brushes. It is controlled elec-
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tronically. Brushless DC motors are commonly used in fans inside computers and for motors in VCRs and videodisc players. Switched reluctance. This is a DC motor without permanent magnets. Synchronous. Also known as brushless AC, this motor operates synchronously with the phase of the power supply current. These motors function much like stepper motors, which will be discussed in 19. Synchro. These motors are considered distinct from the synchronous variety, described above. Synchro motors are commonly designed to be used in pairs, where a master motor electrically controls a slave motor. Rotation of the master causes an equal amount of rotation in the slave. AC induction. This is the ordinary AC motor used in fans, kitchen mixers, and many other applications. Sel-Syn. This is a brand name, often used to refer to synchronous AC motors.
Note that AC motors aren t always operated at 50/60 Hz, which is common for household current. Motors for 400-Hz operation, for example, are common in surplus stores and are used for both aircraft and industrial applications.
Motor Specifications
Motors come with extensive specifications. The meaning and purpose of some of the specifications are obvious; others aren t. Let s take a look at the primary specifications of motors voltage, current draw, speed, and torque and see how they relate to your robot designs.
OPERATING VOLTAGE
All motors are rated by their operating voltage. With small DC hobby motors, the rating is actually a range, usually 1.5 to 6 volts. Some high-quality DC motors are designed for a specific voltage, such as 12 or 24 volts. The kinds of motors of most interest to robot builders are the low-voltage variety those that operate at 1.5 to 12 volts. Most motors can be operated satisfactorily at voltages higher or lower than those specified. A 12-volt motor is likely to run at 8 volts, but it may not be as powerful as it could be, and it will run slower (an exception to this is stepper motors; see 19, Working with Stepper Motors, for details). You ll find that most motors will refuse to run, or will not run well, at voltages under 50 percent of the specified rating. Similarly, a 12-volt motor is likely to run at 16 volts. As you may expect, the speed of the shaft rotation increases, and the motor will exhibit greater power. I do not recommend that you run a motor continuously at more than 30 or 40 percent its rated voltage, however. The windings may overheat, which may cause permanent damage. Motors designed for high-speed operation may turn faster than their ball-bearing construction allows. If you don t know the voltage rating of a motor, you can take a guess at it by trying various voltages and seeing which one provides the greatest power with the least amount of heat dissipated through the windings (and felt on the outside of the case). You can also listen to the motor. It should not seem as if it is straining under the stress of high speeds.
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