vb.net barcode reader from image Modifying a Servo for Continuous Rotation in Software

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22.10 Modifying a Servo for Continuous Rotation
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Many brands and models of R/C servos can be readily modified to allow them to rotate continuously, like a regular DC motor. Such modified servos can be used as drive motors for your robot. Many modern servos also come with the ability to turn continuously with just the flick of a switch. Servos that can turn continuously can be easier to use than regular DC motors since they already have the power drive electronics built in, they come already geared down, and they are easy to mount on your robot.
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22.10.1 BASIC MODIFICATION INSTRUCTIONS
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Servo modification varies somewhat between makes and models, but the basic steps are the same:
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1. Remove the case of the servo to expose the gear train, motor, and potentiometer. This
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is accomplished by removing the four screws on the back of the servo case and separating the top and bottom.
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22.10 MODIFYING A SERVO FOR CONTINUOUS ROTATION
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2. File or cut off the nub on the underside of the output gear that prevents full rotation.
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This typically means removing one or more gears, so you should be careful not to misplace any parts. If necessary, make a drawing of the gear layout so you can replace things in their proper location! 3. Remove the potentiometer and replace it with two 2.7K- 1 percent tolerance (precision) resistors, wired as shown in Fig. 22-8. This voltage divider circuit fools the servo s control circuitry into thinking it s always in the center position and will respond by turning the motor any time the incoming PWM is outside the center position (which is found using the calibrate program previously listed). Another approach is to relocate the potentiometer to the outside of the servo case, so that you can make fine-tune adjustments to the center position. If you do this, it is suggested that a multi-turn trimmer potentiometer is used. 4. Reassemble the case.
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22.10.2 APPLYING NEW GREASE
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The gears in a servo are lubricated with a white or clear grease. As you remove and replace the gears during your modification surgery, it s inevitable that some of the grease will come off on your fingers. If you feel too much of the grease has come off, you ll want to apply more. Most any viscous synthetic grease suitable for electronics equipment will work, though you can also splurge and buy a small tube of grease especially made for servo gears and other mechanical parts in model cars and airplanes. When applying grease be sure to spread it around so that it gets onto all the mechanical parts of the servo that mesh or rub. However, avoid getting any of it inside the motor or on the electrical parts. Wipe off any excess. While it may be tempting, don t apply petroleum-based oil to the gears, such as three-inone oil or a spray lubricant like WD-40. Some oils may not be compatible with the plastics used in the servo, and spray lubricants aren t permanent enough.
22.10.3 TESTING THE MODIFIED SERVO
After reassembly but before connecting the servo to a control circuit, you ll want to test your handiwork to make sure the output shaft of the servo rotates smoothly. Do this by attach-
FIGURE 22-8 To modify a servo you must replace the internal potentiometer with two 2.7K resistors, wired as a voltage divider as shown here.
WORKING WITH SERVO MOTORS
ing a control disc or control horn to the output shaft of the servo. Slowly and carefully rotate the disc or horn and note any snags. Don t spin too quickly, as this will put undo stress on the gears. If you notice any binding while you re turning the disc or horn, it could mean you didn t remove enough of the mechanical stop on the output gear. Disassemble the servo just enough to gain access to the output gear and clip or file off some more. Once you are comfortable with the servo s ability to turn, you can see how it works using the 556 or BS2 circuits (and software) presented earlier in the chapter.
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