AC Motor DriverSome time ago we received a request for a driver capable of controlling AC motors scavenged from household equipment like tumble dryers and similar machines. We set out to work and after a few months of work we came up with a prototype that does the job (project no. 150199).
Besides providing enough power for the AC line powered motor, electrical safety is also an important design aspect for such a device. For this reason, we split the design in two parts: a high-voltage power board and a low-voltage microcontroller board.
Stepper Motor DriverAnother upcoming project is our TMC2160-based stepper motor driver (project no. 190255). The TMC2160 is a chopper driver IC from Trinamic and we designed a nice, small PCB for it. The IC runs in standalone mode and communicates with a microcontroller over an optically isolated SPI port. DIP switches set the motor driver parameters.
This module is particularly suited to use with CNC machines our Wolverine gantry robot as it provides an interface very similar to other commercially available drivers. Besides being powerful and flexible, this driver will also make motors run smoother and quieter.
COTS Motor DriversWe not only design our own motor drivers; we also try out commercially available ones. Here is one by Cytron, the MD10C. This is a low-cost 10-ampere, 5 to 30-volt DC brushed motor driver and our first impression was that it works pretty well.
H bridgesHere is another one, this time from Infineon. The board is an IFX007T Arduino-compatible shield. This is not a real motor driver but has three half H bridges. In this video it drives two motors connected in parallel on an old RC car.
Stay tunedMotor drivers are popular and we will certainly be doing more with them at Elektor, so keep following us.
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