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I'm confused with how to control my rover 5

Hi all,

I have a few questions, which may be a bit stupid but I am new to robotics.

I have a picaxe 28 pin project board, a rover 5 4WD robot platform with encoders, a parallax ping ultrasonic sensor and a standard servo.

I am planning on making an autonomous robot like that on the start here instructions.

I have found out that my picaxe won't be able to power the rover 5. So I am looking at buying the Dagu 4 channel motor controller. Will I be able to controll the rover 5 4WD and encoders, the servo and ping sensor if I buy this motor controller?

Also, can someone help me in how to wire up the motor controller and picaxe boards? And how do I controll and code it?

And finally; can I supply the robot 5V from one power source and will this be sufficient? Also, what power source do you recommend for this?

Many thanks in advance


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Direction pin low/high = forward/backward, pwm = speed. Start by taking the tracks of the Rover and just write a small piece of code to run one motor forward/backward. Do it till you fully know what the settings of the pins will do. That's the way I started with my Rover. And a big warning about the Dagu motor controller, never connect the battery to the power (vbat) terminals without connecting the 5V logic terminals. You must always have 5V on the logic terminals when you connect the power (vbat). Else you can destroy the mosfets on the motor controller.

Oh right okay, I'll try not to do that then. I'll probably do more on my robot this weekend as I am very busy at the moment but I am sure it will all work out in the end.

Because the 28pin IC probably won't have enough pins for everything you will best off using 1 speed and 1 direction pin from your picaxe to drive both left motors. Use another speed and direction pin to control the right side.

Connect the ground and +5V from your picaxe to ground and +5V logic input of the motor controller.

Do not worry about encoders at first. To begin with, just get it moving.

Thats sounds great, thank you. The only thing is; what are the speed and direction pins? Are they just the normal pins I have used before for the start here robot?

Thanks again, Luke

I'm not too familiar with all the parts you mentioned, but I have looked at the Dagu 4 chanel motor controller - it takes a PWM bit and a direction bit - TTL level meaning the Picaxe or almost any micro-controller interface with the motor controller.

Here is a linke to the manual - http://myrobotlab.org/sites/default/files/dagu4MotorController.pdf

As far as 5V for everything - that would depend on the details of your motors, and I don't remember what a rover 5 takes... but you probably can google it..

Thanks for the reply. I'm sure I'll be able to work it out with the help you have given me and the manuals.