HomeMade Motor Controllers

Okay, this is kind of an off shoot of an old thread from several years ago. So, i guess in a way im reviving a really old thread.

Anyway, sometimes as a team involved in FIRST, one always wants to try new things, and new projects, and for most of those projects you need motor speed controllers. You cant always borrow a victor or a jaguar for these projects, and you usually dont want to buy your own. Anyway, when i was the head electrical person for my team, i would always dream of being able to make my own victor from scratch. Mostly because i thought it would be cool to have a robot in the summer, but also because it’s sometimes fun to just make your own stuff.

Anyway, I’ve been working on an open source clone of the victors. I finally have a working prototype, and even thought it’s still in need of testing, debugging, and possible improvements… i thought some of you may benefit from me sharing it with you early anyway.

Here’s some pictures, hopefully in the future i will upload a youtube video. Here’s a link to the current thread dedicated to it, if you want to check the progress in the future. OH!! also remember that any version before R9 has a major design flaw having to do with the wrong part being used on the board. R9 is the only working version up to this point!!





My brother designed and build a couple lower power 4 channel speed controllers for our underwater robot last year…featured in the Feb SERVO magazine. He came up with a new design this year called ROVotron, which includes the (tethered) control system, which is user configurable using a menu system, navigated with the PS2 controller. I think most of the information required to build it is on the web page. The software is.

Thanks for the reply!

Yeah, so this is mostly just a proof of concept design. And even though it’s still an early design with many opportunities for improvements, and bugs to be worked out… I estimate that even in low production that each one can be made for about ~$50, which is about half of what the victors/jaguars cost. So, if anyone want to make a summer robot, or participate in the annual SparkFun Electronics autonomous vehicle competition, then making your own PWM h-bridges might be the way to go.

In larger quantities it could probably become even cheaper. And this design uses all through hole parts. Im pretty happy that it fit’s within a 3" x 3" square… if someone made a surface mount version you could either fit more features, or make a smaller one.

I got the mosfets really cheap in a surprise box from Electronic Goldmine. And, got 4 free samples of the HIP4081A chips from Intersil. The rest of the parts were just scrounged.

Anyway, it’s an idea to throw around. And, im happy with the results from this experiment so far.

Really cool!

Lets see if we can get these in the KoP next year :wink: