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Comments by Brandon

  • New Product: 5V, 5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V50F5

    New Product: 5V, 5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V50F5

    - 13 April 2021

    Hello, Don.

    Microcontrollers usually have a diode going from each I/O pin to its logic supply. These diodes clamp the voltage on the pins, preventing pull-up resistors like the one on the D24D50F5 board from pulling the pins too high (and the resistor limits the current through the diode), so it is probably fine. However, if you want to be extra safe and not rely on the clamping diodes, you could remove the pull-up resistor from the regulator. The pull-up resistor is the small black component labeled "01D" near the mounting hole in the bottom right-hand corner of this picture of the underside of the regulator.

    Brandon

  • New products (and demo): Force-sensing linear potentiometers and resistors

    New products (and demo): Force-sensing linear potentiometers and resistors

    - 9 March 2021

    Hello, Paul.

    The code for the FSLP demo program shown in the video is linked to in the post above, and you can find it under the
    "Resources" tab of the Force-Sensing Linear Potentiometer: 4.0″×0.4″ Strip product page as well.

    Brandon

  • New product: A-Star 328PB Micro

    New product: A-Star 328PB Micro

    - 18 February 2021

    The "Connecting to the serial interface" section of the A-Star 328PB User's Guide has instructions specifically for using our USB AVR Programmer v2.1, including a picture of the connected boards. If you requesting something beyond what we already have there, can you elaborate?

    Brandon

  • Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    - 8 December 2020

    Hello, Sultan.

    The main reason I used a voltage regulator was to keep the motor voltage consistent even when the batteries start draining or get freshly charged. I noticed with my previous line followers that I would spend a good deal of time increasing the speed and tuning the robot, only to have the performance get worse when I recharged the batteries. I prefer a regulated motor supply voltage to keep the robot's performance predictable, especially during a competition when you might not have time to fully charge your batteries between each run.

    I have not tried a swivel caster with a robot of this scale, but in my experience with larger robots, swivel casters tend to re-direct the robot when attempting to turn since they are directional. The benefit of using a ball caster is that it can freely move in any direction at any time. Since your robot will be on a carpeted surface, you might consider using a larger ball caster than the 3/8" one I used. We carry some all the way up to 1" diameter.

    Brandon

  • New product: Pololu Dual MC33926 Motor Driver for Raspberry Pi

    New product: Pololu Dual MC33926 Motor Driver for Raspberry Pi

    - 11 September 2020

    Hello, Alex.

    I am glad you found the example Jeremy posted for how to drive a stepper motor using the MC33926 Motor Driver Shield for Arduino. However, please note that a few posts later, he posted an improved version that fixes a mistake and adds the ability to limit the maximum coil voltage to prevent damage to your motor if you are using a stepper motor with a rated voltage lower than the MC33926 shield's.

    Additionally, while it is possible to drive a stepper motor with this shield, we generally recommend one of our many dedicated stepper motor drivers. or controllers instead. They offer more advanced features like current limiting, multiple step resolutions (some down to 1/256), and come in a much more compact size. Some of the drivers have higher level interface options like SPI, and our Tic stepper motor controllers offer many interface options including USB, TTL serial, I2C, hobby RC, analog voltage, and quadrature encoder input as well as the more standard STEP/DIR inputs. They also have settings that can be configured to control the speed profile, limit switches, a homing procedure, and much more.

    Brandon

  • PID line follower with 5" robot chassis

    PID line follower with 5" robot chassis

    - 28 August 2020

    Hello, Matty.

    You could add your own reverse voltage protection circuit to the Vcc pin. By the way, just to be clear, reverse voltage protection is to prevent damage in the situation where the Vcc connection is accidentally made with the wrong polarity (e.g. connecting ground to Vcc and your logic voltage to ground). So, if you put together your system in a way that the Vcc connection is made through a keyed connector, that might also be a solution.

    If you have additional questions or concerns, please post on our forum, which is more suited for technical discussions, and we would be glad to continue the discussion there.

    Brandon

  • New products: Discrete addressable through-hole RGB LEDs

    New products: Discrete addressable through-hole RGB LEDs

    - 22 May 2020

    Hello, Paul.

    Thank you for sharing your solution to the problem you encountered!

    Brandon

  • Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    - 18 November 2019

    Hello, Chester.

    Unfortunately, my code ended up fairly messy by the time of the competition, and I have not cleaned it up since then, so I do not think it would be very useful in its current state. If you have never programmed a line following robot before, you might find the line following example for our 3pi robot helpful as starting point for understanding how the PID algorithm works.

    I do not currently have a wiring diagram to share, but the connections are fairly simple. The power from the battery runs through the rocker switch and to the input of the voltage regulator. If I were building this robot again, I would probably use a pushbutton power switch instead of the rocker switch. The output of the regulator goes to the VIN of the A-Star and VMOT on the Qik motor controller. The A-Star's 5V output (from its onboard regulator) supplies the VCC power to the Qik as well as the power to the reflectance sensor array. I used digital pins 2-7 on the A-Star for the 6 reflectance sensors and pins 10 and 11 for communicating with the Qik via software serial. There is also a common ground connection for all of the boards.

    Brandon

  • Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    - 17 September 2018

    I do not have a schematic diagram for this robot, but the connections are fairly straight forward. The rocker switch is wired between the battery and the input of the regulator. The output of the regulator is powering the Qik motor controller and A-Star 32U4 Mini. The QTR sensor array is powered from the 5V pin on the A-Star 32U4 Mini. The rest of the connections depend on what pins you are using to read the sensors and send serial signals to the motor controller. If you have more specific questions when you start your line follower, you can post a request for help on our forum, and we would be glad to help there.

    You should be able to swap an Arduino Uno in for the A-Star 32U4 in this system, but it is much larger, so you would probably need to find a different way to mount it.

    Brandon

  • Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    Brandon's line following robot: The Chariot

    - 27 August 2018

    I noticed you posted similar questions on our forum; I have responded to it there. We can continue the conversation in the forum thread you created since it is probably a more appropriate place for a detailed discussion.

    Brandon

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