Tensioner Project: Faulty Motor and Damaged Motor Driver!

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So far, I have collected additional parts to operate my project. Most of my mounting equipment is in, and just requires the finishing touches on assembly. The great part is I have the majority of the parts to begin officially coding my apparatus. (Written on 4/15/2017)

Updated (4/26):

Since the last post I’ve ordered three motors. Of which, one has died. A quick google leads me to believe one of the motor’s ‘teeth’ has dislodged itself inside the motor, causing it to twitch. The good news is my newest motor should hopefully be able to lift significantly more weight that its predecessor!

Additionally, when my motor driver chip (L293) arrived it had practically every pin bent! I took out some tools and managed to bend the pins back into order, at least enough to fit into my breadboard. (Pictures below)

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From there I began to assemble the circuitry required to intelligently operate my motor the way I planned. I found several sources on how to operate a motor via Raspberry Pi’s GPIO, and decided to settle on a guide I found to be really informative. The next few steps document the simple process of installing (an actually really old) operating system on my Raspberry Pi 2!

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After that, I began to connect my Raspberry Pi to the breadboard. Unfortunately, at this time all I have is alligator clips, so I had to make do with that to wire up my GPIO ports to the breadboard. Fortunately, I do have female to male jumper wires that will be here today! (Wednesday 4/26). This will help a lot without worrying about damaging my Raspberry Pi.

Last time I didn’t have any pictures detailing the process of tearing apart my tension-er. I have yet to permanently mount the sensor in a location that I can use to test it, but I have attempted to have the Raspberry Pi read its differentiating voltage via the I+ and I- ports on the PCB board.

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From there I have my current setup (Pictures around the time of this the CU-Hackathon). I have also included a picture of the current circuit diagram courtesy of the guide I was following.

Circuity Layout:

1 motor full


Real-World Layout:

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 Next Steps:

  • Continue working on optimizing the code to work more intelligently with the tensioner.
  •  Try out the two new motors that will be in on Thursday.
  • Try incorporating the spring to apply a base-load to the system.
  • Construct and purchase the final mounting equipment for the system.

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