The guts of a micro continuous servo motor

I fried one of my micro continuous servo motors yesterday so I decided to open it up and take a look inside.
IMG_0005It’s as simple as taking off four screws on the back. The gears have some white grease on it.

IMG_0007A little tugging got the tiny PCB out of the casing. I used the screwdriver to push the motor out after it. It looks so simple laid out like this, but you’ve got to admire how they can fit it all into such a tiny package!

IMG_0008The backside has all of the resistors and capacitors for the circuit.

IMG_0011The IC on there is a KC5188.

Not much analysis here, just a look around the insides of this servo motor. I’m still trying to decide what to do with this project since I only have one servo left… Stay tuned!

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The bad servo-RF mix

A long while back, I purchased a couple of RF transmitter and receiver pairs. My idea was to make a remote controlled robot. I did do some experimenting with it before but nothing came of it at the time. I tried some more experiments today and, well, I broke more things, but I also confirmed a few other things that will sway where this project goes, if it does go anywhere.IMG_0001For the transmitter, I used an Arduino Uno. At first, I used it for the receiver, just so I could make sure the communication was working fine via the serial monitor. Once that was ready, I swapped the transmitter and receiver on the two systems. Using the transmitter on the Uno allowed me to change what was being sent instead of setting up a hardware circuit with buttons.IMG_0002Here’s the receiver. It uses my ATmega328p Breakout Board (Rev B) and my old AMS1117 voltage regulator board. I used my 16 SMD LED board and an LCD for debugging purposes.IMG_0003Before the servo motors were thrown into the mix, I tested the communication between the two separate systems. I’ve gotten the hang of it. I can edit the transmitter code to send as many characters I want. The only time I need to touch the receiver code is to change what the system does with the received data (the conditional logic).

I accidentally wired the power connections (Vcc and Gnd) to one of the servos backwards. It got really hot at that point and now it doesn’t work. I decided to take it apart for fun and will share those photos in a future post.

And after that, my problems with the servos continued as I realized the servo and virtualwire libraries try to use the same interrupt timer. To get around it, I’m trying to use the ServoTimer2 library which uses another timer. It wasn’t working properly for me so I’ll have to look into it more, but I think I’m just using the library wrong. You can take a look at my code on GitHub. It would make things easier if I just used DC motors instead of servos, but I’d rather use parts I already have. I do have another idea for these RF pairs so, even if this project is lost, you’ll still get to see them in action elsewhere…

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned if you’ve ever been interested in seeing the innards of one of these micro continuous rotation servo motors! That’s coming up next!

The beginnings of something new

The dust is settling after all of the fun I had with the ESP8266 project. It’s time to move onto something else I’m new to. Remember those RF transmitter and receiver pairs I got a little while ago? I’ve been thinking up ideas on what to use them for, and I think I’m settled on one idea.

IMG_0004I set up the receiver with an LCD to display messages while I play around the RF pairs. My AMS1117 and ATmega328p boards came to the rescue once again. I only have one Arduino Uno, and a Mega that’s still attached to the Light Show. I haven’t jumped on the Arduino Nano wagon yet since I have my own boards. IMG_0003On the transmitter side, I set up four push buttons to select one of four commands to send to the receiver. IMG_0002Here is the transmitter setup, which was moved over to AMS1117 and ATmega328p boards after taking these pictures. In this picture, I’m pressing the second button… IMG_0001… which sends the string “down” to the receiver.

Figured it out?

A remote controlled robot!

Since I’m using ATmega328p’s for both the transmitter and receiver, I have plenty of pins to work with. I don’t want to set anything in stone just yet, but you can bet that LCD will be part of it (even though it’s not the color I wanted… lousy eBay seller’s idea of blue). I need to work on some actual written plans before I start constructing anything so stay tuned for when that happens.

Thanks for reading!