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A PC controlled Rolling Road


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  • RMweb Gold

This is the start of a Rolling Road Controller.

As I want as many 'bells and whistles' as possible it will be much easier if the 'controller' is actually a computer program.

This Program will be written in "Visual Basic express 2010".
Below is my initial attempt at the screen that the user will see. There is no code 'behind' any of these controls yet as I am just 'thinking out loud' at the moment.


The PC will interface with my usual Smart Driver Board, so I know most things work and what is possible or not but, as usual with my designs, I usually think up extra features as I go!



Edited to change the Topic Title.

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  • 1 month later...
  • RMweb Gold

Progress has been great but not the updates!

I'll put that right now...



I was able to get the basic PWM running very quickly so that moving sliders and pressing buttons, on the Windows program, allowed full control of the Rolling Road.


Then came various additions like PWM frequency control, LED control (useful for debugging), increasing the number of speed steps to 128, etc.

At the same time, as the above, I have also been updating the firmware in SDB to decode the various new commands that have been added.


Today I have been working on the 'appearance' of the Windows Application "Rolling Road".

Moving buttons about, adding more features, making notes (on screen, so they don't work yet but at least I wont forget about them!), adding TABs, etc


At, the moment, the two most important TABs are the Bridge Control TAB and the COMs TAB.


As you can see, much work remains to be done with the Bridge Control TAB.



The COMs TAB is in a much more finished state.



Having a scope really helps!

Here is the first shot of the scope monitoring the "Track2" voltage.

The forward speed was set at (about) step 45 of 128.

5v/div by 20uS/div

The Pk-Pk voltage being delivered, from an old redundant 12vdc Laptop PSU (12.4v), to the rails was 9.48v.



This, second shot, is as above but with the "Reverse" button pressed.


(Sorry about the glare on the screen.)


Finally, a view of the test rig with PICkit2 programmer, Smart Driver Board, USB HUB, USB to TTL serial COMs, a Scope Meter and last of all - my much travelled (and abused) Gronk!


What can't be seen is the movement of the Gronk but the little 3volt motor, with tape on its shaft, can be seen to be moving!






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