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Gadget Freak Case #226: Speed Regulator for Rotary Tool
9/20/2012

Andrew Morris' microcontroller-based DC motor speed regulator brings control for delicate work.
Andrew Morris' microcontroller-based DC motor speed regulator brings control for delicate work.

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Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Handy project!
Nancy Golden   9/21/2012 11:26:24 AM
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What a cool looking kit, mrdon - that looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the link, it makes me want to start playing with my PIC stuff again. Another thing I love about using Microchip products is the technical support that is available, their extensive documentation of their PICs, and their forum community. I have gotten some excellent help when I was stumped on a project that I was contracted to do and wound up making a great friend and partnering on the project with him that (speaking of patents) was eventually patented by the company we wrote the code for.

armorris
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Platinum
Re: Monitoring back EMF?
armorris   9/21/2012 12:03:05 PM
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Yes, it measures the back EMF after momentarily disconnecting the motor. This scheme would not work with a universal motor. You need to use IR compensation for that kind of motor. The analog version of this gadget, referenced in the article, uses IR compensation. A scaled-up version of that circuit would work fine with a universal motor, like the Dremel Moto-tool.

Also, why do you need to have extremely high speed for working on hearing aids. A Dremel moto-tool runs extremely fast without boosting the voltage. I'm afraid to do delicate work at high speed. Do you know something I don't? High speed would melt plastic parts.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Handy project!
armorris   9/21/2012 12:09:00 PM
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The PICLIST forum has gotten so huge now, that I find it almost impossible to find whatever help I need. It was a big help to me years ago, when I was first learning about PICs.

 

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Handy project!
Nancy Golden   9/21/2012 12:16:28 PM
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Sorry to hear that armorris - that has not been my experience. I am not saying you did this, but what I did find is that there is little patience on the forum for questions that are just thrown out there without evidence of the person trying to solve the problem themselves first. I did notice that when I went into detail as to what I had already tried and where I was stuck with code examples - plenty of folks jumped in with some great suggestions. There are also different areas that help localize where you should post to get the best chance of receiving knowledgeable help. You might want to give it another try - or maybe jump on it to help someone else out ;)

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Handy project!
armorris   9/21/2012 12:27:48 PM
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Thanks, Nancy. I'll take your advice next time I need help. When I needed help, I didn't actually ask for it. I tried to find the answer from comments that were already posted, but the archive is just so huge, and I do not know how to sort through them in any useful way.

I saw plenty of people willing to give advice for a fee.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Handy project!
Nancy Golden   9/21/2012 12:37:22 PM
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For a fee????  Times have changed...but I am willing to bet there are still plenty of folks who love what they are doing and love sharing their knowledge with others. I needed some help with my last project and had four different people offering very intelligent suggestions that helped me resolve the issue I was having - and they never asked for compensation.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Handy project!
Rob Spiegel   9/21/2012 12:50:05 PM
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Andy, the small changes you describe to get around patents doesn't seem to work in the world of smartphones. There is a great number of patent suits in that world. Some of the suits are quite successful at banning companies from selling their products in a number of countries.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Handy project!
armorris   9/21/2012 12:59:16 PM
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Yes, Rob. You're absolutely right, but the patent work I did was almost 10 years ago. Also, far more money is involved in the smartphone business.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Handy project!
Rob Spiegel   9/21/2012 1:00:21 PM
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That makes sense, Nancy. And chances are, you'll never run into trouble. And if someone wants it -- as has been pointed out in these comments -- that person can make a small change. 

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Handy project!
mrdon   9/21/2012 2:01:15 PM
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Hi Nancy, Your quite welcome. I agree, Microchip does have awesome documentation and their forums provide a wealth of technical support and solutions  to some tricky design application problems.

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