The sensorless BLDC motors can change direction quickly because they do not experience the hysteresis associated with sensored motors. And sensorless motors do not need extra cables for Hall-effect sensor signals.
All four Texas Instruments kits come with the company's sensorless InstaSPIN-BLDC motor-control firmware that will spin just about any BLDC motor. The control software does not need data about the characteristics of an attached motor. TI said in a press release, "Unlike traditional back-EMF zero-crossing techniques, InstaSPIN-BLDC extends sensorless operation to lower speeds and is highly immune to miscommutation caused by rapid speed changes."
All motor control kits include TI's Code Composer Studio integrated development environment, as well as a graphical user interface that runs example programs and demonstrates motor operations with either the included motor or a third-party BLDC motor.
Product designers, programmers, and engineers can purchase the new kits now. The Hercules DRV8301-LS31-KIT
and DRV8301-RM48-KIT safe motor control kits cost $499 each and include a Teknic servo motor and a 24V power supply. The motors come with built-in Hall-effect sensors and an encoder.
The MSP430 DRV8312-430FR-KIT and Stellaris DK-LM4F-DRV8312 kits cost $299 each and include a 24V power supply and a 24V NEMA17 BLDC motor with Hall-effect sensors.
Thanks, tekochip, for your comments about the FETs. That's an important point for designers to keep in mind. As people work with and modify the BLDC algorithms they should keep in mind how to leave the motor drivers in a "safe" state under conditions specific to their design.
When working on a BLDC design it's very important that the software development kit disengage the FETs when breakpoints are hit and place some of the other hardware like PWMs in a safe state. TI does a great job of handling the important hardware aspects of a BLDC development kit.
Hi, Charles. Driving a brushless-DC (BLDC) motor takes a lot more than connecting it to power. Commutating the stationary coils requires algorithms that sense a motor's state and apply current accordingly. The processor manufacturers have chips that can handle the algorithms and some of them also have the power transistors used to drive the coils. When they provide a kit that includes all of the electronics and demonstration code and other software, they give engineers and product designers a good place to start. Most of the semiconductor manufacturers who have these capabilities do or will offer kits. People should first determine the type of motor they plan to use and then buy a kit that will let them experiment with that motor. Code supplied by processor vendors lets users start to experiment and "tune" algorithms quickly.
Given the complexity of some of today's applications, a motor drive development kit makes sense, Jon. I'm curious whether all of the big electronics suppliers are coming out with similar kits these days.
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