Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Arduinos and Motors, Part 3

Tonight's post is a chance to formulate some thoughts for tomorrow's meeting of the Humboldt Microcontrollers Group, where we'll be talking about Arduinos and motors, and maybe motors with MCUs in general.

Tomorrow's meeting will be reviewing issues related to Jeremy Blum's 'Arduino Basics' #5 video tutorial. I didn't progress on my first MCU-controlled motor exercise from video #5 yet. Didn't have a chance today to figure out whether either of the two standard DC motors I have are suitable for use with the transistors I have available. That will likely get figured out either at the meeting tomorrow or sometime this weekend.

So here are a list of questions about MCU-controlled motors for tomorrow's meeting, if there's time to get to them. If there's not time, I'll research the answers on my own. If you have other questions, let me know, and I'll try to make sure they get brought up at the meeting.
  1. When do you use a motor shield instead of just a transistor?
  2. Has anyone in the Humboldt Microcontrollers Group ever built a motor shield?
  3. What are the features of a motor shield for projects people in the group have done?
  4. What are some of the applications for Arduino-controlled motors?
The main applications I know of that I'd work on for Arduino-controlled motors are 3D printers, robots and moving Halloween props. I'm hoping the others at tomorrow's meeting have a few more ideas, especially smaller and less expensive projects where I can get some experience on practical applications for the motors without having to spend too much time or money on the project. Maybe I can find open source plans for a micro quad copter that uses an MCU and doesn't cost too much for the components.

Tomorrow night, June 12, is the third meeting of the Humboldt Microcontrollers Group. We'll be meeting from 6 to 8 PM at 1385 8th Street in Arcata, California, USA. People interested in microcontrollers or Arduinos are invited to join us -- the event is free, you don't have to know how to program microcontrollers, and there's no need to be a member of anything to participate.

So if you live in Arcata, Eureka, McKinleyville, Fortuna, Trinidad, Blue Lake or any of the other fine parts of the Humboldt region, you should consider participating in a new activity in the area -- the Humboldt Microcontrollers community.


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