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Electronic speed controller....

Postby dkightley » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:50 am

Has anyone tried rigging up a drone motor speed controller attached to a servo tester to see if it works as a controller for T gauge???

You can pick up a pack of four 5v 1A controllers for something like £25 and servo testers for £2 each.....and if they work then its easier and probably no dearer than building your own board!!

And a 50hz pulse cycle varying from 1mS to 2mS isn't that difficult to generate from pc controllers. And using this system, the supply cable lengths can be kept to a minimum by locating the electronics local to the track and running the control signal to it from the operator's control, etc rather than having to run the supply cables to and from the controller!
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Re: Electronic speed controller....

Postby martink » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:22 pm

I certainly haven't tried it, but just about any 5V motor controller should be able to do the job. Or most higher voltage units running off a 5V or 6V power supply.

However, two things immediately spring to mind...
- Does the drone controller have a way of putting the motor into reverse? Not something I imagine a drone would need very often... :)
- Does it have overload protection? A 1A unit can put a lot of power into a short circuit (by T gauge standards at least, and assuming there is a 1A power supply behind it), which can do serious damage to delicate models.
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Re: Electronic speed controller....

Postby dkightley » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:09 pm

I only suggested a speed controller from a drone because its essentially a radio control speed controller that has been mass-manufactured to be cheap and cheerful.

And to comment on your thoughts....you're right about it not being reversible. A reverse would be better driven mechanically by relay/switch as the inevitable volt drop across multiple semiconductor devices may be too high a percentage of the supply voltage. And these speed controllers will certainly not have overload protection. That's why they're rated at 1A without having a heatsink on the switching transistor. Regarding overloads, the trick is not to have a supply capable of providing a damage causing current in the first place!
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