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Motor PID Control System - the Hardware

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PID Control Learning System Part 2

In this post I will detail the hardware used for the motor PID control expereiments. You should refer to these posts for background information.


Here is a list of the hardware parts that make up the test framework and circuit:

You can do these experiments with just about any DC brushed motor, a suitable power supply and PWM based motor controller. In later blog post I will include the code for these tests. But for now I’m justing listing and showing the hardware.

I’m lucky to have a great power supply, but a wall wart or battery will work fine as long it supports the current drain of your motor.

Motor and bracket

Motor, Test Framework and Photointerrput Device

Motor Disc

Closeup of the disc used with the photointerrupter


Scavanged photointerrupter attached to hook and loop material with epoxy

Motor Conroller

The PWM based Motor Controller (2 channels, using on one channel for now)


Breadboarded Circuit

Breadboard and motor controller

The Breadboard with the Motor Controller Attached

You can create your own test framework for these experiments. Measuring RPM can be done several ways in addition to using a photointerrupt circuit. Hall Effect transistors are commonly used as well. You should be able to use many Arduino models, mbed platforms or other microcontrollers. What is important is measuring the speed of the motor (RPM) accurately and having a PWM based motor controller to change the motor speed.