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Old 07-05-2010, 05:28 PM #1
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Default Help in building a Spirograph

I知 interested in build a spirograph. I have basic skills in building circuits. I知 looking for help with the motor controller and laser pulse circuit. I知 thinking about using a 317 voltage regulator and a pot to adjust the speed of the motors and a 555 timer to pulse the laser. Am I on the right track?
Any feedback would be great.
Thanks


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Old 07-06-2010, 07:59 PM #2
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

you might not want to pulse the laser.... you would probably get better results by using 3 motors with variable speed capability... Hobby Shack sells 4 packs of small motors for about 7 bucks.

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Old 07-06-2010, 08:20 PM #3
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Why not pulse the laser?
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:26 PM #4
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

i don't know to be honest.... never seen it done. you get great shapes with 3 motors.

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Old 07-06-2010, 09:33 PM #5
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

3 motors seems to be the trend and looks great for the ones I seen on here.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:41 AM #6
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Unless you are trying to do something like WhiteFusion, pulsing a single laser will just get you dots or dashes, not really a spirograph.

I suppose you could have 3 pot controlled motors and also adjust PRF and Pulse width of the laser to create some odd patterns though.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:06 AM #7
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

For the motor control would you use a 317 voltage regulator with pot or would you lean toward an Arduino to control the motors?
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:22 AM #8
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Or you could just hard-wired potentiometers.

That's what everyone does, and it works.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:22 PM #9
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

would motors or fans would be best?
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:16 AM #10
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Motors are a better idea.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:07 AM #11
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Plain DC motor is that what you are talking about?
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:08 AM #12
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Plan DC hobby motors that you can buy just about anywhere.

They'll be just fine.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:29 AM #13
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Have you seen this thread yet? Its a very good tutorial for whay I think your looking for.

Tutorial for a Four-Motor Compact Laser Spirograph
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:17 PM #14
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Using just potentiometers is a risk, because if one of your motors gets jammed, it may draw more power and fry your pot.

Using a voltage regulator like the LM317 wastes a lot of heat. You don't need a whole microcontroller (Arduino) to run a spiro, though you can if you want to add pattern presets, sound reactivity etc. I'd recommend PWM'ing the motors. Much more accurate.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:23 PM #15
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

What do you mean by "I'd recommend PWM'ing the motors."?
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:40 PM #16
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Default Re: Help in building a Spirograph

Pulse width modulation. Basically, instead of varying the power to the motor, you just chop it up to make more of an "average" power. Because the motor is inductive, it's speed will adjust according to the PWM. Almost all microcontrollers have PWM outputs. The Arduino has like 5.
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