# MAE106 Laboratory Exercises Lab # 3 Open-loop control of a DC motor

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1 MAE106 Laboratory Exercises Lab # 3 Open-loop control of a DC motor University of California, Irvine Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Goals To understand and gain insight about how a DC motor works and how to create circuits in order to make a DC motor spin. Parts & equipment Qty Part/Equipment 1 Breadboard 1 Power supply Various Wire 1 Oscilloscope 1 Multimeter 1 Seedduino board 1 Small DC motor 1 Potentiometer Introduction Engineers use electric motors for a variety of applications requiring movement (robots, automation equipment, disk drives, etc.). A motor is only useful if we can control it. Sometimes we want to control the motor s position (robot arms, 3d printer), sometimes its speed (cruise control), and sometimes its torque (human-interface robots, heavy machinery). In this lab, we will investigate controlling the voltage across a motor, which will control the speed of the motor. The steady-state speed of the motor is proportional to the voltage across its terminals, unless acted upon by an outside force. In this lab we will be using simple circuits to make a DC motor spin.

2 Part I: Running a DC motor with a simple circuit To make a DC motor spin all we need to do is supply voltage across its terminals. The amount of voltage and current needed to spin the motor will depend mainly on factors such as the size of the motor, the speed at which we want to spin the motor, and the load placed on the motor's shaft. For this first portion of the experiment we will use a very simple circuit in order to make the motor spin. We will use the power supply that is part of the equipment of the lab (see Figure 1). This type of power supply is particularly useful for these types of applications because we can regulate both the voltage and the current that we want to have delivered through its leads. Figure 1. Sample power supply The two knobs - FINE and COARSE - on the right side of the power supply control the voltage to be delivered through the power supply's connections. The two on the left control the maximum current that will be delivered. To get started, unplug any cables that may be connected to the power supply's connections. Now turn on the power supply by pressing the 'POWER' button. On the display on the right you will see the value at which the voltage is set. You should see a value of 0A on the left screen since nothing is connected to the power supply and thus no current is being drawn from it. NOTE: Always make sure that V+ and V- are not touching. Shorting the power supply is potentially very dangerous! Turn the voltage knobs to set the voltage to 2.0V and turn the two current knobs to their maximum counterclockwise (lowest/zero setting) position. Now connect the cables to the power supply V- (black) and V+ (red) connections. Finally, connect these two cables to the terminals of the DC motor. With these setting, your motor should not spin; can you think about why this is? Hopefully you realized that this was due to the setting of the maximum current which is currently ~0A. To get your motor to spin you need to increase the setting of the

3 maximum current; go ahead and turn the knobs on the left side, your motor should now be able to spin! The motor may need a little help getting started in some cases. Give it a nudge with your fingers if necessary. For the next portion of the lab, turn the current control knobs all the way to their maximum counterclockwise position (not limiting current). If you do not do this, the power supply will limit current, and you will not get proper values! NOTE: We will be dealing with higher currents. If the motor gets too warm, unplug it from the power supply and wait for it to cool down before using it again. With the motor spinning at an input voltage of 2V go ahead and stall the motor for no more than ~2-3 seconds (i.e. hold on to the motor's shaft so that it does not spin). What happens to the current reading on the power supply? Why does this happen? For the final section of Part I record the stall current of the motor at 1V, 1.5V, 2V, 2.5V, 3V, 3.5V, 4V, 4.5V, and 5V. Save this data as you will need them for your lab write-up.

4 Part II: Open-loop MOSFET voltage control circuit A MOSFET is a type of transistor that restricts or allows current flow through the source and drain leads based on voltage applied at its gate with respect to the source (V GS). It can be thought of as a variable resistor whose resistance value is determined by V GS. For the MOSFET s used in class, the effective resistance between source and drain (RDS) varies between infinity (with VGS < 3 or 4 volts) and about 1/2 ohms (with VGS ~5-6 V). These characteristics allow MOSFETS (and other transistors) to be used as either current amplifying devices (power MOSFETS for motors, etc.) or switches (low power MOSFETS in computers). For this portion of the lab you will build the circuit shown in Figure 2. In this circuit, we directly control the MOSFET gate voltage (V G) by turning the potentiometer (recall that V GS will vary linearly with the pot angle), which ultimately controls the motor voltage (V motor). In this section, we will study how V motor varies as we vary V GS. Slowly increase V GS from a value of zero and visually observe the resulting changes in motor speed. Try to make the motor shaft rotate at approximately once per second. Is it difficult? Does the speed of the motor relate linearly to the V GS? Explain why this is so. Would you say that you are controlling motor voltage well? Practical Exam 1: Show your TA that you can control the motor speed. What was the voltage at which the MOSFET's gate opens? Be prepared to show your TA how you measured this value. (hint: the motor begins moving when the MOSFET gate opens.)

5 Figure 2. MOSFET voltage control circuit (top left). MOSFET leads (top right). MOSFET control circuit graphical display (bottom)

6 Part III: Controlling the MOSFET with a microcontroller For this final section of the lab we will use the PWM circuit that we built in Lab 2 in order to control the voltage delivered to the motor. First, use the same circuit you built in Part II. However, instead of using the potentiometer as the input to the MOSFET's gate, use a PWM signal generated from the Seeeduino board and controlled by a potentiometer (you ll need code from Lab 2). Figure 3. Circuit for Part III. Now turn the potentiometer and see whether you can turn the motor ON and OFF. Notice if you are able to control the speed of the motor more precisely now than you did in Part II. Practical Exam 2 Be prepared to show to your TA the input signal that is going to the MOSFET's gate (using the oscilloscope) and to answer the following questions: 1) If we are inputting pulses into the MOSFET, why does the speed of the motor seem constant? Is it actually constant? 2) Are you able to control the motor better than in Part II? Why or why not? 3) With the current setup, would you be able to consistently control the speed of the motor even in the presence of disturbances? Why or why not? Would the potentiometer be necessary in this case?

7 Write-Up 1. Using the values obtained in Part I. Plot the relation between input voltage and stall current for the DC motor used in lab. 2. Based on Part III explain how turning the pot (which we control) ultimately controls motor voltage (V motor). Include a thorough explanation of the role of the potentiometer, the Arduino, and the MOSFET. 3. What could you do in order to improve the control of the motor's speed when faced with disturbances?

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