High Power Motor Controller

My son and I are planning to add electric drive to an children’s tractor (which normally is powered by pedaling) . Thus, a high power motor controller is needed (since a 250Watt/24V/14A engine is already ordered). Pololu  offers a range of different high power controllers, and I decided to by the 18v15 (there is also a very well done user guide online).

This controller is able to operate a single motor with up to 30V at continuous 15A. It allows to adjust the speed from a MCU through RX/TX, or from a RC or analog source like a potentiometer. The controller and the batteries (two Panasonic 12V/7.2A lead-acid batteries) arrived today, and I wasn't able to resists giving the controller (and one of the batteries) a first try. For the motor controller, a "Simple Motor Control Center" software is available which allows to configure the controller through it's build in USB interface. Since the program is based on mono, a Linux version is available as well (mine required to run with root privileges, otherwise it refused to connect to the controller). The software gives you a quick start, and allows one to configure e.g. which source is used to control the motor speed. Well I decided to go for the potentiometer. Everything worked very well, and I am looking forward to test the setup with two batteries and the real engine (which I expect to arrive to morrow). See the pictures and movies for some impressions of how  the setup looks so far.

 

 

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