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Anybody using servos?

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  • Anybody using servos?

    I was wondering whether anyone was using servos to motorize their car computer installs. I bought two of those servo motor controllers and two different sets of servos, but still haven't figured out how to do anything but induce seizures in the poor little servos.

  • #2
    Where did you get them from? I know how to use servo motors, I took a class in them but I am having difficulty finding them at reasonable prices. If you could tell me where to find them I would be able to help you out much more here.



    • #3
      I bought them on eBay... first a pair of GWS micro servos, then a pair of standard Futubas.


      • #4
        What exactly are you trying to motorize?


        • #5
          Well, I have an OEM head unit for my car that I've gutted. It's *almost* double-din, so it's pretty big. I was planning on using the now-empty shell as the basis for the in-dash portion of my car computer. That way it will plug nicely into the existing mounting structure and fit the existing fascia. It occured to me that I could go ahead and use the faceplate of the old stereo as a security cover, obscuring my LCD from view. I'd like to split that faceplate down the middle and motorize the two segments such that when I power up the stereo, they would slide sideways, exposing the LCD hiding underneath. The servo controllers I bought seemed like they would make that fairly simple... but they don't seem to work.


          • #6
            Most servos, except for the really expensive ones, have a limited range of motion. I was going to use some for my heater controls. I figured, if I want to get this stuff working by next spring, I should scrap that plan....basically, pick my battles. I'd ultimately like to control all of that stuff on screen. I figure I'd work on it after I got something a little more basic installed in the car.

            - Jeff
            95 Mustang GT Convertible
            87 Mustang GT Convertible
            My Project | Let's Go Mets! | SCT Tuners

            Project Status [===#===] [Bezel and dash creation]


            • #7
              This guys used a servo to motorise his display:


              I believe you can get a basic servo controler circuit here:


              Also I believe it's possible to use a 555 to control a servo, I'm pretty sure I've got a design somewhere, I'll see if I can dig it out, no promisses.
              And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
     (Does what it says on the URL) (The new car, with zero rust!) (My other site)
              Total re-design underway: on the whole progress is very slow as the car is taking up too much time :)


              • #8
                Yeah, that first link is one of two that inspired me to try my hand at this servo stuff. (The other being Sproggy's here: )

                As to the second link, that's where I bought the two servo controllers that don't work.. from Mastero. (They are just mass-produced Sproggy servo controllers.)

                If you do come across any alternative controller circuits... or any other helpful information... I'd be grateful. As it is, I'm sitting on four servos and two controllers that do nothing useful for me.


                • #9
                  The book "Robot Builder's Bonanza" by Gordan McComb contains about 5 different servo control circuits.
                  Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
                  Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
                  "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."


                  • #10
                    That's a really great book... I used to have a copy, before a friend permanently borrowed it. I saw the new revised edition at Borders the other night, but it didn't occur to me to look there for an answer to my problem. Thanks for the suggestion!


                    • #11
                      Hi Mxyzpltk, I know this is an old thread, and I just discovered this forum, so I don't know if this will help you or not. Keep in mind that servos are designed for precise linear motion. What you need seems more like a simple "open & shut" case. :-)

                      Here's a real simple circuit for doing what you want using a small "hobby" motor, a relay, and a couple switches.

                      S1 should be positioned so that it is "tripped" with the doors all the way open, and S2 "tripped" when the doors are all the way closed.

                      Now, when you turn on the ignition, the panels will motorize all the way open, and when the ignition is off, they'll close.

                      Keep in mind, the terminal labeled "12 VDC" should be "hot" all the time, and that I forgot to draw the fuse on that lead.
                      (Very necessary)

                      Hope this helps


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the circuit! I was thinking of using servos to conserve space and to prevent me from having to fabricate anything much. I may wind up going the route you suggest, however... my servos still aren't working for me.


                        • #13
                          Hey Mxy, I know what you mean. Sometimes its fun to try to do something in a unique way. Those servos might create a very nice "smooth" operation if you get them working. I think most servos take a "digital proportional" signal in, to get them to move, but they also have a feedback out to the controller so that it can tell how far they moved.

                          You might trying getting a used RC control setup, and go that route to make them work.

                          BTW, you're not by any chance that guy, that if I get you to say your name backwards, goes back to the seventh dimension or something, are you? Heehee, j/k. :-)



                          • #14
                            Yes, and as far as I know, you are the *first* person to ever recognize my username... you win a virtual prize of some sort.


                            • #15
                              The first link solved a major issue I was having in the design of my system. If I can replace the entire A/C controls with servos, I can free up some much-needed space in my console. I'm not sure how complicated I want to get, but I'm definitely going to check out the book.

                              Mxyzpltk: I recognized your username, but last time I saw you, Clark tricked you into painting your face blue.