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Now it’s time for the part that you and I have been waiting for, the PCB development of this circuit! It sure did take me while to get everything I need for this and a some research on this topic but in the end it all worked out. This is a step by step guide to how to develop your PCB using a collaboration of various resources I’ve found on the net so you should be set to make your own PCB once you have a design after reading this.

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I bet you were expecting to see Part 3 of this build? I’ve recently learned about the important of power dissipation when giving my circuit the real test of 12 volts @ 0.75 Amps and thought I’d share it with you.

In my selection of transistors for the motor controller I went with ones that firstly had a low Vce and then based on price after that; what I didn’t completely take into account is the power dissipation of these components. I know I mentioned it in part 1 however I didn’t completely understand why one of my transistor’s datasheets had 2 values for power dissipation… and now I do, and you will to!

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Whilst I’m waiting for some parts to produce the PCB of the simple motor controller I’ve been working we’ve got a quick teardown, it’s the Belkin F5U246 SM/XD Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Media Reader & Writer which just reads SM and 😄 cards. As you would expect there’s not much to see here just the one main chip.

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Following on from Part 1, we’ve done our design and now it’s to put our prototype to the test, this will post won’t be as long as the design because all we need to do is test.

This is how our circuit looks to power 1 motor in 1 direction only.

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So here we are, we’re going to build us a motor controller to control 2 motors in both directions. First we’ll start off with our design which shows how our components will be connected and our reasoning, we could of just bought a motor controller chip like the L298N but we will rather learn something from our build and it should be easier to use than the L298N chip. Another on the plus our motor controller will have is about 1/2 the Vce of the L298N which is an advantage when dealing with low voltage motors and low voltage power supplies as well as back EMF protection (both will be explained).

This is quite a long post and do remember that I’m also new to understanding all of these concepts so do feel free to correct me if I’m doing something wrong! I’ve spent a good month checking all this out, posting on an electronics forum and trying to grasp the concepts I’ll be explaining you.

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We know how to control our 2 motors in both directions and we also know how to use our Phototransistors to detect if an object is close, now we put both of these together to form our robot. In this part we focus more on producing the code as we’ve already put our robot together as below.

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So we’ve got our robot moving in different directions and now we need it to move to the directions we want which is away from walls. We do this using Phototransistors which is sort of similar to a Light Dependent Resistor (a component that changes resistance due to lighting) except Phototransistors actually use infra-red and have two components, the emitter and detector. The emitter well emits the infra-red (which we can’t see) and the detector detects how much of that infra-red is coming back.

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