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Here is a few pics of my Arduino winder.

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  • Here is a few pics of my Arduino winder.

    I thought some might be interested if they are also building a winder using Arduino and stepper motors. Right off the bat just let me say to any who are thinking of going this route that stepper motors are a royal pain in the rear. I had to go thru so many iterations of software to get them to run correctly. Another thing is they can be ear piercing loud. You have to have the speed and current draw set just right to limit the noise. Yet another issue is stalling. It's not that easy to get a stepper motor to spin at the speeds we want and still have enough torque available to keep from stalling. In my case I was able to get mine up to 950 rpms without stalling but the problem turned out to be if you ever need to pause the winder for some reason then it would stall. Kinda weird, stalling on the deceleration and not on the acceleration. I hadn't expected that. So I ended up settling on 700 rpm as the max speed I could get with no stalls either way. Which is actually not bad since it's all automated once you press the enter button. You can go do other things and come back in 10 minutes or so and it's done. Nice!

    All the parameters can be set individually. Such as winder speed, number of winds, direction, traverse speed, traverse distance. The software can be updated through usb ports on the back of the machine. Good thing I made it that way to because not everything worked as expected and I had to make some pretty significant changes along the way. Overall I think it came out pretty good considering I've never programmed anything in my life.

    I'll probably upload a vid to youtube later so people can see the traverse in action. It's the best part of the machine and really works well so far.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Originally posted by larams View Post
    Yet another issue is stalling. It's not that easy to get a stepper motor to spin at the speeds we want and still have enough torque available to keep from stalling. In my case I was able to get mine up to 950 rpms without stalling but the problem turned out to be if you ever need to pause the winder for some reason then it would stall. Kinda weird, stalling on the deceleration and not on the acceleration. I hadn't expected that. So I ended up settling on 700 rpm as the max speed I could get with no stalls either way.
    It sound like the stepper is being run too fast, where it has little torque. The standard solution is some mechanical advantage. This is easily arranged using a small timing (toothed) belt with different sized toothed pulleys. The stepper would drive the larger pulley, which would drive the smaller pulley via the timing belt. I built a winder using such a belt, but driven by a small PM motor, and it has no problem spinning the bobbin at 1200 rpm.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good point on the stepper motor.
      They have the highest torque at the lowest speed.
      The rating is called 'holding torque'.
      As the speed is increased, the torque goes down from there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Joe Gwinn View Post
        It sound like the stepper is being run too fast, where it has little torque. The standard solution is some mechanical advantage. This is easily arranged using a small timing (toothed) belt with different sized toothed pulleys. The stepper would drive the larger pulley, which would drive the smaller pulley via the timing belt. I built a winder using such a belt, but driven by a small PM motor, and it has no problem spinning the bobbin at 1200 rpm.

        Your suggestion is probably the best way but I'm limited by my small brain. lol.

        I think that might be my route on my next effort. But for this one adding gears would mean a complete rebuild and a lot of changes to the software. This machine counts turns based on the steps taken and the traverse is also based off of those steps.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by larams View Post
          But for this one adding gears would mean a complete rebuild and a lot of changes to the software. This machine counts turns based on the steps taken and the traverse is also based off of those steps.
          With a timing belt, there is zero slippage, and the ratio of the number of teeth on the drive and driven pulleys is exact, so you will have no trouble computing actual turns from number of stepper steps. The ratio of pulleys should be about 3:1, I would guess.

          Belts are very tolerant of slight errors of spacing and alignment, and run quietly.

          The belts and pulleys are available from SDP/SI https://sdp-si.com/eStore/Catalog and from Berg Manufacturer of Precision Components | Spur Gears | Sprockets | Timing Belts | Timing Pulleys | Miniature Bearings | Shafts | WM BERG Engineered Mechanical Components.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by larams View Post
            I thought some might be interested if they are also building a winder using Arduino and stepper motors. Right off the bat just let me say to any who are thinking of going this route that stepper motors are a royal pain in the rear. I had to go thru so many iterations of software to get them to run correctly. Another thing is they can be ear piercing loud. You have to have the speed and current draw set just right to limit the noise. Yet another issue is stalling. It's not that easy to get a stepper motor to spin at the speeds we want and still have enough torque available to keep from stalling. In my case I was able to get mine up to 950 rpms without stalling but the problem turned out to be if you ever need to pause the winder for some reason then it would stall. Kinda weird, stalling on the deceleration and not on the acceleration. I hadn't expected that. So I ended up settling on 700 rpm as the max speed I could get with no stalls either way. Which is actually not bad since it's all automated once you press the enter button. You can go do other things and come back in 10 minutes or so and it's done. Nice!
            .
            Very nice!

            I went the stepper motor route as well, but unfortunately I was not nearly smart enough to go Arduino and had to use the more expensive ($95 Cdn.) and computer dependent Phidgets bipolar stepper controller. While it is very expensive it's incredibly easy to code for. All the parameters are contained in a proprietary dll and handled directly by the controller board. No problems whatsoever with stalling on ramp up and ramp down or with running at any conceivable speed you might want to wind at, and pretty quiet. Just expensive and not stand alone which would be great have.
            Take Care,

            Jim. . .
            VA3DEF
            ____________________________________________________
            In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kayakerca View Post
              Very nice!

              I went the stepper motor route as well, but unfortunately I was not nearly smart enough to go Arduino and had to use the more expensive ($95 Cdn.) and computer dependent Phidgets bipolar stepper controller. While it is very expensive it's incredibly easy to code for. All the parameters are contained in a proprietary dll and handled directly by the controller board. No problems whatsoever with stalling on ramp up and ramp down or with running at any conceivable speed you might want to wind at, and pretty quiet. Just expensive and not stand alone which would be great have.
              Your winder build was an inspiration for me to build mine. Once I saw your traverse I was like ok that is super cool way to do it. So I started looking around on ebay and sure enough found a Haydon actuator. I bought it and then proceeded to take 6 months to figure out how to make it all work for me.

              I looked into the phidget drivers but I thought it would be more in my budget to go the arduino route. In the end I don't think I saved any money at all. I found out that a regular arduino uno isn't fast enough for the job and had to go with the more powerful Arduino Due. Even that wasn't enough and I ended up having to use two linked together. One runs the motors and the other runs the displays and does the counting. The problem was that the Arduino would have to much delay if it had to write to a display and that would cause it to miss pulses to the motor and then it would stall. I'm sure that someone smarter than myself could have programmed around that problem using interrupts or something but I couldn't figure it out.

              I also burned one Due during the assembly because I accidently connected ground to the hot side. LOL And then there is the laser cutting of parts that added up. All totaled I probably spent a few hundred dollars. Which probably isn't a savings at all over the phidgets.

              But I learned a lot. I had never programmed anything before and I didn't have any electronics background to speak of. Now I've got all kinds of projects rolling around in my head I want to try out.

              I definitely owe a big thanks to you and all the other guys around here who have shared their builds. That's where I got a lot of my ideas and inspiration from.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by larams View Post

                But I learned a lot. I had never programmed anything before and I didn't have any electronics background to speak of. Now I've got all kinds of projects rolling around in my head I want to try out.
                Well, all I can say is that I am impressed with your winder. If you didn't have the skills out of the gate, you sure have developed a pile of them in a hurry!
                Take Care,

                Jim. . .
                VA3DEF
                ____________________________________________________
                In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pretty cool work you have going there.

                  What stepper drivers are you using? Many of the stepper boards that are commonly used with arduino are not capable of smooth high rpms. I think this is generally due to the driver chips in use and their voltage and amperage limitations. What I think is needed for this type of operation is a board based on a chip that uses external MOSFETs. The powerlolu is based on the Alegro A4989 which employs such an arrangement. Incidentally that is the same chip that is used in the Phidgets controllers that kayakerca used. I have a couple of those phidgets boards as well and they can spin a nema 17 stepper fairly smoothly at high rpms with pretty good torque. Last time I checked the powerlolu boards were about $60, so not very cheap.

                  Another approach would be to use a high torque dc motor with an optical encoder. You could then use an interrupt to count the turns and move the traverse as needed. As my wife says I like to waste money just tinkering around on things I think I might try something like this.

                  Are you pushing the arduino code to github or any place like that?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The drivers I'm using are pololu drv8825. They are $10 drivers so definitely not the best but for the price not to bad. The current adjustment on them is a little flaky. You can set it and think you have it perfect. Come back the next day and find they need adjusting again. For the stepper that does the turning I used a nema 17 also from pololu. Pretty strong little motor and seems well made. I think the main problem as you suggest is in the drivers. It would probably run really well on a phidgets board but the main reason I didn't go with phidgets wasn't the price. I didn't want to have to connect a computer to operate my machine. Not that it's a big problem I just like the idea of self contained and I can move it around easily or even take it mobile and use batteries.

                    The stepper used for the traverse is a linear actuator from Haydon-Kerk. Really expensive new so I found mine on Ebay for around $40. I think there is a better way to do the traverse than using these expensive actuators though. For one thing the shaft that extends on these actuators are pretty loose and when things start speeding up that shaft tends to move around. Over at servo city they have parts for making camera sliders. Which are really stable since they are designed to move dslr's smoothly along the rail. Anyway the parts to make one would only run about $30. That's the route I'm going on my next try. It's kinda funny. I made the machine because I enjoyed making the pickups so much but now I find I enjoy making the machine more.

                    As far as github. I don't know if I would put the code up there or anywhere publicly. Not because I don't want to share but more out of embarrassment of the coding job. I have never coded before so I know it's not done by the book and has all kinds of goofy stuff going on.

                    On a side note though I did cure the stalling issue. It turned out to be the driver not working correctly. I switched the main last night to a 8825 made by someone else that has better heat sinking and now I haven't had a stall yet and I've taken it up to 1000rpm's. Which honestly is fast enough for my use. It's also really quiet now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You should also take a look at http://inventables.com. You can build a traverse out of a small section of maker slide as well. Also dont be afraid to post the code. I program for a living and trust me it cant be as bad as some of the stuff I've seen from "professionals". Or some of the stuff I've coded myself. If anything someone might be able to help you out with it so it would get better. Everybody has to start somewhere so dont be embarrassed by anything like that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by larams View Post
                        It's kinda funny. I made the machine because I enjoyed making the pickups so much but now I find I enjoy making the machine more.
                        Take Care,

                        Jim. . .
                        VA3DEF
                        ____________________________________________________
                        In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rdrr View Post
                          You should also take a look at http://inventables.com. You can build a traverse out of a small section of maker slide as well. Also dont be afraid to post the code. I program for a living and trust me it cant be as bad as some of the stuff I've seen from "professionals". Or some of the stuff I've coded myself. If anything someone might be able to help you out with it so it would get better. Everybody has to start somewhere so dont be embarrassed by anything like that.

                          What a cool website! Maybe we could all brainstorm and get a design/parts list going for a winder, with traverse, based on the parts available at the http://inventables.com site. Might be fun.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Like this http://music-electronics-forum.com/t35304/

                            I didn't quick get to finish it as other life events took over. I really just need to write the software to deal with it and put a wire guide in place. But I have some time now and am getting back into things.

                            Rob

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rdrr View Post
                              Like this http://music-electronics-forum.com/t35304/

                              I didn't quick get to finish it as other life events took over. I really just need to write the software to deal with it and put a wire guide in place. But I have some time now and am getting back into things.

                              Rob
                              Ha! I forgot all about that thread! But yeah, like that.

                              Did you end up deciding on a controller type? When I messed around with my Arduino Uno, I had trouble getting a stepper to run at a decent speed, let alone running more than one. I think using a Phidgets controller, or maybe even a Raspberry Pi might be a better choice, IMO.

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