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Old 01-14-2009, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
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The h-bridge is a neato chip that will help me control the actuator. To understand why I need it I'll explain how the actuator works. The actuator is a really simple and dumb device. It only has two wires. You apply voltage to lead 1, and ground lead 2 and the actuator extends outward. If you apply voltage to lead 2, and ground lead 1 the actuator tries to go back inward. Its not even smart enough to cut power after its already fully extended, it just keeps trying to go out (or in) even once it has hit its internal stops. Anyway, the h-bridge lets me take two output pins from the arduino, hook them up to the h-bridge, and control the actuator. The h-bridge does the polarity reversing for you based on the inputs it gets from the arduino. It also handles the amperage needed to power the actuator kinda like a mosfet or relay would. If you tried to power the actuator with the arduino it would burn it out.
Current project: A better alternator delete
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