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Control motors over the internet

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Hi All
I'm looking for advice and suggestions for a project I have in mind.

I'm looking at controlling a group of small motors (around 4) from my home PC. but the motors are situated away from my house.I require full control of these motors, speed ,start and stop all independent.

The motors won't be hard wired to any PC. or phone line,I want these motors to be controlled wirelessly by wifi connection.The remote side will have a PC. and an Internet connection and wifi enabled.

I've been googling looking for inspiration and I've come up with a couple of suggestions on how this might work.

To get a platform to control the motors I could create a programme in VB.(visual basic) and at the remote side I could use the Wiport by Lantronics and a breakout board to my motors.

WiPort - 802.11b Wireless - 802.11g Wireless - Lantronix

Any other suggestions on what software and hardware to get the communication between my home PC. and the remote motors would be welcomed.

Cheers in advance.
 

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If you are going to use WiPorts then you do not need a PC at the remote location. They will connect to the WiFi router. You will then write a webpage that is stored in the WiPort and accessed from the PC in your house. From reading the advertisements for this product in magazines it appears that they come with sample applications that should be modifiable to do what you are talking about. Download the Product Brief and documentation and read it to determine if this is not the case.
 
It says it does serial or ethernet? Have you look at the Xbee? They are low in price and have a pretty good range. And have some control on the boards as well.

XBee & XBee-PRO 802.15.4 OEM RF Modules - Digi International

You will still need a PC to signal the remote modules. The set I am using is going 50+ feet through walls in a commercial building.
Cheers for this.

I like this product !!!

Just been searching for info on it and found this-
http://www.makingthings.com/documentation/tutorial/xbee-wireless-interface

Not done researching yet so I will see how it could fit in with my requirements.

Good start. Thanks!!
 
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If you are going to use WiPorts then you do not need a PC at the remote location. They will connect to the WiFi router. You will then write a webpage that is stored in the WiPort and accessed from the PC in your house. From reading the advertisements for this product in magazines it appears that they come with sample applications that should be modifiable to do what you are talking about. Download the Product Brief and documentation and read it to determine if this is not the case.
I do think this product is very good and will most probably meet my needs.

Just looking for info now on the internal server just to see how all that works or should I say how difficult it is !!!!!

Cheers W
 
Hi

After looking at the Wiport and the xbee I think both have a downside.

If at all possible I think the best route for the remote side would to be created a device that could be hooked up to a modem/wifi router that would receive the data from my home pc.This device could either send the data to the motors either via RF. or wifi,

The xbee if I'm not mistaken does require a pc.? so a downside on that.

The Wiport seems to suit all my requirement but at £113 just for the prot it seems a little steep.

requirements-
Visual Basic/ java or similar (home pc. side)
box of tricks connected to the net via modem/router with either wifi or Rf. transmitter.
Box of tricks hooked up to the motors again either wifi or RF. receiver

I think the box of tricks connected to the net would decode the data from my home pc. making the components connected to the motors to a minimum.

Cheers Mark
 
What are you controlling with the 4 motors?
Hi Birdman

I eventually intend to use these to control camera's at a remote site, pan/tilt etc.

all in the development stages at the moment.I realise there may be off shelf products for such application but more than that it's something I'm interested in building for my self.I do think there is a steep learning curve with this as it involves much more than electronics, but hey!! I don't mind I got plenty of time as it's for my own use.

Cheers for the interest.

Mark
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
It's going to be far easier / cheaper just to buy a camera with Ethernet / tilt / pan built in. Simple DC motors won't give you positional feedback and when you add lag you'll tend to overshoot.

 
It's going to be far easier / cheaper just to buy a camera with Ethernet / tilt / pan built in. Simple DC motors won't give you positional feedback and when you add lag you'll tend to overshoot.

Hi

Your very right if that was all I was doing this project for.One of the main reasons is to learn about what it takes to it and then I could adapt for other applications.

Cheers anyway as it's always good to read your posts
 
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blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
You're going to want to learn about servo motors and probably microcontrollers then.

An XPORT -> microcontroller -> servo motors might do the trick.
 

ericgibbs

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
You're going to want to learn about servo motors and probably microcontrollers then.

An XPORT -> microcontroller -> servo motors might do the trick.
hi Bill,

As I understand the OP, this is a learning project to find out whats involved in controlling camera motors remotely via the web.
 
hi Bill,

As I understand the OP, this is a learning project to find out whats involved in controlling camera motors remotely via the web.
Hi Eric

Your right!! at the moment the camera is a secondary issue.The important thing is looking at whats required to control the motors.

I have 4 stages I want to cover-

1. what software I use on my home Pc. ie.VB.

2. A device connected to the remote net connection (distance not an issue as going over web) that receives the info sent from my home PC. and then sends the data out via RF. or wifi to no.3

3. A device hooked up to the motors that receives the info and manipulates the motors accordingly.

4.The coding within the remote device (2) that will allow it to accept the data from my home pc and then send it out.

Hope this helps.

Cheers Mark
 

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blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
Then an H-Bridge can be used to control DC motors. RS232 to H-Bridge is not as common as servo controllers.
An XPORT (Ethernet to RS232 about $50) can be controlled via telnet, software like TCPCOM makes that pretty easy but is not cheap.
 
Then an H-Bridge can be used to control DC motors. RS232 to H-Bridge is not as common as servo controllers.
An XPORT (Ethernet to RS232 about $50) can be controlled via telnet, software like TCPCOM makes that pretty easy but is not cheap.
Hi Bill

So to simplify for my benefit you suggest use an XPORT.This as I see it would require a PC. at the remote side? and when up and running would basically act as a very long serial link ie. from my home PC. over the web to my remote pc. ?

Only trouble is if your suggesting connecting these to an H-bridge then to the motors I want to control all 4 motors from one output but independently.

So could I connect the Xport up to say an RF. transmitter and then put a receiver and a PIC. with the motors?

XPort Serial to Ethernet RJ45 Extended Temperature on Sale $49.95, 10 for $479.00, 100 for $4,600.00 1-800-975-4743 USA

Just been watching a video on the TCPCOM-

http://www.taltech.net/video/tcpcom/portsharing/TCP-Com-inst_1.html

This again shows the use of two PC's although it was very interesting But not sure if VB. will be able to interface with TCPCOM?
The user platform I want to create at my home PC. end ought to have up and down slider bars for each motor function.

All this is ok if the XPORT can work without a PC. at the remote end if not then not much use.

Cheers for the help, please keep coming with suggestions as they are very helpful.

Cheers!!
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
The xport is a standalone Ethernet to serial adapter. It has a tiny built in web server and telnet client.
As for tcpcom you don't need it. You're right it's if you to replace the xport with a PC on the remote end.
 
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