Friday, February 17, 2017

Raspberry Pi and the Duinotech Servo (SG90) Pan and Tilt Bracket

Building the Duinotech Pan and Tilt Bracket (Part 2)

Back from our necessary detour to put together some python servo code, we will continue with the build of the Duinotech pan and tilt bracket. The first part of the build is available in part 1.

Assembling the Tilt Unit

  • Mount the servo so that the shaft aligns with the pivot hole and attach with the two screws as shown.

  • Fit the single-armed servo horn into the recess in the pan-base and attach it with one of the smallest screws. I had to trim the end of the servo horn to allow it to fit.

  1. Align the servo shaft from the tilt bracket with the hole in the servo horn.
  2. Snap the tilt bracket into place, using a small screwdriver as a lever to lift the pivot hole over the pivot pin on the tilt-base.

  • Make sure that the tilt bracket can move through the full 180 degrees of servo motion. If not, detach it from the servo horn, rotate and re-install.
  • Complete the assembly by securing the horn to the shaft with a short screw.
  • Use one of the shorter screws to attach the base to the servo shaft. The longer mounting screws packed with some servos will damage the servo if screwed in too far.

Testing both Servos

Using the python servo library we created earlier we can test both the pan and tilt functionality. Our pan control input is connected to GPIO 5 and tilt to GPIO 6. There is just enough 5V pins to connect two servos, moving forward we will need a 5V rail for additional sensors (like ultrasonic). At the same time we will install a ground rail to make wiring easier.

To start try testing the two servos independently, run RS_Servo and change the control pin to the relevant number. Note the min and max duty cycle for each servo, we will use these in the Robot class that we will develop next. The Robot class will be the software framework on which we will add additional functionality.

In the interim, once you have calibrated your servo's using RS_Servo, you can use the following test program to run both servo's through their paces. Note that I have set min and max duty cycles for both servo's when I initialise them.

# - Test Pan and Tilt Servo's
# 18 February 2017

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
from RS_Servo import Servo

# create new servo's to be controlled from GPIO pins 5 & 6
pan_servo = Servo(5, 3, 11)    
tilt_servo = Servo(6, 2, 11)

# start PWM for servo's

print("Servo instances: ", Servo.count())

    while True:
        print("\nScanning (CTRL c to exit)...")
except KeyboardInterrupt:
    print("\n-- CTRL-C: Terminating program --")
    print("Cleaning up PWM and GPIO...")


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