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Individual motor channel testing?

(Andrew Edwards) #1

Is there a way to test each of the thruster channels independently to confirm direction of rotation and thruster placement? I come from the Quadcopter world and am used to software like Cleanflight which provides a motor testing panel. Does QGroundControl have anything like this? We’ve got a motor that isn’t turning but due to the nature of the control signal mixing, it’s harder to diagnose because I can’t isolate that one motor channel. Is there other software for the pixhawk that will let me set individual PWM channels?

(Jacob) #2

QGC and ArduSub don’t have this yet, but it is a work in progress. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this at the moment. It’s coming though!



You could invest (a few bucks) in a Pololu PWM servo controller and use the free Windows s/w to test the thrusters.

We are designing a non-BR control system and the Pololu controllers are running all our thrusters and ancillary motors and they’re excellent - fully flashable over USB and you get to control ALL the PWM parameters from the s/w.

(Andrew Edwards) #4

The Pololu maestro controllers are lovely devices. I’ve got a few in the lab. They could certainly allow me to test individual channels but that would require opening the pressure vessel, disconnecting all the lines from the Pixhawk, etc… For your custom control system, you’ve got a great solution but it’s not really convenient for the standard BR electronics package. The PixHawk is fully capable of doing it, QGC needs an interface to control individual channels. It sounds like it’s coming eventually.
Thanks for the suggestion though!


I get what you’re saying, I assumed you still had the thrusters on the workbench. I’m including individual motor tests in our software along with a ‘flush’ program which will run the motors at an easy pace in fresh water after being in seawater, the idea being that the ROV actually washes itself.

As you say, the Maestro controllers are superb and a very easy option for testing any PWM-driven hardware. Very nice and very cheap!