The motors that move the chutes are small but rather strong. At 12 Volts they pull around one or two Amps when they are mounted to a chute. During the first test with the motor controllers, we discovered that when a motor is suddenly turned the opposite way, a reversed current arises. Using an ordinary powerbank results in an automated fuse to cut the power. After some research we got the answer to our problem. A 12 Volts lead-acid battery on the same circuit as the power regulator and the motor controller takes away the current peaks.
To keep it all compact, we’ve built a box with al the electronics. The box is plugged into a 220V outlet and will be controlled via Xbee and Arduino. It contains a 220V to 12V converter, a lead-acid battery, two DC-motor drivers and the Arduino with Xbee-shield.
Fun fact: one of the yellow stickers on the power converter states:
“Opens and forgive not to protect to fix”.
If you know what they try to tell us, please let us know 😉