Connect 2 Pololu High power motor controllers to one Wixel

Hi, I volunteer at a disabled sailing club called Sailability.

We have there some boats with motors that drive the sails and the rudder.

I have purchased and use two (Pololu Simple High-Power Motor Controller 24v12) , one for each motor.

While testing i have been using a standard RC car transmitter and receiver to control the motor drivers.

Unfortunately the RC controls whist cheap are not especially practical for someone with little control of their hands… :frowning:

  • their not water proof and to big to repackage easily.

There is also the need for more than 2 TX devices per RX connected to the 24v12’s (one for the sailor and one for a carer/assistant)

I have ordered 2 Wixels.

Q1 , can i connect a dual axis Potentiometer style joystick directly to one Wixel (they are the spark fun PS2 type with common Vcc and Ground, separate signal lines.)

Q2, can i transmit the pot values to the second wixel…(i am guessing the serial app ?)

Q3. Can the RX wixel take the signal , pass it to the 24v12’s to drive the sails ?

Both transmit wixel and receiver wixel will be in the same boat , with in line of sight.

Q4. is there someone that’s done this and has a wiring diagram or how to blog ?..Im just a little bit brain damaged myself and dont want to short anything out.

I plan on running the TX wixel from a single cell LiPo.

Please i hope someone there is able to point me in the right direction, all the posts i seem to find talk about using an Adruino…and i absolutely have to make this as simple as possible to replicate for other clubs/sailors.

Thank you
Tony Matthews
Gold Coast Australia

I responded to an email from you yesterday asking about this same setup. In case you missed it, and for everyone else reading this: you should be able to use a pair of Wixels with your Simple Motor Controllers like that. However, you would have to write your own app to appropriately interpret your joystick commands and transmit them to the Wixel generating control signals for the SMC. (I recommend using serial commands.)

You can learn how to write your own Wixel app and find example Wixel apps that could help you get started under the “Writing Your Own Wixel App” and “Wixel Apps” sections of the Wixel’s user’s guide, respectively, which can be found under the Resources tab of its product page.

In particular, the joystick app should be useful. Also, you might be able to just use the wireless serial app on the receiving Wixel to send control signals to the SMCs.

By the way, your project sounds wonderful!

Hi Jonathan, Ive not received an email yet, perhaps its still sitting in someones buffer (checked other folders in my gmail.)

Is there any such thing as a wixel emulator ? or even just a sketch / app emulator that i could test code on ?

Ah i see, i need the joystick app to read the Analogue inputs and the Serial App to talk to the second Wixel.

On the RX wixel i need the Serial App to talk to the TX wixel

and then another app to talk to the 24v12 Pololu Driver ?

…which then drives the motors ?

Tony Matthews

I do not know of a program you can use like that to test code for the Wixel.

It sounds like you think you can load multiple apps on to a Wixel, but that is not the case. What I was suggesting was to combine/adapt the joystick and wireless serial apps to get the transmitting Wixel working. If you program that app in such a way that it transmits serial commands that the Simple Motor Controller can interpret, the receiving Wixel can probably just run the wireless serial app. In that case, you can daisy chain the Simple Motor Controllers and connect them to the receiving Wixel.

By the way, were you able to receive that email?


Hi Jon, email did not turn up in any folders in my gmail or in the mailbox on here. Email gremlin ate it.

Cool, yep combine bits of code is what i was thinking…

I’m kinda surprised (my first time looking for it tho) that there is not already a wireless device for transmitting an analogue input to control a rc device. …other than RC controllers that is.

Some of the micro cars have a built in receiver/brushed driver, only for tiny motors tho (it could control a mosfet tho).

And i have found the RF key chain type modules, (and due to my lack of ability i may have to forgo proportional control and use such a device)

Seems like there must be lots of applications where proportional remote control of a motor would be necessary/helpful/less starting strain on components.

If i can’t get the code worked out then i guess i will have to go with an Arduino and a nrf24l01+ , i guess if i look long enough there will be an arduino shield that already does what i need to work out how to do.