Hi, I’m trying to setup a wireless unit to control 4 Tamiya 6-speed gearboxes (proportional/forward & reverse) with a Futaba RC radio. My question is if I should use the new dual serial motor controller (DSMC)? And if so how do I connect these controllers to the radio receiver?
Sorry to say this, but Pololu doesn’t make any DC motor controllers that take the kind of PWM signal that your RC radio controller outputs (although they are a good source of Tamiya gearboxes!). The Pololu serial motor controllers all want serial logic signals, and while some of them will take a PWM reference signal, the signal frequency and duty-cycles required are much higher than the hobby RC standard. You could program a microcontroller to interoperate the hobby PWM signal and output serial logic, if you wanted to get that complicated. You could also hack up some big, beefy servomotors, replace the variable potentiometer with two well-matched potentiometers, and run the motor power lines to your motor. This might not give you great speed control, and you would have to put some thought into your servo selection for things like output voltage and power.
What you really want though, is an electronic speed control (ESC) for DC or Brushed motors (not brushless!) from your local hobby store or hobby website. Which one (or four) you get will depend on the voltage you are going to use and the power the motors can consume. RC-DC-ESC’s aren’t as common as you would think, since most electric RC cars actually use a servomotor to turn a potentiometer to control the motor speed. It boggles my mind, although I suppose this would be another option for you. Fortunately there are some nice small ones made for RC airplanes that use brushed DC motors.
Our feedback-based controllers can take an RC signal, but they are not really well suited for use with the Tamiya gearboxes (they don’t run at low voltages, and you’d be paying for features you don’t need).
We are working on more RC-signal motor controllers, but in the meantime, I would suggest also looking at some of the offerings from the combat robot folks. The antweights sometimes use the Tamiya motors, and the controllers developed for that application can be cheaper than getting multiple speed controls from a hobby store.