Jrk 21v3 linear actuator integration

A little background on my desired project which is very basic but being totally new to this, I’m somewhat unsure on the best approach?

I purchased a jrk 21v3 and a linear actuator (Linear Actuator with Feedback: 4" Stroke, 12V, 5:1 (LACT4P-12V-5)) with the desire to use the actuator to drive a linear slide in a controlled motion (stroke distance & duration). Speed adjustment would be a desire but is not required.

This will be used for a repetitive motion test on a widget.

At this point I have tested the actuator using the motor controller program via USB and etc. and have reached the next stage where I need to figure out the proper direction to go in order to reach my desired goals.

Can anyone provide me with some insight on the best path to choose?

Do I really need a microcontroller, like a Arduino for this or can I do some simple programming and run it via USB directly into the jrk 21v3?

Any tutorials or insight would be much appreciated.


Hello, Kryten.

The jrk can be controlled directly from USB.

We don’t provide software that does exactly what you want so you will need to write some software yourself. We have a section of the jrk user’s guide entitled “Writing PC Software to Control the Jrk” that should be useful to you:

The JrkExample project in the Pololu USB SDK is probably pretty close to what you want, and you could modify it to meet your needs.

Another strategy not mentioned on that page, but which might be useful to you: You can use the Pololu USB SDK to compile the command-line utility JrkCmd. After making sure you can control the jrk from the command-line using JrkCmd, write a batch/shell script to call JrkCmd and delay in a loop.

What operating system does your PC run and what programming languages are you familiar with?



Thanks for the reply and info, I have little if any programming experience, so I’m basically starting out as a beginner.

I’m running Windows 7 with the ability to use XP if needed.

I think C# is an OK language for beginners, and most of our example code in the Pololu USB SDK for controlling the jrk is written in C#. I recommend that you download the Pololu USB SDK, follow the step-by-step instructions in the README file to compile and run JrkExample. It should send Set Target commands to the jrk that make the actuator go back and forth. By changing a few numbers in the source code, you should be able to modify it to do what you want.