Can someone explain to me the benefit of using an actuator with feedback compared to not having feedback.
The feedback option on our linear actuators provides an analog voltage that can be read by something like a microcontroller or our jrk motor controllers to determine the position of the linear actuator. Without feedback, there is no precise way to determine how much the actuator has moved, though the built in limit switches can still stop the movement at the ends of the range of motion.
So if I get an actuator without feedback what should I use to power and control it?
The actuator requires a 12V DC source capable of providing about 3A of current. Like most other brushed DC motors, the polarity of the voltage source needs to be reversed to reverse the travel direction. There are many different ways this could be accomplished, and we have a variety of motor drivers or controllers that would be able to achieve that. If you tell me more about your system and how you want to use the actuator in it, I might be able to make a specific recommendation.
The feedback lets you know what the position is. Without it you need some other way to figure that out, and this can be anything, including switches or your own potentiometer. Or you can just run it from stop to stop and let the limit switches stop it.
I bought a linear actuator (with feedback) and JRK controller a couple years ago and the pair have been operating perfectly, outside, every day, in temperatures from -15F to 100F. I initially thought it was too much money and overkill. I am really happy with the results. Totally worth it, especially for all the JRK features and settings.
I am trying to set up a pixhawk autopilot to make the actuator automated.
From a quick Google search it looks like the PIXHAWK is a flight controller that can output RC servo signals. If you want to control a linear actuator without feedback with RC signals, you might consider our Simple Motor Controller 18v7.
Ok thank you I will try that