I am researching for a new project. It consists on 3 linear actuators controlled position by 3 potentiometers. I have chosen Concentric LACT4P-12V-5 Linear Actuators with Feedback, and now I need a controller to read the potentiometers input signals and move actuators to desired position. I saw that Jrk motor controller could achieve my goal but I need one for each actuator. Another requirement is that once finished the actuators control, I would like to incorporate some sensors to the system to add some programing laws.
So I am seeking for a controller that would be able to do all these. Any suggestions?
Three linear actuators, three jrks, and some kind of supervising microcontroller that controls the jrks via serial communication sounds like a good way to go. Depending on your application, you could use a computer instead of the microcontroller.
Yes, that is the option. Three Jrks and a controller for the input signals (cannot use a computer). Would be enough with an Arduino?
Another question about Jrks:
The actuators I am going to use have these specifications (Free-run current @ 12V: 500 mA and Stall current @ 12V: 10 A) and the Jrk 21v3 (Continuous output current per channel: 3 A and Peak output current per channel: 5 A). Could the actuator fry the Jrk?
I think Ryan is being overly cautious in his recommendation. The jrk 21v3 should be fine for use with that actuator, since it never comes close to stall when used within its load rating. As we say on the actuator product page:
The motor controllers on the jrk have numerous built-in protections that make them fairly robust, but it would still be good to use the jrk’s built-in acceleration limiting if you use the 21v3. The 12v12 would also work.
It should be fine to directly connect a TX line from a 3.3 V device directly to the jrk. In our experience, 3.3 V has been high enough to register as a 1 on the UART input.
If you want to connect the jrk’s TX line to the 3.3 V device, which is optional, then you will need to check the datasheet of your device to see if the UART input is 5V-tolerant. If it is not 5V-tolerant, you will need to make a voltage divider to ensure that you don’t expose the input to 5V.