I'm working on building a low-cost precision 3 axis stage actuated by
small digital RC servos. It seems that the digital servos I'm using (JR
DS368's) don't run smoothly between steps. Even when I drive them with
a 32 bit PWM controller, the motion appears choppy, and this choppiness
is effectively transmitted directly to the stage (current
implementation has no damping built in).
My question is, is this jitter/choppiness simply inherent in digital
servos because of the fast response time, or is there some way to
mitigate it? Has anyone seen a digital RC servo that runs as smoothly
as an analog servo? The reason for choosing the DS368 is the high
resolution (at relatively low cost) - approximately 5900 steps over 120
Well digital servo's jitter all the time but not for the reason you state.
It's due to the internal feedback so that almost any error on the output
will cause the motor to activate (or make the servo buzz). They typically
work nice and smoothly when used in R/C applications as that is what they
were designed for, you may have to adjust your frame rate up or down a bit
to more closeley match the original R/C specs (normal analogue servos
require 20ms frames, digital servo's can go to higher frame rates if they
are quick response e.g. KO Propo's range of servo's for R/C cars).
This question might be better answered in comp.robotics.misc as there a lot
of them have interfaced servo's and microcontrollers and might have a better
idea on where you might be going wrong or have some tips for you. It could
also be just interference caused by spikes in the power supply feeding the
servo's. Have you made sure you're using a separate power source for the
control circuit and servo's connected only by the ground wire and signal
lead all with plenty of decoupling?