How To Interface PC To DC Motor?

I searched for a FAQ for this group, but came up empty. I'm sure this is a simple question for the hardcore, but I need some direction...
If I want to connect my notebook computer running Linux to a DC motor in a prelude to build a robot, where should I start? I'm hoping there's a tutorial somewhere, but I haven't found one for dummies... Thanks!
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Here's one archived FAQ address: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/by-newsgroup/comp/comp.robotics.misc.html I don't think it is the "official" one, though.
As for controlling the motor itself, there are literally 100s of options to choose from. I myself am currently trying to come up with the ultimate cookie cutter solution ( for me, that is ... ) to the same problem.
One starting point would be to cruise these sites:
www.phidgets.com ( I think they have some Linux code for their boards ... ) http://www.robotics.com/md2.html www.parallaxinc.com www.lynxmotion.com http://www.seetron.com/ssc.htm
On these and similar sites, look for categories such as "motors", "controllers", and/or "electronics". You'll get the hang of it after visiting a couple of sites.
Before and after that, people on here can help you out even more ! Good luck ! JCD
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I meant to give this info also:
This is another great site: www.acroname.com
Also the author ( D. Jay Newman ) of "Linux Robotics" frequents this newsgroup. You can find his book on Amazon.com
Good luck !
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pogo wrote:

I would suggest _The Robot Builder's Bonanza_ by Gordon McComb.
--
D. Jay Newman ! Author of:
snipped-for-privacy@sprucegrove.com ! _Linux Robotics: Programming Smarter Robots_
  Click to see the full signature.
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Here's a very recent entry into this field. The fellow has developed a neat looking interface between an RC transmitter and an onboard servo so you can use both the RC control for playing around, then program whatever in the computer for it to play it back or do what you want. I've not used it yet, but it looks promising. snipped-for-privacy@endurance-rc.com
He's been in and out of this newsgroup a few times.
Wayne

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Vinnie wrote:

I recently did the same thing you're trying to do. I used one bit of the paralle port and some C code to send pulses to a circuit I built. Using a power MOSFET, I could PWM the motor at varying speeds.
Lucas
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I've tried and enjoyed the Pololu dual serial motor controller. In fact, I wrote a little tutorial about it:
<http://www.strout.net/info/robotics/tutorials/Pololu0410.html>
As you'll see from the tutorial, I'm a complete newbie too (or was, when I started that project), so you may find it at just the right level.
Note that I controlled the controller from REALbasic, but you could use any language or development environment that supports writing to the serial port.
Best, - Joe
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Joe Strout wrote:

Joe, looks good.
Noticed in the San Diego area. I don't know if you've already attended (I had to miss the last few), but keep the first Saturday of the month free for the San Diego chapter of the Southern California Robotics Society meetings. They have a Yahoo group with which they use to communicate with members and prospective members.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SDRS-List /
-- Gordon
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I used a Mini-SSC from http://www.seetron.com/ssc.htm with a USB to serial converter on my laptop based robot design. The MiniSSC converts RS232 to pulse width modulation which can control a hand full of servos. If you want to control big motors instead of servos you can then buy an RC motor controller (I got two reversable 100AMP models for around $75 each). The MiniSSC sends its PWM signal to the controller which controlls the current you are applying to the motor. I used automotive window gear-motors from All Electronics. These motors are nice and quiet yet very powerful. You can attach a wheel directly to the drive shaft of this motor and it will run at a good speed for a laptop robot (not fast enough for a killbot though).
-howy

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