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Tech Thursday #025: Power Drivers and Distribution

One of the first electrical decisions that must be made when building a robot is how you are going to power it and how you are going to get that power to where it needs to be. Here at SuperDroid Robots we strive to make this as simple as possible with a wide range of power distribution, drivers, and wiring kits.

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Power Drivers

Power drivers are crucial in any robotic system even when you are only using 3.3V and 5V equipment. Digital pins of microcontrollers or SBCs output a very limited amount of current and are only suitable as signal outputs or to light up a single LED. They do not provide enough current to power to an LED assembly, a servo, or a motor. There are two primary ways to control power in a system: relays and transistors. Relays are simple and can handle a lot of current. But they tend to be rather large and slow. Transistor based power drivers are smaller and can be turned on and off incredibly fast allowing you to use simple PWM signals to control brightness of a lighting assembly or motor speed.

All of the relay modules and the high current drivers below accept a TTL signal from a microcontroller to control the output. The interesting thing about these is that they do not turn the source power on and off, but instead connect disconnect and reconnect ground.

ItemCurrentDescription

7 Channel High Current Driver
(TE-010-800)
500mA per driver
(3.5A total)
This is a compact and basic power driver based on the ULN2003 Darlington Array. This module accepts a TTL input to control the ground on the output pin. Can be used with 3.3V to 24V TTL signals.

4 Relay Driver Module
(TE-249-040)
10A per relay, 500mA per driverUsing the ULN2003 driver above, this driver module controls four relays to provide you simple control of multiple 10A outputs. The unused outputs on the ULN2003 are brought out to connectors on the side. Can be used with 3.3V to 24V TTL signals.

7 Relay Driver Module
(TE-249-070)
10A per relayThis driver module controls seven relays to provide you simple control of multiple 10A outputs. Can be used with 3.3V to 24V TTL signals.

Power Distribution

For power distribution we carry a range of products to cover a variety of power setups depending on how many motor and control batteries you are using. These modules provide easy hookups for power inputs, charging, switches, and an external power LED. These modules allow you to use a low current switch to control the main control relay. This prevents all of the current in yoru system from going through your power switch. For the drive power relay, you have the option to wire the relay directly to the main control switch or wire it to one of the power drivers above so that you can turn the drive power on-and-off if needed.

ItemCurrentDescription

Basic Power Module
(TE-248-110)
1 – 10A
1 – 30A
This is our Basic power distribution module that supports a single control battery (10A) and one drive battery (30A).

Control Outputs: 6
Drive Outputs: 2


Standard Power Module
(TE-248-120)
2 – 10A
1 – 30A
Our Standard power distribution module supports an additional control battery (10A) and an additional set of drive battery inputs to easily connect two 12V batteries in series.

Control Outputs: 12
Drive Outputs: 3 High Current, 6 Low Current


Deluexe Power Module
(TE-248-220)
2 – 10A
2 – 30A
The Deluxe power distribution module that supports two control battery relays (10A) and two drive battery relays (30A).

Control Outputs: 10
Drive Outputs: 5 High Current, 2 Low Current

Power Wiring Kits

To make it easier to wire your robot together, we carry multiple hookup kits containing assortments of wires, heat shrink, switches, fuses, and heat shrink so you’ll have everything that you need to complete your robot’s power system.

ItemDescription

Electric Power Hookup Kit
(TE-025-000)
Our standard power hookup kit comes with:

Wire: Red and black 22-AWG and 18-AWG
Fuses: Two fuse holders and four fuses
Switches: 1 25A DPST power switch
Misc: 4 zip ties and 4 adhesive wire mounts.


HD Electric Power Hookup Kit
(TE-025-100)
The HD Electric Power Hookup Kit includes:

Wire: Red and black 22-AWG and 18-AWG
Fuses: Four fuse holders and six fuses
Switches: 1 25A 4PST power switch
Misc: 8 zip ties and 4 adhesive wire mounts.

#power #robots #wiring #relays #highcurrent #DIY #TechThursday

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