Designing a motor controller is not an easy task. Fortunately for us, a number of kind folks on the internet decided to open-source their ESC designs.
The team agreed on one such design with some modifications to better meet our specifications. Surface mount components are excellent for saving space but does not perform as well in the upgradability department. As a new member of the team, converting surface mount components from the original design to through hole was a good way to get my feet wet. The bigger footprints that come with through hole components call for a PCB layout redesign. If it means smoother prototyping experience moving forward, time spent in rearranging components is time well spent!
The plan is to get the new PCB design done by this week and have it sent for fabrication. Apparently it takes two weeks to fabricate the PCBs. In the meantime, I will be working on providing the control systems team with a simplified version of the motor controller circuit to test their systems on. The overall experience so far has been extremely positive. Having been on placement for a year, the theory learnt from previous years seemed to have deserted me. Luckily the team has been really patient and supportive. I am really impressed by the quality of work everyone puts into getting stuff done. Hopefully we'll get access to the labs soon to get on with the prototypes. We have to make sure that the circuits work and that we can count on them to not blow up!
Wei Lian Leong - Electrical Control