CCA Creative Architecture Machines, Fall 2013

Instructor: Michael Shiloh


  • Explain servo current issues, also voltage range
  • Limit switches
  • LED indicators (limit switches, motor travel, etc.)
  • Physics
    • Torque
    • Rigidity
    • Reinforcements
    • Friction, and how force aggravates
    • Alignment
      • Gears: spacing, lateral alignment, pitch
      • Shaft coupling: loosely captive motor, flexible shaft couplers
      • Pulleys and belts: much more forgiving

Friday September 27

  1. What mistakes have been made?
    1. Getting GND and 5V backwards
    2. Using 12V instead of 5V
    3. Wires touching when they shouldn’t (short circuits)
    4. Not getting all of the servo wires connected correctly
  2. What can we do to make machines more reliable?
    1. Design for ease of repair and modification
    2. Avoiding stress
      1. Stranded vs. solid wire
      2. Strain relief
      3. Guiding and supporting wires around rotating or other moving parts
    3. Soldering
    4. Switch instead of plugging/unplugging
    5. Screw terminals to ease removal of wires
    6. Label wires clearly and carefully: function, polarity, etc.
    7. Heat shrink tubing
    8. Avoiding long exposed leads and other uninsulated conductors
    9. Easily accessible kill switch
  3. Types of motors: what are each good for
    1. Brushed PM DC
    2. AC
    3. Stepper
    4. Servos
  4. Sensors, and how they communicate
  5. New skills
    1. Blink Without Delay
      1. Why we need it
      2. How it works
    2. Soldering
  6. Documentation
    1. Fritzing
  7. Where to buy stuff
    1. Al Lasher
    2. Electronics Plus
    3. Hardware stores
    4. Very thourough list of resources


  • Use the servo motor shield
  • Oddwires now stocks Adafruit items
  • Use the proto shield
Print Friendly
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

One thought on “CCA Creative Architecture Machines, Fall 2013

  1. mo·tor
    a machine, esp. one powered by electricity or internal combustion, that supplies motive power for a vehicle or for some other device with moving parts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *