arduino servo example analysis

futaba s3003 arduino servo example script
futaba s3003 arduino servo example script

I admit I know little about pulse width modulation, and have limited experience with robotics or servos. I’ve had a futaba s3003 servo in my toolbox for some time, and done nothing with it. On a lazy day when I had some down time, I decided to get it out and do some experimentation.

I’ve been doing some labor intensive projects at work lately, and while hard work is very rewarding, it takes a lot of physical and mental energy and crowds out innovation. Just out of boredom, I burned the most basic servo script example provided by the arduino IDE into a nano clone I recently bought, and analyzed it with pulseview to better understand pwm.

close up of PWM controlling a futaba s3003 servo
close up of PWM controlling a futaba s3003 servo

Above is a trace of the output of the default arduino ide servo script with me tuning a 10K pot. In this example script, the position of the servo corresponds to the position of the potentiometer. Just at a glance, you can see pulses bunched up at different intervals. What I empirically observed is that when the servo was at position 1, the pulse width was about 0.55ms in duration at the standard 50Hz required by the servo. This pulse was constant, and the servo was stationary. If the pulse width changes at all, it changes position proportionally.

The futaba s3003 has 180 degrees of rotation. At position 3 (180 degrees) the constant pulse width is about 2.4msec. as you can see in the graphic below:

futaba s3003 servo at 180 degrees of rotation

This simple analysis has demystified pwm somewhat for me. Next, I hope to experiment with some pwm on the raspberry pi using perl.

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