Step Down Motor Controller using the Thunderborg


If I were to use two Thunderborgs, a Raspberry Pi, and a 14.8 V LiPo battery to power four 12 V DC motors, would it be possible to step down the 14.8 V output from the Thunderborg to 12 V to power the motors without the use of a buck converter. I've read that the Thunderborgs can be used to step down voltage but I'm not too sure how. Could someone point me in the right direction?


piborg's picture

Yes, it is simply a case of limiting the maximum power output from the ThunderBorg :)

Most of our example scripts already have the code to do this built-in. If so they will have a power settings section towards the top like this:

# Power settings
voltageIn = 12.0            # Total battery voltage to the ThunderBorg
voltageOut = 12.0           # Maximum motor voltage

In this case all you need to do is set voltageIn to 14.8 and voltageOut to 12.0 and the script should do the rest.

If you are writing your own code or an example does not have this, you can calculate the maximum power setting like this:

maxPower = 12.0 / 14.8

Now whenever the power is set using SetMotor1, SetMotor2, or SetMotors simply multiply the value you want by the maxPower value. For example:

# 50% power forward
TB.SetMotor1(+0.5 * maxPower)
# 100% reverse
TB.SetMotor1(-1.0 * maxPower)
# Using a calculated value between -1.0 and +1.0
TB.SetMotor1(powerLevel * maxPower)
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