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Failed MMs or failed designer?

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Building Q&A / FAQ' started by tmmotorsports395, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. tmmotorsports395

    tmmotorsports395 Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon Gold Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    USA
    Balance:
    - 19Coins
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino
    First of all, let me say how much I appreciate the amazing knowledge and helpfulness of those who frequent this forum.

    I am stumped on a problem with my 2DOF rig and wondering if anyone here has had a similar issue. At first I thought I was simply experiencing the well-documented faulty clone MMs, but with a 100% failure rate, I'm beginning to think I am the problem!

    Here are my specs:
    • Motors: (2) 12V wiper motors (Dodge Ram 2500, new). Ground isolated and checked that there is no voltage on the case, plus I have a wooden platform and complete isolation between motors.
    • Controller: Arduino Uno (purchased in 2013, never used until recently) with MonsterMoto dual shield clones
    • Software: SMC3 v1.0, SMC3Utils v1.01, and SimTools. Used the suggested settings from the main SMC3 tutorial here:
    My issue is this: When I hook up the MM, I always seem to have one motor that works, and one that doesn't. Sometimes motor 1 works, sometimes motor 2 works, depending the MM board. This problem occurs both in SMC3Utils and SimTools. I always have one of two issues:

    1. No output at all on one chip. No LED from the motor driver when the motor is hooked up. When I unhook one of the leads from the non-working motor, the LED turns on faintly and the chip outputs 1.8v to the motor leads (but nothing else happens).

    I had this problem with 4 consecutive MM clones (purchased from two different vendors). I nearly pulled my hair out checking and re-checking the wiring. After hours of troubleshooting, I eliminated the wiring, Uno and the wires themselves as the source. And when I swapped the working chip to the other motor, it worked fine, so I think motors are ok.

    2. Same as #1, except it works fine in one direction but not the other. Same observation with the LED.

    Finally, I wired up board #5 and if worked like a charm! Had not yet sat in it, but ran through setting up profile usintg the FAQ tutorial with LiveForSpeed and it worked great. My wife even gave me a reluctant nod indicating she was impressed.

    This was all on a laptop. Then I switched to my gaming PC, used the same SMC3 profile and everything seemed fine. Proceeded to set up the plugin for iRacing when disaster struck: motor #2 stopped responding. Ran SMC3 again and found I had the dreaded problem where the motor would run in one direction but not the other.

    Has anyone else had similar issues? I have seen warnings here of faulty MM clones, but upon Googling I haven't found many people with similar issues to mine. Also, with a 100% "failure" rate with 5 boards, I think I'm doing something wrong.

    Perhaps it's some sort of grounding issue? I'm perplexed because I did have success for a time.

    Thanks for reading and happy holidays!
  2. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    433
    Occupation:
    Electronics Technician
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Balance:
    7,595Coins
    Ratings:
    +582 / 2 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, Arduino
    A good tip is for you to sketch exactly how you have wired the system up. One wire at a time draw it down. If there is any issues with your wiring this is exactly how you will find it. One thing is to also look very closely at wire strands shorting out contacts on the MM PCBs. Personally I haven't really had any issues with MM and the majority of failures have been self inflicted. If you keep having issues with MM IBT_2 seem to be a great replacement for a similar price and has a wider voltage output range.
  3. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Occupation:
    Railway Maintenance
    Location:
    Morecambe, Lancashire, England
    Balance:
    18,502Coins
    Ratings:
    +3,113 / 30 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
  4. tmmotorsports395

    tmmotorsports395 Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon Gold Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    USA
    Balance:
    - 19Coins
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino
    Thanks for the comments guys! I will keep rechecking my setup, but also look into alternatives to the MM.
  5. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Occupation:
    Railway Maintenance
    Location:
    Morecambe, Lancashire, England
    Balance:
    18,502Coins
    Ratings:
    +3,113 / 30 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I couldnt recommend sabertooths enough they are solid never had 1 problem since swapping over to them
  6. ferslash

    ferslash Active Member

    Joined:
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    i have a kind of similar problem but using jrks (wich are one of the best alternatives around) after months i read that someone has a similar problem with jrks and it was related to the psu... i was using several atx psu, then i switched to server psu (big a little more expensive ones and all solved) are you using regular pc psu ? or what is your power source...

    obviously it could be related to the faulty motomonster clones... (there are another cheap alternative to use with arduino, it is discrived on one of the arduino softwares, one is the monster moto and there is another option, as long as i know nobody has a problems with them) (as far as i remmember)