PID Video

Started by Tim Wescott 8 years ago9 replieslatest reply 8 years ago248 views

Just got done posting this.  As a video it's rough as a cob -- but then, I'm a beginner.  I think the information content is right, and now that I've posted it I see about a dozen things that I can do to make the next one better.

What is PID Control?

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Reply by pipifaxMay 10, 2016

Ok, there was nothing I did not know before, but the intro and demonstration were both impressive.

Good job.


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Reply by Tim WescottMay 10, 2016

I had started with the goal of doing a short "PID Without a PhD" talk, and this was the introductory half.  So yes -- it's pretty basic.  But I suspect there's folks out there who need something at that level, and it let me avoid any math for this one.

It edited out to a hair under 15 minutes, I posted it, and then I found out that YouTube has a 15 minute time limit for new posters.  So that was serendipitous.

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Reply by s-lightMay 10, 2016

Thanks for this nice and clean explanation!

i heard about PID before but with your demonstration i really started to understand the concept :-)

for me the next step is to build up something similar and have a 'hands on' experience ;-)

Thanks for the inspiration!

sunny greetings


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Reply by Tim WescottMay 10, 2016


You're welcome.  A much less expensive, but less impressive, way to get a training mechanism is to buy a large, cheap, RC servo.  Take it apart, throw away the control board, and build your own.

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Reply by s-lightMay 10, 2016

hm you are right servo is also a good idea! - i love the idea of a TWI controlled Servo - there is one project that just does that - replace the original servo electronics with a custom controller (http://www.openservo.com/)...

'less impressive' --> i think i will try the impressive one ;-)

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Reply by fabateraMay 10, 2016

Thanks for posting your video! I´m not working with PID controllers but it´s very interesting to see mechanical things moving and being controlled in a simple way.

Maybe for a new video could you show your programming environment?


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Reply by Tim WescottMay 10, 2016

Hmm.  That's a thought.  It's a not-uncommon one:

  • Linux on the PC
  • arm-none-eabi cross-platform tools
  • Eclipse editor (I like the GUI, particularly for debugging.  Other people will favor vi and gdb -- but that's a personal preference thing)
  • OpenOCD to talk to the JTAG dongle
  • Various JTAG dongles, depending on the processor
    • Luminary (now TI's) on-board JTAG interface
    • Olimex JTAG
    • STLink JTAG (this is my preferred one these days)

I'm sure there's other people out there who use the same setup.  If I were going to do a proper video I'd have to document starting from a clean disk and getting everything downloaded -- there's always a few frustrations along the way.

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Reply by Tarik_May 10, 2016

Hi Tim,

Is the rod self balanced at every angle if there is no disturbance? (because the fan stops at 45 degrees, there is no weight imbalance)

Thanks for the presentation.


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Reply by Tim WescottMay 10, 2016

Ideally, yes, and it used to be better.  The axle's a bit bent (I didn't pack it correctly to got to a seminar), so it wants to have a preferred position -- but it's pretty close.