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Figure 6. Completed ESC board installed.
Figure 7. Relative battery pack sizes.
critter and stay under the two pound weight limit. I decided
to use lithium-ion cells this time; I went from 1,000 mAh to
1,500 mAh and cut several grams off of Munch’s overall
weight. As you can see in Figure 7, the LiPo pack is even
Ever being the optimist, I plugged everything in and
turned on the radio, hoping that the board defaulted to
R/C control. Sigh, not so much. Actually, the 18v15 defaults
to one of the logic-level serial input options. Pololu has
fantastic motor controller configuration utility that you use
to set up the many, many options that can be selected on
their simple high power motor controller series. Sadly, they
only provide this utility for use on a Windows or Linux OS.
(What’s up with that?) Anyway, I ran it using Parallels
Desktop 7 running a WXP virtual machine and it worked
just fine, so no big. You can find this utility on the Pololu
site at www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1377/
Figure 8. Motor Control Center; Input tab.
You can get the install package for the
Pololu utility and USB drivers on the same site as
the link above. Also, this is where they keep new
firmware revisions you can install on your motor
controller board. There is a newer version than
the 1.03 that I got with my board (1.04), but I
didn’t install it since what I had worked just fine
for my application. So, go get that utility and
USB driver and install it. The software manual is
located in the “Start” menu along with the
application, which makes it easy to find and
As I mentioned before, R/C control was not
the 18v15 default setup. After you install the
configuration program and the USB drivers, then
plug your 18v15 into your computer’s USB slot.
12 SERVO 12.2012