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Driving brushless (BLDC) motors with microcontrollers

BLDC (BrusheLess Direct Current) motors are used in many areas. Few that come in to the head are PC hard drive drum spinners, RF flying models like quadcopters, robots. The fact is that these motors give high torque over lower weight and size. Don’t require contacting brushes that wear out during time. The only downside is that in order to run and control BLDC you need some electronics to do this. Steven Keeping has published pretty informative article on how typical BLDC motor driving set up looks like. His example is based on PIC microcontroller, but practically any MCU can be used.

driving bldc motors

In order to drive BLDC motor you need feedback information of current shaft position. This is needed to know which motor stator coil to energize next. Motor position usually is read by using Hall sensors. Such loop configuration allows driving motor at constant precise speed and high torque. I really encourage considering using brushless motors over conventional DC motors as they are more reliable, more energy efficient as there is no mechanical contact on moving shaft -especially when there is no problem to implement electronic control part.

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