If you're familiar with linear actuators, you know how versatile they can be. They do have limitations however. You may want to adjust the speed at which your actuator travels, the end points, or use your actuator with a potentiometer. For these applications, a Linear Actuator Control (LAC) board is the perfect solution. Using an LAC board to control a linear actuator is very simple, but can be daunting if you're new to electronics.
I'm going to show you how to wire up an LAC board to run your actuator in less then 5 minutes. For this example, we're using our Actuonix Linear Actuator Control Board with an L12-P actuator, as well as a 12V power supply and a potentiometer.
For more how to videos and info about linear actuators, check out our YouTube channel!
Step 1: Gather Your Parts
You will need a couple of things to operate your linear actuator via a control board. You will of course need a P-Series actuator of your choice and an LAC board. You will also need a 12V power supply and a switch. We have used a potentiometer as as a switch for this Instructable but you can use any type of switch you like. It can be latching or momentary.
Step 2: Wire Your Switch to LAC Board
Now, we're going to wire the potentiometer to the LAC board. You need to insert the wire through the hole in the top of the appropriate terminal, and then tighten the slot screw to hold it in. Wire it as follows:
White wire - Connect to VC terminal
Red wire - Connect to P+ terminal
Black wire - Connect to P- terminal
Step 3: Connect 12VDC Power Supply to the LAC Board
Do not plug the power supply into the wall yet!
The DC power supply has 2 wires coming from it. Connect them as follows:
Red wire - Connect to + terminal
Black wire - Connect to - terminal
Step 4: Plug Your Actuator Into the LAC Board
Plug the actuator into the LAC board the same as the photo. Take careful not of which way the wires are facing (yellow closer to edge and orange closer to center of board).
Step 5: Plug in Power Supply and Run Your Actuator!
If you've followed the steps exactly, your linear actuator should now extend and retract mimicking the movement of your potentiometer. Have fun!