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How do I control two servo motors? Answered

I am a beginner in this area, but been looking around on google for info on servo motors.
What is the absolute simplest way to control two servo motors (for a video camera pan and tilt head), from the same unit?
I don't want to go wireless (radio controlled), but instead keep it wired.
Is it even possible to control pan and tilt with one single joystick?
I could really need a beginners tutorial on this...

Thanks for your answers!




7 years ago

If you choose to use an arduino, i can give you the schematics and source code for a 2 servo pt system using a single joystick. i coded it for myself for another project.

hey, any chance a could use your source code for a 2 servo system controlled by one joystick? Thanks


Answer 7 years ago

I would be very interested in that. I'm already looking at a suitable arduino board to use for this project. What options do I have with different joysticks? Looked around and saw something that looked like a small thumb controlled one, but I couldn't find a bigger one. Thanks for your help!


Answer 7 years ago

this website has joysticks that will do what you need. you need to know how to use a part number customizer form though. (its not that tough) http://www.p3america.com/pp/812.htm


Answer 7 years ago

i used this one: http://www.parallax.com/StoreSearchResults/tabid/768/txtSearch/joystick/List/0/SortField/4/ProductID/581/Default.aspx However, anyjoystick made up of 2 potentiometers would work. For that matter, 2 potentiometers would work. The problem is, most of these joysticks have a feature where they spring back to center. some joysticks this can be disabled, others, you will need to use a button to save the state the joystick is in (software side)

The absolute simplest method wires joystick switches directly to the motors, when the switch is on, so is the motor for that direction.

8 wires:job done.

No computer needed.  Enhancements would be limit switches wired to stop overdriving the axes.


If you want to use RC servos and there isn't a lot of point here really, you can use a couple of 555 timers to make the PWM signals. However, the RC servo is a position thing. The motor will go to the position demanded by the joystick and stay there, if the joystick is biased to the centre of travel, the servo will too, as soon as you release the stick !

A radio control servo has some electronics inside that translates the signal from the Radio control receiver into movement.

This signal is generally in the form of a pulse of vayring width, the width of the pulse gives the servo the position information. The servo the adjusts it's position to match the pulse width.

Some modern servos may be digital and they require a binary number to be sent to then representing the required position.

Although a servo could be modified to make it controllable by switches it is not all that easy as they are very small and compact inside.

It may well be easier to go for the microprocessor control as several - including http://www.picaxe.com have special commands to control servos - information available on their site.

IF you want to go down the modify route and use switches you will be best served by setting up an H bridge configuration to control the motor directly. For this you will need 2 double pole double throw centre off switches. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-an-H-bridge/ might help you understand the principle.

H bridge.jpg

The simplest way is to buy a 2 channel transmitter and receiver and 2 servos that will work with that system, plus batteries charger etc.

THe reason it is the easiest way is that servos work on a coded signal to position the arm at the right place.  You can create that code electronically but it's much more easy to just let the transmitter do it.

Either you can build an electronic package with about 50 parts and a pc board that you have to design and make or you buy an arduino computer and learn to program it and interface it to the servo.

Since your main interest is a positionable camera mount, just buy the electronics.