The circuit of this PWM controlled DC motor speed controller may be understood as follows:
Initially when the circuit is powered, the trigger pin is in a logic low position since the capacitor C1 is not charged.
The above conditions initiates the oscillation cycle, making the output change to a logic high.
A high output now forces the capacitor to charge via D2.
On reaching a voltage level that's 2/3 of the supply, pin #6 which is the threshold of the IC triggers.
The moment pin #6 triggers, pin #3 and pin #7 reverts to logic low.
With pin #3 at low, C1 yet again begins discharging via D1, and when the voltage across C1 falls below the level that's 1/3 of the supply voltage, pin #3 and pin #7 again become high, causing the cycle to follow and go on repeating.
It is interesting to note that, C1 has two discretely set paths for the process of charging and discharging via the diodes D1, D2 and through the resistance arms set by the pot respectively.
It means the sum of the resistances encountered by C1 while charging and discharging remains the same no matter how the pot is set, therefore the wavelength of the out put pulse always remains the same.
However, since the charging or the discharging time periods depends upon the resistance value encountered in their paths, the pot discretely sets the these time periods as per the its adjustments.
Since the charge and discharge time periods is directly connected with the output duty cycle, it varies according to the adjustment of the pot, giving form to the intended varying PWM pulses at the output.
The average result of the mark/space ratio gives rise to the PWM output which in turn controls the DC speed of the motor.
The PWM pulses are fed to the gate of a mosfet which reacts and controls the connected motor current in response to the setting of the pot.
The current level through the motor decides it speed and thus implements the controlling effect via the pot.
The frequency of the output from the IC may be calculated with the formula:
F = 1.44(VR1*C1)
The mosfet can be selected as per the requirement or the load current.
The diagram of the proposed simple DC motor speed controller circuit can be seen below: