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      J E F F R E Y   K E R R,  L L C

 

  

 

 

 

Architecture
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Our brush, brushless and stepper motor control modules all integrate high level motion control functions and power amplifiers into a single board.  Each board gives you everything you need to control your motor from a PC or other host controller.  You have two basic options for implementing your motion control application: 1) Use a PC or other host to send commands directly to the motion controllers, or 2) Use our SSA-485 adapter board as a stand-alone controller.

Option 1
All of our controllers can communicate with a host computer (PC, PLC, embedded processor, etc.) using full-duplex (4-wire) RS485 serial communications.  Up to 32 control modules (PIC-SERVO, PIC-STEP, or PIC-I/O) can be connected to a single serial port.  Host controllers with a standard RS232 port or USB port can use our SSA-485 Smart Serial Adapter

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Option 1: Direct Control by a Host Computer (PC, etc.)

For optimal efficiency, your host can send commands directly to the motion control modules using their native binary NMC communications protocol.  For non-demanding applications, however, your host can also use a simplified ASCII Command Interface (ACI) mode.  Use of the ACI mode requres the Motion Basic controller chip described below.  Example programs for Windows and other systems can be found on our software page.

Option 2
Alternately, our controllers can be operated in a stand-alone mode with our SSA-485 Smart Serial Adapter with our optional Motion Basic controller chip installed.  You can create simple BASIC programs using our Windows based Motion Basic programming application and then download the program to the SSA-485 / Motion Basic controller.  (More sophisticated applications may also be implemented in C using a PIC18Fxxx processor instead of the Motion Basic chip.)

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Option 2: SSA-485 / Motion Basic Stand-alone Control

Chip Level Products
At the core  of each of our motion control modules is a controller chip which communicates using our NMC (Networked Modular Control) communications protocol.  For high volume production, applications developed using our standard NMC controller boards can be easily ported to custom boards designed to use these same controller chips.

Please see our software page for more details on support for Windows and various other systems.

Controller Selection
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Please use the selection matrix below to help you select the correct controller board for your motor:

PIC-SERVO SC PIC-SERVO SC 3PH PIC-STEP
Motor type DC Brush DC Brushless or Brush Stepper
(2-phase)
Amplifier type PWM MOSFET PWM MOSFET Bipolar Chopper
Amplifier  current
(cont./peak)
3A/6A 6A/7A 2A/2.5A
(per phase)
Motor supply voltage 12 - 48vdc 12-48vdc 7.5 - 46vdc
Controller chip PIC-SERVO SC PIC-SERVO SC PIC-STEP
Can be used with external amp/driver yes no yes
Coordinated motion (interpolation) supported yes yes no

Please see our motors page for additional motor specifications.

 

What to Buy
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To put together a complete PC hosted motion control system, you will need to start off with the following basic items plus additional items for each controller you add.  Even if you plan on using something other than a PC as your host controller, we recommend starting off with a PC based system for initial testing of your components.

Basic items:

  • SSA-485 Serial Adapter Board - 1 per network
  • Motion Basic controller chip -1 per network (While only required for stand-alone systems, it is convenient to have for debugging and testing.)
  • Logic power supply (9 - 12vdc, 200 ma minimum)
  • RS232 Communication cable (straight DB9 male - DB9 female) or USB A-B style cable.
  • Test Software
    nmctest.zip - Windows test utility for the PIC-SERVO, PIC-STEP and PIC-I/O controllers
  • Documentation
    - ssa485.pdf
    - motionbasic.pdf
  • PC running Windows95, 98, NT, 2000 or XP  with one free COM port

...for each PIC-SERVO SC controller, you should add:

  • 1 DC motor with quadrature digital encoder (2 or 3 channel optical or magnetic).   Please see our motors page for compatible motor specifications.
  • 1 motor/encoder cable (see board documentation for details)
  • 1 Network communications cable
  • Motor power supply (12 - 48vdc, with enough current for your motors)
  • Your logic power supply should have an additional 100ma capacity for each board you add
  • Documentation
    - pssc_bd.pdf
    - picsrvsc.pdf

...for each PIC-SERVO SC 3PH controller, you should add:

  • 1  3-phase brushless motor with hall effect sensors and a quadrature digital encoder (2 or 3 channel optical or magnetic).  The PIC-SERVO SC 3PH board may also be used with DC brush-commutated motors.  Please see our motors page for compatible motor specifications.
  • 1 motor/encoder cable (see board documentation for details)
  • 1 Network communications cable
  • Motor power supply (12 - 48vdc, with enough current for your motors)
  • Your logic power supply should have an additional 150ma capacity for each board you add
  • Documentation
    - pssc3ph.pdf
    - picsrvsc.pdf

...for each PIC-STEP controller, you should add:

  • 1 Stepper motor (4, 6 or 8 lead configuration).  Please see our motors page for compatible motor specifications.
  • 1 motor cable (see board documentation for details)
  • 1 Network communications cable
  • Motor power supply (7.5 - 45vdc, with enough current for your motors)
  • Your logic power supply should have an additional 100ma capacity for each board you add
  • Documentation
    - pstep_bd.pdf
    - picstep.pdf

...for each PIC-I/O controller, you should add:

  • I/O cables for your devices (see board documentation for details)
  • 1 Network communications cable
  • Your logic power supply should have an additional 100ma capacity for each board you add
  • Documentation
    - pioboard.pdf
    - piodata.pdf

Once you've got your hardware connected and tested, you will need to program your own particular application. A variety of additional documentation and source code programming examples are available in both Basic and C.

Applications

Our motion controllers are used by customers worldwide in a variety of applications:

bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Biotech automation
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Retail kiosks
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Robotics
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Material handling
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Surveillance systems
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Semiconductor manufacturing
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Office automation
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Pharmaceutical  automation
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Autonomous vehicles
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Surgery simulators
bluedot_sm.gif (812 bytes) Process control

Most applications start off using our controller boards.  Higher volume applications then migrate to more cost efficient custom boards using the same controller chips used in our standard boards.  In most cases, migration requires no change to the system software.