Author Topic: How about this USB stepper controller?  (Read 7262 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
How about this USB stepper controller?
« on: October 28, 2006, 12:50:48 AM »
http://www.ar.com.au/~softmark/page44.html

I want to use this to replace the circuit board of my printer to control the motors. I was wondering if anyone was familiar with this product or if anyone can tell if it would be worth buying? Or if there is another better product I could buy. I emailed them and they said this would cost 85 Australian dollars plus shipping of 20 AUD.. which is equal to 85 USD.

I am also wondering if this would be able to work with the 2 high resolution encoders my printer has.

Another cool thing is that this supposedly comes with a program to control it, already. Which would be nice for me, because I know zero aobut programming. But, I am wondering  how programmable it is or if it is like a remote control or if it can be programmed to run automatically in a complex fashion repeatedly.

Basically, what I want to do is make a animatronic type robot, using my old inkjet printer, that is USB controlled. But I want it to move as accurately as possible. I'm not sure how accurate this controller is. I think it said it moves in half steps.. I think I  need something that does microstepping. Does that depend more on the stepper motor or the controller?

I hope I am making sense.. I am trying to figure all this out. Any help or input would be awsome.

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2006, 04:31:57 PM »
Here's another one.. this one seems to have a lot of features. But it also seems to only control one motor. If I was to only control one motor at a time could I switch from motor to motor using this?

http://gamatronix.com/product_info.php/products_id/28

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2006, 08:45:53 PM »
that gamatronix controller is for regular dc motors, not stepper motors . . . are you sure if your printer has a stepper? dc motors would have 2 wires, steppers have 4+

if it is a stepper . . .

do a google search on stepper motor driver, the first page has good links

a few stepper drivers:
http://www.active-robots.com/products/motorcon/dual-stepper.shtml

http://www.active-robots.com/products/motorcon/sanken-7024m.shtml

http://www.active-robots.com/products/motorcon/easy-step.shtml

stepper motor driver ic's
http://www.allegromicro.com/ic/motor.asp

http://www.futurlec.com/StepperMotorController.shtml


As for the encoders, those are independent of the motors. You can use any encoder with any motor, although encoders are rarely used with steppers for good reason . . .

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2006, 11:37:52 PM »
Oh.. shoot.. I think you are right. My printer has 3 motors:

1 for paper feed.. 2 wires (has a rotary encoder)
1 for printer head positioning.. 2 wires (has a linear encoder)
1 for cleaning the printer heads.. this one is a stepper and has 5 wires. (no encoder)


Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2006, 04:28:57 AM »
This one maybe?

http://www.active-robots.com/products/phidgets/1060-details.shtml

But I don't see anything about encoders...  :-\

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2006, 01:51:12 PM »
Yea that PhidgetMotorControl LV should work.

You will need a seperate I/O device that can handle encoder interrupt signals. A usb microcontroller, or some other usb connectable I/O device. Make sure it can handle 500 Hz+ refresh rate to handle the high res encoder properly.

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2006, 03:50:52 PM »
That Phidget company makes somthing for encoders..

http://www.active-robots.com/products/phidgets/encoder-1052.shtml

Is this stuff universal? Will it work with the encoders from my printers? Or should I just use their encoders? Which one is better?

If I use these together.. then do I have 2 USB cords going from my PC to the device or do they daisy chain in the device or something?

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2006, 04:28:35 PM »
The PhidgetEncoder HighSpeed claims "The PhidgetEncoder HighSpeed has been designed to work with a wide assortment of optical encoders." It should work, as your encoders look very simple.

My only thought is that you will have 3 usb working together (2 for encoders, and 1 for 2 motors). Im not sure if a pc can swap between usb ports that fast . . . Ive never done it and have no idea . . .

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2006, 04:55:16 PM »
Thanks again, admin.  I really appreciate it.

If I have to get 2 of those encoder ports that really adds a lot to the price. I feel like there must be an easier/cheaper way. I guess I just need to try to keep looking for someone who has done something similar to what I am trying to do.

Maybe I need to forget the USB control? Would it be far easier if I used some other kind of computer control port?

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2006, 05:01:55 PM »
Well, you can still use a microcontroller, and hook that up by USB/serial to your computer. If I were to do it, this would be my perferred method.

A microcontroller would be a good money-saving investment for future robots, too.

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2006, 05:56:01 PM »
Okay! I see what you are saying. I was thinking the phidget thing was a "microcontroller". But that's not what ii is. It's just a "controler".. a motor controller.

And if a microcontroller has I/O ports then you can plug the encoders in there.. or other types of sensors, as well? And the microcontroller is like a little computer in itself. Where as the phidget USB encoder had to send that out to your PC to deal with rather than internally like the microcontroller.

I hope that's right!

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2006, 06:14:54 PM »
I have another candidate...

http://www.create.ucsb.edu/~dano/CUI/


Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,658
  • Helpful? 169
    • Society of Robots
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2006, 08:15:12 PM »
yeap, right!  ;D

i recommend searching the forum for 'usb' and 'uart' and read those posts.

there are usb to serial converters out there you can buy for cheap, and also some microcontrollers that already have built in usb. neither would be hard to find . . .

try www.sparkfun.com, they have a lot of prototyping boards for both PIC and atmel based microcontrollers, with usb already built in too.

Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2006, 01:34:15 AM »
Ok, great! Thanks again, Admin. :) I think I'm on the right track now. Should be easier to figure out now.

Could I use the H-bridge for what I am doing? Is that accurate enough to use with encoders? Or do I need to use a motor controller with the Microcontroller and encoders?

The H-bridge is a lot cheaper, right?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 02:25:52 AM by Charlie1138 »

Offline JesseWelling

  • Expert Roboticist
  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 707
  • Helpful? 0
  • Only You Can Build A Robot!
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2006, 04:29:07 AM »
To use a microcontroller with a motor/encoder I sugest you check out the PID how to on the site.
Also this one would probably help you alot: http://www.embedded.com/2000/0010/0010feat3.htm


Offline Charlie1138Topic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Helpful? 0
Re: How about this USB stepper controller?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2006, 03:23:38 PM »
Sorry I put this in the wrong section. Thanks for moving it for me. Forgive me, I'm a noob.

Thanks, Jesse. I will check those out.

 


Get Your Ad Here