Communicate with stepper motors?
alptex2 at orwell.net
Fri Sep 1 15:18:19 CDT 2006
I LOVE using steppers in machinery and fixtures around my company.
You can use Rev very nicely to control them. Here's the approach
I prefer to use an existing controller. I have a lot of experience
with a particular brand called "SimpleStep" (www.simplestep.com).
They are expensive, but I simply don't care. One machine we designed
and built years ago cost us about $15,000...$400 of which went for 2
boards from this company. This single machine has resulted in close
to $250K of sales over the years. I wouldn't care if the boards cost
me 10x what they did. They're solid...never skip a beat...are simple
to use and have a very rich set of features.
Now, if you want a less costly controller (plus oodles more widget
"stuff")...there is a new player that I've gotten some early release
info from...you can find them at www.copelandelectronics.com.
If you prefer to write your own low level stuff and create your own
controller...you're a better man (or...person) that I! ;=)
On motors, I prefer Sanyo-Denki. Dunno why...but I've never had the
tiniest of problems with them. You can find steppers at places like
Jameco electronics...also a good source for cheap controllers and
kits. Just remember...as usual...you'll probably get what you pay for!
Now the fun starts...I've used Rev to control these boards via
serial. But, I prefer using sockets...so I get one of those Ethernet
to Serial convertors (specifically "SitePlayer Telnet" from NetMedia)
and use the Rev socket commands. This allows me to control a few
machines from a single app. It's all personal taste from here...it
really depends on the machine and the environment.
That's my 2 cents! Hope it helps.
Timothy R. Ponn
tponn at alptex.com
On Aug 31, 2006, at 1:08 PM, Marty Knapp wrote:
> I was talking with a guy yesterday who said that using Basic you
> could use the printer port on Windows to talk to a stepper motor. I
> know pretty much nothing about robotics (or communicating through
> ports for that matter). Does anyone know if this is possible with
> Rev? I read through the docs and could see that one can read from
> and write data to com ports and LPT ports, but wouldn't a stepper
> motor just need electrical pulses sent to it?
> I realize I'm revealing my ignorance to the world here, but any
> help would be appreciated.
> Marty Knapp
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