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Old 10-09-2019, 06:00 AM   #1
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Default Simple Stepper Motor Drive

I am trying to automate an instrument adjustment, literally just allowing an operator to turn a knob remotely. When adjusting the knob manually - it's ridiculously sensitive, the amount of travel necessary is tiny, the torque is tiny.

I don't need a really rich command set, just the ability to bump it in either direction. I am thinking about an HMI with nothing more than a left and right button. I don't want to learn any more than I have to on this project

I'd prefer to control the driver over ethernet but serial (232 or 485) would be OK. I can probably work out the HMI end to either communicate directly or Modbus.

Any suggestions? I see automation direct has a NEMA 17 motor / drive with RS485 and a serial command language, this might work.

https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...tp-mtrd-17030r
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:30 AM   #2
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Can't help you, but will follow this to learn something new.

Been 30+ yrs since I had anything to do with stepper motors.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:42 AM   #3
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The Automation Direct unit should do the job. The actual brand is one of the few manufacturers of steppers still around.

Would it be more practical to extend the wiring from the existing control to a new location? Or is the control a mechanical component that can't be moved?
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:22 AM   #4
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Do you need to change the speed? If not, I could envision a simple stepper driver off-the-shelf, and an ethernet switch to change direction.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:24 AM   #5
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Never messed with steppers, so I'll follow along too.


I'd probably be willing to try though. With enough instruction manuals anything is possible, right???
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #6
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yes i used similar kit from AD and it works perfectly, but i didn't try the commands, i just use digital inputs on it (configurable via software)
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmit View Post
The Automation Direct unit should do the job. The actual brand is one of the few manufacturers of steppers still around.
Thanks, that's good to know.

Quote:
Would it be more practical to extend the wiring from the existing control to a new location? Or is the control a mechanical component that can't be moved?
Yep a mechanical control that can't be moved.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Do you need to change the speed? If not, I could envision a simple stepper driver off-the-shelf, and an ethernet switch to change direction.

Nope I don't need to change speed, no ramp up ramp down etc. The mechanical adjustment is so sensitive it's a pain to adjust, you keep overshooting back and forth.

It would be fine to just have two momentary switches for "FWD" and "REV" and pulse the switch and it advances one step forward or back. Is there an easier way to do that?
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:31 PM   #9
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yes i used similar kit from AD and it works perfectly, but i didn't try the commands, i just use digital inputs on it (configurable via software)
That's good to know. What did you drive the digital inputs with, digital IO on PLC?

I will have to look at the manual...
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
Nope I don't need to change speed, no ramp up ramp down etc. The mechanical adjustment is so sensitive it's a pain to adjust, you keep overshooting back and forth.

It would be fine to just have two momentary switches for "FWD" and "REV" and pulse the switch and it advances one step forward or back. Is there an easier way to do that?
Any ol' Gecko stepper driver has a directional input (high or low) and a step input that can be strobbed by a PWM signal.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
That's good to know. What did you drive the digital inputs with, digital IO on PLC?

I will have to look at the manual...
digital signals (5-24v) on the input (via 24v output from plc) of the stepper driver, the inputs can tell to run at constant speed, run fwd or reverse,... download the software and you can see the option you have
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Any ol' Gecko stepper driver has a directional input (high or low) and a step input that can be strobbed by a PWM signal.
I had not turned up GeckoDrive.com searching around, I will check this out.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:19 PM   #13
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AD makes Integrated Microstepping Motors
and Drives. They work good just use the inputs to do step and direction. DO not try the SLC mode. Note: Power supply is needed and is a beast.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:44 PM   #14
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AD makes Integrated Microstepping Motors
and Drives. They work good just use the inputs to do step and direction. DO not try the SLC mode. Note: Power supply is needed and is a beast.
Did you have trouble with the SLC? I was thinking about trying it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Did you have trouble with the SLC? I was thinking about trying it.
Yes I did a film feed with one and went back to PLC Control. I also did one with just inputs and it worked better.

As for the AD steppers I had them running at 40 moves per minute, 24 hours a day five days a week. For five years no problems.

If you want to learn the programming part get a DL 05 with DC outputs and run that to the stepper drive.

Cowboy
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:55 PM   #16
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Good call on the Automation Direct driver/motor. I used that part's driver-only relative:
dub dub dub .automationdirect.com/adc/shopping/catalog/motion_control/stepper_systems/stepper_drives/stp-drv-6575

I used it to retrofit some old robotic systems. I used a simple PLC to pulse it and control direction. This particular drive doesn't have serial but I think they have a similar one with serial or USB. Easy to use and reliable!

Be sure to set your holding torque current to a low enough number...
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:22 AM   #17
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So with these tiny motors and drives, there any issue putting the drive say 50' away from the motor?
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
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So with these tiny motors and drives, there any issue putting the drive say 50' away from the motor?

Voltage drop is an obvious issue. But signal frequency is also affected by wiring length. The frequency affects the speed of the motor. Just use a cable lage enough to carry the current without much voltage drop and also capable of passing a signal in the tens of kHz without degradation.



Shielding is good too. Not from outside interference, but the other way around. Your drive and motor wiring will radiate horrible radio noise.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:48 AM   #19
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Don’t think 50’ is a problem. A lot of machines came with long cables we had to coil in the bottom of the panel. If you loose a few pulses it won’t matter since you are doing manual commands. Micro step at a 1000 pulses per rev
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