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AMC-AASD15A servo controller

Discussion in 'SimTools compatible interfaces' started by Thanos, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    This is the official thread for the AMC-AASD15A servo controller.

    Please feel free to discuss or ask questions on the controller. Feedback about its operation or requests for support of new features or additional servo types.

    In this thread you will get periodically news about the updates the firmware of the controller undergoes and the additional equipment it might support.

    AMC-AASD15A.jpg

    IMG-20191020-WA0000_small.jpg



    You may also Join the Discord channel here: https://discord.gg/bx4PxYR


    Some links:
    https://www.tindie.com/products/tronicgr/amc-aasd15a-servo-motion-controller/
    https://github.com/tronicgr/AMC-AASD15A-Firmware
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3648091

    Link to manual v2.2 (subject to change, latest in github link):
    https://github.com/tronicgr/AMC-AAS.../AMC-AASD15A_4DOF+TL-Simtools_manual_v2_2.pdf


    Thanks
    Thanos
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  2. diablo2112

    diablo2112 Member Gold Contributor

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    I've been using the Thanos AMC-AASD15A controller for some time now, and its been working perfectly. For those that aren't aware, here's a review and list of advantages for this controller.

    I purchased this controller as my primary interface for a DIY SFX-100 build. Thanos' controller is an alternative to the native Arudino for SFX-100 builds. There's many advantages of this controller:

    1) The AMC-AASD15A controller has built-in safety. It auto-calibrates each actuator on startup, and knows the absolute position of each. Unlike the Arduino, this controller ensures the sliders won't be driven into the ends of the actuator. This has happened on SFX-100 builds, and has broken parts.

    2) You can set actuator stroke as part of setup. SFX actuators are capable of 110 mm, which I'm using on my setup. The Aruduino build is currently hard-coded to 100mm.

    3) This controller uses Simtools. Simtools is extremely flexible, with many tuning options. There's a large community supporting this (see right here on XSimulator.net). Simtools is also open source, unlike the restricted software on the standard SFX-100 build.

    4) The AMC-AASD15A controller is truly plug-n-play. No wiring. You just hook up to your PC via USB, and your controllers via DB25 and you're working. It also has independent test capability built-in, so you can test your SFX setup during the build without the need to hook up or download anything to your PC.

    5) The AMC-AASD15A controller has a lovely 2-line LCD display, that let's you know if you're online, recieving data, etc. In addition, it has easy-to-use controls, including a button "pad" and 2-way dial/enter button. Super-helpful for setup and testing. He also has a fantastic 3D printed case, to fit his controller; STL files are avilable from his github.

    6) This controller is programmed in assembly language, and capable of very fast updates to the motors. This is good for capturing very fine details, etc. The "tactile" sense I get from his controller is uncanny, much like the fast updates on a DD wheel.

    7) This controller supports up to 7 axis, with 6 ready-to-go right on the board. If you want to add traction loss or a seabelt tensioner, it's all ready for this, including Simtools support for these functions. Alternately, you could use 2 extra axis for a seat-mover in addition to the SFX actuators. I've done my SFX setup with my older NLR v3 motion chair, and the combination is fantastic. I know folks have said they prefer SFX w/o the chair, but my extensive testing has shown the chair is a nice addition, handling surge and sway very realistically with a greater range of motion than the SFX can provide to these forces.

    8) This controller has auto park and ready functions, and included a flexible safety switch to return the platform to the parked position, even with telemetry data being transmitted, no need to interrupt the game or interfere on the software side at all.

    9) This controller is properly grounded. The USB and power grounds are isolated, and this avoids ground loops which have been a source of hum in Arduino-based builds. My system runs great with no hum what-so-ever.

    In sum, I'll simply state the Thano's controller has worked flawlessly with my SFX build for well over 4 months now. It's been rock solid, and the display provides a constant update on the status of my system. Highly, highly recommended.
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  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    Just a correction here, as SimTools itself is not open source, though you are spot on about how flexible it is and how freely the Xsimulator community gives of their time and expertise.
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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  4. diablo2112

    diablo2112 Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks for the correction, very much. Yes, this community is fantastic and extremely helpful.
  5. viper20

    viper20 New Member

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    Hey Guys

    I saw the thread on RD has been deleted which is totally ridiclous, can someone tell me how to run the Servos on 110v i know on that thread Thanos posted a video on how to do this but since that thread is gone....
  6. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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  7. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    Welcome everyone,

    Lets start with meme review... bruh, wrong channel. :p


    Lets start again. Here is nice compact 6DOF in action from the user Turbominer (Discord).



    His platform can also be seen in this video more clear:
    • Like Like x 2
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  8. viper20

    viper20 New Member

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    Thanks!
  9. diablo2112

    diablo2112 Member Gold Contributor

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    Here's some setup information for a Project Cars 2 profile in Simtools using the AMC-AASD15A controller. While this is setup for PC2, it will work well with many other sims as a starting point. Start here, and you'll get a feel for the setup and can adjust to your taste. I have my DIY actuators set for 110mm of travel here.

    I should say upfront, I also run a motion chair with the SFX, so I've tuned down the surge/sway movements on the SFX just a bit. These profiles still work great on their own, as you'll see. With motion, less is more, of course. With these profiles as a starting point, it's pretty easy to modify various forces up or down to your taste.

    As a general comment, there's 3 very important elements to any profile. 1) the axis allocations, 2) the tuning center limits, and 3) the "intensity" level setting. I'll cover each one here and give 2 examples for Project Cars 2: a "smooth" setting; and another "tactile" setting especially good in VR.

    Also note, my actuator positions are identical to what Thanos' recommends in his documentation: #1 - left rear; #2 - left front; #3 - right front; #4 - right rear.
    -----
    Axis Allocations

    This is relatively simple. Generally, you want the totals to add to no more than about 130-150%. you could go more, but you risk clipping. Here's the axis allocations I use for PC2. I like my rig to have a nice amount of pitch and roll, to simulate going up and down hills, and around banking. To access the axis allocations, open the "game engine" icon in the Windows Task bar.

    And before anyone asks. No, I don't map in traction loss on my rigs. I never really found it convincing in the SFX actuators, and frankly, my OSW wheel is better at giving cues for that force. You may feel differently. In which case, add the traction loss axis like the "sway" settings, perhaps at 15-20%. Whatever you like here.

    Axis allocation for PC2, screen 1
    [​IMG]


    Axis allocation for PC2, screen 2
    [​IMG]


    Don't forget to hit "Save" after you adjust these settings. Note the orange checkboxes in these screens. They're critical. This tells Simtools which direction to apply force. Note that surge/sway is the REVERSE of pitch/roll. You may prefer sway in the opposite direction (especially if using this profile with a monitor; my sway setting is really tuned for VR). Feel free to reverse the "sway" boxes; try it both ways.
    -----
    Tuning Center

    Next, let's cover the tuning center inputs. This is what calibrates the telemetry output to the range of motion of the controller. Telemetry output varies from sim to sim. We have to establish the range for each force. This is done in the tuning center (right click "Game Engine" in the Windows task bar, and you'll see "tuning center" as one of the options, left click that to open)

    These values are very counter-intuitive. The LOWER the number, the GREATER amount of motion for a given axis. This is because we're setting the point at which each force will provide the entire range of motion set in the axis allocations.

    Here's my inputs for PC2.

    Tuning Center for PC2
    [​IMG]


    You may have to check the green box above each axis to red to be able to enter these numbers. Tuning this screen is much of where you establish the "feel" for each sim. Don't forget to hit "Save New Settings" here if you change these numbers. Note the assymetry in "surge". This is to provide a nice gear change effect on the SFX-100.
    -----
    Profile Settings

    The final tuning option is the "intensity" and "profile settings" for each game. This is found in the "game manager" portion of Simtools.

    The single most important thing here is the "intensity" setting. Think of this a smoothing filter, and it has a HUGE effect. The difference between 100 and 99 is enormous. 100 is raw, unfiltered. 99 is pretty heavily smoothed. I basically think of the difference between these 2 as a switch.

    I use the following 2 settings here. I save them separately, and can switch just by recalling each preset. Here's the "smooth" setting:

    PC2 "Smooth" Profile setting
    [​IMG]


    PC2 "Smooth" Profile setting
    [​IMG]


    The second "editor" screen allows you to fine-tune each axis forces. I don't adjust them in my "smooth" setting. If you want more of a particular force, this is a good place to increase that. It will automatically save your setting in the selected profile name whenever you change this.

    Here's my VR setting, it's quite a bit more tactile, and will shake your rig quite a bit more:
    PC2 "VR/tactile" profile setting
    [​IMG]


    PC2 "VR/tactile" profile setting
    [​IMG]


    As this setting is quite a bit more intense (since its unfiltered, intensity=100), I reduce several axis in this profile to keep things reasonable. You can up these settings as much as you want or can handle. Both of these profiles will tilt your rig nicely when going up/down hills. Try it out at Spa or Watkins Glen (among my 2 favorite tracks).

    So, there you go. Good luck! Let me know how you tune your sim and how you like the results.

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  10. djbart82

    djbart82 New Member

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    good morning

    I currently have an sfx100 system with four servos, I wanted to install the Thanos PCB and have three SFX100 servos for the platform and use the fourth SFX100 for traction control

    Do you know if it is possible to do the traction loss part with the SFX100 servo?

    Thanks greetings
  11. diablo2112

    diablo2112 Member Gold Contributor

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    No, you wouldn't want to use an SFX-100 style actuator for traction loss. You need a "push/pull" type actuator for that, and the SFX actuators work in "push" mode only.

    The good news is the Thanos controller can easily handle traction loss, including adding a 5th actuator for this purpose.

    Personally, I wouldn't setup a rig with only 3 actuators, you'll get a weird mixing of certain forces. One actuator at each corner (4 in total) feels very natural, as this is how an actual car transmits forces. Good luck.
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  12. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Thanos well its safe to say it did not take me long to start bugging you for tips :) posted this on Mover Post but thought id ask here as it all learning feedback

    Got kartcraft to work thanks to help from @flypT soas really pleased to see the actuator working through Mover software and AMCAA15SD like a charm .. then i crashed the kart Lol.

    Ok good news i seem to be on the right track test wise , but me being me i came across something that did not seem right ( oh and by the way even with motor speed turned down crashing is seriously scary ) lol ,, anyways after a miss-guided attempt to stay on the circuit while watching the Mover software do its stuff i hit the tires and actuators went loopy ( but stayed within 100mm stroke so no damage) .. i hit the E switch and all was well . they went to park position as they should but i noticed that the AMC lcd was no longer showing " Receiving Data message" tried several times to get re-connect But so far no luck .. so mover was doing what it should and AMC AA15SD still works but cant seem to get the Recieving Data message back om the LCD

    Again it will be something i missed but thought i'd ask .. Controller works fine as standalone ( calibration / Park / Jog controls all responsive ) No Error messages on AAsd15 Drivers and Mover V2.6 seems to do what it should , so i suspect its just a re-connect glitch. will try again in a moment
  13. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    When you hit the emergency stop while connected, the controller disconnects from the Data stream and disables the motors, but it doesn't stop the serial port buffer from overflow. In this case you would have to disconnect the USB cable and plug it back in, and close and open again the motion software.

    A better way to stop that from happening is to use the Force Offline switch instead that temporary ignores motion data, but keeps receiving them. The motors should stop on their last position in that mode, and you can use the park button to move them down.
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  14. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    Cheers @Thanos i mistakenly panicked when the actuator did what they do when simulating a crash and was supprised at the power ..they were free standing on the floor during test ..next time i'll clamp them down :) so Hmmmm i think i need to wire up the Online Offline Switch as i had only connected the E stop.. GOTTA SAT EARLY DAYS, BUT LOVING THIS SETUP :)
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  15. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Thanos Just to say personal thank you once more , your guidance did the trick and the whole system seems to be working great , now i can get on with learning more about Mover and the settings for at least Kart Craft .. Cheers Thanos

    i reloaded Mover V2.6 just in case and wired up the ONLINE/OFFLINE switch as suggested and problem solved , im not sure if you have already explained to us Noobs about this ref E-stop button - Standby and On/Offline , so thought it may be a bit of info for next revision of the manual where you have switch diagram with a brief description just as you posted above, as to how activating each button affects the system .. there is a lot of stuff to shift through so i may have missed this until you mentioned it in previous post so gotta say sorry if this was already dealt with Cheers ....Did i Mention im loving This setup LOL Progress is being made nicely will post Video soon
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  16. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    I already started shooting the video of the replacement of servo motor power cable. Hopefully I can get it done today. Follow up video testing EMI will be available soon after.

    IMG_20191108_151734.jpg
  17. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    So I replaced the power cable on one of my servos. EMI noise is almost gone.

    See the video. Beware it shows ALL steps replacing the cable. Where to cut, how to join new wires, short circuit test, powered motor test and EMI measurements.



    IMG_20191110_161209.jpg

    IMG_20191110_161248.jpg

    IMG_20191110_161319.jpg





    The shielded power cable I used is from Ebay
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/50FT-FEET-...ROUTERS-3D-PRINTER-STEPPER-MOTOR/253289887396



    If you are out of time and want just a quick comparison between shielded cable and Conductive Tape shield:



    Thanks
    Thanos
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  18. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    FlyPT Mover now has specific output module for AMC controllers. Its under test...

    FlyPT 2.7 screenshot.jpg
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