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AMC1280USB Motion Simulator Controller

Discussion in 'SimTools compatible interfaces' started by Thanos, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Without hard limit switches and the way the board is performing my rig nearly ripped itself apart its just lucky I could kill it manually before any major damage occured. I dont think there was any software to use when I was setting it up just the LCD panel ? it doesn't matter now like I say there is a much easier and safer option with better support especially for n00bs like me and a lot more of this community.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    I am happy for you you've found your better easier and safer solution however this topic is about the AMC.

    Actually we are trying here to constructively help to isolate the issue with AMC's sabertooth mode that few users reported as broken in the very last updates. As you know very well you can't debug something when you can't reproduce the issue.
    Honestly seeing this two days old video tutorial, I don't see any issues.



    Please be welcome if you want to help with constructive advises, othervise if all you have to say is: "my is better easier and safer than yours", you could maybe open a separate thread covering this statement.

    cheers
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  3. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    Maybe I will say something stupid but it's how I understand it:

    Remember: After a settable timeout, the controller is going to OFF-LINE mode if it is not recievig any data.

    100% OFF-LINE speed / 50% start position - should give you 0-5v range when you move the encoder to its edges. The output should show 2,5V while the encoder is set to the middle 2,5V.

    If you set 10% OFF-LINE speed it will move with 1/10 of the speed and the voltage range should be 2,25-2,75V

    If your encoder is not coupled with the motor and set exactly in the middle, while you modify the start position from 50% up, the voltage can increase, and if you modify the start position from 50% down, - it can decrease. That's because of the OFF-LINE mode gap between the assigned position and the feedback position. You should be able to match the assigned position with your feedback encoder by turning it manually.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  4. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi @hexpod thnask for chiming in and providing another nice piece of information, Sadly most of what you just explained is not in any documentation of anywhere I have looked , that being the case its easy for noobs to not fully understand the interaction of the many parameters ,

    I'll agree most are self explanatory but im finding a number of grey area's which when added up can lead to as you say incorrect settings . and hence other problems .

    I had done the procedure many times since this last tutorial release and think I have a handle on the very basics of the Interface , the check I normally did to confirm operation worked fine Prior to V3.5 ( so I know the board worked 0

    I was using Ians BFF software as my test bed ( still getting to grips with Simtools and now also another utility , but my system electronics was built around the Original Green AMC .

    Even with this new Firmware im finding the interface works in manual mode but when I try to connect FSX and BFF im no Longer seeing the Message on the Barebones AMC LCD saying " Receiving motion data " That at least gave me the confidence that FSX & BFF were linked through the AMC and I could drive the actuators manually or from FSX data .

    As I mentioned to Thanos, in our eagerness to put these project together we sometimes forget that there is a life outside our Sim world that need s attention as well , so with that in mind i'll wait to get some more info from here or @Thanos but this problem will be sorted .

    Last night I tried V3.5 1b Setup as per tutorial Video wit Analog Output centered at 2.5 V , and parameter as recommended , The Manual operation of AMC seemed fine but as mentioned I could not get the " Receiving Motion data " so have no idea if the AMC is actually getting any position demand or feedback data form Ian BFF Program ( This worked every time before) .. mainly as I can no longer drive the actuators through the BFF Utility .

    Back to the drawing board and will to try make sure everything is rechecked before next round of tests .

    Also gonna take on board your info and try this setup with my Actuator fitted with standard Rotary Pot back to basics ..
  5. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    Do I understand correctly? The board delivers the proper output?


    Did you finally managed to stabilize all your motors and was you able to move them with AMC buttons?


    If that's the case, it's like @Thanos said since the beginning - improper user settings were the trouble.


    The reason that you can't link BFF could be that you are still using the old ID.


    Since firmware V3 the new "FF FF" ID forces you to update all softwares so they can talk with the firmware. That's also the case of BFF.


    Last version of heXpod is already updated, concerning BFF you have to do the update manually.


    I'll try to find the procedure which Thanos gave already many times.


    Cheers
    • Informative Informative x 1
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  6. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    You already liked @Thanos post from 8 dec. 2018. Did you performed the software update with the files he is sharing via Dropbox?
    unnamed[2].jpg
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  7. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi @hexpod Once again thanks for some more info , I did the upgrade as mentioned above but because of all the issues ( maybe self inflicted due to parameter settings ) I reverted back to the Original BFF file and with all the swapping and changing im going have to check which version I have on my Test Pc ..

    Yes it seems I Now have the expected voltages at the AMC and when I do the manual testing using the onboard cursors all seems fine < just the issue of communicating with BFF but thanks to your suggestion I will check out that aspect to be sure im getting the correct / best when I reload V3.5 Rev 1b .

    I also went back to Pots on the actuator as once again im missing some info ref setting the encoder2Pos interface to work safely with the AMC ... ( My Calibration procedure must be wrong ) as the Encoder interface works when connected to Sabertooth etc But Not how i expected when connected to AMC analog input ) could be something to do with setting the amc Start Position thing again ..

    do you know where the setup document that explains this is ?? ..

    Really hope that the issue was just because of bad AMC menu settings on my part , as im still trying to figure out Both interfaces ( Encoder to Pos is Fine I get that on :) but how its calibrated using AMC is head scratch.

    I have followed the Youtube tutorials but may have missed the one about AMC / Encoder full setup and calibration ..

    Anyways Thanks for your help as it means im getting closer to a safe and working system ..
  8. Gabor Pittner

    Gabor Pittner Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Now I give it a second chance, just because only AMC board (with analog output to sabertooth) has made me a smooth 6dof platform until now, it doesn't matter motors are under load or aren't. I would really want a motion sim like that, but I still have issues :(

    First of all I can't find a reason why have different motor speed in forward and backward, For example testing output in simtools, motors move fast speed when I move the slider left and slower when I move it right. Its the same behavior when I push AMC buttons motors move fast and much slower when they go back to middle position. However its not an issue it works correct, but under simtools control should be the same speed all directions I think.

    And the other issue sometimes happens. I push AMC button motors move and they stuck that position where they moved, don't come back. When I push another button motors move a bit forward and stuck again until they reach the max position. On the LCD shows motors positions back to 49 but motors are standing at 8-10 feedback rate. After that I go to menu configure "start position" and change from 49 to about 65, then motors getting move to 65 feedback position. When they reach it, I change back start point to 49, and motors move to 49. I have no idea why it does that, and what changes when it works well again...

    Edit: Now I watched Thanos last video, I don't know how I could missed it... So maybe the answer for my different speed problem is Off-line motor speed ... But I have to tell, it hard to understand the configuration menu. What does offline online motor speed mean exatly? Doesn't even clear about feedback limit totaly...etc... argh... :(
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  9. Gabor Pittner

    Gabor Pittner Active Member Gold Contributor

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    I found the problem, It comes from off-line motor speed. When I set under about 20% motors moves backwards slowly 360 degree endlessly. After I set back over to 40% motors come back to start position and stop. I think that is not normal.
    The other issue is I can't set it to 99% because the speed is not the same each direction though. Morover after I set it to 99% my LCD shows me it 39% after get back from PC control. Its confusing me :(
    @Thanos what can I do? Is there a way to erease all memory of AMC board to disappear this wrong data?
    Please watch that videos:


    20190131_183226.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  10. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    After a « time out » delay (no data transmission), the controller is parking the rig to the start position in off-line speed.
    On the other side if you move your rig with sliders, the platform should react acording to your input.

    Try to send some video for better support.

    Best
  11. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    Gabor, First, could you please insure that you have the same PID on all 6 motors?

    I see it is changing from 99 to 39. Wired.
    What do you do exactly in between? Just moving sim tools sliders?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  12. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    @Gabor Pittner,
    What kind of sensor are in use 180? 360?
    What sensor setting in the amc menu 180? 360?
  13. Gabor Pittner

    Gabor Pittner Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Yes all motors have the same PID. I checked all configuration several times. Now Im sure there is something wrong with board memory, im almost succeded :( something wrong about 39% .
    I just move sliders in simtools but end to end immediately as fast as I can. Motors move fast forward, but much slower backward
  14. Gabor Pittner

    Gabor Pittner Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Sensors 180, settings 180.... please let me know how to get factory default... :rolleyes::think
  15. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    Although I see the same “39” off line speed bug I think you can skip it for now as it doesn’t concern the kinematic.
    I advise to set the offline speed to 5 percent.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. hexpod

    hexpod http://heXpod.xyz

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    The fact your arms does 360 is not normal.
    Open the heXpod utility, configure the proper dimensions and start performing the test loops. (With All Kind of different speeds and amplitudes)
    Don’t attach the upper platform yet.

    Post some results
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  17. Gabor Pittner

    Gabor Pittner Active Member Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    When Offline speed under 20 percent, motors are rolling back 360 without stop.
    Next step I will try to do something with hexpod interface. But im sure something is wrong with my board or it has some wrong data in its flash memory.
  18. Thanos

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

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    I'll write you more in your email, just a quick comment here: leave the motor speed on both online-offline to max (100 or 99). Also to fix the difference in speed on each direction of the motor, adjust the "6DOF Start Pos" value to little lower than 50%, perhaps 45 or 40. Test with the buttons while adjusting to find the spot that has both directions move the same.
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  19. Thanos

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

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    To get equal speed both directions adjust the "6DOF Start Pos" value to 39, this way the feedback position on the main screen should be 50%...
    This is because the voltage on the 5v of the AMC is a little lower (4.6v or even lower perhaps) and causing offset and shifting the 2.5v center that the sabertooth needs for zero speed.

    This has to do with the lower voltage that the USB port provides directly from the PC. You may want to use a Powered USB HUB to provide 5.1v to the AMC, or if you want to have exactly 5v voltage on the AMC circuits and have no voltage offset issues, you may use a 7.5volt 2.5A power supply on the power jack of the AMC like this one here:



    Thanks
    Thanos
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  20. Thanos

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

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    @wannabeaflyer2 is sending me a small sabertooth, so I'm going to add a selection in the AMC LCD menu that sets the controller for it with one click and will make some more detailed wiring plans and perhaps improve the control code for it as well.

    Thanks
    Thanos
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