1. For downloading SimTools plugins you need a Download Package. Get it with virtual coins that you receive for forum activity or Buy Download Package - We have a zero Spam tolerance so read our forum rules first.

    Buy Now a Download Plan!
  2. Do not try to cheat our system and do not post an unnecessary amount of useless posts only to earn credits here. We have a zero spam tolerance policy and this will cause a ban of your user account. Otherwise we wish you a pleasant stay here! Read the forum rules
  3. We have a few rules which you need to read and accept before posting anything here! Following these rules will keep the forum clean and your stay pleasant. Do not follow these rules can lead to permanent exclusion from this website: Read the forum rules.
    Are you a company? Read our company rules

Inconsistent SMC3 connectivity to Arduino

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Building Q&A / FAQ' started by Sam Neall, May 11, 2020.

  1. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I’ve been trying to get a crashing problem worked out with my simulator. Every once in a while both motors go all the way down and stay there. Other people have had this problem and fixed it by changing the baud rate to 11520 from 50000. I tried to do this but nothing would connect correctly. I grounded pin 8, reset the script, made sure it was set to 11520 In SimTools, but nothing would connect. I ended up setting it back to 50,000 in SimTools and ungrounding pin 8. Now SimTools will communicate but SMC3 utils will not connect to the sketch for me to change PID settings. SMC3 will connect fine on another laptop but for some reason it’s not working on mine. I have had success in connecting it on my own computer however. Like I said though it’s really inconsistent. I had success when I completely uninstalled the drivers for my COM port, got a new copy of SMC3, then reuploaded the sketch. It never worked after that though. The sketch in the Arduino should be completely fine because SimTools communicates with it. This is a problem with SMC3 Utils’s compatibility with my computer but I’m not sure what I could've changed between the time that it worked and now.
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

    Balance:
    Coins
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
  3. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    OK now simtools doesn’t work at all. I discovered that every time I plug the USB back into my normal PC from the laptop I can actually get a communication with and therefore tune on, it’s sets the PWMmax to zero. I can set it back to the desired amount on the laptop that works with tuning, but it’ll just go back to zero whenever I plug it back in my normal computer. What could be setting it to this amount? It’s my understanding that SMC3 utils only communicates when you open it. And I couldn’t imagine simtools would set the PWMmax to zero and keep it there. I’m really confused on this one.
  4. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    Another update. Sorry for all the updates but right when I lose hope and put a post out things seem to move forward. Right now I’m back where I started with the crashing problem. I got SMC3 to work once on my normal computer and was able to set the PWMmax and have it stay that way. This allowed me to play a few races and gather dome data. The crash seems to be random. It doesn’t happen when there’s any violent movement and it doesn’t happen when I’m braking and the motors would go down normally. It’s completely random. I ran another test previously where I would take away different variables and power cycle the simulator in between. I narrowed it down to something in my computer but not SimTools. When I power cycled it After shutting down all programs on my computer it would still stay in the same position. It was only when I removed the USB entirely that I could power cycle it and the SMC in the Arduino would take over and move the motors back to center.
  5. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,088
    Location:
    London
    Balance:
    7,842Coins
    Ratings:
    +247 / 6 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, 6DOF
    check you have 5v output from your usb

    replace the usb cable
  6. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,835
    Occupation:
    Innovative tech specialist for NGOs
    Location:
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
    Balance:
    115,680Coins
    Ratings:
    +9,241 / 46 / -2
    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
    I am just checking you are not trying to run SMC3 utility and SimTools at the same time, as that will cause a port conflict.
  7. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I made sure simtools was not running and they never have been running at the same time when the crashing happens. I still have no clue what the problem is but it seems when I don't run it from the start menu and actually run it from the file location, it works. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do in regards to the crashing problem? I have seen others with the same problem and none of us have found a solution. I thought it was a problem with the USB cable but the problem remains.
  8. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,835
    Occupation:
    Innovative tech specialist for NGOs
    Location:
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
    Balance:
    115,680Coins
    Ratings:
    +9,241 / 46 / -2
    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
    I very much doubt how SimTools is launched is the issue, but you can always try the Launcher app: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/marketplace/simtools-v2-launcher.202/

    Any interrupt could be a potential culprit, so usb, usb hub, usb port or interference are possibilities. With the latter, good cable management and Ferrite clip on magnets can help.

    But given you have issues with the SMC3 utility and settings I am guessing it is a hardware fault.
  9. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    Ok I took the usb splitter out of the equation. Things seem to work fine now. Do you know how to stop motor twitching? I tried increasing dead zone, FPID/, PWMMin, PWMMax but nothing seems to work. The motors will almost always make a really annoying twitching sound whenever they are idle.
  10. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I am also noticing a brand new problem where one motor slowly stops being responsive. It starts out subtle and moves less and less until that motor is completely unresponsive. When I load SMC and manually move the target the motor moves fine again. I am really trying to get these problems worked out because the simulator works great when they don’t show up. I’m really eager to compete a race without any problems.
  11. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,835
    Occupation:
    Innovative tech specialist for NGOs
    Location:
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
    Balance:
    115,680Coins
    Ratings:
    +9,241 / 46 / -2
    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
  12. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I tried changing the baud rate once, but SMC3 doesn’t support anything other than 50,000. I have English windows so a language bug wouldn’t be the problem. Here are my settings. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
  13. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,835
    Occupation:
    Innovative tech specialist for NGOs
    Location:
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
    Balance:
    115,680Coins
    Ratings:
    +9,241 / 46 / -2
    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
    Why do you have so much Axis Limiting? Unless it is something like SCNs, which can break, you would not normally run any axis limiting.

    I would also be interested in seeing your Tuning Center settings.

    Out of curiosity try @SeatTime's SMC3 settings:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  14. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I put the limiter on in my early stages of tuning. I now see that it isn’t necessary and I can just set my DOF percentages accordingly. I have not captured max and min values in tuning center yet because from my understanding it is a refining tool. I didn’t think it would fix a problem as big as an entire crash with the system. The picture won’t open but I found his settings on another thread. I will get back to you once I do some testing with axis limiting off and the new SMC settings.
  15. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    15,835
    Occupation:
    Innovative tech specialist for NGOs
    Location:
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
    Balance:
    115,680Coins
    Ratings:
    +9,241 / 46 / -2
    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
    The Tuning Center is a critical part of setting up a motion profile, see the tips here: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/faq/steps-to-create-a-motion-profile.228/
  16. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    OK so I used his SMC3 settings with my max limits and it doesn’t twitch like crazy when you get on the simulator and put pressure on the motors. My rig is a little jumpy with that PWMmax but I used KS to slow it down a little bit. I do still hear some muffled, quieter twitching though. You can see the PWM acting up in the picture I sent. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but I want to make sure that my motors are going to get messed up from all this. 14689E82-C8F0-4503-999B-4EAC2E4A7ACD.jpeg
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  17. Blame73

    Blame73 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,179
    Location:
    Italy
    Balance:
    8,078Coins
    Ratings:
    +1,045 / 2 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I always used PWMrev a bit higher than PWMmax in order to faster brake/change direction
  18. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I will make sure to do that. Do you know if the twitching will damage the motors?
  19. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    @noorbeast Through further testing, the twitching problem is gone and I think I figured out the crashing problem with using a separate USB. However, I have the new problem with one motor not being moved. Everything tracks and moves fine in SMC3 but when I try it with SimTools, motor one is rarely responsive and when it is it’s extremely jumpy. The other motor is smooth as butter by comparison. Any ideas on what could be causing this?
    Here is a video of the motors in comparison to each other. I’m using output testing.
  20. Blame73

    Blame73 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,179
    Location:
    Italy
    Balance:
    8,078Coins
    Ratings:
    +1,045 / 2 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    it's not a rule, it makes your rig faster but will also absorb more juice... cool the controllers

    I don't know if the twitching could damage the motors, but I'm pretty sure it's not healthy. I personally hate that rumor and I try to avoid it every way I can, I don't like raising pwmmin too much, so I give a click or two more to deadzone
  21. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    136
    Balance:
    8Coins
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0 / -0
    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I tried deadzone and fpid/. Neither work. The twitching is pretty much unnoticeable now. You only notice it if you listen very carefully or feel the motors.