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Inconsistent SMC3 connectivity to Arduino

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

  1. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    Swap the hardware around and see if the issue follows, that may help pin it down.

    In terms of settings there can be differences between motors, so settings for each may need refinement.

    Check the motors themselves, things like brushes may be an issue.

    It is preferable to pin down the noise and resultant twitching, check cable management and pots, plus try some clip on Ferrite magnets.
  2. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    Everything works fine for a few minutes or so. Then the problem slowly comes up. I ran it again and it was the opposite motor this time. Everything works completely fine in SMC3, so it shouldn’t be a PID tuning or hardware issue. It’s only when I go into simtools that the problem shows up. When I close SimTools then reload it it works again.
  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    I am not so sure that everything is sorted on the SMC3 side, but that aside please post pictures of all of your SimTools settings, and advise if Windows is set to English language: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/faq/simtools-language-setting-bug-change-to-english-local.233/
  4. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    My windows is english. I would tune SMC3 if I knew what to do. I just don’t have any idea what could be causing these problems. I just encountered a problem where the motor would jump up and down really fast and then it went past its limits in SMC3. If I didn’t set up physical boundaries for the motor, it would’ve torn apart my potentiometer. Only SimTools was was open when it happened and I was capturing tuning center values at the time. Also, correction from the last post. Closing simtools and then opening it doesn’t work anymore. Here are my settings. I set the PWMmax lower to see if it would fix the problem but it didn’t do anything. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
  5. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    You can't run the SMC3 utility and SimTools at the same time, as per your pictures, as it will cause a port conflict.

    If your motor is going wild with just SimTools then I would suggest that your hardware and SMC3 are not sorted. Was this in Output Testing of SimTools, or something else?

    All issues on the hardware and SMC3 need to be sorted, and the rig behave as expected, before moving on to SimTools configuration.
  6. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you use the arduino programmer to look thru the sketch until you find "Serial.begin (500000)" and change it to 115200 and in Simtools. Utilities will only work when set at 500000 though.
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  7. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    I have never run them at the same time when the problem shows up. I only had them up at the same time to take pictures of my settings. Like I said I don’t see how it could be the hardware or SMC3 because everything works fine up until that point and behaves as expected. I don’t know what I can do in SMC3 or with my hardware to make this problem any better because they both work completely fine by themselves. I’ve done troubleshooting with my hardware and no electrical problems have come up. As soon as I go into simtools, the problem is nonexistent at first, then slowly gets worse until the motor doesn’t move at all. In the video, I am in output testing. With the problem of it going past its limits, I was in a game and it came out of nowhere. I’m still waiting on the new USB cable so that I can wire the Arduino separate from the rest of the components on my simulator. That was what I think fixed the crashing problem. These problems could be related, but I doubt it just considering that a single motor starts having a small problem and it slowly increases to be a bigger problem. That just doesn’t seem like something that a messed up USB cable would do.
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  8. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    @BlazinH @noorbeast here is a video of the other problem with the motor twitching and going past the limits. I cut the power before it went past the limits this time.

    I will try a different rate again. As you can see in the video I have a clip on magnet however the twitching stayed the same. And if anything made the new problem worse. I couldn’t even get far enough into the game to test the motor unresponsiveness because this new problem came up so quick.
  9. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

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    Are you using a usb hub ?

    What other usb devices are in use ?
    Try a quality shielded usb cable
  10. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    I am currently using a powered usb hub that groups my wheel, hotas(when it is connected), a USB fan, and the arduino. However I am waiting on cables to wire the arduino separately from my other components because, through my testing, this seems to solve the old crashing problem where both motors go down all the way to their limits. Once the arduino is separately wired, the new crashing problem should be fixed (the one where the motor spazzes out then blows past the limits I set in SMC3) but the issue with one motor slowly becoming unresponsive still happens when I directly wire the arduino.
  11. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  12. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2020
  13. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    I did not say there was a misconfiguration, in fact further information would needed with respect to SimTools configuration, as things such as the TC setup are way off. I am just pointing out the two common vectors on the SimTools side that can result in aberrant behavor, and neither of those seem particularly plausible, hence my earlier comment about the hardware/SMC3 side needing to be sorted first.
  14. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    The motor thats loosing responsiveness is an indicator that communications could be the issue. Seen it many times especially when using a non-genuine arduino. The best way to find out for sure or not is to lower the baud and try it.
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  15. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    I agree. I just have no clue what else I can do on SMC3 because it works completely fine. I will re-check the hardware today. I checked it a couple weeks ago but I’ve rebuilt it a couple times after that so something could’ve changed. I will also try a different baud rate and use the arduino on a separate cable.
  16. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    I suspect it will be a process of elimination, swapping stuff out to pin down a cause.

    What motor drivers are being used?
  17. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    I’m using a sabertooth. I changed the baud rate and it seemed to fix everything. I haven’t had a problem yet.
  18. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    My SimTools settings are above and my windows is English. The only thing I changed from the settings before was the baud rate. The only problem with the PID tuning is that the motors are still twitching but it’s much less noticeable than before and they don’t twitch more when weight is applied to them. I’d like to get it fixed but I can’t find a single setting in SMC3 that helps it. The motors positioning is smooth so this is the only noticeable issue.
  19. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

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    set kp to 250
    ki to 0
    kd to 5
    ks to 5

    does this improve things ? ?

    is your pot signal clean
  20. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear this :) but we could have got you going days earlier and probably saved you a headache or two had you correctly stated you're using SMC3-SPS. It has its own thread for a reason or the sketch would be on the SMC3 thread right? I could have confirmed the Pin 8 to gnd baud change works with SMC3-SPS also when done per instructions on its thread.

    So to anyone else reading this thread that would like assistance also let this be a lesson to please be accurate in your statements and save everyone from wasting time for nothing including your own.

    Have fun everyone. ;)
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