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Questions - Help - 3DOF AC Platform IT Begins -

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Building Q&A / FAQ' started by cthiggin, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. speedy

    speedy Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    @BlazinH ... what type of controller you're using in your sim ? ... Tom may need to know it's details .
  2. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Couple more things on the SimAxe…
    I have been able to run the SimAxe stable with a baud rate of 921600.
    It also has built in serial receive. So commands sent to the chip are either in the scratch pad or not. (It does not have to stop and read them in or anything)
    The chip we use has 4 banks to store data; I use bank0 for settings and 1-3 for firmware code. Allowing for easy testing of new firmware’s.
    With that said your right about the rest and would be interested in the loop times too.
    All the testing I did with it was with wiper motors.
    In the end i think that speedys setup with prillads native code would work best?
    yobuddy
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  3. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    Hey friend Speedy,

    GOOD - now it's narrowed down...to SimAx Boards, Opto Isolators, the little LCD screens, and whatever else I need.

    WITHOUT ANY disrespect for the others' I mentioned above - who are just great, I KNOW you're the AC VFD "Man"....you've had so much experience with the AC route.
    I have great trust and faith in what you say - I have great faith and trust in my other "heavy-weight" hitter-friends here.

    THANKS so very very very much for putting my mind at ease (and you know all about that) - I just love when variables are reduced to a workable plan.

    Let's keep it going guys - nothing but "good" can come out of this.

    ALL have a most blessed one,

    Tom
  4. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    Hello yobuddy,
    I didn't see your post after @Speedys' - Wow - another heavy getting into the mix.......thanks so much. I am so excited guys.
    Thank you for your expertise and the wonderful way you care and share it with us. Bless you all.

    Tom
  5. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know if the arduino could do VFD's or not so maybe it's not the best place for me to post this here for general comparison purposes.
  6. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Dustins Wiring Diagram AC copy.jpg

    Guys again,

    You all just have gotten me too excited.

    Yobuddy, hopefully, with your permission, I'm going to place your wiring diagram picture here - KEEP IN MIND friend, THIS picture is what got me off my butt and building - All your wonderful fault.

    Thanks to all,
    Tom
  7. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    I directly control a sabertooth motor controller with a VB program I wrote. I think he knows already though.
  8. speedy

    speedy Well-Known Member

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    Mutual information/experience share is what I'm expecting in @BlazinH next post ... to define which side he will take
    or givers .
  9. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Yes I know of the serial receive. You use it in your code. But did I miss the part on the 921600 baud rate because I didn't notice that. Thanks.
  10. speedy

    speedy Well-Known Member

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    Now you started talking ... Thanks my friend .
  11. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    Too funny Speedy!!!
    RASCALs it IS! Love it man.

    Tom
  12. speedy

    speedy Well-Known Member

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    Off topic ... best checkmate


    edit : Try not to let it happens here ...:p
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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  13. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    If I could be convinced that the picaxe could do the job for full pid control, I may decide to pick it up again. Originally yobuddy and I were in much discussion around last Thanksgiving on this. But then Christmas rolled around and we both got busy with our own things I guess. During that time I wrote the code but while doing so decided it may not be feasible with the picaxe and I lost interest. For effective pid control I am using word variables instead of bytes (but use bytes where possible). But word variables take a lot more time to process is my concern. Plus I don't have a simaxe built to test the code. It was written for use with a picaxe 20x2 but would easily work with the simaxe as well with minor modifications. It was intended to be shared with the community and still would be. But I hear one is maybe already around the corner now anyway. I think Tom would probably benefit by use of full pid control on his simaxe.
  14. speedy

    speedy Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    So, since you miss the part of the 921600 baud rate ...
    what do you have in your sim performance with OLD Sabertooth motor controller that is more than picaxe in the SimAxe ?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  15. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    From my experience with the Ard its way to slow for sim use, as in most code avail today has a timing lag when compared to the Jrks timing, which funny enough has a pic18 on it. We went through this process on the other site with the Ard in creating a dedicated firmware to run on it, the 16mhz held it back badly when you had to calc a proper pid function, the only code that has worked well is prilads but again thats pushing the Ard to its limits as he has explained. The tech on them is old.

    Now I have only had a quick run testing firmwares on the SimAxe waiting for my new Jrks to arrive (dont ask) and had an issue getting my big worm gear motors to run right , see they punch at 180rpm, which is a little hard to control, they push the limts of the Jrks. Plus I only had cheap pots on them which were not stable at all. The ard would not control these motors at all, well prilads got it running but had to throttle the motors down to 50rpm.
    I need to grab two more motors and continue my tests or go back to slow wipers at 50-60rpm to make it easier to tune and fine tune it.

    But confident that the Simaxe is the viable driver for 240v systems.
    The Simaxe is easy to build and fun project to make your pcb too.
    The Ard is fussy , i know heaps of people who have had issues with them , serial dropping out , reseting itself all the time, or just plain locking up.
    In my many tests with SimAxe , didn't happen once , in my opinion the Ard is best for dashboards etc, but will work motion to a degree, cant say dont use it, its an open choice. I prefer the SimAxe.
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  16. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    @yobuddy / @speedy / @eaorobbie -
    Thanks for the continued overviews and the "Confirmation" - SimAx Boards for me and my AC Setup.

    Have a most blessed day my friends!

    Tom
  17. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Incase you guy's didn't notice, the controller in the wiring diagram above has the AMC EZ in it and not the SimAxe.

    The AC electronics should work with the ARD, SimAxe, AMC EZ etc…
    It should work with any controller that has one pwm and 2 dir outputs per motor channel.

    I believe I have finished a PD and full PID firmware for the SimAxe. But it is pretty much untested and I would not want to test firmware for the first time on a high powered AC rig.

    No matter what we use we would want to setup everything without the motors connected to the top of the base. Then we can visually check the output before moving forward.

    So while the AC extra stuff needs to be built, we could try an ARD, AMC EZ, and a SimAxe to see what works best.

    yobuddy
  18. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    @yobuddy
    That's what you sent me as example "you rascal" - I though it looked like a "Thanis'" (sp) 1.5 or 1.6 board - I told myself it was the SimAxe board.

    So, @yobuddy and fellows - thought we had confirmed that the SimAxe would work and was the best solution to my AC Platform. Now we have again, more variables.
    @eaorobbie definitely said the Ard was out .....

    I would be more than happy to test to your parameters, WITHOUT connecting rods being hooked up to top platform - but again, I'm the neophyte here in electronics -
    maybe that's a good thing having an electronics newby that has no preconceived thoughts - or maybe it's bad as you may need a full fledged electronics guru to check these out????

    After three years of thoughts and finally building, I DO NOT want to jump the gun to get "something" that will work. I want the BEST I can get "at this moment in time"....

    I will wait for your overviews and any suggestions you may have -

    Thanks to ALL of you - highly appreciate you.

    Tom
  19. speedy

    speedy Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    My Friend @cthiggin ... look at the near future .
    SimAxe motion controller also represents the twin brother for the SimTools program ... as they will grow further and will be updated together for the Utmost Performance ... with the care of developers here ... you'll have there support like for ever (plus all of us too ) ... here where you started to grow your build roots and will come up with a well done flight/race simulator that many followers will follow your steps .

    Many other tries to be a SimTools compatible motion controllers are welcomed too ( like mine ) ... but I guess they are all a limited edition and followers to the SimTools/SimAxe step forward update .



    @yobuddy ... I'm happy you mentioned that ... So ... to give others here a hint ... my controller is just like the AMC EZ drownings above ... but with all the opt-isolator circuit and 0-10v circuit for AC motors all in one board ...

    That leads us back to the AMC EZ board with the ATmega8535 OR ATmega644 micro-controller with the 22Mhz crystal ... If it is loaded with Prilad's FW then you have the Exact timings and program cycles as I do ... plus the GUI program that Prilad provided ... then the LCD is not really needed ... I think prilad can update the FW for this so the FW is faster response than it is already .

    Have a nice week end guys .:thumbs
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  20. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    It appears that the only way to know how fast the simaxe can be is to write some code and then test it to see! Rev-Ed is very closed on information relating to their bootloader/interpeter and I haven’t found any documentation that states how many clock cycles are required for different commands. Therefore, it is impossible to try to calculate the result.

    My thinking here is that we shouldn’t be telling everyone the simaxe is the best thing since sliced bread until it has been proven to be so! If the ard has problems being “fussy” then that is definitely something to consider. But as far as “old tech” is concerned, all the three boards mentioned above are old tech! They are all 8bit controllers! And for those unaware the picaxe and a pic chip cannot be compared to each other. Keep in mind the picaxe wasn’t designed to be the fastest around; it was designed as an inexpensive learning tool for newbies. Therefore, they took the old 8bit pic design they can get cheap now, and put a program on it that will allow for it to be programmed without a special programmer. This program also takes simple basic code (easier for newbies to learn) and converts it to c code during run time so it can execute on the pic microprocessor. It works the same way basic worked on the trash80 (trs-80) and commodore 64 for example (8bit also). If you were playing around with computers back then, you would probably know that basic, while easy and good enough for many non-gaming applications, if you wanted to have anything with any complexity run with enough speed, it had to be written with assembly language (one step away from being pure machine code) that could be pre-compiled. With the clock speeds at the time the differences in execution was enormous! Now with clock speeds hundreds or more times faster, it is less obvious to the naked eye. Also since VB6 I think, Microsoft basic is now pre-complied also so it no longer has to use an interpreter making it a very fast and worthy language.

    So this leads me to my next question, why are we still concentrating on old slow 8bit microprocessors? Isn’t it time to move ahead into the future? How come nobody is talking about developing a 32bit “SimAxe2” that can run at 84mhz for example? The only real issue I see with moving forward is the fact that these chips must run at 3.3 volts instead of 5. Therefore we have some issues in using other 5 volt devices with them in most cases depending on what board we are talking about. But nothing I see that can’t be overcome by all the talent we have here! And doesn’t everyone think it’s about time to move up from a 10bit ADC to 12bit? It’s not that all 32bit boards have a 12bit ADC built-in, but if we need to add a separate ADC chip for 5v anyway, it might as well be a 12bit one!

    Anyone else out there up to the challenge?

    note: If you're using conventional pots then 3.3 volts should work as is I would think. But I much prefer digital pots so I would want to have a 5v ADC interface unless there are some inexpensive 3.3 volt models I am unaware of.
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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014