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SimAxe Motion Controller

Discussion in 'SimAxe Motion Controller' started by yobuddy, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. yobuddy

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

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    The SimAxe Motion Controller is an Easy to build, high fidelity DIY motion controller, which is based on the PicAxe 28x2 module.
    The PicAxe 28x2 module contains all of the hard to solder components already installed, which leaves us with a very simple project to build!
    And is a great first project in electronics for anyone!

    Detailed PCB Overview
    SimAxe_1.9.jpg

    Some of the highlights of the SimAxe Motion Controller are:
    1 ) Extremely easy to Build!!!
    2 ) Oversized traces and solder pads for easy Building!
    3 ) 4 separate memory banks for Motion Code!
    4 ) All SimAxe firmwares are “Open Code” and Editable by the End User!
    5 ) Completely Free editing tools to create you own Custom Firmware!
    6 ) Admin tool for simple settings changes to any firmware!
    7 ) Data transfer rates up to 921600 baud!
    8 ) Modern USB to PC Connection!
    9 ) LCD Output support!
    10 ) Screw terminals for all connections! No DIY Cables to build!
    11 ) Pictorial, Step by Step, build guide!

    You can use Multiple SimAxe’s at the same time, for example:
    -Build 1 SimAxe and you can assemble a 2DOF Simulator
    -Build 2 SimAxe’s and you can assemble a 3 or 4DOF Simulator
    -Build 3 SimAxe’s and you can assemble a 5 or 6DOF Simulator

    Picture of SimAxe
    [​IMG]

    Port Connections
    [​IMG]

    Switch Settings
    [​IMG]

    Build Manual
    [​IMG] Build Manual - SimAxe Motion Controller.pdf
    (1.52 MiB) Downloaded 60 times

    User Manual
    [​IMG] User Manual - SimAxe Motion Controller.pdf
    (1.09 MiB) Downloaded 51 times

    PCB Layout PDF v1.9
    SimAxe Motion Controller - Layout_v1.9.pdf

    PCB Layout v1.8 removed
    WARNING
    - v1.8 layout had a small line added to the right of the PCB that was not suppose to be there.
    It was added by the print software, if you are building 1.8 remove this trace!!
    fix.jpg

    Parts List v1.9 - (Digikey)
    SimAxe_Parts_List.zip

    Part Links - PicAxe
    PICAXE-28X2-Module - http://www.picaxe.com/Hardware/PICAXE-Chips/PICAXE-28X2-Module/
    PICAXE-USB-Download-Cable - http://www.picaxe.com/Hardware/Cables/PICAXE-USB-Download-Cable/

    Optional distributors for Germany
    PICAXE-28X2-Module - http://www.picaxe-shop.de/epages/63...5/?ObjectPath=/Shops/63174191/Products/AXE201
    PICAXE-USB-Download-Cable - http://www.picaxe-shop.de/epages/63...5/?ObjectPath=/Shops/63174191/Products/AXE027

    Software & Drivers - PicAxe
    PICAXE Programming Editor - http://www.picaxe.com/Software/PICAXE/PICAXE-Programming-Editor/
    AXE027-USB-Cable-Driver - http://www.picaxe.com/Software/Drivers/AXE027-USB-Cable-Driver/

    SimAxe Admin Firmware & Software (to be posted)
    [​IMG] SimAxe_Admin_v1.0b.zip
    (3.76 KiB) Downloaded 24 times
    [​IMG] App_SimAxe_Admin_v1.0b.zip
    (328.78 KiB) Downloaded 26 times

    SimAxe Admin App Picture
    [​IMG]

    SimAxe Motion Firmware’s
    In the header of each firmware, you will find a list of what SimAxe Admin variables are used in the firmware, along with any notes from the firmware author.
    All motion control firmwares may contain a few User Settings that can be altered prior to programming your SimAxe.
    In the picture below, we see that #Slot 1 is selected as the save location, and a COM speed of 115200 baud is selected for the communication speed.

    Example Firmware Header
    [​IMG]

    Motion Firmware's
    [​IMG] Proportional_Beta_Release_8bit.zip
    (4.04 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
    [​IMG] Proportional_Beta_Release_9bit.zip
    (4.14 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
    [​IMG] Proportional_Beta_Release_10bit.zip
    (4.15 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
    • Like Like x 5
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  2. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, SimAxe, SimforceGT
    Want to show you my ready assembled and fully working SimAxe controller. Such a tiny beautiful beast [​IMG] Next step is the wiring with a hbridge and connecting the potis.

    prototype1.JPG

    Thanks Dustin for your help assembling it properly [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 2
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  3. bsft

    bsft

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    groovy
  4. john

    john New Member

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    HI Yobuddy,

    A big thank you for your work, from layout and manuals to software, who could ask for more ! [​IMG]

    Which leads me to the question are PCB's available in Europe ?

    Alternativley, since there is a module in the middle and connectors at the left and right edge of the board would the board be reconfigurable to a strip board layout ? It may be a stoneage solution to electronics but procuring single PCB's is expensive and the self etching is a chemical pain unless you already have all the requisite kit, ( I was there several decades ago, would need to be isolation routing to get me hooked ! ). About half an hour with a drilling template could produce a board, very much in the spirit of your EZ versions!

    I have identified software to convert PCB layout to strip board do you see any problems regarding proximity of components ?

    Regards

    PS Can you advise location of information on your EZ version of Tronicgr's H bridge ? for use with above controller.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2013
  5. yobuddy

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

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    Hi John,

    Sorry for the late response!

    I see no reason why you could not build this little controller on a piece of strip board. It’s very easy to build. [​IMG]

    The real power behind the design is ‘Open Code’ and that the PicAxe was originally (and still is) a Teaching Tool for learning microcontrollers. In short, it’s not too hard to learn and program. And when we get more people writing code for the SimAxe, we could do some pretty increasable things with this little controller!

    I would like to see an encoder setup with 16bit input! (10 bit input with Potentiometers is where we are for the initial release). [​IMG]

    Btw, I never released the H-Bridge EZ due to spacing issues. (Basically, I could build this thing over and over and still want to make slight changes to the design)

    yobuddy
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2013
  6. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    yobuddy,
    I opened a thread last week about my upcoming build of an AC setup like CKAS.
    Eaorobbie was the only response to my thread and he was think you board / SimAxe Controller may work with AC Motors and VFD's but wasn't sure. I haven't heard back.
    Any idea if the new controller will work???
    Thanks so much,
    cthiggin
  7. yobuddy

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

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    Yes, I believe we could make VFD's work!
    I have questions thou...
    PM sent!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2013
  8. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    yobuddy,
    I have replied to your pm. Thanks so much.
  9. john

    john New Member

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    Now that is a good idea, I would like one possibly two controller boards, postage to UK.

    (You know you need/want one, tell the man ! )

    Do we need a more detailed specification on critical components ? Have had multiple offerings on some would hate to procure the a less appropriate item.

    Some electronic component sites are not exactly user friendly, RS is useful but some quantities at 10x, any recommendations UK or Europe for these small quantities ?

    Regards
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2013
  10. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, SimAxe, SimforceGT
    If there are 10 or more people who want to build the SimAxe i will do a collective order. Price for a single pcb, professional etched and drilled should be not more than 10$.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, SimAxe, SimforceGT
    shippingcosts to australia from germany are round about 2$ for a regular letter without insurance. With insurance it costs 5$
    • Like Like x 1
  12. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, SimAxe, SimforceGT
    If we find enough interesting parties (sure we will), i could offer a complete component bundle if you want to. So there is no need for you too look for the components. You only have to open the package and start soldering:) The price should be cheaper than ordering everything separately by different shops.

    Most times i order at RS components and reichelt, sometimes for special parts i use small niche shops if the big distris do not have the wanted items on stock.
  13. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Not sure if this helps but I created a CAD file for those who want to use their CNC to cut out the PCB for this controller.

    Here you go:

    Edit: Had to add it to a zip file

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  14. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, SimAxe, SimforceGT
    try again @Historiker
    DXF is allowed from now on. Up to 3MB:)
  15. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Woops, just figured out to add it to a zip file ;)

    Sorry Rene. But thanks for setting that up.
  16. Mckey1988

    Mckey1988 Member

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    is the LCD controlled whit LCDHype?
    And real tacho responsive whit the bord?
  17. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Can I ask some questions about this controller?

    What is the difference between this controller and say the Arduino UNO? I was thinking about building one for the fun of it, I have a CNC and can cut the PCB, etc. I actually have most of the general components in my shop, I would just have to order the chip and the din-usb cord. But the total cost even without the PCB is more than an Arduino.

    I am already starting the plan for my 3DoF flight sim platform, but as I understand it from your post it requires two PicAxe boards for 3-4 axis?
    • Like Like x 1
  18. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    @Historiker The SimAxe is much faster, its running with 64Mhz instead the 16Mhz of the Arduino Uno.
    COM Speed is possible up to 921600 baud. I think, for a Motion Simulator especially a racing one it´s ok to say: the faster, the better;)

    @Mckey1988 The LCD shows only status information like software version, resolution of potis, temperature of your bath water:D It´s not controlled with LCD Hype
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Thanks for the information Rene.
  20. prilad

    prilad Well-Known Member SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Yes, 64MHz much faster than 16 MHz. But for Arduino we can use COM Speed up to 1000000 baud (1 Mbaud) without problem.