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SimTools Compatibility Issue

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Building Q&A / FAQ' started by Sam Neall, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform
    I’m having some trouble getting simtools connected to my simulator. Everything works with SMC3 but I can’t seem to get anything to move using output testing in simtools. One motor is getting warm and not moving while the other one doesn’t seem to be getting any power at all.
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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  4. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I have only tried it with the Axis testing function in SimTools. I wanted to make sure the connection was good before I ran a game. I haven’t messed with tuning center yet. I have patched the game so it’s ready to go when I get it connected.

    Attached Files:

  5. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    Is SMC3 utility and SimTool running at the same time, as that would cause a port conflict?
  6. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    No SimTools was the only thing running when I tested it.
  7. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    If a motor is getting warm without SimTools being able to connect then my guess is that there is an issue on the SMC/hardware side.

    Can you please post pictures of your SMC3 settings and video of responses there.
  8. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    The whole hardware side of it is kinda messed up. The motors were seized up before and you would have to whack it with something for them to move. When I cleaned out the motors they started moving on their own again, but It could be a temporary fix and they could have seized up again. I will test it again tomorrow with SMC3 to see if anything has changed. Not sure what you mean by video of responses Sorry. Do you want me to take a video of the motors moving with SMC3?

    Attached Files:

  9. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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  10. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    Ok I read up on the settings I should have in SMC. It wasn’t in the SMC tutorial I have listed below so I didn’t think it was necessary. Ill keep you updated for when I test it again.

    Attached Files:

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  11. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    So I kind of went one step forward two steps back here. I got the clip and Max limits set correctly but when I was trying to set the PWM‘s, I started to have lots of feedback noise. I had this problem before and fixed it with shielded cable for the feedback wires but now for some reason is back again. now I’m thinking it might not have been a shielded cable problem and it was just a coincidence that it started working after that. Honestly idk. For a better description, the feedback line goes up and down really fast. Pretty much like a triangle wave. There is a grumbling sound coming from the motor. When I was testing the limits, the motors worked fine then all of a sudden I started to have this problem again.
  12. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    A couple of thoughts, is there a possible ground issue, or problem with a pot, and have you tried a little dead zone.
  13. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    I just sent my computer in for repair but will get back with some tests soon hopefully.
  14. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    OK the potentiometers are spot on. It knows exactly where the motor is and it doesn’t seem to cause the problem with feedback. I turned dead zone from 1 to 0 and the first time it worked fine without any interference. I only had to turn it up to like 50 for it to get enough voltage to move. Then the next few tests it had interference again. I ran a variety of tests, changing the dead zone from 0 to 15 and it had interference every time. Now it’s working without interference but the motors aren’t moving at all and the highest point in SMC is only 10 V being put out by the motor driver. I didn’t change anything in SMC3 or with the motors while I was getting these mixed results except the dead zone. The only thing that I can think of that could possibly cause this problem is that while I was increasing the PWM max in the test that worked after I changed the dead zone, as soon as it started to move, I turned off power to everything. I used to do this every time I tested it in the past because I hadn’t set the clip limits yet and the motor would pretty much just crash right into the physical boundary if I didn’t stop it. I guess I just forgot that I already set clip limits in SMC recently so flipping off the switch wasn’t necessary. The power Strip that I turned off powers the Arduino as well as the motor driver, except the Arduino also works on USB power so it doesn’t disrupt the it since it’s connected to computer.
  15. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    @noorbeast any ideas on this?
  16. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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  17. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    No it is a sabertooth 2X32. I tried like four MM clones before I just gave up and bought something reliable. I tested the power supply and it will put out a steady 12V with full load on the motors. It’s either the driver isn’t being told to output 12V, or it’s broken. I’m not sure how to troubleshoot this because 1. I don’t have another motor driver and 2. I can’t test if it’s the Arduino since it communicates to the driver via serial communication. I tested the motor driver with smaller dc motors and it works completely fine. It’s just when I put 12 V motors on them it doesn’t supply enough power.
  18. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    Wait I think I know what’s wrong. Taking amperage into consideration, my power supply only outputs 30 A. I bought it to work with the monster moto drivers I was using when I started this project. They were only 15 A a channel so 30 A was enough. This motor driver is 32 A a channel. I think what’s happening is that since the power supply is putting out an insufficient amount of amperage and the motor driver wants to output 32 A, the motor driver has to reduce the voltage in order to reach that amperage since it’s not provided with that amount of power by the power supply. Anyways it definitely poses a problem that the power supply can’t handle a single channel of the motor driver according to its specifications. That still wouldn’t explain all the crazy problems it’s been having with inconsistent testing though.
  19. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    @noorbeast do you think I should go ahead and buy a proper power supply or do you think it’s a different issue?
  20. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    It should be pretty easy to test, just grab a 12v car battery and use that, if the issue is resolved then yes it would be likely the PSU is the issue.
  21. Sam Neall

    Sam Neall Member

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    Just tested it with a fully charged 12v car battery and it put out only 8V to the motors. So the motors are good, the power supply is good. Is there anything that could be causing undervoltage in the sabertooth or Arduino? I checked the dip switches on the sabertooth and its connection to the Arduino.