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  1. #1
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    DIY Servo controller

    Servo controller developed in Germany.

    Since I have seen a couple of very interesting threads here that I have read with great pleasure and from which I have learned a great deal I thought I’d pass trough some things I have learned elsewhere. On the cncecke.de (German CNC forum) there have been developments that should not be made available to just German reading enthousiasts.

    Many of you will have seen the pages made by some Japanese guy that made a simple Servo controller complete with schematic for the driver board and source code for it’s Atmel processor. This project seemed to have a lot of potential and a couple of guys went to work on it. The result is a controller that is able to work with DC Motors with ~200 to 500 CPR encoders and with up to about 3000 RPM.
    The controller board can be adapted to drive DC servo’s with power in excess is 1 kW!!!
    It has a serial port which can be used to alter PID parameters, debug and finetune the controller. There is a dedicated (DOS) program that can be used for this, that has a little graph showing the position of the servo in realtime (for fine tuning and reducing overshoot). It is controlled with normal Step/Dir signals just like nearly every other Stepper driver. It has a current limiter.

    Safety measure include the following.
    Daisy chaining controllers to ensure shutdown of all controllers in case a single one has an error. Emergency stop can also be wired to this.
    Current limiter
    Adjustable position error shutdown (if for some reason the position error exceeds a preset value the controller is shut down.
    If the controller hangs the output stage is shut down so no irretic behaviour can occur.

    About the amount of power this thing can supply. Yesterday there was a post of a guy that had 1.6kW servo’s attached and while trying to determine the correct PID parameters it started to oscilate. Afterwards his son asked him why the house had vibrated to stangely…. Another has replaced his industrial Haidenhain controllers with these.

    The project is not completely open source since the author of the software for the controller keeps the code to himself. However controllers can be bought from him at cost price and the entire project is called beerware. Repay him his costs (2 euro per controller (programmed) and postage and send him a beer or something else usefull (couple of milling bits, centre drills, or whatever) and he’s completely content.
    I have built my first controller and I’m impressed.

    This can take home cnc’ing to a whole new level. Imaging the amount of power and accuracy this will give your machine not to mention the increase in speed.
    At about 40 Euro (~$50) (depending on where you get them) in parts this cannot be called expensive.

    Erik Jan
    Layout and schematic
    Controller software (DOS) and manual (also in English)

    Edit: Corrected link.
    What goes down, should come up.

  2. #2
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    The first link gives "404 Not found".
    ____________________________________
    Jeroen

  3. #3
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    I got the same eror message when looking for the schematic.
    I am very interested though..I checked the rest of the gertrtonic site, but my german is non-existent, and didn't know what to look for.
    Help!!

  4. #4
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    ejkoeze,
    Do you have any pics of the controller you built? or a short video of it runing a motor? Is the GBI file the code for the Atmel?
    Dennis

  5. #5
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    I just built a atmega16 based servo. The PID code is actually quite simple to do. I don't have a real servomotor, so I just attached an incremental encoder to a cheap 90vdc motor.

    However, it worked surprisingly well when tuned. The motion feels quite stiff, almost like a stepper motor. Unfortunately, the mosfets fried after a day, so I'm troubleshooting it now.

  6. #6
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    Movie of a small Alu portal mill running servo's controlled by the UHU Servo controller

    http://www.pyromantiker.de/servo/MVI_1052.AVI

    Photo's of the latest version







    Erik Jan
    What goes down, should come up.

  7. #7
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    Looks good, Erik.

  8. #8
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    Thats HOT!!!
    Dennis

  9. #9
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    Call that hot? Look at this

    This is when a servo blew up.



    For those that cannot read the dials
    200VDC and 12,5A (2500W).

    Servo blew up since it wasn't made for this amount of power but I have seen guys running a Bridgeport with 1KW servo's on it. This only requires different parts (IGBT) and other diodes in the output stage.

    Erik Jan
    What goes down, should come up.

  10. #10
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    WOw, this is fantastic. I checked out the website for this guy, however, I can't figure out how to order the chips (or programming) or whatever it is in order to make these. Did you just send him an email or something to get the chips?

    Chris

  11. #11
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    Is there a parts list for the board? I did not see one.

  12. #12
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    You can order the processors at servo@pyromantiker.de
    Be prepared to pay first (E2,- per processor + shipping + beer fee)

    Partslist at http://people.freenet.de/Mode1/UHU_P...uecklisten.xls

    Sorry everything is in German but hey.... would you make something and write the documentation in anything other than English?

    Erik Jan
    What goes down, should come up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejkoeze
    You can order the processors at servo@pyromantiker.de
    Be prepared to pay first (E2,- per processor + shipping + beer fee)

    Partslist at http://people.freenet.de/Mode1/UHU_P...uecklisten.xls

    Sorry everything is in German but hey.... would you make something and write the documentation in anything other than English?

    Erik Jan
    Ahem!
    http://www.pyromantiker.de/servo/dat...ler_300_en.pdf

    Except for the Change Log, that looks like English to me.

  14. #14
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    Hi Erik,

    This is just facinating to me, unfortunately, I am only moderately versed in electronics and have zero understanding the German language. That being said, I am still going to build a couple of these.

    There are a couple of specs I would like to see though....

    What is the operating range in Voltage and amperage? This question being based on the circuitboard layouts and schematics provided. Iin other words, I don't know what to do to modify it to handle higher current, so I would build to the diagrams.

    I did contact Uli already and am in the process of working out the payment arrangements etc. This is exciting!

    Chris

  15. #15
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    The schematics show 2 versions. 1 is built with IRF540 Fets, the other is built around IRFP260 Fet's.
    The version with IRF540 can handle max 10A/60V
    The version with IRFP260 can handle max 30A/150V
    Keep in mind that the Transil diodes (Between controller and fets) must be able to handle the voltage.

    If you need any help I'll be glad to help you with any English - German and German - English translations.

    There is a small summary on cncecke.de rergarding this controller. I'll translate it and post it here.

    Erik Jan
    What goes down, should come up.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejkoeze
    The schematics show 2 versions. 1 is built with IRF540 Fets, the other is built around IRFP260 Fet's.
    The version with IRF540 can handle max 10A/60V
    The version with IRFP260 can handle max 30A/150V
    Keep in mind that the Transil diodes (Between controller and fets) must be able to handle the voltage.

    If you need any help I'll be glad to help you with any English - German and German - English translations.

    There is a small summary on cncecke.de rergarding this controller. I'll translate it and post it here.

    Erik Jan
    Hi Erik,
    Thank you so much! Very much appreciated.

    The schematic ( Schalt?) I have shows the IRFP260 Mosfets, this would be the one I am going to build, which at 30 amps and 150V would be more than adequate. I didn't see anything on the schematic showing the other fets, but that's okay as I don't plan to build that size.

    I will start looking over the bill of materials to see what needs translating there, much of it appears to be pretty obvious so far.

    Chris

  17. #17
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    This is sweet but...

    There's a stumbling block to this beerware approach. It looks like the only way to pay Uli for the controllers is to transfer money via the interbank system (using his IBan number). Although this method is very common in the EU, it is not at all common in the US. The last time I tried this approach for an International EBay purchase, I had to pay my bank a hefty fee for the privilege. In this case, the fee would be much bigger than the amount I would want to pay Uli.

    Is there any possibility that Uli could set up a PayPal account? I believe he would increase his business with USA customers by 10- or 100- fold if he were to do so.

    As a side note, don't forget that Babelfish.altavista.com does a pretty good job of translating between languages. You can even point it at a webpage and get back a translation of the whole page.

    Regards,
    Kent

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncdreamer
    There's a stumbling block to this beerware approach. It looks like the only way to pay Uli for the controllers is to transfer money via the interbank system (using his IBan number). Although this method is very common in the EU, it is not at all common in the US. The last time I tried this approach for an International EBay purchase, I had to pay my bank a hefty fee for the privilege. In this case, the fee would be much bigger than the amount I would want to pay Uli.

    Is there any possibility that Uli could set up a PayPal account? I believe he would increase his business with USA customers by 10- or 100- fold if he were to do so.

    As a side note, don't forget that Babelfish.altavista.com does a pretty good job of translating between languages. You can even point it at a webpage and get back a translation of the whole page.

    Regards,
    Kent

    Hi Kent,

    In my short email with him last night, he mentioned he is looking at Paypal as an option. He also seemed to indicate that he is not in this for the money- just having fun so I don't think he is out to make a ton of money on the project.

    Chris

  19. #19
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    Hello,

    In order to get a good overview I’ll post the details of the current servo controller based on the UHU controller.

    Main part is an ATTiny 2313 with a clockpulse of 24MHz. This processor takes on all counting and control tasks.
    Two versions can be built, one with IRF540 Mosfets, max 10A/60V and one with IRFP260N, max 30A/150V
    Step/Dir input and therefore compatible with most software
    Fourfold counting of the encodersignals (a 500 cpr encoder provides 2000 pulses per revolution with configurable multiplier (for use with higher count encoders)
    Digital PID control configurable per RS232 with additionally configurable Acceleration, Encoderfehler and Inertia.
    Current control by means of pot meter
    PWM Frequency of 20kHz so no whistling sounds from the power stage

    Details
    Operating voltage 20-150V DC stabilized with Elco’s (al least 1000uF per A current)
    Ouput current control up to 10(30A) max
    Usable encoders 200-500 pulses/revolution 2 channel TTL compatible
    Additionally required for controller 12 Volt power supply. This can not be from a switching power supply but must be a stabilized powersupply. A 2A power supply is enough for 3 controllers.
    Cooling is required for longer loads. The Mosfets must be isolated from the cooling fin. For smaller loads a piece of aluminium channel can be used.
    Step/Dir signal must be TTL compatible and is accepted trough included optocoupler.

    Suitable motors must have a high pole number. The more the better. It is not possible to give a general direction for suitable engines. Usually motors with a low unloaded current and low rpm shoulp give no problems. Example Ametek Motor 50V 1800rpm with unloaded current of 300ma @24V run very well with this controller.

    Do not use low resistance motors (like starter engines)

    A 300W motor is sufficient to raise and lower a 75kg head of an Optimum F45 with a ballscrew with 5mm pitch. An 800VA power supply is enough for 3 axis on an Optimum F45

    Partslist @
    http://www.peters-cnc-ecke.de/forumu...e-17_10_05.zip
    Software and manuals @
    http://www.pyromantiker.de/servo/UHUservo300.zip
    PCB Layout, schematic and partsplacement @
    http://www.gertronik.de/cncecke/servo.zip

    Currently the software to configure the controller must be run from DOS. On of the forum members is working on a version that will run from Win2K or WinXP. A Beta is out.

    (Translated from CNCecke.de)
    The 2 different Mosfets are placed at the same pads. They are represented in the Bests.pdf as Mosfet and in Schalt.pdf they are in parallel to each other. The Transil diodes should not be necessary with both 540 and 260N but to bu sure you should use 1,5 KE 100-200V with the 260N

    Erik Jan
    What goes down, should come up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris D
    Hi Kent,

    In my short email with him last night, he mentioned he is looking at Paypal as an option. He also seemed to indicate that he is not in this for the money- just having fun so I don't think he is out to make a ton of money on the project.

    Chris
    Hence the Beerware.
    Here in Europe we pay his expences (postage and packing + price of processor) and we send him a local beer for each processor we buy.
    If you look at http://www.pyromantiker.de/servo/home.htm you can see he allready sold 350 processors so he can get pretty drunk from it.

    There is no way he'd get rich from this since he's only asking about $2,50 per Tiny + Postage (Envelope + stamps and nothing more).

    Dont forget to thank the guy that made the PCB since I personally think he did a wonderfull job on it. His email can be sent after a PM to me. I believe he doesn't want it out in the open.

    Have fun and keep me posted.

    Erik Jan
    What goes down, should come up.

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