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Addressing for Ascii communication for Multiple Stepper Drives

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  • Addressing for Ascii communication for Multiple Stepper Drives

    I have an application where I need to use 11 stepper motors and multiple I/O's. If I use the DL205 with (6) H2-CTRIO that allows only room for one I/O and an Communication module in a 9 slot base. Since H2-CTRIO cannot reside in the 1st slot (next to the CPU) my system limitation is 12 Steppers (module placement restrictions). The Stepper documentation explains clearly how to communicate on RS-232 network (point to point) and the SCL manual covers all of the ASCII commands. Does anyone know if it is it possible to use an FA-ISOCON to convert RS-232 to a RS485 network, then convert back to RS-232 via FA-ISOCON to multiple Stepper Drives? I cannot find any documentation that suggests how to address each individual Stepper drive with Ascii instruction. Is this even possible?

    Thanks in advance for any input.....


  • #2
    The only solution to this that I am aware of is Applied Motion's SiNet Hub which has two models: 4 and 8 steppers. With one of these modules, you can send ASCII commands to each separate drive using direct RS-232 communications to the hub. You simply need to append the drive number before the command (i.e. 2FL2000 to send Feed Length 2000 steps command to drive 2). Here's a link to the 8-drive hub on their website.

    I've used this in a couple of my projects in conjunction with their user interface keypad, so I can't vouch for the ascii command sending itself, but it runs the stepper drives nicely, IMO. The hub itself has some programming capabilities similar to Applied Motion's Si series drives. Nice GUI, but limited in programming length (I learned this the hard way!). FYI, their commands are the same as AD's STP-DRV drives (Applied must build AD's stepper drives for them), so you shouldn't have any issues. There is a SLIGHT difference in commands between the two, but the vast majority of the usual commands are identical.

    If this works for you, then your problem is narrowed down to two sets of comm. streams instead of 11!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by EddieM View Post
      I have an application where I need to use 11 stepper motors and multiple I/O's. If I use the DL205 with (6) H2-CTRIO that allows only room for one I/O and an Communication module in a 9 slot base. Since H2-CTRIO cannot reside in the 1st slot (next to the CPU) my system limitation is 12 Steppers (module placement restrictions). The Stepper documentation explains clearly how to communicate on RS-232 network (point to point) and the SCL manual covers all of the ASCII commands. Does anyone know if it is it possible to use an FA-ISOCON to convert RS-232 to a RS485 network, then convert back to RS-232 via FA-ISOCON to multiple Stepper Drives? I cannot find any documentation that suggests how to address each individual Stepper drive with Ascii instruction. Is this even possible?

      Thanks in advance for any input.....
      Looking through the SCL manual, it appears that there are no facilities for addressing multiple drives individually. I'm kind of surprised at that as it would have taken very little for them to at least add a command to set a drive address.

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      • #4
        Looking through the SCL manual, it appears that there are no facilities for addressing multiple drives individually. I'm kind of surprised at that as it would have taken very little for them to at least add a command to set a drive address.
        I think the reason they don't do this directly is because they all deal with RS-232 which is designed as a two node communication protocol. If you start talking addressing, then you're into the realm of RS-485, which does deal with addressing. Their workaround for this is using the hub in which each drive is separately connected and the hub does the translating and addressing between it and the PC/PLC. Their implementation to this effect is very simple, at least.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bgirouard View Post
          I think the reason they don't do this directly is because they all deal with RS-232 which is designed as a two node communication protocol. If you start talking addressing, then you're into the realm of RS-485, which does deal with addressing. Their workaround for this is using the hub in which each drive is separately connected and the hub does the translating and addressing between it and the PC/PLC. Their implementation to this effect is very simple, at least.
          The hub idea seems like a nice solution. I've seen some other stepper / servo drives using RS232 get around the lack of tri-state electrical issue by daisy-chaining the RS232 ports.

          PLC/PC to RxD on drive 1, drive 1 TxD to drive 2 RxD, drive 2 TxD back to PLC/PC.

          The only issue is the delay going through multiple drives.

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          • #6
            Over my head

            Wow. I am learning a lot, but have a lot to learn at the same time. You guys are WAY more knowledgable than people in other forums!

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