Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: spanky on March 03, 2008, 11:27:10 AM

Title: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: spanky on March 03, 2008, 11:27:10 AM
I have aquired several Animatics motors.
has anyone had experiance with these?
will mach3 drive them?
We used them in a machine I designed for another company but I never touched the drive side.
I did the motion side and overall design.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: Overloaded on March 03, 2008, 11:58:34 AM
Hello Spanky,
These motors are NO GOOD ! You can just send them to me and I will dispose of them for you. hehehehehehe
Looks like they can be configured to accept step and direction signals and would probably work well with Mach.

"Stepper replacement and substitution
With SmartMotor, you can dramatically increase throughput on machines that use traditional stepper or micro-stepper motors by replacing existing stepper axes. You can also replace the traditional drive-amplifier combination seamlessly by routing step and direction signals from the existing motion indexing system directly to the SmartMotor."

What nema size do you have ?
I bet they are pricey.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: jimpinder on March 03, 2008, 01:33:56 PM
I have looked at the web site, and I am afraid it does not say alot. I will bow to Overloaded's view if he has had experience with them.

I am afraid from my point of view that - if you are a beginner - then they are far too complex for you. The traditional system (which I would recommend to a learner) is a computer - and you are having a bit of difficulty with that so far, a set of drivers (which normally come about £30 per axis) and stepper motors. I bought mine for £40 each from Arc Euro Trade.

I cannot remember now whether you were doing a lathe or a miller.

The advantage of these simple units is that, to test them, you can set up one, run it, GCode it etc etc. When you know that is correct, then the second and third axis are only more of the same. There is a three wire connection from your computer to your driver and a four wire connection from your driver to your motor. Nothing could be much simpler and if you can't get it to work, your are wasting your time.

As you advance, you put all your drivers in one box - may be with a 25 pin breakout board, and you do all the wiring in the box - power supplies, fuses etc. All you then have to wire is the 25 pin lead to the box (buy a printer cable) and then wire each motor to its driver - I used flat 10amp loudspeaker cable (four core) and 4 pin din lockable plugs and sockets.

The whole system is easy to see, easy to test, and if any single part goes wrong it is easy to identify and replace. Since all the parts are standard, you can swap them about to fault find quite easily.

The motors you identified listed about 6 different ways of wiring to them - fine, but you will never use them, so why pay for them. They listed in built drivers - fine, but if the motor or the driver goes, then it is all to replace, not just the part that has failed.

I built my system in three days, from receiving the motors and driver cards - including working out some way to drive the axis from the motors and for £200 I had a three axis CNC system (my lathe has a milling head). I later blew the drivers ( I think by connecting the power supply wrongly) but at least only the three drivers needed replacement. The system still works. I am adding limit switches and home switches etc etc  as I feel the need.

Take my tip - keep it simple until you have it up and running. You could do with some sort of breaxout board to test your PCMCIA - printer port adaptor. You can test this without a machine attached, and then go from there bit by bit.

If you already have the motors, fair enough - are they powerful enough to do the work !!


Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: Overloaded on March 03, 2008, 02:43:17 PM
Hello Jim,
You hit the nail on the head. I have several motors very similar to these, different mfg. The only reasons that I used them was because they were bought cheap...REAL cheap as surplus, and were on hand. New price was over $400 US ea. The software was also free which is needed to set the parameters in the motor .
I'm like you in that I don't like to keep all of my eggs in one basket.  If 1 of mine craps out, it will be replaced in the conventional manner you mentioned earlier.
I'm a SCAVENGER by nature.

 You might put them on the market. They might sell for several times the amount you need for your set-up.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: Hood on March 03, 2008, 03:00:04 PM
Personally I would use them, may well be overkill but if they are already on hand why not use them. As has been said one drawback is it they go belly up it might be expensive to replace but if that time comes then you can decide how to proceed. I am using AC Servos with commercial type drives on my Lathe and on the Mill I am doing at the moment, the drives provide many more options than the usual servo drives you find getting used here (Geckos, Rutex etc) but obviously are much more expensive, although I have not had a good look throughthe specs of these motor/drive combos I would imagine they will be fairly flexible as well.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: spanky on March 03, 2008, 10:45:36 PM
I have to admit that I am somewhat ignorant on the PC side.
It is a fear tempered by a lothing of learning another program.
I get no joy from that part but sometimes it is a necessary evil.
I put together one complete system about 10 years ago that used Parker amps and motors with an industrial computer and Galil 4 axis controller.
2 inter connected xy tables.
I hammered my way through it with alto of help from the reseller and it worked well for its intended purpose but having not used it for a looooong time I am afraid the visual basic I leared is gone and I have no interest in going back there.
I am not afraid to use the smart motors but it still looks like I need a controller and amps of some sort.
I have the parts for a maxnc 4 axis setup and will start with that, but I do have these smart motors collecting dust.
Animatics has a CNC software for $500 but I am trying to do this on the cheap.
I have 20+++ years of cnc experience and can build anything.
But I must admit I am a put Tab A into slot B kind of guy.
Having said all of that,
I have these sweet animatics motors two of the 750 oz/in and several of the smaller 43 oz/in
I am a little worried about building with the big ones because of the cost of replacement if anything goes wrong but I would love to have the power and speed.
I will need to think about it allot.
thanks for the input.
I want a combo machine that I can put a router , milling head or plasma torch on.
I have the parts for a good sized gantry type machine.

Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: Hood on March 04, 2008, 02:40:24 AM
From what I have seen you dont need Amps as that is what is built into the motors, also your controller will be Mach on a PC so really what you are looking at is  maybe a breakout board or two if you need the extra I/O that two parallel port would give.
 You may need a power supply, not sure what the drives/motors take and I cant seem to download the manual to check up.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: Hood on March 04, 2008, 02:41:43 AM
Oh also forgot, the 750ozin should be good but the 43ozin may be on the small side for what you are describing building.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: jimpinder on March 04, 2008, 03:10:41 AM
I don't think you are a "beginner" then, clearly the engineering side of building the machine is no problem.

I will go along with Hood (having read your post) - if the motors are there gathering dust, use them. As far as I read the Animatics web site, your motors do not need drivers, they are all built in, so it is just a matter of working out which input to use. Do you have any documentation with them that could give you a clue???
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: spanky on March 04, 2008, 11:06:34 AM
I don't have the original documents but I might be able to get them.
I was hoping to use a laptop to run it.
I have the power supply and break out board.
I think that the software needs to run on NT or better so I will need a new tower to put in the shop.
that just means more$$.
It would be worth the effort for a more robust system.
I will need to think about it.
Title: Re: Animatics motors?????????
Post by: Torak on July 24, 2008, 11:09:41 PM
I know that I'm only a few months late here, but just in case anyone is still interested in this thread ...
IMO, the Animatics motors are about the best thing since sliced bread (or at least since MACH3!).
These servos are incredible; I use them as much as I can when designing manufacturing equipment at work.
I used 8 axis on my last machine design (we have since built 11 duplicate machines) - and not a PLC in sight.
All the motion control programs are on board, and a PC (via serial port) handles the HMI.
Anyway, I know that their purpose here is indeed overkill, but I would definitely use them in building a CNC.
ALL of the documentation for them IS available on their website.
They are quite easy to set-up (especially for simple step & direction input), especially with their free interface software.
Let me know and I'll be happy to help.

I, too, am using them in my CNC router design.