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Did You Know? - Host Control of S Drives

by Mike Fahey

Our less expensive “S” models can be controlled in real time by a host!

Most of Applied Motion’s newer drives feature “S”, “Q”, and “Si” models. Each of these model types offer different ways for fitting into the overall control architecture of the device being designed.

  • “S” models are typically controlled by an external pulse source – step & direction.
  • “Q” models are programmable via an ASCII based programming language and can act as stand alone or host controlled motion controllers.
  • “Si” models are programmable via a simple to use point and click, icon based programming interface, they most often act as stand-alone motion controllers.

Here’s the part many don’t know, with their intelligent processors the “S” models, besides step and direction, can instead communicate via ASCII over an RS-232 connection. Some models also support RS-485. We named our ASCII based command language SCL (Serial Command Language). You can learn more about SCL at the support and software downloads section of our website here.

Often the hardware used in devices that use motion control will include a PC, a PLC, or an HMI or sometimes all three. Historically it has been common to have a PC or PLC, with a “motion card” installed. A program running in the PC would command the motion card, it would send pulse and direction signals to the drive and it would run the motor. Now with the built in intelligence of our “S” models, the PC or PLC can skip the motion card and directly command our “S” models to generate move profiles and much more. The PC, PLC, or HMI just has to be capable of sending and receiving ASCII.

Machine and instrument builders can create their own GUI’s using C++, Visual Basic, Labview, or any high level language that can send and receive ASCII characters over a serial connection. Then they can skip the expense of the motion controller card.

This programming method applies to all of Applied Motion’s “S” type stepper drives, servo drives, and integrated stepper motors!

Find your next “S” drive by filtering on “Streaming Commands” on the following pages: Browse Stepper Drives, Browse Integrated Steppers, and Browse Servo Drives.

Submitted by Mike Fahey, West Regional Sales Manager

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