The SmoothStepper is a 6 axis motion control device that connects to the USB port of a computer. It accepts commands from a trajectory planner (i.e. Mach3) and produces a very high quality pulse train to stepper and servo motors. At this time the SmoothStepper only works with Mach3.
When used with Mach3, the SmoothStepper can act as a replacement for two printer ports, both in terms of function and connections. It can be viewed as a super printer port. If your system is currently using Mach3 with one or two printer ports, changing to the SmoothStepper should be very easy. The SmoothStepper allows computers with no printer ports, such as laptops, to control motion with Mach3.
Great care was taken to make the SmoothStepper an easy replacement for the parallel ports. Initial wiring in most existing systems will be as simple as unplugging the printer port cables from the back of the computer and plugging them into the two 26 pin headers on the Smooth Stepper using an adapter. An advantage here is that the ports & pins setup under Mach3 for the printer port, should work without change with the SmoothStepper.Specifications
ManualUSB Driver and PlugInsVDO MachDrive with SmoothStepper
- 6 axes of coordinated movement plus a spindle.
- Spindle control may be Step & Direction, PWM, or discrete on/off.
- Maximum Step Frequency is 4 MHz
Port 1: 12 Outputs and 5 Inputs
Port 2: 12 Outputs and 5 Inputs -or- 4 Outputs and 13 Inputs
Port 3: 6 Inputs (3 differential and 3 single-ended)
Grand Total: 24 Outputs and 16 inputs, or 16 outputs and 24 inputs, depending upon configuration.
- All outputs are 5V CMOS logic.
- Port 2 pins 2-9 have CMOS thresholds (input and output).
- All other inputs are TTL, except for 3 of them that are differential and are intended to be used with an encoder. Except for Port 2 pins 2-9 and the differential inputs, all other inputs are Schmitt Triggers.
- All outputs capable of sinking or sourcing 32 mA.
- An expansion port is available for future expansion, which will allow for practically unlimited I/O that does not have a high speed requirement (roughly 10 Hz, which is as fast as Mach3 processes most I/O).
- The interface to the computer is through an FTDI FT245RL USB chip. The interface is Full Speed USB, which is 12 Mbps. USB 1.1 or 2.0 required
- Power Requirements depend upon load. You may optionally choose to power from either the USB 5V or an external 5V (via screw terminals or pin 26 of either 26-pin header)