MDC 2230 "Controller Lost" while operating actuator from Roborun+ "Run" tab

5 years 8 months ago #29534091 by turbett1
I am testing some new linear actuators for use on a project, my previous actuators from a different company work great.

Both actuators are 6" throw with 10k potentiometers for the analog feedbacks they are very similar actuators.

The issue I'm having with the new actuators is while controlling them from Roborun+, if I move the slider past where the actuator physically stops due to mechanical limitation the controller freezes and roborun says controller lost.

To reconnect to roborun I have to power cycle the controller. I can do the same thing with the older actuators and this doesn't happen. What is causing the controller to lock up? Im drawing less than 2 amps when the physical limit is hit.

I have played with different settings but cannot stop this from happening.

The issue with this that is bothering me is when it freezes, the actuator remains locked in full extend or retract until I power cycle, if the computer that is running the controller happend to send a command value greater than the physical actuator limit it could lock up and would be very dangerous in my application

Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.

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5 years 8 months ago #29534093 by Gabriel_Isko
There are a few considerations,

First, we must understand what is causing the controller reset to occur. It sounds like an electrical issue - the motor will draw peak current when it hits a hard stop. If you can share a wiring diagram, a datasheet for the actuator, and a photo of your setup will all be helpful to me. A copy of your configuration profile would also be helpful.

Since the motor holds position, it sounds like it may not be resetting, only losing communication with your computer. This could be due to EMI interfering with the USB connection. Restart Roborun+ when the controller disconnects and see if you can re-establish connection. Also, an RS232 connection is something worth trying.

The next thing we should consider is eliminating the possibility of the motor controller trying to extend the range of motion beyond the actuator's physical limit. You should be able to change the range of the analog input you are using for the position tracking potentiometer. I would recommend limiting it's voltage range to ignore voltages that occur beyond the physical bounds of the actuator. This is all assuming that you are running in closed loop relative position mode.

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