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XY Linear Positioners

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We now only sell MD2 drivers for use with the C4 Controller
which offers a USB / RS-232 interface and improved performance

See the C4/MD2 System

This page is left active for reference only

 

  • Plug and Go PC-Based Motion Control
  • Includes Driver, Motors, Cables, Software, Docs
  • No motion control experience needed
  • Works under Windows or DOS
  • Open source code in VB, C, and QB
  • Powerful multi-axis coordinated motion
  • General purpose digital I/O port
  • Up to 6 motors (3 MD2 systems) on a single PC
  • Operates with data acquisition boards
  • Easy connection to our XY positioning tables
  • 2 sizes to choose from
 
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        Front         Rear         Motors

Want to automate a task but don't know how? Have you looked through motion control catalogs and been shocked by the unnecessary complexity? Most vendors expect you to select and match motors, drivers, power supplies, and cables, then write your own software or live with their proprietary product.

The MD2 system cuts through the confusion and offers a complete motion control solution for those who don't want to design their own, or don't have time to waste.

The MD2 Dual Stepper Motor System contains everything you need to accomplish motion control with PC - no cards to install, cables to build, or components to match.

Simply connect to the parallel port on your computer through the parallel printer port, load the software, and GO! Within minutes you'll have complete control over the direction, position, and speed of each motor. Up to 6 motors (3 MD2 systems) can be connected to your computer for those multi-axis projects.

Programming is simple with our interactive motion control programs. Custom programs are easy to create using our subroutine libraries for C and VB. Source code included!

There are 2 MD2 models to meet your torque requirements. Each MD2 system includes 2 stepper motors, 2 10' motor cables, printer port cable, 2 home switches, drive/power supply box, software and documentation.

The MD2 system can be operated from an AC outlet or from a battery. You must have a PC with a parallel printer port.

Need assistance? - Contact us now, we'll be glad to help.

Use the MD2 system to control our XY positioning tables. Increase the torque and resolution of a stepper motor using our PR23 Pulley Reducers.

View the MD2 User Guide (600K PDF File)

 What is a Stepper Motor?
A stepper motor is a special kind of motor that moves in individual steps which are usually .9 degrees each. Each step is controlled by energizing coils inside the motor causing the shaft to move to the next position. Turning these coils on and off in sequence will cause the motor to rotate forward or reverse. The time delay between each step determines the motor's speed. Steppers can be moved to any desired position reliably by sending them the proper number of step pulses.

Unlike servo motors, steppers can be used "open-loop" without the need for expensive encoders to check their position. Stepper motors are much more cost-effective than servo systems due to their simplified control and drive circuitry. There are no brushes to replace in a stepper motor, eliminating the need for maintenance. Even though a stepper motor system can not achieve the speed of a servo motor system, their ease of use allows them to be the preferred solution for many of today's computerized motion control systems.

Learn the differences between stepper motors and servo motors.

 The MD2xp Program
Each MD2 system comes complete with our MD2xp interactive motion control program which gives you complete control of up to 6 motors (3 MD2 systems) from a single computer. Motor parameters are easily changed and saved, and motion control programs can be created manually or by using the automated teach mode.

System Requirements
The MD2xp software works under all versions of Windows, and with parallel ports on PCI cards, ISA cards, and on motherboards. Converters from USB or serial ports do not work. A DOS version of the MD2xp program is also supplied.

On-Line Help
Need to know what units conversion is, or how to home a motor? Just click the help button and select from the menu. The text is short, and to-the-point.

Multi-Axis Coordinated Motion
Easily move motors using keypresses, a joystick, or a gamepad. The MD2xp program will perform single and dual-motor moves, including linear and circular interpolation, and XY grid pattern moves using row and column numbers.

Teach Mode Writes Programs Automatically
The powerful teach mode feature creates programs automatically as you control motors via the keyboard or with mouse-clicks. These BASIC-like programs can be maintained with the editor, saved to disk, and recalled whenever needed. Programs can change motor parameters, perform multi-axis movements, control outputs, read input signals, perform loops, and call subroutines. Quick-Run buttons load and run a sequence with a single click.

Source Code
Don't get locked into proprietary software that you can't customize. The MD2xp program is written in Visual Basic .Net and the source code is supplied with the system. This lets you create customized programs easily, and have ultimate control over your project.

Screen Shots:       Click to enlarge - then click Back to this page

Main Control Screen
  • Move motors with buttons or function keys
  • View motor postions and control travel distances
  • Home, circle, line, grid moves
  • Enable and disable systems
  • Control output ports
  • Control teach mode

Parameter Screen
  • Set motor parameters such as speed, ramping,
  • Home direction and offset,
  • Soft limits, units conversion,
  • Backlash compensation,
  • Port addresses,
  • Absolute/Relative mode
  • Save and load parameter files

Motion Sequence Editor Screen
  • Simple motion sequence editor
  • Nested loops, gosubs, output control, etc.
  • Cut and paste program segments
  • Load, save, run sequences
  • Quick-Run buttons load and run with a single click
  • Examples included

Input/Output Port Control Screen
  • Turn on/off digital outputs
  • Read the status of digital inputs
  • Read the status of motor home switches

On-Line Help - Short, and to-the-point.
  • Quick-Start guide
  • Motor parameters explained
  • Motion sequence example code
  • View it now

 Subroutine Libraries
The MD2 system also includes a complete set of subroutine libraries written in all popular languages including VB, C, and QuickBasic. This allows the creation of custom motion control programs, which provide the features and user interface you desire. The subroutine libraries can be used in conjunction with libraries from data acquisition products to solve complex control and automation tasks. Source code for each of these libraries is provided along with documentation and example programs.

Languages Supported

  • Visual Basic for Windows
  • C
  • GW-Basic
  • Q-Basic
  • Quick-Basic
  • Visual Basic for DOS
  • Pascal

Labview Drivers for the MD2 system are available.

 2 Sizes to Choose From
Two different MD2 models are available to meet a wide variety of torque requirements. Each MD2 system contains drive electronics, 2-stepper motors, 2-home switches, 2-10' motor cables, a printer port cable, MD2 software, subroutine libraries, and extensive technical documentation.

An input/output port is included on each unit. This gives the user 3 digital inputs and 2 digital outputs to attach to external devices such as cutting motors, lamps, lasers, limit switches, or level sensors.

The torque curve charts below can be used to determine the available torque for any speed. As you can see, torque decreases as motor speed increases. Torque can be increased on the MD2a and b models by using our PR23 pulley reducer.

The maximum speed that your application can operate at depends on many factors including payload, friction, acceleration, and computer speed. It's best to have 30-50% more torque than required. Although the MD2 software will work on very slow computers, we recommend a 386 for best performance. Feel free to call us to discuss your torque requirements.

 Specifications and Prices
There are 2 MD2 sizes to choose from. Notice the different torque values.

MD2a
The MD2a is our small system which is capable of driving all of our
linear and rotary positioning tables with moderate payloads and speed.

Model MD2a
Size #23 motors, 2.3" dia, 2.3" long, 1/4" shaft
Resolution .9 degree steps, (400 per revolution)
Speed 10,000 steps per second maximum *
Torque 50 in/oz holding, 15-35 in/oz running
Price $700.00 US
Shipping Weight 13 lbs.
Ground Shipping $15.00
Overnight Shipping $80.00
Shipping costs are estimates inside the continental US.
MD2a motor drawing
MD2a motor torque curve

MD2b
With 3 times the torque of the MD2a system, the MD2b can be used with
our X and XY positioning tables to move larger payloads faster.

Model MD2b
Size #23 motors, 2.3" dia, 3" long, 1/4" shaft
Resolution .9 degree steps, (400 per revolution)
Speed 10,000 steps per second maximum *
Torque 150 in/oz holding, 50-100 in/oz running
Price $1,000.00 US
Shipping Weight 20 lbs.
Ground Shipping $18.00
Overnight Shipping $90.00
Shipping costs are estimates inside the continental US.
MD2b motor drawing
MD2b motor torque curve

* Most applications use speeds of 2000 steps-per-second (300RPM) or less because the motor's torque tapers off at higher speeds. Operating system and background tasks can also affect maximum reliable step speed.

Increase torque and resolution by using the PR23 Pulley Reducer.

110VAC or 220VAC units available
For 220VAC (50/60hz) operation place '-220' after the part number.
User must supply IEC power cable for non-US power sockets.
The MD2a-220 is $750.00, the MD2b-220 $1150.00

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