Mach4 motion plugin for Granite Devices drives

Today Granite Devices turns 11 years! Our team of 8 people thank all our community members for making this journey so awesome!

In the other news, we have just released the first open beta version of Mach4 Granite Devices motion control plugin. All CNC users out here, welcome to test it with your IONI, ARGON and soon to be released ATOMI drives! Grab a free Mac4 plug-in download from our Wiki.Mach4 pluginShortly put, the plug-in makes it possible to control drives straight from PC USB port. No middle-hardware or step pulse generators needed.

If you try it, drop a comment below, or at our community forum thread here.

Wanted: hacker

hacker_debugliveCurious to learn what’s inside in the top-tier servo drives? Want to put your ideas in motion? Are you a natural born microcontroller hacker suited for the job?

In other words, we’re now hiring the best of the best hacker available to take a major role in servo drive firmware development. If your socks started spinning already, don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance and drop Granite Devices your CV now!

Community forum launched!

I’m excited to announce brand new community forum to seed brainstorming and ideas around motor control related projects. The community forum is the first-hand media to get the latest updates of motor control development.

First 50 community members will be given an exclusive access to a private SimuCUBE’s beta testing forum. They will be the first ones to get to test-drive the beta when it’s released.

Join now at:

communityThis forum will be also the official discussion forum for this Blog. The link is on the top navigation bar. See you there :)



Argon servo drive firmware 2.1 adds SinCos encoder support

The just released Argon servo drive firmware version 2.1.0 adds support for encoders with analog Sin/Cos outputs. Drive allows selecting interpolation factors of 16, 64 and 256 for such encoder. This means that an sin/cos encoder with 1000 lines per revolution, would give resolution equivalent of 256*1000 lines. In addition to this, normal quadrature decoder 4x gain applies on top of that, meaning that 1000 line encoder will yield total resolution of 1024000 counts per revolution.

The FW upgrade contains also many other improvements based on the user feedback that we have received. For full list & download, see firmware page at wiki.

New ATOMI servo & stepper drive boards are here!

Earlier announced ATOMI is finally getting the focus it deserves! Now we have second revision boards under our scope for testing and firmware development. From initial tests, we can tell that we’re very close to the final design. At the moment it looks like we need only to change one resistor value on the PCB to make it final.

ATOMI boards along with 400W AC servo motor and IONI Pro HC drive

Four axis drive ATOMI boards along with 400W AC servo motor and IONI Pro HC drive

We can thank Esa Hippolin from the beautiful hardware design.

Perfecting BLDC performance

Something cool is under development relating to BLDC (brushless DC) motors. BLDC is similar technology to sinusoidal AC motors but with trapezoidal voltage waveform. This makes BLDC little bit smaller and usually cheaper than AC motor.

BLDC torque simulation with FEMM

While I’m typing this, in running a FEM simulation of outrunner BLDC motor to optimize the electrical commutation phase angle for such motor. Iterative simulation takes some 20 hours to compute.

Finding optimum commutation angle makes it possible to implement MTPA (maximum torque per amp) drive algorithm for such engines. Such efficiency boost might be very beneficial especially in battery powered applications such as multicopters, but of course it also will benefit  squeezing more out of the existing motors. More about that later!

Simulator wireless magnetic paddle shifters and buttons

It’s time to make another post about amazing work of Juha. Now he has completed his design of magnetic paddle shifters as well as wireless transceiver. A group of us did test drive of the wheel and everyone immediately fell in love with the snappy feeling of magnetic shifters.

The magnetic switch has a micro switch and a small permanent magnet to produce the “spring” force of the paddle.

Magnetic paddle shifter

Magnetic paddle shifter

Paddles and buttons on a frame with wireless transceiver

Paddles and buttons on a frame with wireless Bluetoot transceiver and battery

Button frame front side

Button frame front side

Simulator wheel with controls installed

Simulator wheel with controls installed

See it in action:

Maybe best of all, it’s open design. 3D printable parts and other info can be found from this Thingiverse page.

Simulator rig progress

Juha’s simulator rig build is progressing amazingly fast. Can’t wait to hop in and take it for a spin! To me it looks like a smart way to put a rigid simulator together with small amount of parts.

Simulator rig

We asked couple of friends to help assembling the SimuCUBEs of the Indiegogo campaign, and as reward from their help I gave them SimuCUBEs. Well, this is what happens when you give them to brilliant people:

Simulator rig frame where the seat, steering wheel, pedals and SimuCUBE will be installed

Simulator rig frame where the seat, steering wheel, pedals and SimuCUBE will be installed

Cutting simu rig plywood parts with CNC router

Cutting simulator rig plywood parts with CNC router

This is a project of Juha which has been inspired by the earlier build of another help contributor, Mika. More updates will follow!