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!

SimuCUBEs are becoming real

Boxes after boxes started piling up during the last week, and we had no choice but start occupying a new room for them. We expect rest of the parts, including some 4000+ screws to arrive within a week. After that, we start to figure out how to put it all together!

Piles of SimuCUBE parts

Piles of SimuCUBE parts

SimuCUBE final hardware has just born

Today we received the first samples of final SimuCUBE board designs. Testing of it shows no flaws so we’re giving the green light for the first 250 pcs batch assembly! All parts are already in stock, so assembly should not take too many days.

SimuCUBE with the needle bed SimuCUBE production tester device

SimuCUBE with the needle bed SimuCUBE production tester device

The photo above shows also the work-in-progress test bed for SimuCUBE that will be used to test & verify the operation of every shipped SimuCUBE. The device under test will be placed on the top of the bed and the spring loaded pins will contact certain pads on the bottom of the SimuCUBE board to allow tester to contact all necessary signals at once.