I was working on a radiation leakage test system trying to control a STP-DRV-4850 motor designed to spin an array of D-tect sensors around a unit under test. I was able to spin the motor using AutomationDirect’s utility program, SureStep Pro and everything was looking good, until I tried to send the motor controller serial commands from LabVIEW.
After beating my head against the wall for the greater part of an hour, I finally turned to the Internets for wisdom. I had exhausted all the usual serial communication suspects:
Read the manual? Check.
COM port? Check.
Baud rate? Check, 9600.
Command format? Check, working in SureStep Pro.
Reread the manual? Check.
Termination on writes? Check, carriage return.
No matter what I tried, I could not get this motor to turn. I had talked with countless instruments over serial and considered myself an expert. And now my customer was looking over my shoulder, expecting to see magic.
The first few Google hits covered the usual issues (see above) and I began to despair. After resorting to the second page of hits (who goes there?) I hit gold with an obscure post on the NI forums from 2011. Apparently lmtis (Jim) had run into the same problem and went to the effort of hooking up a USB bus monitor.
When AutomationDirect’s utility, SureStep Pro, connects serially to motors, it first sends an “HR” command. I quickly tried it, and sure enough, everything started working.
I’m still not sure what “HR” stands for, but it is the “open sesame” of the STP-DRV world. And after six years it still hasn’t made it into the manual (SCL Commands for STP-DRV-4850 and STP-DRV-80100 Step Motor Drives).
Last week at NIWeek, National Instruments held the World’s Fastest LabVIEW Programmer competition. With Robert Mortensen being the 2016 champion, Endigit was hoping to make an impact again this year.
The finals featured two Endigit employees, Robert Mortensen and Bryan Heslop! In an attempt to intimidate, Robert reminded Bryan that he had taken second place more times than Bryan had been to NIWeek, and was the reigning champion. In awe of Robert’s superiority, Bryan felt extreme nervousness because it was only his first time competing.
We recently had a customer come to us with a request to program a Fisnar I&J7100 robot. We did not have any experience with this robot, but told them that if they couldn’t find someone to help then we could learn it. Endigit’s best feature is our ability to learn and solve new challenges. Bryan had experience with programming and running CNC machines so he volunteered to take this on.
Here is the resulting robot in action.
We were able to save the customer time and money by taking this project on. They were able to stay focused on their core competency by having us take care of this for them. Let us know if there is anything your business needs. We are great learners and problem solvers.
I like being efficient. I don’t like doing unnecessary things. I figure out the fastest route to drive everywhere I go. I even tie my shoes differently to save myself two seconds. If you have talked to me in person then it is very likely you have heard me go on about minimizing my wallet. I don’t like wasting time or energy. At Endigit, we are proud of our efficiency and ability to complete things quickly. One way we do this is by being effective in our key strokes and mouse clicks.
One trick that will save you a lot of time in the long run is to map the delete key to an accessory button on your mouse. With a delete button mapped, you no longer need to move your hand from the mouse (or move your left hand over) to press the delete key on the keyboard. You can simply select it with the mouse and hit the newly mapped delete button. Each click saves me around 1 second. While one second by itself is not much, imagine if you are deleting 60 things a day. You just bought back one minute of your life that would have been sucked away! Count Rugen would be furious!
Everyone at Endigit uses the Logitech M570 trackball mouse. Logitech has instructions for customizing the buttons for their products.
Effective use of movement and time are part of what helps Endigit provide faster software development. It is part of how Robert won the World’s Fastest LabVIEW Programmer at NIWeek 2016! I think mapping the delete button is the only thing Robert changed to advance from taking 2nd place for several years in a row. Now instead of not being a winner, Robert is a champion. Imagine what a faster delete key can do for you.
What are your favorite time saving tips and tricks?
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We are making some big changes at Endigit.com! The new web page is designed to make finding useful information easier. It also highlights our capabilities more to show what Endigit is capable of.
Endigit is a premier LabVIEW development company. We do LabVIEW integration work for customers across many industries.
With the update to the website it will be easier for Endigit to share with you what we are working on and share cool things that may be helpful to you. Be sure to subscribe to the blog for the latest updates.