Something new in Meccano! A Stepper Motor Controller.
A Computer controlled electronic interface board into which you can plug four stepper motors, 2 relays, 8 limit switches and 2 light emitting diodes.
You can control all the equipment from a computer but requiring no programming skills at all. One simply clicks on pictures on the screen to build up a sequence of actions of each of the motors, the relays, the limit switches and the light emitting diodes. Just plug your equipment into the board, load the program and away you go! This controller opens up new possibilities for the Meccanoman who now has a new tool at his disposal for precise control of multiple motors and other equipment.
What is a stepper motor?
It is a brushless synchronous electric motor that can divide a full rotation into a large number of steps. The motor’s position can be controlled precisely without any feedback as long as the motor is sized to the application.
Electronic Interface Board
Code 7 Electronic Interface Board
This board plugs into your computer or laptop USB2 port where the code 7 program resides. It needs its own power supply. There is space for the attachment of four stepper motors, 8 limit switches, 2 relays and 2 Light Emitting Diodes. It is a multilayered board with surface mounted components of top quality. It has neatly drilled holes at Meccano spacing to merge smoothly with any model.
What the program can do.
The astonishing thing about this equipment is that it is designed for the Meccanoman who has no program knowledge. This is because every step in the process is carried out by clicking on icons on the computer screen and the process of using the hardware components is easy to follow. It is thus not difficult to build up a sequence of operations by the various motors etc and then edit any mistakes and run the program once or as many times as you like. The whole process is carefully described in a series of videos and tutorials.
Precisely control the number of steps of each of 4 motors. Turn them on and off in any sequence and all together if desired. Edit the sequence at any point. Save the details and replay the sequence step by step, the whole sequence once - or as many times as required. This means it is a teach and play program, just like you would teach any equipment on an automated factory floor. You can control a robot, or a lathe, or conveyers, or even a crane or your favorite model automatically with very precise control and repeatability. The small stepper motors are supplied with a mounting plate drilled to 2 ½ x 1 ½” and simply plug into the controller board.
Ref www.code7-tech.com for more details about Code7 in video form.
Here are three models which demonstrate the new system with full Building Instructions, drawings and photographs. Just click on the highlighted text.
The three models which are model building plans:
1. Trolley (Model Building Plan) Trolley (original design by Meccanisms Motivator) with one stepper motor and two limit switches
2. code7stepper robot (Model Building Plan) Table Top Robot with three stepper motors, 4 limit switches and an electromagnet.
3. code7stepper crane (Model Building Plan) Small Builders Crane with 3 stepper motors and 6 limit switches
4. A Meccano Stepper Motor Gantry Crane - Photos only