The SerRoute Firmware
The SerRoute firmware converts any of our SimStep or BiStep series of stepper motor controller board-level products into a simplified serial router, designed to allow one serial line to control large numbers of stepper motors. The routed serial lines are all TTL-serial, not RS232 or USB; that is to say, it is designed to bypass the RS232/USB level-conversion process. This product may be used if you have a need to operate two or more of our controller boards from one serial line. We strongly suggest using the SS0705USB controller as the host for the SerRoute firmware; it provides the most convenient combination of connection options for any of our products.
Version 2.0 and later of the SerRoute serial routing firmware adds TTL pulse width measurements and rotary positional phase-encoder processing. Using this release, you can monitor up to 8 positional encoders while performing all other actions which the firmware understands.
This firmware option allows for 3 (default configuration) to 9 (optional on the SS0705, S0705USB and SimStepA04 units) motor controller boards to be operated via one serial port (if installed on an SS0705USB unit), thus permitting 6 to 18 motors to be controlled by one 9600 baud connection using one SerRoute unit! Depending on how it is configured, it can support various combinations of following features:
Monitoring up to 4 generic TTL input ports
Simple TTL input polling
Pulse width measurements
Driving up to 8 external relays
Monitoring up to 8 phase encoders (for motor position detection)
Acting as a TTL-Serial router, for up to 9 'child' boards
one dedicated RS232 or USB serial line for communications to the host.
Note that when we say "relay", we mean that we provide a driver which is designed to operate a relay coil which requires a given voltage and current to actuate. See our table (below) for some examples. You provide the relays.
When routing serial data, the unit can be "nested" (i.e., the wiring can be such that one SerRoute-based board connects to multiple other SerRoute boards, which are then connected to motor controller boards); allowing for truly absurd numbers of motors to be controlled via one serial line! To see the complete manual for the product (in Adobe Acrobat 5.0 format), please click here! Hint: If you want to save your own copy of the manual, right click on the above link, and then select the 'Save Target As...' option which appears. Tell the system where to save the manual, and then you will be able to browse it at your leisure.
Click here if you need to download the current version Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe's site.
Click here if you prefer to use Foxit Reader as is available from the Foxit Software site.
This firmware may be installed on any of our boards; different relay control capabilities are present, depending on which board is used. Once installed, the board no longer controls stepper motors; instead, it becomes a SerRoute unit which supports the above features.
The feature support grid is as follows:
|Feature||SimStepA04 Or SS0705||BiStepA04||BiStepA06 or
|Up to 4 TTL input||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Up to 8 "Relay" Output||0.1 Amp||0.3 Amp||0.5 Amp||1.0 Amp|
|Max Relay Voltage||24V||15V||24V||24V|
|Maximum Serial Output Lines||9||5||5||5|
|Maximum Encoders Monitored||8||4||4||4|
The firmware is an upgrade option, and replaces the existing firmware within the selected board.