SMC Networks Glentek Amplifier User Manual

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Application Guide

for Pulse and Direction Stepper Systems

Including the integration of Glentek digital pulse-stepperservos with Sound Logic Breakout boards and Artsoft Mach series software

Applications Guide

Revision Date:

03 Nov 2008



Table of Contents..................................................................................................


Overview ...............................................................................................................


Servo Motor Versus Stepper Motor.......................................................................


Selecting a Glentek Servo Motor to Replace a Stepper Motor .............................


How to Choose the Correct Amplifier....................................................................


Sound Logic Breakout Board ................................................................................


Artsoft Controls Software ....................................................................................


Advantages of Using Glentek Microstepping Servo Amplifiers ..........................


Brushless Versus Brush-typeComparison ........................................................


Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026


Application Guide


This guide is designed to assist the customer with the integration of Glentek’s Amplifiers and Motors to their systems, utilizing high response micro stepping servos instead of low resolution stepper motors. The difference between stepper motors and servo motors with high resolution encoders will be pointed out and examples will be given. Also an overview of

Glentek servo motors and amplifiers will be provided. This guide will answer many questions that are asked when trying to retrofit an older machine with Position Loop stepper servos. The guide also explains how to choose the correct servo motor replacement for a stepper motor.

The guide describes how to set up the Glentek Position Loop Stepper servo amplifier and connect it to the Sound Logic breakout board. Also, we have included a brushless vs. brush type comparison for those of you that are currently using brush type motor in your servo system.

For additional information such as tuning the Glentek servo amplifier in pulse follower mode, go to the Glentek website at, and open the installation and operation manual (24Aug07) for Omega series amplifiers under “Support > Manual”. To connect to Sound Logic Breakout board, see input schematic for pulse and direction position mode, page 15. Also, the tuning section for pulse and direction begins on page 41 of the manual.

4 Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026

Servo Motor Versus Stepper Motor

Stepper motor versus servo motor is a question that has been asked by many people with projects where they could incorporate either motor. There are many benefits that the servo system has over the stepper system. Servo motors and servo amplifiers are designed to maximize efficiency between the motor and amplifier. This is done by commanding current only when the motor has to provide torque for the system. This is different than some stepper motors where they are commanding current continuously. This leads to poor efficiency as the usable energy that is commanded to the motor when it is not moving is dissipated into heat. Also, steppers have very poor torque characteristics at higher speeds.

When a stepper system utilizes microstepping up to 25,000 micro steps per revolution, it is important to note that since the stepper motor is open loop, it does not usually achieve the desired location, especially under load. Particularly poor positional accuracy will result when using microstepping, which is primarily utilized for smoothness of motion, not accuracy.

The servo motor has an encoder which keeps track of the movement of the shaft. The encoder is connected to an amplifier where the encoder information is used to determine degrees of rotation of the motor shaft. This number is then compared with the number that it was commanded to move. The difference then becomes an error signal to a high gain, high bandwidth digital servo loop within the servo amplifier. The error is always nulled to zero in steady state conditions. For this reason, you see the digital step servo never loses steps or position as a step motor can if it is inadvertently stalled and misses a step, thus losing position and requiring a re-homingcycle. A typical encoder is around 2500 lines of resolution. This allows for very precise movement. The number of lines on the encoder can be increased for better accuracy.

The typical stepper motor has a step size of 1.8 degrees. This is equivalent to having a 50 line encoder which is a very low resolution encoder. Encoders range from 1000 to 5000 lines per revolution. As an example, a 1000 line encoder would have 20 times better resolution than a 1.8 degree stepper.

1000 line encoder = 4000 counts/revolution

1.8° = 200 counts/revolution

The typical stepper servo system will have added efficiency as well as performing the job in a smooth quiet manner. The stepper servo system is a upgrade for the customer who is serious about having their system move in the most precise manner possible. If the precision needs to be greater it is possible to install a higher line encoder. Glentek typically installs 2500 line encoders on their Nema 23 size servo motors. A 2500 line encoder allows you to command a step of 1/10000th of a revolution. This provide excellent smoothness and accuracy and is very helpful for milling as well as precise movements.

Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026


Application Guide

The Glentek Nema 34 and Nema 42 servo motors are supplied with 5000 line encoders. This high resolution (20,0000 counts per revolution) provides a smoother higher bandwidth velocity loop for fine machining finishes.

To take full advantage of this high step resolution capability, the pulse data required from the Artsoft software would have to be as shown in the following example:

A milling machine with a 5 pitch ball screw traveling at 400 inches per minute would require the following calculated data rate:

400 in

1 rev

20,000 pulses

1 min


X —————= 666.7 KHz


0.2 in

1 rev

60 sec

In this example, 1 pulse would equal 0.00001 inches of axis travel.

If you decide to have one pulse equal to 0.0001 inches of travel in the above example, the maximum data pulse rate would be 66.7 KHz.

It is our understanding that the Sound Logic Breakout board is currently being updated to operate with the USB port of a standard computer and this will allow higher data transfer rates.

Glentek servo motors and servo amplifiers provide the highest quality and reliability as well as being reasonably priced.


When operating in the pulse and direction stepper mode, make sure to disable (inhibit) the amplifier before powering down and powering up your command control logic. We have noticed that when removing power from some break out boards, false pulses are output to the amplifier as the power fades, and causes unwanted motion. This unwanted motion will continue until the BUS voltage of the amplifier is completely faded to zero.

It should be noted that whenever you remove the inhibit, the input pulse accumulating buffer is always reset to zero.

For additional information, refer to Glentek’s Installation and Operation Manual for Omega series, pages 14, 15 and 46. Click here for the manual.

Please call Glentek’s application engineers if you need assistance.

6 Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026

Selecting a Glentek Servo Motor to Replace a Stepper Motor

This section provides the specifications of various stepper motors so they can be compared to equivalent servo motors. This should help in clearing up some of the confusion involved in choosing a servo motor to replace a stepper.

Both Servo and Stepper motors have peak and continuous torque ratings. You will notice that the peak and continuous torque ratings are generally the same with the stepper motor. Whereas, in a servo motor, the peak torque rating is generally two or three times higher than the continuous torque rating.

To select a servo motor, the peak torque must be equal to or greater than the peak torque rating of the step motor. Since the horse power to weight ratio of a stepper motor is similar to that of a servo motor, you should start out by selecting a servo motor approximately the same weight as the stepper motor.

As a final system test, after selecting the Glentek servo motor replacement for your stepper motor, Glentek strongly recommends you to install the servo motor and exercise your machine at maximum axis duty cycle to make sure that the servo motor runs without over heating and the following error remains within desired specification.


Stepper Motor


Glentek Servo Motor












Peak Torque

Cont. Torque











Length (inches)












@2.7 Amps



















@4.7 Amps



















@1.8 Amps



















@3.4 Amps



















@7.5 Amps



















@6.0 Amps



















@7.9 Amps



























@15.8 Amps
















in-lb=in-ozx 0.0625




N-m=in-ozx 0.007

Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026


Application Guide

How to Choose the Correct Amplifier

Glentek produces a wide range of amplifiers. Some amplifiers have built in DC power supplies, referred to as “Stand Alone”, while others are referred to as a module that requires customers to furnish DC power supply. Glentek also offers 2 and 4 axis packages with power supply for multi-axissystems.

If the applications requires a NEMA 23, 34 or 42 motor, Glentek recommends using the SMB/SMC 9715 or SMB/SMC 9808 amplifiers. The SMB/SMC 9715 is a DC module amplifier primarily used for multi axis systems. If it becomes necessary, the digital servo amplifiers can be configured to run either brushless or brush type motors. However, Glentek does not recommend using a brush type motor if it is possible. For more information on Glentek amplifiers, refer to installation and operation manual (24AUG07) at the Glentek website.

The SMB amplifier has buss derived logic power, which means that you only need to provide buss power to the amplifier to operate the digital logic board. However, in case of buss power removal or failure, the digital logic board would not be able to keep track of the position of the motor shaft, and any fault data would be lost. For this reason, the SMC amplifiers have an external “Keep Alive” logic power source. This source can either be 5VDC, 24VDC or 110VAC depending on the model. Again, having the “Keep Alive” power source allows the amplifier to keep track of all the digital data. Since the data is not lost, the customers would not have to restart the machine at the “home” position i.e. if a machine happened to lose buss power in the middle of a job once buss power was restored it would allow the amplifier to continue and finish the job.

For detail model numbering, please refer to our installation and operation manual (24Aug07), pages 69-85.

8 Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026

Sound Logic Breakout Board

The Sound Logic breakout board can be used with a Glentek motor and drive combination. The Sound Logic board enables a customer to use their computer to send pulses to this board. This board then sends these pulse and direction signals to the amplifier. The board connects directly to the parallel printer port on a standard computer. In the future, the breakout board will be able to be controlled by the standard USB port as well as the parallel printer port. The USB port will allow higher frequency bandwidth pulse and direction signals to be ported out to the microstepping servo drives.

The board that was tested at Glentek is the Sound Logic PC-2-RouteRev. 1.9

For more information, please refer to Bob Campbell with Campbell Designs.

Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026


Application Guide

Artsoft Controls Software

Artsoft Controls software enables a computer to turn a manual milling machine into a computer controlled machine. This software was used in conjunction with the Sound Logic breakout board to effectively evaluate the needs of the CNC community. This software is complex for the novice user. However, Artsoft has many forums where help can be found and Artsoft also offers phone technical service. Artsoft also has the ability to use their Mach software as a basis and create a program that is used specifically for an application.

This software offers many command functions for the CNC machining process. The software is able to control many characteristics for the pulses that are sent to the breakout board.

For more information refer to the Artsoft Controls website.

10 Glentek Inc. 208 Standard Street, El Segundo, California 90245, U.S.A. (310) 322-3026