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EtherCAT Setup - How much is automated?
#1
Hello,

I'm interested in understanding the procedure and workload involved in setting up a PowerPMAC as an EtherCAT master motion controller controlling an EtherCAT slave motor which is supported by Delta Tau.

How much of the interface is automated? Looking at forum posts (such as this one: http://forums.deltatau.com/showthread.php?tid=2676), I see that things like I/O require a mapping between Delta Tau variables and the EtherCAT hardware registers. But for a supported motor is it as simple as getting the PowerPMAC to search the EtherCAT chain for a new device and then selecting this device and assigning it an axis number?

For example, if I have software which knows how to talk to Delta Tau i-variables (ie to set speed and acceleration) would these i-variables also need explicit mapping to EtherCAT registers or would this be handled by automatically by the controller when the connected slave device is selected?

Thanks for any info,

James
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#2
If you have the EtherCAT slaves's ESI file, or the device has its own file contained on itself, the setup software automatically maps/sets up basically everything for you.
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#3
To give a little bit more detail (and it does change a little bit depending on what type of PMAC you have, as we currently support two different EtherCAT implementations):

1) Slave devices should be auto-detected when scanning the network based on ESI files
2) You will need to select which PDO mapping (typically premade in the ESI file) you intend to use depending on what features of the drive you intend to use
3) Some configuration will be required--2-3 parameters, mainly setting up the EtherCAT Clock to make sure all slaves are set properly
4) In System Setup*, you will select which EtherCAT drive is connected to the motor and you will set which mode of operation is desired (Cyclic Synchronous Position, Velocity, or Torque modes are supported at this point)
5) Verify that the correct PDOs are selected for output register (TargetPos/Vel/Torque--0x607A, 0x60FF, or 0x6071), feedback (Position Actual Value--0x6064), status (Status Word--0x6041), and amplifier enable (Control Word--0x6040).

Again, that's a very broad strokes picture of it, and some drives may require or support additional EtherCAT registers which may need to be set for use, but that's the process for a theoretical "generic" drive.

*or the new screens in IDE 4.x if it supports your hardware
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#4
Thank you both for your replies and the information.

AAnikstein - what are the two different EtherCAT implementations that you support?
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#5
Currently, all PowerPC based PMACs (Clipper, Brick, UMAC and Etherlite) support only the Etherlab stack. All ARM based PMACs (CK3E, CK3M, and future products) support Acontis by default with Etherlab available for backwards compatibility in the newest firmware. The NY51[]-A at this point only supports Acontis, however we intend to add Etherlab support for backwards compatibility later this year.
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#6
(05-04-2018, 08:42 AM)AAnikstein Wrote: Currently, all PowerPC based PMACs (Clipper, Brick, UMAC and Etherlite) support only the Etherlab stack. All ARM based PMACs (CK3E, CK3M, and future products) support Acontis by default with Etherlab available for backwards compatibility in the newest firmware. The NY51[]-A at this point only supports Acontis, however we intend to add Etherlab support for backwards compatibility later this year.

Can you comment on the current thruput comparison of Acontis vs Etherlab? I understand that you have been working to improve speed while retaining ease of use with Acontis.
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