Motion Control and Motor Drives

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Stepper motor drivers - Conflicting documentation, need some guidance.

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I'm a long time LabVIEW user, first time motor driver, looking for some guidance.


I want to control a stepper motor via ethernet using simple commands in Labview (e.g. Make x steps, Spin continuously at speed y).

I'm having a hard time finding out what hardware I need to get to achieve this by browsing the NI Store.


To amplify my headache, I've been finding conflicting information in the NI documentation. For example, for NI SMD-7613:

The manual says "You need the following to use your NI SMD-761x stepper drive: -a source of step signals, such as a PLC or motion controller" 

However, the quickstart guide makes no mention of either, and says to simply connect the device via ethernet to a pc and send off your command.


So to help me make sense of this, I have 2 small questions:

1) Can anyone confirm that no, I do not need a PLC or motion controller for the NI SMD-7613

2) Is there a different/cheaper NI module I could be using for these basic commands? The SMD-7613 comes with more bells and whistles then I need, but so far I haven't found anything cheaper from NI.


Thanks in advance,


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Accepted by topic author PeterU
07-26-2017 11:23 PM

Hey PeterU,


1) You do in fact need some type of controller. In your case though, the controller could just be your PC since you are just trying to send commands over Ethernet. The SMD is set up as such that without an Ethernet connection, you would most definitely need something like a cRIO to controller the drive through a C-series card. But if you never intend to do anything but the Ethernet control, you should be fine.


2) This is most likely your cheapest option. Otherwise, you would need a cRIO and an additional C-series drive module. Or an additional control module if you already have an external drive.

Message 2 of 3

Thanks for the info!

You're right, I didn't think of the PC as a motion controller.

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