Pluto_servo is an emc2 software driver and associated firmware that allow the Pluto-P board to be used to control a servo-based CNC machine. The Pluto-P is an inexpensive ($60) FPGA board featuring the ACEX1K chip from Altera. Pluto_servo is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2. The pluto_servo system is suitable for control of a 4-axis CNC mill with servo motors, a 3-axis mill with PWM spindle control, a lathe with spindle encoder, etc. The large number of inputs allows a full set of limit switches.
The board features:
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
The source code (including the verilog source code and Quartus project files) is included with the emc2 source in the src/hal/drivers/ directory.
Pluto_servo is built by the normal emc2 build process.
Like the HAL hardware driver, the FPGA firmware is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The src/hal/drivers/pluto_servo_firmware/ subdirectory contains the Verilog HDL source code plus additional files used by Quartus—which are "scripts used to control compilation"—for the FPGA firmware. Altera's Quartus II software is required to rebuild it. The gratis version of Quartus II runs only on Microsoft Windows, although there is apparently a paid version that runs on Linux. To rebuild the firmware from the .hdl and other source files, open pluto_servo.qpf and press CTRL-L. Then, in Linux, recompile emc2.
|IN1||GND||^^ Parallel port connector ^^||Power Jack >|
The actual pinout used, using the FPGA pin numbering, is in src/hal/drivers/pluto_servo_firmware/pluto_servo.pin. (view CVS version).
|Primary function||Alternate function||Behavior if both functions used|
|UP0||PWM0||When pwm-0-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the PWM output|
|OUT10||XOR'd with UP0 or PWM0|
|UP1||PWM1||When pwm-1-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the PWM output|
|OUT12||XOR'd with UP1 or PWM1|
|UP2||PWM2||When pwm-2-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the PWM output|
|OUT14||XOR'd with UP2 or PWM2|
|UP3||PWM3||When pwm-3-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the PWM output|
|OUT16||XOR'd with UP3 or PWM3|
|DN0||DIR0||When pwm-0-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the DIR output|
|OUT11||XOR'd with DN0 or UP0|
|DN1||DIR1||When pwm-1-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the DIR output|
|OUT13||XOR'd with DN1 or UP1|
|DN2||DIR2||When pwm-2-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the DIR output|
|OUT15||XOR'd with DN2 or UP2|
|DN3||DIR3||When pwm-3-pwmdir is TRUE, this pin is the DIR output|
|OUT17||XOR'd with DN3 or UP3|
|QZ0||IN8||Read same value|
|QZ1||IN9||Read same value|
|QZ2||IN10||Read same value|
|QZ3||IN11||Read same value|
|QA0||IN12||Read same value|
|QA1||IN13||Read same value|
|QA2||IN14||Read same value|
|QA3||IN15||Read same value|
|QB0||IN16||Read same value|
|QB1||IN17||Read same value|
|QB2||IN18||Read same value|
|QB3||IN19||Read same value|
The Pluto-P board is shipped with the left connector presoldered, with the key in the indicated position. The other connectors are unpopulated. There does not seem to be a standard 12-pin IDC connector, but some of the pins of a 16P connector can hang off the board next to QA3/QZ3.
The bottom and right connectors are on the same .1" grid, but the left connector is not. If OUT2…OUT9 are not required, a single IDC connector can span the bottom connector and the bottom two rows of the right connector.
Read the ACEX1K datasheet for information about input and output voltage thresholds. The pins are all configured in "LVTTL/LVCMOS" mode and are generally compatible with 5V TTL logic.
Before configuration and after properly exiting emc2, all Pluto-P pins are tristated with weak pull-ups (20kΩ min, 50kΩ max). However, software bugs in the pluto_servo firmware or emc2, or a crash of the computer where emc2 is running, can leave the Pluto-P pins in an undefined state.
When the device is unprogrammed, the LED glows faintly. When the device is programmed, the LED glows according to the duty cycle of PWM0 (LED = UP0 xor DOWN0).
In pwm+dir mode, by default dir is HIGH for negative values and LOW for positive values. To select HIGH for positive values and LOW for negative values, set the corresponding dout-NN pin HIGH to invert the signal.
The index input is triggered on the rising edge. Initial testing has shown that the QZx inputs are particularly noise sensitive, due to being polled every 25ns. Digital filtering has been added to filter pulses shorter than 150ns (six polling times). Additional external filtering, such as a Schmitt buffer or inverter, RC filter, or differential receiver (if applicable) is recommended.
The IN1…IN7 pins have 22-ohm series resistors to their associated FPGA pins. No other pins have any sort of protection for out-of-spec voltages or currents. It is up to the integrator to add appropriate isolation and protection. Traditional parallel port optoisolator boards do not work with pluto_servo due to the bidirectional nature of the EPP protocol.
A small amount of current may be drawn from VCC. The available current depends on the unregulated DC input to the board. Alternately, regulated +3.3VDC may be supplied to the FPGA through these VCC pins. The required current is not yet known, but is probably around 50mA plus I/O current.
The regulator on the Pluto-P board is a low dropout type. Supplying 5V at the power jack will allow the regulator to work properly.
The "software EPP emulation" (epp_soft=1) is only partially implemented. An EPP-capable parallel port is currently a requirement.
At present, only a single pluto_servo board is supported. At present there is no provision for multiple boards on one parallel port (all boards reside at the same EPP address) but supporting one board per parallel port should be possible.
PWM duty cycles for each channel are updated at different times.
digital outputs OUT0 through OUT9 are all updated at the same time. Digital outputs OUT10 through OUT17 are updated at the same time as the pwm function they are shared with.
Digital inputs IN0 through IN19 are all latched at the same time.
Quadrature positions for each channel are latched at different times.
A list of all HAL function names, pin names and parameter names is in the manual page, pluto_servo.9.
The Pluto-P board may be ordered from knjn.com (US based, international shipping is available). Some additional information about it is available from fpga4fun.com and from my blog.
A schematic for a 2A, 2-axis PWM servo amplifier board is available. The L298 H-bridge is inexpensive and can easily be used for motors up to 4A (one motor per L298) or up to 2A (two motors per L298) with the supply voltage up to 46V. However, the L298 does not have built-in current limiting, a problem for motors with high stall currents. For higher currents and voltages, some users have reported success with International Rectifier's integrated high-side/low-side drivers.
The EPP protocol works by reading and writing values from registers on the connected device. However, the details of the register set are subject to change between releases of pluto_servo.