Name that Ware, June 2016

The Ware for June 2016 is shown below.

Thanks to Liwei from TinyMOS for contributing the ware. He found it on his way to school many years ago. The function of this board is probably an easy guess, so bonus points to anyone who has a convincing idea about the larger system this was once a part of.

21 Responses to “Name that Ware, June 2016”

  1. Jon says:

    I like that they labeled the left and right sides of the board correctly.
    So often people will put the labels for right and left next to each other!
    :)

  2. Sourcerer says:

    Hexacopter control board?

  3. notafile says:

    A Stepper motor control and rs-232 Interface board, likely for a 6-axis CNC or a robotic arm.

    • CzajNick says:

      My very first thought was 3-axis CNC, I even assumed the 6 connectors on the left are for limit switches. But there’s only single A3977 chip -> one stepper motor?

  4. Sourcerer says:

    No, the stepper motor that is driven with the A3977SLP is too slow for a Hexacopter ;-)
    The SIPEX SP312ACT is a serial RS-232 driver.
    Then we have a stepper motor driver, and a PIC Microcontroller in between.
    So the whole thing is a stepper motor driving board, with a RS-232 interface.

  5. notafile says:

    What irritates me is the six connectors to the left, they are all connected to the same 4 traces. I can think of no good reason why you would want to do that.

    • Adrian says:

      Building control system, e.g. for opening/closing multiple shades or windows at once?

    • bWare says:

      Endstops, you know which direction you are moving so you don’t actually need to know which one triggered; back in the day IO pin count mattered.

  6. Romdump says:

    Looks like a control board for a Samsung Laser Printer or Fax Machine.

    • Romdump says:

      Actually it could be a dot matrix controller.

      • notafile says:

        I would think so too, but the beefy terminals and labelings indicating 94v make me think otherwise. Printer also does not explain the 6 identical connectors or the single Stepper motor driver, nor the big cap (c19)

        • Carl Smith says:

          The 94V-0 is just an indication that the PCB meets Underwriters Laboratories “94V-0” flammability ratings. It is not an indication of a 94V voltage anywhere.

          PCB manufacturers will add this and other marks to your board when they manufacture it. They often ad their logo somewhere so they know they actually made if you make a warranty claim, and they often add a manufacture date somewhere as well, usually in a format like week/year where, for example, 10th week of 2015 would be 1015.

        • Romdump says:

          Maybe a 3d Printer extruder controller.

  7. Casey says:

    The Left and Right connectors make me think this board was meant to be daisy-chained? Curious!

  8. seph says:

    Smells like some kind of robot controller. (for broad values of robot).

    It looks like it’s it’s made for a human to interact with. “AUX” , “Left”, “Right” connectors. I think green/orange are non-permanent. It’s got various status LEDs…

    I suspect the 4pin JST are sensors of some kind. If you’re dealing with some bus, that they’re the same traces doesn’t matter.

  9. Jin says:

    This look like a battle robot stepper motor driver. I guess it should part of 6 CIM drive train, maybe a battle bot with belt drivetrain?

    The PIC accept UART command then translate the instruction to proper direction to the bipolar stepper motor. This enable high speed response and simpler design of the robot controller.

  10. Stembla says:

    It’s all jumpers! WTF! No control signals, so I think automatic wild pitch or tennis trainer machine is out. Heavy gun orientation and status support if the AUX near the POWER inlet supports controls after all? Nah. Jumpers’d jump out.

    AGV forklift (powerFET driver board; direction cues sensed at powerFET boards downstream) with left and right servomotors, 6 safety stop interlocks, and changeable sense interface block DIR ZN … POS REV INH (lift direction, Z-axis index, (forward) position, reverse limit, in hopper) w. protection diacs?) to somehow take or otherwise register orders. AUX on right is to daisychain power to another control thing?

    Better: maybe it just drives around until it hits something and flips that over, then pivots. I don’t always ragequit at the open office plan, but when I do, I use the ASEA FFFFFF2008.

  11. Stembla says:

    Squinted. Maybe the blockified label says HYDRAULIC LOAD APE Ammunition.
    So it keeps throwing loads into monkey fists until an error pauses things.

  12. sto says:

    Hello,
    If there are really 6 small motors in paralell, I suppose that it is part of some sort of optical mirror system or similar, with low load, and where only the speed and symc is important, not the phase between motors….

  13. Wouter says:

    OK, I’m late to the game. Not many hints, but as others have said, “CIM-6” and the six identical connectors might mean six motors effectively in parallel. But why six from one controller? There’s not a lot of current there, so the six motors will be spreading load, not adding power.

    Also, why use a crystal oscillator with a PIC, unless you need good timing?

    And then Bunnie mentions a “larger system”, which presumably has a left and a right side (i.e. two-dimensional).

    So I’m going with a distributed linear control system, maybe a conveyor belt?

  14. cpresser says:

    Its some kind of motion control unit, the board does drive a stepper motor after all. The ‘in-out’ LEDs next to the connector left/right connectors make it look like a dasiy-chain configuration. The sipex chip also supports two RX/TX pairs. J1 could be used to set the address of each board in the chain. Cables between individual boards might be longer, otherwise why should one chose to have RS232 over a simple UART.

    J10 might be the motor connector, but is has 6 pins.. so thats weird, bipolar steppers only need 4 pins. The 3-Pin next to it most likely is a power connector, ‘4V’ might be 24V. I don’t think its a ‘real’ industrial application, the green connectors have no protection against accidental errors during wiring. That makes it hard to just swap out the board.
    But there are lots of diagnostic LEDs, which might indicate a usage scenario where fast debugging of problems is key.
    As for power, I don’t see any voltage regulators on board, so it will run by the 5V from the Power connector. That means there has to be some base/motherboard to provide the supply voltage. Or at least a breakout-board if the 5V are taken directly from a PSU.
    U1 might be an integrated oscillator. Having an exact clock really helps when trying to run accurate speeds (mm/seconds), also its good for the UART.
    What I don’t understand is how the PCB gets mounted. The board does not look like it slides into a slot, there is not enough space for that. How to those ‘holes’ at the bottom of the board work? Where do they fit into?
    What kind of chip is U5? The only parts that I know of that come in white packages are opto-isolators.
    As for J1..J6, those might be some limit/indexing switches in a wired-or configuration.
    Judging by the datecodes the PIC might be the newest part (2007).

    To be honest, I can’t think of an application where the configuration daisy-chain of communication and separate power makes sense.

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