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I am trying to find software that will control all 11 motors through Ethernet to a Mac computer (or PC).

I need to make different scenes that can be re-callable with one click.

It is similar to having 11 glass windows that open slowly together but not all windows open to 180 degrees. Most of the windows will open to very specific degrees. E.G window one 15 deg, window two 27 deg, window seven 150 deg.

So I could have say 50 presets of different combinations for the 11 windows.

Also I ultimately want to have a simple visual panel on the computer screen that shows the plan of the room, layout of glass windows, and ability to program each windows degree of opening to then create the unique scene to be stored as a preset. A global soft start and soft finish adjustment and also opening and close speed (not fast).

Ultimately I would want to have an elegant user control panel that doesn't look like a 1980's industrial software input panel. The controller would then be used by non technical staff.

  • Yes it does sound like a shopping list Ron. I wish it was but I really had to start somewhere. I did as much research as I could until I hit a brick wall and thought it may be better to ask people that know more than I do. – A P Dec 4 '17 at 8:37
  • Hi Trevor. I know it's not a simple project(simple in my mind:-)). I get what your saying about specifics. As I get further into this project I will create very specific questions so it is not so vague. Thanks for your reply. – A P Dec 4 '17 at 8:41
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I think it safe to say this 11 axis application is unlikely to be found anywhere.

But having just completed a similar project in 2 axes, I know the motion control might possibly be done with 4 Arduino Uno's c/w CNC Shield for 12 motor bridge port drivers using 11 stepper motors running off 12Vdc with USB ports. Of course cable limits and window spacing may change everything.

Full steps give best torque for stepper motors with adequate resolution using 200 steps per revolution. Macros, jogs and motion file execution is not a problem without limits for user customized patterns with custom macro recording or canned sequences defined.

The most undefined part is the GUI "Windows" interface and the actual "Windows" interface that needs to be defined in great detail.

This is a very explicit User Experience (UX) However the the motion control is very common to CNC tools. e.g. In my recent project I chose an UNO with CNC Shield with 3 motor drivers running GRBL 1.1 compiled code with Serial USB interface to support 3 axes with capability for absolute start/stop Position, max Velocity and max Acceleration/Deacceleration. Home switches give absolute calibration and current limiting pots limit torque to safe yet adequate values. Gear size to drive 8mm W x 2mm pitch tooth belts can be chosen to define speed torque requirements.

There could be a great deal of COTS parts and but significant amount of system design to define and implement the entire system from H/W, S/W and integration.

The first step is a rough budget, timeframe then a detailed spec in collaboration with the developer, then a quote and PO if agreed.

  • Thanks Tony for your input. I also have just been given some help today from a friend that is going to help me research the Arduino route as you suggested. The actual physical connection of the motors to the windows has been designed so it is after that point we are trying to work out. I did think of the home automation systems as a possible area to research as well since those systems have programmable wall displays to control windows, blinds, lights etc. – A P Dec 4 '17 at 8:33

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