Built a Labview Front Panel for the Project

A project log for Stepmotor Driver Board for TI Tiva Launchpad

Three axis stepmotor driver, limit switch conditioning and power supplies.

BharbourBharbour 01/16/2016 at 21:280 Comments

I recently got the low cost Labview Home version to install on my main lab machine. I wrote front panels to simplify mechanical setup and servo tuning for previous version of rotators using GTK and C. After using Labview at work for a number of projects, I decided to use it for the front panel on this rotator. I don't do enough GTK programming to be very conversant in it, and the previous implementations were semi-painful to do. This front panel implementation went very quickly and works well.

Because this rotator uses step motors, there is a lot less tuning required than the servo versions. As a result, this front panel is much simpler than what is required for the servo versions. Most of what is adjustable is related to the home switch offsets and the desired idle position for each axis. The limit switch configuration can be modified via the front panel, but since it is static for a given mechanical design, it is a low usage feature. The NVM operations available are Read NVM to RAM, Write RAM to NVM, and copy hardcoded default values to RAM and NVM.

This is the first RS232 interfaced system that I have worked with in Labview. In general, it is a lot more fiddly than the GPIB stuff that I normally work with. Liberal use of the buffer flush operation and automated retrys on some operations yielded a reliable interface.