Configuration for a linear Axis

From Wiki

The following guidelines will help to combine a motor module with a new linear joint. The joint is tests with the ModuleCtrl software tool, and parameter like encoder direction, referencing and current can be adapted.

Requirements: free motor module in a functioning robot controller; linear axis; Windows computer; Peak Systeme PCAN-USB adapter with cable


  • Download and install ModuleCtrl from this Wiki: Config Software ModuleCtrl
  • Read the user guide of the ModuleCtrl software
  • Install the Peak Systeme driver for the USB-CAN adapter PCAN-USB
  • Switch off the control (never hot-plug!)
  • Connect the linear axis to the free motor module. See the robolink user guide for pin connections.
  • Connect the PCAN-USB adapter to the CAN plug in the support module of the control

Connect the joint with the ModuleCtrl software tool

  • Power up the control. Now the green light of the motor module shoul be on.
  • Start the ModuleCtrl software and
    • Press the "Connect" button
    • Change the CAN-ID to e.g. 0x58, depending on the CAN-ID switch on the module (ID starts at 0x10, every step is 0x08 added)
  • Now the green LED should blink to show that there is CAN communication available
  • The status in ModuleCtrl should be e.g. "MNE, COM, .."
    • If the status is "Not connected" then please check all cables and close/open the software and try to connect again. Also close all other programs that access the PCAN-USB adapter.
    • If the status is "DEAD" or "module dead" then the CAN ID does not match to the module.

Test the Motion

  • Place your hand on the emergency stop. Verify that an unwanted motion (fast, wrong direction, ...) of the linear axis will not lead to damages.
  • Press "Zero Position" to reset the joint position to zero
  • Press "Reset" to clear the errors. The status should be "MNE" or "not enabled" now
  • Press "Enable" to enable the motor. The status should be "No Error" now
  • Move the position wheel a little. Check if the motor moves and stops as required.
  • If it does not proceed to section "Change Encoder Direction"

Test the Referencing

  • When the linear axis moves correctly you can test the referencing.
  • The yellow LED on the motor modules indicates that the reference switch is triggered.
  • This LED must not be on when starting the reference motion, otherwise the referencing will not work correctly. If it is on, move the joint a little until it is off.
  • Enable the joint so that the status reads "No Error"
  • Press "Start Reference"
  • Now the linear axis moves towards the reference switch and stops when reaching it.
  • If it does not proceed to section "Change Referencing Settings"

Change Encoder Direction

If the joint does not position correctly, but starts to move and does not stop, then the encoder readings are probably not correct. Try to change the encoder direction:

  • Change to the "Stepper" tab of ModuleCtrl
  • Load the parameter from the module by pressing "Read from Board"
  • Change the "Swap encoder direction" checkbox
  • Save the parameter by pressing "Write to board", wait for 5 seconds
  • Close ModuleCtrl and switch the control off. This parameter change works only after a cold restart.
  • Switch the control on again and try to move the joint
  • If it still does not move correctly please check the cable connections
  • If you need help get in contact with support(at)

Change Referencing Settings

A linear joint should execute a reference motion towards the reference switch and stop if the switch is triggered. Parameters to adapt can be the function of the reference switch (falling or rising edge), the reference motion, speed and direction, and the offset.

  • Change to the "Stepper" tab of ModuleCtrl
  • Load the parameter from the module by pressing "Read from Board"
  • If the yellow LED on the module is on when the reference switch is not triggered change the "End switch rising" check box.
  • Check the referencing method: "Referencing: Straight" must be checked, "Sinus" and "Half" must be unchecked
  • "Referencing from both sides" must be unchecked
  • With the parameter "Referencing Speed" the direction (+ or -) and speed of the reference motion can be set
  • With the parameter "Offset at Endswitch" the distance between physical reference point and logical position can be defined.
  • Save the parameter by pressing "Write to board", wait for 5 seconds
  • These parameter changes are active without cold restart
  • Try to move and reference the joint
  • If you need help get in contact with support(at)