I have a large scientific instrument to update with 4-axis stage based around Klinger stages (2xlinear, 1x rotation and 1xgoniometer). This is currently driven with Klinger controller/driver (MC4/MD4). These electronics are very old and communications are proving unreliable. I am wondering whether it may be possible to put together an Arduino based solution.
There may be some commercial systems that may work, but we are looking at >$7k and will still need to do some cable conversion etc. I am not looking to minimize costs, just want a reliable and supportable long-term solution since this instrument runs in a commercial lab 24/7 and has been doing so for 20 years. The biggest problem is that the main control software is DOS based and has very deterministic timing for Comms. Windows can cause problems here.
While we could perhaps use an Arduino to deal with the serial comms I would really like to replace the old controller electronics as they are no longer manufactured.
We have talked to a number of companies and they are not sure about driving the UE30 motors as these are a little unusual (variable reluctance) and they do not have suitable drivers
So if anyone has experience of driving these, and can point me to suitable drive boards that would be great.
Eventually I would be looking to communicate with these over Ethernet (already have most of the work done on a display box using multiple 4-digit 7segment displays and SPI comms. This is my first arduino project and it really is a nice platform since I am a programmer rather than an electronics engineer.