SmoothStepper Product Details Page
- Differences between the USB and the Ethernet SmoothSteppers (USS and ESS)
- Product Details of the USB and Ethernet SmoothSteppers (USS and ESS)
Differences between the USB and the Ethernet SmoothSteppers (USS and ESS)
When comparing the USS to the ESS there are a few significant differences to be aware of:
1) The USS can be powered directly via USB. However, you need to make sure that you are using a quality USB cable. Some inferior USB cables can't carry a sufficient amount of current, in which case the 5V logic of the USS may perform erratically. If desired, the USS may be supplied by a separate 5 V power supply. The ESS MUST have a 5 V power supply in order to operate (For more details, please see the "5V Power for Ethernet SmoothStepper" section of this FAQ.
2) The ESS has a larger FPGA than the USS, which means it is capable of more features than the USS. Design updates are also easier to make because of the additional capacity. The ESS also has a microcontroller, which is used for additional processing that the USS would be unable to do.
3) The ESS uses Ethernet, which by its design, electrically isolates your PC from your CNC equipment. This means noise and voltage spikes from your motors will not flow back into your PC. The ground of the USS is directly coupled to your PC. USB isolators are available that provide isolation similar to that of Ethernet.
4) Pin out: It is important to note that Port 2 on the USS and both Ports 2 & 3 on the ESS are functionally different than Port 1. Pins 2-9 of Port 1 are always outputs, whereas Pins 2-9 of the other port(s) may be used as inputs or outputs. The direction of these bits is set in the SmoothStepper’s configuration dialog. These pins have weak (47k) pull down resistors. If a pull-up resistor is desired instead of a pull-down, a pull-up resistor with a maximum value of 4.7k can be added and it will behave similar to the dedicated inputs of each port (pins 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15). When using a breakout board that uses logic ICs to drive those pins (most breakout boards), the resistor becomes irrelevant.
5) Plugin Support: We plan on supporting both the USS and ESS in Mach 3 and Mach 4. However, there are many more ESS boards than USS boards out in the field, which means that we will get new features running on the ESS first and then port it to the USS once it is stable.
While the USS is a good product, we think the ESS is even better!
Product Details of the USB and the Ethernet SmoothSteppers (USS and ESS)
Since the SmoothStepper outputs 5V signals (with currents limited to 24 or 32 mA), you will need a motor driver between the SmoothStepper and the motor itself. For your axes (X, Y, Z, A, B and C), the SmoothSteppers can control stepper motor drivers and digital servo motor drivers. We do not support analog servo motor drivers or PWM servo motor drivers.
|*Requires that your USB port supplies a stable 5V (+/- 10% minimum, but +/- 5% preferable).|
|** With the use of a 5V power supply that is isolated from your PC.|
|*** Assuming the USB Isolator also provides power isolation in addition to isolation of the data signals.|
|CNC Motion Controller||ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper)||USS (USB SmoothStepper)|
|Documentation||ESS Manual||USS Manual|
|Current Drive Output
All pins are rated for 0V to 5V.
The following output pins have a drive (sink) of +(-) 32mA:
All pins are rated for 0V to 5V.
All output pins have a drive (sink) of +(-) 32mA.
|Pulse Output Capabilities||Up to 4 MHz, Step and Direction, Quadrature, CW/CCW||Up to 4 MHz, Step and Direction, Quadrature|
|Motor Control Capability||
Up to 6 Motors (Step and Direction, Quadrature, or CW/CCW)
Plus a Spindle (Relay, PWM, Step and Direction, Quadrature, or CW/CCW).
Up to 6 Motors (Step and Direction or Quadrature)
Plus a Spindle (Relay, PWM or Step and Direction)
> 4 MHz capture rate
Mach3: Up to 5 total
Mach4: 7 Encoders, 3 MPGs
|Mach3: Up to 5 total (Encoders + MPGs)|
|Configurable Noise Filtering per Class of Input||
Mach3 Input Classes: Limits, home, probe, E-Stop, Jog, Encoders/MPGs
MAch4: Each input individually configurable
Mach3 Classes: Limits, home, probe, E-Stop, Jog, Encoders/MPGs
|Power Source||External 5V Power Supply Required||USB Cable* or optional External 5V Power Supply|
|Electrical Isolation||Full Electrical and Noise isolation for your PC**||Electrical and Noise isolation for your PC when a USB Isolator is used ***|
|PC Configuration Utility||The System Configuration Utility is provided to configure your PC for use with the ESS in as few as 3 mouse clicks.||No configuration utility needed.|
No Drivers for the ESS.(Your computer should already have drivers installed for your Ethernet Card.)
|A Warp9TD USB SmoothStepper driver is provided for Windows XP through Windows_10|