Saturday, December 24, 2016

Redesign of AMC1280USB motion controller boards

Hi everyone!

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

For this new year I plan to have some changes on the controller PCB layouts that will allow easier manufacturing of it. Right now all parts are through hole that means every little part has to be placed and soldered by hand. Its a tedious task when you talk about quantities.

The new 2017 AMC1280USB controller boards are going to be bigger in size, as I decided to add a few new features, while retaining compatibility with other shields from last year (1A DC motor driver shield ).

The additional features are:

  • Easy connectors for the newly supported 12-bit SSI all digital absolute contactless magnetic position sensors AEAT-6012-a06.
  • Filtered connectors for the Analog feedback Position sensors for less noise.
  • Onboard PWM driver for 12-bit resolution PWM for DC motors that can be re-routed to the original PWM connector.
  • 12 limit switches connector for platforms that use analog sensors with single analog out driver (sabertooth for example).
  • New position for the LCD menu encoder knob and motor test buttons.

The 6DOF ext board gets upgraded as well:

  • Retaining connectors spacing for compatibility with -11v to +11v Servo Signal conditioner
  • Adding a 12-bit DAC in parallel to the existing 8-bit DAC, that can be re-routed to the outputs in many combinations. Best used with the Servo signal Conditioner to output 4096 positions for AC servos that accept analog absolute position signal.

The firmware that will handle all this new hardware is almost done and will released as soon I have the first of the new AMC1280USB v2.0 boards ready. The firmware is backwards compatible with older v1 boards and I'll include instructions how to rewire old boards to get these new features as well if you need to. Instructions on retrofitting older v1 board with the SSI sensors are already available here:

The new firmware will also run in older AMC1280USB boards, as I have hardware detection methods to determine the newer v2 boards. See below a sample of the scanner that will run on the controller start to find the 12-bit DAC and 12-bit PWM driver connected. This will enable/hide available options depending on what hardware you run.

Email me for inquiries: tronicgr @ gmail .com


San Diego, California, Dec 2016


  1. Great work Thanos ..... Suggestion, can the encoder, LCD and test buttons be put on a separate board that can be panel mounted ??

    1. It could, but that would mean separate board and cable with many wires to extend them which I don't have time to build for each board. You can always create a small panel in perfboard and rewire yourself the buttons and a new encoder to the original pins on the board. They will work fine with both connected. If you like I can even leave the buttons and the encoder unsoldered if requested.

  2. good job thanos :)

    Is it worth it to change my 1280usb ? ;)

    1. It depends if you need to use the new features (12 bit pwm and Dac, or the filtered analog inputs). I can offer these with discount to existing amc1280usb owners!!! Just let me know to add you to the pre-order list.

    2. for use with omron J1000, Would it still improve the functioning ?

    3. According to the j1000 manual, the maximum resolution of the analog inputs is 1/1000 of the maximum frequency, so yes, you will have all 1000 speed settings instead of 256 speed setting you had before with old 6dof ext v3 board. The new Dac is 12 bit (4096 speed settings).