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APT Stepper Motor Control Module
Full Suite of
The APT™ MST602 module is a dual-channel, high-resolution, rack-mounted stepper motor driver designed for use with the APT MMR601 Motion Control 19" Modular Rack System. It has been designed to drive 2-phase bi-polar stepper motors up to 50 W, with or without encoder feedback, and is compatible with the full range of stepper-motor-equipped nanopositioning actuators and stages offered by Thorlabs. Alternatively, it is also compatible with any generic two-phase bi-polar motor of varying powers and varying cardinal step sizes.
This stepper motor controller has been designed specifically to operate with the highly flexible APT MMR601 Motion Control 19" Modular Rack System. Up to 6 MST602 stepper modules can be fitted to a given rack system, providing a scalable motion control solution for multi-axis motion control applications. For stand-alone controller options, please see the table below.
USB connectivity via the MMR601 Rack Enclosure provides easy plug and play PC operation. Multiple modules can be connected to a single PC via standard USB hub technology for multi-axis motion control applications. Coupling this with the very user friendly APT software allows the user to get up and running very quickly. For example, all relevant operating parameters are set automatically for Thorlabs' stage/actuator products. Advanced custom motion control applications and sequences are also possible using the extensive ActiveX® programming environment, which is described in more detail on the Motion Control Software and APT Tutorials tabs.
An optional 2-axis joystick console (item # MJC001) is also available for tactile, manual positioning of a stage. See the manual, found by clicking on the red Docs icon (), for more information on using the joystick console.
Compatible Motor Specifications
Motor I/O Controller
User I/O Controller
Drive Channel Connector
Mini DIN Female
Thorlabs offers two platforms to drive our wide range of motion controllers: our Kinesis® software package or the legacy APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) software package. Either package can be used to control devices in the Kinesis family, which covers a wide range of motion controllers ranging from small, low-powered, single-channel drivers (such as the K-Cubes™ and T-Cubes™) to high-power, multi-channel, modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).
The Kinesis Software features .NET controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. Low-level DLL libraries are included for applications not expected to use the .NET framework. A Central Sequence Manager supports integration and synchronization of all Thorlabs motion control hardware.
Kinesis GUI Screen
APT GUI Screen
Our legacy APT System Software platform offers ActiveX-based controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working on C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any Active-X compatible languages to create custom applications and includes a simulator mode to assist in developing custom applications without requiring hardware.
By providing these common software platforms, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis and APT controllers in a single application, while only having to learn a single set of software tools. In this way, it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from single-axis to multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.
The software packages allow two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction with and control of the controllers 'out of the box', and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom-integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily programmed in the development language of choice.
A range of video tutorials is available to help explain our APT system software. These tutorials provide an overview of the software and the APT Config utility. Additionally, a tutorial video is available to explain how to select simulator mode within the software, which allows the user to experiment with the software without a controller connected. Please select the APT Tutorials tab above to view these videos, which are also available on the software CD included with the controllers.
These videos illustrate some of the basics of using the APT System Software from both a non-programming and a programming point of view. There are videos that illustrate usage of the supplied APT utilities that allow immediate control of the APT controllers out of the box. There are also a number of videos that explain the basics of programming custom software applications using Visual Basic, LabView and Visual C++. Watch the videos now to see what we mean.
To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabView is also available.