USB Motion Control 19" Rack Chassis


  • Up to 12 Drive Channels in a Single Chassis
  • DC Servo Motor, Stepper Motor, Piezo, and Auto-Alignment Driver Module
  • Ideal for Creating Multi-Axis Integrated Positioning Systems

MMR601

Full Suite of Software Support Tools Included

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Features

The MMR601(602) 19" Rack System is a multi-channel multi function modular architecture designed specifically for high axis count motion control applications. This new system is a sophisticated, self-contained, extendable-architecture, precision motion control platform. As a modular system it is possible to load it with the exact number and mix of required controller modules covering brushless motor drives (MBD), stepper motor drives (MST), piezo drives (MPZ), and the powerful Thorlabs NanoTrak® autoalignment technology (MNA). It deploys the same advanced high speed digital signal processing (DSP) technology and low noise analog circuitry pioneered in the equivalent APT™ benchtop controllers.

The modular rack is available with a cover (Item # MMR602) for benchtop use, or without a cover (Item #MMR601) for mounting in a standard 19" cabinet, and provides a highly functional 12 channel platform within the footprint of a 4U, 19" rack enclosure. 

USB connectivity provides easy 'Plug-and-Play' PC-controlled operation with two available software platforms: our new Kinesis software or our legacy APT (Advanced Positioning Technology) software. The Kinesis Software features new .NET controls, which can be used by third-party developers working in the latest C, C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET-compatible languages to create custom applications. Our legacy APT software (not compatible with the MBD602 brushless DC motor controller) allows the user to quickly set up complex move sequences with advanced controls made possible via the ActiveX® programming environment. For example, all relevant operating parameters are set automatically by the software for Thorlabs' stage and actuator products. For more details on both software packages, please see the Motion Control Software, Kinesis Tutorials, and APT Tutorials tabs.

It is perfectly feasible to combine operation of this rack system with any of the benchtop controllers and control everything from the same unified Kinesis or APT software interface, allowing a common learning curve for both benchtop and rack based solutions.

Cabling
Cables for connecting actuators or stages to the controller are shipped with the actuators or stages, not the controller. If you need help identifying the appropriate replacement cable, please contact Tech Support.

Motion Control 19" Rack Chassis

Item # MMR601 & MMR602
Enclosure Standard 19" Rack, 4U High
Module Bays 6 Modular Slots, Back Panel Access
Communications USB 1.1 Interface
Power Input
Voltage 85-264 V AC
Frequency 47-63 Hz
Power 800 W
Fuse 10 A
Dimensions (W x D x H) 480 mm x 448 mm x 183 mm (19.0" X 17.6" X 7.0")
Weight 16 kg (35.2 lbs)

Brushless DC Motor Controller

Item # MBD602
Number of Channels 2
Motor Drive Connector 8-Pin DIN-Type, Female (Motor Phase Outputs, Stage ID Input)
Feedback Connector 15-Pin D-Type, Female
Brushless Continuous Current Output 2.5 A per Channel (5.0 A Max All-Channel Output)
Brushless Peak Current Output 4.0 A per Channel (5.2 A Max All-Channel Output)
Pulse-Width Modulation Frequency 20 kHz
Operating Modes Position and Velocity
Control Algorithm 16-Bit Digital PID Servo Loop with Velocity and Acceleration Feed Forward
Velocity Profile Trapezoidal
Position Count 32 Bit
Position Feedback Incremental Encoder
Encoder Bandwidth 2.5 MHz (10 M Counts/sec)
Encoder Supply 5 V
AUX Control Connector 26-Way High Density D-Type, Female (User Digital IO, 5 V O/P)
Input Power Requirements Power: 250 VA
Voltage: 100 to 240 V AC
Frequency: 47 to 63 Hz
Dimensions 187 mm x 286.6 mm x 50.4 mm (7.36" x 11.28" x 1.98")
Weight 0.9 kg (1.98 lbs)
Compatible Motor Specs 3-Phase DC Brushless Motors with
Peak Power: 100 W,
Coil Resistance: 0.1 to 100 Ω,
Coil Inductance (Nominal): 1 to 100 mH, and
Rated Phase Current (Nominal): 100 mA to 5 A

Stepper Motor Controller

Item # MST602
Number of Channels 2
Motor Drive Connector 15-Pin D-Type, Female
2-Phase Bi-Polar Motor Drive Output
Differential Quadrature Encoder (QEP) Input
Forward, Reverse Limit Switch Inputs
Encoder 5 V (with Ground)
Motor Control Connector 15-Pin D-Type, Female
Jog Forward/Back Input (TTL)
Enable/Disable Interlock (per Channel)
Connect to Return to Operate Motor
User 5 V (with Ground) 100 mA Max
User I/O Connector 26-Pin D-Type, Female
4 Logic Inputs (TTL)
4 Logic Outputs (Open Collector)
Trigger Input (TTL)
Trigger Output (Open Collector)
2 Analog Inputs, Single Ended 0-10 V (12 Bit)
Resolution 2048 Microsteps per Full Step
200 Step Motor - 409,600 Microsteps per Rev
24 Step Motor - 49,152 Microsteps/Rev
Motor Drive Voltage Up to 48 V
Motor Drive Power Up to 50 Wpeak/25 Wavg
Motor Speeds Up to 3000 RPM (for 200 Full Step Motor)
Encoder Feedback Bandwidth 500 kHz
Compatible Motor Specs 2-Phase Bi-Polar Stepper Motors with
Peak Powers: 5 to 50 W,
Average Power: 25 W Maximum
Step Angle Range: 20° to 1.8°
Coil Resistance (Nominal): 4 to 15 Ω,
Coil Inductance (Nominal): 4 to 15 mH
Rated Phase Current (Nominal): 100 mA to 1 A
Housing Single APT™ Rack System Bay
Dimensions (W x D x H) 190 mm x 270 mm x 50 mm (7.5" x 10.6" x 2.0")
Weight 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)

Piezo Controller

Item # MPZ601
Number of Channels 2
Piezoelectric Output (SMC Male) - Per Channel
Voltage (Software Control) 0 to 75 V DC
Voltage (External Input) -10 to 90 V DC
Current 500 mA Max Continuous
Stability 100 ppm Over 24 hours (After 30 mins Warm-Up Time)
Noise <3 mV RMS
Typical Piezo Capacitance 1 to 10 µF
Bandwidth 10 kHz (1 µF Load, 1 Vp-p)
Position Feedback (9-Pin D-Type Female) - Per Channel
Feedback Type AC Bridge or 0-10 V Differential DC (SW Selectable)
AC Feedback Transducer Type Strain Gauge
AC Detection Method AC Bridge (18 kHz Excitation)
Typical AC Feedback Resolution 5 nm (for 20 µm Actuator e.g. PAZ005)
Auto-Configure Identification Resistance in Actuator
User Input/Output (26-Pin D-Type Female)
Potentiometer Input (Per Channel) Reference + Wiper (50 kΩ 10 Turn Pots)
HV Output Monitor (Per Channel) 0 to 10 V DC
4 Digital Inputs TTL Levels
4 Digital Outputs Open Collector
Trigger Input/Output TTL
Trigger Input Functionality Triggered Voltage Ramps/Waveforms
Trigger Output Functionality Trigger Generation During Voltage Ramp Output
User 5 V (with Ground) 250 mA Max
General
Housing Single APT™ Rack System Bay
Dimensions (W x D x H) 190 mm x 270 mm x 50 mm (7.5" x 10.6" x 2.0")
Weight 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)

NanoTrak® Active Auto-Alignment Module

Item # MNA601/IR
Number of Channels 2
Signal Measurement
PIN Photodiode
Mechanical Connector SMB Male
Photocurrent Range 1 nA to 10 mA
Optical Connector FC/PC
NanoTraking
Circle Scanning Frequency 1 to 300 Hz
Circle Position Range <1% to >99% MPE
Circle Diameter Adj. Modes Automatic and Manual
Signal Phase Compensation ±180°
Piezoelectric Input/Output
Number of Piezo Channels 2
HV Output Connectors
Connector Type SMC Male
Voltage Output 0 to 75 VDC/Channel
Voltage Stability 100 ppm over 24 Hours
Noise <3 mV (RMS)
Output Current 500 mA/Channel
Analog Output Monitors
Connector Type BNC
Voltage Range 0 to 10 VDC
Strain Gauge Position Feedback
Connector Type 9-Pin D-Type Female
Feedback Type AC
Other Input/Output
Optical Power Monitor
Connector Type BNC
Voltage Range 0 to 10 VDC
Ext Signal In Input
Connector Type BNC
Voltage Range 0 to 10 VDC
User Control
Connector Type 26-Pin HD D-Type Female
Isolated Digital Inputs 4 off TTL
Isolated Digital Outputs 4 off TTL
Trigger Input 1 off TTL
Trigger Output 1 off TTL
Potentiometer Channel Ctrl Input 1-10 k (Each Channel)
Analog Channel Output Monitors 0 to 10 VDC (Each Channel)
General
Dimensions (W x D x H) 190 mm x 270 mm x 50 mm (7.5" x 10.6" x 2.0")
Weight 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)

Optical Detector Specifications for MNA601/IR
Item # NTA009 (Sold Separately) NTA007 (Included with Controller)
Detector Type Si InGaAs
Operating Wavelength 320 - 1000 nm 900 - 1700 nm
Active Area Ø0.8 mm Ø0.12 mm
Fiber Input FC/PC
Rise Time 100 ps @ 12 V
NEP 1.5 x 10-15 W/√Hz 4.5 x 10-15 W/√Hz
Dark Current 0.01 nA (Typ.) @ 10 V 0.05 nA (Typ.) @ 5 V
Junction Capacitance 3.00 pF (Typ.) @ 10 V 2.0 pF (Typ.) @ 5 V

Control Module Pin Diagrams

MBD602 Brushless DC Motor Controller Module

MOTOR DRIVE

8-Pin DIN-Type, Female

BBD MOTOR DRIVE

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Motor Phase B 5 Stage ID
2 GND 6 Enable
3a Motor Phase D 7 Motor Phase C
4 Motor Phase A 8a +5 V
  • The signal present on Pins 3 and 8 is reserved for future use.

FEEDBACK

15-Pin D-Type, Female

BBD FEEDBACK

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Not Connected 9 GND
2 GND 10 Limit Switch +
3 Not Connected 11 Limit Switch -
4 Index - 12 Index +
5 QB - 13 QB +
6 QA - 14 QA +
7a 5 V 15 Not Connected
8a 5 V
  • Pins 7 and 8 are short-circuited internally

HANDSET

Mini DIN Female

Handset Connector

Pin Description Pin Description
1 RX (Controller Input) 4b Supply Voltage for Handset 5 V
2a Ground 5 TX (Controller Output)
3a Ground 6a Ground
  • Pins 2, 3, and 6 are common (connected) ground connections.
  • Pin 4 is for use only with Thorlabs' MJC2 Joystick. It should not be used to power any other device.

AUX I/O

26-Way High Density D-Type, Female

AUX I/O

Pin Description Function Pin Description Function Pin Description Function
1a Digital
I/P 3
- 10a Digital
O/P 3
- 19c Ground -
2a Digital
I/P 2
- 11a Digital
O/P 2
- 20e Digital
O/P 2+
Motor #1 Encoder B+
3a Digital
I/P 1
- 12a Digital
O/P 1
- 21e Digital
O/P 2-
Motor #1 Encoder B-
4a Digital
I/P 0
- 13a Digital
O/P 0
- 22e Ground -
5e Digital
O/P 6-
Motor #2 Encoder A- 14e Digital
O/P 4+
Motor #2 Encoder IX+ 23d 5 V -
6e Digital
O/P 6+
Motor #2 Encoder A+ 15e Digital
O/P 4-
Motor #2 Encoder IX- 24e Digital
O/P 1+
Motor #1 Encoder IX+
7e Digital
O/P 5+
Motor #2 Encoder B+ 16e Digital
O/P 3-
Motor #1 Encoder A- 25e Digital
O/P 1-
Motor #1 Encoder IX-
8e Digital
O/P 5-
Motor #2 Encoder B- 17e Digital
O/P 3+
Motor #1 Encoder A+ 26c Ground -
9b RS-232 RX - 18b RS-232 TX -
  • Pins 1-4 are single ended inputs and 10-13 are single ended outputs.
  • Pins 9 and 18 are used for RS232 communications. This allows control of the device using the low-level
    communications protocol, or other software environments such as micromanager.
  • Pins 19 and 26 are ground.
  • Pin 23 is a +5 V supply.
  • The remaining pins 5-8, 14-17, 20-22, 24, and 25 are differential outputs.

MST602 Stepper Motor Controller Module

Motor I/O Controller

D-Type Female

DB15 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 User 5 V I/O 9 6 Channel 2 Emergency Stop Daisy Chain Link Returnb 14 11 Channel 2 Jog Backwardsa 9
2 Channel 1 Jog Forwardsa 9 7 Channel 2 Enable Returnb 15 12 Channel 1 Emergency Stop Daisy Chain Linkb 4
3 Channel 2 Jog Forwardsa 9 8 Not Used - 13 Channel 1 Enableb 5
4 Channel 1 Emergency Stop Daisy Chain Link Returnb 12 9 User 0 V - 14 Channel 2 Emergency Stop Daisy Chain Linkb 6
5 Channel 1 Enable Returnb 13 10 Channel 1 Jog Backwardsa 9 15 Channel 2 Enableb 7
  • Jog inputs are opto-coupled and must be short circuit to User 0 V (pin 9) in order to function.
  • Channel enable inputs and daisy chain links are non-driveable and require a closed contact to the associated return pin in order to function.

User I/O Controller

D-Type Female

DB26 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 Digital I/P 1 19 10 Digital O/P 1 19 19 Digital Ground 1 (0 V)c -
2 Digital I/P 2 19 11 Digital O/P 2 19 20 Ext Trigger I/P 22
3 Digital I/P 3 19 12 Digital O/P 3 19 21 Ext Trigger O/P 22
4 Digital I/P 4 19 13 Digital O/P 4 19 22 Digital Ground 2 (0 V)c -
5 Channel 1 RS232 TX - 14 Channel 2 RS232 TX - 23 5 V User O/P (50 mA Max.) -
6 Channel 1 RS232 RX - 15 Channel 2 RS232 RX - 24 Reserved for Future Use -
7 Not Used - 16 Reserved for Future Use - 25 Reserved for Future Use -
8 Channel 2 Analog I/P (+)b 17 17 0 V (Analog Rtn)b 8 26 Analoga
Ground (0 V)c
-
9 Channel 1 Analog I/P (+)b 18 18 0 V (Analog Rtn)b 9
  • For use with analog inputs.
  • 0 to 10 V DC between I/P +ve and I/P -ve (e.g. pins 8 and 17).
  • Ground pins are common to the equipment ground.

Drive Channel Connector

D-Type Female

DB15 Female

Pin Description Pin Description Pin Description
1 Encoder A +ve 6 Not Used 11 0 V User
2 Encoder A -ve 7 Phase B - 12 Reserved for Future Use
3 Encoder B +ve 8 Phase A - 13 Reserved for Future Use
4 Encoder B -ve 9 CW Limit Switch 14 Phase B +
5 5 V User 10 CCW Limit Switch 15 Phase A +

Handset

Mini DIN Female

Handset Connector

Pin Description Pin Description
1 RX (Controller Input)/RS232 4 Supply Voltage for Handset 5 V
2 Ground 5 TX (Controller Output)
3 Ground 6 Ground

MPZ601 Piezo Controller Module

User I/O Controller

D-Type Female

DB26 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 DIG I/P 1a 19 10 DIG O/P 1a 19 19 Isolated Groundb -
2 DIG I/P 2a 19 11 DIG O/P 2a 19 20 Ext Trigger I/P 22
3 DIG I/P 3a 19 12 DIG O/P 3a 19 21 Ext Trigger O/P 22
4 DIG I/P 4a 19 13 DIG O/P 4a 19 22 Ground -
5 Channel 1 RS485 (+) - 14 Channel 2 RS485 (+) - 23 5 V User O/P (Isolated) -
6 Channel 1 RS485 (-) - 15 Channel 2 RS485 (+) - 24 Not Used -
7 Not Used - 16 Not Used - 25 Analog or Potentiometer Ground -
8 Channel 2 10 V O/Pc 25 17 Potentiometer Wiper Ch 2 - 26 Potentiometer Reference 25
9 Channel 1 10 V O/Pc 25 18 Potentiometer Wiper Ch 2 -
  • Opto-isolated, TTL level signal.
  • For use with digital signals.
  • For use with external signal monitoring equipment.

Piezo Controller

D-Type Female

DB9 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 Wheatstone Bridge Excitation 4 or 6 4 DC(+) or Equipment Groundc - 7 DC(-) or Actuator ID Signalb,c 4 or 6
2 +15 Va 4 or 6 5 Feedback Signal In 4 or 6 8 RS485 (-) 9
3 -15 Va 4 or 6 6 Equiptment Ground - 9 RS485 (+) 8
  • Power supply for the piezo actuator feedback circuit. It must not be used to drive any other circuits or devices.
  • This signal is applicable only to Thorlabs actuators. It enables the system to identify the piezo extension associated with the actuator.
  • Software switchable signal for strain gauge or DC feedback.

Ext In (+) and Ext In (-)

BNC Female

BNC Female

Differential Inputs. The output from the HV amplifier circuit can be set to be controlled, in part, by the differential signal on these two inputs. If the Input Source is set to include a BNC option, the unit sums this differential signal with any other input sources selected (voltage set using the GUI panel 'Output' control and voltage from an external potentiometer).

HV Out

SMC

SMC

0 to 75 V, 0 to 250 mA. Provides the drive signal to the piezo actuator.


MNA601/IR NanoTrak® Active Auto-Alignment Module

User I/O Controller

D-Type Female

DB26 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 DIG I/P 1a 19 10 DIG O/P 1a 19 19 Isolated Groundb -
2 DIG I/P 2a 19 11 DIG O/P 2a 19 20 Ext Trigger I/P 22
3 DIG I/P 3a 19 12 DIG O/P 3a 19 21 Ext Trigger O/P 22
4 DIG I/P 4a 19 13 DIG O/P 4a 19 22 Ground -
5 Channel 1 RS485 (+) - 14 Channel 2 RS485 (+) - 23 5 V User O/P (Isolated) -
6 Channel 1 RS485 (-) - 15 Channel 2 RS485 (+) - 24 Not Used -
7 Not Used - 16 Not Used - 25 Analog Ground -
8 Channel 2 10 V O/Pc 25 17 External Analog I/P CH2 0 - 10 V 25 26 Signal Power Outd 25
9 Channel 1 10 V O/Pc 25 18 External Analog I/P CH1 0 - 10 V 25
  • Opto-isolated, TTL level signal
  • For use with digital signals
  • For use with external signal monitoring equipment
  • For use with dual NanoTrak® applications

Piezo Controller

D-Type Female

DB9 Female

Pin Description Return Pin Description Return Pin Description Return
1 Wheatstone Bridge Excitation 4 or 6 4 DC(+) or Equipment Grounda - 7 DC(-) or Actuator ID Signala,b 4 or 6
2 +15 Vc 4 or 6 5 Feedback Signal In 4 or 6 8 RS485 (-) 9
3 -15 Vc 4 or 6 6 Equiptment Ground - 9 RS485 (+) 8
  • Software switchable signal for strain gauge or DC feedback
  • This signal is applicable only to Thorlabs actuators. It enables the system to identify the piezo extension associated with the actuator
  • Power supply for the piezo actuator feedback circuit. It must not be used to drive any other circuits or devices

LV Out

BNC Female

BNC Female

0 to +10 V. This output is mirrors HV OUT, 10 V being equivalent to 75 V on the HV outputs, and can be connected to an oscilloscope to enable the drive signal of the piezo actuator to be monitored.

HV Out

SMC

SMC

0 to 75 V, 0 to 500 mA. Provides the drive signal to the piezo actuator.

Signal In

BNC Female

BNC Female

0 to 10 V, 100 kΩ load. Used to receive a signal of optical power from an external power meter.

Piezo Driver Bandwidth Tutorial

Knowing the rate at which a piezo is capable of changing lengths is essential in many high-speed applications. The bandwidth of a piezo controller and stack can be estimated if the following is known:

  1. The maximum amount of current the controllers can produce. This is 0.5 A for our BPC Series Piezo Controllers, which is the driver used in the examples below.
  2. The load capacitance of the piezo. The higher the capacitance, the slower the system.
  3. The desired signal amplitude (V), which determines the length that the piezo extends.
  4. The absolute maximum bandwidth of the driver, which is independent of the load being driven.

To drive the output capacitor, current is needed to charge it and to discharge it. The change in charge, dV/dt, is called the slew rate. The larger the capacitance, the more current needed:

Piezo Equation 1

For example, if a 100 µm stack with a capacitance of 20 µF is being driven by a BPC Series piezo controller with a maximum current of 0.5 A, the slew rate is given by

Piezo Equation 2

Hence, for an instantaneous voltage change from 0 V to 75 V, it would take 3 ms for the output voltage to reach 75 V.

Note: For these calculations, it is assumed that the absolute maximum bandwidth of the driver is much higher than the bandwidths calculated, and thus, driver bandwidth is not a limiting factor. Also please note that these calculations only apply for open-loop systems. In closed-loop mode, the slow response of the feedback loop puts another limit on the bandwidth.

Sinusoidal Signal

The bandwidth of the system usually refers to the system's response to a sinusoidal signal of a given amplitude. For a piezo element driven by a sinusoidal signal of peak amplitude A, peak-to-peak voltage Vpp, and frequency f, we have:

Piezo Equation 3

A diagram of voltage as a function of time is shown to the right. The maximum slew rate, or voltage change, is reached at t = 2nπ, (n=0, 1, 2,...) at point a in the diagram to the right:

Piezo Equation 4

From the first equation, above:

Piezo Equation 5

Thus,
Piezo Equation 6

For the example above, the maximum full-range (75 V) bandwidth would be

Piezo Equation 7.

For a smaller piezo stack with 10 times lower capacitance, the results would be 10 times better, or about 1060 Hz. Or, if the peak-to-peak signal is reduced to 7.5 V (10% max amplitude) with the 100 µm stack, again, the result would be 10 times better at about 1060 Hz.

Triangle Wave Signal

For a piezo actuator driven by a triangle wave of max voltage Vpeak and minimum voltage of 0, the slew rate is equal to the slope:

Piezo Equation 8.

Or, since f = 1/T:

Equation 9

Square Wave Signal

For a piezo actuator driven by a square wave of maximum voltage Vpeak and minimum voltage 0, the slew rate limits the minimum rise and fall times. In this case, the slew rate is equal to the slope while the signal is rising or falling. If tr is the minimum rise time, then

Equation 11

or

Equation 12.

 

For additional information about piezo theory and operation, see the Piezoelectric Tutorials page.

Note that the MBD602 Brushless DC Motor Controller is only compatible with Kinesis, and is not compatible with the APT software.

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 Software
Kinesis GUI Screen
APT Software
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.

Software

Kinesis Version 1.14.47

The Kinesis Software Package, which includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' Kinesis and APT™ system controllers.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download

Software

APT Version 3.21.6

The APT Software Package, which includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' APT™ and Kinesis system controllers.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download

Thorlabs' Kinesis® software features new .NET controls which can be used by third-party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications.

C#
This programming language is designed to allow multiple programming paradigms, or languages, to be used, thus allowing for complex problems to be solved in an easy or efficient manner. It encompasses typing, imperative, declarative, functional, generic, object-oriented, and component-oriented programming. By providing functionality with this common software platform, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis 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 the low-powered, single-axis to the high-powered, multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.

The Kinesis System Software allows two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction 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.

For a collection of example projects that can be compiled and run to demonstrate the different ways in which developers can build on the Kinesis motion control libraries, click on the links below. Please note that a separate integrated development environment (IDE) (e.g., Microsoft Visual Studio) will be required to execute the Quick Start examples. The C# example projects can be executed using the included .NET controls in the Kinesis software package (see the Kinesis Software tab for details).

C Sharp Icon Click Here for the Kinesis with C# Quick Start Guide
Click Here for C# Example Projects
Click Here for Quick Start Device Control Examples
C Sharp Icon

LabVIEW
LabVIEW can be used to communicate with any Kinesis- or APT-based controller via .NET controls. In LabVIEW, you build a user interface, known as a front panel, with a set of tools and objects and then add code using graphical representations of functions to control the front panel objects. The LabVIEW tutorial, provided below, provides some information on using the .NET controls to create control GUIs for Kinesis- and APT-driven devices within LabVIEW. It includes an overview with basic information about using controllers in LabVIEW and explains the setup procedure that needs to be completed before using a LabVIEW GUI to operate a device.

Labview Icon Click Here to View the LabVIEW Guide
Click Here to View the Kinesis with LabVIEW Overview Page
Labview Icon

The APT video tutorials available here fall into two main groups - one group covers using the supplied APT utilities and the second group covers programming the APT System using a selection of different programming environments.

Disclaimer: The videos below were originally produced in Adobe Flash. Following the discontinuation of Flash after 2020, these tutorials were re-recorded for future use. The Flash Player controls still appear in the bottom of each video, but they are not functional.

Every APT controller is supplied with the utilities APTUser and APTConfig. APTUser provides a quick and easy way of interacting with the APT control hardware using intuitive graphical control panels. APTConfig is an 'off-line' utility that allows various system wide settings to be made such as pre-selecting mechanical stage types and associating them with specific motion controllers.

APT User Utility

The first video below gives an overview of using the APTUser Utility. The OptoDriver single channel controller products can be operated via their front panel controls in the absence of a control PC. The stored settings relating to the operation of these front panel controls can be changed using the APTUser utility. The second video illustrates this process.

APT User - Overview
APT User - OptoDriver Settings


APT Config Utility

There are various APT system-wide settings that can be made using the APT Config utility, including setting up a simulated hardware configuration and associating mechanical stages with specific motor drive channels. The first video presents a brief overview of the APT Config application. More details on creating a simulated hardware configuration and making stage associations are present in the next two videos.

APT Config - Overview
APT Config - Simulator Setup
APT Config - Stage Association


APT Programming

The APT Software System is implemented as a collection of ActiveX Controls. ActiveX Controls are language-independant software modules that provide both a graphical user interface and a programming interface. There is an ActiveX Control type for each type of hardware unit, e.g. a Motor ActiveX Control covers operation with any type of APT motor controller (DC or stepper). Many Windows software development environments and languages directly support ActiveX Controls, and, once such a Control is embedded into a custom application, all of the functionality it contains is immediately available to the application for automated operation. The videos below illustrate the basics of using the APT ActiveX Controls with LabVIEW, Visual Basic, and Visual C++. Note that many other languages support ActiveX including LabWindows CVI, C++ Builder, VB.NET, C#.NET, Office VBA, Matlab, HPVEE etc. Although these environments are not covered specifically by the tutorial videos, many of the ideas shown will still be relevant to using these other languages.

Visual Basic

Part 1 illustrates how to get an APT ActiveX Control running within Visual Basic, and Part 2 goes on to show how to program a custom positioning sequence.

APT Programming Using Visual Basic - Part 1
APT Programming Using Visual Basic - Part 2


LabVIEW

Full Active support is provided by LabVIEW and the series of tutorial videos below illustrate the basic building blocks in creating a custom APT motion control sequence. We start by showing how to call up the Thorlabs-supplied online help during software development. Part 2 illustrates how to create an APT ActiveX Control. ActiveX Controls provide both Methods (i.e. Functions) and Properties (i.e. Value Settings). Parts 3 and 4 show how to create and wire up both the methods and properties exposed by an ActiveX Control. Finally, in Part 5, we pull everything together and show a completed LabVIEW example program that demonstrates a custom move sequence.

APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 1: Accessing Online Help
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 2: Creating an ActiveX Control
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 3: Create an ActiveX Method
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 4: Create an ActiveX Property
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Part 5: How to Start an ActiveX Control


The following tutorial videos illustrate alternative ways of creating Method and Property nodes:

APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Create an ActiveX Method (Alternative)
APT Programming Using LabVIEW -
Create an ActiveX Property (Alternative)


Visual C++

Part 1 illustrates how to get an APT ActiveX Control running within Visual C++, and Part 2 goes on to show how to program a custom positioning sequence.

APT Programming with Visual C++ - Part 1
APT Programming with Visual C++ - Part 2


MATLAB

For assistance when using MATLAB and ActiveX controls with the Thorlabs APT positioners, click here.

To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabVIEW is also available here.


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USB Motion Control 19" Rack Chassis

  • Fits up to 6 Control Modules (Sold Separately Below)
  • Highly Versatile Unified Control for Custom Applications
  • 4U, 19" Profile for Mounting in a Standard 19" Cabinet

The modular rack chassis is available without a cover (Item # MMR601) for mounting in a standard 19" cabinet or with a cover (Item # MMR602) for benchtop use. Up to six of our four compatible control modules (sold below) can be fitted in this enclosure, allowing up to 12 channel motion control within the footprint of a 4U, 19" rack enclosure.

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MMR601 Support Documentation
MMR601APT Modular Midi-Rack Assembly & Server Software (No Cover)
$5,017.69
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MMR602 Support Documentation
MMR602APT Modular Midi-Rack Assembly with Cover & Server Software
$5,192.45
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Brushless DC Motor Controller Module

  • 2-Channel Controller for Driving 3-Phase, Brushless DC Servo Motor Products up to 100 W Peak
  • USB and AUX I/O Ports for Communication and Plug-and-Play PC Operation Through the MMR601 or MMR602 Enclosure
  • Incremental Encoder Feedback for Closed-Loop Velocity and Position Control
  • Motor Control I/O Port (Jogging, Interlocks)
  • Supported by the Kinesis Software Control Suite
  • New Features Supported by Kinesis:
    • Fast Position Input/Output Triggering
    • Synchronized Moves
    • Dynamic PID Settings

The MBD602 Controller Module is a dual-channel, high-resolution, brushless DC motor driver designed specifically for use with the highly flexible MMR601 or MMR602 Motion Control 19" Modular Rack System. It can drive Thorlabs' range of 3-phase brushless DC servo motors up to 100 W, with or without encoder feedback. With our robust Kinesis software package, fast input and output triggering makes this unit a versatile building block for complex control systems that can be customized to fit diverse application needs. Note that the MBD602 controller is not compatible with our legacy APT™ software.

Up to six MBD602 Controller Modules fit within the modular rack systems sold above, providing a scalable motion control solution for multi-axis motion control applications. Within an MMR601 or MMR602 rack enclosure, multiple modules can be connected to a single PC via standard USB hub technology for multi-axis motion control applications. Coupling this with the user friendly Kinesis 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 .NET programming environment, which is described in more detail on the Kinesis Tutorials tabs.

Triggering Capabilities
The MBD602 controller is equipped with powerful input and output position triggering capabilities. With a latency under 102 µs, the intervals to send live position triggers are user-defined, so the user can set near-encoder level trigger points (down to 100 - 200 nm) for live data capture or feedback. The position trigger engine sends thousands of pulses while scanning, providing the user with a versatile platform for highly customizable image mapping to suit a diverse range of applications. With our Kinesis software, the user can define a start point, interval for pulses, number of pulses, and pulse width of the output trigger. As an example, to image a 5 mm x 5 mm sample, the user can define the edge of the sample and then have the system raster scan across the sample, taking images at any desired interval. With the trigger interval matched to the system's field of view, the images can be digitally combined to efficiently reconstruct a high magnification view of the whole sample.

Optional Joystick
An optional 2-axis joystick (Item # MJC2) is also available for tactile, manual positioning of a stage. See the manuals, found by clicking on the red Docs icons (), for more information on using the joystick.

Cabling
Cables for connecting actuators or stages to the controller are shipped with the actuators or stages, not the controller. If you need help identifying the appropriate replacement cable, please contact Tech Support.

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MBD602 Support Documentation
MBD602Modular 2-Channel Brushless Motor Controller
$2,014.50
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MJC2 Support Documentation
MJC22-Axis USB HID Joystick
$561.00
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Stepper Motor Controller Module

  • Two Stepper Motor Drive Channels
  • High Resolution Microstepping Control (For Very Fine Positioning Applications)
  • Stable and Predictable Low-Speed Operation (For Velocity Sensitive Applications)
  • Supports 2-Phase Bipolar Steppers up to 48 V / 50 W Peak
  • Differential Encoder Feedback (QEP Inputs) for Closed-Loop Positioning
  • USB Plug and Play for Multi-Axis Expansion
  • Motor Control I/O Port (Jogging, Interlocks)
  • Extensive ActiveX® Programming Interfaces
  • Fully Software Integrated with Other APT™ Family Controllers (Integrated Systems Development)
  • Compatible with the Kinesis Software Control Suite

The APT™ MST602 module is a dual-channel, high-resolution, rack-mounted stepper motor driver designed for use with the APT MMR601 or MMR602 Motion Control 19" Modular Rack System. It can 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. 

When used with a MMR601 or MMR602 Rack enclosure, this unit can be used with a PC via USB connection. Up to six modules can be mounted in one of these enclosures and connected to a single PC via standard USB hub technology for multi-axis motion control applications. Coupling this with the 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 (Item # MJC2) is also available below for tactile, manual positioning of a stage. See the manuals, found by clicking on the red Docs icons (), for more information on using the joystick.

Cabling
Cables for connecting actuators or stages to the controller are shipped with the actuators or stages, not the controller. If you need help identifying the appropriate replacement cable, please contact Tech Support.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MST602 Support Documentation
MST602APT Modular 2-Channel Stepper Motor Controller
$1,553.63
Today
MJC2 Support Documentation
MJC22-Axis USB HID Joystick
$561.00
Today

Piezo Controller Module

  • Two Piezo Drive Channels
  • Quiet High-Resolution Position Control (for Very Fine Positioning Applications)
  • Voltage Ramp and Waveform Generation Capability (for Scanning Applications)
  • High Bandwidth (10 kHz) Piezo Positioning
  • Auto-Configure Function for Thorlabs' Identification-Equipped Piezo Actuators
  • User Controlled Digital and Analog I/O Port
  • Extensive ActiveX® Programming Interfaces
  • Fully Software Integrated with Other APT™ Family Controllers (Integrated Systems Development)
  • Compatible with the Kinesis Software Control Suite

The APT™ MPZ601 piezo driver module is a dual-channel, high-power (75 V, 500 mA) piezo controller. It has been designed to drive the full range of open- and closed-loop piezo-equipped nano-positioning actuators and stages offered by Thorlabs. Equipped with strain gauge feedback circuitry on each channel, this unit is able to provide closed-loop positioning in the nanometer regime when operated with Thorlabs' actuators. In addition, flexible software settings make these units highly configurable and therefore suitable for driving a wide range of piezo elements in third party products. A waveform generation capability combined with triggering outputs makes this unit particularly suitable for piezo scanning applications.

This module incorporates the latest high-speed digital signal processing (DSP) and low-noise analog electronics technology and has been designed specifically to fit within the highly flexible APT MMR601 or MMR602 Motion Control 19" Modular Rack System. Multiple MPZ601 piezo modules can be fitted to this rack system (providing up to 12 channels of operation per rack) to support larger scale critical alignment applications where nanometer level motion control is required with a high axis count.

USB connectivity via the MMR601 or MMR602 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 user friendly APT software allows the user to very quickly get up and running in a short space of time – for example all relevant operating parameters are set automatically for Thorlabs piezo actuator products. Advanced custom motion control applications and sequences are also possible using the extensive ActiveX® programming environment described in more detail on the Motion Control Software and APT Tutorials tabs.

Cabling
Cables for connecting actuators or stages to the controller are shipped with the actuators or stages, not the controller. If you need help identifying the appropriate replacement cable, please contact Tech Support.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MPZ601 Support Documentation
MPZ601APT Modular 2-Ch Piezoelectric Controller With Feedback
$2,785.47
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NanoTrak® Active Auto-Alignment Module

Detector Head Back ViewClick to Enlarge
NTA007 Infrared Wavelength Detector, Back View
  • Active Alignment System with Advanced Light Search Algorithm
  • Tracking Feature Maintains Optimum Throughput Indefinitely
  • Latch Mode to Maintain Alignment Stability over Time
  • MNA601/IR Module Provides 2-Axis Control
  • Two Piezo Actuator Output Channels Provide Closed-Loop Feedback
  • IR (InGaAs) Detector (Item # NTA007) & SMB Connector for External Diodes Included
  • Visible (Si) Detector (Item # NTA009) Available Separately
  • Full Software GUI Control Suite and Support for Third-Party Custom Applications

The modular NanoTrak Auto-Alignment Controller is designed to maximize the coupling power throughput of a fiber-to-fiber or fiber-to-free-space system. By driving a piezo-actuated stage to move the fiber tip in a circular scan pattern, the controller performs a power gradient search to determine the direction of peak power and positions the fiber for maximum throughput. Two high-voltage output channels provide the drive signal for the associated piezo actuators, eliminating the need for external piezo drivers. In combination with a multi-axis, piezo-driven stage, such as our 3-Axis NanoMax and 6-Axis NanoMax stages, a fiber alignment controller creates a complete auto-alignment system.

When used with the MMR601 or MMR602 rack systems, USB connectivity provides easy 'Plug-and-Play' PC-controlled operation with the Kinesis® software package, which features new .NET controls that can be used by third-party developers working in the latest C, C#, LabVIEW™ or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. For more details, please see the Motion Control Software, Kinesis Tutorials, and APT Tutorials tabs.

The initial coupling of light from one device (e.g. fiber) to another involves searching a multidimensional space until a signal is detected. The NanoTrak support software offers a series of motor search algorithms for this first light detection. Although used primarily for aligning optical fibers and integrated optical devices, the NanoTrak is ideal for automating just about any labor intensive alignment tasks such as waveguide characterization, fiber pigtailing of active and passive devices, as well as a multitude of other R&D applications.

Cabling
Cables for connecting actuators or stages to the controller are shipped with the actuators or stages, not the controller. If you need help identifying the appropriate replacement cable, please contact Tech Support.

Detector Heads
The NanoTrak module is supplied with an InGaAs detector (Item # NTA007) for infrared (900 - 1700 nm) wavelengths and a PIN diode SMB input for use with external detector heads. A Si detector (Item # NTA009) for visible (320 - 1100 nm) wavelengths is available separately below. Both detector heads have an FC/PC optical fiber input and interface with the controller via a jack at the back of the detector, as shown above to the right. The specs and wavelength responsivity of each of these detectors are shown in the table and plot below.

Item # Wavelength Range Active Area Fiber Input Dark Current Junction Capacitance
NTA009 320 - 1000 nm Ø0.8 mm FC/PC 0.01 nA (Typ.) @ 10 V 3.00 pF (Typ.) @ 10 V
NTA007 900 - 1700 nm Ø0.12 mm FC/PC 0.05 nA (Typ.) @ 5 V 2.0 pF (Typ.) @ 5 V

NTA ResponsivityNTA Responsivity

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MNA601/IR Support Documentation
MNA601/IRAPT 2-Ch Piezo/NanoTrak® Auto-Alignment Controller with InGaAs Detector (900 - 1700 nm)
$5,555.28
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NTA009 Support Documentation
NTA009NanoTrak® Visible Light (Si) Detector Head, 320 - 1000 nm
$369.44
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NTA007 Support Documentation
NTA007NanoTrak® IR (InGaAs) Detector Head, 900 - 1700 nm
$355.18
Today