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K-Cube™ and T-Cube™ USB Controller Hubs
KCH301 Mounted Vertically with K-Cubes and T-Cubes Installed (KAP101 Adapter and AP90 Bracket Not Included)
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These USB Controller Hubs have been designed specifically with multiple K-Cube and T-Cube operation in mind. They simplify issues such as cable management, power supply routing, and multiple USB device communications. In addition, they make it possible to mount the electronic drivers on the optical table, next to all of the other mechanical components required to build an automated optomechanical application.
Each USB Controller Hub comprises a slim base-plate type carrier with electrical connections located on the upper surface. It contains a fully compliant USB 2.0 hub circuit and provides all communications and power distribution for up to three (KCH301) or six (KCH601) K-Cubes or T-Cubes, using only a single power connection. The hub draws a maximum current of 10 A; please verify that the cubes being used do not require a total current of more than 10 A. See the table to the right for output power specifications. The hubs are shipped complete with the power supply and horizontal mounting brackets.
The hub vastly reduces the number of USB and power cables required when operating multiple K-Cubes or T-Cubes. Furthermore, a USB output connector can be connected to the USB input on another unit, allowing multiple controller hubs to be connected together while still only using a single USB cable from the host control PC. As an added feature, the controller hub, when combined with devices that work in a closed loop such as the K-Cube Piezo Controller and the
A KAP101 or KAP102 Adapter Plate (sold separately below) is required for each T-Cube to operate on the controller hub. The KAP101 is designed to adapt 60 mm wide T-Cubes to the hubs, while the KAP102 is designed to adapt 120 mm wide T-Cubes to the hubs.
Alternatively, the AP90(/M) Right Angle Brackets, sold separately, can used to mount a hub vertically, thus saving space on the optical table. Two M6 cap screws are required to attach the right angle bracket to the hub.
The hubs also have two (KCH301) or three (KCH601) magnets on the bottom to temporarily secure the hubs in place on the table.
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The KAP101 Adapter Plate (sold separately below) is required for mating 60 mm wide T-Cubes with KCH series hubs.
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The KAP102 Adapter Plate (sold separately below) is required for mating 120 mm wide T-Cubes with KCH series hubs.
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Each controller hub includes horizontal mounting brackets for securing the hub to an optical table or breadboard.
This port can be connected to the USB IN on another Hub or other USB device, allowing multiple Controller Hubs to be connected together, thereby requiring only a single USB cable from the host control PC.
Provides communication to the host controller PC.
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.
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.
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).
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.