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EMA Systems with Shock6 Software: Troubleshooting Guide

(Credit: S. Neitz, MTS SIE) 

Rev A :: September 15, 2021


Contents:


1.0 Scope of Document

2.0 System Architecture

3.0 Initial Troubleshooting Steps

4.0 Common Issues

    4.1 Demo Mode

        Symptoms

        Possible Causes

    4.2 Control Axis is Configured as Virtual (Motor Overheat Indicator Flashing). 7

        Symptoms

        Possible Causes

    4.3 USB License Key Issues

        Troubleshooting

        License Key Drivers

    4.4 Electrical Cabinet Not Powered On

    4.5 Contactors Not Engaged (E-stop active and reset button not pressed)

    4.6 Load Cell Noise

    4.7 Intermittent Breakers Tripping

    4.8 Limit switch Tripping. 15

        Symptoms

        Possible Cause

        Solution

5.0 Narrowing Down a Control Issue (Shock6 vs Aerotech)

6.0 Appendix

    6.1 Aerotech INtime Firewire Communication Setup (From Aerotech A3200 Software Help Files)

        Unconfigure the Firewire card

        Configure the FireWire card

        Verify firewire operation

    6.2 Compatible Firewire Cards (From Aerotech A3200 Software Help Files): 22

    6.3 Troubleshooting Firewire Communication Errors (From Aerotech A3200 Software Help Files): 23

        Firewire Cable

        PC Hardware and Software

        Controller Hardware and Software

        Configuration and Settings


 

1.0 Scope of Document:

The information in this document applies to current or recent software revisions (Shock6 version 6.6.8 and higher on Windows 10 LTSC operating system) used on standard EMA system configurations (Aerotech Nservo DB2 controllers with Aerotech BA100 amplifiers). Although some of these items may be applicable to older software versions or previous unsupported or obsolete system configurations, this document is not intended to cover or be applicable to old software revisions, custom, or obsolete system configurations or other differences from standard EMA systems. Any use of this information on non-current software or custom systems is done so at the risk of the equipment owner.

The system operator following these troubleshooting steps should be familiar with making and running tests on the system, as well as the basic components of the system.

2.0 System Architecture:

Shock6 software sends commands to and receives data from the Aerotech A3200 software. The Aerotech A3200 software operates in a real time operating system (RTOS) and communicates with the Aerotech Nservo controller through a firewire connection. The Aerotech Nservo controller operates in closed loop displacement control, sending commands to the Aerotech BA100 amplifiers and reading the optical encoder feedback from the actuator. This is outlined in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: A basic system diagram of an EMA system

3.0 Initial Troubleshooting Steps:

The following list of steps should be taken to rule out and possibly resolve some basic issues before attempting more detailed troubleshooting.

  • Exit Shock6 and reboot the PC.
  • Verify the firewire cable is connected between the EMA cabinet and the PC.
  • Ensure the green USB license dongle is plugged into a working USB port on the PC.

Figure 2: Two variations of the green USB license dongle required to run shock6 (newer on top, older on bottom)

  • Power cycle the electrical enclosure (turn it off using the main power disconnect and allow it to stay powered off for at least 60 seconds before turning it back on).
  • Check that facility power is on (no breakers or fuses tripped) and is feeding the correct voltage to the EMA electrical cabinet on each of the 3 phases. It should be 200-240VAC 3 phase at the EMA cabinet after any transformers (if applicable).
  • Verify that the main power disconnect switch on the EMA cabinet is in the “ON” state.

Figure 3: The main power disconnect switch in its “on” state (red arrow pointing to the “ON” text)

  • Verify that the e-stop button is released. There may be two types of e-stop buttons on systems: 1. Twist to release and 2. Twist and pull to release. If the e-stop button is a twist and pull type, it must be fully pulled out in order to be released. Leaving it partially pulled out will maintain the e-stopped condition.
  • Ensure all enclosure doors are closed and any other safety devices are in place.
  • After releasing the e-stop button, verify that the blue e-stop reset button has been pressed to engage the contactors which power on the amplifiers. A “ka-chunk” sound should be heard in the electrical enclosure indicating the contactors have been engaged and the blue light on the e-stop reset button should go out when it is pressed. This will only work if all safety devices are in their proper state (door locks, e-stop buttons, etc).

Figure 4: The blue e-stop reset button in its illuminated state

  • Power on the PC, open the Shock6 software and attempt to run a test
    1. If the test runs properly, the issue may have been resolved. Run a few more tests to gain confidence that the issue is resolved.
    2. If you encounter issues during these steps, record what issues are encountered and during what step. Take screenshots of any errors that may display during startup or operation of the software for reference. Look through the remainder of this document for more detailed troubleshooting steps for specific issues.

4.0 Common Issues:

4.1 Demo Mode

The system is unable to operate the actuator and the Shock6 software brings up a warning stating it is in demo mode.

Symptoms:

  • A popup occurs stating “WARNING: The demo datacard is currently selected.” (Figure 5).

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Figure 5: The Shock6 “demo datacard” warning window

  • The real time transducer measurements in the shock test control panel are continuously changing in a somewhat sinusoidal manner and do not represent measurements of what is happening to the actuator displacement, load cell or temperature sensors on the physical system (Figure 6).

Figure 6: A screenshot noting odd measurement values when the system is in demo mode

  • The Create Test icon is grayed out on the top bar of the software (Figure 7).

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Figure 7: A screenshot highlighting that the create test icon is grayed out in the toolbar

  • The Hardware > Motor and Hardware > Datacard selections are grayed out (Figure 8).

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Figure 8: A screenshot showing that the Datacard and Motor selections of the Hardware dropdown are grayed out

Possible Causes:

There are two main causes of this issue and several subcategories which are outlined below:

  • The Shock6 software was fully installed (not in demo mode) due to the USB license key being used during the installation but is being operated temporarily in Demo mode due to no key being recognized by the PC. This is caused by one of the following conditions:
    1. The USB license key is not plugged into the PC.
      • Plug the USB license key into the PC and restart Shock6.
    2. The USB license key is plugged into the PC, but the USB port on the PC is faulty.
      • Use a known good USB device (such as a flash drive) to locate a working USB port. Plug the USB license key into the known good USB port and restart the Shock6 software.
    3. The USB license key is not recognized by the PC due to a driver issue.
      • Refer to the “USB License Key Issues” section of this document regarding how to install the necessary drivers
    4. The USB license key itself is faulty.
      • If the above items are not successful, the USB license key may be faulty and in need of replacement. Contact MTS to troubleshoot further and possibly purchase a new USB license key.

After troubleshooting the USB license key, note if the software is still showing the same symptoms when opening and attempting to run a test. If so, it is likely that the software was installed in demo mode and is therefore semi-permanently operating in demo mode until it is uninstalled and reinstalled with the USB license key present and recognized by the PC. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot a semi-permanent demo mode installation.

  • The Shock6 software was mistakenly installed in demo mode. The demo version of the software is not capable of connecting with and operating a physical system.
    1. Uninstall and reinstall the Shock6 software. When prompted with the “insert hardware key” popup (Figure 9), insert the green USB license key into a functioning USB port on the PC. The “insert hardware key” popup window will automatically go away in a few seconds after plugging in the USB license key. do not click the “demo” button as the software will again install in demo mode.

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Figure 9: The “Insert Hardware Key” window that displays during Shock6 installation when no USB license key is plugged in

  1. If when plugging in the USB license key, the “insert hardware key” popup does not disappear by itself, this indicates some issues remain related to the USB license key. Click the “demo” button, then immediately cancel out of the installation. The possible remaining issues are as follows:
    • The USB license key is plugged into the PC, but the USB port on the PC is faulty.
      • Use a known good USB device (such as a flash drive) to locate a working USB port. Plug the USB license key into the known good USB port and restart the Shock6 software.
    • The USB license key is not recognized by the PC due to a driver issue.
      • Refer to the “USB License Key Issues” section of this document regarding how to install the necessary drivers
    • The USB license key itself is faulty.
      • If the above items are not successful, the USB license key may be faulty and in need of replacement. Contact MTS to purchase a new USB license key.


4.2 Control Axis is Configured as Virtual (Motor Overheat Indicator Flashing)


The PC is not communicating with the Aerotech Nservo motion controller (located in the electrical cabinet) which results in several seemingly unrelated error messages and symptoms in the software.

Symptoms:

  • While opening Shock6, there may be error messages stating “control axis is configured as virtual”.

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Figure 10: “Control Axis Configured as Virtual” error message window

  • Once inside of Shock6, the motor overheat light (if present) is flashing red and the real time data readout in Shock6 displays nonsense values.

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Figure 11: Shock6 Test Control Panel displaying the motor overheat indicator and nonsense real time values

Possible Causes:

  • The EMA electrical cabinet is not powered on.
    1. Power on the electrical cabinet using the main power disconnect (see Figure 3).
    2. If the cabinet is equipped with a ventilation fan, you should be able to hear the fan running when the main power disconnect on the cabinet is powered on. This indicates that power is present to some components inside of the cabinet, but it does not indicate that the Nservo is powered on. Ultimately, power to the Nservo controller needs to be verified.
  • The Aerotech Nservo controller is not powered on or faulty.
    1. With the cabinet powered on, open the side of the electrical cabinet containing the Nservo controller and verify the Power LED is illuminated green as seen in Figure 12.
      • If the Nservo controller power LED is not illuminated, use a multimeter to verify power to the main supply of the Nservo is within spec.
        • If the voltage supplied to the Nservo is correct but the power LED is not illuminated, contact MTS regarding a quote to replace the Nservo controller.
        • If the voltage supplied to the Nservo is 0v, determine if a breaker or fuse in the cabinet is tripped causing the unit not to receive power.
        • If the voltage supplied is incorrect (above the operating voltage ranged marked on the Nservo), determine why the voltage is high and reduce the voltage. It is likely that voltage above the operating range will permanently damage the Nservo and it will require replacement. Contact MTS regarding a quote to replace the Nservo controller.

Figure 12: The Nservo controller with the Power LED illuminated green, indicating it has power

  • The firewire cable connection between the PC and the EMA Enclosure is disconnected or the cable is faulty.
    1. Visually verify that the firewire cable is plugged into the PC and to the connection on the EMA enclosure with the plugs in the proper orientation relative to the sockets.
  • The firewire cable internal to the electrical cabinet (between the cabinet wall and the Nservo controller) is disconnected or the cable is faulty.
    1. Open the EMA electrical cabinet and verify the cable is connected between the cabinet wall and the Nservo controller. Ensure the plugs are in the proper orientation relative to the sockets.
  • The firewire card and/or cable may be faulty. Firewire card failure is not uncommon and may be caused by cable failure. It is difficult to separate the failure of a card from a cable. Some known methods of firewire card failure are as follows: Electrostatic discharge to data lines of cable through user interaction with cable end, reverse plug insertion, cable internally shorted causing port failure or over voltage conditions.
    1. Replace the firewire cable between the PC and the EMA cabinet. Restart Shock6 (or perform a Hardware > Reset as seen in Figure 13), clear the e-stop button, press the blue e-stop reset button and attempt to run a test.
      • If the system operates normally, the cable was faulty. Cut the old cable in half so it can’t be reused and place it in the trash.
      • If the system continues to display the “axis configured as virtual” error when the software starts up or when a Hardware > Reset is performed with the cabinet powered on, replace the firewire card on the PC while continuing to use the new firewire cable. Acceptable firewire card replacements are outlined in the appendix. After replacing the PC’s firewire card and cable, reconfigure the software on the PC to accept the new firewire connection following the instructions in the appendix.
        • Warning: never use the old firewire cable and a new firewire card! The old firewire cable could be shorted internally, causing any firewire device it is plugged into to fail. It is okay to use a new cable and the old firewire card, as a failed firewire card is highly unlikely to cause a cable to fail. Cable failure is usually caused by physical damage such as being walked on, being rolled over by wheels, being cut, twisted or otherwise physically worn.
      • If, after replacing the PC’s firewire card and cable the system is still displaying the “axis configured as virtual” error upon software startup or when a Hardware > Reset is performed, swap the port that the firewire cable is connected to on the Nservo controller in the EMA cabinet.
      • If the issue persists, after all these steps have been completed, contact MTS technical support.

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Figure 13: The Reset function under the Hardware menu which attempts to reestablish communication between the PC and Nservo

  • Any of the firewire plugs may have been inserted upside down, causing the PC’s firewire card or the Nservo’s firewire port to fail (damage may be noted physically, but electrical damage is also a consequence). The possible connection points are at the firewire card on the PC, exterior of EMA enclosure, interior of EMA enclosure and at the Nservo.
    1. Inspect all 4 connection points for clues that the cable has been plugged in upside down and damaged (see Figure 14 for reference of what a port might look like after reverse plug insertion).
      • If damage is found, Replace the PC’s firewire card. Inspect the cable ends to determine if the cable is damaged from reverse insertion and replace if needed.
      • After replacing the PC’s firewire card (and cable if needed), reconfigure the software on the PC to accept the new firewire connection following the instructions in the appendix.
      • After attempting the above steps if the PC still will not connect with the Nservo, swap which connection the cable is going to on the Nservo as one of the two firewire ports on the Nservo may be electrically damaged.

Figure 14: Two firewire ports. The left port is in good condition, whereas the right port is split at the top due to having a plug inserted upside down.

4.3 USB License Key Issues

The EMA systems use green USB license keys during installation and operation of the system. Without the key present during software operation, the software can’t connect with the physical system. There are several ways in which the key will not function and cause issues during software installation or software operation which are detailed below.

Troubleshooting

Figure 15: The red status LED on the USB license dongle

When the USB license key is plugged into the PC with the PC powered on and drivers installed, the status LED on the USB license dongle should be lit. If the status LED is not lit:

  • The USB license key is not properly plugged in to the PC.
  1. Verify the software key is securely plugged in all the way.
  • The USB port is faulty and is not supplying power to USB license key.
    1. Locate a working USB port on the computer by using a known working USB device such as a flash drive. Plug the USB license key into this tested and working USB port.
  • Drivers for the USB license key are not installed.
    1. Follow the instructions in the next section to verify the drivers are installed.
  • The USB license key is faulty.
    1. If the Status LED does not light up after verifying that drivers are properly installed on the PC and testing it in a known good USB port, the USB license key is faulty and requires replacement. Note that the Status LED will not light up unless the proper drivers are for the USB license key are installed on the PC.

License Key Drivers

  • Plug the USB license key into a known working USB port on the PC.
  • Open the device manager.
  • Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section.
  • Locate the entries relating to a SafeNet, Sentinel, HASP or Key similar to Figure 16 and Figure 17. The exact naming and number of entries may not be identical to what is shown in the figures as it may vary with the version of the USB license key.

Figure 16: A representation of how the software key should display in the device manager

Figure 17: A different representation of how the software key may display in the device manager

  • If no device manager entries appear for the software key, the key may be faulty or the USB port the key is plugged into may be faulty. Test another USB port or try the key in another computer. If the key is faulty, a replacement must be purchased, and it must have licenses assigned by MTS.
  • If there is an unrecognized device that shows up when the USB license key is plugged in which disappears when the USB license key is removed from the USB port, the drivers for the USB license key are not properly installed or the device is malfunctioning. Uninstall and reinstall the Shock6 software with the USB license key plugged into the computer, as the installer configures the USB license key drivers during installation.
    1. Note: Shock6 Versions 6.6.8 through 6.6.12 install USB license key drivers that may be incompatible with certain versions of windows 10 (reportedly version 2004, 20H2 or 21H1). Manual driver installation of the most current driver may be required with these versions of windows before installing the Shock6 software.
  • If the Shock6 software installation will not recognize the USB license key (plugged into a known good USB port and with an unknown USB device appearing in the windows device manager), the drivers for the software key can be manually installed before the Shock6 software installation. Download the most recent Sentinel/Hasp LDK windows Command Line Run-time installer from the Thales customer support portal (navigate to https://supportportal.thalesgroup.com/csm/?id=kb_search&spa=1 and search for “sentinel hasp/ldk windows command line run-time installer”). Note: the runtime installer must be the command line version. The GUI version will not install the necessary legacy drivers. At the time of writing this document, the current version available is 8.23 and the following instructions are applicable to that version.

 

Install the HASP Command Line Drivers

  • Extract the downloaded zip file containing the run time installer

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Figure 18: The contents of the USB license key drivers from the Thales website

  • Open a command prompt or power shell instance. Depending on the location of your runtime installer, the command prompt/powershell window may need to be opened with administrator privileges in order to be able to access the files.
  • In the command prompt or power shell window, navigate to the disk drive location where the haspinst.exe file exists (the unzipped installer files)
    1. Use the “ls” command to list the contents of the current working directory
    2. Use the “cd” command to change directories
      • For example “cd c:\Users\AUserNameHere\Downloads” would change the directory to the downloads folder of a user named “AUserNameHere”.
  • Once the command prompt or PowerShell instance is in the proper directory, run the following command to install the drivers:
    1. For powershell (without quotations) enter: “.\haspdinst.exe -i -fi -ld -kp -fss”
    2. For command (without quotations) enter: “haspdinst.exe -i -fi -ld -kp -fss”

Figure 19: A screenshot of the powershell commands necessary to install the USB license key drivers

  • The progress window will show up (Figure 20).

Figure 20: The USB license key driver installer progress window

  • Once installation is complete, a popup should occur indicating the installation completed successfully (Figure 21).

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Figure 21: The USB license key driver installer completion window

  • After the driver installation
    1. Verify that the USB license key shows up in device manager without errors.
    2. Check to see if the red LED is now illuminated on the hasp dongle (it should be).
    3. Uninstall and reinstall shock6 again after the manual installation of the USB license key driver installation with the USB key plugged in. During installation, the “insert hardware key” popup should not occur as the PC should have the proper drivers installed for the software to recognize the key
  • If the Shock6 installer, software or PC are still having issues recognizing the USB license key after driver installation:
    1. Navigate to http://localhost:1947/_int_/devices.html in a web browser such as google chrome (this web address may not work with Microsoft edge or internet explorer). Inspect the list of keys. With the USB license key plugged into the PC it should show up in the list (refresh the web browser if needed) as seen in Figure 22. The key should disappear from the list when the key is Removed from the PC (refreshing the web browser if needed). This indicates that the drivers are installed properly, and that the PC recognizes the key. Contact MTS for further support if the Shock6 software is still not working with the key appropriately showing up in the web browser. The key may need to be relicensed if it is not working even with the appropriate drivers.
    2. If the web address listed does not work, the drivers may not have been installed properly. Contact MTS for further support.

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Figure 22: The sentinel admin control center, displaying a USB license key which indicates the PC recognizes it properly

4.4 Electrical Cabinet Not Powered On

The electrical cabinet power switch controls power to all devices inside of the cabinet (see Figure 3). With the cabinet powered off, the PC can’t communicate with the Nservo controller inside of the cabinet as the controller has no power. Ensure that the cabinet is powered on if you wish to run the system.

4.5 Contactors Not Engaged (E-stop active and reset button not pressed)

Once the cabinet is powered on or the E-stop has been pressed and reset, there is a blue “e-stop reset” button that must be pressed to engage contactors inside the cabinet. These contactors turn power on to the motor amplifiers which then allow the motors to move. Without these contactors engaged, no commanded motion can occur on the system. When the “e-stop reset” button is illuminated blue as in Figure 4, it means that the contactors are not engaged and that the “e-stop reset” button must be pressed to engage the contactors. Once the contactors are engaged, the blue light on the “e-stop reset” button will go out. Note that the e-stop reset button will not engage the contactors if the e-stop button is still in its depressed state, or if there are any additional safety devices which are not in a safe state such as test area enclosure door locks.

4.6 Load Cell Noise

See the “Load Cell Noise Troubleshooting” document from MTS.

Load Cell Noise Troubleshooting



4.7 Intermittent Breakers Tripping

  • Check incoming power to the EMA cabinet between all phases (L1-L2, L1-L3, L2-L3, L1-PE, L2-PE, L3-PE). The line to line voltage for each pair should be between 200-240VAC. The line to earth ground (PE) measurements should all be ~0 VAC, but this will depend on how the transformer is configured (if applicable).
    1. If any line to line voltage is 0VAC, there is an issue with the transformer or facility power on one of the 3 phases of incoming power that must be fixed. Operating the system on only 2 phases will draw excess current on those two phases, tripping breakers and reducing system output among other issues.

4.8 Limit switch Tripping

In its fully retracted state, the actuator rests on a lower bumper which may degrade over time and due to high energy impacts. This causes the actuator to rest lower down in the frame when deenergized which may trigger the lower end stop switch.

Symptoms:

  • If the lower end stop switch is triggered at the start of or during a test, the test may be interrupted part way through or fail to start. Shock6 displays the error message seen in Figure 23.

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Figure 23: The typical error screen shown when a limit switch is triggered at the start of or during a test

Note: the error message may also occur for other reasons.

Possible Cause:

  • Verify that the lower limit switch is the problem by viewing its status in the Aerotech A3200 Status Utility. Open the A3200 Status Utility and navigate to the Drive Status tab. If the status of the “Ccw End Of Travel Limit Input” is “ON” in the X column, this indicates that the lower limit switch is currently being triggered. Ignore all other columns (the A,Z,U, etc columns). With the e-stop button pressed but the main power still on to the EMA control cabinet, manually lift the actuator up slightly and see if the status changes from “ON” to “--“. If so, the lower limit switch is triggering when the actuator is in its resting position.

Figure 24: The A3200 Status Utility showing the Ccw End Of Travel Limit Input ON (lower limit switch triggered)

Solution:

  • Inspect the lower bumper by removing the bumper and spring assembly on the bottom of the actuator or base of the system and ensure no components of the bumper are broken. Replace any worn or broken parts.
  • Adjust the lower limit switch position so that the switch will not trigger when the actuator is in its fully retracted resting position. The limit switch should only trigger if the actuator is somehow enabled and driven down into the base of the system.

5.0 Narrowing Down a Control Issue (Shock6 vs Aerotech)

Since the EMA system architecture contains several different software packages and several different hardware components, there is a basic check in the Aerotech software that can be used to verify everything in and downstream of the Aerotech software on the PC is functional. This allows for us to know if the Shock6 software is configured improperly, causing the system to be unable to move the actuator.

This troubleshooting tool is using the Aerotech Motion Composer to manually enable and jog the actuator up and down.

  • Power on the EMA electrical cabinet, clear the e-stop button and press the blue e-stop reset button to engage the contactors.
  • Open the A3200 Motion Composer by going to the windows start menu > Aerotech > A3200 Motion Composer.
  • First, view the black box to the right of the status window for the X ais (see Figure 25 and Figure 26).
    1. If the box contains no letter and is completely black, this indicates that the PC is connected to the Aerotech Nservo controller. Continue to step 4 of this procedure.

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Figure 25: The A3200 Motion Composer noting the X axis is NOT virtual (the PC is connected to the controller)

  • If the box contains the letter “V”, this means the control axis is “virtual” meaning that the PC is not connected to the Aerotech Nservo controller. Try clicking the reconnect button to attempt to connect to the Aerotech Nservo controller (the green and red arrows in a circle on the top bar in Figure 26).
    1. If the reconnection is successful, the letter “V” in the box will go away, leaving just a solid black box. Continue to step 4 in this procedure.
    2. If the reconnection is not successful, the Aerotech software may display an error such as “No selfIDs are detected on the network. Check the Firewire or Hyperwire cable connections.” as seen in Figure 26. It will also continue to display a “V” in the status of the X axis. In this case, the issue may be one of the following:
      1. EMA control cabinet not powered on (or the Nservo is faulty or not powered on).
      2. Firewire cable is not connected between the PC and the EMA control cabinet (or within the EMA control cabinet to the Nservo).
      3. Firewire card on the PC is faulty.
      4. Firewire connection on the Nservo is faulty.

Figure 26: The A3200 Motion Composer noting the X axis is virtual (the PC is NOT connected to the controller) and the location of the “reconnect” button

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Figure 26: the No selfIDs are detected error from the A3200 Motion Composer software

  • In the top bar of the A3200 Motion Composer software press the enable button next to the X axis. The status will change from Disabled to Enabled.

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Figure 28: The enable/disable button for the X axis

  • Click the green arrow for the X axis pointing in the left direction (jog negative) as seen in Figure 29. This will jog the actuator in the upward direction. Verify that the physical actuator is moving up as the jog button is pressed to verify the system is functioning.
    1. If necessary, jog the actuator back down using the green arrow for the X axis pointing in the right direction (jog positive) before disabling the axis.

Figure 29: The jog negative button to jog the actuator upwards

  • Disable the actuator by pressing the enable button for the X axis again (as seen in Figure 28). The status will change to Disabled and the actuator will drop to its resting position.

If the actuator was able to be physically jogged up and down in control with the A3200 Motion Composer software, this indicates that a majority of the software and hardware is functional and configured properly (PC INtime software, firewire card, firewire cabling, Nservo firewire port, Nservo power, amplifier power). Being that all of these components are functioning as expected, the Shock6 software should operate normally if it is properly installed and configured. Conversely, if the actuator was unable to be jogged using the A3200 motion composer softer, it indicates an issue within one of those items listed. The A3200 software often displays valuable error messages and the A3200 software help files can be consulted for further details and procedures to diagnose.

 

  • If when attempting to enable the axis, the Aerotech software displays an error, record this error and contact MTS Technical support
  • If the X axis successfully enables and jogs the actuator, the A3200 software, firewire card and cable, Nservo and amplifiers are functional. The shock6 software should also be functional assuming it has been configured appropriately

6.0 Appendix

6.1 Aerotech INtime Firewire Communication Setup (From Aerotech A3200 Software Help Files)

Use these procedures to unconfigure or reconfigure a FireWire card to operate with the A3200 software.

Unconfigure the Firewire card:

Unconfiguring the Firewire card and reconfiguring the firewire card may help resolve intermittent issues.

  • Open INtime Device Manager (Start → All Programs → INtime → INtime Configuration. Then double-click INtime Device Manager). 
  • In the Intime devices tree, find the FireWire card under the INtime devices list. Right-click the firewire card and select Pass to Windows.

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  • Save the configuration by clicking file > Save the configuration.

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  • If you get a message that you must restart your computer, restart and continue to the next step.

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  • If you do not get a message to restart, close all applications and continue to the next step.
  • The firewire card has now been passed from INtime control back to windows. If you wish to re-configure the firewire card, continue to the section labeled “to configure the firewire card”

Configure the FireWire card

  • Open INtime Device Manager (Start → All Programs → INtime → INtime Configuration. Then double-click INtime Device Manager). 
  • In the INtime devices tree, find the FireWire card that you want to use. Right-click the FireWire card and select Pass to INtime using polling. Now the FireWire card is under INtime control. 

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  • Save the configuration by clicking File → Save the configuration. 

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  • If you get a message that you must restart your computer, restart and continue to the next step. 
  • If you do not get a message to restart, close all applications and continue to the next step. 
  • Open A3200 Configuration Manager (Start → All Programs → Aerotech → Automation 3200 → A3200 Configuration Manager). 
  • Open the Connection Settings dialog by right-clicking Controller and selecting Connections Settings. 

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  • Click the Drive Communication tab. 
  • If only one card is listed in the list of devices, you can either select the card or select Automatically select a card. If more than one card is listed, you must select the card that you want to use. 

  • Click OK to close Connection Settings 
  • Close the A3200 Configuration Manager. 

Verify firewire operation

  1. Run the A3200 Status Utility program from the start menu.
    1. If the A3200 Status Utility does not open and you get a “CommunicationsCardConfiguration” or “CommunicationsConfiguration” error, refer to the “Configure the FireWire Card” section of this topic. 
    2. If you get a different error message, refer to the Troubleshooting section of the Aerotech A3200 software Help file for more information.
  1. In the Controller tab of the Status Utility, find the row labeled Real Time Error Total. Then, in the Drive Interface tab, find the Total Errors row. The numbers in these rows should be zero. If not, there might be a problem with the cable or the drive or the FireWire card might not be compatible with the A3200. Refer to the “Compatible FireWire Cards” section for more information. FireWire and Real Time errors can also be caused by an SMC task failure.

6.2 Compatible Firewire Cards (From Aerotech A3200 Software Help Files):

Note: Aerotech does not support laptop PCs and PCMCIA-based FireWire cards.

NOTE: Do not install the FireWire card in a PCI Express or PCI expansion chassis. You must install the card in a PCI Express or PCI slot, x4 or larger, on the motherboard.

Table: Supported FireWire Cards

Board Manufacturer/Part #

Chip Part #

Chip Manufacturer

Vendor ID

Device ID

IOCREST or SYBA / SY-PEX30016 (PCIe)

XIO2213B

TI

4172 (0x104C)

33343 (0x823F)

SIIG / NN-E38012-S3 (PCIe)

XIO2213B

TI

4172 (0x104C)

33343 (0x823F)

IOI / FWB1GLC-PCIE10

XIO2213A

TI

4172 (0x104C)

33343 (0x823F)

SIIG / NN-400012-S8

TSB12LV23

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32793 (0x8019)

SIIG, PCIe / NN-E20012-S1(1) or NN-E20012-S2(1)

XIO2200(1)

TI

4172 (0x104C)

33333 (0x8235)

SIIG / NN-8G0012-S1

TSB82AA2

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32805 (0x8025)

SIIG, PCIx-64 / NN-83M012(2)

TSB82AA2

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32805 (0x8025)

Various

FW323-05

Agere

4545 (0x11C1)

22545 (0x5811)

Various

TSB12LV26

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32800 (0x8020)

Various

TSB43AB22/A

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32803 (0x8023)

Various

TSB43AB23

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32804 (0x8024)

Various

TSB43AB21

TI

4172 (0x104C)

32807 (0x8027)

Various

VT6306/VT6307/VT6308

VIA

4358 (0x1106)

12356 (0x3044)

Various

VT6315/VT6330

VIA

4358 (0x1106)

13315 (0x3403)

(1) The TI XIO2200 FireWire chipset is not compatible with some motherboard chipsets. Aerotech recommends that you do not install this card on new systems.

(2) A 1394A to 1394B adapter cable is required.

 


6.3 Troubleshooting Firewire Communication Errors (From Aerotech A3200 Software Help Files):

Firewire Cable

  • Make sure that the FireWire cable is connected correctly.
    • Make sure that the cable is not routed near power cables.

    • Make sure that the cable does not vibrate.
  • Use the shortest possible FireWire cable.
  • Replace the FireWire cable with a new cable or a cable that is known to work.
  • Move the FireWire cable to a different PC port or drive port.
  • Make sure that the power is connected to the drive correctly. The power connection influences the AC input. Voltage spikes or power outages can interrupt FireWire communications.

PC Hardware and Software

  • Connect to a different PC that is known to work.
  • Replace the PC FireWire card. Make sure that the card is compatible with your Aerotech system. Refer to the “Compatible FireWire Cards” section of this document.
  • In your PC, put the FireWire card in a different PCI Express or PCI expansion slot.
  • Make sure that your PC meets the minimum requirements for your Aerotech system. Refer to the “System Requirements” of the A3200 software help files.
  • Anti-virus and camera software can cause interference with RTOS (real time operating systems). Disable the software to see if you get better results.
  • Make sure that you have sufficient PC memory available. Refer to Available Memory.

Controller Hardware and Software

  • Use a different drive that is known to work.
  • Remove other drives from the network. Connect to one drive at a time and make sure that the connection is successful.
  • Make sure that each stage, controller, and cable is correctly grounded.
  • Examine FireWire errors by using the procedure that follows
    1. in the A3200 Status Utility, look for communication errors in the Controller and Drive Interface tabs. 
    1. Click Export to export a snapshot of the A3200 system.
    2. Refer to the “Complete List of Runtime Errors” in the A3200 software help files and read the Help topic for each applicable error.
  • Reset the power to all drives by using the procedure that follows.

1.    Close all A3200 applications. 

2.    Shut down the A3200. Click Start → All Programs → Aerotech → Automation 3200 → Shutdown A3200. A black Command Prompt window comes into view momentarily. 

3.    Turn off all of the drives. 

4.    Disconnect all power connectors from the drives. 

5.    Restart the PC. 

6.    Reconnect the power connectors to the drives. 

7.    Turn on all of the drives and wait a minimum of 30 seconds. 

8.    Open one of the A3200 applications and reconnect to the controller.




Configuration and Settings

  • Make sure that the FireWire card is configured correctly. Refer to “Aerotech INtime Firewire Communication Setup”.

 

 

End of Troubleshooting Guide 

If your problem persists after following this document, please contact MTS Service for repair options.   Call toll free 1-800-328-2255 or email tech.support@mts.com.

 

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