Rotalink has driven down the costs of DC motor control systems

Costing less than £100 for motor, gearbox, encoder and controller Rotalink has flattened the entry barriers to servo systems with the launch of Red Drive. For development and low volume applications use the board, for volume production use the chip.

Red Drive can control a wide range of brushed and brushless DC motors and gearboxes up to 10A output current, allowing OEMs to create electromechanical positioning systems quickly and economically. Measuring just 46 x 63 x 24mm, Red Drive lets the user control all variables associated with rotational or linear movement, such as speed, acceleration, position, dwell etc. Ten digital I/O connections allow interaction with limit switches, Hall effect sensors, LEDs, buzzers and similar signals – and with other Red Drive controllers to create multi-axis control systems. No complex programming is required. Dragging readily understandable flowchart symbols such as start, accelerate, compare, wait onto the work area allows program structure to be established within minutes. Repetitive sequences can be readily grouped into subroutines and variables provide for simple calculations and loop control. Step parameters can be set directly from catalogue values, in real world values such as rpm and seconds, or as interactions with I/O signals. Context sensitive tool-tips help the programmer with parameter selection, whilst comprehensive checks and fail-safes built into the software trap many simple errors. Soft start/stop combined with user programmable acceleration sequences simplify the management of high-torque applications. Over 100 commands, including subroutines, can be stored in the on-board EEPROM enabling complex motion sequences to be programmed. Program transfer through the serial interface to the controller typically takes less than a minute allowing shop floor installation of latest version into final product immediately prior to test and ship. "Until now, there was simply nothing available at this price and flexibility in this power range any where"states Melvyn Hazell, Rotalink's Managing Director. "Red Drive systems fill this void in DC motor control, making this unique and flexible controller the most cost effective way of accessing a dc servo system." About Rotalink From its base in Crewkerne, Somerset, Rotalink Limited has become a recognised world leader in the design and manufacture of miniature transmission products. The company's first class design team, backed by a truly flexible production and prototyping capability, delivers the widest range of innovative and cost effective products. More information is available at