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PowerBrick LV stepper not moving


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I had problems with a PowerBrick LV, where one channel was behaving strange. In most configurations connected motors did not move. As the resistance between one of the amplifiers motor phases and GND of all other channels was zero, I guess that the amp was broken.

No I switched the PowerBrick against a similar one we had in spare. I uploaded the project, connected everything and found - that nothing was moving. Having a deeper look into the controllers config brought up, that the clocks were configured in a completely different way. But even after setting them the same way as in the old controller didn't help. If I jog a motor, everything that happens is, that the following error will start jittering, but no other value changes. We are talking about open loop steppers here.

Two questions:

  • I thought, that uploading a project would configure every controller in the absolute same way, given that it is the same hardware. But obviously, this doesn't apply for the clock settings. Which other settings do I have to check if I want to make sure that the controllers configurations are identical?
  • Does the jittering following error on open loop steppers ring a bell for you? I'm really confused, because the exact same config was working fine on the other controller.

Please tell me, if you should need further details or maybe config files.


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Okay, I progressed a bit.

First maybe some background. I'm not completely new to PMAC, but haven't worked with it for some years now (and even then wouldn't have called myself experienced). Currently I'm taking over a project started by somebody else, which drives a lot of stepper motors using a PowerBrick LV. Firmware version is, IDE used is The project itself seems to use both approaches from the v3 and v4 worlds. The motors are configured using Global Includes, but the systemsetup.cfg is used as well.

First issue was, that the IDE was not downloading the files properly. I don't really get it, but doing "Build and Download All Programs", save and $$$  always left me with a differing project on the controller. At some point "Build and Download All Programs" did not even reach the point of downloading the files any more and I restarted the IDE. That helped.

Still the clocks were not configured in the same way, because meanwhile I tried starting from scratch, with a clean project in which I copied the config - being not aware of the way systemsetup.cfg is created.

Then I spend quite some time struggling with the systemsetup.cfg. No matter what I wrote to that file was reverted on downloading it. The set of manuals I used had the same creation date as the IDE, but none of them only mentioned the existence of systemconfig.cfg. I was able to find the information in the forum, that the file was created by the setup wizard - but this does not exist in version 4.5. Discovering that I had to double-click the colored boxes on the CPU->System page to change to config was not what I would call intuitive. It's explained in the most recent version of the IDE's manual, which I found only after solving it myself.

Still, the second and more important issue remains. Issuing a jog command would just cause a jittering following error, otherwise nothing happens. The "Troubleshooters" are all green. Maybe it's not connected to the clocks. But as the motor config is done in the Global Includes and was working fine on the other controller, it leaves me puzzled.

Any ideas?


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It's getting even more mysterious. I upgraded the IDE to and started with a new, clean project. First thing I noticed is, that the clock frequencies set as default are now identical to what is suggested in the manual. With that has been different..? I copied over the config from the old project (that is created 7 global includes and 1 plc and modified another plc and the usrcode.c/.h). Then I executed $$$*** and build and downloaded the new project. That went very well.

But after save and ***, it came back up with an AmpFault on motor 1. On a jog command it did not go away. A few reset, download, save cycles later, the AmpFault was gone, but ConfigLoadErr was thrown in exchange. This went away by redownloading the same project. I was able to submit a jog command that activated the amp - but showed the same behaviour as before, so no progress on the original issue.

But another trial and reset cycle later, the ConfigLoadErr vanished, but a WDTFault appeared . This I wasn't able to get rid of yet.

How is that possible? Three different errors (four with the original issue), coming and going without any change on the config?

Even if it would just be a statement in the sense: RTFM page 212, I would really appreciate a comment from Deltatau's side.

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Configuration using both Global Includes and the systemsetup.cfg will cause issues like this. These “methods” tend to “fight” during boot. They are also known to cause serious issues with hardware clock settings. This is probably causing the ConfigLoadErr. I would recommend starting a new project from scratch using only the systemsetup.cfg method in IDE vs

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