So a brief update on the modernisation of the RV1s Pick and Place machine.
I've decided to go with the Arduino Due, giving me 80mhz should be plenty for speed.
Because of the Arduino Due I had to create a custom PCB for the 5V logic to the steppers (the Due is 3.3v only), this same custom board also handles the two RS232 -> 3.3v TTL (one for the feeders, and one for the arm/limit switches), and it also distributes the logic/power from the Arduino to the joystick and LCD.
All of the power and driver electronics have fit inside the main arm unit!
It might look messy, but it was already pretty weirdly wired up and laid out before - previously the power/ground for the motors was daisy chained, the 5v -> +-12v dc-dc converter was badly glued with epoxy to the case, and I've heard of builds where varoboard was used for the 36v -> 12v regulator.
Each component is attached to the backplate, and I've reused most of the original wiring loom.
The proximity of the toroidal transformers to the stepper motor drivers was a bit worrying, but in the original case they were just as near, so I'm hoping that it will be okay without any shielding.
I've recreated the back panel with the connectors now on the back of the tabletop unit, it says serial no 021 - not sure if this is 100% true as other stamped parts mention serial no 151, and I also have the 'newer' dual toroid layout.
Next steps: driver software
Now I just have to write the software, I've made a start:
I don't think it will be particularly complicated to finish, but can only work on this project when I any spare time weekends and evenings. So far I've put approx 2 solid weekends of work into this!