Implied by my previous writeup on pin selection for external connectors, we’ve got a new variant of the moteus controller to announce today in beta form, the moteus-n1!
This variant is intended to be more feature-full, higher performance (and higher cost). Here are some bullet points of the biggest differentiators with r4.11:
|moteus n1||moteus r4.11|
|Price||$159 USD @ qty 1||$104 USD @ qty 1|
|Size||As small as 46mmx46mmx8mm with optional back connectors omitted.|
58% of the volume, 87% of the top down footprint size of r4.11
|External Peripherals||Each of the auxiliary connectors supports SPI, UART, ADC, SW & HW Quadrature, Hall sensors, and I2C. |
5V and 3.3V is provided on each connector to power peripherals (100mA for each voltage available combined between both connectors).
I2C pullups are configurable on each connector.
All 4 pins on AUX2 are 5VT, the two non-SPI pins on AUX1 are 5VT.
|ENC (AUX1) supports SPI, Hall and ADC. |
ABS (AUX2) supports UART and I2C and are both 5VT.
|RS422||Built in RS422 transceiver for communicating with RS422 / BiSS-C encoders (BiSS-C / SSI not yet supported in software).||None|
|Voltage||8-54V, 48V nominal||8-44V|
|Peak Output||100A output phase current, 1200W||100A output phase current, 500W|
|Continuous Output||10A output phase current ambient, 20A w/ thermal management||10A output phase current ambient, 20A w/ thermal management|
|CAN fault tolerance||58V bus fault tolerance||12V bus fault tolerance|
|Power Connectors||Solder pads for DC bus input, one always present XT30, one optional XT30||2x XT30|
The short form is that the n1 does not really expand the set of motors that can be usefully driven, but does enable operation in 48V systems, is more compact and electrically robust and provides significantly improved external peripheral support.
Don’t worry, the existing r4.11 controllers aren’t going anywhere and are still being produced. The moteus-n1 series just complements them by enabling new applications.
Both the moteus n1 and r4.11 share the same open source firmware, although the n1 requires a newer release to operate. Command, control, and monitoring work identically on both, including tview, the python library, and all CAN formats. The only exception is that the n1 has more external pin configurations possible as shown in the reference documentation’s pin capability table.
The mechanical form factor of the n1 is different from r4.11, and thus the existing devkit bracket and heat spreader can not be used. New variants exist for both of those that are compatible with the n1.
The XT30 and JST PH3 board connectors are now available for sale separately in order to convert n1’s to have daisy chain connectors.
Finally, all the external peripheral connectors use JST-GH connectors, so we now have headers and pre-crimped wires available for the JST GH6 (used for the RS422), JST GH7 (used for AUX2) and JST GH8 (used for AUX1).
Starting today we’re making some moteus-n1 units available in a paid beta program, with errata documented here. Up to 2 controllers in either devkit or bare board form (both bare board and devkits variants count towards the total) can be ordered per customer via the links above. There is no technological limit if you try to exceed that, you will just have your order cancelled with a note to try again with fewer.