FAQ - Quanser Experimental Plants

What does "open architecture" of a Quanser product mean exactly?

Quanser control software - QUARC® for MATLAB®/Simulink® and RCP Toolkit for LabVIEW™ is "open architecture" because it enables you to develop your own controllers on an open design MATLAB/Simulink or LabVIEW environment and target commercial operating systems, such as QNX (for hard real-time operation) and Windows.

Our software is also compatible with many non-Quanser data acquisition devices (e.g. NI E, M, and X-Series DAQ cards, NI CompactRIO) and supports a number of third-party products (e.g. PGR cameras). This gives you flexibility and freedom to choose the hardware solution that best suits your needs.

I'm trying to run a Shake Table II but the Shake table II software doesn’t work.

Please press the “Download” button the first time you run the software. This button can be found on the button-left side of the LabVIEW GUI. Note that its label says "Press to download controller" Otherwise, the old REV 4-based controller that is already loaded will be ran.

I'm trying to run the Quanser Qball-X4 experiment using the q_qball_x4_control_v4 QUARC model but I get a "Host connection timeout detected!" message.

These are three reasons for getting the "Time-out" message:
  1. Build and run the "Host_Joystick_TYPE_A/B.mdl" model first. This model has the Stream Server block and must be running first. Once it is running, you can run qball_x4_control_v4.mdl in which you have the Stream Client block. Refer to the Qball-X4 Quick Start Guide for additional details. If you are using OptiTrack system, the software used for calibration of the OptiTrack cameras should not be running at this time.
  2. Make sure your have set your host PC’s wireless IP address to something other than the IPs of the Qball. Each of these IP addresses *must be different*.  Verify that the Stream Client block in qball_x4_control_v4.mdl has the URI IP address set to the IP of the host PC so that it can connect to the host Stream Server.
  3. It might be possible that the antenna of the Wi-Fi Module or the module itself became loose and the connector is not making good contact with the Gumstix on your Qball. Verify that you can ping the Gumstix by running Start > Run and typing “ping 192.168.1.xxx” where xxx corresponds to the Qball IP address.

The plastic gears of my linear IP02 system are wearing out very fast, do you have any recommendations?

Here are some tips on how to extend life of the plastic gears:
  • After installing the new plastic pinion, make sure it runs freely along the center of the track. Move the cart manually to verify this, the track must be clean and free of any debris between its teeth.
  • The track should be clamped down or secured to the table so it does not move while the experiment is being run.
  • The provided small plastic piece that supports the track must be placed in the center so it can provide extra support.
  • Loose the two screws that hold the track at the ends, level the track with the support in its center and then tighten these screws at last, after that all other components and the track are in place.
  • Before running the IP02 experiment, make sure you set the Gain to 1 on your power amplifier.
  • When running the position control experiment, make sure the setpoint or desired command is not too aggressive. Start with lower amplitudes.

I'm testing the Quanser Qbot system and found that the camera blocks (library) is not available. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

The Simulink Beta Components were not selected when QUARC was installed. Please re-install QUARC and select both make Gumstix Support and Simulink Beta Components  features on the Features Installation screen.

I'm using an NI CompactRIO with two (or more) Quanser Q1-cRIO modules. However, when I run the VI, I get no response in the scopes and the Quanser experiment doesn't do anything.

The HIL Initilize block in your VI must be configured for the number of Q1-cRIO modules installed in the NI CompactRIO. If you are using two Quanser Q1-cRIO modules, the q1_double needs to be selected in the HIL Initilize board type field. Similarly, select q1_triple if three Q1-cRIO modules are installed, and q1_quad if four Q1-cRIOs are installed.

There should be an error code returned.


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