Our 32 channel servo controllers for testing mechanisms on our loom have arrived from ElecHouse. They even upgraded our shipping to a faster option free of charge! We were a bit unsure about what was going on with shipping when they cancelled the first shipping reference number but they responded promptly when I contacted them. So props to the ElecHouse team for being awesome.
Check out the product page here with links to the datasheet / software.
The documentation is of the usual sort of standard you'll get from a chinese PCB/ controller manufacturer but it's fairly exhaustive and clear how to use it. If we run into any issues with the documentation we'll write our own documentation for it so if you have any questions please feel free to ask and we'll help if we can.
Given that there are going to be 500 threads on our mark 1 loom, we will need to run 16 controllers each controlling 32 servos. The controllers allow us to provide power separately for the servos which is handy given that if all the servos are active the total power might be a bit higher than what USB can provide. It will also let us tweak the supplied voltage and potentially monitor the current/ voltage supplied for a bit of monitoring action.
We're planning on using a raspberry Pi we have lying around to drive some or all of the controllers depending on how we go with USB/ serial device limits.
If you're interested, I'm also working on a standard control file (think GCODE for weaving) that is here on google drive.
There is still a long way to go for our first prototype but the pieces are starting to come together! I'd love to hear your comments or feedback as we move along.