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Power Commander

Getting Started

Version 1.0 OEM-SDPPS-3 1 December 2005

Getting Started

Thank you for purchasing the RGi-PowerCommander, the most advanced, computer programmable, highefficiency, triple output power supply available today. The RGi-PowerCommander was specifically designed for the robotics market and is all you need to power all of your robotics electronics. The RGi-PowerCommander was not designed to power motors or servos, please see our other RGi products for these capabilities. In order to get started you need the following: 1. PC or Laptop with a CDROM drive and an available RS-232 serial port. 2. A battery pack or other DC power source at least 2.4v higher in voltage than the highest voltage you require. 3. An RGi-RJ45-DB9 serial cable. 4. A CDROM labeled RGi-PowerCommander Control Panel.

Installing the Control Panel Software

Installation: 1. Insert the disk labeled "RGi-PowerCommander Control Panel" into the CDROM drive. 2. If the setup application does not run automatically, double-click on setup.exe. 3. Follow the directions on screen.

Connecting the RGi-PowerCommander

Please take a moment to examine Illustration 1, and make sure to locate the Battery Input block and Serial Port connector.

Illustration 1: RGi-PowerCommander

Preparing the Battery or Power Source: 1. If you wish to output a regulated 12v from the supply, please make sure that the battery or power source is a least 14.4v (this allows the battery to discharge while allowing the RGi-PowerCommander to maintain the desired output voltage). 2. Standard 7.2v R/C battery packs can be connected in series to produce the desired 14.4v (see Illustration 2.) 3. Make sure that a 5A fuse is connected in series with the battery or power source, this is for your own protection against accidental shorts. 4. It is recommended that a 10A switch be connected to one of the wires from the battery. This allows you a convenient way to power down the system.

Illustration 2: 2 x 7.2v Batteries in series, 14.4v Total

Connecting Battery Power: 1. Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the screws in the Battery Input block (marked +DC IN-) 2. Insert the black wire (- or negative ground) from the battery into the connector block at the second from the top location (please refer to Illustration 1 & 3) and screw down until a secure connection is made. 3. If you are using a switch in series with the battery, make sure the switch is off. 4. Insert the red wire (+ or positive voltage) from the battery into the connector block at the first from the top location (please refer to Illustration 1 & 3) and screw down until a secure connection is made.

Illustration 3: Battery Input Block

Connecting to Your Computer: 1. Locate the RGi-RJ45-DB9 cable and examine both ends. One end has an RJ-45 (typical LAN cable connector) and the other end is a DB-9. 2. Caution: Do not connect the RJ-45 end to a LAN socket on your computer, wall or any other non-RGi product. The only place the RJ-45 end can be connected is to an RGi connector marked Serial Port. 3. Connect the RJ-45 end to the RGi-PowerCommander at the connector marked Serial Port (See Illustration 1) 4. Connect the DB-9 end to a suitable serial port on a laptop or desk computer. If your computer has the older style DB-25, you need to install a DB-25 to DB-9 adapter. You have now connected you r RGi-PowerCommander to your computer and are now ready to program the supplies.

Controlling the RGi-PowerCommander

If the PowerCommander Control Panel is not running, please start it up (see section "Installing the Control Panel" earlier in this document to learn how to install and run the software). Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with the control panel as depicted in Illustration 4.

Selecting the COM Port: 1. On the Control Panel, click on the menu marked "Setup". 2. Slide down the mouse to highlight "Port Configuration", and click. 3. The "Port Configuration Panel" should appear below or on top of the Control Panel. 4. Click on the "COM: Port" combo box and select the COM port to which the Power Commander is connected. 5. Press the "Connect" button Determining If You Are Connected: 1. On the Control Panel, click on the menu marked "Device" 2. Slide down the mouse to highlight "Sync", and click. 3. If you don't receive an error message, you are connected. If You Cannot Connect: 1. Make sure the COM Port you selected is the correct one, and that it is attached to the PowerCommander 2. Laptops without native serial ports need a USB-Serial adapter. 1. These adapters tend to have high COM port numbers. 2. Many Infra-Red ports are located at COM3 in laptops , avoid using these ports. 3. You can locate the COM port number from "Start->Settings->Control Panel->System->Hardware>Device Manager->Ports (COM & LPT)" 3. Check all the connections to make sure they are fully inserted and tight. Congratulations you are now connected and able to program the RGi-PowerCommander. Please refer to Reference Manual included with this distribution for a complete description of features and controls of the RGiPowerCommander. Thank you. The Robotics Group Team.

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