STM32 MC Motor Pilot - Start-up guide

Based on STM32 MC Motor Pilot 6.1 V1.1.3 (included in STM32 MC-SDK 6.1).

1 Overview of the STM32 MC Motor Pilot tool

The STM32 MC Motor Pilot is a monitoring tool for STM32 motor-control applications that:

  • connects to MC applications built with the UI module through the serial port
  • uses the snew Monitor and Control Protocol (MCPV2)
  • allows for controlling, monitoring, and tuning MC applications
  • replaces the monitor part of STM32 MC workbench 4.X
STM32 MC MotorPilot slide3.png

The added value features of the STM32 MC Motor Pilot are the following :

  • Enhanced plotting feature: the user can now plot most registers.
  • Real time monitoring : registers for each PWM sample can be retrieve, plot and record
  • GUI customization : the user can easily customize the GUI at run time to fit specific needs or to experiment with new firmware features.
  • Solid foundation to support future firmware features (ACIM, 6-Step, sensor-less zero speed, enhanced debug features).
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.

2 STM32 MC Motor Pilot quick guide

2.1 Installation and run

STM32 MC Motor Pilot is now automatically installed with STM32 MC SDK.

A shortcut is created on the Windows menu to run it.

2.2 Quick start-up

When you start Motor Pilot for the first time , you can choose 3 different actions:

  • Detecting the connected board.

Motor Pilot tries to communicate on all STLINK Virtual Port COM at 1843200 Mbaud to detect your board. If the detection succeeds, the Motor Pilot loads the corresponding UI.

  • Loading the UI that is dedicated to the FOC SDK profiler.
  • Loading the custom UI.

2.2.1 Quick step 1

If the automatic detection process failed, then press Load UI and select a qml file with the dedicated UI for your application.

At this moment, Motor Pilot is not connected:

STM32 MC MotorPilot slide6 1.png

And it lists the available serial ports:

STM32 MC MotorPilot slide6 2.png

  1. Connect a Motor Control board to the PC.
  2. Select the port and the baudrate according to your apllication.
  3. Click Connect.
STM32 MC MotorPilot slide6 3.png

2.2.2 Quick step 2

  1. Connect Motor Pilot to
  • retrieve the embedded firmware features,
  • retrieve important parameters of motor control from the board and adjust the GUI with such information,
  • start monitoring the parameters needed by the GUI:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide3.png
  1. Spin the motor by clicking on the Start button:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide7 2.png
  2. Motor starts and the pilot updates the GUI:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide7 4.png

2.2.3 Quick step 3

To control the motor, you can perform these actions:

  • Slide the knob to set the speed:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide8 1.png
  • Set Target Speed and Duration and click Execute Speed Ramp to apply this ramp :
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide8 2.png
  • Click Stop Ramp to immediately stop the ramp:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide9 1.png
  • Click Stop to stop spinning the motor:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide9 2.png
STM32 MC MotorPilot slide9 3.png

3 MC application parameters

The STM32 MC Motor Pilot obtains the MC application parameters from the board and adapts widgets to them.

MC Pilot FOC SDK Config.png

3.1 DAC

If the DAC feature is enabled in the firmware, the DAC widget will be enabled with its corresponding capabilties.

MC Pilot FOC SDK DAC.png

3.2 CPU Performance Measurement

If the MCU Load feature is enabled in the firmware, the CPU Performance Measurement widget will be enabled with its corresponding capabilties.


4 MC application advanced settings

4.1 Speed PID, Toque PID, Flux PID and Flux reference

  1. Click Advanced Configuration to display another panel with additional settings:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot slide11.png
  2. Customize the following settings from this panel:
    • Speed PID
    • Toque PID
    • Flux PID
    • Set Flux reference

Depending of the features available on your firmware, some of the settings can be disabled.

4.2 State Observer, PLL parameters, CORDIC parameters

  1. Click Advanced Configuration to display another panel with additional settings.
  2. You can Customize the following settings from this panel:
  • State Observer + PLL parameters
  • State Observer + CORDIC parameters

Depending of the features available on your firmware, some of the settings can be disabled.


4.3 Rev-up configuration

Click on Rev-up tab to display rev-up parameters:

MC Pilot FOC SDK RevUP.png

Then click on Read all to read rev-up parameters from the board.

MC Pilot FOC SDK RevUP2.png
  • This panel allows to set up to 5 rev-up steps by direct edit in the corresponding table for which a step rev-up duration, a final torque value and a final speed value are defined. Use the same values to have less steps.

You can switch display from s16A to Amp but you need to fill current sensing parameters according to your board.

MC Pilot FOC SDK s16Amp.png

4.4 Handling errors

4.4.1 Control Board disconnection

Board freeze due to firmware critical error or breakpoint trigger:

  • Resume execution or reset the board to resume the connection.
STM32 MC MotorPilot Connect ERROR.png

4.4.2 Firmware errors

Current and past errors are indicated as in the example below.

  • In the FAULT_NOW state, the Ack Faults button has no effect.
STM32 MC MotorPilot FAULT NOW.png
  • Once the fault conditions are cleared, enter the FAULT_OVER state.
STM32 MC MotorPilot FAULT OVER.png
  • Click Ack Faults to go back to IDLE.
STM32 MC MotorPilot FAULT ACK.png

4.5 Viewing and plotting registers with low-speed plotting

With this method of plot, plotting any register is possible at low rate (polling every 200 ms by default).

  1. Click the Registers tab to display the list containing all of the registers.
    STM32 Motor Pilot - new picture.png
  2. Click the Configure button to:
MC Pilot FOC register Plot 2.png
  • add register plot into a new plot window,
MC Pilot FOC register Plot 3 send to new plot.png
  • or add it into an existing plot window.
MC Pilot FOC register Plot 4 send to other plot.png

STM32 MC MotorPilot slide16 2.png
  • The user can stop plotting the register:
MC Pilot FOC register Plot 9 stop plot.png

4.6 Viewing and plotting registers with high-speed plotting

Plotting at PWM frequency rate is only possible for a subset of registers with this method of plot.

  • Once the motor is connected and started, click the Plot button:
    STM32 MC MotorPilot plot button.png
  • A High Frequency Plot window opens:
    STM32 MC Motor Pilot plot1.png
  • Click again to open more plot windows.
  • Resize these windows to optimize the display of plots on your desktop.
  • Right-click to select the register to plot:
    STM32 MC Motor Pilot plot2.png
  • Click again to plot more registers:
    STM32 MC Motor Pilot plot3.png
  • The data display width is defined by adjusting the buffer size. Change buffering to display more data.
    STM32 MC Motor Pilot plot4.png
  • When displaying 2 registers, you can switch to the X / Y plot:
    STM32 MC Motor Pilot plot5.png
  • Dynamic plot display can be paused and resumed as desired.
  • Each register plot can be hidden or displayed by double-clicking on the register name in the plot legend. Then, when the register plot is hidden, the corresponding register name is strikethrough.
    STM32 MC Motor Pilot plot6.png

4.7 UI is changeable at run-time

  • Click the File menu item, then Load.
  • Search for a .qml file and open it. For instance, GUI\PositionControlApp.qml found in the release.
  • This loads a new GUI with other features. In the case of PositionControlApp.qml, a position control enabled monitoring application.
STM32 MC MotorPilot slide19.png
  • Users can change the UI by copying any existing ".qml" file and editing it.

5 Motor Profiler

Warning white.png Warning
In order to launch the profiler, the motor pilot must be started from your windows executable and not from the Workbench. We will remove this limitation in the next release.

The Motor Profiler software is now integrated to the Motor Pilot as a QML file. It allows the user to:

  • automatically detect the board,
  • do a profiling with the Hall sensors,
  • detect the number of Pole pairs with guided detection.

The homepage has a similar look to the previous tool. It is possible from the homepage to make a manual selection of boards, and to launch the automatic detection of boards.

Once the board is selected, it is also possible to launch Motor profiling, to launch the Hall profiling and to save the data of the profiled motor.

STM32 MC profiler home page.png

5.1 Start Motor Profiling

5.1.1 Select the board manually

To manually select a board, click the Select boards button as in the picture below.

STM32 MC select board button profiler.png

On the board selection page, search for boards by filtering by control board name (text field 1) or by power board name (text field 2).

STM32 MC select board screen.png

5.1.2 Connect board

After selecting the boards, the Connect button becomes active, and you can start the connection to the board.

STM32 MC selected board home screen.png

If a firmware profiler is present on the board and the board checks are error free, go to the Set profiling parameter chapter. Otherwise, you can install a compatible profiler firmware using the UI. Accept to use the profiler.

STM32 MC motor profiler image.png

The firmware present on the board is erased. The new profiler firmware is flashed on the board, and we restart the connection with the board.

STM32 MC flash firmware steps.png

If the connection is successful, go to Set profiler parameter chapter.

5.1.3 Detect boards

A new feature of this profiler allows the possibility to automatically detect control board and power board. To do so, the Motor profiler reads the information from the firmware and displays the detected boards. To start the automatic detection, click the Detect board button.

STM32 MC detect board button.png

The profiler tries to detect the boards. Several tests are done:

  1. Check if an ST-Link is connected to the computer.
  2. Check if the MCU uid detected by the ST-Link is supported by the Profiler.
  3. Check if the board name written on the ST-link is supported by the Profiler.
  4. Try to connect with uart to the board.
  5. If the uart connection was successful, check if Firmware is Profiler firmware.
  6. Check if the control board detected on the firmware is the same as the one detected with ST-Link. Also, check if it is known on the profiler database.
  7. Check if the power board detected on the firmware it is known on the profiler database.
STM32 MC check firmware profiler.png

When these checks are successful, the interface displays the board. Otherwise, the user is offered a choice close to what was detected.

STM32 MC check board failed.png

5.1.4 Profiling parameter

STM32 MC profiler parameter.png

After connecting the card, you can start profiling. For this purpose, it is necessary to fill in the field of the Pole pair (in red). For a more efficient profiling, you can fill in the fields in green if you have the necessary data. If you don't know the number of even Poles, go to the chapter About Pole pair detection.

5.1.5 Start profiling

Click Start Profile to profile the motor. First, the electrical parameters are identified, then the mechanical ones. When profiling is completed, all the motor measurements are shown on the bottom of screen.

STM32 MC profiling finished.png

If the profiling process takes too long, the information entered is incorrect: the max speed value is too high or too low.

STM32 MC too many time.png

5.1.6 Start hall profiling

The Hall profiling feature is a new feature that has been added to the profiler. It allows to use the hall sensors to have a better control of the motor. To run the hall profiler, click the Start Hall profiling button.

STM32 MC hall profiler start.png

When you click the Start Hall profiling button, a new interface appears on the lower part of the profiler. A warning message appears to signal the user to check the connection of the Hall sensors.

STM32 MC start hall profiler config.png

This window warns the user that the connectors of the hall sensors are incorrectly connected. It indicates which of these connectors are incorrectly connected, to easily change them if access to the connectors is available. Enter your changes and click Continue. Otherwise, the user can cancel the profiling.

STM32 MC incorrect pins hall profiler.png

You must also confirm that the motor is running in the correct direction to get consistent results.

STM32 MC confirm rotation hall profiler.png

Profiling is done on both directions of rotation and displayed on the screen: On the left, the results of the placement of the electric angle when the motor turns in the opposite direction of the desired direction. On the right, the electric angle when the motor turns in the right direction. On top of the screen, it is indicated the average value of the electric angle to enter on the workbench.

STM32 MC hall profiler results.png

5.2 Save results

STM32 MC save profiling results.png

Click the Save button (Top Figure) to store the motor measurements for a later usage with the ST Motor Control workbench software tool. Figure Top shows the saving window in that case. The user can then provide motor information: Naming profiled motor and Provide details about profiled motor.

5.3 Pole pair detection

Pole pair detection is a new feature that comes with this profiler and does not require a power generator to detect the pole pair number. To use this feature, click the Detect pole pairs button which will open a new window.

STM32 MC Pole pair start detection.png

To start detection, click Next.

STM32 MC set power pole pair detection.png

In this window, enter the value of the current to be injected to make the motor strong enough to be able to turn it manually afterwards. The value entered must be close to 15% of the maximum current that the motor can support. Otherwise, the motor may overheat.

STM32 MC mark pole pair detection.png

Please apply a mark on the fixed part of the motor and the rotating part, then you can turn the rotating part and count the number of Pole Pair. The firmware then prepares the motor by applying a current ramp of the value entered in the previous step.

STM32 MC load pole pair detection.png

You have 15 seconds to make a complete rotation of the rotating part of the motor and must count the number of notches. This number will be the number of Pole Pairs. Then, click Finish.

STM32 MC pole pair detection started.png

Finally, you can can enter the number of Pole Pairs found, then close the window and start the Motor profiling.

STM32 MC pole pair detection finished.png

5.4 Errors

5.4.1 Firmware errors

STM32 MC firmware errors.png
  • FOC Duration: This fault appears when the FOC execution rate is too high and the FOC algorithm computation does not fit in the PWM period.
  • Over Voltage: This fault appears when an overvoltage is applied to the power board.
  • Under Voltage: This fault appears when an undervoltage is applied to the power board.
  • Over heat: This fault appears when the power board is overheated.
  • Speed feed back: This fault appears when the estimated speed is not reliable during the rev-up phases.
  • Over current: This fault appears when an overvoltage is applied to the power board.
  • Software error: This fault appears when a software error occurs, these errors are independent of the motor operation.

5.4.2 Pole pair required

STM32 MC Pole pair required v2.png

This fault appears when the user forgot to write the Pole pairs value. In this case, the pole pairs text field is displayed in red.

5.4.3 Too many devices

STM32 MC to many devices.png

This fault appears when 2 devices with ST-Link are connected to the computer. Only one device must be connected at a time.

5.4.4 Old firmware

STM32 MC Old St-Link firmware v2.png

This error appears when an old ST-Link firmware is used, it is necessary to have a recent ST-Link firmware for the checks made by the profiler to be carried out correctly.

5.4.5 No ST-Link ready to use

STM32 MC no stlink v2.png

This error appears when the ST-Link are used by another software (CubeProgrammer, Iar). The checks made by the ST-Link can not be made. This prevents the profiler from working properly.

5.4.6 Error detected

STM32 MC error profiler.png

This error appears when one of the errors present in the Firmware chapter is present. You must acknowledge the faults to start the profile.