*This article is related to testing Iconasys Standard Series Turntables (sold between 2014 and 2019). If you have a Silver or Platinum Series Turntable, please see this article.
Use Only Original Iconasys Cables
Before running any turntable tests, you have to make sure you are testing using the original power and USB cables that came from Iconasys. If you are not using the original USB or power cables during your testing, you have to mention this to the Iconasys Support Team.
Iconasys has developed a C/C++ SDK for the Iconasys USB Controlled Turntable. The SDK comes with a simple command line application showing its usage. This application can be used to test and use the turntable independent of the Shutter Stream 360 application. Here is a list of features that can be controlled from the SDK:
- Turntable can do continuous turns. In this mode, the turntable keeps rotating without being aware of its local position.
- Turntable can stop from a continuous turn.
- Turntable can do stepper turns in increments of 5 degrees, up to a maximum increment of 80 degrees. In other words, you can tell the table to make one turn that is a minimum of 5 degrees, or a multiple of 5 degrees, up to a maximum of 80 degrees. If you need turns that are larger than 80 degrees you will need to compose them of multiple turns that are less than 80 degrees. For example, if you need a 100 degree turn you'll need to make two turns: one of 80 and one of 20, or one of 50 and the second of 50, or any other combinations of angles that will add up to 100.
- Turntable can tell the SDK whether the turntable is turning or it is stopped.
This simple interface should allow you to interface the SDK with any third party applications, to control the turntable from inside your own application.
SDK Usage Under Windows and Mac
Here are the steps for testing the turntable under the Windows and Mac OS systems:
- Power on the turntable and connect it via the USB cable to the Windows PC / Mac. Try connecting directly, rather than a USB Hub.
On Windows: install the FTDI Driver:
For Windows: Unzip and install the latest FTDI USB driver: UM245R.zip.
Installing the FTDI Drivers
First, install the driver without connecting the turntable (or connect it, but do not power it on).
The driver will install and the message will say: "Device is ready to use," but in fact it is *not ready*
Second, power on the turntable and connect it to the computer. Ideally, connect it directly to a
USB port on the computer and do not go through a HUB. Now the Windows driver manager
will search for the driver and will place it in an incorrect location.
Finally, install the driver again. Now the driver installation will say: "Device/Driver updated".
Now the driver is ready and you should be able to access the turntable.
Optionally, you can try the older driver TurntableDriver_1.0.zip. You do not need to restart your computer after the installation.
Not the Ideal Solution
Please note that using the TurntableDriver_1.0 is NOT the ideal solution. Using UM254R is the ideal approach, but we are leaving this information here as a troubleshooting option.
Make sure UM245R is listed in your Device Manager (below are images before and after the FTDI driver is installed). Note that after the FTDI driver is successfully installed you will see UM245R listed as a USB device:
- On Mac: Run this DisableAppleDriverFTDI_2.zip to disable the built in FTDI driver.
Update to Mac Workflow
We have recently ran into a situation where the DisableAppleDriverFTDI did NOT successfully release the handle of the FTDI driver. (This usually happens when users have installed other FTDI based devices, such as USB hubs.) If after running the disable application you continue to run into issues starting the testSDK application, then please try these steps:
- Open up a command prompt on Mac.
- At the command line type these two commands:
sudo kextunload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBFTDI
sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext
- The above two commands are the equivalent to forcing the Mac OS to release its control of the FTDI handle. These two steps should be run in place of running the DisableAppleDriverFTDI.
- Make sure you run this by right clicking and selecting Open, as shown:
When you try to disable the driver the first time, there should be no error messages. If the driver is disabled successfully, then by running the disable program a second time around you should receive the following error message:
- Check that the USB controller is found by checking the System Report and clicking on the USB link. You should see UM245R listed as shown:
4. Unzip the Iconasys command prompt application:
For Windows: IconasysTurntableTest_2.zip. This will be a folder containing five files, one named TestSDK.exe.
For Mac: IconasysTurntable-mac.zip.
5. On Windows: Run the SDK
- For Windows: Shift + Right Click in the Explorer window and select
Or, alternatively, just double click on the TestSDK.exe command.
6. On Mac: Open a command window and change directory to the location of the unzipped files, then right click and select Open
7. From the command window (DOS command for Windows and Unix shell for Mac) type TestSDK and then press enter. A menu with three options is then shown.
- Press c then Enter to have the table run continuously. To stop, once in continuous mode, press x then Enter. Please make sure you run the continuous mode test first, before the stepper mode test. This is because if the table is manually forced to rotate, it might have the photo-diode in a position where it will miss-count the first step. Therefore, to ensure that we properly count the steps, we want to make sure that the table is stopped via the command line first.
- Go into stepper rotation mode by pressing s then Enter.
- Once in the Stepper Mode, you need to first enter the angle of the step, which needs to be a multiple of 5 and less than or equal to 80 degrees.
- After you enter the angle, say 5, press Enter.
- Next, enter the number of steps, say 72, and press Enter. A good test is to enter the number of steps that will bring the table back to its original position.
For example: For a step of 5 degrees enter 72 steps, or for a step of 45 degrees enter 8 steps.
- Once the table starts rotating, you will get updates throughout the rotation, until the number of steps is completed.
- If the table returns to the original position, then the table successfully passed the stepper test. When testing the turntable, we recommend marking the start of the turn with a tape and adding weights, to test real conditions as much as possible. The tape marker is shown in the figure below and it is best to put the start marker around an identifiable mark, such as the LEDs.
- If the table marker does not stop at the same location where it started (and you set up the test for 72 steps of 5 degree turns) then please contact our support team.
Q and A
Q1: When using the large turntable (19.7"), I sometimes hear a "clunk." Does that mean that the turntable is broken?
A1: The large turntable uses an AC motor, while the medium turntable (11") uses a DC motor. The AC motor, by its very nature, can start rotating in either direction (without more complex circuitry and therefore a more complex design). In the large turntables, the AC motor has a mechanical break that prevents it from rotating in the wrong direction. In other words, if the motor start rotating in the wrong direction, it then hits the mechanical break and after a moment it starts turning in the correct direction. When the motor hits this mechanical break, you will sometimes hear a clunk sound and may see the table turn the opposite direction momentarily. The sound is perfectly fine and normal.
If your project allows for a smaller turntable, we do recommend that you use the smaller 11" DC motor design.