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Installation and setup

The SMD4 is compatible with the AML Device Control software, which can be downloaded from the Software page on our website:

  • Connect all SMD4 devices to your computer

    If you intend to ultimately connect via LAN or Serial, start off by using the USB interface to perform basic setup on the LAN or serial interface first, then once satisfied connect on LAN or Serial as required. 

    Multiple instances of the same physical SMD4, but on different interfaces are allowed. For example, you could plug in the SMD4 with a network cable and USB lead, add the device connected via USB, configure network settings, then add device again as a network device. This can be useful during commissioning in establishing a working setup.

  • Start the AML Device Control software and click ‘Add device’ in the top left corner 

USB connected SMD4 devices should automatically appear in the list. Select all devices that you wish to add and click “Add n selected devices”


The speed of auto detection varies by interface quantity of ports on your PC. Detection of USB and LAN devices is typically quick, whereas detection of devices connected via RS232 or RS485 can be considerably slower if a large number of COM ports are present on the PC. 

The SMD4 network interface has an implementation of SSDP (Simple Service Discovery Protocol) which allows it to be discovered easily on a network, without knowing it's IP address.


The default layout of the software is shown below. 


Project panel

Shows a list of the devices and scripts in the project. Currently selected devices are highlighted. Multiple devices can be selected by holding down CTRL and clicking. The device properties panel shows the properties for the selected device(s).


Right-clicking on an empty area within the project panel presents a context menu, with options to add new devices, new scripts or importing scripts.







The right-click context menu on each device provides access to functions such as clearing faults or placing the selected device into ident mode in which the green status indicator flashes.




A status indicator next to each device shows the current status of each device according to these colours:




Device connected and ready


Bake mode running, limit switch triggered or joystick connected


Device in a fault state


Device disconnected

Device properties panel

Select one or more devices in the project panel; their properties are displayed and can be edited here. A blank is shown for properties which are different across the selected devices. As each property is selected, help text appears at the bottom of the panel describing the configuration option in more detail.

  • Some properties allow selection of one of several choices, for example, temperature sensor selection:

  • Others such as ‘Run current’ simply require a numeric value to be entered

  • Others allow values to be entered directly, or the three dots button to the right to be clicked. This opens a window, allowing a more complex value to be input, for example, ‘Acceleration’ allows input in the native units or seconds:

System work area

Controller windows for each device appear in this area. Windows can be arranged as desired and will automatically ‘snap’ to a grid making it easy to keep them neatly organised.

Controller window

Shows a status summary for the selected device, providing essential information such as actual velocity, actual (absolute) position, relative position and error status.


Absolute and relative position counters may be reset using the  icons.


For controlling an SMD4, choose the type of motion and click start or stop. Multiple SMD4 devices can be controlled using the motion controls on the ribbon:



Be aware that the synchronisation between multiple SMD4s is not specified or guaranteed when controlling them in this way; delays within the computer, software, and data connection to the SMD4 mean that each SMD4 will start or stop its motion at a slightly different moment, therefore this option is not suitable for performing complex co-ordinated movements across multiple axes.


Contains buttons for all actions. Within the software, buttons can be hovered over for more information.

Saving projects

SMD4 configuration is maintained in two locations:
  1. The SMD4 itself, with the use of the ”Save to device” command. If the “Save to device” command is not used, settings will revert to their previous values on power cycling.
  2. In the software project file.
The behaviour of the software in relation to this is as follows:

If the serial number of a connected SMD4 matches that of one in the project file that is open: The configuration given in the project file prevails, and the SMD4 configuration is synchronised to match that in the project file. Note that unless you use the save changes to hardware function, the original configuration of the SMD4 is not overwritten, and will be restored on power cycle or by using the load command to restore the configuration from flash.

If the serial number of a connected SMD4 does not match any of those in the project file that is open: The SMD4 is considered a new device in the project, and the project file will be initialised from the configuration found in the SMD4 itself. After this point, the first behaviour outlined above applies.

INFORMATION: In the first case above, configuration items that require the SMD4 to be in standby will not be correctly synchronized if the SMD4 is not in standby when the software connects.


The software includes an easy to use script editor, that allows for sequences to be programmed and executed on multiple connected SMD4 devices, as well as system level operations such as adding and removing SMD4 devices from the project.


The scripting language used is JavaScript; this is powerful, easy to use and extensively documented. A global ‘smd’ object is made available from which you perform all interactions with the SMD4s. Type ‘smd.’ and an auto completion popup appears, showing all available commands, as well as help documentation for each. Press the enter key to select an option, then provide any arguments required.

A brief description of each function/command is presented below the scripting section. Here is an overview of the scripting area:

The auto completion popup can be shown using the ‘Ctrl-K’ keyboard shortcut.

Information on the available SMD4 device specific commands can be found in section USB of this manual. Serial command mnemonics will be auto completed by the script editor. The arguments of each scripting function are identical to those shown in section Command Reference, however, the format of querying and commanding is different. The example below shows how the SMD4 mode can be set and queried:



// Set the SMD4 mode to 2 (remote)

// Query state of mode

The ribbon contains scripting specific buttons.

Function specific to the SMD4 software




bool Add(string serial)

Add a new device to the project.

Returns true if the device has been detected and added to the project.


 Device serial number.


void ClearLog( )

Clear command line.


void ConnectAll( )

Connect all devices in the project.


void Delayms(int value)

Delay in milliseconds.


 Minimum: 0

 Maximum: 2^31 -1


void DelaySeconds(int value)

Delay in seconds.


 Minimum: 0

 Maximum: 2147483


void DisconnectAll( )

Disconnect all devices in the project.


void Log(string value)

Print value to the command line.


bool Name(string serial, string name)

Change name of the device.

Returns true if the device has been found and name changed.


 Device serial number.


 Device new name.


bool Remove(string serial)

Remove a device from the project.

Returns true if the device has been detected and removed from the project.


 Device serial number.


void RemoveAll( )

Remove all devices from the project.


bool Select(string[ ] devices)

Returns true if all the requested devices have been selected.


 Name of the device(s).


void SelectAll( )

Select all devices.


void SelectNone( )

Deselect all devices.

Functions that query the SMD4 and that are not also available as a remote command are listed below. 

Note that these all return an array rather than a single value, with each array element corresponding to the data from one SMD4. Use the array index syntax to access the desired element. This applies regardless of the number of devices.

For example, if there is only one SMD4 connected, use BakeActiveFlag()[0] to get the state of the bake active flag for that device.

The order of the array elements matches the order in which the SMD4 devices are selected. For example, suppose the “X-axis”, “Y-axis” and “Z-axis” named devices were selected with the command “smd.Select(“Z-axis”, ”X-axis”, ”Y-axis)”, to check the standby flag of the “Z-axis” device, use MotorStandbyFlag()[2]. Notice that array indices are 0 based.




bool[] BakeActiveFlag()

Returns true if the bake mode is running.


bool[] ConfigurationErrorFlag()

Returns true if the motor configuration is corrupt.


bool[] EmergencyStopFlag()

Returns true if the motor is disabled by software.


bool[] ExternalEnableFlag()

Returns true if the external enable input is high.


bool[] ExternalInhibitFlag()

Returns true if the external enable input is disabling the motor.


bool[] IdentModeActiveFlag()

Returns true if the ident mode is active.


bool[] JoystickConnectedFlag()

Returns true if the joystick is connected.


bool[] LimitNegativeFlag()

Returns true if the negative limit is active.


bool[] LimitPositiveFlag()

Returns true if the positive limit is active.


bool[] MotorOverTemperatureFlag()

Returns true if the motor temperature is greater than 190 °C.


bool[] MotorShortFlag()

Returns true if a motor phase to phase or phase to ground short has been detected.


bool[] MotorStandbyFlag()

Returns true if the motor is stationary.


bool[] TargetVelocityReachedFlag()

Returns true if the motor is at the target step frequency.


bool[] TemperatureSensorOpenFlag()

Returns true if the selected temperature sensor is open circuit.


bool[] TemperatureSensorShortedFlag()

Returns true if the selected temperature sensor is shorted (not applicable to thermocouple)

Example scripts

Add device, rename and set device properties
// Add device with serial number 20054-027

// Set name of device with serial number 20054-027 to MyDevice

// Select device with name MyDevice

// Set the acceleration and deceleration rate in Hz/s

// Set the acceleration current

// Set the hold current

// Set the run current

// Set the start frequency

// Set the step frequency

// Set the frequency at which the drive transitions to full step

// Set the micostep resolution
Move motor and wait
// Select device with name MyDevice

// Set mode to remote

// Iterate for 10 times
for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    // Move motor +500 steps
    // Wait 2 seconds

    // Move motor -500 steps
    // Wait 5 seconds

Get value of actual position counter and log to command line
// Select device with name MyDevice

// Store actual position in a variable
pact = smd.ActualPosition();

// Log result to command line

Check if the motor is in standby
// Select device with name MyDevice

// Store status flags in a variable
status = smd.StatusFlags();

// Log a specific bit status of the selected device to the command line
if(status[0] = status[0] & (0x1 << 6)){
    smd.Log("Motor is in standby");
} else {    
    smd.Log("Motor is running");