High Speed SCK-300S Hack

Computer controlled SCK-300S

The current SCK-300S is primarily intended for someone looking to do precision spin coating at relatively low speeds (10 – 5,000 rpms), or for other none traditional uses.  To accomplish this, it makes use of a stepper motor, rather than the brushless motors used in the other SCK-300 models.  Recently, a client ask about controlling it using a Python script, and we indicated to them that even though that’s possible, they would be better of replacing the standard motor controller with one designed to interface directly with a computer.

As such, we did a test on our end using a Phidget Stepper Bipolar HC Controller and a 24VDC, 2.5A power supply we had lying around the workshop to see what type of performance can be achieved.  The nice thing about this controller is that the company provides programming libraries for numerous languages and operating systems.  So using small Java control program, we were able to run the SCK-300S at over 9,000 rpms, compared to the typical 5,000 rpms.  That’s certainly a big jump in speed, but would we recommend anyone make this modification. Our answer is it depends, if you need a high speed/precision spin coater, then invest in a commercial unit.  If just you looking to do proof of concept work using a computer controlled spin coater that goes from 0 – 8,000 rpms, then that’s one way to go if you have the tech know-how.