HomeProductsMotion ControlControllersDC ServoBenchtop Brushed DC Servo Controllers

Benchtop Brushed DC Servo Controllers


3-Channel DC Servo Benchtop Controller

  • Supports a Wide Range of Brushed Dc Servo Motors up to 50 W
  • Encoder Feedback
  • USB 2.0 Interface, apt™ Control Software Suite Included


  • Supports Wide Range of Brushed DC Servo Motors up to 50 W
  • High Motor Speeds and Torques
  • Encoder Feedback for Closed-Loop Velocity and Position Control
  • Motor Control I/O Port , Jogging, Interlocks, Safety Stop
  • User I/O Port
  • ActiveX Software Graphical Panels
  • Fully Supported by the apt™ Software Control Suite
  • Seamless Integration with All apt™ Family Controllers

The BDC103 DC Servo Motor Controller is ideal for motion control applications requiring high speed (up to 100 mm/s), high load (>10 kg), and high resolution (

USB connectivity provides easy plug and play PC operation. Multiple units can be connected to a single PC via standard USB hub technology for multi-axis motion control applications. Coupling this with the very user friendly apt™ software allows the user to very quickly get up and running with reasonably complex move sequences in a short space of time; for example all relevant operating parameters are set automatically for Thorlabs stage and actuator products. Advanced custom motion control applications and sequences are also possible using the extensive ActiveX® programming environment described in more detail on theSoftware tab.

We have ensured that the software interfaces to the BDC series are highly integrated with all other apt™ family controllers, providing easy system integration and reduced learning curve. As one of the newest members of the apt™ family of controllers, these units are backed up by the fully featured apt™ suite of PC software tools for immediate and easy out-of-the-box configuration and usage.


Drive Connector 15-Pin D-Type Female (Drive Outputs, QEP Inputs, Limit Switch Input)
Motor Output Power Up to 48 V/ 50 W (Peak)
Output Type 10 bit sign/magnitude PWM
Operating Modes Position, Velocity
Control Algorithm Digital PID Filter, (16 Bit)
Velocity Profile Trapezoidal
Position Count 32 Bit
Position Feedback Incremental Encoder - Differential QEP Inputs
Encoder Feedback Bandwidth 500,000 Counts/Second
Motor Speeds Up to 6000 RPM (for 4096 Count Encoder )
Encoder Supply 5 V
User Control Connector 15-Pin D-Type Female (Jog Inputs, Enable Interlock, RS-232, Trigger In/Out (TTL), Brake Out, Safety Stop, User Digital I/O, 0 to 10 V Analog Input)
Input Power Requirements*
Volts 85 to 264 VAC
Power 200 W
Fuse 3.15 A
Dimensions 240 mm x 360 mm x 133 mm
(9.5" x 14.2" x 5.2")
Weight 6.7 kg (14.75 lbs)

*Location-specific power cord supplied.


Driver Flexibility

A wide range of brushed DC servo motors and associated actuators are available, each with its own operational specifications. For this reason, the apt™ DC Servo controllers are fully configurable (parameterized) to support different motor/actuator combinations. Key settings such as PID control loop values, min and max stage position, leadscrew pitch, and limit switch configuration are exposed through the supplied apt™ software. Moreover, relative and absolute motion can be initiated with move profiles set using velocity profile parameters. Homing sequences for establishing a zero datum are also fully configurable for a particular stage or actuator. For simplicity of operation, the apt™ software incorporates pre-configured settings for each Thorlabs' stage and actuator including the DRV414 actuator.

All key parameters can be adjusted through direct interaction with the graphical software panels supplied. However, for custom motion control applications, all controller settings and commands are also accessible through the ActiveX ® programming libraries. These programming libraries are very comprehensive, providing hundreds of functions and parameters that can be accessed from user-written programs. They are language independent in nature and consequently are supported by a large variety of programming environments that are ActiveX ® compliant. These include LabVIEW, Visual Basic, C++, Matlab, and HPVEE.


Note that all such settings and parameters are also accessible through the ActiveX® programmable interfaces for automated alignment sequences. Refer to the Software tab for further information on the apt™ software support for the BDC100 series.

Full Software GUI Conrol Suite & ActiveX® Controls Included

A full and sophisticated software support suite is supplied with the BDC103. The suite includes a number of user utilities to allow immediate operation of the unit without any detailed pre-configuration. All operating modes can be accessed manually and all operating parameters can be changed and saved for next time use. For more advanced 'custom' motion control applications, a fully featured ActiveX® programming environment is also included to facilitate custom application development in a wide range of programming environments. Note that all such settings and parameters described above are also accessible through these ActiveX® programmable interfaces. For further information on the apt™ software support for the BDC10x refer to the Software tab. Demonstraton videos illustrating how to program the apt™ software are also available for viewing from the Video Tutorial tab.

The ActiveX® apt™ system software shipped with these units is also compatible with other apt™ family controllers including our multi-channel rack-based system and smaller optical table mountable T-Cube Controllers. This single unified software offering allows seamless mixing of any apt™ benchtop, table top and rack based units in any single positioning applicaiton.


The key innovation of the apt™ range of controllers and associated mechanical products is the ease and speed with which complete automated alignment/positioning systems can be engineered at both the hardware and software level. All controllers in the apt™ range are equipped with USB connectivity. The multi-drop USB bus allows multiple apt™ units to be connected to a single controller PC using commerical USB hubs and cables. When planning a multi-channel application, simply add up the number and type of drive channels required and connect together the associated number of APT controllers.

Encoded Feedback - Positioning Accuracy

The BDC100 series controlers also support encoder feedback on each channel through dedicated quadrature encoded pulse (QEP) inputs. A built in algorithm can be enabled to allow the servo system to reach and maintain an encoded position through a highly configurable iterative move sequence. For custom closed loop algorithms the apt™software exposes the encoder position for access through the ActiveX® programmable interfaces.

Software Developers Support CD

A developers’ kit is shipped with all of our apt™ series controllers. This additional software support is intended for use by software developers working on large, system integration projects that incorporate apt™ products. The kit contains an extensive selection of useful code samples as well as a library of Video Tutorials.


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