The control of an overhead crane is a classic optimum control problem, and its solution can be found in most textbooks on the subject of automatic controls. However, there is a design issue with respect to the relative mass of the cart and the suspended payload. If this problem is ignored, then the results of an analysis can be misleading and the response can be unstable. Based on a stability analysis, a design recommendation for optimal asymptotic linear quadratic (LQ) controllers with fixed gains is presented to avoid this problem. The results are validated by both simulation and experiment.

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