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Fórum » Only in English » Mach3 related issues » External motion controllers. (Anything relating to Mach3 / 4 external motion controllers.)
External motion controllers.
tweakie Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2013-05-24, 13:43 | Üzenet/Post # 1
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Something that may be of interest to others – Pending the launch of Mach version 4 (which does not support parallel port operation) I have been experimenting with the USB Smooth Stepper (external motion controller) and how it performs when controlling my laser.
The USS software plugin already supports the use of the M10 / M11 command set so it should have been a straight forward ‘plug and play’ exercise but unfortunately this was not to be the case.
I was getting occasional ‘wrong direction’ axis movements and after making many changes to the various USS settings nothing could cure the problem.
It transpires that my rather ‘old technology’ Alegro based stepper motor’s driver was experiencing signal timing issues. After a bit of experimentation I fitted additional Schmitt trigger outputs (including a 150nS delay) to the direction signal lines and hey-presto there are no longer any axis ‘wrong direction’ moves. Ahh - the mysteries and the wonders of electronics. smile

Tweakie.



Csatolások/Attachments: 8092941.jpg(92Kb) · 0787106.jpg(51Kb)


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2013-05-25, 01:59 | Üzenet/Post # 2
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That's a PDN* fix, Tweakie.

John

*PDN = Pretty Damn Neat  up


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2013-05-25, 06:51 | Üzenet/Post # 3
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Thanks John.

This has perhaps been a bit like putting racing fuel in my truck – the only way it could work well would be by diluting it down a lot with regular fuel.

This is basically what I think I have done with the USS outputs - brought them down to a technology that my old stepper’s driver understands.

Now I know what needs to be done I will replace that adapter with a new PCB, fitted inside the USS enclosure to tidy it up a bit.

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-06, 12:05 | Üzenet/Post # 4
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Just by way of an update...

Further investigation has shown that this problem is purely a timing issue and has nothing at all to do with the Schmitt trigger outputs. By applying the 150nS delay via standard TTL outputs the problem is still cured. smile

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
chiroeurope Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2014-07-24, 17:39 | Üzenet/Post # 5
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Tweakie,

I envy you the ability to be testing Mach4 on a machine. I have been told by more than a few folks that once Mach4, my Ethernet Smoothstepper and PMDX 126 board are going to make things run even smoother and a few of the relays i wish to add witll be possible. Been testing the demo in electronic land but you can only test so far and most the bugs I find, some one else already posted on.

I just wish that a few of the points they are putting in the Industrial model could be made available in the hobby or that they where able to an industrial light model. Oh well keep on cutting and having fun. Though these days I am doing code for other companies as much as I am cutting or doing my own code. -Michael
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2014-07-26, 09:32 | Üzenet/Post # 6
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Hi Michael,

In my opinion, Mach4 still has a long way to go before it is ready to be released to the world. Yes it can do a lot of things in software that Mach3 can't do but, so far, no one has come up with a defined specification for the computer that is needed to run it. I tried the latest Mach4 version yesterday on my Vista Laptop (using a PCMCIA 'plug-in' parallel port) and although successful I am not totally happy with it's ability to run reliably with a laptop's multi-tasking CPU / graphics. http://www.graytel.talktalk.net/M4b.wmv
Again, just my opinion, but unless the hobby version will run 100% reliably on a laptop then > 50% of the potential market sales for the product (within the 'hobby users' market) will have been lost.
I, for one, have little interest in fancy screens or superior graphics I just need ease of use, ease of setting-up and thereafter reliable operation and so far I have not seen anything that Mach4 can do for me that Mach3 can't already do. There is a difference in the motion / sound of the machine and Mach4 seems smoother but, for some reason, no one is quite sure why.

We will just have to wait and see how it all pans-out.

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
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