7I80DB-16 - Connect to MACH3 parallel port boards in a 4 axis Mill

03 Feb 2017 05:26 #87193 by mjoconr
Hi All

I'm new to LinuxCNC and MESA cards but a long long time Linux user and programmer.
I have a 7I80DB-16 card on the way so I can replace Mach3 on an second hand mill I purchased. (Mach3 and windows just bad)
I would like to do a soft transition to LinuxCNC, so need to adjust the MESA card to use the old parallel port boards pin outs.
I'm trying to get a feel for what steps I need to take to get things going. As I understand it the general inputs/output can be assigned via the config how ever they need be, but the Step/Dir and PWM needs to be pre-configured in the firmware.

Am I right ? or am I way off base ?

How do I build my own firmware, I looked at the code supplied by MESA and its all very confusing, lots of name abbreviations. I did find some instuctions at tom-itx.no-ip.biz:81/~webpage/emc/xilinx...14_install_index.php or github.com/mpictor/7i80-hostmot2 but the actuall editing of the file has got me a little swamped.

I found a document for the interface board which is in Chinese, the pin descriptions do not seem to match up to the below, does MACH3 use different PIN ordering ?

The currrent AXIS and Spindle pins on port 1:
X : 7 (Step) 17 (Dir)
Y: 6 (Step) 8 (Dir)
Z: 5 (Step) 16 (Dir)
A: 4 (Step) 14 (Dir)
Spindle PWM: 2 (Step) 1 (Dir)

General inputs on port 1 are:
X++, X--, X Home = 12
Y++, Y--, Y Home = 13
X++, Z--, Z Home = 10
EStop: 11

General Inputs Port 2:
Spindle Index: 13
Probe: 12

General Output Port 1:
Coolant: 3
Charge Pump: 9

I purchased a much larger port card than I need as I want to add ATS and ATC along with controlling an arm to remove parts in the long term.

Thanks for your time
03 Feb 2017 13:38 #87208 by andypugh
The first question is what pinout you require. It is quite likely that an existing firmware covers your needs.
03 Feb 2017 22:45 #87262 by mjoconr
I've given the pins out above. (As best as I can workout) I assume the important ones are the Step/Dir and PWM. The other can be set via configuration, I think.
03 Feb 2017 23:14 #87264 by andypugh

mjoconr wrote: I've given the pins out above.

Was that there before? If so, my apologies.

That's a weird pinout.

The XYZA can be changed in hardware (swap motor plugs to other drives)

Do you have a link to the interface card docs?
04 Feb 2017 00:04 #87268 by mjoconr
No need to apologies, easy to miss details in messages.

Its a Tonman card, and the documentation was in Chinese. It was translated by someone but its all very suspect.
The pins listed above cam directly from the Mach3 config pages, and unless they are base on a different numbering layout they are correct.
I need to understand what how do make the 7I80DB-16 interfaces work with this card. This board has 4x25 pin with pins 1 - 17 of each board being I/O.
How do I configure the pins as above ?
06 Feb 2017 13:40 #87387 by andypugh

mjoconr wrote: How do I configure the pins as above ?

It's such a weird pin layout that I think you would need a custom firmware.

I don't know how hard it is to make a firmware for a 7i80. I have done it for the 5i23 using the LinuxCNC firware repository, and that does seem to support the 7i80DB. Here is a sample pin definition:
That one is intended for a combination of 7i76 and 7i74 cards, but you can see how it allocates a function to each pin on each of the connectors.
Unfortunately you need special software to compile the vhd files into a bitfile to flash to the card.
This is zero-cost but closed-source, so can't be distributed by the LinuxCNC project.

In summary, it is possible, but not trivial. Unless it is an expensive breakout board or has functions that you value highly it would probably make more sense to swap the whole combination for a 7i76E.
11 Feb 2017 04:17 #87796 by mjoconr
So the process of building a new bit file was a lot of fun (not) but I think I have one now. The documentation is a little light on and the compiler can fail at the map phase with no errors.
Now I just need to get a safe test environment working and I'll see how it goes from there.
19 Feb 2017 12:17 #88252 by andypugh

mjoconr wrote: So the process of building a new bit file was a lot of fun (not) but I think I have one now.

I, for one, admire your persistence.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mjoconr
19 Feb 2017 13:51 #88268 by tommylight

andypugh wrote:

mjoconr wrote: So the process of building a new bit file was a lot of fun (not) but I think I have one now.

I, for one, admire your persistence.

Same here.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mjoconr
20 Feb 2017 03:14 #88318 by mjoconr
Thanks, I still have to test it, could still have issues. :)
I need to build a temporary enclosure for it, do not want to blow it up by not having it protected.

Hope to get it packaged up this week and then starting testing.
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