PathPilot hardware recommendations?

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15 Jan 2016 18:05 #68477 by andypugh
andypugh replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?

Lcvette wrote: Mill remnants,
- C10 BOB
- C11G BOB
- KBM DC motor controller
- G0704 stock spindle motor w/stock motor control setup for CNC control with 0-10v signal to potentiometer.
- 6 optical sensor pickups I plan to upgrade my current mill with for home switches, limit switches and spindle encoder feedback.
- Tool setters (one wire)
- Touch probes (wild horse models)


All those can work with LinuxCNC, with the parport or pretty much any other hardware with a bit of rewiring.

For my Plasma table build I have,
- G540 4-axis kit
- (4) 425oz steppers
- 48v power supply
- db9 P-n-P motor cables
- Parallel port cable


It's hard not to recommend a Mesa 5i25 (or 6i25) for this. There is a G540-specific firmware and that can step at MHz frequencies.
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15 Jan 2016 18:16 #68480 by cncbasher
cncbasher replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?
as andys beat me too it , he says it all Chris, but i cant see anything that wont stop you getting up and running
then change the bob to a mesa 5i25/ 7i76 combination later ...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lcvette
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15 Jan 2016 20:49 #68489 by Todd Zuercher
Todd Zuercher replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?
I really don't know much of anything about either of these products, but from the surface it looks like a Mesa 7i80, could possibly directly replace an ESS in a Mach to Linuxcnc conversion.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lcvette
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15 Jan 2016 22:00 #68495 by Lcvette
Lcvette replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?

Todd Zuercher wrote: I really don't know much of anything about either of these products, but from the surface it looks like a Mesa 7i80, could possibly directly replace an ESS in a Mach to Linuxcnc conversion.


Todd,

I don't know the answer to that either but it is a good question! for me If i convert the mill to Linux CNC it will be after I feel comfortable enough to do so with the lathe up and running with Linux. The ESS and mach3 are doing what they need to and have been reliable for a long time for what it has to do, so I don't want to break anything while working on another project. thats how stuff snowballs on me and I don't want that to happen..lol

Andy,

That is interesting! But I am confused, are you saying that a Mesa board in conjunction with the G540 will step at MHz? or the G540 will do it alone?


cncbasher,

I am down for getting the components you guys recommend for the Lathe Build.. I would prefer to use well know solid reliable combinations to have the best performance and reliability for the machines. I consider the left over BOB's spare parts for "just in case" moments.

so I went to the Mesa Board site and read through the products and man it seems like there are alot of options. I have never used servos due to the "finicky nature" I read about. I have gotten halfway there though, I love closed loop steppers, they don't miss steps and i have mach setup to stop if the step driver throws a fault so i don't destroy parts and tools. since making the switch to the closed loop steppers I havent had any missed steps (that i know of..lol) so i guess they are working. I am not opposed to going with servos. do you all run servos? like them better then steppers? on the closed loop Steppers the speeds are WAY faster then the non CL versions. as an example, my CL drivers have digital readout on them and show the RPM. I use a 1200oz Nema34 on my Z axis and it will spin at 3500 RPM without faulting and is VERY smooth while running. because the steppers have encoders I assume they could be run back into Linux CNC? the drivers have outputs for them which i currently don't use as I think Mach3 can't use them anyhow.

I also lik the models I have as they Accept AC or DC power supply with a transformer to step the voltage from 115vac down to 60vac which helps a lot with noise in the cabinet.

anyways.. back to Mesa.. looks like they offer a "plu-n-go kit" with Cable, 5I25 or 6I25 and 7I76 or 7I77..

need to determine which combination is best I suppose.

Chris
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15 Jan 2016 22:19 #68496 by andypugh
andypugh replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?

Lcvette wrote: That is interesting! But I am confused, are you saying that a Mesa board in conjunction with the G540 will step at MHz? or the G540 will do it alone?

I am saying that the 5i25 can connect directly to a G540 with just a cable and feed it MHz step pulses. Not that that will achieve very much on a typical system, of course.

do you all run servos? like them better then steppers?


I have a stepper lathe/mill and a servo mill that I built to replace the mill on the lathe/mill.
I am part way through converting a manual lathe to servos.

However, I would find the closed-loop steppers very tempting if I wasn't in the position I am with servos and interface boards in stock.

My current build is using the 5i24 + 7i49 + 7i44 + 7i84 + 2x 8i20. Not exactly a mainstream config.
In fact some might say wilfully perverse, as I took the encoder off one servo to fit a resolver.
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15 Jan 2016 22:40 #68500 by Lcvette
Lcvette replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?
Andy,

I am curious about your setup and reasoning why you are going against the grain so to speak. I'm sure there is a good reason which is the type information I am Interested in learning. When I first started out I bought a cnc plasma table that came with a eBay all in one Bob/driver deal that popped the first time I had a minor stall.. Which led to a G540 that rocked for years until I sold the plasma table to build a larger one (where my g540 kit is being robbed from). Then I needed a mill and the g540 was not going to be enough for my needs. So I followed the Hoss Plans and got the C10.. Only to find out it needed other boards and wasn't optoisolated yada yada yada.. So I was told to get the C11G which has spindle control integrated. Well it turned bad on the analog output for the spindle so I went ESS and C25 and C41 PWM board.. Then I needed to upgrade my Z axis because the weight was causing lost steps with the tiny 570ozin stepper recommended.. Which is when I decided to over buy and do some research. Hence the 1200ozin closed loop stepper. Now I'm converting everything else to closed loop steppers as they just outperform regular steppers on every level. They even sound better at slow and high speeds. And the company I chose was very reasonable. HanMarte. I think I paid $130 for the stepper drive and Motor with encoder which was only slightly more then the keling drives and motors I got but was twice the size.

I think I will likely use closed loop steppers for their ease of use and lack of required tuning. As small as these machines are it will be plenty fast and with an encoder should be able to give Linux CNC the same feedback for any functionality that requires it. Although they are only 1000ppr encoders, not sure how that falls into play?

Chris
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16 Jan 2016 00:13 #68507 by andypugh
andypugh replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?

Lcvette wrote: Andy,
I am curious about your setup and reasoning why you are going against the grain so to speak. I'm sure there is a good reason which is the type information I am Interested in learning.


This is 100% a hobby to me. I don't have to make a profit, I don't have to answer to anyone, and I really like watching computers move things.
When looking to upgrade my Chinese mill/lathe I saw a set of three 500W servo motors on eBay for £50 and bought them. Then I found that they had resolvers rather than encoders. I hadn't heard of resolvers before that, but they are actually better than encoders in all respects but one, making good ones is really expensive. But when you have a set of three for £50 including the motors that part is irrelevant. I have a resolver in it's factory packing behind me. I paid £20 for it. The price-sticker says £1490. At current exchange rates that is $2125 if $ means more to you.

The only problem at that point was that LinuxCNC had no way to work with resolvers other then (expensive) off the shelf chips that converted the resolver output to quadrature encoder signals, losing all the benefits. But Mesa had the 7i49 card and all it needed was a HAL driver. So I wrote the HAL driver and a HAL component to do commutation, and then my £50 servos could work with LinuxCNC and the Mesa 7i49 and 8i20 cards.
This, for me, is the best thing about LinuxCNC and any open-source project: If you want a feature badly enough, you can just add it.
(I taught myself C at an earlier point because I wanted LinuxCNC to support the Mesa 3-phase motor drivers).

The thing about resolvers is that they act like a very high-count encoder that can never lose or gain counts, as they are an inherently absolute device. This makes them very good for commutation of brushless motors too.

So, I have become a fan of (second-hand) resolvers, and use them on all my hobby machines. But my motivations are hobby motivations. I like to find interesting puzzles to solve. My solutions to problems would make absolutely no sense to anyone trying to make money.

If you are interested in what I do for fun, my current project is in this blog: bodgesoc.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/holbrook1.html
(And the following Holbrook posts in the list on the right)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lcvette
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16 Oct 2016 04:57 #81681 by Lcvette
Lcvette replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?
That's an awesome explanation Andy! I ended up going with the 5i25/7i76 for the lathe to use with path pilot, and 5i25/7i77 to use on my new VMC with servos and path pilot. Thanks to some awesome assistance from cncbasher I hopefully will have the new machine up and running shortly after I pick it up next week from the port warehouse. Very excited. I don't know C , probably something I should try and learn but it seems daunting without formal training or classes. Perhaps I will see if I can find a book for dummies to start with lol.

Thanks again for the explanation!!

Chris
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12 Feb 2017 20:11 - 12 Feb 2017 20:24 #87883 by cut2cut
cut2cut replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?

cncbasher wrote: i would start with Linuxcnc , and once you have the machine up and running , then look at Pathpilot ....
most of what you describe as requirements are covered in Linuxcnc , the rest is easily added
may i suggest you go with a mesa interface , i presume although not stated this is a servo operated machine & not steppers .

welcome to linuxcnc

Hi cncbasher and Lcvette,

I am in a similar position as Lcvette when he first started this thread. Basically I'm looking for some advice to steer me toward the appropriate hardware to ultimately use PathPilot. A year later, is the Mesa 5i25/7i76 still one of the better ways to go for PathPilot compatibility on a stepper based system ? I have a working 3 axis cnc mill using Mach3 with a USB controller but would like to bench test and someday transition to using PP by way of linuxCNC as you suggested. I am temporarily borrowing my brothers Mesa 7i76E but will be buying my own controller, hence the question, what is the current hardware that is most compatible with Path Pilot ?

Link to an external thread about the mill I have in its current configuration:
www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/pm-940m-...sembled.49011/page-2

Items I have now to bench test with , with goal to transition to LinuxCNC and then PathPilot

Dell Optiplex Desktop Core i5-3470 Quad-Core 3.2 GHz 4GB Ram 250GB
Mesa 7i76E ( temporary / borrowed )
GS3-22P0 DURApulse AC drive, 2.0 hp, 230V
GS3-FB Pulse generator feed card for DURApulse series AC drives
GS-22P0-BR Braking resistor
Marathon 1.5HP Inverter motor w/encoder. ( implementing encoder for better spindle control )

Any advice is appreciated.

Jake
Last Edit: 12 Feb 2017 20:24 by cut2cut.
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03 Mar 2017 17:05 - 03 Mar 2017 17:10 #88939 by Lcvette
Lcvette replied the topic: PathPilot hardware recommendations?

cut2cut wrote:

cncbasher wrote: i would start with Linuxcnc , and once you have the machine up and running , then look at Pathpilot ....
most of what you describe as requirements are covered in Linuxcnc , the rest is easily added
may i suggest you go with a mesa interface , i presume although not stated this is a servo operated machine & not steppers .

welcome to linuxcnc

Hi cncbasher and Lcvette,

I am in a similar position as Lcvette when he first started this thread. Basically I'm looking for some advice to steer me toward the appropriate hardware to ultimately use PathPilot. A year later, is the Mesa 5i25/7i76 still one of the better ways to go for PathPilot compatibility on a stepper based system ? I have a working 3 axis cnc mill using Mach3 with a USB controller but would like to bench test and someday transition to using PP by way of linuxCNC as you suggested. I am temporarily borrowing my brothers Mesa 7i76E but will be buying my own controller, hence the question, what is the current hardware that is most compatible with Path Pilot ?

Link to an external thread about the mill I have in its current configuration:
www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/pm-940m-...sembled.49011/page-2

Items I have now to bench test with , with goal to transition to LinuxCNC and then PathPilot

Dell Optiplex Desktop Core i5-3470 Quad-Core 3.2 GHz 4GB Ram 250GB
Mesa 7i76E ( temporary / borrowed )
GS3-22P0 DURApulse AC drive, 2.0 hp, 230V
GS3-FB Pulse generator feed card for DURApulse series AC drives
GS-22P0-BR Braking resistor
Marathon 1.5HP Inverter motor w/encoder. ( implementing encoder for better spindle control )

Any advice is appreciated.

Jake


I would use the 6i25e, I had to exchange my 5i25's because most modern motherboards don't have the PCI slot for the 5i25. Looks like we have the same spindle motor setup. Where are you in your current build progress? I'm just finishing the control cabinet and then will be digging into LinuxCNC/PathPilot.



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