thinking of trying my ASUS Q87M-E motherboard

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20 Nov 2020 07:40 #189876 by travis036
i realize latency will likely be an issue, but i am downloading the 2.8.0 buster ISO to test run on the board. just to see if it performs at all. my current system uses a parallel port (X2), but i am thinking of moving to a Mesa card...
the motherboard has a i3 4160 at 3.6GHz, with 16GB DDR3. this was previously my CAD/CAM computer.
the other option is to continue using my Dell PowerEdge R200, but it has only PCI-E connections, so that limits what Mesa cards i can use (the ASUS board has two PCI-E, and two PCI slots).

what do you all think, upgrade to a Mesa system, or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and stay with the current system with parallel ports?

i am trying to improve non-machining rapids, as it is painfully slow to move from one end of my (approximately) 4 foot by 4 foot woodworking router table, to the other.
i also realize my use of steppers, over servos (i like the sounds they make...) limits the speed of my rapids as well.

just trying to weigh my options...

~Travis

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20 Nov 2020 18:55 #189910 by tommylight
Steppers can move fast or very fast with proper setups and depending on what is expected from them, Tormach had metal mills using steppers, i use steppers on plasma cutters that do 55 meters a minute with small Nema 23 motors, etc etc.
Give us some more info, like what driver, what voltage they run on, what is the motor inductance or winding resistance, as all of this might be more speed limiting that the parallel port.
As for Mesa boards, it is simple, there is only one question there : can you afford one?
Might be a bit biased on this, but i have and had over 70 or 80 of Mesa boards.

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20 Nov 2020 21:03 #189925 by travis036

Give us some more info, like what driver, what voltage they run on, what is the motor inductance or winding resistance, as all of this might be more speed limiting that the parallel port.


i will get this info tomorrow, as i lost the data sheets for the steppers, and will have to test them for winding resistance. what i do know, is the voltage is 36V, and the drivers are Leadshine DM422.

As for Mesa boards, it is simple, there is only one question there : can you afford one?


funny you should ask... i could when i wrote this, but today i had a major truck issue, so currently i can't afford one. but i will get the stepper winding resistance tomorrow, and see if we can tweak more speed out of them.

~Travis
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21 Nov 2020 21:13 #190011 by travis036
i will get the stepper winding resistance tomorrow, as i was preoccupied with another task today.

anyway, i am currently running the live LinuxCNC ISO disk (2.8, buster, preempt) right now, and have the latency test running on the ASUS Q87M-E. so far, servo thread max interval: 1030334, and base thread max interval: 44286. i don't seem to remember, that good or bad?

at idle, the max jitter is 82914, and 24621.

for what it is worth, the install hangs after configuring network, either graphic install, or other. i suspect my USB DVD-ROM drive is the root cause. i will try burning to a USB thumb-drive in a bit.

~Travis

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22 Nov 2020 10:53 #190034 by travis036
usb install failed as well... same exact place.
the MD5 i get from the ISO is: 41b71c4956c0c89033a99a590ebaefec linuxcnc-2.8.0-buster.iso
that correct?
downloading the linuxcnc-2.7.14-wheezy.iso as well, just as a more stable base (will update to 2.8)

~Travis

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22 Nov 2020 12:32 #190039 by travis036
well, i found a reasonably priced USED Mesa 5i20 on eBay. when it arrives, then i have to figure out how to configure it in LinuxCNC...
i will also need to buy some breakout boards and ribbon cable to connect it all. but at least i think i am on my way toward upgrading. this motherboard (the ASUS Q87M-E) has a pair of PCI slots, as does an older motherboard i have kicking around (needs a BIOS battery..). the current computer that is connected to my machine, a Dell PowerEdge R200, does not have PCI slots (only PCI-E). but i never really liked the large rack server sitting on my desk, taking up too much space. at least with a regular tower case, i can tuck it away, out of the way. and it is easier to clean the dust out of...

as for the component specs stated before, the drivers, i think, are Leadshine DM542E, as that is what i have for a PDF manual... will confirm when i head out later this morning to get the stepper winding resistance. really, i need to write all these specs down somewhere for future reference.

~Travis
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22 Nov 2020 13:39 #190040 by tommylight
To write the ISO image to USB, use win32diskimager on windows or DD in Linux.
Those are so far the only ones that work properly.

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22 Nov 2020 15:20 #190051 by travis036
so, installing to the ASUS Q87M-E motherboard failed me at every turn, for several reasons, unknown to me. from the USB thumbdrive install, it would start installing components, and fail after a few seconds, without reason.

so, just for something to try, i installed the older motherboard, that i used with my first LinuxCNC build, and it wouldn't detect the SATA drive... will try more in a bit (taking a mental break).

so, as a failsafe, i have the Dell PowerEdge R200 that is running my machine now, but it doesn't have any PCI slots for the Mesa card i just bought... has anybody had any luck with a PCI-E to PCI adaptor?
www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-E-Express-X1-to-Dua...0-Cable/143648841107
it wouldn't be as clean looking of an install, and i would still be using the R200 server chassis, but would it work?

if i can't figure out how to get one of the motherboards i have working right, my options are very limited.

~Travis

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22 Nov 2020 15:45 #190054 by tommylight
Use the Dell to install on the other drives then move those drives back to where they belong, meaning:
Remove the existing Dell drive, label it "do not touch" and put it beyond arms reach, just to be safe;
remove the drives from other PC's and insert one of them in the Dell, boot from USB, install as usual, remove the drive and put it back on where it belongs,
rinse and repeat,
After installing the other drives, insert back the "far and away" drive on the Dell.

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22 Nov 2020 18:09 #190066 by travis036
Thanks tommylight, i hadn't thought of that... and for that matter, i can take the current install from the Dell R200, and simply update it..., and just change the pin assignments when i upgrade to the Mesa card.

anyway, the drivers are in fact DM542E, from Leadshine, and the stepper winding resistance is 1.2ohm. i checked one stepper, as it was cold, and i didn't want to fire up the heat if i was only going to be there for long. i assume the others are quite similar. though, the Z is different from the X and Y motors, and i don't know what one i tested...

anyway, off to work on the Honey-Do list, around the house. ;)

~Travis

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