thinking of trying my ASUS Q87M-E motherboard

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26 Nov 2020 22:54 #190381 by travis036
i finally got an install from the LinuxCNC Wheezy ISO, and updated to 2.8. i used an older motherboard, and a PCI SATA card to get it working. then i will install the Mesa 5i20 card when i get it (tomorrow, presumably...)
i figure things will be so different between my parallel printer port system, and my Mesa configuration, that i may as well start fresh anyway. i will leave the other system untouched, just in case.
a rough latency test got around 28616 max jitter on the servo thread (don't remember base thread). not great, but i was browsing the internet, viewing graphics heavy pages, and a second tab viewing the LinuxCNC Wiki. figured that was a fair test, as i will be doing neither during a machine run

so, next step of order, using my Mesa 5i20 card... i read some docs, so i think i can set it up software-wise. if not, there is this forum. but hardware-wise... i have some 50-pin breakouts on my eBay watch list, but there is no protection there. could work, if i am super careful, but my (used) Mesa card is expensive. i have a stepper Step/Dir setup, so is it the 7i42ta that i want, when i can afford them? and i assume standard 50-cond ribbon cable with IDC blocks on either end are OK, but what about length restrictions?
my motherboard is currently in a computer case, for convenience. i expect to eventually place it in a cabinet with the other hardware components at some point, so cable length won't be an issue.
i figure, if i am going to go Mesa, i may as well do my best to keep signal integrity strong. if you could only see the spaghetti wires running my current system. ;)

~Travis
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27 Nov 2020 11:02 #190424 by travis036
so, been reading a little more...
so, is it true that the Mesa 5i20 FPGA handles the stepper signal generation? so computer latency is not really an issue? if i am correct, i could have gone with the buster install, on my newer ASUS motherboard for better program graphic performance? or am i off-base here?

~Travis

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27 Nov 2020 12:41 #190432 by tommylight
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
You are on base! :)
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29 Nov 2020 09:24 #190596 by travis036
i seem to keep running into a wall, trying to install lcnc buster. i have tried two separate downloads of the ISO, and none of them get past "Configuring Network", just after autoconfiguring IPv6. it just hangs, seemingly forever. i left it over night, and it was still there in the morning.
the lcnc wheezy install that did install (on an older motherboard), and upgrade, failed to find the ethernet adapter when i changed to the ASUS motherboard.

my next mode of attack here, is to figure out what is wrong with the onboard ethernet adapter. it is the only common factor i can think of. my guess is that it is disabled for some reason in the BIOS. i had to replace the BIOS battery, so i strongly suspect this to be the issue... it used to work, but maybe it just simply failed for some reason. that is always a possibility, as is non-linux compatibility. so if the adapter is configured correctly in the BIOS, my option would be to disable it, and try with a ethernet adapter card.

~Travis

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29 Nov 2020 16:50 #190614 by travis036
i was able to install lcnc wheezy again, and it still won't recognize the ethernet nic. i suspect either the nic failed, or it is not recognized for some reason. it is enabled in BIOS. i am running into walls at every turn here... there are so many faults that i don't know what is causing them. i don't know if it is the lcnc image, the motherboard, the nic, or some other hardware. the older motherboard won't run lcnc buster, and has glitchy graphics for lcnc wheezy.

i am thinking i will paw through my old computers and see if i can find a recent good-runner, and just try it to see. failing that, i don't know. i can't afford a third motherboard option. the lcnc (buster and wheezy) live runs fine on the ASUS motherboard, with networking. figure that one out... LOL!
i have tried both the text and graphic installs, with the same results. like there is some odd EMI in the area, foiling me.
i have tried the motherboard from my Win10 CAD/CAM computer as well... same results.
hopefully i will find a solution...

~Travis

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29 Nov 2020 18:15 #190617 by tommylight
Try using this, it should have the network drivers, Debian Buster:
forum.linuxcnc.org/9-installing-linuxcnc...ick-and-easy-install
Or use this for Linux Mint, but download the XFCE version for older PC, the rest is the same as in the howto:
forum.linuxcnc.org/9-installing-linuxcnc...nd-easy-installation
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29 Nov 2020 19:49 #190624 by travis036
Thank you Tommy, i am having a second go at the download as i managed to download the non-X11 version the first time around, LMAO. going to try the gnome version first (well, second... apparently). if this works for me, i will be most grateful! after days of struggle, something that works will be great.
who would have thought an easy upgrade would have been so... "easy" ;) lol, just install the new version, pop in my Mesa card, do some config and wiring, and away i go. well, lets hope it really goes that well this time around.

~Travis
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29 Nov 2020 21:34 #190631 by travis036
ok, i have buster, and LinuxCNC :cheer:

now, pncconf doesn't list the 5i20 as an available card...

~Travis

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29 Nov 2020 22:29 #190636 by tommylight
Usually we make a similar config and edit it later to fit, but since i never used the 5i20 i am not sure to what it is similar, and consequently what to start with. An assumption would be 5i25, but you might wana confirm that.

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29 Nov 2020 22:46 #190640 by travis036
Hmmm, i will wait for confirmation...


what i have found, myself, is it needs hostmot2. now i downloaded the source for it, as well as the support software for the 5i20 from Mesa. as i have no idea what to do with either (not your usual "configure -> make -> make install"), i will wait for someone to describe the process.

if it helps those helping config my 5i20, my machine is 3-axis steppers, with drivers with STEP, DIR, and ENABLE inputs. my spindle is RS485/ModBus (VFD), so that is separate. i need a charge-pump output (to enable the machine), and various inputs and outputs for limit and home switches, dust-collection relay, E-STOP... and whatever else i scab on in the future. i have a stepper with a brake on my Z, with the brake being activated by a relay tied to the stepper driver ENABLE. i am sure it will need fine tuning from here, but that is the basics.

~Travis

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