OK, I'm lost... completely. Mesa 7i92

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06 Jun 2015 06:47 - 06 Jun 2015 06:49 #59505 by jimcisme
Hi all
I'm building my first lathe! I have been machining for over 30 years but I am not an electronics whiz nor am I a programmer or hacker in the sense that most Linux people would think or would be thought of. I do have enough basic electronics to have built my own driver and BOB from kits, and I built my own function generator, not saying much but there it is. I do actualy have the machine together and have fired up everything and it appears ready. I know CNC extensively, but building a machine is far different than programming, setting up, or operating one.

I bought a computer specifically for this project (a laptop) and built several kernels, testing, in order to get latency where I wanted it.
I bought a nice 7i92 Ethernet card to skip the parallel port because I thought it would be faster and easer to deal with. This is where I have run into a problem.

I have searched and searched and found lots and lots of great, detailed information about my card (in the manual), about hostmot2 (in the man pages), about HM2_ETH (in the linuxcnc.org docs). But I can find nothing about how all this fits together, I cannot even figure out how to USE mesa flash. Is there nothing that says : if you have this mesa card START here and END here? you know, do this, then this, then this....and so on? Something like ...a manual? I need to understand how to make the computer and the mesa card, and the mesa card and my breakout board all work together. Any Idea as to where I might find that information? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jim
Last edit: 06 Jun 2015 06:49 by jimcisme. Reason: added to title.

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06 Jun 2015 07:27 - 06 Jun 2015 07:37 #59506 by PCW
Linuxcnc support for the 7I92 (and all Mesa Ethernet FPGA cards) is very new so
unfortunately you are on the bleeding edge here...

Whats required:

1. A linux system with a Preempt-RT kernel running
2. A uspace version of Linuxcnc 2.7 or 2.8 (this and a Preempt-RT kernel can be installed as a package for Debian Wheezy)
If you are using a different flavor of linux (like Ubuntu 14.04 or Mint 17.1) you must compile linuxcnc (and likely the Preempt-RT kernel)
from source
3. A free Ethernet port, preferably set up to IP address 10.10.10.1 (detailed setup info is in the hm2-eth man page)
4. A Mesa Ethernet FPGA card set to address 10.10.10.10 (EEPROM IP address = 7I92 W5 DOWN W6 UP)
5. A HAL configuration that suits your hardware. ( freeby.mesanet.com/7i92step.zip is a simple example )

Note some laptops work well with Preempt-RT (My dell E6420 works fine with a 7I92)
E6420 latency:
freeby.mesanet.com/e6420.png

Screenshot of LinuxCNC running on E6420 laptop:
freeby.mesanet.com/linuxcnc.png

But you cannot change power modes (battery to line or line to battery) without dreadful things happening to latency

To get Mesaflash to work you first need to setup your Ethernet port as explained above
so you can at least ping the 7I92. ( that is, ping 10.10.10.10 works)
Note that running mesaflash with no command will cause it to print brief usage instructions

7I92 support in mesaflash is very new so you may need to download the latest mesaflash source from

github.com/micges/mesaflash

Then for example to print out the current 7I92 configurations pinout a command like

mesaflash --device 7i92 --addr 10.10.10.10 --readhmid

will print this information

(I DO NOT suggest re- writing the 7I92 configuration with mesaflash
until you know EXACTLY what you wish to accomplish and how )

BTW if you are running a 7I92 from a laptop its handy to power the 7I92 with a "USB power thief" cable
(Just a cut USB cable with the signal lines unused)
Last edit: 06 Jun 2015 07:37 by PCW.

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06 Jun 2015 19:53 - 06 Jun 2015 19:54 #59521 by andypugh
To expand on something that PCW said, you can get a version of LinuxCNC for RT-PReempt from here:
buildbot.linuxcnc.org
Last edit: 06 Jun 2015 19:54 by andypugh.

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07 Aug 2019 04:39 - 07 Aug 2019 04:41 #141574 by jimcisme
After 4 years, I am thinking about picking up this unfinished project again. Anything new in the Mesa 7i92 area? Has anyone actually used this card yet?
Last edit: 07 Aug 2019 04:41 by jimcisme. Reason: Spelling

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07 Aug 2019 06:20 #141587 by pl7i92
Hi
im using this all over
from lathe to 6 axis

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09 Aug 2019 04:18 #141712 by jimcisme
English?

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09 Aug 2019 12:23 #141755 by tommylight

jimcisme wrote: After 4 years, I am thinking about picking up this unfinished project again. Anything new in the Mesa 7i92 area? Has anyone actually used this card yet?

I did, they do work perfectly, still have one for testing, it gets molested a lot, works like a charm, must have flashed it over 50 times.
I always buy the M version so i can just plug it to a 7i77, no cables needed.

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09 Aug 2019 16:17 #141791 by PCW
Note that the 7I92 is much better supported now than in 2015
The easiest way to get a working LinuxCNC setup for the 7I92 is to
download the LinuxCNC/Stretch test ISO:

www.linuxcnc.org/testing-stretch-rtpreempt/

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