Questions: Mesa 7I92 Leadshine MX4660 4-Axis Step

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16 Apr 2016 21:15 #73434 by sakumar
I plan to use a Mesa 7i92M and a Leadshine MX4660 4-Axis Stepper Driver. The computer is an Intel NUC running the real-time kernel using a dedicated Ethernet to connect back-to-back to the Mesa card; I'll be using linuxcnc-uspace.

Can I use the Hostmot2 file 7i92_MX3660x2D.bit for the MX4660?

Does stepconf work for the above combination?

For the 5V to power the 7i92M card, I'm using a USB "power stealer" cable from the Intel NUC's USB port since the DC power supply for powering the Leadshine/Steppers only supplies 36V DC. Is there a better alternative?

Which getting started resources (if any) are available? Anything else I should be aware of as I'm starting out?

Thanks.
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16 Apr 2016 23:00 #73444 by andypugh

sakumar wrote: Can I use the Hostmot2 file 7i92_MX3660x2D.bit for the MX4660?


If you look at the .pin file you can check to see if the pin allocations match.

Does stepconf work for the above combination?


No. Stepconf is only for parallel port configs. Pncconf might get you close, but you might have to pretend it is something else, then hand-edit the HAL file. (mainly find and replace).

For the 5V to power the 7i92M card, I'm using a USB "power stealer" cable from the Intel NUC's USB port since the DC power supply for powering the Leadshine/Steppers only supplies 36V DC. Is there a better alternative?.


That's probably as good a way as any. It keeps power ground and logic ground separate too. An alternative would be to use a DC-DC converter from the 35V supply, but I don't see any good reason to prefer that.
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20 Apr 2016 02:11 #73626 by sakumar

If you look at the .pin file you can check to see if the pin allocations match.


Looks like the MX3660 bitfile supports upto 3 steppers, but the MX4660 supports up to 4. So although the pins match for the first three steppers,
there is no support for the fourth.

Is this something I can fix via configuration or do I need to get a new bit file from Mesa?

Output of "sudo mesaflash --device 7i92 --readhmid"

Relevant page from MX4660 spec ( www.leadshine.com/UploadFile/Down/MX4660hm_V1.1.pdf )
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20 Apr 2016 06:50 - 20 Apr 2016 06:52 #73631 by sakumar
I have another follow up question. Since pncconf does not work for the 7i92, are there starter .hal and .ini files that I can edit? Creating them from scratch seems like a daunting task for a beginner. I downloaded 7i92.zip from mesanet.com but that only has .bit files -- no .hal nor .ini. I'm looking for starter files that can control 4 steppers. Thanks.
Last Edit: 20 Apr 2016 06:52 by sakumar.
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20 Apr 2016 09:27 #73635 by cncbasher
it's far easier to make a config for 3 axis , and just copy across for the fourth
pncconf is only to get you started , once you have a config , used a text editor and hand edit from then on
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20 Apr 2016 13:44 #73646 by PCW
freeby.mesanet.com/7i92step.zip
is a basic example hal/ini file set for the 7I92

You cal also run pncconf for a 5i25/probrfx2 setup and edit the resulting files
(changing the card name to 7i92 and the hostmot2 config line to include the 7I92s ip address)
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20 Apr 2016 14:09 #73650 by andypugh

sakumar wrote: Looks like the MX3660 bitfile supports upto 3 steppers, but the MX4660 supports up to 4. So although the pins match for the first three steppers,
there is no support for the fourth.

I was confused for a while by the presence of a step pin for channel 3. But that is set up for a charge-pump.

Is this something I can fix via configuration or do I need to get a new bit file from Mesa?


If you are feeling adventurous it is possible to make your own bitfiles.
wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Editing_MESA_Bitfiles
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20 Apr 2016 20:35 #73662 by PCW
Here is a test bitfile for the MX4660 (and the changed source file)
freeby.mesanet.com/7i92_mx4660.zip
The following user(s) said Thank You: sakumar
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21 Apr 2016 06:27 #73676 by sakumar
Update: The new bitfile for the Leadshine MX4660 (after download and reload), shows 4 steppers on P2. Also, I used the .ini and .hal files as-is (except for changing the IP address of the 7i92 back to 192.168.1.121) and linuxcnc basically comes up.

Thanks for all the help.

On to the next phase. Can I test the stepper outputs of the 7i92 (watching the step/dir pins on a logic analyser, for example) without actually connecting the MX4660? Say if I use the jog controls I should be able to see the corresponding activity on the 7i92's output parallel port, correct?
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21 Apr 2016 14:26 #73691 by PCW
Sure, normal step/dir systems are open loop so step/dir signals can be watched on P2 pins
Also the sample config has no limit switch or or estop logic so does not depend
on any input states to run.
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