Are smart motors compatible with parallel port straight connections?

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12 Aug 2021 15:26 #217619 by FredCailloux
I am new to CNC. Planning my first build. Lots of reading done. I'm going LinuxCNC.
I found these two companies offering smart brushless Servo motor driven with step/direction signal.
StepperOnLine .   Teknic inc Clearpath
These motors need very little current input for control, inputs are optoisolated, and the Teknic motor is quite affordable ( $100ish )
From what I understand LinuxCNC will supply step/direction straight from the parallel port of the computer.
So, it is my understanding that the motor solutions proposed above is the only hardware I will need to get them running.
No other interfaces required other than a good power supply for my motors and a computer. ( obviously ) 
The rest is kitchenstuff ( enclosure, limit switches, relays,  LEDs, bla bla bla ) .

Is my assumption correct or Am I dilusional ? 
Thanks for your valuable comments.

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12 Aug 2021 15:57 #217622 by tommylight
You are correct, any step/dir controled drive/motor combo will work with parallel port, even some PWM controled ones work, granted at low speeds due to limited pulse frequency a parallel port can read.
There are several examples of PWM drives and servo motors running from parallel port, some by me using cheap arduino DC motor drives, search youtube for toma berisha or toma cnc.
As for step/dir ones there are plenty of examples, just keep in mind that parallel port can be limited in speed but that depends on what exactly you want to run.
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12 Aug 2021 19:22 #217625 by FredCailloux
Thanks for this confirmation. Now I have to find out what could be a typical Parallel Printer maximum output frequency range. This will let me figure out what my maximum step rate could be for a motor.

Any suggestions as to where I can find that information ?

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12 Aug 2021 20:10 #217628 by tommylight
Depending on the PC about 20KHz, do not count on more.
I had one do 65KHz but it was an older workstation with 2x 4 core Xeons, so not easy to find and costs more than a Mesa 5i25 or 6i25 or 7i92, while all of the Mesa can do 2x parallel ports at over 1Mhz pulses, i think 10MHz tops.
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12 Aug 2021 20:37 #217632 by FredCailloux
So, based on prices of those Mesa 5i25($89) or 6i25($109) or 7i92($89) I can already guess what would be your answer to the following question:
"Am I better of with one of those MESA card for my project ? "

Suppose I decide to go for a 7I85-6I25 PLUG-N-GO KIT ($178),
my guess is I would profit from higher maximum speed and ease of connections. Would there be more advantages ?

Would there be any other MESA configuration that could be better for my project ? MESA have so many choices, one can get lost very easily.
Basically I want to implement XYZ on a small CNC machine that I already own. I must mechanically adapt 3 motors on it and some security, limit switching and auto zero the Z axis as well. Since I am at the very beginning of my planning I am not too sure what would be the best way to go. Any comments ?

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12 Aug 2021 21:00 - 12 Aug 2021 21:00 #217633 by PCW
If its your first LinuxCNC machine, I would suggest a parallel port and a
low cost breakout board, like the ubiquitous "Mach 5 Axis BOB"

Direct parallel port connections can work but have low drive current
and are fairly fragile. A $10.00 breakout board is worth the added
expense
Last edit: 12 Aug 2021 21:00 by PCW.

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12 Aug 2021 21:15 - 12 Aug 2021 21:34 #217635 by FredCailloux
Is that the board you are refering to ?   Geekcreit 5 Axis CNC Interface 

This is a steal deal at $10 US. Sounds too good to be true. Does that really work ?
Is it compatible with LinuxCNC ? 
Last edit: 12 Aug 2021 21:34 by FredCailloux. Reason: Not part of the web link

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12 Aug 2021 21:36 #217637 by Clive S

Is that the board you are refering to ?   Geekcreit 5 Axis CNC Interface  This is a steal deal at $10 US. Sounds too good to be true. Does that really work ?
Is it compatible with LinuxCNC ? 


It will need to be powered with a 12-24V and 5V power supply (forget the usb cable for the 5v)
Yes that is the type of BOB peter is referring too

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12 Aug 2021 21:38 - 12 Aug 2021 21:39 #217639 by PCW
Yes, that's the one. If you are in the US its better to find a US seller shipping
time wise

Its a parallel port BOB (BreakOut Board) so works with Mach3 or LinuxCNC.
The USB is just to supply 5V power. It also needs 12V power for its isolated
inputs and the analog VFD 0-10V out
Last edit: 12 Aug 2021 21:39 by PCW.
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