Suggestions for Servo Control?

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23 Sep 2009 20:28 #859 by gschoep
I am looking to retrofit a control on a CNC lathe with servos and live tooling.

Does anyone have experience with the Vigilant PCI boards? I can find very little documentation, only a mention of the driver in download.gna.org/tuxcnc/design_notes.pdf .

4.3.6 Driver: vigilant-pci
Discontinued (?) multifunction IO card from Vigilant Products. Basic ver-
sion provides four encoders, four DACs and eight IO lines. Optional expansion
includes 128 bits of IO and an additional four encoder/DAC module.


Has anyone used this board or know if this driver works?

What hardware do people usually use for analog servo control? I see that Gecko makes some drivers that accept step and direction for servos but I want to use the existing drivers in the control that accept +-10v.

Thanks in advance!

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24 Sep 2009 16:42 #860 by PCW

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26 Sep 2009 04:02 #870 by gschoep
Yep, that is a good list. And the Vigilant board is on there but that does not mean that all those boards work with analog servo drivers or are well documented. Hence my original post.

And personally I would like a little more information in a central location, such as the Integrators Manual ( www.linuxcnc.org/docs/EMC2_Integrator_Manual.pdf ). The Vigilant board is not in the Integrators manual.

It looks like there is some good info on the Vital systems board, Motenc-Lite Servo PCI.

In the post MESA 7I43 and 7I33 OR 5I20 and 7I33 OR MOTENC-LITE(7544) Dave Engvall suggests:

The Mazak emc conversion at "EMC" fest a few years ago used the Motenc-Lite board.

wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/emcinfo.pl?MazakRetro

If you need ADC's then this is the board to use; otherwise the mesa boards are just fine.
The only other board I know of that has ADC's is the servo-to-go board which only works with an ISA bus motherboard.

However, some of this documentation may not be available anymore. So I would still like to know if anyone out there has experience with analog servo drivers and EMC2.

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26 Sep 2009 11:27 - 26 Sep 2009 11:43 #872 by BigJohnT
The Integrators Manual mainly has information relating to installing and configuring EMC. If there is an EMC driver for some hardware then the information about that driver is in the manual. Information about the hardware itself is from the manufacturer. The wiki site is the place for any additional information and is user maintained so if you discover anything you can add it to the EMC wiki site. Other sources for info is the EMC mailing list and the EMC IRC channel.

After some searching the seems to be a vti driver for the Vigilant Technologies PCI-ENCDAC 4 channel card as well as a sample config named vti. I'll try and find out if it is still supported.

TuxCNC is not part of EMC2 so any documents for TuxCNC are not about EMC2.

Regards
John
Last edit: 26 Sep 2009 11:43 by BigJohnT.

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26 Sep 2009 12:36 #873 by BigJohnT
I have contacted the guy who added the vti driver to EMC2 to see if he has any more information and asked him to drop by over here to see if he could help you out.

Regards
John

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28 Sep 2009 17:37 #882 by gschoep
Thanks John!

I did find the sample configurations and can use those to start but it seems that there is much more info in general on steppers than servos. Wish step_config worked with servos too!! It is a breeze to setup a machine with that tool. Been there, done that.

I am still selecting a servo board so documentation is a big deal. Once I get the servo board and install it and can then load the sample configs then I will have many more questions I am sure. But I am trying to minimize those with a little homework.

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29 Sep 2009 10:11 #884 by BigJohnT
The next version of EMC has a servo config wizard. I know it has Mesa (seems to be the most popular) support and is similar to the step config wizard. You can run dev as well it just takes a few more steps to get it loaded. The Mesa 5i20 board with what ever daughter boards you need if any seems to be the driver of choice for servos AFAIK. I have one here that I'm using for steppers and Seb (wrote the driver software) and Peter (Mesa) are active on the forum and the IRC. So there is plenty of support.

The Vigilant driver might have been written because someone had a board and needed a driver. That might explain the lack of documentation.

John

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12 Oct 2009 23:26 #965 by Zig
gschoep,

I am runing with BLDC servo motors using CNC Teknix servo amps.

These are somewhat older amps( about two years old) connected to EMC software via conentional stepper configuration.
EMC does not know where the the hardware is actually since the loop is cllosed externaly outside EMC through the driver hardware.

Works a treat, easy to setup. CNC Teknix are I think developing a new interface which will be different to the old style ( paralelport) and which will feed back the encoder signals into the software waking it truly a closed loop system within software.

I hink they will also offer a sample hal file to assist with setup.

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13 Oct 2009 00:14 #966 by gschoep
Thanks Zig,

Unfortunately I am running some big servos with big drivers that would not economical to be changed.

They use +-10v so normal stepper configuration does me no good. But a good addition to the thread for future generations...

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13 Oct 2009 11:29 #970 by BigJohnT
You might want to take a look at a Mesa 5i20 with a 7i33TA daughter card. It is a popular choice for servo control and well supported in the EMC community.

John

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