ShopBot System Conversion

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05 Mar 2012 15:18 #18385 by crmorano
So I am looking to convert a ShopBot Buddy PRS Alpha BT48 from the ShopBot software to EMC2, as I am having some problems with the ShopBot software/interface, as well wanting to incorporate some other components into the system (real time sensor measurements). ShopBot itself does not support doing this, so I'm looking here for answers.

I've used the ShopBot and an EMC2 machine, and the biggest difference I've seen is that with the ShopBot it uses a serial interface through USB1 (Which is why I think it slows down for some of the shapes I've tried to draw) while the EMC2 machine had a parallel interface connecting to the interface box.

So here is my question:

If I wanted to convert the ShopBot hardware to something EMC2 can use, where do I start? I have EE experience, but no real robotics/controller experience outside of the "build a robot that follows a line" type thing and doing some stuff on EMC2.
It is an XYZ stage with 3 ASM98AA-T7.2 Motors on it, driven by ASD30A-A drivers. These connect to the ShopBot's controller board that as far as I can tell has a Serial to USB board that then connects to the computer itself.

Thanks for any help.

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05 Mar 2012 16:07 #18388 by BigJohnT
LinuxCNC has all the smarts in the software so a high speed connection is required like PCI or the parallel port. If your drives take step and direction inputs then it is usually a fairly straight forward conversion. I just finished converting my plasma with Mesa 5i25 + 7i76 and a D525 motherboard... makes a nice compact unit.

I have a buddy in Fla. that converted his Shop Bot to the other windows control (because he had a local expert to do the conversion for him). I'll ask him what drives he has...

John

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05 Mar 2012 16:36 #18389 by cncbasher
yes you should not have a problem , they are step and direction stepper drives
i would suggest a mesa interface 7I43-4 / 7i42 with addon boards or the newer 5i25 etc

let us know what type of extras your looking at adding and we can advise better
and make sure all options are covered , such as spindle control , limits etc

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05 Mar 2012 18:06 #18394 by crmorano
So I found out that I have access to an old Geckodrive G100. Could this be used relatively easily with EMC2? I believe it is designed to drive Step and direction steppers.

I'm actually not using the system for machining, but for scientific research, and using it to position and move an object around in the XYZ directions with constant velocity. In terms of specifically what I'm doing with it, I'm unfortunately not allowed to say. The sensors are things like temperature sensors so I can read the XYZ position into other software while making measurements so I can compile a grid, and also to make measurements while its running its program (which ShopBot's software does not allow me to do without stopping the process in the middle, which defeats the purpose).

On the Mesa 5i25, would I just need to have a computer to interface with that, and then that would connect directly to the motor drivers? Would any other hardware be needed in between these two devices?

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05 Mar 2012 19:50 - 05 Mar 2012 19:51 #18399 by BigJohnT
The 5i25 requires a daughter card, for steppers it is the 7i76. It also uses a DB25M to DB25M IEEE 1284 compliant parallel port cable to connect from the 5i25 that is in a PCI slot to the daughter card.

John
Last edit: 05 Mar 2012 19:51 by BigJohnT.

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05 Mar 2012 21:56 #18407 by crmorano
Oh, and of course there are 6 limit switches (2 in each direction), which I believe are just normal switches.

Otherwise for the Mesa cards, I'd have one in the PC, one at the 3-axis machine, and I would just need to connect my switches and motors, and power and then set-up the software to interface with the hardware in EMC2?

Has anyone tried using the gecko g100 to interface with EMC2?

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05 Mar 2012 23:18 #18409 by BigJohnT
Yea, all the connections from your I/O and drives go to the 7i76 card and that can be in your drive enclosure.

I assume you mean drives and not motors?

The 7i76 needs field power for the I/O usually 24vdc and the limit switches use that.

John

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06 Mar 2012 16:51 #18426 by crmorano
Yes, I meant the Drivers. The Drivers and motors are an all inclusive module (Though with a cable in between) and I do not have direct access to the motors.

I ordered the 5i25 with a 7i76 Daughter board.

I noticed that the Driver/Motor Combination I'm using has a built in Encoder and some Alarm functionality that needs to be reset every time I turn on the system. How difficult will this be to work around? Will I even be using the encoder functionality with the 7i76 and if not, do I need to?

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06 Mar 2012 17:03 #18428 by BigJohnT
Make sure you have or ordered a DB25M to DB25M IEEE 1284 compliant parallel port cable to connect from the 5i25 to the 7i76. You will also need a field power supply from 12vdc to 24vdc ( it doesn't have to be big).

You don't need the encoders for a stepper system unless they are going back to the drives then you keep them. Is the alarm function built into the drives?

John

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06 Mar 2012 17:34 #18429 by crmorano
I ordered the kit that came with the cable, though thank you for reminding me. The system already has a 24VDC supply built into it that I'm just going to reuse.

The encoders are built into the drives themselves for some form of closed loop functionality. The alarm functionality looks to just be an input and output pin that you just send a .1s pulse to the input pin on the driver to reset, then if a fault occurs in the driver/motor that it detects, it sets the output pin (Possibly needs a pull-up) and the motors won't run until you reset it.
Do you think I will need to do something more than connect that to 2 additional I/O ports per driver?

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