Biesse Rover 322 MESA retrofit

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15 Sep 2020 21:44 #182285 by tom_no
Today I've received the (first) shipment of MESA cards and started fiddling with a Laptop for testing. Got LinuxCNC 2.8.0 Debian 10 Buster installed and after some hassle got it to talk to the 7i92. Uploaded the firmware config for 7i92 + 7i77 + 7i44 through the terminal window.

If anyone reading here has the ability to give input to whomever compiles the packages for the ISO it would be nice if the WIKD Network Manager was replaced with the Gnome one - as the former does not have the functionality needed to configure a connection to the MESA 7i92.

Question: How do I add firmwares for card combinations to PNCCONF? There are only 6 combinations available in the drop-down list in the wizard, and I'd like to add the 7i77+7i44 one I'm using.


Looks like I need to add a 7i71 and a 7i83 to gain control over all IO's.
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15 Sep 2020 22:28 #182292 by tommylight

tom_no wrote: Question: How do I add firmwares for card combinations to PNCCONF? There are only 6 combinations available in the drop-down list in the wizard, and I'd like to add the 7i77+7i44 one I'm using.

:woohoo: You have a 7i74, and there is no need for that, i did all that manually. The 7i74 is transparent so all you really see is the 7i70 and 7i71 connected to it.
You can also use pncconf to create the I/O pins for 7i77 then open the hal file and cut the I/O stuff and paste to a new text file, use "find and replace" feature on all Linux text editors to replace the 7i77.0.n with the relevant 7i70.n.n or 7i71.n.n, then paste them back to the main hal file. Or make a new hal file for the 7i70 and 7i71 as i did, add it to the ini file, and use the procedure above just to cut and paste and replace.
It might seem complicated, but it really is not, just give it a try and do not worry if it does not work, you can make as many configs as you like, and that is also a good advice, make a simple config and test, if it works make a copy of it and add more stuff then test then again copy and add more stuff, and so on. Saves a lot of time and nerves if something goes wrong as you can always make a copy of the last known good config and continue without having to start from scratch.

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15 Sep 2020 22:58 #182296 by tommylight

tom_no wrote:

The right side drive is on positive limit ! :)

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16 Sep 2020 13:05 #182434 by tom_no

tommylight wrote:

tom_no wrote: The right side drive is on positive limit ! :)


Hehe, yes you are right. I believe it's for the Z-axis. Think I read Bevins or someone else had the same issue when retrofitting another Biesse, because of missing compressed air to the lift cylinder/air suspension. Hope to get it out of limit when connecting air this weekend. Good to have the confirmation though - could have been "anything". :-)

The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight

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16 Sep 2020 13:30 #182437 by tom_no

tommylight wrote:

tom_no wrote: Question: How do I add firmwares for card combinations to PNCCONF? There are only 6 combinations available in the drop-down list in the wizard, and I'd like to add the 7i77+7i44 one I'm using.

:woohoo: You have a 7i74, and there is no need for that, i did all that manually. The 7i74 is transparent so all you really see is the 7i70 and 7i71 connected to it.
You can also use pncconf to create the I/O pins for 7i77 then open the hal file and cut the I/O stuff and paste to a new text file, use "find and replace" feature on all Linux text editors to replace the 7i77.0.n with the relevant 7i70.n.n or 7i71.n.n, then paste them back to the main hal file. Or make a new hal file for the 7i70 and 7i71 as i did, add it to the ini file, and use the procedure above just to cut and paste and replace.
It might seem complicated, but it really is not, just give it a try and do not worry if it does not work, you can make as many configs as you like, and that is also a good advice, make a simple config and test, if it works make a copy of it and add more stuff then test then again copy and add more stuff, and so on. Saves a lot of time and nerves if something goes wrong as you can always make a copy of the last known good config and continue without having to start from scratch.


Thanks! 7i74 being transparent makes sense. Copying and pasting between configs should be straight forward when I get the basics and overview, but I feel I'm at least half a step behind in the configuring, missing out on some basics. Is there a way to test the connection to the connection to the serial connected boards before going to HAL? Or do they need to be activated in HAL to go online? I think I read something about the lights not changing to green until triggered in HAL?

This is my test setup so far:


I think my current goal should be to get control over IO's at the 7i70, 7i71 and 7i77 cards (servos, resolvers etc will have to wait until I install in the machine). IE see if inputs are false/true and control the outputs.
I also foresee an issue on nomenclature; LinuxCNC has a lot of predefined names for different pins, while my schematic may have other names. Can I use both? As in using a software link between LinuxCNC name and Biesse Name and use the Biesse name on the actual pin? Would that make sense at all?
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16 Sep 2020 14:39 #182440 by tommylight
There is a way of showing all the pins or parameters or whatever needed suing the terminal, but i use a more unconventional way by making a rough config for the 7i92/7i77 and running LinuxCNC, then from the "machine" menu select the "show hal configuration" and there look for pins on the 7i77 or 7i70 or 7i71 or any other SSerial card. On that window there is a tab named "show" so you can choose the pins and watch them change state.

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