Linux cnc or Offline controller?

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19 Aug 2021 10:57 - 19 Aug 2021 11:00 #218129 by tomasonazo
Hi everyone! I´m new here,
I´m based in northern Spain and looking to build a furniture company dedicated to flat pack furniture. I´m building a 2500x1500x300 mm cnc router, I have a 3 phase 2kw water cooled spindle and  9n7m closed loop stepper motors, I understand that this Is the linux forum so it might be a biased question, anyway.
I´m wondering whether to purchase the mesa 7i76 card or an offline controller such as this es.aliexpress.com/item/4001314948487.html
I have a pretty pathetic acer r3 laptop with 1 ethernet connection, no parallel port and touch screen which I think would fit the mesa card setup nicely, a powerful laptop to design with, which i would rather not bring close to the workshop. So I am wondering if there are any clear benefits to one or the other? Or any suggestions so as what to do? I would like to be able to control spindle speeds from the program and considering in europe I can only find the mesa card for 300 euros and the offline controller is similar price 
cheers.
Last edit: 19 Aug 2021 11:00 by tomasonazo.

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19 Aug 2021 15:30 #218144 by tommylight
In general laptops can not be used for machine control due to power saving features and the latency issues they create.
Personally, i would never use an offline controller.
Mesa in Portugal:
www.eusurplus.com

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19 Aug 2021 15:47 #218150 by tomasonazo
Thanks for the reply, i was going to source the mesa card from eusurplus should I go that route, any specific reasons against the offline controller?

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19 Aug 2021 15:59 #218152 by tommylight
Lets just go with :
I am a control freak ! :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: shpatb

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20 Aug 2021 20:26 #218273 by andypugh

I´m wondering whether to purchase the mesa 7i76 card or an offline controller such as this es.aliexpress.com/item/4001314948487.html

The offline controller will almost certainly be easier to get going. But will also be a lot more limited in what it can do. 

Does it support tool changers or multiple spindles, for example? 

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21 Aug 2021 09:09 #218317 by robertspark
look for the manual for the offline controller.... support will end when you press the buy button and hand across your cash

.... you will get no updates, fixes or improvements most likely....

but it will probably be quicker to get movement....

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23 Aug 2021 10:50 #218486 by bevins
on the other hand, you will get to learn linux and linuxcnc and will get free updates for life, but it will grab you and you will never get back out.

It's your choice.......
The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight

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14 Sep 2021 22:13 #220662 by 109jb
Not the same one that you linked, but I ordered one of the offline controllers for my past benchtop milling machine thinking it would be fine for what i needed. As stated there is absolutely no support, and although easy to hook up to the already proven milling machine the movement was....well let's just say not good. I could not even achieve the same feed rates (same step size) as I was getting with a Grbl on an Arduino. The machine would give the classic stepper growl (Open loop on that machine) and lose massive steps. After trying everything I borrowed an oscilloscope and the step generation was horrible on the one I had. Should be a nice square wave but the spacing of steps seemed to vary and there was what looked like noise on the step line. Fortunately I had purchased from Amazon, so I boxed it up and shipped it back. Linked below is the one I tried. Maybe I got a lemon because we all know this kind of stuff isn't tested before sending it out, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. If you decide on this route, I would suggest buying from somewhere that has easy return policies in case you experience the same.

www.amazon.com/RATTMMOTOR-Linkage-Contro...577011_t1_B07V6XSCW2

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