Introduction and extremely basic questions

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15 Nov 2017 16:10 #101848 by ygolohcysp
Hello. I've gotten into doing metalwork as a hobby. It started many years ago doing a little bit of blacksmithing for fun. I've always been doing mechanical projects in my free time. It has more recently lead to starting out with a little Harbor Freight mill, the Seig X2 essentially. I had gotten it with the intention of converting it to CNC after getting some experience using it manually. Things happened to derail that project, but I've gotten a fair amount of experience manually for this being a hobby. Along the way, I've accumulated a metal lathe, and upgraded to an old Bridgeport J-head mill.

I've also switched careers and have gone through training for working with automated industrial equipment. I now get to work with some Husky HyPET injection machines.

Anyway, I'm considering once again trying to learn about CNC. I'm still considering converting the X2, but am now also considering building a fixed gantry machine where I could mount a spindle and or use the X2's head with motor and spindle. Reading some of the posts in here, it's obvious that I need to do a lot more reading about motors, drivers, etc. My old home computer with the parallel port was killed when someone hit the power pole outside my house and ripped the neutral line off (as it turns out, computers don't like acting as a bridge between the two phases of 240).

I guess my questions are:
1. Do I need to find another older computer for the parallel port, or does USB function well enough?
2. Any suggestions on reading materials and or subjects to learn more as a complete newbie?

Thank you for reading.

Dan

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15 Nov 2017 16:48 #101850 by PCW

1. Do I need to find another older computer for the parallel port, or does USB function well enough?


You can add a parallel port card to a PC that has no parallel port as long as it has a PCI or PCIE slot
or you can buy a new motherboard that has a parallel port ( lots of small fanless PC motherboards have parallel ports )
USB is not supported by LinuxCNC for motion control since it has poor real time characteristics (USB keyboards, mice and and some USB jog controls do work however )

2. Any suggestions on reading materials and or subjects to learn more as a complete newbie?


linuxcnc.org/docs/html/

is a good place to start...

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20 Nov 2017 17:03 #102070 by andypugh
If you are buying a PCI or PCIe parallel port then be aware that not all of them work.

Avoid the ones with a very small chip near the bottom right, like this one:
www.amazon.co.uk/Goliton%C2%AE-Parallel-...rface/dp/B014P55X8O/
(also made by many manufacturers). That is a general-purpose interface chip and needs a special driver, which LinuxCNC can't use.

Ones with a Moschip chip will work for step/dir but not for EPP (ie, Pico, some Mesa, Pluto). Zoom the images to see what chip it is
www.amazon.co.uk/Gembird-Parallel-Port-PCI-Card/dp/B008BH7QBU/

If you can find one with an OxSemi chip then those work properly for both step/dir and EPP.
www.amazon.co.uk/Parallel-Card-IEEE-Oxfo...hipset/dp/B005DYM5EM

But you _probably_ don't need EPP, and could swap the card if you did.
The following user(s) said Thank You: dmcmd

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23 Nov 2017 01:02 #102233 by ygolohcysp
Thank you both for the replies.

Now I know what to look for as far as hardware goes, and have a good list of reading material!

Dan

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22 Mar 2019 08:55 - 22 Mar 2019 09:28 #129245 by YanikTheYak
Thanks for the details

I just ordered one of these, based on the Oxford chips.
rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A...2Fitm%2F272875358222

Will let people know if I get it to work.
Ian
Last edit: 22 Mar 2019 09:28 by YanikTheYak. Reason: Posted against wrong thread. Message makes more sense now for this thread.

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23 Mar 2019 12:12 #129352 by pl7i92
it all depends
on
A _ BUDGET to spend
B Material to be proceseed
C_ speed,Precision requirerd

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