Ditching Linux CNC & why

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14 May 2019 14:03 - 17 May 2019 12:14 #133750 by KalKat
My intake on LinuxCNC

After a swift configuration and getting the motors to move, I was happy. I needed to configure my VFD to get LinuxCNC to start it automatically. That took somewhat few articles & few hours of test & trials to get it up and running with a successful implementation and a production cut sample.

But then the Axis interface was too dull, I wanted to gmoccapy to work. Ended up days on end reading article on how to, youtubing and wiki and forums but the thing will not get my motors working. And so I went back to Axis cuz I wanted to do some work & not waist time on trouble shooting.

Axis, though it was basic, I wanted some buttons like (Go to home, 1/2 distance, laser zero), after another days of searching the testing & trying, I got the buttons working. I was happy.

Comes the day I wanted to cut a sample design for a client, the VFD would not want to work. Scratched my head as to why it was working & now it will not. What broke it? The buttons I installed? Ended up 4 hour behind schedule trouble shooting the frikn thing & VFD would not want to start. From new configuration, it will not want to get the VFD working.

It dawned on me that:
1. I cant waist my time on such unstable application like LinuxCNC.
2. More than 40+ hours of wasted time to get LinuxCNC to work without any success.
3. Unstable as any changes to the interface the VFD would not work.

LinuxCNC is for a type of guy that has plenty of time on hand, Ph.D in programming skills, hacking skills, extra perceptive trouble shooting skills, deciphering error skills, superior analytics.

I cant say I had fun with LinuxCNC but honestly I cant be a programmer, hacker, trouble shooter while clients are waiting for their parts and each hour passes by is a loss of machine shop production & $$. LinuxCNC is not really for me.
Last edit: 17 May 2019 12:14 by BigJohnT.

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14 May 2019 14:29 - 14 May 2019 14:30 #133757 by pl7i92
Replied by pl7i92 on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why
sorry on that
i did now over 10 mashines 5Axis
and it worked wit a Glimp of the Eye

it is so easy to work with
and no cost
full suport with the forum
live support on irc
i which i had found it within years earlyer

look here my channel
www.youtube.com/channel/UCGuJsIoXW-exBAwdn38dXow/videos
Last edit: 14 May 2019 14:30 by pl7i92.

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14 May 2019 15:39 #133767 by bevins
Replied by bevins on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why
Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Linuxcnc your correct in saying it is difficult, but I think wrong is saying it is buggy. It takes a bit to understand it but once you get the hang of it, it is really a godsend. I have a 8000lbs milling center I retrofitted with linuxcnc and mesa boards and I literally havent had one issue with it in 5 years. I left it the way it is and have been using it ever since. I never even opened up config files on that machine in 5 years. It just works. I have many other machines I have retrofitted also.

It takes a bit but you have live help on irc, free support , and the forums and if you want the mailing lists.

Sometimes attitudes are a bit off center, I dont know why but everyone is volunteering their help. Its free support, they are not getting paid. So you learn to deal with the intricacies.

I would hate to see you leave with a bad taste of Linuxcnc. IT's not that bad.

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14 May 2019 16:25 #133773 by pl7i92
Replied by pl7i92 on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why
knowone gets 40+ hr for a basic config

its a matter of 5min

and with all the help yopu shoudt have come here earlyer
as i see multible names at your probvlem i guess you are locking in as manay nicknames for every question

NO need

we will answer questions as long as you ask

on the same user over and over

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14 May 2019 16:32 - 16 May 2019 08:20 #133775 by InMyDarkestHour
meh
Last edit: 16 May 2019 08:20 by InMyDarkestHour.

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14 May 2019 17:31 #133777 by cmorley
Replied by cmorley on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why

KalKat wrote: My intake on LinuxCNC

It dawned on me that:
1. I cant waist my time on such unstable application like LinuxCNC.
2. More than 40+ hours of wasted time to get LinuxCNC to work without any success.
3. Unstable as any changes to the interface the VFD would not work.


I feel your frustration - linuxcnc has a steep learning curve.
The fact that it is so powerful makes it hard to set up.
But you are being a bit unfair IMHO.

1) unstable because you constantly changed things - things that take a while to understand how they are a system.
2) you said you had success relatively quickly - then changed things.
3) changing from AXIS to Gmoccapy, as you found out, is not as simple as changing the DISPLAY name. I agree that it's unfortunate - but I'm not sure of anywhere it's been stated that that is all you must do.

It seems that if you had left your original basic running config alone, and built a second one with more bells and whistles,
you would have had your production covered, while you learned how to adjust linuxcnc to suit you.

I'm not sure what you did, but getting help from users and developers takes a fairly specific routine:
Give as much info as possible. -especially the specific error messages.
post all your config files if appropriate.
ask specific questions.

Other wise you tend to get low quality generic answers or little response at all.

And yes in general one trades money for time - if you have no time, you buy a turnkey solution. If you can spare the time then you can use MACH or Linuxcnc etc and save a lot of money or get a solution tailored to you more.

From you post I can't think of anything we could immediately improve for the next person trying as you did.
Other then mention it takes longer to set up a tailored machine then anyone thinks.
But complaining that linuxcnc is buggy because (seemingly) you didn't configure it properly is not fair.
Complaining that it is difficult to set up could be fair.

Whether you give linuxcnc another try in the future or go some other route.
Thank you for the feedback and I wish you luck in your business!

Chris M
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mike_Eitel

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14 May 2019 19:48 #133785 by KalKat
Replied by KalKat on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why
Guys, I mentioned I has a success in setting up Linuxcnc in under 1 minutes far quicker than Mach3.

It took an hour or two to get the VFD working. That was OK.

The only thing that really wasted my time was gmoccapy. Regardless on how much I dig up info, how many times I had to reread the article, it just wont work. Eventually after 1 day & weekend "3 days" I gave up on gmoccapy.

Axis was fantastic. No complaints, it worked. But unfortunately after getting the buttons configured the VFD would not work. There were no error messages to indicate a problem. If there was I would have understood the problem and solved it.

In terms of buggy, it might be harsh to use buggy but the fact is in my case when you have something that works and then it does not work, in the industry of IT world where standardization is the key to IT success, that is referenced as buggy software, or unstable or pre-alpha.

You guys do not see what goes on behind the screen to change an interface on a CNC router.
1. 1 hour+ downloading, installing LinuxCNC + trouble shooting USB BIOS +booting utility and other issues.
2. Configuring basic LinuxCNC and confirming motors turning
3. Learning to use LinuxCNC, router dimensions, avoiding crashing & breaking bits.
4. Changing the interface was a fail.
5. 5 minutes to configure VFD and 2 hours trouble shooting it up until I got it working.
6. Install buttons few hours of reading, rereading, programming, trouble shooting, analyzing the issues and finally got it to work.
7. VFD will not start after the button configurations.
8. Reconfigure everything from Zero replug in all the numbers and get the router + motors + limit switches + dimentions + estop all working
9. VFD will not start.
Yes buggy software. If it was not buggy then the new configuration will not be affected in any way especially that I was only altering ini files and xml.

Its a lot easier to criticize me than to extend a helping hand. Your actions in fact have swayed me to run away faster from LinuxCNC than to give it another try. You as a community dedicated to LinuxCNC have tainted this software with your comments not caring about people's efforts that went into LinuxCNC and the time spent on it.

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14 May 2019 20:22 #133786 by AgentWD40
Replied by AgentWD40 on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why

KalKat wrote: Its a lot easier to criticize me than to extend a helping hand. Your actions in fact have swayed me to run away faster from LinuxCNC than to give it another try. You as a community dedicated to LinuxCNC have tainted this software with your comments not caring about people's efforts that went into LinuxCNC and the time spent on it.


From an outside observer's perspective I think these guys are still asking you to ask them for help!

A lot can get lost in translation on internet forums like these. Especially with us engineering types. I managed to inadvertently ruffle someone's feathers on my second post here...

As a newbie still in the middle of the learning curve I'll be very curious to learn what you find does work for you in the end. I hope you'll report back. Good luck!

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14 May 2019 20:40 #133787 by cmorley
Replied by cmorley on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why
I was not criticizing your efforts.
In general power users and developers forget how much experience they have behind them.
I do understand the learning curve - I have spent much time on configuration wizards to help people get started.

I was hoping that the next person who may read your experience may change a few things to help them avoid some of your troubles.

Without the config files I couldn't tell you what went wrong with the VFD, I could only guess. INI and XML files are part of the core of configuration - more then likely a HAL file wasn't loaded, because it wasn't defined in the INI.

To know for sure would require you to spend some more time on linuxcnc, and it seems you have had enough.

Maybe we could add some popular VFD options in the stepconf wizard - this is probably a common device to use.

Chris M

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14 May 2019 21:17 #133788 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Ditching Linux CNC & why
I think you've made your decision and taking your bat and ball and going home. Everybody here who have commented are willing to help. But as yet you've not given one useful piece of information that would allow us to help you.

Moving to from Axis to Gmoccappy was indeed a one line change config for me from a working axis config. But once you add a few custom features, there is no going back.

Adding interface buttons is an advanced method but I found easier in Gmocappy than Axis which I never attempted to alter. You really need to install Glade and this will let you paint those buttons on the screen but you do need to edit the python screen handler in a text editor. Rather than change the base screens, its probably better to add a tab or follow the example in the gmocappy plasma sim.

Also gmoccappy has a series of macro buttons that can be enabled and if your features can be written in gcode, this becomes very easy to achieve. By the sound of it, you could have achieved most of your basic features with a series of 10 line gcode subroutines without touching the glade XML.

And always copy your config to another folder before you add a new feature so you have a fallback position and just do one thing at a time in each version so you always keep a fallback position.

I think many of us have spent far more than 40 hours playing with Linuxcnc for a non-trivial build. A lot of that is learning not doing and you put that down to inexperience.

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