2nd BP Control System Retrofit

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21 Dec 2020 01:11 - 21 Dec 2020 01:25 #192589 by JackW327
Thanks to multiple posters here and on the Facebook group. Gave me all the info I needed to cobble together what I think will be a good hardware package. Very much appreciated. I'm making the move from Mach3 to LinuxCNC on my now like +/-15 year old BP Series II conversion. I'm not a total NOOB but I haven't gutted the machine in a while so ... good to see so much help here, still.

So why the switch? I'll keep it short unless there are questions. My control hardware is showing its age. I've had problems with parts that a closed loop system would have either compensated for or faulted on. As long as I'm gutting the cabinet, pretty much, I may as well go to software that's inherently more reliable. I've also had a couple positive Linux experiences over the years so that's not so daunting anymore.

On the way to me now
  • Dell Optiplex 980 -w- 128GB SSD & 16GB RAM upgrade (Amazon)
  • Mesa 7i95 & ENYC encoder repeaters
  • Gecko G320X's

  • The current Mach control rig looks like this:
  • Dell PowerEdge 530C -w- Mach3
  • 70V 1.6KW homebrew linear power supply (115V - 50V toroids), the 245V AC I get from PG&E makes 73V DC
  • Sound Logic BOB [by Bob Campbell]
  • Gecko G320 servo drives
  • 1/3 hp 100V NEMA 34 Reliance Micro 100 motors on Y & Z, HEDS encoders
  • 3/4 HP 120V NEMA 43 Reliance Micro 100 motor on X, HEDS encoder (recent motor upgrade)*

  • *For some reason on my machine it has always been "harder" to move the X than Y. Not sure if this is the case with Bridgies in general.

    Sticking with Gecko because:
    Gecko has always been there for me and the community, good organization.
    My cabinet is kinda cozy and the Geckos are very compact.
    They work!

    I recently upgraded my X servo motor to 3/4 hp NEMA 43 Reliance motor (eBay find) and got the bugs worked out of the HEDS encoders with the 1 uf caps. (I used to get errors on X, lost steps, extra steps ... got worse recently ... now fixed) We'll see how that goes. The Encoders may need to go. But the Gecko's have "compensation" for them now and I've added the caps so maybe that'll save be a few bucks and running power lines.

    Will be adding line reactors to the VFD 'cause I still see more noise than I want on the encoder lines when the motor fires up. Might be overkill. I know the prevailing view is any noise control is good noise control.

    The cabinet needs to be reworked too. While I have only had a few issues with EM noise I would like none. Need to get the high voltage further away from low voltage. Shielding and ferrite beads work wonders but a better layout is just, well, better. The much smaller PC will help a lot with that.

    Hopefully I've got a new again control system by the new year. Gotta dust off my Linux chops ... Anyway wish me luck!

    Here's a grueling video of the state of affairs now if you can stand it. Pardon my disaster area of a shop. (A few what NOT to-dos here kids!)


    Happy Holidays!
    Last edit: 21 Dec 2020 01:25 by JackW327. Reason: Video link

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    21 Dec 2020 01:29 #192592 by JackW327
    OBTW - Here's the CNC Zone thread on the original build - www.cnczone.com/forums/bridgeport-hardinge-mills/8749-cnc.html
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    21 Dec 2020 02:21 #192600 by tommylight
    Welcome and thank you, will have a look tomorrow, it is 3:19AM here and need some sleep.
    Feel free to browse the "show your stuff" section, plenty of retrofits there.
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    21 Dec 2020 03:15 #192603 by OT-CNC

    *For some reason on my machine it has always been "harder" to move the X than Y. Not sure if this is the case with Bridgies in general.


    It should be the other way around as the Y sees the combined weight of the table and saddle. I assume you checked the gib? It may need adjusting. Table worn? Also check your lube system. Last, could be ballscrew alignment.
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    21 Dec 2020 03:41 #192606 by JackW327
    Yeah, I check the gibs pretty often. No doubt there's wear, it's an experienced machine. I haven't checked the table run out in a long time I don't recall it being a concern. I hit the oiler pretty often. It's oozing out all over the place. I'll need to take a look at the nut assembly again once I get the controller guts replaced. Thanks for insight.

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    21 Dec 2020 03:43 #192607 by JackW327
    Dude! Get some sleep! Thanks for all you do here too.
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    21 Dec 2020 12:21 #192631 by tommylight
    Got some sleep ! :)
    You got pretty much everything worked out, so the tuning remains and that should be fairly easy, but do check the X axis as that would mess up tuning badly if the motor can not position the axis properly.
    Use pncconf to make a config that is close to what you have (not sure there is a 7i95 yet) so do tick the "use ini name for Mesa" or similar ( on the phone so not much i can do) and set a 7i76E so later you can edit the ini file and replace the name. Do a normal step/dir config with no feedback and tune the machine, then use the settings to create another config with encoder feedback and check if it needs more tuning.
    Pncconfig does create a good config with encoder feedback but there is one line that needs to be changed for each joint as it leaves the feedback from the stepgen. Been a while since i used it, so that might have been fixed.
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    21 Dec 2020 22:01 #192732 by JackW327
    Thanks for review, advice, & tips. Starting with no feedback totally makes sense. Start small & build up is worth the time 99% of the time. I saw on an FB post, I think, that the 7i95 was added earlier in 2020 I think it was. Others have it working so it's possible. Cheers.
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    21 Dec 2020 22:45 #192741 by tommylight
    You are welcomed, always.
    And yes, 7i95 is added to 2.8 and Master/2.9 versions of LinuxCNC, but Pncconf does not have it, so this should help when you get there:

    forum.linuxcnc.org/27-driver-boards/3789...7i95?start=90#175835
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