LinuxCNC 2.9 on Laptop with ExpressCard parallel port??

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07 Aug 2020 09:42 #177589 by franstrein
Hi there,
I am in the process of migrating my current LinuxCNC installation of my Deckel Fp1 to v2.9 on Mint 20..
That requires a 64-bit machine architecture, so I needed a different PC for that, and am considering to use an old Thinkpad T410 laptop .. (I know laptops are not perfect for CNC, but sofar the test installs look ok, and my speed requirements are not extremely high).
Ultimately I want to use Mesa Ethernet cards for the hardware, but since some are out of stock, I want to start with my current parallel port setup.
I ordered a Docking Station with parallel port, but that appears to be the wrong one . (subtle connector difference between a T400 and a T410 ::ohmy: ).
So another option could be an "ExpressCard 34 with parallel port". That is supposed to connect to the PCI bus inside the laptop.. See sample picture in the attachment...)

Is anyone having any experience with a setup like this on a LinuxCNC machine? Would that work ?

Thanks,
Frans
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07 Aug 2020 11:23 #177593 by tommylight
I did have PCMCIA cards that worked perfectly with LinuxCNC, so the 34 should theoretically also work.
But i am afraid that the Lenovo will be useless as i have X220 and T420S and they are useless except for simulation. The latency on them is terrible due to too much power saving stuff.

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02 Sep 2020 11:25 #180416 by seuchato

franstrein wrote: Hi there,
I am in the process of migrating my current LinuxCNC installation of my Deckel Fp1 to v2.9 on Mint 20..
That requires a 64-bit machine architecture, so I needed a different PC for that, and am considering to use an old Thinkpad T410 laptop .. (I know laptops are not perfect for CNC, but sofar the test installs look ok, and my speed requirements are not extremely high).
Ultimately I want to use Mesa Ethernet cards for the hardware, but since some are out of stock, I want to start with my current parallel port setup.
I ordered a Docking Station with parallel port, but that appears to be the wrong one . (subtle connector difference between a T400 and a T410 ::ohmy: ).
So another option could be an "ExpressCard 34 with parallel port". That is supposed to connect to the PCI bus inside the laptop.. See sample picture in the attachment...)

Is anyone having any experience with a setup like this on a LinuxCNC machine? Would that work ?

Thanks,
Frans


Frans

I have a Z61p, T500 which will be decommissioned from daily use soon. These are not too far away from your T410 and require a pci express PP card too. However, I fear the latency test results will prove that tommylight is right. Il check them as soon as a can get my hands on them. Kindly check here say in a week or two.

Does you FP1 run on linuxcnc already? Do you have any details maybe already somewhere on the web? If, I would be grateful to get the link. We have our FP2NC now at home. Soon I have the opportunity to work on its conversion (retrofit) to linuxcnc.

Greez
chris
The following user(s) said Thank You: PCW

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02 Sep 2020 12:16 - 02 Sep 2020 12:20 #180423 by BeagleBrainz
Last year I bought a serial ExpressCard 34 card for my T530, which shows as a USB serial port. So just make sure it is an actual PPort and not a funky USB to PPort.

I get pretty good latency on my T530 using Mint 19.2 and 4.19.106-rt44-lcnc PREEMPT kernel.
Last edit: 02 Sep 2020 12:20 by BeagleBrainz.

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08 Sep 2020 11:37 #181250 by franstrein
Hi all,

Thanks for the responses.
For the parallel port question: I did purchase an expresscard but cancelled that purchase since that model was still using a USB connection to parallel.
I ended up with rebuilding a desktop PC, using a spare motherboard with a 64-bit i5 processor on it. I am currently in the process of configuring and testing LinuxCNC 2.9 with Mint 20 on it. Still some smaller issues to solve.

Chris: Regarding my Deckel FP1 conversion to CNC. I did this about 6 years ago, using stepping motors, with a toothbelt transmission to the normal X,Y and Z spindles. That is working very well. Only issue is sometimes backlash (my FP1 is from about 1956, so a little old...). Therefore I am considering to add linear encoders (glass scales) with a feedback loop using Mesa cards. Which was the reason I wanted to go to LinuxCNC 2.9 . But that all needs to be done.
On my youtube channel "franstrein" you can find some recordings of the first steps testing my setup.
Feel free to ask for more info through a pm.

Frans

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23 Oct 2020 04:35 #186967 by seuchato
Do you need 2.9, would'nt 2.8 do as well? I just asked, because 2.8.0 is so stable.

I am soon done with bringing our FP2NC to our workshop. It has a dialog 4. I will make some parts and then start a retrofit too. Won't do it with steppers. I'd rather keep the servos and amps I have. Maybe the LS903 glassscales have to be replaced or repaired any time soon. If this happens, it will immediately trigger the retrofit. If, it will be mesa based, be it pci or ethernet.

greez
chris

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23 Oct 2020 04:49 #186968 by BeagleBrainz
If you are going to use Mint 20 I'd compile everything natively on Mint 20 rather than using the Debian packages. The dev package can cause a issue or 2 with dependencies.

Even still I'd run with Mint 19.3 and build Linuxcnc 2.9 on that.

Actually you could use my Mint 19.3 ISO and build 2.9 on that. Or if there is a call I could easily make the 2.9 packages for Mint 19.x, but so far no one has requested that.

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