Probe Basic Lathe configuration vs pncconf - how to?

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05 Feb 2021 13:33 - 05 Feb 2021 14:31 #197741 by Muzzer
I realise I may have posted this to the wrong sub forum - presumably this is closer to home.

I have my embryonic Colchester Bantam lathe system running semi virtually on the bench (servos turning off the machine etc) using Axis, configured with the pncconf wizard. I have 5i25/7i76, with a 7i85 to be added later.

Just now I followed the instructions for installing Probe Basic Lathe and it went like a dream. kcjengr.github.io/probe_basic/quick_start.html Fantastic, easy to install, no puzzlement. Took me a while to work out what was meant by "after installation probe basic should show up in the linuxcnc launch screen". I finally figured out that the Probe Basic option is only visible if you run the original LinuxCNC installation - I was trying to find and open the existing config from the wizard and of course it doesn't show up there - plenty of VCPs but no PB. So now I have the PB GUI running but it's not configured or connected up to anything yet of course.

The recommended method seems to be to get Axis up and running (which I have), then to install PB (which I have). But how to configure the system with PB so it actually works? The pncconf tool doesn't seem to be able to pick up the PB version for editing and the initial PB config I just created from LinuxCNC is back to vanilla settings. Do I have to manually knife and fork the 2 versions together or manually create the hal and ini files or is there a way to use pncconf?

Things went so smoothly until they stopped and I came to a dead end. Could somebody please tell me how to configure it, ideally using the original configs or the pncconf wizard?

PB is intended for full screen at 1920x1080 resolution. Is it possible / easy to window it or switch tasks so I can do other operations without closing it? As you can tell I am not very experienced with Linux yet.

Thanks!

EDIT - swalts seems to have posed a similar question for his MILL setup but step 5 in his OP doesn't seem to be a key part of the following thread. Mostly it's about probe setup and 7i87 from what I can see. https://forum.linuxcnc.org/qtpyvcp/40608-my-setup-process-confusion?start=50#193773
Last edit: 05 Feb 2021 14:31 by Muzzer.

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06 Feb 2021 02:54 #197805 by Lcvette
If you used the quick install there should be a probe basic config file with an example ini. You will need to setup your ini file for probe basic, and yes you will need to do some minor editing, hal file should not need any work. Mainly just be sure anything in probe basic that is surviving to it is in your pnconfig ini such as the paths for subroutines and what not and the gui name at the top. Should get you going. Lathe had several bugs but we are about to make a version resize that corrects many of them.

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06 Feb 2021 13:43 #197834 by Muzzer
Thanks for the reply!

The slight disappointment to me was that the config generated by the PB install was completely different from the Axis version I'd spent time to get right. All the units, pitches, pulse per rev etc were different, like I'd have to start all over again, this time without the wizard. I was hoping I'd be able to pick them up in pncconf and edit them.

I guess I'll need to spend a bit of time figuring this out but I really don't understand how PB could possibly have guessed all the Mesa settings created by the pncconf wizard as there didn't seem to be anything in the setup to tell it about them. Perhaps a penny will drop for me shortly.

I'll look out for the lathe update. Certainly, the Probe Basic interface looks pretty slick and well thought out!

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06 Feb 2021 17:53 - 06 Feb 2021 18:16 #197853 by Muzzer
Of course, I should have borne in mind that Probe Basic Lathe is installed as a sim, certainly on mine, so there's a simulated_lathe.hal file and most of the screen buttons are dummy. I've no real understanding of how the sim components replicate the "real" functions, or at what level they interface.

I will attempt to substitute my "real" hal file but I have no idea how the VCP buttons connect up under the hood. Studying the sim hal and ini files would seem like a good place for me to start.

If I succeed in replacing the hal file and finessing the ini file, would the VCP then largely work, notwithstanding the outstanding features that may not have been fully implemented?
Last edit: 06 Feb 2021 18:16 by Muzzer.

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07 Feb 2021 21:18 #197956 by Muzzer
By way of an update, I managed to merge the contents of the Axis .ini file into the Probe Basic .ini file. After a few attempts to run LinuxCNC, I cleared the few remaining errors and now I have a running system. I can air cut the pawn test piece with servo motors spinning on the bench. It wasn't as hard as I'd feared.

There are obviously other things I'll need to configure and optimise but for now, I seem to have cleared the initial hurdle. For those changes, I can use an editor or use pncconf to show me the required incremental content

For reference, here is the modified file in its current state. The Axis .hal file didn't need to be changed as far as I remember.

File Attachment:

File Name: probe_basic_lathe.ini
File Size:6 KB


Where can I learn about the VCP settings? When I open the pawn file, the toolpath is tiny and needs to be both reoriented and zoomed in. I'm wondering if this may be because I have set the limits some way out (+/- 100) or because I'm running metric and the file was created in inches?
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24 Feb 2021 14:01 #199985 by Lcvette

Muzzer wrote: By way of an update, I managed to merge the contents of the Axis .ini file into the Probe Basic .ini file. After a few attempts to run LinuxCNC, I cleared the few remaining errors and now I have a running system. I can air cut the pawn test piece with servo motors spinning on the bench. It wasn't as hard as I'd feared.

There are obviously other things I'll need to configure and optimise but for now, I seem to have cleared the initial hurdle. For those changes, I can use an editor or use pncconf to show me the required incremental content

For reference, here is the modified file in its current state. The Axis .hal file didn't need to be changed as far as I remember.

File Attachment:

File Name: probe_basic_lathe.ini
File Size:6 KB


Where can I learn about the VCP settings? When I open the pawn file, the toolpath is tiny and needs to be both reoriented and zoomed in. I'm wondering if this may be because I have set the limits some way out (+/- 100) or because I'm running metric and the file was created in inches?


that is great news!! i think i anwered this in your other thread and that the backplotter in the new release fixes the size issue. but you should make sure that all of your setup configs are for the same unit type mm or inch. my guess though is that it is just because the version of PB Lathe in the current installer is quite outdated.

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