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Author Topic: Which Galil motion controller?  (Read 3190 times)
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scrambled
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« on: January 05, 2011, 08:56:24 PM »

Hi everyone

I think I have finally had it with my antique hydrapath iii controller.

I am trying to decide on what controller to install on my moog hydrapath mill.

My mill has a 22 tool changer, so I need lots of I/O.  I am also planning on replacing the drives and servos also.

For the ac servos, I am looking at 3 choices:
1.  TECO
2.  Sure servo
3.  Mitisubishi

I am also looking at the vital systems Dspmc controller?

There are so many different Galil controllers, I am at a loss on which ones I need to start comparing.



Thanks for the advice



Steve
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smurph
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 09:58:10 PM »

Good controllers are the DMC-21x3 and DMC-41x3 econo controllers.  However, if you need lots of I/O, then one of the DMC-40x0 controllers may be the ticket.  Or, you can run an econ0 controller for your motion and use another device (such as the CONTEC PIO cards) for I/O.  I have a plugin for the Mesa Anything I/O 5i20 cards that will provide 72 bits of I/O as well.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 10:48:03 PM by smurph » Logged
scrambled
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 10:04:26 PM »

Smurf


Thanks for the info.   I will start looking at these.    Is there a good supplier for these?  Or do I need to look for eBay specials?



Steve
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smurph
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 10:35:17 PM »

Galil is a great supplier of these.  Smiley  http://www.galilmc.com  They have the pricing on their site.  If you get one from eBay, do your homework.  Some of the controllers on eBay are OEM spec controllers that Galil made for many different machine companies.  These can get quite custom and you may not get what you think you are getting.  And Galil will NOT support them.  For instance, I have seen a 5 axis controller with ABCD and F (skipping the E axis).  And I have also seen controllers with custom firmware that is so specialized that it will not work with the regular Galil command set.  So be careful.

The good deal days are gone on eBay.  Most of the time, you can get a brand new 41x3 controller for less money than people want for the older Optima controllers on eBay.  Becuase the Optima controllers used a very special and expensive interface cable that you just have to have and then you will also need an ICM2900 (Breakout board) to go along with it.  The new 41x3 econo controllers make use of cheap DB style connectors making it relatively easy to roll your own cables.

Every now and then there might be a good deal on eBay.  But it's always a risk.  

Don't just look at controller prices.  Make sure you account for everything that is needed.  

Steve
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 10:48:26 PM by smurph » Logged
scrambled
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 12:15:13 AM »

Smurph-

Thanks for the info.  I found the Galilmc site and started snooping around.   

I have two basic questions.  The first is that my mill has three physical axis, and a rotary tool changer that uses a three phase motor with forward/reverse contactors.  At some time, I am hoping to add a A axis for rotary movments.  Would I want a 4 or a 5 axis controller?  I am not sure if I should try to replace the 3 phase tool changer motor with a servo.

The second is should I use the Galil servo drivers or the Mitibushi AC servos and drivers?   


Thanks


Steve
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kcrouch
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 11:09:28 AM »

Steve,
The 5 axis control brings with it an additional 8 inputs and outputs, which I find very useful for things such as implementing an MPG pendant. You can have great success with either the Mitsubishi or Galil amplifiers. The Mitsubishi can handle far larger motors though. You can also use motors and drives from Automation Direct successfully.
Kenny
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smurph
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 12:07:41 PM »

For the axes, you will want:
X, Y, Z, and a spindle.  That would be a 4 axis Galil controller.  Then, if you want an A rotary axis, add one for a total of 5.  And I would add another for your tool changer if you think that a servo will replace the existing tool changer motor for a total of 6 Galil axes.

It's important to remember that to control a spindle motor, not matter if it's a servo drive or a VFD drive, you will need a Galil axis for it.

Steve
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scrambled
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 01:03:28 PM »

Smurph-

That is good to know about the spindle motor.  I figured that since it was a VFD then it did not count as a axis.

The bad thing is that as the number of axis goes up so does the price.


Steve
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 04:09:24 PM »

You don't necessarily need to control the spindle from the Galil.  It's just easiest to do so.  But what is required is an analog output to control the VFD.  So any device that has connectivity to Mach with an analog output can be used.  This could include any number of devices that have plugins or a ModBus capable device.  But then you will need to write brains to do some of the work amongst other configuration that make it a little bit complicated. 

So at ~$100.00 an axis on the Galil, it's actually pretty cheap.  An analog ModBus device would probably cost more.

One thing that can't be done (with any external motion plugin) is use the printer port.  So any printer port breakout boards that may have some spindle functionality just can't be used at all.

Steve
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 11:32:24 AM »

Smurph-

After all the problems from my plasma build, I am looking for the easiest way to connect the motion controller!!!

I was reading the specs on the dcm 4060, it stated that the controller was able to have two encoder inputs for each axis.  So would that mean the servo would have an encoder and then I could also use a glass scale for each axis?

Is that correct?  Is that a feature the Galil can support, but not Mach?
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