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Topics - Jackal

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General Mach Discussion / PMDX and extra parallel port?
« on: May 14, 2011, 10:45:40 AM »
I bought a PMDX  126 board. After looking at the  manual on it,  it says you can run it to (2) parallel ports for the extra I/O 's. Or you can run it in expanded mode and get the extra I/O's through one port.

I want to set it up  so  extras can be added later as needed. It would be aggravating to get it running and tuned, then need to add some items, and have to start over.

My second parallel port is the one Simpson recommended here:


It isn't installed, yet.

Another problem is my pendant:


It connects through a 2nd parallel port, using the c22 card:


Now does this mean I need (3) parallel ports????? :o

Is that even possible or just crazy?

Maybe I'm making this too complicated. I don't want machine looking like the space shuttle wiring.

Could I use the (2) parallel ports. One for the pendant, and the other for the PMDX 126 board ( running it in the expanded mode)?

This something that needs to be figured out now before the B_O_B  in mounted.

Maybe it is intimidating because I'm a newbie at this. That PMDX board is nice, but the instructions are  a little intimidating to me. The more you read it the more sense it makes.

I have the Gecko booklet next to me,  and checking where it all goes.

Thanks a lot,

Let me know if this is an overcomplicated mess, or something needs to be changed   before I get too far along.


General Mach Discussion / Which breakout board are you running?
« on: May 07, 2011, 08:54:38 AM »
I'm having to select a different board.

The PMDX-122  looks really good. How do you hook up a controller for a VFD?

They have a PMDX-106 for interface with the PMDX 122. It is a VFD control board.

Do some of you have any other suggestions?   

How easy was your board to connect and get running?  Any glitches with Mach3?



General Mach Discussion / Mounting a transformer
« on: May 04, 2011, 02:38:32 PM »
I was wondering if I need to move my power supply transformer closer to the servo drives? Right now it is in the factory Hurco position, which is in the power cabinet with all of the contactors & other stuff.

Hurco had it this way & ran the supply wires to the servo drive side. Then they put the Capacitor/Rectifier right next to the drives.

Some of the power supply plans and servo manufacturers say to keep the lines short as possible going from the capacitor to the drives.

They never say anything about from the transformer to the caps.

It is already mounted all neat and clean in the factory position.

Let me know some ideas on this. The wires now are about 6ft ( 1.5 meters) long from the transformer to the capacitor.



I am looking at other drives becasue the Dugong is not available right now and is back-ordered.

One of the other manufacturers just told me that I needed a larger and more expensive drive because the diameter of the motor is the criteria for the drive, not the rated current.

This is something I am not familiar with.  My servo motors are right under  maximum for their drive.  According  to their specification manual  their driver can handle more than a  20%  over-voltage.

This is confusing. Can someone line me out on this? ??? :-\


General Mach Discussion / Power supply question
« on: April 25, 2011, 09:32:52 PM »

I am having trouble with the availability of the Dugong drives. Mine have been on order since March, but they do have the Whales in stock.

The power supply transformer in my Hurco now is  60 volts x ( 1.414 bridge rectifier) = 84.84 volts output.

The servo motors are 90VDC, 20A peak & 12A continuous.

Dugong drives are 160v & 35A.

The Whales are 80v & 20A.

Is there any way I could drop my power  supply down a few volts and use the Whales?

Or, do I really need the Dugongs because of the servos  increasing the current  during  coast down?

There is a braking resistor they have specifically  for the Whale & Dugong.

This is just a thought I'm knocking around to get my retro started. I would like to get the dirty work out of the way  before the weather starts getting too hot.

Plus the Whales are $70 each cheaper than the Dugongs.

Thanks in advance ,

General Mach Discussion / Are these Litton encoders ok to re-use?
« on: April 19, 2011, 10:38:19 PM »
Ia a tearing into my Hurco and it is gutted in the drive side cabinet. After taking the covers off of the encoders, they don't look too bad. I was expecting oil contamination and maybe some dust/shavings, etc. They are super clean.

MY first intent was to install new encoders. Eliminate any old bad parts that might fail or have problems now when at operating temperature.

 Would these old ones be sufficient with  the Dugong drives and Mach 3?

Would it be better to trash these and not look back?

Thanks for the info.

JAckal :)

General Mach Discussion / Question about wire gauge & applications
« on: April 04, 2011, 09:26:52 PM »

I have started getting everything together. My next concern is the wiring. Most of the signal/communication, and encoders connections on the Dugong drives  & B_O_B board, are RJ45 network connectors.

This cable length(s)  will be  measured after all hardware is temp. mounted  & mocked up.

All cables are going to have factory formed ends on them.

All of the other wiring is what my concern is.  What wire size should be  used for the powering of the Dugongs?

Usually I always go the next size bigger in wire as long as it doesn't affect mobility & flex for the application.

What about re-using some of the wiring that is coming out of the Hurco?

A lot of it looks new and the insulation isn't peeling or cracked. There is about 7,000 mile of wire in that machine. ::)

Not to be cheap, it just seems like a waste to throw it away. Another thing is using different colored wire makes it easy to trace problems.

I have the numbered tube markers for labeling the wire. They are on the Hurco.

Should I just go to an  electronics store and buy 50' each of  stranded wire in the 4 or 5 different colors of most used gauge? 

I want to do this right. It would be a shame to have problems becasue of  a short cut.

A lot of the new wire is made in China and it seems more likely to fail than some of the old Hurco wire.

The  new wire feels cheap.


General Mach Discussion / Ordered 3 Dugong drives for my Hurco
« on: March 24, 2011, 08:16:38 PM »
Today I ordered 3 Dugong drives for my Hurco KM3p. Also a CNC4PC C32 B_O_B, DG34 Power board, and a c24 parallel connector.

When  I start taking everything apart & building back, it will be  documented with pictures.

Thanks in advance for all the help needed from you guys.

JAckal :)

General Mach Discussion / How to connect buttons in Mach
« on: March 06, 2011, 11:10:07 AM »
I see these neat control  panels created by Hood and others, and was wondering about the buttons.

When you connect a button to  control for  "feed hold" or something, does it connect to the pin (example pin #18) & to the ground or where does it go?

The layouts and assignment to the pins look straightforward, but the wiring is cloudy to me.

Which way to assign the pin is a little confusing. There is Keygrabber, hotkeys, VB script <( is this really using a brain?) & then you have the PoKeys & Modbus.

A little help on the wiring part, and there is  a lot of info on ways to assign the control number to the button.

I really like the way Hood has his controls . Those track ball keyboards are too cool. Plus he has just the basic buttons that you need.

Hope this isn't too complicated, or stupid. ::)

Thanks in advance,


General Mach Discussion / Need recommendation for geckos & BoB
« on: November 18, 2010, 02:02:46 PM »
I have a Hurco Knee mill KM3p. After looking at every system imaginable, the Mach3 & Geckos keep coming up. Now it's time to buy!!!! ;D

My old servos are 90vdc and 12 amp continuous- 20 amp peak.

Which Geckos do I need for this? The 320, 320x ,or 340 ? I don't know enough about the different options to select one.They are on sale right now.

Also, The Break out Board. Which one???

CNC4PC, Bob Campbell, or Homann designs? Also which model? I've  read where ones  that have opto-isolaters won't work with certain Geckos, etc.

 I'll go with US encoders. Is there a preference for those? Do I need  differential type encoders or not?

I've checked with different companies they change  their products without changing manuals. You have to wait for a revision, or they don't reply for a week or 2 and you wonder how long they will be in business.

Geckos have been around a while, and people other than the factory can figure out the problems.

Same with Mach3, guys like Hood (among others) can set that up in their sleep. ;)

Thanks in advance,


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