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Messages - Warp9TD

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31
General Mach Discussion / Re: Smooth Stepper
« on: October 28, 2008, 07:51:41 PM »
Groom Lake
Area 51

I think  ;)

Graham

LOL, How did you know that?  Occasionally you can find me in Blaine, MN too (as Rich correctly identified my other secret hiding spot).

Flipz01, I don't know about the shipping and delivery part of this.  If you send an e-mail to sales@warp9td.com, Stephanie will be able to assist you.  If you have sent your e-mails to that address, I'll have to find out why your e-mails have gone unanswered.

Thanks to all that have given the SS a thumbs up.  I'm not much of a salesman, so I'm glad the product is standing on its own.

Greg Cary
Warp9 Tech Design, Inc.

32
SmoothStepper USB / Re: Strange issue since installing SS
« on: August 23, 2008, 11:07:20 PM »
Hi Richard,

Thanks for the detailed reply.  I'll have to give this some thought.  What version of the SS plugin are you using?

I'll take your advice for now and work on threading :-)  But let me know if the problem recurs.  Once you have it running properly, be sure to save the XML so that you can switch back and forth between the two XML files.  If you can reproduce it reliably, then I should be able to do it here too, if you send the XMLs to me.

Thanks,

Greg


33
SmoothStepper USB / Re: Strange issue since installing SS
« on: August 23, 2008, 08:58:10 PM »
Brett was kind enough to alert me to this thread.  And thank you Brett for all the time you have spent helping out.  I read through all the posts, and one thing I would like to mention about the red LED is that it needs to be on before the FPGA on the board will program.  There is a signal that is output from the FPGA that says it is ready to be programmed, and this signal drives the red LED.  It needs to clear its internal memory before it is ready, and it needs to wait for all three of its power supplies to be within specification (1.2V, 2.5V, and 3.3V).  It should be within a tenth of a second or so.  In other words, fast.  The blue LED is simply connected to the 5V of the board.  The green LED is the DONE signal from the FPGA.  When it first powers up, the blue and red LEDs should be on steady.  Then it will program once the plugin runs, and the red LED will go out and the green LED will come on.  The only LED of the three that can be turned on or off by the FPGA is the red one.  Once the plugin is talking to the FPGA, it will command it to blink the red LED every time it sends a packet of information.  This happens approximately 10 times per second.

I'm not sure why you are seeing the inaccuracy with the X axis, but I have an idea.  The current plugin can be off by one step at any moment in time, but it will never accumulate errors.  The reason is because I needed to find a way that it would respect setup and hold times for the step signal relative to direction.  In other words, lets say that it just output a step signal at the time it was doing a direction reversal.  To make sure the stepper (or servo) driver's timings were not violated, I had to implement some hysteresis in the step signal.  If it just output the step, then it can't output a step immediately when it changes direction.  It has worked out well, especially for machines that have a high number of steps/unit, because in those systems, one step means very little.  Like I said, it never accumulates error, it just could be off by a step.  Being the perfectionist I am, I am going to remove the hysteresis, yet also provide the necessary delays that I couldn't add before.  I have a solution in mind that will work quite well.  I will implement it soon, after I finish threading and soft limits.

Please let me know if the error you see is more than one step, otherwise this probably explains it.

Thanks,

Greg

34
General Mach Discussion / Re: I must be losing it
« on: July 29, 2008, 03:40:02 AM »
By the way, the C23 will mostly work right if the jumpers are not installed because the I/O signals actually drive enough current to power the board through the wrong paths.  I was measuring a lot of crosstalk between various signals, and the high-speed optos would not even work.  But all the rest of it worked.  Then I powered it properly and it worked great.

Greg

35
General Mach Discussion / Re: I must be losing it
« on: July 29, 2008, 03:35:42 AM »
I am wondering if it is because the C23 is not powered properly.  The SmoothStepper has a jumper on pin 26 of each header that supplies 5V to the C23.  I learned the hard way that the C23 will function pretty well but not perfect if the jumpers are not installed.  If they are installed (I ship them with the header on just one of the two pins, short out the jumper to apply 5V to the C23), then measure the voltage with a multimeter to see if the SS is able to supply enough current.  If not, the voltage will be low.  It could be that your USB port is not supplying enough current (if you're using the USB port for power).  See if you can trace the signal backwards from the input.  Arturo should be able to help you if you need assistance tracing it backwards through the circuit.  Let me know how it goes.

Thanks,

Greg

36
SmoothStepper USB / Re: SS MPG output current?
« on: July 11, 2008, 10:00:19 PM »
Thanks Brett for contacting me.  The SS's 5V output is not very limited.  There is a ferrite that is in line and it is a 4A device I think.  But I really don't know how much current the PCB can handle.  But it is safe to say that the MPG at 50 mA is no problem.  The 32 mA output limitation is for the output driver chips, and doesn't apply to the 5V output terminal.  If the power is being supplied by the USB, you might run into problems with using too much USB power.  The SS declares itself as a standard power device (100 mA).  I didn't want to comply with the requirements for a high-power device.  If it is high-power, it must first start as standard power, and then transition to high power (500 mA).  I didn't want to include the power management electronics.  But I don't think there is a problem if you use more than 100 mA.  If you do, and your computer doesn't like it, then you can use the external 5V input.  Then you can use a fair amount of current.  Easily an amp or more without a problem.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Greg

37
SmoothStepper USB / Re: I want my SmoothStepper!
« on: February 22, 2008, 06:10:55 PM »
I see you took my advice and found something to take your mind off the SmoothStepper!  :)  Don't blame me though.  You could have taken up something with less risk.  But I see you got bored and have come back to CNC.  It is a strong force.

I estimated 4 to 6 weeks in my last post.  I'm certainly on the latter side of that right now.  I should be receiving the blank boards today.  I will build one and test it this weekend.  Hopefully it will work well and I will be able to get them manufactured, tested, and shipped by the middle of March.

Thanks,

Greg

38
SmoothStepper USB / Re: I want my SmoothStepper!
« on: January 30, 2008, 11:54:18 PM »
Hi from the SmoothStepper Greg :-)

I'm getting pretty excited about this myself.  There have been refining a few things, and it is looking pretty good at this point.  I am starting to finish up the final PCB layout and I'll order a few prototypes on Monday.  I need to make sure there aren't any mistakes before I have a production quantity of boards made.  Unfortunately, it is going to be at about 4 to 6 weeks before I'll get them out the door.  So please hang in there.  Watch the Super Bowl, clean up the shop, do whatever it takes to keep your mind off the SmoothStepper :-)

Thanks,

Greg

39
SmoothStepper USB / Re: Welcome to SmoothStepper forum.
« on: December 16, 2007, 01:26:37 AM »
Sorry for the lack of updates lately.  Getting all the beta test units out the door was a bit time consuming.  But most of them have arrived at their destination now.  There have been a few issues that we've worked through, such as problems getting initial configuration values in the XML.  My fault for it being a bit confusing.  I'm working on some startup dialogs that will make sure it is painless.  There are just a few parameters that are unique to the SmoothStepper.  Otherwise, the SmoothStepper uses all of the XML values that the Parallel Port uses.  I've had reports of beta testers using their existing XML files without any issues.  The SmoothStepper can assign any signal to any input or output pin as appropriate.

Right now I'm working on the jog routine.  When I initially coded it, I didn't take into account that someone might be switching the jog speed from a higher value to a lower value.  This became evident when operating it with a Shuttle.  I think the modifications to the code will actually make it a bit smaller.  Too bad I didn't do it this way in the beginning :-).

It is still hard to say when I'll have production boards available, but I'm shooting for mid-January to February.  The Warp9TD.com website is coming along.  I think the SmoothStepper forum will eventually be headquartered there.  Not much over there in the way of documentation, but I hope to get some of that online soon as well.  You're welcome to check it out, though there might still be some startup issues with the website.  I was having trouble tonight logging in with Internet Explorer, but no problems with Firefox.  So if you can't log in, try Firefox.  Actually, I'm a big fan of Firefox, so if you use Internet Explorer you might want to try FireFox :-).  But the login problem was isolated to me, so you might not have any problem.  You can join the forum over there and ask questions.  Or ask them here.  Right now that will be the quickest way to find out more about the SmoothStepper.

Greg

40
SmoothStepper USB / Re: Welcome to SmoothStepper forum.
« on: November 16, 2007, 11:58:13 PM »
Backlash compensation is something that really intrigues me, but I have not worked on yet.  The compensation is performed after Mach calculates the motion data, which makes it tricky.  I'll look at adding it to the plug-in after the SS is released.  Hopefully it won't be too hard to implement.

Thanks,

Greg

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