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Messages - smurph

Galil / Re: Galil Slave Axis
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:39:14 PM »
We can't just dump Gcode to the Galil, unfortunately.  Lots of problems with that.  There is no Gcode to Galil code translation that matches up 100%.  For example, there is no way to do a helical move in Galil code.  (thread milling).  The CR command is 2D only (vector mode).  Now, one could possibly work out an ecam based on the position of the X and Y axes and then gear the Z to the ecam.  But that would involve loads of calculations that had to be done at the time of the helical move.  

The bottom line is that Mach is providing a lot of stuff that a G code machine controller should do that the Galil cannot natively do.  Believe me when I say that Kenny and I have thought about this plenty!  If we could use Mach for things that the Galil can't do very well on its own and use all Galil code for the rest, then that would be awesome!  The problem is that it is all or nothing.  :(

The KS command on the Galil has the distinct disadvantage of being in effect all of the time.  I played with it for a bit.  To effectively use it with Mach, we would have to change it's value constantly depending on accel, decel, or slew conditions.  There is no static KS value that we can use to cover all types of motion.  We would have to build a lookup table in the config so that the user could set KS values that work for their machine.  Then we would have to detect accel, decel, and slew conditions in the plugin and set KS accordingly.  That is a a lot of work to run steppers on a motion controller more suited to run servos.  There is no doubt that smoother stepper motion can be achieved with KS, but it is much more suited to working with a hand written Galil motion program that is designed to be "run" on the controller.

Of course, the higher the resolution (steps per rev) the motors/drivers are capable of, the less of an issue all of this becomes.  Step "spacing/smoothing" is needed less.  Servos tend to be geared down and have much higher steps per unit than steppers do.  My servos do 12700 counts per inch.  Way less than one micron resolution making the smoothing issue a moot point.

The good news is that I can happily report that Mach4's motion is much smoother.  There are some videos Brian put up on you-tube that are quite impressive.  Still no 3rd order, but it is definitely less "pausey" than Mach3.  3rd order is coming though.  With Mach4, I'm planning on taking advantage of the newer Galil controller's PVT mode.  It should be a great combination.


Galil / Re: Galil Slave Axis
« on: March 27, 2013, 02:17:41 PM »
The ESS works fine.  I have one right here and it does a fine job.  The nice thing about it is that it is able to handle fractional steps.  The Galil cannot, hence my comment about the Galil running steppers being course.  The ESS is definitely smoother.  And unlike the G100, it works.  :)

However, the Galil has a particularly nice advantage of being able to also run programs at the same time it is running motion.  THAT, is what makes it a very powerful motion controller.

The 1760 will require the Smart Term drivers.  And there is no support for that controller in any of the newer Galil drivers (Galil Tools/Galil Suite).  So you will be relegated to using the 4.4 version of the plugin, which is ancient.  Getting things working with that code base is going to be a real challenge.  :(

The 2182 is a different story.  Ethernet.  It requires no drivers from Galil as it is just using the drivers that come with Windows.  And it can use the newer 4.5 plugin code base.  That is what we may be able to work with.


I hate to tell you, but we turn the trajectory planner on the Galil off in the plugin.  Meaning we don't use it.  We use Mach's trajectory planner.  We can/do use linear interpolation on the Galil, but we set the vector accel so high as to effectively turn it of.  In other words, we tell the Galil to do what Mach says.  Mach sends the same trajectory to the Galil running servos as it does to the parallel port or any other motion controller for that matter.  So if you are seeing a problem with trajectory, then it is going to be something else other than Mach (steppers? closed loop? controller?).

I regularly machine aluminum parts at 60 IPM (~1500mm/m) and my rapids are 500 IPM (12700mm/m) on a table that weighs 832 lbs (377kg) with my Mach3/Galil controlled Matsuura mill.  It is, as you say, stunning.  There is a difference between steppers and servos.  There is a reason servos cost more.  You may find that if you want that kind of performance, you may need to get off of the stepper train. 

Now, I confess to being a bit of a servo snob.  :)  There is a roll for steppers and people do build quality machines with them.  I can't though.  I have tried.  Maybe I just don't know what I'm doing with steppers. 

Also, the difference between steppers and servos could not be more polar opposites.  Steppers have lots of holding power where servos are weak in that area.  Servos have much more power as the RPMs increase and thus are better for accelerating and decelerating a load smoothly.  So if you want smooth accel/decel and high speed, servos are the way to go.  Not saying it can't be done with steppers, just that it just fits a servo system better/easier. 

Having an ESS here to play with, and tons of Galils as well, I can honestly say that if you are running stepper motors you will most likely find the ESS to be a better fit.  It is way smoother.  It is not just a guess.  I know this to be true.  There is a reason "smooth" is in the name.  The Galil just can't run the steppers like the ESS can.  You can hear and feel the difference. 

We are working on the code for the gantry homing problem.  I don't have a machine with a gantry, so it is a lot of trial and error.  And I don't have a lot of time these days.  But I think we have the problem solved.  I'll post up a link to a test plugin for people to try.


Galil / Re: DMC-2133+servo+Mach3
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:19:45 PM »

That link has all you need.  Manuals (English only, I'm afraid), Software (Galil Suite-lite), and ICM options.


Galil / Re: Galil Slave Axis
« on: March 25, 2013, 04:28:52 AM »
Ok, first off I need some more information.  What model controller do you have?  This can make a BIG difference.  What ICM are you using on the Galil?  Also, you mentioned stepper motors and that begs the question of why you are using a Galil?  A Galil is a VERY complex controller that is more suited to take advantage of servos.  It can use steppers, but unless you are also using the Galil micro stepping drivers, it tends to be rather course.  An Ethernet Smooth Stepper would be a far more efficient stepper controller.

Also, while the Galil can use steppers, the plugin was not written with them in mind.  The plugin was written to give Mach the ability to run servos.  It may not do the right thing for slaving step motors.  I have never tried it.  So tell me what all you have and what you plan to do with it and I will do some source code and manual reading to see if it can be done.


Galil / Re: DMC-2133+servo+Mach3
« on: March 25, 2013, 04:15:02 AM »
I can't say for sure because I know nothing about the Force Dynamics ICM that is currently mounted to your 2133.  All I can say is that usually the 21x3 boards come from Galil with a ICM-10100 or a ICM-20105.

If you have the amps and servos that connect to that Force Dynamics ICM, then you may be able to use them.  But you did not specify for what type of machine (mill/lathe) or what size the amps and motors are.

As for drivers, you don't need any.  All you need is the version 4.5 of the Galil plugin and an Ethernet connection between the Mach PC and the Galil.  You will also want to get the Galil manuals for the DMC-21x3 controller as a working knowledge of the Galil is pretty much required.  Read them and learn them.  You can also get software from Galil to operate the controller through a terminal interface.

Typically, one would use the Galil software to setup and tune the motors BEFORE you even start trying to configure Mach.


Galil / Re: Galil Slave Axis
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:47:31 AM »
Damn dude!  You have a funny way of asking for help.  Complain and bash.  

The Galil plugin has nothing to do with the quality of Mach or the Galil hardware.  The Galil plugin is not sold by Mach.  It is a community effort.  The source code is available, all you have to do is ask.  The Galil plugin is free.  Others have great results with it.  Your mileage may vary.

Care to re-phrase your question?  BTW, I am one of the authors of the Galil plugin that you are less than impressed with.  


Galil / Re: DMC-2133+servo+Mach3
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:03:02 AM »
Yeah, you will have to get a different ICM for that 21x3 board.  Unless you have, and want to use, the motors that went with that Force Dynamics ICM.  Go to Galil's website and lookup the ICM that you need. 

ICM-20100    Interconnect with D-type
ICM-20105    Interconnect with optoisolated I/O

These are the usual suspects.


Galil / Re: Galil support
« on: March 16, 2013, 03:28:14 AM »
Unfortunately, Galil has been plagued with support calls from people that buy the surplus controllers that have been dumped on the auctions sites.  And we are partly to blame.  :(  But most of the time they will support these controllers if they were sold by Galil in the first place.

They also sell controllers to companies at a reduced cost with the agreement that these companies provide the support.  I think this is what happened to you.

I have a few Galil 1341 VME bus controllers that if you call Galil with a question about, they ask "What is a 1341?".  They do special boards for companies that were never meant to be in the "wild".  They are like one off designs and they cannot possibly be supported.  Their support techs will not even know of their existence.

If your controller does indeed have a bad input, then Galil will service it for a very modest fee.  Just follow their return instructions on their site.  I've had numerous controllers repaired and I have never been disappointed or sticker shocked.  

Also, you can post to their web forum and get a lot of help there from the Galil staff as well as other users.

I still think Galil is a very friendly company.  Much better than others that I shall refrain from naming.


Galil / Re: camsoft conversion
« on: February 20, 2013, 07:03:08 PM »
I have never configured a opto22 with the galil.  :( They have instructions on how it is done on the Galil web site.  And it depends on what is driving the opto22 board.  If it is a Contec card, I wrote a plugin for capsteve that can be downloaded.  If the galil is already wired directly to it (using extended io, etc...), then all you have to do is some galil plugin config.


Galil / Re: Remote jog pendant again
« on: February 04, 2013, 02:21:39 PM »
Nice!  That sharpening proggy will be sweeeeeeeeet!