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Aerotech motion systems
« on: November 09, 2010, 09:04:00 AM »
Can anyone tell me if they have used or know if it`s possible to use Mach3 with an Aerotech system of BA drives, brushless DC motors BM130 and the Aerotech U500 "Ultra" ISA Motion card (4 axis), also in the system is the Interface card BB501 and an Opto isolated I/O board.

Thanks in advance for any info/help with this.

Regards
Rob

Offline Hood

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Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 10:42:42 AM »
It is likely the drives will be analogue drives (+-10v input) which is no use for Mach natively, you could use them however with one of the external devices that can accept Step/Dir signals and put out analogue. The devices are Galil, DSPMC and K-Flop(with K-Analog)

If your drives can accept Step/Dir signals then you will be able to use them without using one of these devices but unless they fairly modern it is unlikely.

As for the ISA card then no you wont be able to use that unless you write a plugin for it.

The opto I/O may be of use but will depend what connections it has on it.


Hood

Offline kf2qd

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Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 10:47:17 AM »
The Aerotech U500 is the motion control system. It has the same function as Mach3. What are the interface specs for the drives? do they have an option for steop & direction inputs? In its most general form Mach uses a parallel(printer) port to interface with drives having step/direction inputs. This was originally configured to work with Stepper motors/drives. Over time various manufacturers have developed various servo drives witrh step/direction inputs which offer higher performance/speeds than do stepper motors. There are a couple vendors offerring other interface hardware that works with mach to use analog servos, but that adds to the expense and complexity.

Does your aerotech hardware work? Do you have a computer you can install the cards in and have them function? I believe that the Aerotech hardweare will do all the motion control stuff you might want to do, you may have to come up with a user interface (which would mean some programming).

What are yopu wanting to do with CNC? What hardware do you plan on mounting it on?
Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 11:49:26 AM »
Thanks for the fast replies fellas.

Here is a bit more info for you.

The system is all connected and working, the motors are on a small Denford bench top mill that someone used at a College for a project and the system is currently running from a PC with very old Windows 3.1 and the Aerotech "Legacy" U500 software Version 4.18.

The problem I have is that it was never intended for CNC mill, although I could probably use the 4th axis to operate a spindle drive the software is not suitable for use with a CNC Mill, it is fine for a fixed height Z and linear X and Y moves but it has no tool library not does it have a tool height call out like G43 for example, it does have cutter radius comp but without the full control over the Tool Z height I would have to manually re-set the depth for every cut as I can`t see any way either in the software (So far !!) of pecking down levels, tapping, drilling etc, etc.

All the hardware seems to be fine and suitable for working together on the mill, just seems to be the software that is the problem for what I want to do. Would be a crying shame to have to take it all off and re-fit the whole thing  :'( :'(

From the spec on the drive amplifiers this is what it says for operation with brushless motors "Torque (Current), Velocity, Dual Phase"
so I`m thinking these won`t work with the Mach software then ???

Regards
Rob

P.S. I have got hold of a Galil DMC 1880 Rev G Motion control PCI card, so if that will work the drive amps what else would I need to run Mach and all the periherals like coolant, auto lube, etc ??

Link to drive specs http://www.aerotech.com/products/amps/baspecs.html
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 11:56:50 AM by theoldguy »

Offline Hood

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Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 12:06:57 PM »
The  Galil should be all you need although check on the Galil part of the forum  to make sure it is a supported model. If your Galil does not have the breakout with it you will either need to buy one or make one up.
Hood
Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 05:06:35 PM »
The  Galil should be all you need although check on the Galil part of the forum  to make sure it is a supported model. If your Galil does not have the breakout with it you will either need to buy one or make one up.
Hood

Hi "Hood"

I looked at the Galil section and it says DMC 1800 is supported so I am assuming that means the DMC 18** series of motion cards ???

Thanks for the response, so from what you are saying if I were to get a Galil ICM-2900 Interface  unit that is all I would need to use the existing Aerotech BA drives, BM brushless servos with the Galil 1880 motion card.

Been reading a bit more on the Aerotech system, seems the encoders are fed back to the motion card via the original Interface card and the commutation is done at the original motion card, will the Galil card do the same thing for the servos/drives ?? I can`t seem to find any info on this, from reading a few posts on the Galil section I`m not sure just whether it will or not!!
Sorry for all the "dummy" questions but I`m a bit new to the DIY side of CNC machine controls !!!  :o :o

Regards
Rob

Offline Hood

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Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 05:13:56 PM »
I have never used the Galil so never delved deep into it but yes, encoders would go back to the Galil and it would close the loop to the drives. Coolant and general I/O  etc would be easy enough to do I would imagine but not sure about spindle control. I know the Galil can handle spindle control but whether your spindle drive would be easily integrated I dont know.
I think there are a couple of Galil manuals for download in the Galil section, I remember downloading them when I got a Galil off eBay but never read them as I have not had a use for it yet.
Hood
Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 05:52:24 PM »
Thanks Hood

Hmmm, that sounds OK if it will work like that, I am considering using another bigger Aerotech drive/motor for the spindle and looking at using a spare axis (The Gali is 8 axis) to control it from Mach, I`m thinking if that was possible I could have rigid tapping  ??? ???

Hah, Just got some more info in !!

Seems that to be able to do the proper sinusidal commutation with the Hall Effect required by the Aerotech drive/motor system the Galil has to use 2 axis to control the phases so that would mean I would have to use 6 axis on the Galil to run the X,Y and Z axis, might still be psooible then to run the spindle as an axis and a 4th axis ??

Anyone any more thoughts on this setup ??

Regards
Rob

Offline Hood

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Re: Aerotech motion systems
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 06:03:44 PM »
I am not sure if the Galil supports rigid tapping or not. When using a servo for spindle  and the parallel port it is possible as you can write a custom m code and use the SwapAxis() command and have the spindle turn into an A axis then once rigid tapping is done just swap them back. I use the SmoothStepper and at this time SwapAxis is not supported in it but it may well be in the Galil.

Hood