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Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« on: July 23, 2011, 11:07:17 PM »
Hi Guys

This might me something everyone knows but thought I'd post anyway....

Mach seems to latch the last keystroke given ie if you fast jog using the shift and arrow keys once the movement starts you don't need to hold the shift key any more and the speed will still remain fast untill the arrow is released..

Thats not aa big deal... however if you are jogging wilth the thumbsticks of a wireless controller and it decides to hibernate after the movement starts... Mach will continue to move as per the last command from the Xbox controller. This can be scary/dangerous/expensive if you were jogging down to set the Z or approaching a wall or cutting manually. 

I'm not sure how Mach nor the Xbox plugin handles the output from the controller (ie is it a constant stream of speed and directtion pulses/commands or polled).

Better safe than sorry so be carefull... especiall with low batteries.



Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 10:25:45 AM »
Using a wireless joystick as a jog pendant is a very bad idea. You have just found out why. Unless you are using a wireless system designed for industrial remote control which has safety measures built in to stop the machine if the signal is lost you are risking your life and limbs. Your much better off with a pendant that has a REAL EStop functionality.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 10:55:28 AM »
Hi Mark,

Thanks for drawing our attention to a potentially dangerous situation.

I agree with Jeff's comments 100% here.

If it is possible for something to go wrong then sooner or later it will happen and personal safety should always be paramount in our minds at all times.

Re: Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 05:55:32 PM »
Thanks guys.. and yes I do agree with your comments.

What is needed is a heartrate monitor in the same way that Mach deals with controllers such as the SmoothStepper or written inside the plugin as with the Huanyang plugin
 I run a Huanyang VFD via a USB-RS485 adapter however the controller can and does loose comms at times however after a set number of failed attempts it will issue an Estop command.

For several reasoms I 'm a big fan of Soft Stops (retract Z and initiate a Stop command) rather than E-stops (drop power)  in most failure modes:

You can stop a spindle much faster if its done via the VFD controll
The Z will retract to a safe Z
Motors are held in place (important in the cas of a heavy Z axis which can freewheel)

However the only for sure failsafe is a big red button that is within reach from anywhere around the machine and kills a power relay directly.

But I think the issue with the Xbox controller is more related to how its integrated in Mach via the plugin, not so much the hardware as I would suspecty an industrial controller essentially was the same bits inside a more robust case.
Re: Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 06:41:32 PM »
Just an update.

Lee has addressed this issue and I'm testing the new release of the plugin Initial testing has shown it to work flawlessly. When comms are droped (ie remove the battery) the machine decelerates to a stop as it should.

He has posted this over in the yahoo group and I would recommend anyone using the wireless plugin to update and test this version.

Big thumbs up... see i still have them :) might have been a different story before.



Offline BR549

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Re: Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 12:42:33 AM »
Out of curiousity have any of yous guys tried the Keyboard adapter for the Xbox controller??

(;-) TP
Re: Wireless Xbox controller cautionary tale
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 02:38:15 AM »
Hi BR549

I don't have any personal experience with the chatpad (assuming thats what you mean) but was following a thread about a group of guys that were making a windows driver for it (Microsoft and Xbox in their wisdow did not make one!) . My understanding is that a workable wired version has been made however there is yet to be one done for the wireless controller. I'm keen to add this accessory also as it would make the Xbox /Chatpad  combo a very cool wireless pendant.

Do a goggle to find the contest thread for the windows chatpad driver for more info.

If you find a wireless driver.. let me know ... I'll be on ebay getting a chatpad pronto!