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Author Topic: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.  (Read 15474 times)

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Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2007, 12:03:40 PM »
Hey Fernando,

We are ordering whole bunch of motors and drivers today and hopefully we can make a simple app using Mach3 and CUBLOC,
I will update you on the results.

Max :)
Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2007, 09:40:46 PM »
^^ Now thats the spirit to grow a business!!!
Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 06:20:25 PM »
Hey Max,
I just got my 2 CUSBs, ill give them a go once i get a sensor I need.

I got one question for you.
I will be using a 201 Gecko drive to move a stepper (www.geckodrive.com) this drive has a 5v common, and i think the inputs for step and direction are pulsed to ground.
I talked to Mariss from gecko, and he told me that I could connect the step input terminal to ground, and then pulse the 5v common, but this way I loose the ability to use the direction input. Since I am going to use the PWM outputs from your cubloc, how should I connect the PWM outputs to the drive in order to have the 5v common and the pulsing ground to the step and direction outputs?

Hope I made sense.
Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2007, 09:09:16 PM »
Max and I have been working on getting our Cubloc modules to talk to Mach3 through Modbus. I dragged out my old homebuilt CNC trainer and got it back in working condition, thanks to the motors and drivers Max mentioned earlier. Played around with Mach3, it's very impressive featurewise. A little confusing to get started, but everything makes sense if you stare at it long enough.

I already had a Cubloc 280 proto board wired up to an SSR board, so I decided to experiment with one output, for the Dremel spindle. After watching the Modbus tutorial video I was able to use the spindle commands to control Coil 0 and automatically activate the spindle.

So far, Modbus with Cubloc appears to work great as a way to get more I/O to a machine. But I'm thinking beyond that; since Cubloc has BASIC and Ladder languages, some functions can be added beyond slave control by Modbus. Possibly do some math on an analog input and potentiometer for an MPG, maybe add some simple ladder logic to detect a fault condition and make sure everything shuts down safely, independent of Mach3 and Windows. Mainly I think the CUSB modules are ideal, they've got the relay outputs, power supply, and screw terminals ready to go. CUTOUCH would be an interesting touchscreen interface, though the Mach3 software has visuals pretty well covered. I guess you could set up a Cutouch in a remote location next to a CCTV monitor and be able to do some basic control of the machine.

Anyway, Modbus works, and we'll be trying out a few more ideas. Let us know if there's anything involving Cubloc and Mach3 you'd like to see us try out.
Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2007, 10:44:52 AM »
Great work!!
People that have machines with automatic tool changers would really benefit from the CUBLOC as it can takes care of all the PLC fuctions to make the tool change, depending on the style of ATC. Some thing like in the case of my tool changer (rotate the spindle to a specific location, keep track of the tool in spindle and update the DRO in Mach3 screen, release the draw bar, tool chage arm comes out takes the old tool from spindle and puts it back in the tool carousel,  indexes carousel to the next needed tool, tool change arm takes the new tool and puts it in the spindle, draw bar pulled back, update the DRO in Mach3 with the new tool number, and start the g-code program from there.)  And it can also keep an eye the process make sure things didn't jamb or tool didn't fall out.
Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2007, 02:43:40 PM »
I hooked the CUSB I ordered to a machine I am building, not CNC related. I was intending to use the CUSB as a stand alone controller, which seemed like a good idea because it can do all the things my machine needs, so no mach3 or modbus needed for this one.
Programming was a breeze, I had the thing do what I wanted before I even got it, and I only learned BASIC programing in junior high, a years worth.
It is a simple program, it operates an indexing table with 5 stations, and the program controls the indexing, each of the actuators on each station, and keeps track of which station has a piece in case one failed to feed to the table.

Only problem I got, is that the command that is used to move steppers (STEPPULSE), which you can add as an argument the frequency of pulses and the number of steps to be outputted, does not have a ramping acceleration, so every time the stepper starts and stops there is a random number of steps lost in the process. I have my stepper motor correctly sized and the load to motor inertia ratio is kept well under 10.

It seems that the STEPPULSE command is fairly new, and that software engineers do not alwas knows what the application engineers need for proper application. So they do not know that ramping is Needed for accurate possitioning.

So I guess I will be using Mach3 to do the movement while the guys at Comfile Tech implement ramping.
I just dont know If i should interphase the cubloc and mach3 through modbus (I dont have a clue on even how to start doing that), or just send mach an input, have mach do the movent, and when finished send an output to the CUSB to do the rest.

So my advise to people considering this to do a toolchanger where the CUBLOC does the stepper movement, is wait till ramping is implemented, or if you can live with slow stepping rates, (about 180Hz) to do the stepping, then you can use it.

Over all, its a good product, good quality, easy to use, well documented, and lots of modularity.

Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2007, 02:58:16 PM »
Thanks for the feedback fer_maryl, we will definitely keep working on the ramping ability. Actually, we did have smooth ramping here in the office, but lost the ability to track the exact number of steps at the same time.

One additional point...the problems seemed specifically with Gecko stepper drivers, possibly due to the common-anode optoisolator instead of common-cathode as our Xylotex drivers use. We were able to get no lost steps under a light load (desktop CNC axis, no cutting) even without ramping up to about 4,000 Hz. So it may be possible that even if we implement ramping, the Gecko drivers will still lose steps without some kind of current buffer.

One other thing that we didn't try, and I'd be curious to hear the results...the mid-band compensation disable jumper on the option block inside the G201 driver.

Anyway, if you want to get Modbus working with the Cubloc, it's pretty simple and I can help you set that up over on the Cubloc forums.
Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2007, 03:07:24 PM »
Oh yea, I forgot to say that...

I had trouble with my geckos, and I suck at electronics so I couldnt even build a buffer. maybe my transistor was bad. I could try again.
But I used a chinese stepper driver with COMMON GROUND, and it work flawless the first time.

Over at the gecko forum they said that the CUBLOC module was having trouble sinking the 16mA the geckos need to operate. But apparently the CUBLOC can sink 40mA per I/O.

so who knows.
The problem I had is that one of my 4 geckos worked, fine, two didnt work at all, and the other one did move the stepper but with missed steps along the way even at 180Hz.

Anyways... your product is a Good one, I dont know how long has the development of these modules been through, but I remember how master 5 and mach 2 started, it has come a VERY VERY long way since then, and all because of the support its coders are giving, and the feedback the users are giving them.

Keep up the Good Work!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2007, 03:23:47 PM by fer_mayrl »

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Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2007, 02:21:03 PM »
Glad to see this thread.   I had independantly discovered the Cubloc devices a few weeks ago but had not realised they had Modbus!

I will have to get a few of these in I think.   Although I hope to buy direct instead of from a UK supplier which typically makes the price 1UKP per $ Which I despise!

May be able to retire my homebrew PicAxe based ATC controller, which sufferered from Mach not having RS232 Rx n Mach's VB Scripting.

The Cubloc is the Product ModIO should of been.  I always thought that although an Admirable product it was let down by not really being programmable, but rather just  io remapped to modbus registes.

I hope to join in this thread when I got my Cubloc's   Got some serious work ahead I think!

Re: Need more IO with Mach? How about 91 with Modbus.
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2007, 07:05:27 PM »
You can buy them in the states


They are located in California i think