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Pulse Train Question
« on: July 28, 2012, 11:34:09 AM »
Hi all.
I've built my first 3 axis platform and now I'm looking into its control. Since I can only use a laptop I can see my limitations from reading the various posts.

I have established that I need an external controller and this is where my question arises. Do these controllers have on board hardware timed pulse trains for each axis.

Could i possibly use a controller like this


http://www.ebay.ie/itm/3-Axis-TB6560-Motor-Driver-Stepper-Board-Controller-NEW-/200796507397?pt=UK_BOI_Industrial_Automation_Control_ET&hash=item2ec0678d05

If so, could I use a RS232 (which is the only type on my laptop besides usb) to parallel converter

If anyone has any tips it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Offline Hood

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Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 03:01:53 PM »
Yes the external controllers do the pulsing, up to 4MHz per axis for some of them.

Regarding the TB you linked to, it is not an external controller it is simply an all in one driver/breakout board and needs to interface to Mach via the parallel port and as such it uses the Mach software pulsing engine.
Hood
Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 04:43:24 PM »
Thanks very much for your reply :)

Could you recommend some decent external controllers??.

Ideally I would like an external controller that could talk to Mach 3 and other programming methods via USB/RS232

Do you know if something like this exists??.

Thanks again for your help.

Offline Hood

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Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 04:59:21 PM »
I think the majority of the external controllers that work with Mach only work with Mach.
The Kflop and Galil being the exceptions as they can both be used with their own control software if wanted.
Hard to say what is the best, depends on what features you want I suppose and what price bracket you want to be in. Galils new are probably $3K something like the PoKeys is about $100.
Mid range I would say the best at the moment is likely the Ethernet Smoothstepper or maybe the CSMIO-IP/M but as said all depends on the features you want.
Hood
Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 06:24:07 PM »
The smooth stepper seems to be what I'm looking for and in my price range too.

I may be using a programming software named labview to talk to the external controller so I need to make sure that whatever controller I get will interface with labview.

The reason for this is that I maybe turning my platform into a vision guided pick and place device. I know for sure that labview can do Ethernet communication with various devices but  I guess I will need to contact the smooth stepper support to find out if will do what I need.

Thanks a lot for your help. Hopefully I can find the right external controller that will do what I need.

Offline Hood

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Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 06:28:01 PM »
I dont think the ESS will work with labview but as you say Greg at warp9 will be able to say one way or the other.
Hood
Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2012, 06:43:10 PM »
I'll mail him right away.

Thanks again for your helpful posts. You've helped me eliminate those cheaper controllers on eBay. I thought they were capable of outputting pulse trains.  :)

Offline Hood

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Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 06:45:21 PM »
Just in case you are not aware you will still need drivers for your motors, the ESS and the other external controllers are just that and not motor drivers.
Hood
Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 06:50:37 PM »
I have 3 drivers ready to go for the project :)

It was just the control side I needed to get sorted. I've actually used a national instruments daq device to control one axis already. It can output pulse trains in the MHz range but unfortunately it has just one counter capable of outputting and a daq with 3 high frequency counters is very expensive :(

Offline Hood

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Re: Pulse Train Question
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 06:53:46 PM »
Thats good, was just concerned you thought it was a motor driver as well then ended up getting a shock when you had to spend more money on drives :)
Hood