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Author Topic: Path to convert to Mach  (Read 4819 times)

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Path to convert to Mach
« on: February 22, 2013, 11:49:48 PM »
I have a Precix 5100 router table.  It is 12 years old but in great shape since it's in a mostly hobby/low volume shop and not a lot of hours.  The operating system is Qunix and the human interface is remarkably "featureless".  I get very jealous when I read about all the functionality in Mach 3.  

My router has servos with encoder feedback, a 3hp Perske spindle with VFD, servo amps, and beefy power supply.  The PC has a motion control board in one of the slots.  All is packaged in a PC enclosure.  The PC is a 12 year old technology mini-AT form factor with a 10G drive.  I guess this used to be high performance ;?). I have new spares of all boards.  

How far would I have to gut it to convert it to Mach?  I assume it couldn't be as easy as installing XP and using the existing motion control board???  If not, would I just by a good modern PC and one of the motion control modules on this website and then reuse from the servo amps on?

Any recommendations on best way to move forward would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:51:44 PM by terrymccafferty »
Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 02:04:20 AM »
Hi Terry anyone who has viewed my forums knows I'm not an electronics man, but reading this
http://wefixprecix.com/news.html
You should be able to convert your machine. the last couple of lines give you a clue. Good luck. Jim

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Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 02:50:28 AM »
If the amps are, which they likely will be, +-10v command then your options with Mach are controllers such CSMIO/IP-A, DSPMC, Kflop with Kanalog.
If the amps can accept step/dir signals then possibly just hooking to a computer via  a breakout board would be enough, that is unlikely however.

 Hood
Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 12:07:22 PM »
Yes, they are +/- 10V amps.

The motion control board is a Precision Microdynamics MFIO-3A.  I don't get a hit on that part on pmdi.com website so it's probably made special for Precix.  It's a shame not to use it since the one in the PC is good and the new spare I have I paid $1500 for.  Oh well....

I haven't studied up on the motion controllers on this site.  Any particular one an obvious choice?  I would want 4 axis as I may some day add a rotary 4th axis.

What about an obvious choice for a robust PC for a dusty shop?  I have a good 17" touch screen that should work fine.

Thanks for your help
Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 04:26:07 PM »
Terry just put MFIO-3A in google, its used in lots of applications apart from your machine, you might find some wiring drawings Jim

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Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 05:25:29 PM »
I like the CS-Lab controllers and I am currently putting a CSMIO/IP-A on the Chiron VMC I am doing.
Regarding a PC I usually just have a mother board built into my control cabinets rather than a stand alone PC, I tend to use either Via Pico motherboards or some of the micro ATX motherboards.
Hood
Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 10:10:06 PM »
Hood, the one you are using looks good and price is reasonable.  Since I have a vfd, I want to regulate spindle speed.  Is there an analog out for that?  I assume that doesn't count as an axis on the four axis controller.  Correct?

Do you use the MPG module and pendant?  I assume you can still manually jog,... From the Mach screen without it.  Correct?

Sorry for the likely too simple questions....

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Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 03:21:22 AM »
Yes all the CSMIO models have analogue outputs for spindle but only the A has analogue +-10v and encoder inputs  for axis control so you would need that if keeping your existing amps.
The I/O is in addition to axis outputs on all models so where it says 6 axis of outputs then it has that in addition to the I/O stated and also the analogue I/O is in addition as well.

I do use the MPG module but not the pendant, I just have my own MPG and switches connected to it, see screenshots of small lathe and Chiron VMC panels. Lathe I am using the CSMIO/IP-S and the Chiron CSMIO/IP-A
You can just jog from keyboard if you dont have the MPG module but I would highly recommend it as the motion is excellent via MPG, much better than with the parallel port or the Smoothstepper. I dont know about other motion control devices as I have never used them.

Dont worry about the simple questions, they are only simple if you know the answers ;)


Hood
Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 08:40:01 AM »
Thanks for the response Hood.  Sounds like the path for me.  I'll start putting an order together.  Mach 3 is too cool.  My Precix has essentially no features.  You can basically load a file, set the axis zeros, and run the file.  If you don't like what happened, you go back to the cad/cam file and modify... then move the file back to the router.  I've made thousands of parts that way and it's ok for repeat production.  But, it is miserable for prototyping and one-offs.

Thanks for your help.  I'm sure I'll have questions when I start execution of the conversion ;?)

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Re: Path to convert to Mach
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 01:19:13 PM »
No problem, plenty of people here willing to answer questions and I am sure you will like both Mach and the CSMIO :)
Hood