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Offline bubba

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Best controller card option
« on: December 15, 2013, 10:53:13 PM »
Hello Ladies and gents,

I have been away from Mach3 for several years, actually never made the complete switch I used CNCJOG software ( similar to Camsoft ) until I closed down my shop 3 years ago.

I am starting to setup equipment again and want to make the jump to Mach3.
I still have my controller which was a Galil ISA bus 1800 series, but I want to use a faster computer for Mach and as we know new boards did away with ISA a while ago.

What is the best not insanely priced controller board. I have a bridgeport series II cnc and I am currently doing a DIY mill.  I would like to have about 100 ipm rapids and be able to cut at I would say max 70ipm  mostly around 40ipm

I have been reading thru the forums here and on CNCZONE and my head is about to explode! Some direction please!

Thanks,
Joe

Offline Hood

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 01:42:29 PM »
All depends on what you have and what you want I suppose.
For me I want 24v I/O (lots of them)  analogue inputs for FRO etc and analogue command for the servo amplifiers or if using Step/Dir then I want differential Step/Dir.
 The only ones that fit that criteria as far as I know are the products from CS-Lab, Vital Systems and Galil and possibly the Kflop with the Kanalog.

If just wanting a system with 5v I/O and single ended step dir then there is the Ethernet SmoothStepper, the Kflop, the PoKeys, the UC100 etc

So if you could be more specific about the hardware you are wanting to use then suggestions could be more focused, for example will it be steppers or servos, if servos will it be step/dir drives or analogue command drives.

Hood

Offline bubba

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 02:10:19 PM »
Thanks Hood,

This machine is going to be steppers nema23 or nema32 maybe spindle speed control and coolant. I do not neeed alot of IO

Main thing is I want is for the control to have a look ahead ( buffer ) so that the machine does not do the little pause at the beginning or end of each line of code like the old AHHA systems did.

I just found a used Galil 18x3 PCI pretty inexpensive so I think I will pick that up.
If I remember correctly running steppers I would be able to run 3 axis plus MPG handwheel pendant with that. And I could update the computer that has the old ISA card in it.

But I am open to suggestions, I do not want to spend money twice and up with a new paperweight ( already have enough of those ! )

Offline Hood

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 02:25:11 PM »
I dont think any controllers that work with Mach will have issues with the look ahead.
If you can get a Galil for a reasonable price then it will be a good match as likely it will be relatively easy to swap over.

Hood

Offline bubba

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »
Thanks Hood do you remember on the Galil cards on steppers if you do not need the extra axis to run the pendant handwheel. I remember that I had a 4axis card and was able to run 4 axis + pendant handwheel. But I am not positive on the 18x3. I am downloading the manual now.

Thanks,
Joe

Offline Hood

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 03:18:02 PM »
Sorry dont know anything about the Galil capabilities, did have one but never used it as the CSMIO/IP-A was a better option for me.
You should get the answers if you post on the Galil section of this forum however.
Hood

Offline bubba

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 03:34:33 PM »
The answer is yes. The Galil has a Aux encoder input that can be used for the MPG handwheel pendant.
Did not think about it until now though I do not know how Mach utilizes the MPG handwheel. So much to read !!!

But at least this go round the machines are not making parts all day long, so I can take the time to do it correct.

Thanks again Hood for all the help.  I remember you from a while back. Seems like it has been 10 years since I last messed with Mach

I will setup with Galil for now.

Did they ever get the smooth stepper board to work correctly. I thought about ordering one to try it out.

Thanks,
Joe

Offline Hood

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 04:04:00 PM »
The Ethernet Smoothstepper works well for the most part, the only complaints I had were the Step/Dir spindle had slight issues with it. As previously mentioned however it is just 5v I/O  so I have moved on from it to other controllers, all boils down to what you want in a controller I suppose :)

Hood
Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 09:44:57 AM »
Hello,
   I have a Galil 4163 ethernet card , and am currently using Camsoft to run a 4 axis mill, with a router spindle motor, have had a issue setting up the handwheel with the camsoft and galil, it makes me use the 6th axis and wouldnt accept the aux, for the handwheel.
 Any Ideas?
Calvin

Offline Hood

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Re: Best controller card option
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 09:48:21 AM »
Best talk to Camsoft as this is the Mach forum.
Hood