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Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« on: May 20, 2014, 12:17:21 PM »
Two Issues to Clarify

Have Galil board:  Galil has a nice simple program language.  How to convert G code to Galil language.  Surely this has been done and completely checked out?  Can we have a single standard unified program for this--- checked for quality.  Any comments.

Second Issue:  Where are the motion control board guys on the critical path to completion of whatever they are working on?

Have a lathe Leblond 17x80 want to try Mach 4 now.  Nearly ready with mechanicals servo cabinet etc,
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 12:20:45 PM by Jim Pettit »

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 07:22:23 PM »
Two Issues to Clarify

Have Galil board:  Galil has a nice simple program language.  How to convert G code to Galil language.  Surely this has been done and completely checked out?  Can we have a single standard unified program for this--- checked for quality.  Any comments.

Second Issue:  Where are the motion control board guys on the critical path to completion of whatever they are working on?

Have a lathe Leblond 17x80 want to try Mach 4 now.  Nearly ready with mechanicals servo cabinet etc,

Galil can't do constant velocity with it's simple programming language.  Therefore, we do the trajectory planning and feed it to the Galil via a motion plugin.  This is just one of the reasons that G code doesn't "convert" well to the Galil command set.  BobCad did a post processor for their CAM software back around v19 to v21.  It worked for 2D stuff only.  But that was about as it got and it certainly wasn't a G code converter because it bypassed the G code completely.

I have a Galil plugin for Mach 4 that moves my machine quite nicely.  But it is not ready for prime time.  Lots of testing still to do.  Other motion controllers such as the parallel port, Ethernet Smooth Stepper, Vital Systems HiCON and DSP-MC are coming along as well. 

Steve
Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 10:23:24 PM »
Smurph:  Thanks much for the education on motion control boards.  "progress is coming along nicely", does this means months away or years?

Interested in getting a machine running G code during the summer?

Jim
Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 11:20:55 PM »

I have a Galil plugin for Mach 4 that moves my machine quite nicely.  But it is not ready for prime time.  Lots of testing still to do. 
Steve

Steve,

At risk of over asking the question...  What is your best estimate on the Galil plugin, months/years?  ( Fully conversant with the 95/5 rule which states that the first 95% of the project will take 95% of the time budget and the last 5% will probably take the other 95% of the time ;-)

We have a bunch of retrofits on 2.5D profiling units that we would like to use this system for.  Also appreciate the need to have it "ready when it is actually ready" for industrial use so it's not an ask for a binding estimate just an estimate which may be subject to enormous change due to unforseen circumstances.

Don

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Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 12:06:45 AM »
I feel like the Galil plugin will be done about a month after Mach4 is released.  Now, when is that?  I don't know at the moment because all of these requests are going to take time to implement.  And we'll need documentation too.  The problem is that I can't work on both Mach and Galil plugin at the same time.  I've tried it!  But it turns out that I actually need two hands on one keyboard.  :)  So Mach first, Galil second.

The movement with the Galil is solid.  I even have it probing and homing.  But it needs MPG support and lots of work on the configuration dialog.  Meaning as of right now, I'm putting a lot of text parameters in a file by hand.  It needs polishing.  I'd call it 98% done.  If I had a solid week to work on it AND Mach didn't change in the interim, I could stick a fork in it.  But I run Ethernet controllers.  I don't have the means to test any PCI controllers, so that may take more time.  And ISA and USB Galil support has been dropped, so don't expect those to ever work with Mach 4.

The Galil is actually the oldest Mach 4 motion plugin.  (Hmm...  I wonder how that happened?)  :)  It is also, by that virtue, the one that has had to be changed the most to hit a constantly moving target.

So, again, it really depends on how long it takes to get Mach released.  And I really can't nail that down at all right now.  :(  Sorry.

My machine is a Matsuura MC500 with a 16 pod tool changer.  The tool changer is run completely from the Galil.  When the Galil plugin is released, it will be industrial strength at least on the Ethernet controllers that run analog servo driven 3 axis mills.  I can't speak to gantry systems, as I don't have one.

I have Mach 3 running my machine to perfection.  So don't discount that option either.  It is a MUCH better controller than the original YASNAC ever thought about being.  We have customers that are shipping new production machines to industrial environments with the Mach 3/Galil combo.  It rocks.

Steve
Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 03:10:40 AM »
Thanks for the detailed reply Steve, that answers our questions well. We are looking at using the ethernet Galil units to replace the existing controllers and if the process drags due to bug swatting we will use the Mach3 software in the interim.

Cheers

Don
Re: Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 02:57:56 PM »
What functions does the Galil plugin preform? Software translation? Math Cal? Formating?

In other words what is the problem to be solved on Galil?

jim
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 02:59:58 PM by Jim Pettit »

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Re: Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 09:49:00 PM »
The Galil plugin takes trajectory data from Mach and converts it into a format that the Galil can use.  Some older controllers use Linear Interpolation.  The newer controllers use Contour mode.  The newest controllers will use PVT mode.  

There are no problems to be solved. The concepts for the plugin are not new and they are well understood.  We run Galil with Mach 3 with great success.  It is just a matter of testing all code paths in the Mach 4 plugin.  Like making sure that when the user hits Stop that it actually stops, etc...  You would not believe how many paths you have to account for just because we never know what the user will do.

Steve
Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 04:53:52 PM »
I have just got a Galil 2143 to upgrade an old Anilam system with servos.  I expect to be buying Mach 3 and/or 4 to drive this.
As I understand it, Mach 3 was designed to do the controlling within Windows and output to the parallel port with signals for steppers.  The Galil plugin then has to convert that into a suitable form for the Galil card and output the commands on the ethernet output.
My question is; Will Mach 4 natively create output more inline with the needs of external motion controllers?

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Re: Re: Mach 4 and Galil
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 05:39:55 PM »
The output from Mach to external controllers is the same be it Mach 3 or Mach 4.  It is not pulse and direction.  It is position over time, or just PT for short.  Mach 4 will add velocity to that output as well (PVT).  But plain old PT matches up well with Galil's Linear Interpolation mode and it is perfect for Contour mode.  The newer Galils have PVT mode as well.

The parallel port is operating the same way.  It gets the PT values from Mach and then makes the signals to the pins to provide pulse and direction.  But the internal method of motion planning is really the same.

Steve