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cnc usb 5 axis controller
« on: October 30, 2014, 11:29:54 PM »
Hello, i have one of these little guys:
A smale usb controller ... that should work with mach3 (as it says).

So it is really working for me. I hooked up all stepper drivers, installed the plugin into mach3 and it drives my machine.
Also the digital input and output pins are woking.
I was able to wire the reset switch to it.

But now i ran into problems.
First of all... softlimits are not working??? How can this be???
I was thinking this is controlled by mach3???

And i hooked up some limit and home switches (6 switches, on all axis home and limit--  is the same switch). I was not able to make this work.
It triggers the limit switch alert everytime when the axis is running against the homeswitch (as i said, same switch, same pin).
On the diagnostics screen i can see the switches are configured as home and M-- limit. they are triggering the right the input signals.
I think shielding and debouncing will not work here....
The only way i can run this is by disabling the limits-- and only leaving the home switch enabled.
But that is a really bad soulution, because the softlimts are not working.
I can set the softlimits and also they can not be activated if the machine is jog outside these limits.
The limits have no affect no matter if turned on or off the machine does not slow down or stop.

I think the only way might be buying a new contoller.... any regards or brands? i really want a usb controller (not a usb to comport one / like smooth stepper)

thanks for reading and any ideas

Offline Hood

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Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 02:37:02 PM »
When using an external controller many things such as soft limits are handle by it rather than Mach.

Regarding the SmoothStepper, it is USB but the Ethernet one is better.
If only requiring 4 axis then there is the CSMIO/IP-M (Ethernet)
There are also the  UC300 controller and also there is the PoKeys to name a few.

Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2014, 03:39:20 PM »

As i alsready wrote, i don't like those usb -> com controllers.
I think very inconvenient to deal with this kind of indirection.

When changeing to a USB controller, why having one that's "making" extrernal comports.
You still have to use a LPT-breackout-board, have a lot of extra wirering if not a extra-external case with a lot of wires and plugs ...
I think a USB-motion controller should put this all together ... no extra stuff! hooking up the stepperdriver to the controller with direct direction and puls output.

i like this smale ebay-chinese-controller.
to bad there is no soft-limit feature.


Offline Hood

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Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2014, 03:51:40 PM »
Ok I see what you are meaning now.
Check out the CSMIO/IP-M if 4 axis plus spindle control is sufficient, it is Ethernet rather than USB but most computers have an ethernet port and it is a more robust interface anyway.
Link to IP-M http://www.cs-lab.eu/en/produkt-18,2-CSMIOIPM_4axis_Ethernet_Motion_Controller_stepdir_with_connectors.html

Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 09:18:14 PM »
hey hood, thank you very much for your advise.
the recommended board is nice, but .... it is a little big for my 6040 case and to be honest: it is a little expensive compared to the little chinese board (only about 50,-€)
so i bought a cheap new one...
ok, it won't work with softlimits.... but it is still is a pretty (cheap) board.
at least, it will drives my machine smooth. (and the 6040 is also a cheap machine, so i a going to buy a better board for my bf20)

of course there are a lot of problems with this cheap-board.
maybe i can make a new post on it... maybe i can ask u here.

there are a lot of in and outputs, that can be hooked up easy.
but i don't get out a valid getVar(2002).
so i had to rewrite the probe-script without the overrun feature. (works for me)
this values are not documented...
isn't there a whole documentation on all used values? i really don't like snooping around to get (sometimes wrong) information.
mach3 should really provide stuff like that!

as i told, the board does not support disable limit on homing. (i have shared home and limit switches on each axis)
so no matter what (manual / auto override on) the homing will stop with limit hit.
is there any way to completely disable the limitswitches by a macro code?
an other walkaround (if there is no way to do "mute" this in mach 3 by a macro) might be a smale logic circut that will open the connection from the home to another input - controlled from an output port.
this way, i can switch the output on by the ref all home script to disable the limit inputs while homing run.

hitting a limt will only slowly stop the motors.
it ramps down like the settings in motor-tunings.
is there a way to force it?
when hitting the reset button, the motors stop immediately! - that's how it should be when hitting a limit.
where can this be fixed?

thanks for reading

Offline Hood

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Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 03:16:05 AM »
1. Complain to Artsoft , not me ;0

2. Almost certainly a function of the plugin.

3.  See above, I would say  nothing to do with Mach, plugin again.

Buying cheap hardware may also mean you get cheap software (Plugin) and that certainly seems to be the case with your board.

Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 02:51:45 PM »
really hoped this would be a little helpful.... but it is not!

1. id did here in the mach3 forum!
2. the question already said: "does not support disable limit on homing" so talking about pluginfunctions does not anwer anything.
3. if mach3 can do a fast stop by pressing the reset button - it has to do with mach3!

don't buy cheap stuff -> what a great advise...

Offline Hood

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Re: cnc usb 5 axis controller
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 03:17:48 PM »
don't buy cheap stuff -> what a great advise...

Probably the best advice you will get ;) And BTW I am not being impudent, I have been there and have learned from my mistakes..

Now regarding the first and third questions.
This is a User support forum kindly provided by Artsoft, if you have specific complaints regarding things like manuals then best contacting Mach Support direct.
The last question I will elaborate a bit for you. It sounds like your limits are not working as per normal with Mach, ie the plugin is not treating them in the normal Mach way, because if it was it would stop instantly, as that is the way Mach does things. So email the vendor/manufacturer of your board and ask them to integrate the limits in the correct manner and then they will behave like you expect and want.