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Author Topic: Moving to Smooth Stepper  (Read 1587 times)

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Moving to Smooth Stepper
« on: January 27, 2015, 11:39:06 AM »
Hi Mach3ers. I've come to the end of the road with my Dell 32 bit desktop computer and thinking of moving to a smooth stepper conversion. This will allow me to bring the laptop from down the workshop in the winter as I think the damp is causing my desktop power supplies to short out. If I go to this conversion can I just plug in the laptop with the new board and connect it to the 25 pin cable to my BOB. Obviously I will have to set reload my xtml file  into the laptop and do a bit of fiddling but is that it, or do I need more bits. What's the best smooth stepper board and is there any restrictions on the laptops I need as I have and old Dell Inspirion 8500 I would like to use, its built like a tank so wont get damaged easily.

Jim
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 11:41:40 AM by jimthefish »

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Moving to Smooth Stepper
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 12:20:48 PM »
The basic changeover from parallel port to SmoothStepper involves loading the SmoothStepper plugin for Mach 3. Telling Mach to use the SmoothStepper and doing a bit of configuration that is unique to the SmoothStepper. As far wiring/connections your parallel cable from your PC will plug into the SmoothStepper via a LPH26toDB25 cable. You will also need a 5V power supply for your SmoothStepper. I recommend folks use the Ethernet version for new installations as the Ethernet communication is much more robust than USB, the cost difference between the two boards is low as well.

You can get an idea of the set up procedure by looking at this PDF I wrote: http://www.soigeneris.com/Document/Warp9/Installing_and_Configuring_the_Ethernet_SmoothStepper.pdf . You might also be interested in a 'plug-and-play' SmoothStepper solution if you don't want to have to do any wiring, etc.: http://www.soigeneris.com/ssenc_2_ethernet_smoothstepper_system-details.aspx (my website.)
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Moving to Smooth Stepper
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 02:26:19 PM »
Cheers Jeff, I  think I will get the one in the aluminium box, not very good at electrical stuff. One question, it mentions plug ins and alteration to Mach programing, I installed Mach some 3 years ago and haven't touched it since. I take it would work on an old Dell Inspirion 8500 in excellent condition. I have loaded Mach onto it and put my xml file in and it all works on the computer beautifully  the ports and pins match my old machine. I have read your set up literature but still a little confused about plug ins
Jim

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Moving to Smooth Stepper
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 03:14:53 PM »
A plug-in is a small file that adds new functionality to Mach 3. The plug-in for the SmoothStepper tells Mach 3 how to talk to the SmoothStepper. You download the plug-in file, unzip it, and double click on it and Mach will install it for you. You will want to use a newer version of Mach 3. I recommend 3.043.062 which you can find a link for on my website. The PDF I linked to before also walks you though changing some power savings settings in Windows so that your laptop does not try to slow things down to save power and wind up messing Mach 3 up.

One other thing, if you want to send me a copy of your Mach 3 profile (XML file) I'll convert it over to work with the SmoothStepper for you. birt_j@soigeneris.com
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Moving to Smooth Stepper
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 03:20:41 PM »
Cheers Jeff. got a bloke coming tomorrow to have a look but I'm sure my old computer is knackered. Keep you posted.