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Author Topic: Analog signal input to MACH4 - is this doable without third party harware?  (Read 2833 times)

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Offline simpson36

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I need to read an analog signal 0-to-5v or 0-12v into MACH4. I have done a search, but nothing came up about getting an signal IN to MACH4.

If this is doable, can anyone suggest the best method, please.

If third party hardware/plug-in will be needed, can anyone make a recommendation?

Thanks
What resolution (how many bits do you need)?  How many channels?

Offline simpson36

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What resolution (how many bits do you need)?  How many channels?

Thanks for the response. Your question implies third party hardware, is that correct? I have assumed due to the lack of response to this thread that there is no method built into MACHH4, so that leaves third party stuff. Considering that MACH4 really needs a third party motion controller, it would nort be surprising if they left it to that device to provide analog input.

To your question; 12 bit would be nice and for now I only need one channel. The application is to input a 0-10v analog signal from an industrial A/C servo drive to MACH4 in order to get an on screen display of the motor load.

Options that I have now are the Arduino DUE processor in the 4th axis motor controller and a Pokeys board. I have the USB version, but now there is also an Ethernet version. The DUE has 12 analog inputs, each of which has 12 bit res. I don't recall offhand the PoKeys spec, but I know it has Analog I/O.

I also have an ESS, but I'm not sure if it has analog input or not.

 

I don't think there is any other way than 3rd party.  A PLC with analog input and MODBUS to Mach4 is probably the easiest. 
Automation Direct (automationdirect.com) sells the Click PLC which has a model with 2 analog inputs and 4 inputs, 4 outputs for $129.  This input is 0-5V.  They have a 4 channel analog input module that is 0-10V for $89.  If you went with the analog input module then you could get a PLC unit with just digital I/O for cheaper.  If you buy the Click PLC and want RS-485 be aware that some of the models don't have the RS-485 feature.
From there the price goes up.  Hard to find a decent, inexpensive 0-10V input.  Lots of 0-3.3V or 0-5V.

Offline simpson36

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0-10V for $89. 

This looks like a good solution and would eliminate having to build a voltage divider to knock down the 0-10V for the other devices. My 4th axis motor controller is already on TCP Modbus with MACH4 and so far I have tested it with the ESS and there is no conflict. There is a benefit to testing as many potentially conflicting devices as possible, so the AutomationDirect module would serve a dual purpose.

Thanks very much for the lead.



Offline simpson36

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Opps. The $89 analog input device is serial interface. Really don't want to mess with converters, drivers, etc.

Offline simpson36

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Just to follow up on this topic, I have a working setup for getting the analog signal into Mach4 thru TCP Modbus using the Arduino DUE development board.

Some details and a very short video are posted in the 'making MACH4 screens purdy' thread.