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Author Topic: DriverTest evaluaton?  (Read 3810 times)

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Offline Fastest1

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DriverTest evaluaton?
« on: November 28, 2015, 11:07:18 AM »
   I am having an issue quantifying just what is responsible for smooth and fast motion on a PP based PC.

   I have always used computers that met the minimum requirements of Mach 3. Some PC's propel my machines to seemingly unuseable speeds and others stall, same controllers, same settings in Mach. Just different PC's.
   I have used the optimization steps in Mach and checked and or changed my port status etc.

   Many times during the pursuit of speeds attained prior I would hear a clicking coming from the steppers.
   I have only read a few other threads that mention this. In my case it always sounded mechanical and had me adjusting gibs and bearings, lubricating, cleaning etc. Never to improve.
   Just lately I was finally smart enough the remove the steppers from my lathe only to find the sound was still there. I drove the axis by hand and was amazed at the smoothness and lack of effort required to move any of the axis'.
   Friction is not causing my stalling issues. Nor are the speeds I am asking of the steppers.
   Changing the acceleration has no effect nor turning the toolpath on or off.

   Searching the forums for a specific mobo, RAM, graphics card with guaranteed success almost impossible. Is it the software? The parallel port itself? A graphics card? I cant imagine it is luck of the draw.

   I realize that I could use a motion controller of some flavor. I have a few. However my stubbornness makes me pursue WHY? As mentioned above I have had great success with the PP. No need to change if I can find out why.

   Here are 2 different screenshots of the DriverTest results, not mine just pics from the net. Looking at the results of the tests and the signals. Which would be the better computer to use and why?
   Both are testing at the same speed.  
   Both claim system excellent.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 11:10:27 AM by Fastest1 »
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Offline ger21

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2015, 11:15:48 AM »
I personally think that Drivertest, only gives you a rough idea of what to expect. It either fails, or says System Excellent.

I think that the main factor in pulse stream quality is the motherboard.
And to really do a good comparison, you need to look at the pulses with an oscilloscope.
Gerry

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Offline Fastest1

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DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2015, 11:25:34 AM »
Is there a particular mobo that you are familiar with that performs better than another?


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Offline ger21

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2015, 11:45:10 AM »
No, I've only really used one.
A really old Dell GX150. I have a spare if it ever goes bad.
They're about $20-$30 on Ebay with a 1Ghz PIII. You do need the appropriate Dell power supply to run them, as they use a different pinout than standard.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline RICH

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2015, 07:38:23 PM »
Your driver test shows me that your PP is not that great or there is interference.

The reported pulses per Second should be Very Close to the selected Kernal speed ie; 25K & you have 23.984K. The closer the better.

You should not see that manny and heigth of pulses in the graph. Should  or could have a few /short/ sproadic and almost just a straight line.

That said, I think you signal out of the PP is crappy and you hear it via the clicking / ticking sounds. Probably noise on the signal and would need to look at the signal with a scope.

You can't clean up a bad signal when it's generated by the PC to the PP.
All of the Dell's I had were crappy for PP use.

My thoughts......

RICH

Offline Fastest1

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DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2015, 08:01:12 PM »
Rich, I appreciate the reply. These driver test results were images I got off of the net and not actually mine. That being said, mine look no better and have plenty of spikes too.

I did a fresh install of XP today and it did seem to remove the click of the stepper. I gained no speed though.

Rich, did you ever add a parallel port card to yours or were they always the stock Dell PP card?


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Offline RICH

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 07:40:12 AM »
The DEll's we tested were all the same and required an external motion device. Tried adding a non stock PP card to the Dell but the scope
still showed ringing on the pulses  which created bad stepper pulsing. So I used a SS for a while with it, but they were limited at the time and didn't satisfy my needs. One can try to filter / clean up the pulse signal but not as easy as it sounds ( basically bad PC generated signal and it will carry on through the system). The Dell
pulse rates were bad ie; 25k kernel and they would vary down to as low as say 14.5K.

My solution was to make up a new PC for just CNC and the Driver test reported pulsing is +- 3 as compared to the selected Kernal speed and graph is straight lined.
Use a RoseWill dual PP card in the dedicated pc.

BTW, I added a DRO for the pulse rate to the  Diagnostics screen.

RICH
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 07:45:01 AM by RICH »

Offline ger21

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2015, 07:45:40 AM »
One thing that's critical with my Dell is to install windows in Standard mode, rather than ACPI. This is done in the bios , preferably before installing windows.
This setting is the difference between an unusable PC and a near perfect pulse train.

On my Dell, the pulse rate is very close to 25,000, and only varies by about 2 pulses while running. I don't recall the exact numbers, but it's something like 24890-24892.

In ACPI mode, motors will not turn smoothly at all. Constantly stuttering and stopping.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
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Offline ger21

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 07:46:50 AM »
Another important factor, if you have a multiple core processor, is to disable either C1E or EIST in the bios.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline RICH

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Re: DriverTest evaluaton?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2015, 07:49:02 AM »
Good tip Gerry. Don't recall what models we tested and it also include laptops.
Don't even recall what mode they were in since it's been a long time since we did the testing.

RICH