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More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« on: December 21, 2015, 10:50:18 AM »
Hi everybody,

For my cnc machine, parallel port 1 is used for 3 axis and other machine facilitates use. While I built an electrical auto toolchanger, it consumed all the I/Os of the parallel port 2. Now, I built a 5th axis as well,  I don't think there is another port for my use, is there any way to solve it?

Thanks in advance.
Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 03:11:18 AM »
UC300
Smooth stepper (Ethernet)
Cismo
Purelogic plcm-e3
Modbus (depends how fast you need the IO's read)
Rob

Albert Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 08:38:45 AM »
Thanks guy, I have little knowledge in your mentioned devices, may I know the following:

>SSE -how many I/Os totally it has? Is the version for bi-polar stepper motor of it available in market?
>Modbus -After intalling it, will my current connections in two parallel ports be affected?

Your kindly advise will be much appreciated.
Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 04:11:33 PM »
I will do them one at a time for you over the next day or so (Christmas... other chores....)

UC300:
Manual here: http://cncdrive.com/MC/UC300%20datasheet/UC300%20users%20guide.pdf
Has the equivalent of 5 LPT ports (two are I/O Standard, 3 are Input only), also has 2 Analog Input and 2 Analog Output 16 bit.
- Controls upto 6-axis simultaneously.
- Works with Mach3 software via plugin.
- Upto 100kHz operation.
- 49 digital inputs and 36 digital outputs.
- 2 analog inputs and 2 analog outputs.
- USB connection to the control PC.
- LPT port compatible.
- Fast communication with data buffer for robust and stable operation.
Mach3 plugin only (no support (yet!) for Mach4), maybe in the future.

Personal comments: I would have bought one... but I had a USB Smooth Stepper already.... and I ended up with the dreaded earth loops issue ... and USB on a plasma cutter is not good for noise immunity.  Other than that it looks like a nice bit of kit.   I know someone with a UC100 who is very happy with it (but it is only one LPT port.... and you need more), and he uses it with a plasma cutter and has no issues.

Rob
Rob

Albert Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 11:07:47 PM »
It is an very attractive product, thank you for your information. I will dare to buy one and try to use. But, for its software, I still hesitate as I don't know if it was fully matured and developed as Mach3. Is it really capable to have all functions performing in real time against what is in Mach3 having 10th second time lagging in some? Will it be be in most efficient stage when they are come along and work in combo set, I mean its hardware and software...?

As I remember, I came across the nose interference situation some years ago when I made my diy the edm wire-cut machine. Eventhought how shieldings made in the cables and housing case, the position DROs still have errors and very annoying. I am now busy in doing cnc auto-toolchanger, wireless auto-probing. Later on, when I have time, I will get back to try to resolve it....

Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2015, 04:30:55 AM »
Smooth Stepper:

website: http://www.warp9td.com/

Two variants, USB (USBSS / USS) or Ethernet (ESS)
Product Comparison here: http://www.warp9td.com/index.php/products/#details

Note the rest of this is biased as I am a user of the ESS and active on the forum.

In short, ESS = 3 x LPT ports, USB = 2 LPT ports + a differential port (which can also be used as inputs).
Both have an expansion port.... which has not really been developed publicly since they were both launched / sold, there is an aspiration to provide an SDK, but that is my opinion only.

There is a lot on information on the official website.  The PDF manuals are some years old, but still relevant, and
The ESS has a more developed driver for Mach3 than the USBSS.
The ESS has backlash compensation, THC and M10Px/M11Px support, the USB does not.

Because both are FPGA they are reliant upon the plugin to provide the functionality, and both have good potential for really good development, but the development cycle is unfortunately slow (updates of plugins tend to be on about a yearly (roughly) if you have a look at the plugin release dates on the website).

I bought a USBSS but did not use it for years (made the usual mistake of buying the moving bits before building the machine....), when I came to use it I struggled with the ground loop issue that the USBSS is known for, and at that time the website was not very informative, it has improved drastically over the last year, then I found out that Torch Height Control (THC) was not available via the plugin and backlash compensation and I re-evaluated.... Ethernet SS or something else... after much deliberation settled on the ESS because of the ethernet connectivity (better noise immunity, longer transmission distance), M4 plugin being developed (or at least an official statement to that effect at the time), CS-Labs CISMO came close.... but cost was higher (although it does not need a breakout board..... in hindsight I probably should have gone with that probably because of things like threading which I may want to add to my lathe later, and i've probably spent as much on breakout boards (but there are cheaper ways to provide easy to wire terminals via LPT BOB and DB25 <> IDE 26 ribbon cable that what I did).

SS has a lot of potential, but is reliant upon the developer (as most motion controllers are especially if you want more than one LPT port equivalent)  ..... Pokeys has some good potential but it may not have enough IOs for your too.

Third choice came the PureLogic PLCM-E3 but it was about the time that Russia annexed Crimea, and there were some restrictions starting from the EU, their products seem to have since disappeared from ebay and one of their suppliers in the UK so I suspect that their products are being restricted by the current political climate.... but still a good product but only Mach3 support (at present) and it requires their own addon module for torch height control (extra cost from them).   Comments on the forum of their products has been good and any issues identified have been sorted very quickly (which has not been the case with some motion controller developers).


You asked two questions on the ESS:
>>SSE -how many I/Os totally it has?
Answered above.... 3 x LPT equivalent ports, with ports 2 and 3 configurable as all inputs or standard LPT type I/O arrangement.  (forget about the "expansion port" as its not available unless you set about to programme the FPGA from scratch).

>>Is the version for bi-polar stepper motor of it available in market?
Not sure if I am understanding this question... the ESS provides step and direction signals to 6 axis (+ spindle) stepper motor divers and the stepper motor drivers must control the stepper motors (serial or parallel wiring configured).

The ESS seems to be by far the fastest motion controller on the market as to how fast it can driver stepper motors.... although I'm not aware of anyone actually being able to use it that fast...(up to 4mHz!)... I'd be surprised if you were stepping a stepper drive over 100kHz (maybe servo drives.... never used them).


If you are interested in the SS, have a look at the website, and register and log on to the forum to check out the issues, as some elements (threading) have been an issue for some users for years, and also the common user issues are discussed (ground loops, look ahead, axis step rate / frequency, and velocity update frequency).  Would hate for you to become someone waiting for something to be developed or sorted out that you did not know about up front. 

If you have a basic milling machine or lathe or plasma or laser the ESS will more than likely meet your needs driving up to 6 stepper motors, on a windows PC with Mach3.   Potential for Mach4 is there with the initial driver release, and another one due soon (been imminent for a while now) ... but then there may be a timeout as they want to develop the USBSS plugin for M4, and then maybe other bits before catching up with ESS development on M4.


Rob

Albert Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2015, 01:02:09 PM »
They are very informative......

ESS seems to be better choice in functionality than USBSS. However, in term of ease of use in setting up and connection, usb one is better because it may be a bit difficult for an inexperienced one like me to set those IP address, net mask ....For an usual cnc milling machine user, the lack of functions of blacklash compensation is not a big deal. I used it, it cannot really bring a good precision...or THC, not need at all, so the choice between them is still in question...

I totally agree that the thought in buying a new electronic devices. Don't buy them in advance, buy them on demand and after going through the research. Software support and company background are of important. So is the success of Mach3.

I recall that I want to learn ARM microcontroller some eight years ago. I spent a certain amont of money in buying the development board, screen...but with limit amount of support from the company and forum, I end up in quitting the learning. Mach3 brings a lot of joys to diy guys...l can design the screen with buttons to control external devices like my electrical ATC, I can further program a microcontroller to do many actions...Today, many devices are cheap, I used to make BOB, axis DROs and stepper motor driver on my own. If I do them now, I will pay more in it than in purchasing them, but in the course of making, l learnt the technology....

Offline BR549

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Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2015, 02:15:13 PM »
Just becasue you shielded them does mean you will not have ground loop problems . Ground loops are teh biggest probelms with CNC as you are interconnecting many differnce electrical schemes into one coorrdinated system. AND most boards are NOT designed to avoid ground loops and MOST have no idea what they are or what havouc they can create with electronics.

Most constantly confuse ground and common(DC) when they assemble a machine . They are 2 totally different critters.  

It is funny that some OEMs constantly have Com problems with USB and some NEVER have com problems with USB (;-)  

(;-) TP

Offline beefy

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Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2015, 05:15:03 PM »
It is funny that some OEMs constantly have Com problems with USB and some NEVER have com problems with USB (;-) 

(;-) TP

I think the USB Smoothstepper has created this impression that USB is automatically prone to problems with noise, etc, and ethernet is the fix. However I've came across a few threads in the past where people have had plasma machines (and other types) using USB motion controller cards and they've never had any such issues, and everything has been rock steady.

So it seems the individual designs of the USB determine whether it functions perfectly or not, and USB itself is not the root of the problem.

Keith.
Re: More inputs and outputs needed in Mach3
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2015, 05:41:52 PM »
I don't think USB is the root of the problem... really it depends upon many things and one of which being .... type of plasma cutter (or at least the type of plasma start) as well as the proximity of cabling to the HF stuff and grounding of the table etc etc.

I know what my issue was and it was basically grounding the USB connector on the ESS to my driver box. (nope I have nothing against USB), but I did want THC and the USBSS did not offer it and neither did it offer backlash compensation (which although I don't use it, I have a few mills and a lathe which I was hoping to use the same driver box with).

I have an older hypertherm, and at the time was not sure if I was going to go with a bigger Chinese HF start unit (since decided to stick with what I have and wait for a bigger hypertherm when one becomes available second hand. as they offer better start characteristics (blowback start) and longevity of consumables and spares will meet my needs for the future, plus there are other things link machine control interfaces and RS485 interface on some models etc etc.

I really wanted to stick with the USB SS at the time as I got it working, but was disappointed that the driver was not being updated in the short-term in line with the ESS.  I have since found out that they have many more ESS units than USBSS boards in circulation.... hence ESS is having its drivers updated first to M4, then USBSS to M4.... then porting ESS M3 to USB M3... and time / speed of updates was my personal issue.

All I was trying to do was go through the various boards with more than 3 LPT equivalent ports that I knew of which is what the original poster seemed to ask for a bit of elaboration on my first post... plus add some of the bits I' found on them.

PMDX http://www.pmdx.com/MotionControllers do some nice motion controllers, driver updates seem to be as required, finger on the button from those lads, and they are usb... but just not enough pins for the original poster.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 05:46:27 PM by robertspark »
Rob

Albert Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”