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Author Topic: Parallel port not recommended???  (Read 4519 times)

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Offline CRS

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Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2017, 10:07:16 PM »
Hi crchisholm,

I have been reading the thread you started and thought I may be able to pass on at a layman level, some of what I have learned.  I too am a confused beginner at this CNC stuff, but have slowly gathered enough information to probably be somewhat dangerous.

I have servo motors on my CNC, so am using the Gecko 320X, but I am using the ESS, so I may be able to let you know about what I have found out.

One potential issue with using parallel port connection is the limited amount of i/o (in and out) available.  If you intend on using your mouse and PC monitor to control the machine, then perhaps you will only need inputs for things like E-STOP and Limit Switches.

If you would like to control the machine via external buttons for things like Cycle Start, Feed Hold, Jogging, MPG etc., then it is likely unless you implement more parallel ports, that you will quickly run out of inputs and perhaps outputs.

If you go for the ESS, then it can be advantageous to use a good BOB (Breakout Board).  There are several good ones on the market for the ESS, personally I have the MB2 from CNCRoom in Thailand.

It is a very good board and if you buy the ESS from him as well, it comes installed onto the MB2 and utilises all three ports on the ESS.  The MB2 has quite a lot of I/O, as well as some other nice features, like industry standard 24V inputs and outputs.  There is also an on-board Analog speed control, which can be used to control the speed of you Spindle via a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) or a drive that uses +/-10V.
This is the link.
http://www.cncroom.com/interface-board-mach3-mach4/smooth-stepper-ess-mb2-bob

You asked if the ESS would connect to the g540 via a parallel port cable.  That is correct, although if you use a break out board with the ESS, then you would connect each wire at the ESS end of the PP cable into its respective input or output on the Break-Out Board.

There are other really good CNC motion controllers on the market.  The ESS is a very good board, and has the big advantage of many users around the world, which helps for support.  Another very good board for the price is the PoKeys57CNC.  A lot of well thought out features for a great price.  And from experience, very timely and helpful support. I own the PoKeys 57E, which I am using to increase the amount of inputs on my front panel.

Hope there is something in there that you may find interesting.  And I hope you find it all as stimulating as I have.

Craig

Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2017, 09:00:45 AM »
So, I have the g540 and probobly need bite the bullet (or drink the koolaid) and get the ESS, but I can not quit figure out how the two devices connect to each other.  The g540 only has only a parrellel port and the ESS does not.  Are there some example diagrams out there somewhere that show the physical connections between the power supply, ESS, and g540. 

A couple good diagrams might slow the steady flow of questions coming from me as well.
Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2017, 09:09:23 AM »
IIRC you use a 26 pin header to db25 ribbon cable and then connect a a DB25 to DB25 (parallel port cable) in between.


This link should have everthing you need.

http://warp9td.com/index.php/documentation/doc-ess#Schematics


Mikie
We never have the time or money to do it right the first time, but we somehow manage to do it twice and then spend the money to get it right.

Offline ger21

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Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2017, 09:30:49 AM »
So, I have the g540 and probobly need bite the bullet (or drink the koolaid) and get the ESS, but I can not quit figure out how the two devices connect to each other.

One each of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-4-Long-DB25-to-IDC-26-Pin-F-F-Printer-Port-Ribbon-Cable-Connector-Adapter-/401144802953?hash=item5d6617ee89:g:iy0AAOSwo4pYb6Ct
http://www.ebay.com/itm/25-Pin-DB25-Male-to-Male-M-M-Gender-Changer-Adapter-SGC-25MM-/221273598387?hash=item3384ef29b3:g:KlgAAOxym2BSGvbc

The ESS needs it's own 5V power supply, and the stepper motor power supply connects to the G540.
The only wiring to the ESS is the 5V power supply, ethernet cable, and ribbon cable to the G540.
The G541 manual should cover all other wiring..

Also, the ESS is overkill if your only using a G540, as the ESS has 3 ports, and you'll only be using 1.
A UC100 is quite a bit cheaper, ad will do the same thing.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 09:33:43 AM by ger21 »
Gerry

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

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 09:50:17 AM »
As Gerry noted the G540 does not need all the capabilities of an ESS SmoothStepper
and can work with the UC100.

You can also use similar devices from others such as the PoKeys57CNCd25 or the
PMDX-411.

http://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-411

All of these devices are USB and do not need an external power source.
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com
For PMDX product support, please use PMDX forum or direct email for quickest response. We do not use this forum as our primary product support site.

Offline ger21

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Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2017, 09:59:26 AM »
I was thinking that this was a Mach3 thread.
There is not currently a Mach4 plugin for the UC100, although I believe that they are working on it.
So the PMDX-411 would be a better choice for Mach4 imo.
Gerry

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

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2017, 03:38:02 PM »
So the PMDX-411 would plug into a usb on the xp machine running mach4 and the pp of the g540.  I wouldn't need the legacy pp plug in and I would not give up any functionality that might be useful to a hobbiest like myself on the ESS?

That sounds pretty good.  
Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2017, 03:54:47 PM »
The PMDX-411 will plug into the G540 directly without adapters or cables. The USB
cable of the PMDX-411 is fairly short (18") so you may want an extension for that.

You do not need the Legacy PP plugin for this configuration. The PMDX-411 is
supplied with its own plugin.

The PMDX-411 provides only the I/O equivalent to one parallel port, whereas the
SmoothStepper would provide two additional parallel ports worth of I/O that could
be used with other boards along with the G540 if you wanted to do something like
build your own console with buttons and lights.

Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com
For PMDX product support, please use PMDX forum or direct email for quickest response. We do not use this forum as our primary product support site.
Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2017, 12:08:07 AM »
Hi crchisholm,
if you are going to lay out some bucks for an external motion controller then you should consider whether it will do
all that you require both now and some way into the future.

The PMDX-411 is a great device but it has a limited number of inputs and outputs, one 'ports' worth. The PoKeys 57CNCd25 is
another great device but also limited to one 'ports' worth of IO. Both devices are well priced and a perfect fit for your 540.
They will offer somewhat more IO than your used to with GBRL.

For an extra $60 you can get an ESS which has three 'ports worth' or for similar money the PoKeys 57ECNC which has even more.
It occurs to me that if you are going to buy an external controller it makes sense to get one that has some extra capability that you
may well use in the years to come.

There are of course even more expensive alternatives as well, there always is!

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2017, 09:58:38 AM »
joeaverage:  those are very good points, but I need to view them in the context of my reality.  I am 70 with limited income, not in great health, and find in increasingly more difficult to wrap this old brain around new complexity. I need to think about what you've said, but to be brutally honest with myself, I don't see this going to much further than I am going now.  This is s small open source OX CNC, and I don't have the space or plans to go much more elaborate.  Most of my projects are aimed at photography (multi exposure macro compression) and some simple robotic applications, none of which are of any real interest to anyone but myself, so it's not an entrepreneurial exercise.

Thank you for your insight, though.  I do need to think about that.  It would be helpful if I could figure out what sort of things I might want to do in the future that might use more ports.  At present, I am drawing a blank.  You're right that $60 is not a large sum of money, but obviously, it occupies a certain percentage of a pretty small monthly income, so I have to be smarter about what I do than I did when I was making the "big bucks" ;)