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Offline bpimm

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Re: switched PC now the motors stutter
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 03:47:59 PM »

Offline bpimm

  •  22 22
Re: switched PC now the motors stutter
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 03:50:18 PM »
If I add a smooth stepper do I loose the machine calibration and start from scratch?
Re: switched PC now the motors stutter
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 04:57:38 PM »
that video of the driver test is bad, its no wonder that your machine is playing up.

What sort of PC is it? There used to be a list that did the rounds of adjustments and tweaks that you could do to your PC to make
it run Machs parallel port better. I haven't seen that list for ages. It was very extensive with 50 odd things to do and it took hours to
work your way through them.

It may also be that the PC you have selected is just not good for Machs parallel port. Some old XP clunkers work perfectly well and yet some
high spec unit with muscles on its muscles does not. There is just no telling until you try.

Another alternative is an external motion controller like a SmoothStepper. They offer a number of advantages, the most important one is that
your choice of PC becomes very much wider. You can use laptops and just about any Windows OS, 32 OR 64 bit. Mach is very much less likely
to stutter and stall with other software on and running on the same PC. My experience is that an Ethernet SmoothStepper resulted in considerably
smoother motion on my machine.

I had been using two parallel ports for three years without too many problems. I had resisted the idea of spending money on a controller like a SmoothStepper.
I was starting to write my own macros and VB just pissed me off. I thought I would be better to learn Lua and Mach4 instead....if I was going to make the
effort to learn something new it might as well be up to date. Mach4 is really only at its best with an external controller, so I bought a SmoothStepper.

I had to re-do a lot of settings and things, and learn new ways of thinking to get Mach4 and the SmoothStepper to work, it wasn't easy but its not impossible.
My machine with the new SmoothStepper was that much smoother that I increased the maximum axis speed by 30% without losing steps and the steppers seem
to run a little cooler. Quite frankly I should have gotten a SmoothStepper earlier.

If you do consider buying an external controller don't buy Chinese rubbish......you'll have seen dozens of posts by people who bought cheap and then can't get
them to work. Most of the Chinese manufacturers don't care, they've got your money so you can go to hell as far as they are concerned. Those people turn up
on the forum looking for help, in most cases they get enough to get them going but most of the Chinese controllers don't do all the things Machs capable of.

The other thing to watch out for is that there are dozens of Chinese rip-offs out there. Theres a guy on the forum who believes the controller box he bought
from China has a Canadian made Ethernet SmoothStepper inside it. First the Ethernet SmoothStepper is made by Warp9 Technical Design in the US and has never
been made in Canada. Second the Ethernet SmootStepper is connected to your PC with an Ethernet cable, this guys controller is has a USB cable!!!!!
I wonder if he thinks Canada is a province of China???? The crazy thing is this guy bought three 750W Delta (Taiwanese) servos and drives which are seriously
very very good indeed and paid good money for them and yet he bought a cheap s*********ty controller and will never be able to get the best out of his servos.

IF......IF you spend some money on a controller don't waste it on rubbish.....buy good OR don't buy.

'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'

Offline bpimm

  •  22 22
Re: switched PC now the motors stutter
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2018, 06:23:40 PM »
I just ordered the ESS from warp9, it'll be here Monday. I didn't want to rebuild the system now, I have a part half done in the vice still and just wanted to make it run again but that doesn't look like it's going to happen with this PC. I've been looking at the Masso controller thinking that is a nice idea no pc involved but the reviews just aren't good enough to try yet, maybe in a few years. This PC didn't cost anything it came from mine and my brothers extras pile, He keeps old PC based test gear and manufacturing gear running for a living so he built the pc, we could probably get it to run right but if I half to spend a bunch of time on this I'd rather make it better.

Thanks for all the help so far, I'm sure I'll have more ?'s when the ESS shows up.

Re: switched PC now the motors stutter
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2018, 06:59:08 PM »
Hi Brian,
I think you'll come to regard this as an excellent move. I think it might be a bit ambitious to install an ESS to continue a job already in the machine.
I think you might find it necessary to remove it....I presume that you are considering it the piece of work is valuable? In which case I would be
removing from the machine for safe keeping no matter what other complications may arise therefrom.

Amongst the things that you will benefit from is with the ESS there are three 'parallel port' equivalents. With another (or even two) BoBs
you can have as many Inputs and Outputs as yo can shake a stick at!

Most people combine home and limit switches, and due to the shortage of inputs with a single parallel port, it was required. With all those extra
inputs you don't have to bother with that rubbish any more. Now you can have the X++ limit switch say, trigger and Mach can intelligently apply
restrictions on jogging that you can't accidentally make the situation worse by jogging the wrong way. Also with home switches separated from limit
switches means that you Mach it not required to 'ignore limits' while homing. When you are homing is just exactly the situation where you are likely to have
a cockup and yet Mach ignores the limit switches because they are doing duty as home switches at the moment!

Another benefit is the ESS max pulse rate is 4MHz, rather better than the norm for a parallel port of 25kHz! Now you can take advantage of high resolution
MGPs and/or servos. Admittedly 4MHz is that fast its almost academic but most servo drives are rated to 500kHz with differential signaling, the ESS can do that

'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'

Offline bpimm

  •  22 22
Re: switched PC now the motors stutter
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2018, 08:51:27 PM »
I'm sure I will, The part is nothing valuable and I still have all the zeroing surfaces so I can re set it up once I get things going again, That was only a hope if the parallel port had worked. This is the third PC in 10 years and all 3 have been a pain to get working. This is just not on my list of projects, well it wasn't... Now maybe I'll actually set up some limit switches, it didn't have any when I bought it and still doesn't. My control box is full and I don't think I can fit it in there so I may see if I can mount it in the PC for now to get things up and running until I can build a new control box for it. I know it's not the best idea but I've read of it being done that way.