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Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 10:07:41 PM »
Thanks for that
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 10:19:14 PM by TJoensen »
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2018, 10:12:14 PM »
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Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2018, 10:13:58 PM »
Hi Guys,
I would like to throw this out there.
The Hiconn Integra is $595 with the "BOB" built in. It makes for a very neat and small package. Just add a power supply.
They also offer a Hiconn hobby which is only 4 axis and limited to 125khz for $435. Since most people never got the PPort over 45khz, the 125khz  will be a major step up. I picked one up for my lathe and so far it works great. They also have 24v I/O.
While many say they are pricey, they have great support and full Mach4 compatibility.

Another option is the Pokeys 57CNC. I picked one up for a project and my initial testing is promising.

Disclaimer: I am a big fan of the Vital system stuff.  ;D


Mike
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.
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2018, 10:28:02 PM »
Hi Mike,
I have no problems with the Hicon other than its price.

At this time it is the only Mach4 ready controller that has THC. Thus if you wish to have THC, ie running a plasma table then you are
REQUIRED to get a Hicon.

The ESS, UC300 and the 57CNC are all less than 1/3 of the price of the Hicon and retain much of the functionality and all three companies have
after sales support easily as good a Vital Systems.

The ESS and the UC300 require BoB's, C10's can be had for $23 each. Hardly an imposition.

Its not that I don't recommend the Hicon its just hard to justify that extra $400 compared to an ESS say.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2018, 12:16:50 AM »
See my replies in bold

Hi Mike,
I have no problems with the Hicon other than its price.

Hi Joe,
I didn't think you had a problem with them, I just think people see the price and don't realize what you get for the price.


At this time it is the only Mach4 ready controller that has THC. Thus if you wish to have THC, ie running a plasma table then you are
REQUIRED to get a Hicon.

Agreed, and it woks well. I had the pleasure of helping some people get theirs up and running.

The ESS, UC300 and the 57CNC are all less than 1/3 of the price of the Hicon and retain much of the functionality and all three companies have
after sales support easily as good a Vital Systems.

The Hiconn hobby at $435 isn't 3 times the price. Things may have improved, and I may be wrong, but I still don't see the support for all of the needed functions, especially for Mach 4. And as you say, much of the functionality, not all of it.

The ESS and the UC300 require BoB's, C10's can be had for $23 each. Hardly an imposition.

The C10 isn't opto isolated IIRC and you may need to get more than one to use all of the motion controllers I/O. Can you use the C10 and the analog out to run the spindle? If not, you need a more expensive BOB. It also requires you to mount and connect them.

Its not that I don't recommend the Hicon its just hard to justify that extra $400 compared to an ESS say

$180 + $23 +$23 = $226 + all the extra work to mount 3 devices instead of one and it may not support everything that you need, such as threading (might be working now) or Mach4 (Does the UC300 work with Mach4?) vs $435, which is not a $400 difference (Hiconn Hobby) and it is all one board


The big thing is that if you are upgrading from a P-Port, then the other boards shine in that they were designed to interface with the DB-25 connector on the P-Port.

While I would like to see the Vital system stuff comedown in price, especially since I need to buy some more of it for a future project or 2, they seem to be selling plenty of it.

My $.02 for the day.

Mike.

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.
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2018, 12:58:02 AM »
Hi,
the Hicon Hobby (not that I can find it on their site) is over $435 by your post.

The ESS is $190, even if you add $46 for two BoBs that's $236.

I might live on the other side of the world but that is $199 difference. And that is for the Hicon Hobby....not the real thing.

Each person will have to decide what to spend their money on....I will not be buying a cutdown version of the Hicon any time soon.
In the last fortnight Warp9 has added single point lathe threading to their Mach4 plugin on top of backlash compensation that was added
three months ago. Excepting THC there is nothing that I require from a Hicon that can't be delivered by a much cheaper option.

You may point out that the Hicon can, at extra expense close a servo loop. You may also be aware that modern AC servos have rendered
that functionality moot and so it applicability is to old school servos. Having bought one AC servo and had my eyes opened I won't be
fiddling with any old school servos any time soon.

I've been using Homman Designs BoBs, not dissimilar to C10s, that is non optisolated for five years without problems. Wherever I determine that
there may be a voltage conflict I add an optocoupler as required. For instance my Vexta stepper drivers have optoisolated inputs thus there
is no gain in having optoisolated outputs on the BoB as well.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline ger21

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Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2018, 07:59:40 AM »
If going with the ESS, I'd recommend the MB2 motherboard. This brings it closer to the Hicon, but adds some nice features, like differential step/dir and 24V I/O. Much better than CNC4PC breakout boards.

For the UC300ETH, I'd go with the UB1 breakout board.
Gerry

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

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2018, 09:31:18 AM »
Hi Craig,
This is a nice stimulating conversation we are having and it is nice to see that we can do it and be civil at the same time.

Please see my replies in bold

Hi,
the Hicon Hobby (not that I can find it on their site) is over $435 by your post.

It is only shows up in the store. http://www.vitalsystem.com/portal/store.php It is about 3 rows down
They really need help on the advertising side of things.


The ESS is $190, even if you add $46 for two BoBs that's $236.

I might live on the other side of the world but that is $199 difference. And that is for the Hicon Hobby....not the real thing.

I have not used the ESS or the UC300, but again, those BOBs you point out are not optoisolated, just buffered. If that is OK with you, then fine. I also don't know if they will support the analog output for the spindle. Per ger21(hi Gerry) this would be the way to go. https://www.cncroom.com/break-out-board/smooth-stepper
24V I/O and support for the analog out for the spindle plus it allows access to all 3 ports of I/O
ESS $180 + MB2 $150 = $330. Now the difference is within ~$100

Each person will have to decide what to spend their money on....I will not be buying a cutdown version of the Hicon any time soon.
In the last fortnight Warp9 has added single point lathe threading to their Mach4 plugin on top of backlash compensation that was added
three months ago. Excepting THC there is nothing that I require from a Hicon that can't be delivered by a much cheaper option.

Agreed, we all must decide what we want to spend our money on. As  you say, IN THE LAST FORTNIGHT, they have added single point threading and backlash compensation. How much longer until it is really working well? Not slamming Warp9, but it may take a while until it is properly debugged. Look how long it took Mach 3 to work really well and it still has problems. Mach4 is progressing nicely but it was not an overnight happing. Since the motion contol boards have to work with MachX, there will be a need to keep the plugins up to date,something that Warp 9 has struggled with.

The "cut down" aspects of the Hobby version make it the perfect choice for a stepper machine or the more budget minded person who wants one of the best controllers out there. If the limitations are to much for you, then the Full Hiconn becomes another option


You may point out that the Hicon can, at extra expense close a servo loop. You may also be aware that modern AC servos have rendered
that functionality moot and so it applicability is to old school servos. Having bought one AC servo and had my eyes opened I won't be
fiddling with any old school servos any time soon.

Using the Hiconn to do closed loop of a servo system allows for there to be a central controller instead of doing it in each servo drive. Again, this gives you more options.

I've been using Homman Designs BoBs, not dissimilar to C10s, that is non optisolated for five years without problems. Wherever I determine that
there may be a voltage conflict I add an optocoupler as required. For instance my Vexta stepper drivers have optoisolated inputs thus there
is no gain in having optoisolated outputs on the BoB as well.

I agree that double optoisolation is not the way to go, I think that it is great that you have not had any problems. I have heard other people say that they don't use any protection at all, and they have not had a problem. Great for them too. However, when something goes wrong, then it could fry your motion controller, how much money and time did you save?
Adding optoisolation as need is great, but many of us are not that skilled at electronics and would not know when to add the extra security.


Let's be very clear, I am not here to pick a fight nor "shill" for Vital Systems, I, like you, want everyone to be able to make an informed decision.

For what it's worth, and I did mention it before, my next choice of controller is the Pokeys 57CNC. I think it has great support, is reasonably priced, has plenty of I/O, and best of all for my use, it supports Auggie. Auggie machine control software is something I am using on a new project   ;D

Mike
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.
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2018, 03:23:31 PM »
Hi,

Quote
I'd recommend the MB2 motherboard
I disagree. The MB2 is a good board but the manufacturer has already made all the decisions about which pins are inputs or outputs
including whether they are line driver or single ended outputs.

On Page 4 of the manual is an overview.

12 Line driver Outputs
14 Sink/Single ended Outputs
12 NPN inputs.
1 PWM analogue output

All very well unless you what more inputs say.

The ESS has port 1 pins 2-9 as outputs always but ports 2 and 3  pins 2-9 can be block assigned as inputs or outputs.
Thus if you want the maximum number of inputs then:
port1  12 outputs
          5 inputs
port2   4 outputs
          13 inputs
port3   4 outputs
          13 inputs
total     20 outputs
           31 inputs

The C10 or the Homman Designs BoBs allow me the choice as to exactly the balance of inputs to outputs.
They are also plain TTL so are all capable of better than the 4MHz limit of the ESS. If I require
a linedriver for a given output I add it, if I require an optoisolated input or output I add it, if I want an analogue
PWM output I design and build my own filter, if I require a 24V interface I use a 2 cent transistor to do it.
In short any input or output requirement can be met by adding a little circuitry to a C10 or Homman designs BoB.

3 x C10's @ $23 each = $69
1 M02   =$150

The last time I looked Peter Homman's Bobs were up to $56 (also confusingly called the MB-02V6):
3 x MB-02V6  =$168
Thus the Homman designs BoBs are more expensive than the CNC Room MB02, however I choose to support Peter,
a longtime contributor to this forum and an Australian neighbor.

Mike:
Quote
ESS $180 + MB2 $150 = $330. Now the difference is within ~$100
That's still $100. My $100 is hard earned, I'm not averse to spending it if I see an advantage but refuse to part with it if I don't.
The cut down Hobby Hicon is not a good choice for me....my servo running at full speed at full resolution requires a step signal
of 468kHz, well within the ESS but impossible with the Hobby Hicon....the full Hicon however is a contender.

Quote
Using the Hiconn to do closed loop of a servo system allows for there to be a central controller instead of doing it in each servo drive. Again, this gives you more options.
If you are using an existing DC servo arrangement then the flexibility of the Hicon, with the extra required activations is indeed a very powerful unit.
Its rivals Gallil and they are more expensive again. You may have noted that all the servo manufactures close the loop within the drive and almost
all offer distributed motion control via Ethercat, Profibus or Canopen....and others. In short the CNC world is going, and has been for a decade or more,
to ever increasing intelligence in the servo drive. Closing the loop within the controller is becoming increasingly anachronistic.

You may recall OP is looking for a controller and servo/drives to repower an existing gas cutting table. THC, lathe threading, yada, yada is just so
much background noise to him. Given that he is looking at modern  Ac servos and drives then he has no intention of spending big dollars and adding
a bunch of complication by closing the servo loop with a Hicon.

If you can come up with a combination that beats or even comes close to the budget I posted earlier I'm sure OP would be delighted to hear it.

Quote
and I did mention it before, my next choice of controller is the Pokeys 57CNC
I have not used one but look at them very favourably, the analogue input capability is a definite advance over the ESS, shame they are limited
to 125kHz.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Controller and drivers
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2018, 04:26:14 PM »
Hi,
I wish to correct a mistake I made in my previous post. I have wrongly described the inputs/outputs available
from the MB02. I have attached a pic of the table from which I drew the info but was mistaken in the number
of inputs and outputs.

12 Line driver outputs
15 Single ended/relay contact outputs
18 NPN inputs
5 PNP inputs
1 Analogue PWM output

Total = 51 I/O. The ESS has a total of 51 I/O's.

As Gerry has pointed out that for many projects the MB02 is a very good fit with a good balance of capabilities and is a very practical
solution. My forte is electronics and can therefore adapt the plain TTL I/O to whatever is required and thereby retain the flexibility
of I/O assignment and at a cheaper cost.

For someone who cannot or will not make a few simple circuit additions to a 'plain Jane' board like a C10 then the MB02 is a good choice.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!