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Author Topic: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra  (Read 1179 times)

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Please forgive me if this question has already been addressed .... but I could not seem to see anything in the Hicon topic.

I have a 3 axis CNC router, controlled by Mach4 and Hicon Integra 7766.

I know that Vital Systems offer a 'MPG06 Unit w/ DB15M + EStop Button + Differential Encoder' ... so this may seem like a stupid question???

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a 'best-option' remote controller for use with my Hicon/Mach4 system?

I did purchase a hand controller off eBay (It looks exactly the same as the Vital Systems one but it came with loose wires and a Chinese instruction sheet; I tried wiring it up but couldn't get it to work). I don't know if I need to enable something in Mach4? There are settings which I do not understand - like 'Enable VSI MPG', Selection of MPG0, MPG1, MPG2, etc.



I have seen some wireless ones available for Mach4 but do not know if they are a good idea.

What I really want to know is .... Can someone recommend something that they have personally been using without problems ... or is it best just to pay Vital Systems the $295, plus shipping to UK, plus import duty (probably $450 by the time it arrives).  :-\ 
Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 07:45:24 AM »
Smaller photos
Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 02:22:56 PM »
Hi,
I use a VistaCNC P1A and have done for three years. It is USB connected to my Mach4 machine.
It has its own plugin and is independent of the motion controller.

The only wireless pendant I know of is by XHC. The plugin is written by a user not XHC, the company have little
interest in making a working plugin. Their (supposedly) Mach4 ready motion controller doesn't work and they have
shown no interest in fixing that either. All in all I would avoid XHC altogether.
https://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php?topic=37581.0

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 06:52:27 AM »
Great Craig - Thanks again - very helpful

... so there's no real advantage to using the DB15 pendant connection on the Hicon Integra?
i.e. I'm better off getting a USB pendant from VistaCNC; and controlling the machine through/via the Mach4 software?

And (let's say for examples sake), if your P1A pendant broke and you had to get a new pendant, would you order another P1A or would you get an alternative ... say, a M1, M2, P1A-S, etc. ?
Or is the P1A the best (most uncomplicated, and best supported by it's associated plugin)?
 
Anthony
Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 07:57:15 AM »
Hi,

Quote
... so there's no real advantage to using the DB15 pendant connection on the Hicon Integra?

I am not aware of any advantage but guess that there maybe.

First a USB connected pendant requires its own plugin. For a long while the VistaCNC Mach4 plugin was considered buggy.
I myself had no problems but others did.

I imagine there would be no conflict with a Vital Systems pendant, it does not require its own plugin, it is instead integrated
directly to the Hicon.

I bought the P1A when I was still using Mach3, and it worked perfectly. I chose it in part on the basis of cost, the P1A
has very nearly all the functionality of more expensive models but a few less frills, including the LCD screen which I considered
to be unnecessary. At that time, about three years ago, VistaCNC had a Mach4 plugin so when I migrated to Mach4 I
installed the plugin and started using the P1A in Mach4. As I recall it took a few attempts to get it to work but its been fine
ever since. It can be a bit picky about the USB being plugged in once a Mach4 session is in progress. I find that it needs
to be plugged in when you fire up Mach in order for the USB connection to be established.

There have been a number of users who have struggled to get some models of VistaCNC pendants to work, and in my estimation
all the  models for which problems were encountered had LCD screens whereas mine did not. It seemed to make sense to me
to arrange Modbus comms from Mach TO the pendant were problematic, but my pendant did not require comms in that direction.
I was never able to establish this as a fact, I encouraged some users to disregard the screen, but they refused....'if I cant
get all working......I'll not put up with 90% working......instead I'll huff and puff and %%$&*&^%!!!'

A short while ago VistaCNC have released a new Mach4 plugin. Reports by some of those same users who had difficulties previously
report good results. As my installation is not broken I'm not going to try to fix it with the updated plugin.

To my knowledge VistaCNC is the only manufacturer of stand-alone Modbus pendants that have a Mach4 plugin.

All others are either parallel wired hardware pendants like the Vital Systems or are based on the Xbox controller or the
ShuttlePro, which have plugins written by users and NFS respectively. XHC have two models which are reputed to work with
Mach4, one a USB connected version and the other a wireless version. XHC has taken no part in the development of the required
plugins and the hobbyist users who wrote the plugins have been kind enough to share but are not in a position to support a plugin.

There is sufficient evidence on the forum for me to actively dissuade you from buying an XHC pendant.
I have personal experience operating  the VistaCNC P1A with good results.
I have only anecdotal reports regarding the Xbox controller and the ShuttlePro, but there are sufficient users to suggest
that they do work and certainly enough users for you to get a first hand opinion if you seek it.
I do not recall any reports about the Vital Systems unit. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if it did not work perfectly.
Vital Systems may not be cheap but can be relied to work as advertised.

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

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Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 09:24:05 AM »
thats how i would wire that thing
anything is possible, just try it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.

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Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 09:52:15 AM »
and this should be the setup
anything is possible, just try it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.

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Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 09:53:57 AM »
here: http://www.vitalsystem.com/portal/cnc/motion/MPG_datasheet.pdf
is a pinout from the original pedant
anything is possible, just try it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.
Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 01:33:29 AM »
Hi,

Quote
... so there's no real advantage to using the DB15 pendant connection on the Hicon Integra?

I am not aware of any advantage but guess that there maybe.

First a USB connected pendant requires its own plugin. For a long while the VistaCNC Mach4 plugin was considered buggy.
I myself had no problems but others did.

I imagine there would be no conflict with a Vital Systems pendant, it does not require its own plugin, it is instead integrated
directly to the Hicon.

I bought the P1A when I was still using Mach3, and it worked perfectly. I chose it in part on the basis of cost, the P1A
has very nearly all the functionality of more expensive models but a few less frills, including the LCD screen which I considered
to be unnecessary. At that time, about three years ago, VistaCNC had a Mach4 plugin so when I migrated to Mach4 I
installed the plugin and started using the P1A in Mach4. As I recall it took a few attempts to get it to work but its been fine
ever since. It can be a bit picky about the USB being plugged in once a Mach4 session is in progress. I find that it needs
to be plugged in when you fire up Mach in order for the USB connection to be established.

There have been a number of users who have struggled to get some models of VistaCNC pendants to work, and in my estimation
all the  models for which problems were encountered had LCD screens whereas mine did not. It seemed to make sense to me
to arrange Modbus comms from Mach TO the pendant were problematic, but my pendant did not require comms in that direction.
I was never able to establish this as a fact, I encouraged some users to disregard the screen, but they refused....'if I cant
get all working......I'll not put up with 90% working......instead I'll huff and puff and %%$&*&^%!!!'

A short while ago VistaCNC have released a new Mach4 plugin. Reports by some of those same users who had difficulties previously
report good results. As my installation is not broken I'm not going to try to fix it with the updated plugin.

To my knowledge VistaCNC is the only manufacturer of stand-alone Modbus pendants that have a Mach4 plugin.

All others are either parallel wired hardware pendants like the Vital Systems or are based on the Xbox controller or the
ShuttlePro, which have plugins written by users and NFS respectively. XHC have two models which are reputed to work with
Mach4, one a USB connected version and the other a wireless version. XHC has taken no part in the development of the required
plugins and the hobbyist users who wrote the plugins have been kind enough to share but are not in a position to support a plugin.

There is sufficient evidence on the forum for me to actively dissuade you from buying an XHC pendant.
I have personal experience operating  the VistaCNC P1A with good results.
I have only anecdotal reports regarding the Xbox controller and the ShuttlePro, but there are sufficient users to suggest
that they do work and certainly enough users for you to get a first hand opinion if you seek it.
I do not recall any reports about the Vital Systems unit. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if it did not work perfectly.
Vital Systems may not be cheap but can be relied to work as advertised.

Craig


Wow Craig, that's probably the most comprehensive and informative reply I could have hoped for. This sure will save me a lot of trial-and-error and messing about.



So, the XHC is off the table because the producers don't support Mach4 and some user reports have been bad? And though someone has been kind enough to openly share a plugin, it may not work with my particular setup.

The VistaCNC models with LCD displays could potentially be problematic due to 2-way comms? … that's ok - I don't think I need that feature anyway.

I don't think I'll bother looking into the Xbox or ShuttlePro controller. Personally, I don't like the idea of using a games console or multi-media controller.


SO … that leaves me with 2 choices, either:
 - VistaCNC P1A at around $200
 - Vital Systems Hicon Integra MPG06ED at around $400/$450 (I remember the postage and duty for my controller was very high for whatever reason)

Hmmm?? … food-for-thought.


But here's a question ….
If you plug the Vital Systems Hand-Wheel into the Hicon Integra Controller, don't you then have to configure all the pin inputs in Mach4?
In other words, aren't you sending instructions FROM the controller TO Mach4 (then, in-turn, Mach4 sends signals BACK to the Hicon controller, and on-in-turn-to the CNC machine)?
So, essentially this is no more advantageous than VistaCNC/USB control structure? 
… or am I misrepresenting/misunderstanding the workings of the Hicon controller/Pendant?

Anthony   

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Re: MPG Hand-Wheel-Controller Best Recommendation for Hicon Integra
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 03:20:40 AM »
Code: [Select]
- Vital Systems Hicon Integra MPG06ED at around $400/$450 (I remember the postage and duty for my controller was very high for whatever reason)

IMHO your pedant is a clone of the MPG06ED

Code: [Select]
But here's a question ….
If you plug the Vital Systems Hand-Wheel into the Hicon Integra Controller, don't you then have to configure all the pin inputs in Mach4?

the configuration i posted in REPLY#7 is from Vital System Manual and recomended for MPG06ED and should also work for your pedant.

anything is possible, just try it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.