Hello Guest it is November 27, 2021, 04:36:18 PM

Author Topic: Servos Motors/Drives & ESS Smoothstepper/Mach4 communication (Encoder Feedback)  (Read 479 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jevs

*
  •  315 315
    • View Profile
I am looking into migrating from Mach3 to Mach4 and figuring out what hardware will/won't work and any updates needed etc.

I called the supplier of some of my components and they have basically changed direction and are no longer selling pieces and parts to build your own system. They are just selling complete retrofit packages now I guess.

They mentioned something about switching to a different setup than what I have now because there is no encoder feedback with the breakout board I have etc. Apparently they are using Ethercat or something now. 

My question is. Why do I need this? I have Teco Servo motors and drives. Is there a reason they should need to feed anything back through the breakout board to the controller?

I thought the servo drives themselves took care of closing the loop and all that? There was talk of me possibly needing a whole new motor/drive, control etc system....but I don't see why any of that would be necessary?

Is there any reason Mach4 (or even Mach3), should know anything more than a drive fault has occurred? I believe this is how it is configured now with Mach3.

From researching all my hardware and all the documentation, the main thing I was concerned with is that their control panel I have uses a pokeys 55 in it and they have their own plugin for mach3. I would not be able to get a plugin from them for this to work with Mach4. I also cannot just upgrade to a newer pokeys in it and get a plugin from them for Mach4. They only give that out if you buy a new system I guess. I may be able to upgrade the pokeys and just use the pokeys plugin to get around this. Not sure.

Anyway, the mention of needing a new controller, breakout board, possibly drives and motors and all that due to no encoder feedback kind of came out of nowhere for me. I was not expecting this to be of any concern? My feeling is that it is not a concern, but I want to find out why.....??





 

 

« Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 11:12:25 AM by jevs »
Hi,

Quote
I thought the servo drives themselves took care of closing the loop and all that? There was talk of me possibly needing a whole new motor/drive, control etc system....but I don't see why any of that would be necessary?

That is correct. If you had them running with Mach3, an open loop step/direction controller, then they will work with Mach4
which is also an open loop step/direction controller.

Your existing breakout board will still work if you plug in two (of three) ports of an ESS.

As I replied in your other thread I think getting your pendant to work may be possible but I suspect would be difficult
to do so. Even if you updated the board to a 57 or a 57CNC for which there is a Mach4 plugin you still have the problem of
Mach4 decoding the control panel switches.

Note also that Mach4 can have but one active motion controller. Thus if you have an ESS to drive your breakout board
then any PoKeys board MUST be a secondary data input board. PoKeys devices are good at that. A number of users have
used an ESS as the motion control board and then used a secondary PoKeys board to construct their own control panel.

If you were prepared to reverse engineer the existing pendant you could do the same thing. Are you up for the challenge?
Or just buy a Mach4 ready pendant, the one I use costs $160.

Craig
« Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 02:52:27 PM by joeaverage »
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline jevs

*
  •  315 315
    • View Profile
I think I can just open pokeys software and get the answer as to what does what (I have not looked at this in years). I am not positive, but then I should be able to just make the same settings (if I put in newer pokeys that works with the plugin)?
https://cdn.solarbotics.com/products/documentation/pokeys55.pdf

But yes, my pokeys is not doing anything with motors etc. It is just for connecting the buttons, switches, pendant, and spitting it to the computer via USB as you described others doing. I do have an ESS already for the rest.

If people are not really using pokeys for their physical switch panels anymore with Mach4, then what are they using?

I have not used this thing in so long that it took me like a day and overnight just to get all the windows updates loaded via the wi-fi (my computer is built into my machine).

Now that Windows 10 finally got all up to date and I installed my 3d probe and tool height setter, my next step is seeing what I can get to work with mach4...

I could consider a pendant change, but that won't help with the physical buttons and the other mechanical controls.

I am just doing some preliminary research here trying to figure out my options, but I have no time actually investigating this live on my machine yet....but will soon.

Will the Mach4 demo let me work these bugs out before I buy it, or am I gonna have to restart the program every 6 minutes during my configuration? That could be quite frustrating.
Hi,

Quote
If people are not really using pokeys for their physical switch panels anymore with Mach4, then what are they using?

As I stated earlier that users DO use PoKeys boards for control panels, so it is very possible. Indeed PoKeys have their
origin in data  input boards and are good at it.

The problem you face is trying to reverse engineer the control panel and make logical connections to Mach4. You may
well require some Lua coding which as a Mach4 beginner is going to be tough.

Quote
Will the Mach4 demo let me work these bugs out before I buy it, or am I gonna have to restart the program every 6 minutes during my configuration? That could be quite frustrating.

Yes Mach4 demo will work but until its licenced it will require restarting every six minutes.

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

Offline jevs

*
  •  315 315
    • View Profile
I am going to have to learn the Lua to some extent anyway or at least muddle through to get what I need to work. I will have to write something to control my tool change since the VB script I wrote will not be able to port over I assume.

If your going to have buttons and switches and jog physical buttons aside from a pendant, it seems like you are going to have to do this eventually or be stuck on Mach3 forever.

I also want to use the probing stuff and two probe inputs (I think I can have my tool height setter and 3d probe work with separate inputs in mach 4?). I know there is a workaround for mach 3 on one port, but rather than shorting out my 3D probe connection port when it is not connected to keep the tool height setter functional, having them separate would be nice.

I am just not that invested in mach3 operation at this point. Even though I built the machine, wrote the tool change thing, and got all this crap running. I have only made a couple parts with this thing, so I have very little time invested in actually using Mach3 to make stuff. All my time was spent just getting it going and then the machine sat for long periods of time unused.

Also, I am building another CNC machine....so I kinda need to get up to date. I don't want to keep learning on Mach3 and getting more and more invested into it. It seems silly to learn a ton more on mach3 when I still have a lot to learn. I think I would rather do a little reset at this point, get going on mach4, and spend my time learning something current.

By the time I get up to speed on Mach4 something else will be out better LOL. Too many hobbies & too much time working gets in the way big time!