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Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« on: May 06, 2020, 11:12:00 PM »
Hi. I need an advice with choosing a replacement for Chinese XHC card for mach 4.  To put it simple the Chinese product I have is driving me nuts. I have to recommend a replacement to my service engineer, he promised to replace it for me, but there is a size limit I can use because the cables are short. The current card's dimensions are 184x127x30mm. Manufacturer webpage :( http://www.cdxhctech.com/html/eProduct/view_216_406.html ) I have been considering Ethernet Smooth Stepper, I have Mach 4 Hobby licence, but unsure about the right BoB for me, with adequate input numbers, pins and size of the card being my biggest concern. I just don't have enough knowledge to decide and to have a hassle free experience ( I had enough nightmare with my current XHC card). Any help, especially based on personal experience, will be very appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Adam
Re: Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2020, 12:00:33 AM »
Hi,
I use and like an Ethernet SmoothStepper (ESS) by Warp9TD. I use two MB2 BoB's from Homann Designs in Australia but two C10's
are a reasonable alternative at $23 each or a C25 at $30, it has two ports worth of IO.

A more sophisticated BoB, 24V inputs/outputs, differential IO etc is the Mb3 from CNCRoom, made especially for the ESS.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2020, 12:20:59 AM »
Thanks Craig.
 I suppose there are no compatibility issues with Mach 4 and ESS? Can I use the newest version of Mach 4? My current card supports only small part of Mach 4 functions and sorry to be a nuisance, but I want to make sure that no more issues like this will happen with the next card.
Re: Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2020, 12:23:03 AM »
I forgot to mention I have a 4 Axis machine. Does it change anything in terms of choosing a controller card and BoB? I mean can I still use ESS?
Re: Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2020, 01:17:44 AM »
On ESS website I have read something concerning :
"Since the SmoothStepper outputs 5V signals (with currents limited to 24 or 32 mA), you will need a motor driver between the SmoothStepper and the motor itself.  For your axes, the SmoothSteppers can control stepper motor drivers and digital servo motor drivers.We do not support analog servo motor drivers or PWM servo motor drivers.   For the axes, we run open loop and don't support PID (since that is used in analog servo setups). "

My machine uses HCFA X3E SERIES SERVO MOTOR CONTROL ( https://my729800-credence-automation-sdn-bhd.contact.page/products/183052-hcfa-x3e-series-servo-motor )

I remember my service engineer talking about PID configuration.

Does it mean that ESS will not work with my machine?
Re: Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2020, 02:01:45 AM »
Hi,
reading the manual those servo and drives are step/direction, ie they do not require that the motion
controller close the loop. The servo and drive alone constitute a closed loop with the ESS suppplying the
step/direction commands.

Why would your engineer wish for the controller to offer PID configuration, your servo drives have that built in
with manufacturers tuning aids, likely to be way better than you or your enginner can concoct no matter the motion controller?.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Controller card and bob to replace XHC card
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2020, 07:45:54 AM »
Thanks for your quick response. My mind is set on ESS with MB3 just need to ensure that my engineer is able to install it and he should with so much info available. When the machine is up and running I will post it here so others like me can make informed decisions. Thank you.