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Author Topic: printer port vs controller card ?  (Read 7953 times)

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Offline Hood

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2008, 07:12:25 PM »
The printer port will do fine, some computers can have issues with the software pulse engine that Mach uses for the PP, these can often be sorted by doing optimisation steps. Computers to avoid if you are using the PP are Laptops and Desktops with onboard graphics. Some Laptops  and desktops with onboard graphics work fine but they are definitely more problematic.
 The SS will help (and already has) with these issues as it produces the pulse externally and really means any computer should be capable of running Mach.

All in all I would say you should be fine with the PP and my guess is you will see a vast improvement over what you have at the moment, especially if you use the Geckos as you have found out Mariss knows his stepper drives.
 If the time comes when you find you need more than the PP can deliver then the SS should just be a direct conversion (take cables from PP and plug into SS)
Hood

Offline bubba

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 08:12:51 PM »
Thanks Hood,

You are absolutely correct about Marris. I have talked to him several times over the years. He is one of those super genius people.
What I really like about him is his patience, and ability to explain things in a way that us none electronic Gurus can understand.

What printer port breakout board seems to be working the best? I see several are available.

Thanks,
Joe

Offline Hood

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 08:33:22 PM »
I use PMDX 122 and CN CBuilding Blocks Acustep and like them both. The Acustep is no longer produced so its not an option but the good thing about it, and the reason I had it, was that it took the index pulse from an encoder and used it for homing.
 The PMDX is a very nice board in my opinion and excellent quality at a reasonable price. Dont have any experience with any other breakouts simply because why change if you like what you have. I have heard good things about the Campbell boards so they might be worth a look as well.

Hood

Offline jimpinder

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2008, 06:40:12 AM »
If you have settled on the Gecko's - and they are first class - then all I have as a breakout board is a non-powered Routout CNC board, which gives me the pins and the 0v from the LPT1.

I use Gecko 201's. These are internally opto isolated, so you don't need opto isolation again. The only thing you will have to provide is a 5V power feed to run the low voltage side of the Gecko's. I did this with a small phone charger type power unit, and a 5 volt regulator.

It will also provide any 5 volt feed you might need for your switches or relays for the spindle drive, limit switches etc,
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.
Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2008, 01:55:38 PM »
I picked Campbells SoundLogic combo board because on one board it had support for everything I needed, DC out to control VFD speed, MPG inputs and relays for my spindle and coolant.

The only rub was the documentation at the time was a little spotty and the speed control voltage isn't quite as solid as I would like it to be, but it works. I beileve they have reworked the speed control voltage and hopefully the documentation has improved.

My motor performance is very smooth and the only time I've lost steps is in a crash, but that's when you want to lose steps. I have a BP sized mill with big honkin' 42 size steppers. I use 60 ipm max on X,Y, 90 ipm on Z. I could probably bump my speed up with a higher supply voltage, I'm running about 2/3'rds of what the motors will take, but for what we use the machine for (prototypes, small production runs) we can live with the current speed.

Paul T.

Offline bowber

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2008, 08:54:04 AM »
My mill had an Ahha board and the Artisan controller running it.
I switched to mach and the difference in performace is amazing, I'll admit that my Artisan control software wasn't setup to the optimum but just having constant velocity has helped a lot.
Artisan also had a problem with small curves, I had to alter the min curve setting and still had problems.

Steve
Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2008, 09:56:32 AM »
Quote from Hood !"The problems are that if you dont use breakout boards between your hardware and the SS you may suffer from noise which can trigger limits etc. "   
   I have a IH mill that i setup with a combo board and had noise so bad i couldn't solve the problem and safely run the machine ! My ultimate solution was to revert back to the direct port wiring for the drivers and only left the vfd & coolant on board. This was the only way i could eliminate the noise problem. So, I guess i am the only opposition to the above statement ! The key to the whole thing is the system being wired up, and the board selection.
    For the gent which run out of port pins, there are add in port cards too numerous to mention, for adding a port. The most critical point to keep in mind is the operating voltage of the board. Many run in the 3v range which "WON'T" work, It must be in the 5v range. I am using the one recomended by the previous IH owner and am having "NO" problems with it at all.
   not opening my yapper in a long time i just thought i'd chime in and make some noise !
Cruiser
CRUISER
  Don

Offline Hood

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2008, 10:10:37 AM »
Cruiser, not familiar with your setup but do you have a link to the breakout board you have? Did you try connecting capacitors between the Inputs and 0v on the SS?

Hood
Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2008, 10:29:58 AM »
WOW, I never got any responces this quick when i was having nitemares over my system !
Hood ..... The board i used was (is) campbell combo board that i had now for close to two yrs. I never got any info about puting "anything at all" across "any" terminals to quench the noise issues. I feel that there is some anomoly dealing with the internal power supply that inter connected through the ground circuit which carried the elec noise back to my system which drove my system to epileptic phitts !(fits) I would have certainly tried it but right now i think i'll just leave it alone as it works clean and quiet. Although, other than the pain in the arsse of rewiring i'd be interested in knowing what and where or how to accomplish adding the appropriate caps to where etc ! If i "HAD" to rewire in the future then who knows !
CRUISER
  Don

Offline Hood

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Re: printer port vs controller card ?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2008, 10:48:35 AM »
Not sure where you posted your nightmares, was it here or the SS forum? The SS forum has quite a bit of info about noise and capacitors etc.
 I have the Beta SS on a coil winder I made and found that I sometimes suffered noise. I was using a breakout on Port 1 so couldnt understand. Didnt have anything connected to Port 2 butseems that Port2 may have been picking up noise, disabled the pins2-9 as Inputs option and the problem disapeared so maybe that was where your noise was coming in. Greg is working on digital filtering so I think that will probably cure the problem without having to resort to caps.

Hood