Newbie Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design


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Thread: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

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    Default Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    I am a total CNC neophyte. I'm even very new to machining and know almost nothing about electronics. I'm not going to let that stop me from the fun challenge of converting my recently acquired G0704 to CNC. I've tried to do as much learning as possible though the 'zone' (took two full months to read both of Hoss's epic G0704 threads) and purchased Hoss's excellent conversion download. But, I still have some questions and would appreciate any good advice on selecting 'updated electronics' for my pending build because boards, motors, etc. are always evolving. Here goes...


    1. I started out thinking I would purchase the 'Hoss Heavy Duty Digital' setup, but am now considering possibly going with a closed-loop hybrid stepper setup. I realize that these aren't true closed-loop systems, but I assume they do provide at least a warning and prevent further part damage if a stepper motor misses a step. I really like that (in theory), but if I select the proper motors/drivers and don't push it too hard, how often will I actually miss steps and unknowingly ruin a part or end up with a part out of tolerance? Any suggestions for 'best value' hybrid-steppers and drivers (Leadshine, eBay Leadshine knock-off, Clearpath, others...?) for the G0704?


    2. I have an irrational aversion to attaching my CNC electronics to my computer using an archaic DB25 cable. I am almost dead-set on using an Ethernet smooth-stepper (ESS). I also need to pick a CNC machine controller software and am leaning toward Mach4 since it is 'newer' than Mach 3 and I don't know squat about the Linux OS to even try LinuxCNC. It seems that the Warp9 and PMDX boards don't support backlash compensation plug-ins (which I would like, and arguably may need for the Phase 1 part of the conversion), thus leaving the expensive but very nice Hicon Integra-Hobby board. Are there any other ESS boards that I have missed that may work?


    Thanks in advance and my apologies to those who find these kind of simple questions annoying.


    JJ

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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    I have a ESS and use backlash comp in mach3. I'm not going to tell you it makes perfect round pockets, but I have no issue hold .001" to .002" on rectangle pockets.

    Also you could look into the MASSO

    MASSO home page


    Andrew



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    Too bad you don't want to give linuxcnc a spin..

    https://mesaus.com/index.php?route=p...&product_id=66

    $199
    Ethernet
    5 axis stepper
    analog spindle control/spindle encoder - (rigid tapping, threading and such)
    48 isolated i/o
    expandable.

    backlash is implemented in the motion controller that is in the computer - works for all external interface hardware.

    Sam



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    I use the Mesa boards and love it. You don't need to know much about Linux if you use these boards as they generate the steps for you. Linux really functions like an old version of Windows with some DOS thrown into it. With a mesa 5i25 and 7i76 and a home built computer I was out the door for under $280. As mentioned the controller takes care of everything as far as backlash. And is a solid complete controller unlike a mach3 trial or mach4 that can be buggy. You can also upgraded to tormach path pilot with this setup.

    You already have a learning curve ahead of you. May as well learn a little Linux.

    As far as steppers I have been happy with lichuan servos. I would use there closed loop steppers on my next build. There service was great. Manuals are easy to read.
    http://n.xlichuan.com/m/prod_view.as...90&Fid=t3:75:3

    They are also available on ebay:
    LC60H2102+LCDA257S set 4.5 Nm 60mm Nema24 DC Hybrid Servo stepper motor 20-50V | eBay but they are cheaper if you contact directly. This link is for the equivalent to a 570 oz in motor (little more torque actually). You would need to make some changes based on shaft size etc.

    Hoss has great plans but make sure to do some research as there are now some better options and designs out there. For me personally I was not happy with the AC bearing conversion and found an upgraded set of tapered roller bearings that worked much better. As with everything there is more than one way of doing things.



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    Quote Originally Posted by DJEkim33 View Post
    You already have a learning curve ahead of you. May as well learn a little Linux.
    This is a very good point. It was the reason I thought I should just learn Mach4 and skip Mach3 altogether. By that same logic, I should consider LinuxCNC as well. I think I will partition a hard drive, install Ubuntu and Linux CNC and get my feet wet.

    Quote Originally Posted by DJEkim33 View Post
    Hoss has great plans but make sure to do some research as there are now some better options and designs out there. For me personally I was not happy with the AC bearing conversion and found an upgraded set of tapered roller bearings that worked much better. As with everything there is more than one way of doing things.
    This is good advice. While I really like Hoss's plans, they are several years old and intentionally kept quite simple (in a good way). Learning more about what others have done and new hardware/electronics options is what has prevented me from jumping into his plans verbatim.

    Those closed-loop steppers look very interesting and a nice price to boot. I'll start spec'ing out a system design with the mesa cards and those motors.

    I'm open to any other G0704 'updated' configurations as well...keep the suggestions coming!

    v/r,
    JJ



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    For Linux don't get caught up on the latency issue. It is not a big deal with Mesa cards. I built an Intel d525mw mother board up with memory and a solid state drive for less than $80. You will need to do the core isolation on it but it's covered extensively on the Linux website.

    Hoss's phase 3 stuff is nice, no complaints there. Get good couplers for the motors. You can make a simple belt drive if you do some research. Be very careful with which screws you order also. The labels for the y axis on his plans can be tricky. The largest one requires significant material removal from the base for the y axis front extension. That's fine if you have the ability to do it but drilling and die grinding it will take forever.
    Overall just get a basic build up and running. Play with it a bit and then see where you want to go.



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    You might want to consider UCCNC with a UC300ETH. Very easy to use, better and cheaper than a Mach3/4/ESS.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    Forgot to mention you can download linuxcnc to a thumb drive or dvd and run it that way to see if you like it. No need to partition a hard drive. The operating system is less than 8gb.



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    Quote Originally Posted by DJEkim33 View Post
    For me personally I was not happy with the AC bearing conversion and found an upgraded set of tapered roller bearings that worked much better.
    Tell me more please.



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    Quote Originally Posted by DJEkim33 View Post
    Forgot to mention you can download linuxcnc to a thumb drive or dvd and run it that way to see if you like it. No need to partition a hard drive. The operating system is less than 8gb.
    Yes, good to know. I found that out after I installed Ubuntu and tried to use the terminal command to write the linuxcnc *.iso file to a thumbdrive...which it did, but it would not boot up. Then I downloaded it again off my windows partition and used a software tool called 'Rufus' to write it to the stick. It worked great and it is pretty neat that it can be run like that. I think I may like the Debian OS GUI that it uses better than Ubuntu also.

    Is there any downside to running LinuxCNC strictly off a bootable USB drive? I did notice that the latency test results were pretty bad for the old laptop that I tried it on, which the mesa boards would make this mostly moot (I think).

    Of course, since I have no boards, drivers, motors yet, I was not able to do anything with it. I was sort of hoping there would be at least a simulation mode available. Maybe I missed seeing that?



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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey5226 View Post
    Tell me more please.
    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/336478-cnc-forum.html

    This explains it all. But basically not everyone had good runout numbers with cheap ac bearings and you can find tapered roller bearings that are direct fit with less runout, less heat and they will not be your speed limiting factor.



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    Default Re: Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design

    Technically I think you could run fully from a USB but you have a couple other issues.

    First the Mesa cards need a pic slot for the 5i25
    5I25 picture

    So a laptop is not going to work. And you probably won't be able to get just any old computer to work. You will need to get something you can isolate down to a single core. I is the Intel d525 (found cheap on eBay) but the more popular choice seems to be the gigabyte j1900. Search the linuxcnc forums to see why and look at this link for other setups and their latency. Latency with mess cards is not important as they generate the steps not the computer. So you will just need a servo thread that is around 1000000. Don't get caught up in latency issues it's a mute point. I wasted alot of time figuring this out as I tried different setups.
    LinuxCNC Documentation Wiki: Latency-Test

    I think the d525 has an option of using a USB as the hard drive and you could run it off their but you may have some speed issues. I used an affordable solid state drive and have no issues. As for the different versions of Linux, you are building a machine controller not a PC. While there are not many issues with using different versions it's just simpler to use the standard version that comes with the linuxcnc download. I personally don't use the computer for anything but machine control.

    Yes not being able to use a laptop sucks but linux will let you use a touch screen. Start thinking of building an electronics enclosure not just a computer. I built mine out of an old computer tower but next time I will us a box with a swinging door. The mother board will be mounted on the door and the rest inside the box. Then a simple touch screen monitor and your done. These mother boards can be built up for less than $80. So with the cost of the Mesa cards (one is the PCi card, the other is the breakout board) you are only going to be in the whole $280. Far cheaper than most smooth steppers and the cost of mach also.

    I never tried simulation prior to my build but I assume you would need ini and Hal files to make linuxcnc work. Since Linux communicates back and forth with the Mesa setup it won't work without it. You could try doing a generic config in step config.

    All in all linux is going to be some reading and learning but it's nice and simple.



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Guidance for Updated G0704 Electronics Design
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