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Thread: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

  1. #73
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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    Does GDK not play nice with this controller, or something? It looks like Galil has it as their preferred/modern setup & tuning software on the main download page (it seems they change the name of this tuner/terminal interface every couple years)

    This is kind of cool, I guess; if I understand correctly, Galil has made their GDK configurator C-based, so it's quasi-open source now;
    https://en.compotech.se/blog/2015/06...mming-library/

    "I have never used the Galil stepper drives, I have used their on-board servo drives and have had good results. "
    Because why would you, right? Like I said, it seems if a person is willing to go to the trouble of using a Galil, they pretty much always are willing to shell out for proper servos. Makes me wonder if this stepper board might actually be a more popular item among the used/hobby set than industry.

    Agree on the limited stepper-food these all in one boards offer; to be honest, my thought was if I outgrow this initial configuration I'd simply install servos for the axes (and use the 4 stepper ports for what-have-you, or get rid of the daughter board entirely). The used Galil board actually seems identical in a lot of ways to the mulit-axis unit I see Leadshine & some others offer (only rated to like 3.5A), but cost about the same. 10 amp drives, huh? I guess that's for size 34 or even 42 motors, right?

    Last question for tonight; what's the deal with this board only requiring fan-cooling when operated at a full 3A (per Galil), yet the cheap import drivers requiring big heat sinks? I guess they're switching the pulses on/off via a different circuitry process that's less efficient? I'd kind of figured on the heat being more of an issue than this to be honest, but it looks like the only cooling I'll be needing is a small fan for the servo amplifier heatsink.

    TCB



  2. #74
    Gold Member Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    The reason I haven't used GDK is because it's $195, Galil Tools is free, works fine, and I'm cheap. Admittedly, GDK does have some nice features like being able to talk to both the GDK program and the host program simultaneously. Saves switching back & forth, but I build all the debugging/diagnostics into my software anyway.

    I use steppers and/or servos depending on the project and the customer's budget. Basically, if you come to me to have a machine built or modified, you are going to get a Galil controller. There is no learning curve on my part and I already have all of the software modules written. I have a combination of servos and steppers on my mill.

    EDIT: I do remember using a Galil onboard stepper drive on a dispensing machine I built. Used it for positioning the rotating drum with a NEMA23 stepper. In that case the drum had 10 stations, so I used full stepping thus 20 steps per station. Lined up the drum with one of the natural ''cog'' positions. Not really a very demanding application.

    Yes, 10 amp drives will run most NEMA 42 as well as NEMA 34. That's what is nice about those drives, they will run the full range of common stepper motors from NEMA 17 and up, and are tunable programmatically to run correctly with any of them.

    The heat sinking vs. fan cooling may have something to do with the quality of the electronics and the efficiency of the circuitry. The Automation Direct 10 amp drives are little tiny things, fit in the palm of your hand and don't have any major heat sinking or fan. The standard 7 amp import drive is twice that size and has a huge heatsink.


    Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors-img_1526-jpg



    Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors-img_1527-jpg

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors-img_1526-jpg   Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors-img_1527-jpg  
    Last edited by Jim Dawson; 07-27-2017 at 12:28 PM.


  3. #75
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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    The reason I haven't used GDK is because it's $195, Galil Tools is free, works fine, and I'm cheap. Admittedly, GDK does have some nice features like being able to talk to both the GDK program and the host program simultaneously. Saves switching back & forth, but I build all the debugging/diagnostics into my software anyway.
    I think GDK 'lite' is free to download from Galil's site; I've got it running on my laptop right now & everything. Granted, there's no controller to talk with & test yet, but I only see a request for the "pro" license on the o-scope simulator and feedback-loop tuner screens (and I'll be tuning my one servo loop via the Baldor MintWorkbench software for the time being). The important controller configuration and terminal interface screens seem to be fully enabled.

    TCB



  4. #76
    Gold Member Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    I'll have to check it out



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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    Well, now that I have all the logic components in my possession, I can start putting my pin-out wiring diagram together & get the necessary harnesses assembled. So hopefully I'll be able to get my computer talking to the controllers in the near future.

    Just need to do some minor surgery on the Galil 2183 card; the one I got a good deal on has a right-angle connection for the big 96 pin Eurocard/DIN41612 pin header (hopefully the combination of all these names for the thing will show up in search results for other poor saps trying to figure out what connector that is, lol), but the daughter board requires a vertical header so when plugged in, secondary pin headers will interface with the main board at several other locations. I figured this out before the purchase, but decided to chance it anyway (it's not like the board is under warranty or anything as it is) after learning that desoldering isn't that dangerous a process so long as you have the proper tools at hand. Hopefully others considering the Galil 21x3 cards will find this & can decide whether to wait on a card with vertical slots if they wish to use the various daughterboard options out there (I have to say, it puzzles me that Galil even offers this as an option, considering how heavily they seem to market these expansion cards, since it makes them all unusable without modification)

    TCB



  6. #78
    Gold Member Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    Normally any daughter boards are factory installed. I think the one you have is designed to be used with a cable.



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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    So, I found out that there are plenty of cables/connectors to join the boards together at a right angle (or even parallel but at a short distance), but they're the tape variety. Now, I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to circuitry, but I assume that noise is a likely problem even with short (1") cable lengths? There would be logic, sensory, and 48V(DC, I think) connections between the boards. Obviously Galil wouldn't weigh in on this configuration when I asked, lol. The upside to the cable solution is it isn't permanent, doesn't void warranty, shouldn't break anything, and costs about 60$ by my rough estimation. Tooling up and replacing the connector myself also runs about 60$ (I could find a buddy to do it for a sixpack or two, plus 3$ for the connector).

    I did find one other fool who had this same idea; 2123 and 2143 | Galil
    Of note, the Galil tech says that theoretically the connector could be replaced to reorient the connection. Also, this bit;

    "The dmc-2143 is a four-layer board, the internal layers are 5V and GND. There are vias that pass these signals from the 96-pin connector to the internal layers. So the connector is not strictly through-plated. Keep in mind that if there is damage to the PCB the card will no longer be repairable."

    Any ideas what they could mean by "not strictly through plated?" I was under the impression that all soldered via holes are plated entirely through the board thickness (though they may or may not connect to traces at each level though a copper pad around the hole). Though 4-layer, this board is still the 'standard' ~.07" thickness you usually see in PCB's, so I don't think getting solder to flow fully through a cleaned/fluxed via is the issue. So long as the existing solder/pins are removed carefully such that the via plating is not destroyed, it seems like installing the new header should be no different than the original installation of the one that was removed. Am I missing something?

    TCB




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    Default Re: Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors

    I think your interpretation re 'through plated' is correct.

    The problem with desoldering is that sometimes the pins can have an interference fit into the plated hole, and removing the pin can damage the plating. After all, the PCB material itself can NOT withstand the soldering temp for very long. Equally, the high temp can lift a copper track off the surface of the PCB - which can then break. The photo below shows what can happen - see pin 12.
    Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors-7807-jpg

    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    I think your interpretation re 'through plated' is correct.

    The problem with desoldering is that sometimes the pins can have an interference fit into the plated hole, and removing the pin can damage the plating. After all, the PCB material itself can NOT withstand the soldering temp for very long. Equally, the high temp can lift a copper track off the surface of the PCB - which can then break. The photo below shows what can happen - see pin 12.
    Motion Controllers: Mixing Servos & Stepper Motors-7807-jpg

    Cheers
    Roger
    Having ruined a board or two in the past, this is my exact worry, lol. I've never been skilled or practiced in this area, however. At least there aren't delicate ICs involved here, just a pin header, yet folks seem able to replace those successfully. Ultimately, much of this hinges on the quality/character of the board vias, and I can't know ahead of time.

    TCB



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