This project started with me wanting to have the ability to remotely control my CNC machine. I run many large surfacing programs which take hours to complete, so being able to monitor and control the machine from my couch was a very desirable feature. I also wanted the ability to create macros to do some of the more common functions (tool change, machine warmup in the morning, machine shutdown at night, moving the table forward to change out parts, etc).
My first thought was to just replace the controller with something like Numatix to gain most of this functionality. I could never justify the cost of the new controller since my machine was doing what I needed it to do. So I changed modes and started upgrading my old 1400-2 system.
I now have a 1400-5 system with 8Mb of mem and a touchscreen interface that I can control from anywhere I can get an internet connection. There was a great deal of learning, but both the software and the hardware are functional and work amazingly well.
Everything was done with prototyping boards, so my next step will be to create a real PCB board to solder all the components to, and create a macro language to use for custom buttons so a person can set the button to whatever they choose. The beauty of this system is that anything that can be typed (including the start/feed hold/manual/etc buttons) can be put in a macro. For example: to change a tool:
I am VERY happy with how well this works. The pc captures the video (old bnc type video) and displays it in a window on the touch screen interface so the user can see exactly what's going on. All the keys on the PC keyboard work as well as the old fadal keyboard. There are function keys on the PC keyboard for all the big keys (start, feed hold, manual, tool in/out, spindle, etc) as well as touch screen buttons. I still have yet to incorporate the Emergency Stop button, but will have that going soon.
What's the pixel resolution (i.e. 1920x1080) of the retrofit monitor on the Fadal control panel. The LCDs I have been trying cut off part of the text display, making it very hard to read the X axis coordinates and other menu items. I'm guessing the resolutions I'm of my monitors are not the right height to width ratio.