PathPilot on NM200

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Thread: PathPilot on NM200

  1. #1
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    Default PathPilot on NM200

    Started this on request to separate from the Torus thread. I ordered both the 6i25 Mesa card and the PP DVD today.

    Basically I will be piggybacking on the existing CD100 control unit that contains the BoB and Gecko drivers. The Bob and Mesa card will be connected via the existing DB25 cable. I am having a new basic desktop PC built from components at Fry's electronics. This will be in a small case that will sit on top of the CD100.

    The BoB in the CD100 is model C11G from Cnc4pc.com. This card replaced a defective one in 2014.

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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    Here's the pins from the Mach3 configuration

    outputs:
    X-axis: step 2, dir 3
    Y-axis: step 4, dir 5
    Z-axis: step 6, dir 7
    A-axis: step 8, dir 9
    Spindle: 14
    Dirs on X and A are low for proper direction

    Inputs:
    E-stop 10
    X home 11
    Y home 12
    Z home 13
    Home switches are active low



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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    Quote Originally Posted by kvom View Post
    Here's the pins from the Mach3 configuration

    outputs:
    X-axis: step 2, dir 3
    Y-axis: step 4, dir 5
    Z-axis: step 6, dir 7
    A-axis: step 8, dir 9
    Spindle: 14
    Dirs on X and A are low for proper direction

    Inputs:
    E-stop 10
    X home 11
    Y home 12
    Z home 13
    Home switches are active low
    So your spindle direction is probably on 14, how do you control the speed of your spindle? I'm not familiar with the NM200.

    Scott...

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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    There's a VFD in the mill, so I assume it's by analog voltage. The spindle config dialog in Mach3 is confusing to say the least. I never once ran the spindle in reverse until earlier this year when I discovered that M4 doesn't work.



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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    For reference, this is the spindle config dialog in mach3:





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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    To try to get a handle on the spindle control, I unscrewed the rear panel to expose the VFD:



    The control wiring at the bottom:



    Found the online manual for the VFD here: http://s172429501.onlinehome.us/c300.pdf

    It's clear that the 0-10V speed control is in effect (black wire) and that fwd/rev is controlled by the white wire. So the puzzle will be how to command the speed control voltage in PP.



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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    Knowing that this is for a CNC4PC C11 takes away the guesswork:

    http://freeby.mesanet.com/c11.zip



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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    I received both the disk and the Mesa card in today's mail. When I get the built computer the adventure can begin.



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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    I received the machine today and started the setup. All of the following was done in my office without any connection to the Novakon hardware.

    1) Booted from PP DVD and ran the "R Image" restore to my hard drive. Completed successfully. On restart it wanted to reboot from DVD, but once I removed the DVD it bookted from disk and brought up Path Pilot. I selected the 1100-3 as the machine to initialize, and after flashing the default bit file I got the Path Pilot screen.

    2) Started a terminal with ctl-alt-x

    3) typed gnome-panel to get a startup line at the top of the screen. I needed to click on the 'Places' and then the 'Home Folder' dialogs to get what is the equivalent of the Windows Explorer utility.

    4) I inserted a thumb drive onto which I had copied the 5i25_C11x2.bit file from Mesa as well as the Tormach_1100-3.ini and novakon_torus.hal files from sa_green's thread.

    5) Renamed the Tormach-1100-3.in. in the tmc/configs/tormach_mill directory and copied the novakon_torus.hal and tormach_1100-3.ini from the thumb drive into this dir.

    6) Copied the 5i25_C11x2.bit file to the tmc/mesa directory

    When I reboot, it says Mesa needs to be reflashed. I checked OK, but nothing seems to happen. No error messages. I did edit the .ini file to point to the bit file name (i.e., 5i25_C11x2.bit.

    Last edited by kvom; 09-01-2017 at 05:24 PM.


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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    As a test, I copied the Torus.bit file and changed the ini file to match. Now I did the card to flash, so it appears there may be an issue with the bit file Mesa posted. ??

    In any case, afterwards I get a new splash screen with pics of Tormach machines, and a popup dialog that says:

    Machine control software experienced an error

    Install a software update


    If I click OK, I get a dialog asking to install an update on the hard drive named v1.9.11.tgp Not sure if I should do this or not.

    I went to the Tormach website and found that v1.9.12 is the latest update, so I downloaded it and applied when asked. After a reflash and a couple of restarts I am back at the PP control dialog.

    ***

    Now I discover that since the update places all the config data for the release under a new directory, I need to move the ini, hal, and bit files to the new directory. The previous reboot had just reflashed with the stock Tormach bit file.

    So after repeating the process for the 1.9.12 version, I rebooted. It flashed the Torus.bit file, and like before after another reboot I get the machine control software error. And when I edit to try to load the other bit file it hangs as before without doing a flash.

    I am wondering if using a 6i25 card is an issue. But given that tormach_mill3.bit flashes properly I'm dubious.

    Last edited by kvom; 09-01-2017 at 05:19 PM.


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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    I would not expect pathpilot to start with the C11 bitfile since it does not have the same hardware modules
    (PWM is missing for example)

    Your halfile will need editing before PathPilot can even start (and likely more editing before everything works)



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    Default Re: PathPilot on NM200

    Right now it's not a question of starting, but of flashing the card. If I specify the normal Tormach bit file I get the popup window as it loads. With either the Torus or C11 bit files, it doesn't do this. As a test, I restored the stock Tormach ini file but changed the bit file name to the 5i25_c11x2.bit, and this time it did flash. Then I switched the ini back to the one with the novakon hal file, and so was able to skip to the error popup.

    At this point I think I need to attach the computer and mesa card to the BoB to see if it gets further along. If not, I'll need to study the hal file to see if I can make sense of it.



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