[Note, this is not meant to be an advertisement for any particular product, this is merely a review of a product I purchased in direct relation to this individual forum. I am putting this up here as feedback for others that may be in the dark about this program and the capabilities of it, especially in connection with the external pulse timer. I am not in any way associated with Quickstep or its owner, only a satisfied customer. Other users, please feel free to chime in.]
Well, a few weeks ago I got my pulse pacer in, thanks to Craig, the designer, programmer, and owner of Quickstep. I used it a bit before I managed to ruin my computer in an attempt to re-install Windows98, and re-format my hard drive.(had too much crap on the hard drive, seeing as how it was an old school computer and had a lot of stuff I didn't need. It was a 15 dollar flea market computer. I got my moneys' worth).
Thanks to a close friend (same guy who was "helping" me reformat) I have a new Pc.
The pulse pacer came with a CDr of Quickstep4, which is a tad different than Quickstep3. Quickstep3 has a setup table where you must determine the processor speed of your computer, whereas with version 4, you simply unplug your parallel port, and click on the button that says "set pulsepacer rate" (in the setup menu). The program pauses for a minute or two, and then gives you a number. This number is used inside the pulsepacer attachment, as there are rocker switches inside, and that number determines which rocker switches you set. After you set these rocker switches, you record that pulse pacer rate in the setup table, and you are ready to go.
Right off the bat, the motors ran WAY smoother (IMO, smoother than they have off ANY other controller program) than ever before. I noticed a certain resonance I had before had disappeared, and the top rpm limit(up to the point of missing steps) of the motor were much higher than before. I probably had a 30% increase in the top speed of the motor. It could be my imagination, but it seems that the motors now exhibit a little more torque than before, as well. All this I noticed while on my old Pc, running Windows98.
Fast forward to the new Pc. I am now running WIndows2000, with a clean hard drive and otherwise the same setup. My motors almost look and sound like a Dentists drill, and acceleration rates seem to be even better as well. They accelerate almost instantaneously, and have a nice and smooth high pitched whine at high RPM's that I really dig. Never before have I heard them run that smooth.
The funny thing is, I am only running right around 24-28 volts, and I am getting speeds out of my motors I would only expect with twice the voltage I have.
All in all, I would have to say I am extremely happy with the controller/pulsepacer combo, for 125 bucks I have a simple and easy to use controller program and a machine that runs and cuts like it never has before.
I would highly recommend to anyone interested to give the program a shot, and if you have the extra money, get the pulsepacer. The difference is night and day in comparison.
Really, I wouldn't have expected a program this inexpensive to work as well for me as it has. I don't think that the little guys oftentimes get the respect deserved them, and I thought I would post this up as my way of giving them a bit of thanks and encouragement.
I am of the understanding that the owner of the program is also developing a set of 50-60 volt stepper drivers designed for us hobby guys as well, to the best of my knowledge they are a chopper drive, 1/16 step, and use a potentiometer instead of a resistor for current setting. They are rumored to be extremely affordable as well. More on that when they are out, as that is about all I know for now.
I hope this serves as a helpful bit of info for anyone considering the software or the pulse timer upgrade.
(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy"
the quickstep 4 software does not work, the vender does not support product, he changed his email address and didn't tell anyone, the product is no good!!!!!!