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Thread: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    I think going with the Linux system might be the best solution. Trying to figure out the communication with the original controller might be difficult.
    I think Jim is right. Take the data to work out what wire goes where, throw out the original board and install a mesa 7i76e and use its 0-10 v control to manage the spindle CSV and you will have a good robust system for years to come.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Quote Originally Posted by rodw View Post
    I think Jim is right. Take the data to work out what wire goes where, throw out the original board and install a mesa 7i76e and use its 0-10 v control to manage the spindle CSV and you will have a good robust system for years to come.
    The ONLY thing I don't like about that is I am doing away with some features unless I add more hardware to the conversion.

    I'm not sure how exactly it uses them but it has limit switches and I think inductive sensors for the homing. It uses the inductive sensors to check for lost steps as well, I believe as it has "axis out of sync" errors if I remember correctly.

    The inductive sensors work off of a pin on the lead screw pulleys.

    I'm not sure the feedback that the stepper motor drivers provide but it'd be cool to still use that as well.

    I think the best way to do it would be what Jim has recommended in the past with the linear magnetic scales, but I'm not sure how I'd fit them everywhere in the stock enclosure on every axis.

    Yeah I think for now I will just go with step and direction inputs to the stepper motor drives and the simple way to control the VFD.

    I love the idea of hacking the protocol for the machine but I've spent a long time on that and don't feel like I've really gotten anywhere.



  3. #23
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ok guys I've been digging through all of the files provided with EMCO software, the particular software I was digging through was for a newer mill but it seemed very similar in structure never the less.

    What I found was that the computer checked everything, for example, axis sync. So, the CNC itself does not check if the AXIS is synced, it relays the signal to the PC which then checks.

    Also, with the machine on, not connected to a PC, it does not send any signals over the serial line for alarms. So, for exlample, I cannot even reuse the main board for alarms and limit switches. It seems the PC initializes the CNC machine before it can do any communication.

    so after lots and lots of research and trying to decode the protocol I decided to commit fully to removing the original main board and doing my own setup for all of that stuff.

    I'm going to go with the MESA money permitting, which should be soon, so I'm going to tear down the machine and lubricate the ball screws with some fresh grease for now



  4. #24
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    Default

    About to order a mesa board but there seems to be a few different options. Do I get the sinking output one or the 7I76E STEP/IO Step & dir plus I/O daughtercard - sourcing output version.

    Also do want linear magnetic scales one day if that influences the best choice

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-screenshot_20210601-133239-jpg  


  5. #25
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Are your existing sensors sinking or sourcing? 7i76e for new most builds, 7i76eD for retrofits which have sinking IO eg NPN sensors or negative sensing.
    If you add glass scales one day that are managed by Linuxcnc, you will need a 7i85s daughter card for the encoder inputs. Or use a 7i95
    7I95 picture

    This video I did may help with the 7i76 (or any other mesa board)


    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ^Thank you! My sensors seem to all be sinking, however, the limit switches can just be changed over extremely easily as they are combination n/o and n/c. I am curious if one may offer advantages over the other. If sourcing is more accurate or less prone to noise for example, I'd just as easily go with that or vice versa. I've only got 3 inductive sensors I'd need to switch out.

    If there's no advantage to either different setup I'll just go with the card that can work with what I already have.



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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    The difference between the 7I76E and 7I76ED is the outputs _not_ the inputs
    The 7I76E has sourcing outputs (PNP type)
    The 7I76ED has sinking outputs (NPN type)

    The inputs on both are sinking so require PNP sensors (or limit/home switch commons to be connected to +12/+24V)
    If you have NPN sensors you would either need to swap them for PNP sensors or add an external pullup resistors on
    those inputs (say 1K 1W for 24V)



  8. #28
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    I must admit I'm a little confused now so the outputs affects things like the stepper motor drivers, etc? But if I plan on using the differential output whats the difference?



  9. #29
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelwoodcock View Post
    I must admit I'm a little confused now so the outputs affects things like the stepper motor drivers, etc? But if I plan on using the differential output whats the difference?
    They don't matter. The Mesa stepgens are 5 volts and in most cases just wire straight to the Stepper drivers using 4 wires. eg with Step+ to Step+, Dir+ to Dir+ and likewise for the Step- and Dir- signals.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ok here's what I found and how


    I installed virtualbox with a virtual windows 98 system. I copied all of the files from the milling machine and placed them on there. I connected the serial ports on the virtual pc to dump to text files on my host pc. Out of two serial ports, I got a very understandable dump on one text file, and nothing in the other.


    The virtual PC milling software indicates rs485 card init error. I go take the card out of the actual CNC pc, but I find out it's an ISA slot card, not PCIE.


    I removed the main controller from the CNC machine and studied the chips on it and googled them one at a time starting with the closest ones to the serial input from the PC.


    One chip that I found was labeled ltc485 cn8


    I researched that chip and I found it is commonly used for profibus and profinet.


    That would explain (I think) why I wasn't easily able to get any good data from logic sniffing.


    It would also explain why only one dump file contained any data, as only the keyboard can communicate over rs232 which would use the com port.


    So I research profinet (and profibus) and cnc and I find a project that has implemented that for linux cnc: https://bues.ch/cms/automation/profi..._with_linuxcnc


    I need to kindof know more about what's going on with the windows98 software, what drivers is it using, how is it accessing the ISA slot, i need to log more about what it's doing but I'm not sure how to do that or even where to ask or look.


    The windows files for the software contains information files that apprear very similar to files that GE FANUC systems use for their profinet/bus cnc machines.


    so really what I want is go just somehow get more information from the windows 98 program via debugging and see how I can translate that into working with the current project already created for linuxcnc and profinet/bus.



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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ok I did just order a MESA card.

    I also started a GITHUB for anyone interested in using the factory controls: https://github.com/MichaelWoodc/LINU...O_using_awlsim

    I posted in the EMCO cnc machines subforum to recruit anybody capable who's interested in working on that.

    That being said since I have limited time before I start going back to school I'm moving ahead with the MESA card for now. I've already done one linuxcnc conversion in the past and it was fairly straight forward with all new hardware, but I've never written code to control all existing hardware on a given machine with linuxcnc, especially this siemens plc or profibus stuff that while openly documented it's not like I can just send Gcode to the machine by rs485.

    Today I'm wrapping up documenting all of my current software/ machine profile/ control info finds to share with others. Then, I'm starting tear down and maintenance while I wait for the MESA card.



  12. #32
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelwoodcock View Post
    ok I did just order a MESA card.
    I think this is the sensible way forward. At least you have a proven system.
    The other path would have no guarantee of success. and it won't likely perform as well.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ^I agree, I want to do it with all original controls if possible but I have not been able to find any partners in crime for that!

    I am going through and pre-planning what all of my settings will be for linuxcnc, and it seems while I was doing my logic analysis I should have paid attention to the step and direction signals, in particular I should have paid attention to step on-time, step space, direction hold, and direction setup.

    One weird thing is I don't see settings in the setup to choose the ETHERNET mesa card, just parallel port ones? Is that odd? I am not sure.

    so now I'm setting all of the stock stuff back up for one final time to get the settings for the stepper motor drivers, then hopefully I have the maintenance done by the time I get the mesa card

    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


  14. #34
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Configs for The mesa cards are configured using pncconf, not stepconf.
    Start at 5k for the timing settings. Often the mimimum settings will fail

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Status update:

    1. I was able to come up with a conversion face plate that will be able to reuse 100% of the stock wiring with absolutely no modifications. This will allow me to swap back to the old controls should I ever decide to do so (probably not).
    The panel geometry might look "off", but it's because I could only make the wires' path to the connector shorter, and not longer. I coould not create a 100% copy of the stock face plate because I do not yet have the equipment or skills to design PCBs. So when I went with the terminal blocks, they had to be the panel mount kind which takes up extra space.
    After lots of frustration getting everything so every stock connector with no wiring modifications would fit I realized I can get a terminal block longer than needed and just insert more of the male ends into the same one. Problem solved.
    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-screen-shot-06-28-21-01-45-a
    2. 5V & 10V power for mesa board and spindle, respectively. I was considering Meanwell DIN mount power supplies for each:

    1. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005T6RBSO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
    2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R5CHZAO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2TKIOR8M5AQ8G&psc=1

    I am not sure the best way to do this. I know the mesa board can imitate a potentiometer but I think I only have 18V nearby to play with. Rather be safe than sorry, as they say.

    Advice welcome!

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-screen-shot-06-28-21-01-45-a  
    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


  16. #36
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Can you confirm you bought a 7i76e?
    Normally, you do not need a 5 volt power source for it. Changing a link on the board will allow it to get 5V from the field power. Thats covered in my video
    Normally we would use a 24 V power supply for field power (around 2 amps is fine) but the range is 8-32 volts if you need to use a different voltage for the existing sensors

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ^ Thanks for the heads up, yes I can confirm I did buy the 7i76e
    I was not aware of that, thanks. I do understand it is more than likely possible to use the same 18v (I think it may be 24v when rectified to DC, can't remember) but it is my understanding never the less that I can use this for the spindle controls from 0-10v, just using basic maths and that.

    But is it safer to get an alternative 0-10v din power supply? If I overvolt the spindle VFD, is it toast? It's not a risk I'm keen on taking since a DIN power supply is only about 20 bucks.

    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


  18. #38
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelwoodcock View Post
    ^ Thanks for the heads up, yes I can confirm I did buy the 7i76e
    I was not aware of that, thanks. I do understand it is more than likely possible to use the same 18v (I think it may be 24v when rectified to DC, can't remember) but it is my understanding never the less that I can use this for the spindle controls from 0-10v, just using basic maths and that.

    But is it safer to get an alternative 0-10v din power supply? If I overvolt the spindle VFD, is it toast? It's not a risk I'm keen on taking since a DIN power supply is only about 20 bucks.
    I'm not really up with VFD's but I thought normally, there was a 10V output on them that you can use. If not I would definitely use a separate isolated power supply. The range is 5-15v

    Read up on what the 7i76e manual says on page 21

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    I'm trying to get hardware to add more slide in cards, and I'm hoping to figure out what these things are called exactly. I think they are called card glides but I cannot find one in this size (6 1/8" or 155mm total length, 4 7/8" or 124mm center to center for the clips).

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_135014769-jpg


    side view

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_135000882-jpg

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_134953163-jpg

    EDIT: this should be rotated 90*, for some reason it got rotated by itself when I uploaded it to the forum, it is in teh correct orientation on my phone. The clides clip into those holes on the front and back of the enclosure.

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_135031697-jpg

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_135014769-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_135000882-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_134953163-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_135031697-jpg  

    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


  20. #40
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    I am fairly certain in response to my own post, that the pictured above are indeed called card glides.

    I got a laser cut part in today to do my conversion, and here it is!: Remember, it's geometrically imperfect because I had to space everything out to use all of the original wires without any modification, and it worked out! Now, all I have to do is the arduous wiring, make a slide in card that will hold the mesa, I have access to a sheet metal brake, cutter, etc. for that. and configure the PC. Then, maintain the machine.

    So everything will be stock except for the controls at this point. I added DB9 ports to be able to add linear scales since most of those seem to use DB9 ports.

    I really want to do a heavy maintenance on the ball screws like clean them all out and pack with fresh grease. Manual states they are lubed for life, I'm guessing by that they mean the life of the ballscrew, which will be not as long as it could be if you cleaned it out and re-greased it yourself?

    Oiling everything is obvious and I am hoping to make an auto system for this ASAP. I will have more funding if a sale of the PC that came with the machine goes through. I need to hurry though as the next school semester starts very soon.
    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_183016817-jpg

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    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_232848251-jpg

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_233137047-jpg

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    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_233455369-jpg
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    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_233504000-jpg

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_183016817-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_232848251-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_233137047-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_233455369-jpg  

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210629_233504000-jpg  
    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


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