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Thread: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    It's been a while, I admittedly found myself lost with other things and decided to re-inspire myself back into this project by making a stand for the CNC machine. It's easier to work on it now because I can just roll it wherever I want it, and I don't have to sit on the floor to fiddle with it.

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210923_224658471-jpg

    That's the bare frame, here's how the mill sits on top of it:

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210925_145709207-jpg

    The frame as admittedly a little pricey. However, I do not have a welder, and I was in a hurry. I crunched the numbers and got a quote on steel for the job. Steel prices are currently 3 - 4X higher than the last time I bought steel! (presumably due to COVID). So, all in all, aluminum extrusion beat out steel on price because I did not have a welder. I like that I can easily change things up in the future with the aluminum extrusion without cleaning, welding, grinding, and painting.

    With all of that behind me I started wiring again. I am not happy with this at all, so please don't judge me by this work! The solder joints are bad because I did each joint like 3 times. Before labeling everything on the back I made mistake after mistake on where to put the wires.

    I am also not happy with the wire management. I used silicone wires and they are wayyy to flexible. They don't hold a large enough radius for me to use them for this purpose again the next time. As unhappy as I am with this it should be functional:
    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20211009_163326585-jpg

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20211009_163315508-jpg

    heat shrinking wires together for better management:

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20211009_182155439-jpg



    Now I have to work on spindle control wiring and axis control wiring. There's a lot to do there. Challenges coming down the pipe include:

    1. All axis and spindle wiring (simple enough). 2. Spindle control (the OEM control sent some kindof a "keep alive" signal even at 0 RPM). 3. Programming to use the original axis sync signals to check for missed steps. 4. Linux CNC setup. I've never setup a MESA card setup before.

    Excited and in a hurry to get it done! Have to use this to finish a large CNC router I'm building with a friend. Also gotta finish soon because I just purchased an EMCO compact 5 cnc lathe! The lathe as the original controls but no PC? I think the 2nd gen could operate without the PC? I'm not sure. I saw mention of people doing some programming with linuxcnc or another PC program to just send the drip feed or something right to the machine but the link in that thread is dead .

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210923_224658471-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20210925_145709207-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20211009_163326585-jpg   Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20211009_163315508-jpg  

    Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50-pxl_20211009_182155439-jpg  
    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


  2. #42
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Nice frame!

    Looking forward to the lathe project.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  3. #43
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    I am currently a little caught up on the spindle. The documentation from EMCO on the spindle drive / VFD says:

    Connector -X107 (signal - description(notes or question))
    1. MD - On/Off MD
    2. MD/ - On/Off MD/
    3. DIR - direction MD
    4. DIR/ - direction MD/
    5. N+ - analog speed input MD
    6. N- - analog speed input MD/
    7. CK - clock MD (this SEEMED to be the speed control on my logic analyzer, but I did not document the analog pins, should I just try this for speed control?)
    8. CK/ - clock MD/
    9. Strobe - actual frequency MD
    10. Strobe/ - actual frequency MD/
    11. IA - analog signal interm. circ. ???? (should this be the "wiper" from the potentiometer output? the spindle output from MESA card?)
    12. GND - GND control part (should this be the chassis ground or the isolated ground from mesa? the NC on the mesa spindle pinout? is that ground?
    13. Ready - servo Ready MD
    14. Ready/ - servo Ready MD/
    15. N.C.
    16. N.C.


    What does N.C. mean? Neutral connection? The same as ground? The MESA has "NC" for pin number 4 on the spindle connector, not sure I should hook them together

    The MESA card is mostly self explanatory, it is:
    1. Spindle -
    2. Spindle out
    3. Spindle +
    4. NC
    5. Spindle ENA-
    6. Spindle ENA+
    7. Spindle DIR
    8. Spindle DIR+


    Here's how I have it hooked up now:
    EMCO MESA
    1 on/off MD 5 spindle ena -
    2 on/off MD/ 6 spindle ena +
    3 direction MD 7 spindle dir
    4 direction MD/ 8 spindle dir+
    5 analog speed input MD 1 spindle -
    6 analog speed input MD/ 2 spindle out
    7 clock MD (not connected)
    8 clock MD/ (not connected)
    9 Strobe (not connected)
    10 Strobe/ (not connected)
    11 analog signal interm. circ (not connected)
    12 GND control part (not connected)
    13 servo ready MD (will go to mesa input)
    14 servo ready MD/ (will go to mesa input)

    I'm scared of hookint it up wrong and blowing the spindle drive / VFD

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


  4. #44
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    NC normally means Not Connected or No Connection

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  5. #45
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    I wonder if strobe is an encoder input?
    In that case I think they would go to Mesa ENCA+ and ENCA- TB3 pins 7 & 8
    You would need W10,W11,W12 jumpers set correctly. i think on the left hand position becasue with only 2 wires its not a differential encoder
    I think the GND should go to Mesa GND probably for the encoder so to TB3 pin 9. GND is GND but mesa provide multiple connections for convenience so keep it together.
    Also have a look at Linuxcnc's spindle pins which is ultimately where the mesa pins will be connected to using the pncconf mesa configuration tool.
    MOTION

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ^ Thanks Rodw! (for the link)

    I am curious about the strobe input too. it might be an index pulse? The very wierd thing, though, is that there is no sensor on the motor for an encoder. If the signal is used, it must be estimated by the drive?

    I do know that the actual requency signal works, but not sure how to use that. since it looks like I have two options to control the spindle (digital/PWM, or the 0-10V signal)

    The only issue I have stopping me at the moment is that the ethernet connection keeps disconnecting. I tried the fix in the link here but my command line states ethtools is not installed, looking for a fix for that.

    Also, there's a few vallues I'm not sure what to put in the PNCCONF mesa card 0 page:

    PWM base frequency
    PDM base frequency
    watchdog timeout

    # of encoders (this seems obvious)
    # of pwm generators ( would be 1 if I try and use this to control spindle)
    # of step generators (3, one for each axis)
    # of smart serial ports (I put 1, with 1 channel, bbut not sure it matters in this case)

    Last edited by michaelwoodcock; 10-16-2021 at 11:15 AM.
    EMCO PC mill 50/55 My conversion: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/420198-cnc.html#post2451878


  7. #47
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    The ethtools can be worked around if you follow the docs to configure the NIC.
    HM2_ETH
    Code:
    Configure network with static address
    Add these lines to the file /etc/network/interfaces to configure eth1 with a static address:
    auto eth1
    iface eth1 inet static
    address 192.168.1.1
    hardware-irq-coalesce-rx-usecs 0
    eth1 is likely different on your pc. type:
    Code:
    ip a
    to view your NIC names

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


  8. #48
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    One last thing that comes to mind before I go any further, the PC I am using has an intel core2@ 1.86GHZ/1066MHZ that only barely beats a raspberry pi in some single core / thread benchmarks. The PI handily beats it elsewhere.

    My current PC:

    Max Interval (ns) Max Jitter (ns)
    Servo Thread (1MS) 1028878 30107
    Base Thread (25us) 68147 43147

    Not sure how the raspberry pi would perform but I'm looking into it now

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


  9. #49
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Maybe I'm missing something but I couldn't see how to edit my last post.

    So the WIFI on the PC I was going to use just let the smoke out. Spent hours troubleshooting it. Did a fresh install of linuxcnc and this time I was not given the option during install to connect to a wifi network. After install, I do not get that option either. Weird.

    The wifi is built into the motherboard on this old PC so I don't know what to do about that. I'll try a USB wifi adapter but that kindof sucks.

    In the meantime I'm going to try and build a PC off an old core i5 I have that should offer exceptional performance (ivy bridge unlocked core i5) however the last PC I had it in occasionally blue screened and I never figured out why.

    That's where I'm at right now, lots of wiring done but I now need to focus on the PC and test some wiring as I go. GRR!

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


  10. #50
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Debian is a bit like that. It does not want to install without a network connection for me. Some wifi devices do not have a 100% opensource driver so Debian does not include them. Instead they publish a non-free version that includes linux drivers that include proprietary code in a seperate ISO. I'm not sure if that is included in the Linuxcnc distro.

    I always recommend connecting to a wired internet when installing linux. The last time I ignored this advice, I was getting wifi dropouts in an incredibly noisy industrial precinct so I had to move the PC to a wired connection!

    Because you are using a mesa card, you don't need to worry about the base thread, just the servo thread, 30,000 jitter is more than adequate. Up to about 200000 is adequate, 100000 is perfect. You may like to try typing this in your console to see a histogram version of the latency test.
    Code:
    latency-histogram --nobase --sbins=1000
    The pi I hear mixed reports on. Last I heard it worked OK with a slower servo thread but I think people who tinker have got better results recently.

    Most of my installs have been on Celeron J1900 or similar USFF PC. You need to work on the BIOS to remove any power saving options to get latency OK. The last time (earlier this month) I also added some isolcpu settings in grub which made quite a difference.
    Code:
     isolcpus=1,2,3 idle=poll
    It is a J1900 fanless industrial PC with 2 x NIC, 2 x serial ports and wifi with 2 external antennas I clip to the back of my monitor. Sometimes the inbuilt Microsoft wifi card needs removing or disabling as they can send latency up to about 500000.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


  11. #51
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    ^ Thanks!! It was so weird. I just went to install LINUXCNC again and this time it recofnized the wifi card during the install and I was able to get everything setup right.

    Now I can ping the mesa card and it never has an error that I can tell. Is there an automated way to test this? I was just using the terminal and typing ping 10.10.10.10. I am sure there's a better way to test this over a long period of time, but no problems yet.

    Im addicted to EMCO cnc machines at the moment. I just went to pickup an emco compact 5 lathe, and it almost cost me my life! The lathe is in excellent condition though, so it was worth it (except if it would have been worse than it was)

    On our way to get the lathe, at about 4 AM, a horse escapes a ranch and runs into the southbound highway. We are northbound and don't notice it. However, there is a Semi driver who sure notices the horse as he breaks his way through the front windshield and out the back one. The horse then goes back onto the road where he's struck by more vehicles. So the semi that made the original hit, the driver swerves so hard his logging truck flips over in the median and all of the logs escape and roll across the median into the north bound lanes.

    We are in the slow lane and a log rolls all the way on over to our lane. I see it at the last minute, it was as if it jumped at us out of nowhere (unlit highway)

    We impaled the log with the left hand bumper and ran it over at what must've been 60 MPH at least. This was a huge log, tall as a Georgia Pine. We went airborne and hit our heads on the ceiling. The car drove with wobbles after, I'm sure it's in terrible need of an alignment on top of the other issues caused. The crazzy thing is there was not (yet) a single death in this multivehicle accident other than the horse. Although I believe it sent some to the hospital. Luckily we did not have the EMCO lathe yet as we were on our way to pick it up, or things could have gone pretty bad. We were in a honda fit, and it deffinately would have bounced around the cabin.

    Needless to say I'm going to be tied up with a few car issues for a while, need to power through getting everything sorted to get back to the EMCO machines

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


  12. #52
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Bloody hell! Glad you are OK.
    I was always told that the worst animal to hit was a horse becasue the mass of the body is up high and wants to come inside with you. Apparently the semi driver proved that.
    I went close to proving it myself once when a mob of brumbies (wild horses) stepped out when I was sailing along at 90 mph back when nobody cared about speed limits. I evaded them all bar the last and I thought impact was inevitable but the horse propped at the last second!

    If the ping works on your card, it will always work so there is no problem to worry about.
    The only other issue that can come up is the ping time is long on some Intel NICs. The solution to that is mentioned in the LCNC docs here. HM2_ETH
    I did this to the last PC I set up and it seemed to make a slight difference.
    extended ping times increase latency, the mesa watchdog can bite or you get following errors.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Here's where that crazzy crash happened:
    The dash cam sees better than I do at night. It looks avoidable from the video, I need some better headlights!

    Today I got every axis moving but I can't figure out the spindle. Didn't even seem to be a place to configure it in the config wizard. What am I missing? Spindle is all connected to the spindle connector, but I don't see the option to config that in the wizard

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


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    so the problem I have now is LinuxCNC doesn't offer me many optionsn for the TB4 connector, and I cannot get the spindle output from this connector to work how I would like it to. In the configuration for the spindle I can only assign pin 1/2 as spindle +/- and nothing else. Spindle open loop test yields no results because there's no output from the MESA card. Weird.

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


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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    You may get an answer if you ask the LinuxCNC experts at https://forum.linuxcnc.org/ . There is a lot of knowledge there.



  16. #56
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    It seems I have to get into flashing the mesa card with PWM step generators and such.

    So the spindle output is isolated on the mesa card, I think that means that my spindle VFD would be expected to output the power to this part of the board, is this correct?

    Anyways, I'm not going to use the potentiometer function, I need to have a spindle enable, direction, PWM signal to VFD, PWM feedback from VFD to tell linuxCNC RPM, it seems I have to modify the board config somehow, can I do this in linuxCNC? The "suppport software" from mesa had windows options only.

    I'm going to seek help on the linuxCNC forum too

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


  17. #57
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    Default Re: Conversion to LINUX CNC EMCO pc mill 50

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelwoodcock View Post
    It seems I have to get into flashing the mesa card with PWM step generators and such.

    So the spindle output is isolated on the mesa card, I think that means that my spindle VFD would be expected to output the power to this part of the board, is this correct?

    Anyways, I'm not going to use the potentiometer function, I need to have a spindle enable, direction, PWM signal to VFD, PWM feedback from VFD to tell linuxCNC RPM, it seems I have to modify the board config somehow, can I do this in linuxCNC? The "suppport software" from mesa had windows options only.

    I'm going to seek help on the linuxCNC forum too
    You should not need to flash the 7i76e firmware unless you want different features. I though tthe PWM's were added in the hm2_eth load command in hal
    Most people use the 0-10 volt signal and yes you usually pick up 10 volts from the VFD.
    The other option is to use Modbus to control the VFD. You would need a RS485 interface on your PC for that RS232 to RS485 is better than USB.
    There are a few userspace components ending in _VFD for different VFD's
    Go to this page and click on expand man pages to find them:
    LinuxCNC

    Its best to ask on the linuxcnc forum as different people are more knowledgeable than me about some areas.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


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