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  1. #13
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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Forest View Post
    You should also look at Centroid's 'Acorn board. By the time you buy software, hardware and muck about trying to get it all working you could buy an Acorn board and instead of trying to learn LinuxCNC you could be making parts. Under 300 dollars for the basic board and software. Great support and from one company for the software and board. Just a thought!
    It's $440 to get the package Centroid hasn't deliberately throttled for file size (50Kb?) among other limitations to do the up sell. Getting Centroid's motion control know-how for that price is cheap but it's a business practice carried over from industry and it's not the hobby market norm. Unless support is paid for ($90/hr ?) it looks like most support will be from a user community forum with some input/moderation from Centroid techs?

    Getting linuxcnc installed and a stepper system running can be a one evening project if every thing goes to plan, the instructions are well laid out. Of course there's some luck involved and Murphy is always hiding around the corner. Fortunately the forums are active and there's even some live help on irc. It's not the overwhelming task it's sometimes made out to be. I've managed many times and my intelligence is pretty average (many have said less than average)

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclestart View Post
    but it's a business practice carried over from industry and it's not the hobby market norm. Unless support is paid for ($90/hr ?)
    Compare that with the free support provided tirelessly by Mesa on the LinuxCNC forum (and to a lesser extent on this forum). Mesa even built a new firmware for me after I fried one of my encoder inputs so I did not have to buy a new card while I was sleeping on the other side of the world! What a nice surprise to wake up to!

    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au


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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    For those who like to tinker and learn I think the grbl/g2core/linuxCNC path is better.

    For those who don't want to dig deep and have something else to learn (something else to go wrong) then packages makes a ton of sense.

    Since I don't mind tinkering: what do you get for the 10x more with acorn vs what you get with grbl or linuxcnc? I can understand the support being important and worth it. Is there something more?


    Perhaps a g2core vs grbl vs linuxCNC comparison is something folks want to see? I'd bet you couldn't tell the difference between the outputs given the same gcode.



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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by jschoch View Post
    For those who like to tinker and learn I think the grbl/g2core/linuxCNC path is better.
    Perhaps a g2core vs grbl vs linuxCNC comparison is something folks want to see? I'd bet you couldn't tell the difference between the outputs given the same gcode.
    I have a Uno+shield in the mail with a fun project in mind. What's happening in that world (and that covers a lot of territory) is really interesting and an Uno is obviously at the toy end of the scale. A comparison or a bicker-fest ? You know how these things go and I'm as guilty as anyone.

    meanwhile we seem to have scared off OP.......

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Hello all, I hope I am not breaking any rules or etiquette by jumping in here. I came across this thread while doing research and it matches up nicely. I too am interested in building a grbl project. I have a Mach3 mill and plasma table under my belt. But the woodpecker board on the Chinese 3018 router/laser engraver I received for Christmas intrigues me. I have a 9 x 20 lathe I would like to convert using grbl, as a learning excercise. So my question is which boards or shields should I be looking at? I see there are some available that don't have on board stepper drivers, so I would not necessarily be limited to 2~2.5 amps.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk



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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcar72 View Post
    Hello all, I hope I am not breaking any rules or etiquette by jumping in here.
    Without the thread starters involvement the thread tends to become a sandbox. Yes, it's bad manners of some sort.
    So my question is which boards or shields should I be looking at? I see there are some available that don't have on board stepper drivers, so I would not necessarily be limited to 2~2.5 amps.
    I'm in the same boat with this being new territory. I looked at it like this:
    1) Purchased a Protoneer knock-off with the little a4988 plug-in drives to get a feel for how it all works.
    2) If the a4988 drives burn meh, they come as a throw-in with the shield
    3) After #2 happens that still (hopefully) leaves an intact shield to hook-up lager drives. The specs say 36V is possible.
    4) It looks like a shield isn't even needed but for the price of these things why not get the convenience.
    5) With shields with the built-in drives it could be one dumb move and shield and drives both into the trash.

    If that thought process is rubbish someone can offer a better explanation. This is a learning exercise and I don't know enough to to know what I don't know..

    Sent from my 1976 rotary dial phone.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcar72 View Post
    Hello all, I hope I am not breaking any rules or etiquette by jumping in here. I came across this thread while doing research and it matches up nicely. I too am interested in building a grbl project. I have a Mach3 mill and plasma table under my belt. But the woodpecker board on the Chinese 3018 router/laser engraver I received for Christmas intrigues me. I have a 9 x 20 lathe I would like to convert using grbl, as a learning excercise. So my question is which boards or shields should I be looking at? I see there are some available that don't have on board stepper drivers, so I would not necessarily be limited to 2~2.5 amps.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Most of those daughter boards do not handle 2.5 amps well. You would need intense ventilation and heat sinks on the chips. So if you need to drive large steppers you really want access the o the step and direction signals and independent amplifiers.

    As for the use of GRBL on lathes it might not be an optimal solution. Spend sometime on the net looking for example machines.

    Being A 9x20 owner I’m actually interested in such an upgrade but simply don’t have the time at the moment. That being said the 9x20 has one big issue which makes it a poor CNC choice, that is the screw on chuck. There is also an intermediate lathe solution out there called the Electronic Leadscrew that actually has lots of appeal.



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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Thanks for the information. It is good to hear the voice of experience.

    As for GRBL development that seems to have stopped or slowed down to a significant extent on all platforms. It is my understanding that one of the key developers is working with on a major rewrite of the code to be more modern and to prepare to better leverage more advance hardware. I have no idea if this is what is actually happening at the moment but many of the repos have not seen significantly can’t updates in a long time.

    I don’t see this as a bad thing as it highlights that the current versions of GRBL are pretty reliable. One can only hope that the refactoring is still on track because this should permit far more functionality on ARM.
    Quote Originally Posted by jfong View Post
    Even though I use Linuxcnc, mach3 and UCCNC on my machines, I play around and compile test every grbl, marlin, smoothie etc port that is available.

    ESP32/grbl is the newest port but still some rough edges. I like it but slow usb serial. Plenty fast for 3axis cnc but too slow for laser raster engraving. Neat WiFi web based interface available.

    LPC1769/grbl-lpc is what runs my CO2 laser because it is the fastest grbl port available. The development has stopped and there are some features of original grbl that still hasn’t been ported over. 4 axis only. Over 100khz step rate. Fast raster CO2 engraving capability.

    STM32/grbl is a mostly a full grbl port with 6 axis capability. The STM32 is 72mhz so not as fast as the 120mhz LPC1769. Good enough for 95khz step pulse rate. New dev has picked up development work and added new features and bug fixes.

    Mega2560/grbl is a full grbl port but hindered by the 16mhz atmega2560 speed. Up to 6 axis available. About 30khz step pulse rate.

    Uno/grbl. This is the original master code running on a atmega328 arduino Uno. The most reliable and stable version. Max step pulse is about 30khz. I would recommend using this version for beginners since it has the most users and knowledge base. 3 axis only. Arduino Uno is cheap to buy.


    For a full featured controller on a budget. You can’t really do better than free Linuxcnc running on a spare PC laying around. If it doesn’t have a built in parallel port for I/O, a $8 pci parallel port card can be purchased. Linuxcnc isn’t the easiest to configure though.
    I wish it was that easy to find a suitable PC just last I got around. The other problem is that most of these old PC’s are massive boxes often bigger that the machines they are driving. As such I’m not a big fan of going the old PC route. A small PI, Odroid C2 or similar card running a G-Cide sender seems like a better solution these days s. A complete controller can be easily bolted to the machines that are likely to be driven by such controllers.



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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Has the original poster seen any of the numerous youtube videos about driving a large stepper with an Arduino?With the right hardware there shouldn't be any need to submit an Arduino or it's shield to any high currents.Having said that,I would still select LinuxCNC myself and if space really is tight,I would look at using something like a Raspberry Pi in the same box as the drive modules.I don't know a huge amount about what would be necessary and wouldn't be surprised if somebody on this forum could provide an answer.



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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    Has the original poster seen any of the numerous youtube videos about driving a large stepper with an Arduino?With the right hardware there shouldn't be any need to submit an Arduino or it's shield to any high currents.Having said that,I would still select LinuxCNC myself and if space really is tight,I would look at using something like a Raspberry Pi in the same box as the drive modules.I don't know a huge amount about what would be necessary and wouldn't be surprised if somebody on this forum could provide an answer.
    This is my LinuxCNC PC. Where is the massive box?



    The ethernet cable runs back to the Mesa 7i76e in the control box.




    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au


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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclestart View Post
    It's $440 to get the package Centroid hasn't deliberately throttled for file size (50Kb?) among other limitations to do the up sell. Getting Centroid's motion control know-how for that price is cheap but it's a business practice carried over from industry and it's not the hobby market norm. Unless support is paid for ($90/hr ?) it looks like most support will be from a user community forum with some input/moderation from Centroid techs?

    Getting linuxcnc installed and a stepper system running can be a one evening project if every thing goes to plan, the instructions are well laid out. Of course there's some luck involved and Murphy is always hiding around the corner. Fortunately the forums are active and there's even some live help on irc. It's not the overwhelming task it's sometimes made out to be. I've managed many times and my intelligence is pretty average (many have said less than average)
    Are you aware that Centroid actually dropped the price of the Acorn recently? Not because it wasn't/isn't selling. It is selling extremely well. I look at it this way. If someone is starting out on the CNC jouney there is information overload. So many different aspects of the whole project have to be digested, understood and implemented. If someone can ease the learning curve why not. As for support for the Centroid Acorn I think it is top notch. The forum is really active with experienced people as well as the folks at Centroid. The ease of setup with the Wizard system and the conversational programming for G-code makes it a no-brainer in my book. The fact that the hardware and software comes from the same company is a big plus. No finger pointing to where the problem is located. Sure everything can be done in LinuxCnc but don't be blinded by your experience with LinuxCNC. I for one know first hand how daunting it can be to set up for the true newbie! Wondering which hardware to order that will play nice with which software is another daunting task. You have to know what questions to ask to get good answers! If the OP wants as inexpensive as possible monetarily then he will have to pay with effort and time. I don't have a horse in this race. Just pointing out another option. It seems the OP has buggered off so it is all a moot point anyway!



  12. #24
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Software & Breakout board question

    Are you aware that Centroid actually dropped the price of the Acorn recently?
    Are you sure?
    It's $299 + $139 for the software.
    It started at I think $269 + $99.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
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    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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