Breakout board advice needed


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    Default Breakout board advice needed

    Good morning;

    I picked up a 2005 AXYZ Millennium CNC router for the sole purpose of upgrading the electronics. I plan on using the original stepper motors, stepper drivers, spindle motor, VFD and the toroid transformer. I'm somewhat familiar on how to do this because I built a CNC mill 10 years ago, but much has changed since then and that's why I'm here asking for help.

    Here's what I'd like to do, and let me know if this is possible.

    I want to purchase a breakout board to be able to run the VFD as well as a couple relays for things like dust collection . Initially, I would like to run it on windows 7 (32bit) tower and it's parallel port, but I want the option in the near future to be able to add an ethernet smooth stepper (ESS) and then use Win10 and a laptop. Eventually when I do upgrade to Win10, my plan is to use the ESS from Warp9.

    What do you recommend for a breakout board that will suit my needs and be compatible with the ESS in the future? I want something that is brand name and quality with lots of support.

    Thanks for any reply.
    Dan

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    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    If you also want to run the steppers off of it, look at the Gecko products, there is a lot of support, including a forum here.
    Also I have a post here that shows how you can run the VFD On/OFF from the Gecko 540 direct.
    i.e. No relay.
    Al.

    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    I already have stepper drives, so no need to replace them. It's the breakout board I'm stuck on because I want to run it on parallel plug first, then upgrade to the ESS.
    I'm looking at the CNC4PS C25 board but wanted confirmation that it will do what I want it to do.
    Thanks for the reply.

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    The G540 is a BOB, essentially, with the drives separate, has analogue for the VFD.
    Al.

    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Thanks Al;
    I read a bit about the G540, but I must be misunderstanding something. I get that it's a BOB, but it has built in stepper drives that I don't need. I'm not a fan of having everything on board and would prefer to use my existing stepper drives (3 of them) because they are high end industrial units. I think I had better do more research.

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Hi,
    do yourself a favour, the parallel port is just too limited and implies limitations on the PC and OS and is pretty much restricted to Mach3.

    Get Mach4, an ESS, a MB3 BoB (by CNCRoom) and be done with it.

    Craig



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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Other than the challenge of getting the machine running,what advantage will the conversion bring?



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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Hi,
    using an external motion controller means that you are not stuck with 32bit Windows 7 or earlier for a PC. All those new or near new, cheap Windows 10 PC's now
    come into consideration.

    With Mach3 and parallel port any, and I mean ANY extraneous software on the PC, or worse running, is likely to cause a stutter or stall whereas an external motion controller is
    very much more tolerant. Screen re-draws often caused Mach3/parallel port failure whereas screen re-draws are (mostly) seamless when using Mach4 and a external controller.

    An ESS has a max pulse output rate of 4Mhz whereas with a parallel port 25kHz is the norm and few PCs can handle more than 45kHz.

    If you want high resolution AND high speed you need high maximum pulse rates and the parallel port is just too slow.

    Smoothness. When I changed from parallel port to my ESS I found that my steppers could go 33% faster, sound smoother and run cooler than before,
    and I would have said that my parallel port installation was good. The ESS proved that my parallel port was not nearly as good as I thought it was.

    Mach4 does all the things that Mach3 does and does them so much better. There is a thread on the Mach forum that lists the improvements that Mach4 brings
    over Mach3....and if memory serves it has nearly 60 items listed!

    Craig



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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    If the original hardware is working It will likely be as good as any PC control.The disadvantage it has is needing to communicate via RS485 and having an 8 character file name length limitation as well as the pre-historic Toolpath software.If the machine was bought just as a project,it may keep the owner amused but it would be interesting to see a before and after comparison of the performance.I also wonder whether a comparatively cheap upgrade to the AMC software package might have given a boost.As it is,the existing control will have all manner of inbuilt functions that work with the machine and they will have to be duplicated for a PC based control with no user base to provide information.Could be a satisfying challenge to make it all work but not necessarily the fastest way to get to the point of cutting parts.



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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Here’s the reason I want to use the parallel port.
    I got this machine for the sole reason of doing the conversion, but I’m not sure I will keep it after it’s done. I already have a spare computer with Win7, and I already have a MACH3 license, and I currently have a plasma table using this system and has been trouble free for 10 years. If I decide to keep this machine, only then will I spend another $500 for a MACH 4 license as well as an ESS. This brings me back to my original question. Which BOB will allow me to use it with a parallel port to at least get the machine going, and then if I decide to keep it will allow me to add an Ethernet board to it so I can then run MACH4 on a Win 10 computer?

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Why not one of the cheap $5.00 (popular) Chinese versions on Ebay, Amazon etc.?
    If you just want a temporary/trial fix.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Breakout board advice needed-bob-jpg  
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    Why not one of the cheap $5.00 (popular) Chinese versions on Ebay, Amazon etc.?
    If you just want a temporary/trial fix.
    Most likely I will add the ESS in the near future, so I want to buy a quality BOB. It’s been a messed up year, and there’s no budget right now to go all in with MACH4.
    I seem to recall seeing somewhere that there was a BOB connected to an ESS board by a parralel port cable. That’s what I’m trying to find because I can add to it at a later date when I get some work in.

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    If the original hardware is working It will likely be as good as any PC control.The disadvantage it has is needing to communicate via RS485 and having an 8 character file name length limitation as well as the pre-historic Toolpath software.If the machine was bought just as a project,it may keep the owner amused but it would be interesting to see a before and after comparison of the performance.I also wonder whether a comparatively cheap upgrade to the AMC software package might have given a boost.As it is,the existing control will have all manner of inbuilt functions that work with the machine and they will have to be duplicated for a PC based control with no user base to provide information.Could be a satisfying challenge to make it all work but not necessarily the fastest way to get to the point of cutting parts.
    Although the machine is complete, and was supposedly in working order, I have no plans of even trying to get it to run on the original system.

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Pic of rear of X axis.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Breakout board advice needed-thumbnail_img_6656-jpg  
    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    I'm a little curious about why you would replace a well developed,if elderly,controller with a new external controller that needs to have all parameters determined and then run with the same steppers.Apart form the challenge,what advantage do you believe there to be?



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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    I'm a little curious about why you would replace a well developed,if elderly,controller with a new external controller that needs to have all parameters determined and then run with the same steppers.Apart form the challenge,what advantage do you believe there to be?
    Why? Because This is a hobby, I enjoy building things and I’m too old to try and learn whatever system AXYZ uses. I’m familiar (somewhat) with MACH3 and even if I wanted to learn how to run the machine as is, there’s next to no info on these machines. Besides, I’m sure Mach 3 or 4 will be much more user friendly that the keypad.

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    I'm a little curious about why you would replace a well developed,if elderly,controller with a new external controller that needs to have all parameters determined and then run with the same steppers.Apart form the challenge,what advantage do you believe there to be?
    I have the same machine more-or-less, see my signature below. Me too I wish to switch to a more recent controller because the ToolPath software and AMC system from AXYZ is very old and time consuming to send program, adjust Z=0, seeing the parameters changing Live, being able to modify during program, seeing the toolpaths and steps in program, etc. Furthermore, adding a pendant would be so beneficial.

    Dan, I will check tonight on my machine to send you a picture how's the screw and all.

    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    I looked into the recommendation from Joeaverage, and that seems like a nice piece,the problem is that I need to order from Asia. With all that's going on right now, I'd rather get something at least in North America. Also, being in Canada makes it a bit more of a PITA to get stuff here.
    I'm seriously looking at this BOB. Seems to have good reviews, lots of support and is actually much cheaper than I though. I thought about the advice given here, and it might be better if I just bite the bullet now and get the ESS.
    Let me know what you think!

    https://www.amazon.ca/Ethernet-Smoot.../dp/B07XVS3TRT

    Edit; Damn, I just went back on Amazon to read the reviews, and it's now sold out and unavailable.

    This one is still available;

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00R8FNLW4/ref=dp_prsubs_1

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Why amazon? It is not a product from PRC

    https://warp9td.com/

    Make no mistake between my personality and my attitude.
    My personality is who I am. My attitude depends on who you are.


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    Default Re: Breakout board advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZASto View Post
    Why amazon? It is not a product from PRC

    https://warp9td.com/
    Warp9 is a company in Florida and they make their own boards. Not sure if they are manufactured in the US or PRC, but they get shipped from Florida which means I won’t have to wait 3 months for the stuff to get here.

    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !


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