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Thread: "Making" a new controller

  1. #21

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    So that does bring up a point, if buying a windows machine and wipe it and install linux. It's not always that easy (I'm surmising) and I don't want to go as far as to say I HATE computers, but I just don't want to be forced to learn 12 hours straight of linux and try and figure out what's going wrong with that setup. All these problems can be side stepped by purchasing a controller from Tormach, but again, the bang for buck is low....convenience is high however.
    A computer with linux standard SEEMS to be a slightly safer route, though I had little luck finding any. What version of Linux (if I'm given a choice) seems like I saw "mint" somewhere poking around in controller. I will search for System76, I assume this is an online store?
    *edit*
    I found System76 and it appears they are here in Colorado...even better.

    Last edited by Tigster; 09-26-2020 at 11:36 AM. Reason: edit post


  2. #22
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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    I'm a cover all you bases kind of guy. If I were building a controller for pathpilot, I woud just pull and save the drive that came with the computer, saving whichever operating system it came with. Since the PP install wipes the drive anyway, you can get a new 64 gb SSD from Amazon for 20 bucks. That way if I wasn't happy with the controller, I could just re-install the original drive with OS and use or sell the computer.
    Terry



  3. #23
    Member kstrauss's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigster View Post
    So that does bring up a point, if buying a windows machine and wipe it and install linux. It's not always that easy (I'm surmising) and I don't want to go as far as to say I HATE computers, but I just don't want to be forced to learn 12 hours straight of linux and try and figure out what's going wrong with that setup.
    Actually removing Windows is pretty easy -- just boot from the USB stick and answer OK to the prompt regarding reformat the hard drive. HID devices such as normal keyboards and mice work without special drivers. There is no benefit to using a super high-end graphics card that may need special drivers. Unless you order both a machine and monitor from Tormach it is possible that you'll need a special driver for the touch screen. As others have mentioned, almost any machine at least a couple of years old will work without problems. Older machines mostly lack the UEFI boot (see https://www.howtogeek.com/56958/htg-...lace-the-bios/ for an explanation) which is another plus. Every major city has stores that sell off-lease computers for a pittance plus there is eBay and dozens more online vendors. Spend $100 and go for it!



  4. #24
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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Wafer fabs or i.c. foundries are among the most expensive buildings on this planet to construct and outfit.
    Isn't that the truth! The sheer amount of people collaborating needed to bring us a modern PC (or cell phone, or car,) boggles the mind when you think about it. We are all intricately tied to most people on the Earth, the vast majority of whom we'll never know. The farmer who grew the food that fed the worker that mined the copper that went into the wires running the machine that grew the wafers that fed into the fab that made the chip that controlled the brakes of the truck that ...
    It's pretty humbling when you think about it.



  5. #25

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Man...you guys have really been helpful, I super appreciate that. I really hate messing around with computer problem, with an OS I know knowing about? I'd rather go to a baby shower.
    @MFchief I fight thought, I'm gonna go but an SSD drive right now....but it occurred to me the Tormach controller probably isn't compatible with SSD. I looked at DELL and Lenovo....very few options (at least where I was at) and far too expensive. System76 looked very good, again, for what it's used for, too much$$ and that doesn't seem to have the controller board I need. I'd like a basic/small computer that has SSD and a way to connect the basic MESA board (perhaps the actual one out of my current controller (?) I guess it not going to be a simple plug/play upgrade. As much as I don't want to, I'll have to get some basic controller requirements under my belt. It suck as I just want to hand someone some money and they hand me this computer/controller. I'm not as much lazy as I'd rather being doing something else than monkeying around with hardware/software.



  6. #26
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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    I can't tell you for sure if current generation Tormach controllers can use SSD's, but my machine is 8-9 years old (Started life as a series II PCNC 1100) and it has an SSD in it right now. I'd be dumbfounded is newer boxes couldn't support them as well.

    On Mesa cards, if you have one now, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Just be aware, as I think someone already discussed, there are various versions for different motherboard buss systems. So if you desire to re-use the card, the new PC needs to have the same slot available as the card uses.

    Terry



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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Tormach will be happy to take your money and ship a pre-configured controller plus touch screen that will work out-of-the-box. PN: 50848 @$895 for control computer + PN: 35575 @ $495 for the monitor + PN: 38722 @$19.95 for mouse + PN: 38437 @$39.95 for the keyboard. Don't hesitate! They take VISA!



  8. #28

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    I could go the easy route and by another controller from them....much easier, but man! it boots SO slow.
    My controller is from 2p15...maybe it can support SSD. I thought your mother board needed to be able to handle them and have the right connections. I'll look into it. I also don't know what MESA board is installed, I'll take a look.
    Overall, I think Tormach's pricing is pretty fair, but it's just out dated tech (the controller)



  9. #29
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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Their old controller appears to be discontinued. Check the description of the part number that I listed for details.

    An SSD should work in any machine with a SATA interface although I believe that some SSDs require a non-standard cable. FYI, I currently have an SSD in the Tormach controller that came with my PCNC770-S3 that I purchased in 2010.



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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    SATA SSD work fine for most motherboards from 2010-ish onwards. A fifty bucks 250 GB Samsung 860 EVO should be more than enough: https://amzn.to/333FJS2

    The newer kind of SSD is called "NVME" and needs a special M.2 connector (and the right "flavor" of M.2, too!) but you don't need the extra speed bump you get from that just to boot linux. Going from spinny rust to solid state over the same SATA interface is still the giant's share of the speed-up.
    If you go that way, you could probably even clone the existing installation from the first hard disk before you replace it, keeping all your files and setups.



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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    The newer kind of SSD is called "NVME" and needs a special M.2 connector (and the right "flavor" of M.2, too!) but you don't need the extra speed bump you get from that just to boot linux.
    This is fast on bus storage. Super useful for cad/cam or video editing. anything that can be disk intense will see performance improvement.



  12. #32

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Ok, understanding there is no guarantee implied here. I purchase that hard drive jwatte suggested. plug her in and somehow copy all files over and at least, boot up improves. How do you cloe a drive in Linux, or is there somewhere that say how to do that? CNClinux forums you guys seem to use?



  13. #33
    Member kstrauss's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    I wouldn't consider cloning if you are not comfortable with Linux. I would proceed as follows:
    1. Run "ADMIN SETTINGS BACKUP" and save the data to a USB drive (I assume that you already do this)
    2. Remove the old hard drive and store safely
    3. Install the new SSD
    4. Plug in the Tormach PP distribution USB drive and install PP
    5. If there is a problem re-install the original hard drive and lament wasting $50
    6. If all seems good, update to the current version of PP
    7. Restore the saved settings with "ADMIN SETTINGS RESTORE"
    8. Enjoy!



    .



  14. #34

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Thanks kstrauss I purchased the machine used 2 months ago and wasn't eve aware of that backup procedure. I'll do it for sure tomorrow. Ok, well that all sounds doable and a great plan. Thank you!



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    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Been running PP on a old core2duo i think it is and i just added a 250 gb SSD and a Mesa Card
    Its running great
    Also running a 22 inch touch screen at higher resolution than the original so i can have a calculator or two on the screen beside the PP Screen.



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