Build Thread "Making" a new controller

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

Thread: "Making" a new controller

  1. #1

    Default "Making" a new controller

    Good Evening all. I suspect at SOMETIME my PP controller will cease functioning. Now, I knw NOTHING about linux or Mint (?) or whatever variant it runs. My question is, I'd lie to buy a computer, updated, SSD hardrives, faster/smaller...you get the idea. I assume I would need to remove windows and install XXX O.S? I don't want to monkey with partitions and 2 operating systems.
    I have no idea if this takes something special? Then what does path pilot and Tormach require? I really LOVE to have wireless 10 key/mouse/keyboard, but that doesn't seem Tormach friendly? I'm sure some of you here have my dream setup. Can you share some heads up with me?
    Thanks,
    Sean

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Tigster; 09-20-2020 at 09:09 PM.


  2. #2
    Member mountaindew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    earth
    Posts
    1931
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigster View Post
    Good Evening all. I suspect at SOMETIME my PP controller will cease functioning. Now, I knw NOTHING about linux or Mint (?) or whatever variant it runs. My question is, I'd lie to buy a computer, updated, SSD hardrives, faster/smaller...you get the idea. I assume I would need to remove windows and install XXX O.S? I don't want to monkey with partitions and 2 operating systems.
    I have no idea if this takes something special? Then what does path pilot and Tormach require? I really LOVE to have wireless 10 key/mouse/keyboard, but that doesn't seem Tormach friendly? I'm sure some of you here have my dream setup. Can you share some heads up with me?
    Thanks,
    Sean

    Search the zone for PP computer builds or specs. Also linuxcnc forum has information on what combo works best for mb /chipset/ cpu/ memory.
    It also depends on model of machine to control. I have 2 different controllers and they are not the same. One has specific Mesa Electronics interface board installed on the bus for machine connection. The other is a small brix form factor pc and the machine connection is the network port.



  3. #3
    Member kstrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1623
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    My experience has been to boot from the PP distribution USB stick, answer a few prompts about deleting everything on the hard drive and minutes later PP is running. You'll then want to install the update to the latest version. With either a PCI Mesa card in the machine or with a Mesa 7i92 via Ethernet things just work! I believe that the minimum requirement is 4GB RAM and 60GB disk. A $100 off-lease HP SFF i5, 8GB RAM and a new 120GB SSD (available from Amazon for less than $50) boots quickly and works well. I haven't tried a wireless keyboard so I have no idea about function; a USB keyboard/mouse + USB touch screen works without issues.



  4. #4
    Member soofle616's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    85
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Not sure why a wireless keyboard wouldn't work. I have an off the shelf logitech keyboard and a microsoft mouse (leftovers from something else I must have been doing years ago). Both are plugged in with separate receivers and I have a touchscreen and jog shuttle. One usb hub to rule them all.



  5. #5
    Member mountaindew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    earth
    Posts
    1931
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by soofle616 View Post
    Not sure why a wireless keyboard wouldn't work. I have an off the shelf logitech keyboard and a microsoft mouse (leftovers from something else I must have been doing years ago). Both are plugged in with separate receivers and I have a touchscreen and jog shuttle. One usb hub to rule them all.
    Part of the problem is drivers Im guessing!
    I cant find a keyboard with a track ball option that works with linux and yet they are a common windows device.
    Be nice to get rid of the mouse.



  6. #6
    Member soofle616's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    85
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    That wouldn't surprise me as the failure mode but would be surprising is if it didn't work in general. The keyboard with trackball is a bit more specialized to be sure but ultimately they should all be very basic HID drivers, one for the mouse and one for the keyboard. That being the case, even in Linux, I wouldn't expect much of a driver issue. Now if you said you wanted a 10 button gaming mouse to work, or a keyboard with a bunch of programmable hotkeys, that would be a bit different.



  7. #7

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Thanks guys. I like Kstrauss' idea. I'm not looking for break neck gaming speed, but based on the Tormach controller I have, pretty much anything would be an improvement (mostly bootup time) Not to mention, a backup controller in the ready is better than last minute flailing to get back up and running I read in the Tormach manual that you CANNOT use wireless devices such as keyboards and mice. I have no idea why.
    As long as we are on TOUCHSCREENS...I really want one, but I really need bigger than 17", anyone have luck with that?



  8. #8
    Member mountaindew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    earth
    Posts
    1931
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigster View Post
    Thanks guys. I like Kstrauss' idea. I'm not looking for break neck gaming speed, but based on the Tormach controller I have, pretty much anything would be an improvement (mostly bootup time) Not to mention, a backup controller in the ready is better than last minute flailing to get back up and running I read in the Tormach manual that you CANNOT use wireless devices such as keyboards and mice. I have no idea why.
    As long as we are on TOUCHSCREENS...I really want one, but I really need bigger than 17", anyone have luck with that?
    Wireless control devices can pick up bad signals and cause the machine to make poor choices and crash .
    I have a couple monoprice units! I had to use the 15 in as all the larger sizes I purchased were received broken!
    I tried a couple times but had to send them all back. Not clear why the only units I could get intact were the 15's



  9. #9
    Member soofle616's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    85
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    I bought a monoprice 19" that has been working flawlessly since I got it. They're not always easy to find in that size though. The 15 seems to be everywhere and the 17 is frequently a 16:9 aspect ratio which will distort your image.

    As for wireless devices, as I said, I have a keyboard and mouse on my 1100M that have been working just fine since I got the machine. No weird behaviors resulting from those devices. The only bugs I've run into were confirmed by tormach techs to be software issues with pathpilot.



  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    508
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindew View Post
    I have 2 different controllers and they are not the same. One has specific Mesa Electronics interface board installed on the bus for machine connection. The other is a small brix form factor pc and the machine connection is the network port.
    The Brix will still be running a Mesa interface board via that network port.
    Wireless keyboards and mice are natively supported on any PC or OS I've run Linuxcnc on.
    as ksstrauss says, things just work!

    I would expect a trackball will appear to the OS as a mouse so would expect any trackball would work.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


  11. #11
    Member mountaindew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    earth
    Posts
    1931
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by rodw View Post
    The Brix will still be running a Mesa interface board via that network port.
    Wireless keyboards and mice are natively supported on any PC or OS I've run Linuxcnc on.
    as ksstrauss says, things just work!

    I would expect a trackball will appear to the OS as a mouse so would expect any trackball would work.
    Links to a Keyboard with a track ball that works with PP would be great!

    I have no less then 6 in boxes that I purchased over the last few years that all claimed to be Linux compatible !
    I often have a great deal of experience with the subject before I even ask!
    And I also thought the same way! One would think these are common devices and would expect it to be easy lol


    Side note the brix control takes about 2x longer too boot PP then the Larger form factor Box . Demonstrating whatever cpu is in the brix is about the minimum to run PP.



  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    508
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    The longer boot time could be due to UEFI. It seems the brix now only supports UEFI boot but the one I have also supports a normal booth method.

    I don't use PP but I do use Linuxcnc running on a Brix with 4gb RAM and a Mesa 7i76e ethernet card.

    The next Linuxcnc box I build will most likely be on a Odroid H2+. I've trialled it but used the PC on a Press brake so irs running windows 10. The newer J4115 CPU in the Odroid is a bit faster than the J1900/N3160's used by the Brix.

    Rod Webster
    www.vmn.com.au


  13. #13

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Hell, I’m just having a hard time finding a computer that has Linux as it’s OS. Am I doing this wrong? Do I purchase a windows machine, wipe the OS and install Linux in its place? The Mesa board, this is the direct connection to the Tormach via a (maybe) parallel port? I haven’t built a computer in a LONG time. Truth is, it doesn’t interest me at all. I just want a faster boot time & want to be prepared for that day so I’m not making a thread how my controller won’t boot...scary stuff right there.
    I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take an AlienWare gaming computer to do this WELL and I think the 1k that Tormach charges is silly.



  14. #14
    Member kstrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1623
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    I doubt that you will find a machine with Linux pre-installed and even if you do it will likely be a flavour of Linux other than what Tormach uses. Just get a machine that can boot from USB and let the Tormach distribution USB stick do its thing. It will reformat your disk so previous contents is irrelevant. If you want to use your current Mesa board the new computer will need a compatible slot for it so check things before any purchase of a machine.

    The standard Tormach Mesa board has a DB25 connector (the same as a normal parallel port) that goes to your Tormach. Alternatively, you can use a Mesa 7i92 which connects to the Tormach via the usual cable and to your computer via Ethernet. You will need to put the 7i92 inside your controller cabinet or in a separate enclosure. I would NOT recommend this approach unless you enjoy playing rather than making parts.



  15. #15

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Ok....that's what I needed to know. Thank you, that ought to make this much easier. I don't want to dinker around with stuff, just want a backup controller that's faster. I didn't realize that Tormachs usb had the IS & path pilot. I might consider getting a 2nd mesa board to pre install and make sure there's no hidden issues there when I don't want to mess with that.



  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    513
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    You can totally buy systems with Linux pre-installed. Places like System76 have done it for a long time, and bigger vendors like Lenovo and Dell are now getting in on the action.
    Personally, I don't think it's Real Linux(tm) unless I build the machine myself from silicon ingots grown from sand I gathered on the beach, and then compile the kernel from scratch using a stage0 bootstrapped gcc, but, you know, my mom told me I'm special :-)



  17. #17
    Member kstrauss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1623
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    If the machine is intended as a machine controller what is the advantage of having Linux pre-installed? The installation will be wiped when you install PP.



  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    513
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    The main advantage is that you know that there are Linux drivers for all the components in the machine. You're less likely to run into "the clock chip in this motherboard doesn't actually have a Linux driver because it's proprietary." These days, most components (except graphics cards) have pretty well-defined standard interfaces, though, so that's not as much of a problem as it used to be, but for example, the occasional Realtek networking glitch still pops up now and then on some systems.

    You can do the research for what's in the box yourself, and get just as good a result, or you can piece the box together from parts that you know what they are, too. If you'd rather not, someone else already did the work for you!



  19. #19
    Member mountaindew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    earth
    Posts
    1931
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    I build the machine myself from silicon ingots grown from sand I gathered on the beach,
    You must have an impressive shop! Are you working at 5 micron or have you upgraded to newer 3 micron photolithography tools?
    Wafer fabs or i.c. foundries are among the most expensive buildings on this planet to construct and outfit.



  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    702
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: "Making" a new controller

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    You can totally buy systems with Linux pre-installed. Places like System76 have done it for a long time, and bigger vendors like Lenovo and Dell are now getting in on the action.
    The only issues I've faced with Linux was when trying to install on brand new machines. The Linux releases I've occasionally installed are not always patched with the latest drivers out of the box (as would also be the case with PP). On the other hand installing Linux releases that were more recent than the machines has never given me any problems. Buying a machine with Linux pre-installed does not therefore guarantee it will run PP.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    Personally, I don't think it's Real Linux(tm) unless I build the machine myself from silicon ingots grown from sand I gathered on the beach, and then compile the kernel from scratch using a stage0 bootstrapped gcc, but, you know,
    I usually just run "make" and go to lunch.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    my mom told me I'm special
    Well, we'll just have to take her word for it

    Step



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

"Making" a new controller

"Making" a new controller

"Making" a new controller