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  • Mach3 as DRO

    Anyone have experience with Mach3 or it's variants and optical scales?

    I would like to equip my lathe with 2 axis with eventual expansion to 5 axis or 6 axis eventually. I think Mach can handle 5 for sure, but does that require any adapter boards or a breakout board?

    I haven’t found any standalone DRO readouts that support lathes very well over 2 axis. And this is a hobby for me, so $2000 answers aren’t as attractive as me spending my labor instead...

    As far as the 3 axis mill controls are concerned I guess you could ignore all the extra mill functions, but I really want the extra axis instead of the functions anyhow.

    paul
    paul
    ARS W9PCS

    Esto Vigilans

    Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
    but you may have to

  • #2
    Mach3 does not close the loop back to the PC?
    An older link but have you seen this for a DIY? http://www.lindsayengraving.com/othe...rests/dro.html
    In most cases you can eliminate the transistors and connect direct to the PP.
    Max.

    Comment


    • #3
      As Max said, Mach as supplied won't do anything with encoder inputs but can display readings via certain external motion controllers such as the SmoothStepper and the CSMIO/IP and a Mach custom screen. A lot of money for little gain unless you're planning a CNC upgrade soon.

      "Hood" on the Mach forum has described recently how he uses a glass scale input through his CSMIO and displays it in a Mach screen for a precision tool length setter on his mills. But he's a genius.

      The link Max provided looks like it'll do what you want but with 3 axes.

      I'm sure one of the Linux gurus will be along shortly to show you how to do it for free with a paper clip and an old rubber band.
      Milton

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

      Comment


      • #4
        In comes the linux guy....

        People have created linuxcnc based dro screens.. It might pull you over to the dark side...

        http://www.wallacecompany.com/machin...uxCNC/gvcpDRO/
        and
        http://www.wallacecompany.com/machin.../EMC2/dro_vfd/

        Reading maxheadrooms link sounds like it might not count consistently depending on the resolution. With linuxcnc being realtime you could calculate the highest count rate for a given setup. (and you could use inexpensive interface hardware that would count much faster... ie mhz.. )

        sam

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by skunkworks View Post
          In comes the linux guy....
          Dang, it took you 2 full minutes!

          That's pretty cool stuff you linked to. If I wasn't so old & feeble, you'd have me on the dark side in a heartbeat!
          Milton

          "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

          "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

          Comment


          • #6
            I have used the legacy DMC-1000 Galil cards in the past for back gauges and simple CNC, they would do the DRO with ease, and a little to spare!
            Max.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MaxHeadRoom View Post
              Mach3 does not close the loop back to the PC?
              An older link but have you seen this for a DIY? http://www.lindsayengraving.com/othe...rests/dro.html
              In most cases you can eliminate the transistors and connect direct to the PP.
              Max.
              I have seen the DRO 4.0 stuff, and I downloaded those files going to look at them later.
              I don't have a thing against Linux. I use it on a couple of desktops now.
              I'm better at the electron pushing than I am at bit bending. the big part of a DRO is installing the scales and I can live with 3 axis right now. Eventually I'd like to add the compound angle and the compound travel. If I have to buy a breakout board I can do that. I can also build the interface for the parallel port.

              Thanks for the links. I'll do some more poking around. I should probably buy a scale or two just to play with.

              paul
              Last edited by ironmonger; 03-11-2015, 05:57 PM.
              paul
              ARS W9PCS

              Esto Vigilans

              Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
              but you may have to

              Comment


              • #8
                How about linuxcnc? Its free, will do 9 axis and would also give you a lot of other handy features (such as tool table and tool lengh offsets).
                It can even link to a remote display on a smartphone if you want. Support is nothing short of fantastic. It is realtime and closed loop.

                Mach, in my opinion, has its days numbered. Mach3 is no longer supported mach4 has been in the promise stage for many years. Even tormach is switching from Mach to linuxcnc for their machines.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yuriy made a DRO that used an old android phone or tablet as a screen:

                  http://www.yuriystoys.com/p/android-dro.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, I ordered a MSP430 launch pad board and a bluetooth dongle for Yuris app. Solves the problem of a touch screen monitor...
                    I think that I am going to try the linuxcnc also.
                    Now onto the scale scrounging.
                    Thanks for the leads

                    paul
                    paul
                    ARS W9PCS

                    Esto Vigilans

                    Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                    but you may have to

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think this may also fit the bill: http://shumatech.com/web/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by burdickjp View Post
                        I think this may also fit the bill: http://shumatech.com/web/
                        Thanks for the link. I thought about the openDRO stuff and went to Shumatech and the Wildhorse web sites... seems to be a peeing match going on right now, and I didn't want my hardware trapped in the middle. The lower price options were not in stock. And to the best of my knowledge and poking about, I could not find a complete kit of parts at either place... seems they are both missing a sales opportunity...

                        That's about when macona pointed me to the MSP430 project. Even if the firmware never gets past where it is, the stuff is still usable. Besides, it was about one tenth the cost to try it out.

                        paul
                        paul
                        ARS W9PCS

                        Esto Vigilans

                        Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                        but you may have to

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you look at Roger machine interface board that will interface a linear scale or encoder to Mach 3 so in the settings box you actually get a digital readout out. But its not a very large screen so you it would be kind of awkward the used as a DRO but there are people that would make you a DRO screen. I

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You can fall off the floor, if you are upside-down!! :-)


                            \
                            Originally posted by ironmonger View Post
                            Anyone have experience with Mach3 or it's variants and optical scales?

                            I would like to equip my lathe with 2 axis with eventual expansion to 5 axis or 6 axis eventually. I think Mach can handle 5 for sure, but does that require any adapter boards or a breakout board?

                            I haven’t found any standalone DRO readouts that support lathes very well over 2 axis. And this is a hobby for me, so $2000 answers aren’t as attractive as me spending my labor instead...

                            As far as the 3 axis mill controls are concerned I guess you could ignore all the extra mill functions, but I really want the extra axis instead of the functions anyhow.

                            paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by w6br View Post
                              You can fall off the floor, if you are upside-down!! :-)
                              Actually, I'm waiting for the artificial gravity to malfunction... ;>)

                              DRO UPDATE I scored three NOS Acu-rite II scales, and they work with the the YURI dro bluetooth box. Got a few projects to finish before I mount one of the scales and test drive it.

                              FORMAT WARNING don't put a colon in front of a capitol letter d... it turns into a smiley.


                              paul
                              WB9HCO
                              paul
                              ARS W9PCS

                              Esto Vigilans

                              Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                              but you may have to

                              Comment

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