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CNC parallel/breakout question...macona, et al

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  • macona
    replied
    Where having computer control really shines is when you have a spindle sensor so you can close the loop for spindle speed. Then mach know how fast the spindle is turning and will adjust the motor speed to keep it constant. So when you are under a load it gives the motor more power to keep it there.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Thanks, that's pretty nifty, actually designed to work with my KB controller!

    I'm not sure yet how deep I'm going to go with this little thing. I'm trying to get as much out of it as I can with the least amount of cash outlay. Another poster mentioned a cheap board or kit to turn the control on & off with M codes and I can set the speed manually. If I get to a point where I need that kind of control, I'll spring for one.

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  • macona
    replied
    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD
    I still have a long way to go yet; gotta get the spindle speed controller working, the limit switches hooked up, get an Oldham coupler for the X axis, figure out why there's so much backlash in the Z axis and get an MT1/ER16 chuck from CTC to go up the tiny little spindle's snout.

    I highly recommend the DigiSpeed controls from http://homanndesigns.com

    This one is specifically designed to be used with the motor control you have:

    http://homanndesigns.com/store/index...&products_id=2

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Well done! Have fun with your grand daughter, there is nothing better. I got to see mine for the first time this summer and I couldn't have been happier.

    When you get back to the CNC have a look in the TCNC manual near the very end at the short section titled "Set Up of Step and Direction Lines". Refer to the docs on the driver board and set accordingly in TCNC. If it isn't set right the machine will miss steps especially when it changes direction.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    I guess I opened the bar too early last night. After a cup o' java this morning, things went much better!

    Thanks yet again Evan; once I reset the step/dir pins to the correct numbers in the Config menu (DUHH!) everything responded properly. I played around with the jog speed settings and holy cow, this thing really screams compared to the old MaxNC system on my homemade router. Yippee!

    I still have a long way to go yet; gotta get the spindle speed controller working, the limit switches hooked up, get an Oldham coupler for the X axis, figure out why there's so much backlash in the Z axis and get an MT1/ER16 chuck from CTC to go up the tiny little spindle's snout.

    That's all the playing I get to do today; granddaughter duties and family cookout stuff to worry about now.

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  • Evan
    replied
    First try switching the active state for the step pins in the config file. If that doesn't work put them back and switch the step and dir output pins. If that doesn't work then switch the active state of the step pins again. I am at the wife's shop right now so I don't have the config file handy but when I get back I will look it up and show you what settings to change.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    if either one of them isn't real careful I will be posting pics of a great grandchild soon.
    That's awesome Evan. I have a ways to go yet as my oldest (grandson) is only 4 yrs. old. He is a cutie though so you never know, he may start early!

    Man, I hope I have the gumption to see this project through. I spent a very frustrating couple hours researching/printing/soldering/re-soldering a parallel cable. My wire stripper kept cutting a few strands from the tiny wires even on the lowest setting. My small stuff tolerance level is way down from my younger days.

    I guess I can claim partial victory though...when I hooked it all up, no smoke or sizzling noises were apparent. When I press the jog buttons in TCNC, I can feel a bit of a pulse from the appropriate stepper motors and I can feel heat building up in all 3 motors after a few minutes of sitting idle so some semblance of control is going on.

    I hope there's some combination of TCNC settings that will wake things up but damned if I know what they are. I looked at the setup screens in TCNC until my eyes crossed. I've had enough for today and have opened up the bar. Tomorrow's a new day.

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  • Evan
    replied
    My oldest daughter has another one on the way so maybe I'll win a future hand...
    Hah! No chance. I have at least one Ace in the hole (so to speak ). Both my 17 year old twin grandsons have steady girlfriends and if either one of them isn't real careful I will be posting pics of a great grandchild soon.

    There are some very important considerations surrounding how the step and dir lines are programmed. It isn't relevant yet but once you have it working I will explain how they should be set in the TCNC config file to avoid missing a step every time the direction changes. Don't sweat too much figuring out all the nuances of the setup. Just makes sure the step line goes to the step pin and the dir line goes to the dir pin of each axis.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Grandkid poker eh? That's a good un'. My oldest daughter has another one on the way so maybe I'll win a future hand.

    I had a few minutes to spare out in the shop and tried your DOS floppy disc tip. Thanks! It worked a treat and when I loaded up TCNC it was very happy with it's new home. Apparantly it doesn't take much horsepower under the hood to make it sing a happy tune.

    Now the important part: figuring out which pins on the parallel port go to which step/dir/gnd wires. Gotta go do a bit of Google-Fu now.

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  • Evan
    replied
    No need to change anything. Just boot from a DOS 7.1 boot disk obtainable from the link above. You do have a working floppy, yes? The only gotcha is that there needs to be a drive in there that is formatted fat32 to put TCNC on so that it will have someplace to store configs and g-code. Any old working drive will do for that purpose. It doesn't need to be the system drive. You can dual boot in Win 2K but the earlier operating system must be installed first and then install win2k.


    Since we are now playing grandchildren poker I'll see your grandaughter and raise you a grandson.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Well I got a pretty decent start this morning before I had to stop for a bit. 6 Month old granddaughter Anneliese is staying with us a couple days and takes a bit of maintenance when she wakes up and takes over the day.



    Funny how one hobby intertwines with another. I was rooting around in my stash this morning and found a bag of Futaba r/c model aircraft servo connectors. The J-connectors fit the board perfectly. I removed the black wire pins from the shells and put on a bit of heat shrink tubing. These I used for the grounds which are separated from the red/whites and I used those for the step/dir signals. They even have gold plated pins and high quality multi strand flexible wire. Clean, neat & free….well, in-stock anyway.



    I dragged down the PII from the attic and promptly found out I’d forgotten about having installed W2K when I let my sister borrow it a while back. Reckon it’d work OK to use it with W2K just to test my connections using TurboCNC? If the board/wiring hack works, I could reformat the other of it’s 2 drives and install either DOS only or W98. Is it possible to do that and boot to either of the 2 OS’s?

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    Last time I heard she owns a computer store.
    Somehow that just seems sort of....right.

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  • Evan
    replied
    No problem. I have kin in Tennessee.

    Last time I heard she owns a computer store.

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Evan that's a very gracious offer and I truly appreciate it. Hopefully I'll be able to work my way through it without too many issues.

    If I do have to call you, I'll try to brush up on my English a bit. Us'ns down heah in Tennessee been known to talk a little funny sometimes.

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  • Evan
    replied
    If you need any help feel free to give me a call. I'm in the phone book. If you don't have a Canada calling plan I'll call you back as I have a US calling plan.

    Leave a comment:

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