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Ross77
17-02-2017, 10:34 PM
I'm looking for the best option for the motion control cards and software. is there a performance benefit of a pci card over an Ethernet?

To me the Ethernet option looks neater (Mesa 7I76E) but is there more chance of interference on the cable?

Clive S
17-02-2017, 11:25 PM
I'm looking for the best option for the motion control cards and software. is there a performance benefit of a pci card over an Ethernet?

To me the Ethernet option looks neater (Mesa 7I76E) but is there more chance of interference on the cable?

I use a 5i25 pci card with the 7176 I think there are more examples of that than the 7i76E but although there is nothing wrong with the 7i76 if I was buying them again I might go the 7i76E route, you won't have a prob with he cable.

I take it that you know that both of them will take two mpg encoders and and spindle encoder.

Ross77
17-02-2017, 11:57 PM
Thanks Clive.
Yes its bit of a minefield so only just getting to grips with it. I was almost sold on LinuxCNC but the setup time is still bothering me. I was looking at UCCNC as the software looks nice and easy, only problem is that I don't think they have a lathe option yet.

UCCNC also has an Ethernet controller but would need a bob so the 7176e looks more self contained and is 24v compatible.

Clive S
18-02-2017, 09:19 AM
Ross The 7I76E can be powered with a single 8-24V supply if you only need 2A for the logic side or separate 5V and 8-24V of the inputs and outputs then you can have a much greater amperage available.

Linuxcnc does require a learning curve to get going. I do use it on my mill and lathe using just one 7I76 for both with two configs. I also have two MPG's that I use between the two machines.

If you decide to go down that route I can give you my config files as a starting point.

Ross77
18-02-2017, 11:03 PM
Thanks Clive
How easy is it to switch machines? have you got a switch box or just hot plug it?

I might have to try Linux from an lpt port to see how I get on with it.

I really want a plug and play system but they don't seem to exist :0)

A_Camera
18-02-2017, 11:35 PM
I'm looking for the best option for the motion control cards and software. is there a performance benefit of a pci card over an Ethernet?

To me the Ethernet option looks neater (Mesa 7I76E) but is there more chance of interference on the cable?

I guess by PCI you mean parallel port? Ethernet is far better but depends on the software you use. I am using Mach3 and UCCNC with the UC300ETH which is great.

Ross77
18-02-2017, 11:58 PM
Hi A-camera
yes the dedicated pci to parallel like the mesa 5i25, I think they are better than the standard parallel but wanted to see if the Ethernet versions are better?

I saw your thread on UCCNC which is why I'm thinking of using it. just looking to see if there is are option that avoids the need for an external Bob :0)

m_c
19-02-2017, 12:01 AM
If you want a system that's more plug and play, then you have to pay for it. And even at that, there will still be a certain amount of work you'll need to do yourself.

Personally, I'd go for ethernet, as it means should the computer fail, you unplug it, and plug in a different computer. I usually run cheap computers of ebay, which are generally reliable, but my laptop contains backups for all my machines, so should a computer fail, I can be up and running again very quickly (I do rely on my machines to make money, so I like to have contingency plans should things fail).

As you want it for a lathe, turn options are pretty limited. You have to consider what you'd like to do, and how you'd like to do it.
As much as it's falling out of favour and having some well documented bugs, Mach 3 is probably still the most comprehensive option for turn. Good turn support, and good turn wizards.
Mach 4 the last I checked, although now having turn support, I don't think the wizards were available.
However, with either of the Mach options, you have to pay for the license and suitable hardware, so it gets expensive. And you have to ensure your selected hardware option supports turn functions I.e. threading.

PathPilot looks good, but I gave up trying to hack it to run a test setup.

I use Dynomotion's KMotionCNC, however it has no wizards of any form (everything I do is pretty repetitive, but if I was doing small quantities of simple parts, I would switch back to Mach 3 for the wizards).

There are other turn options, but from memory the prices of the required hardware and software take a good jump from those listed above, and I'm having a complete mind blank as to their names!
Just remembered, FlashCut is one I was thinking of, but they don't publish prices.

The other option of course, are the standalone controllers, however you won't be wanting to transfer one of those between machines.

Clive S
19-02-2017, 12:16 AM
Thanks Clive
How easy is it to switch machines? have you got a switch box or just hot plug it?

I might have to try Linux from an lpt port to see how I get on with it.

I really want a plug and play system but they don't seem to exist :0)

With the 7i76 and 7i76E there are about 34 input and outputs with 5 axis two mpg's and spindle control encoder for threading A & B + index.
So I have both lathe and mill wired to the card and use the two mpg to do both.

I just select which config I want ie just one at a time.

I used to use the lathe from the PP with just a 100 slot disc plus index pulse and it was fine for threading.

PP has 5 inputs two were required for the encoder one for the O'shite button and two spare (could be z and x home)

20851

Clive S
19-02-2017, 12:19 AM
I guess by PCI you mean parallel port? Ethernet is far better but depends on the software you use. I am using Mach3 and UCCNC with the UC300ETH which is great.

No. The pci or pcie card by mesa is a motion controller with the step generation etc done in the hardware.

Ross77
19-02-2017, 12:24 AM
Hi Mc
Pathpilot was the main reason I was looking at Linux but the advice seems to be that you need a good understanding of Linux. I just don't have the time at the moment and just need to get the lathe and mill working.

I'm not to bothered about transferring from machine to machine but having the same program to run all the machines would be good so I don't have to learn and remember multiple programmes.

I was looking at the 4axis controllers on ebay for 150 quid, they look like a good standalone option.

Ross77
19-02-2017, 01:24 AM
PP has 5 inputs two were required for the encoder one for the O'shite button and two spare (could be z and x home)

Loving the "O'shite" button, might have to get a few of them. Didn't think of running both from one card, would be good for testing to make sure it works ok. ultimately I would probably need both machines running at the same time.

Did you get Pathpilot working then?

A_Camera
19-02-2017, 10:39 AM
No. The pci or pcie card by mesa is a motion controller with the step generation etc done in the hardware.

Sorry I didn't know that. In this case one disadvantage of PCI is that it requires a dedicated desktop computer. The UC300ETH allows me to use laptops also and I don't have to have the PC and the CNC near each other since it is on my LAN through a router and LAN switch.

Boyan Silyavski
19-02-2017, 11:10 AM
PCI i would avoid. For no other reason than if PSU of PC hacks up, the first think it does is burn all inside PC, hence your expensive PCI motion controller. I was repairing PCs at a certain point of time, so take my word on that. When it burns, it burns all. Nothing is spared.

I would greatly encourage you on the standalone controllers. As you know i run my machine on one with exceptional result. And can not stop bragging around how cheap and good value for the money, even with some small drawbacks. And if not the cheap one, there are even better ones for 500Euro.

Gone are the days i will use another controller if not for some very special retrofitting or very special machine.

Clive S
19-02-2017, 12:39 PM
Sorry I didn't know that. In this case one disadvantage of PCI is that it requires a dedicated desktop computer. The UC300ETH allows me to use laptops also and I don't have to have the PC and the CNC near each other since it is on my LAN through a router and LAN switch.

Yes I agree but does the UC300ETH support rigid tapping and multi encoders?

Clive S
19-02-2017, 12:45 PM
PCI i would avoid. For no other reason than if PSU of PC hacks up, the first think it does is burn all inside PC, hence your expensive PCI motion controller. I was repairing PCs at a certain point of time, so take my word on that. When it burns, it burns all. Nothing is spared.


Boyan I have to say you are talking blx. I also have been in PC's when you were in nappy's and I have never seen a pc PS "burn all inside" as you say.

And as you know the stand alone controllers are not yet mature enough to be singing the praises yet. This has been debated in another thread.

Ger21
19-02-2017, 01:10 PM
Yes I agree but does the UC300ETH support rigid tapping and multi encoders?

It's supported rigid tapping for a very long time.
Encoder inputs were added to the latest version. But what you do with the encoders is entirely up to you. You need to write macros or a plugin to do anything with the encoder data.

Boyan Silyavski
19-02-2017, 02:17 PM
Boyan I have to say you are talking blx. I also have been in PC's when you were in nappy's and I have never seen a pc PS "burn all inside" as you say.

And as you know the stand alone controllers are not yet mature enough to be singing the praises yet. This has been debated in another thread.

I know your opinion already on the controllers. Do as you like. I am just giving mine opinion. Mature or not, i am cutting happily and reliably.

And no, you dont have to say- you like to say, which is a totaly different thing. Not respecting others opinion and experience when different than yours is a personal choice.

A_Camera
19-02-2017, 02:33 PM
Yes I agree but does the UC300ETH support rigid tapping and multi encoders?

I don't know. I think it supports tapping but don't know about the multi encoders.

m_c
19-02-2017, 04:28 PM
I was looking at the 4axis controllers on ebay for 150 quid, they look like a good standalone option.

I've not looked at those in detail, however I suspect those ones will not support turn functions like threading and diameter mode. Also I'm not sure what tool offset tables the cheap controllers support. On a mill, re-zeroing isn't a major problem after tool changes, but on a lathe, it's a nightmare.

Ross77
19-02-2017, 11:01 PM
Thanks for all the replies, good to have a varied response. :playful:

Boyan- have you used them on a lathe, or know of examples on a lathe?

So the Ethernet looks to be the best then from a practical standpoint, is there any performance benefit for pci over Ethernet?

Clive S
19-02-2017, 11:47 PM
So the Ethernet looks to be the best then from a practical standpoint, is there any performance benefit for pci over Ethernet?

If you a thinking linuxcnc then there is no difference in performance but if you want a longer cable from the pc to the control box then Ethernet is the winner.

I use Ethernet with Mach3 to a Russian controller on the router.

I have no experience with the UC300ETH so can't comment.

You will have to think if threading is important and if you want to control the spindle speed to be able to use G96 CSP like;- http://www.mmsonline.com/columns/the-pros-and-cons-of-constant-surface-speed

Being able to use diameter mode or radius mode etc. and ATC need to be considered if you so wish.

A_Camera
20-02-2017, 07:58 AM
So the Ethernet looks to be the best then from a practical standpoint, is there any performance benefit for pci over Ethernet?

The UC300ETH has a maximum pulsing of 400kHz but my drivers support maximum 200kHz only. I don't know the PCI card so I can't compare.

Ross77
20-02-2017, 11:25 PM
better get over to the Linux and UCCNC forums to see what suits my needs then.

Got a spare Dell OptiPlex with a parallel port so might have to set it up and have a play. Cheers