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  1. #181
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,792. Received thanks 189 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDoran View Post
    Hi there, im currently designing my own CNC Router, i had planned to use this controller. On my longest /Axis (X Axis here in the UK) i have Dual Ballscrews and 4nm Nema23's, i see it has already been mentioned that the controller cannot provide individual homing for each screw (by utilizing the A Axis). I see there are examples of the controller providing signal to each of the drivers, im just wondering if i am likely to encounter any problems with the gantry running out of tram using this method? I plan to use the AM882 drivers.
    Provided you don't crash the machine and cause one axis to stall and twist the gantry, then it's not likely to be a problem. You just need to ensure you have some method to re-align the gantry if you do. If it was me, I'd probably just setup some accurate endstops at one end, and slowly run the gantry into them to square it up again. Then re-home it to regain position.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  2. #182
    I use a CSMIO/IP-M to run a two-motor X axis (i.e. X master with A slaved to it). The controller "supports" this mode only as far as copying X output to the A output, in effect just ensuring that it keeps the two axes in sync. There is no dual-homing mechanism (you have to pay around 3 times as much for the IP-S for that, although it does do the job very well). To make sure that the gantry is square, at the beginning of a session I home the axes in the usual way. I then hit e-stop, which takes power off the steppers and I can turn the A stepper by hand. Both X and A axes are fitted with home switches. The X axis home switch is used for normal homing but by turning the A motor, I can adjust until the LED on the A proximity switch starts to flicker. I have adjusted the home switches and their triggers so that the gantry is square when both X and A just trigger their respective switches. So, I have now manually checked that the gantry is square (to within a step or so on the motor, which with 5mm lead ballscrews and a metre-long gantry is pretty close). I can reset the control box, do another homing operation (both because Mach3 insists on this after a reset and also to double-check that all is properly homed) and I'm ready for machining. It is very unusual for the gantry to go out of square unless I hit e-stop during operation or I get a motor stall (rare now that I have tuned things). Even between sessions with everything shut down and restarted, the gantry is seldom out of square by more than some tiny amount.

    You might be able to do something similar with the controller under discussion as the squaring adjustment is completely independent of the controller. I keep thinking of trying to automate the "manual" steps here, but it's so easy to do it's hardly worth the effort.

  3. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    Provided you don't crash the machine and cause one axis to stall and twist the gantry, then it's not likely to be a problem. You just need to ensure you have some method to re-align the gantry if you do. If it was me, I'd probably just setup some accurate endstops at one end, and slowly run the gantry into them to square it up again. Then re-home it to regain position.
    That sounds like a sound solution to me (As long as i dont have any major mis-haps).

    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    I use a CSMIO/IP-M to run a two-motor X axis (i.e. X master with A slaved to it). The controller "supports" this mode only as far as copying X output to the A output, in effect just ensuring that it keeps the two axes in sync. There is no dual-homing mechanism (you have to pay around 3 times as much for the IP-S for that, although it does do the job very well). To make sure that the gantry is square, at the beginning of a session I home the axes in the usual way. I then hit e-stop, which takes power off the steppers and I can turn the A stepper by hand. Both X and A axes are fitted with home switches. The X axis home switch is used for normal homing but by turning the A motor, I can adjust until the LED on the A proximity switch starts to flicker. I have adjusted the home switches and their triggers so that the gantry is square when both X and A just trigger their respective switches. So, I have now manually checked that the gantry is square (to within a step or so on the motor, which with 5mm lead ballscrews and a metre-long gantry is pretty close). I can reset the control box, do another homing operation (both because Mach3 insists on this after a reset and also to double-check that all is properly homed) and I'm ready for machining. It is very unusual for the gantry to go out of square unless I hit e-stop during operation or I get a motor stall (rare now that I have tuned things). Even between sessions with everything shut down and restarted, the gantry is seldom out of square by more than some tiny amount.

    You might be able to do something similar with the controller under discussion as the squaring adjustment is completely independent of the controller. I keep thinking of trying to automate the "manual" steps here, but it's so easy to do it's hardly worth the effort.
    Ok again so i should be ok going this route then, the dimensions of my X & Y are 1200mm x 670mm, using 15mm Linear Rails, RM2010 Screws powered by 4nm Nema23.

    Thanks Again

    Alex

  4. #184
    So i messaged the seller on Aliexpress about the independent Axis homing and using the A Axis as a second X, they seemed to think this was possible? Maybe there has been a firmware update?

    When building my previous 3D prrinter, i approached the seller of the TFT Touch Screen controller i was using about adding some features to it's firmware and they agreed and implemented it within 3 weeks. My main argument for them was that i had seen many people on forums saying they would buy the unit if it had those features. Maybe this is a course of action we can take with these manufacturers also? Money talks eh?

    Thanks

    Alex

  5. #185
    As far as i know this board is manufactured by some kind of cooperative between 3 people or companies and only one guy knows the knowhow. they woudnt bend on price even on the whole lot of 500board they had on stock.
    Neither they would hear me about what we need . Basically i told my agent to tell them to sod off and then sell them one by one as they do now.
    I know of other similar boards that only have file size limitation and are more willing to cooperate. But honestly dealing with Chinese is extremely tiring when you want to achieve a real deal or development.

    This is a nice board for 150euro but thats it. nothing more.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  6. #186
    Excellent thread ! I just now stumbled on.

    It illustrates very well a lot of the cnc / motion control pitfalls/needs and real capacity and issues/desires from users vs support,capacity,ability. And cost.

    Base:
    -I have absolutely nothing against the chinese controllers, or USBcncxxx controllers, machmotion, acorn/centroid, linuxcnc/mesa etc..
    The whole field is extremely fragmented..
    and *all* solutions and suppliers have some/a lot of/major issues not working (well), and a major major lack of documentation and how-to docs and features-supported now.

    -My personal interests are commercial-industrial .. using a csmio-ip-s + all possible extra add-ons for quite a lot of money.
    And, also, simple add-ons with a great hw solution, in my case and opinion the +/- best lower cost solution polabs-pokeys stuff.

    -I have dealt with china, extensively, often for a lot of money (containerloads of expensive stuff), about 27 years.
    My experiences are generally very positive - but very different to other trade globally.
    I import chinese ac brushless servos, 60V and 220V, in the EU, for example - they are excellent.

    My opinion:
    The chinese controllers are like (pre) alpha-versions of any modern sw/hw motion control solution.. with great compilers (avoids silly errors), and good hw (dirt cheap today).
    Pretty good stuff, IF the sw and docs were adequate, and they are not.
    Docs are much more important than features- as-is, now, for the controllers.

    This also applies to more or less all other sw controllers for linuxcnc and machx stuff and proprietary stuff.

    It is possible the chinese controllers are good enough for some use, like 3d printers, or basic routers, in volume.
    If so, they will sell, continue to be available, improve.
    Legacy, docs, backwards compatibility are highly doubtful.

    ? What happens if the controllers change a chip--controller ?

    I mean, a separately written open-source firmware is the best possible thing.
    Ever.
    And hugely valuable. 100M$+++. ++10x+...

    But it is extremely difficult.
    And almost-certain to fail, unless commercial-managerial talent- investor money is put into it. Imo. Ime. Yes experience - having done stuff like this.
    My point is positive, not negative.

    If I had time, I would try to arrange the same - resources for the guys doing this firmware, more personnel, better planning, testing, hw, testing methodology, reference platforms, std tests, etc etc.
    But the firmware / motion control task is*monumental* riddled with n dependencies..
    which is why *every single competitive attempt* has failed so far..

    and the 2 best near-term solutions in linuxcnc and mach4 are still struggling with endless stuff -- in details.
    Both work very well for 99.x% of users, and good or better than industrial stuff, for 99% of use, with the right hw, for 99% of use.

    But users, almost always, need the 1% of rare stuff sometimes, and suffer when it does not work *as documented*.

    Inputs, outputs, excellent probing, file-io, logs, communication, multiple-toolposts, multi-spindle, spindle-synch, run-as-spindle /axis at need, s-curve acceleration, defined probing and homing, come to mind.
    Fast css, easy/bugfree/docs screw mapping, for me and all high accuracy uses. Huge commercial market 1B$+ / year on this.
    Ethernet, piped communication, easy db linkage.
    And all with offsets, scaling, rotation, adjustable (5 ways) exact-stop vs set-feed, hopefully conditionals in g code.
    Those are just the basic must-have important ones.

    Multiple kinematics, mirroring spindles for easy gcode/cam on multi-spindles, multi-spindle support for simultaneous cutting on many axis at once,
    graphics.
    And all above multiplied exponentially by about 10 modal states in gcode.

  7. #187
    I have experience with Pokeys and it didn't work well for me, possibly due to interference. As i have said in another thread, documentation is not good, leading to constant questions.

    As far as the market, we have to understand that Chinese don't care at all to make a controller to our needs. Their internal market is much bigger than the whole world market for controllers!!! So don't expect wonders here. They do what they need, so until they need it, there is no development.

    The big problem with them is closing even Open source which they use for free, mainly because of fear somebody not to copy what they do. As they copy constantly of course, so they fear the same fate . then comes the copy of a copy of a copy...
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  8. #188
    Boyan .. You more or less echoed my post .. in different terms, different pov.
    (We both live in Spain. A visit, perhaps .. ?).

    I think the chinese market is not so big .. yet .. for controllers.
    Almost-all controllers today are 3d printer/router/basic laser type stuff .. very little in china. Per popula.

    I mostly wanted to point out somewhat why/how every intelligent controller has issues.
    And why none of them will fix most issues, in near-term.

    Because it is extremely complex, 100++ issues to power of 8 modals. Plus many cascading multiples of toolchangers, kinematics etc.

    It actually would be relatively easy to fix 99.x% of issues..
    but would cost == 3 (extra) good programmers == 6 months, == 130k or so.
    The interface/controller/bob market cannot afford it as-is.

    Note I made no preference for any controller.
    The same fixes c/would apply to mach4 (x), cncxxx, chinese xx controllers, machmotion etc.

    My post was-is more market value related.
    Like VC funding, that I think would be dead-easy to get (I have experience).
    The "field" imho needs much more structure, and assistance from someone with it/project/sales/tech support experience.

    I think the most valuable parts would be docs, reference designs, examples.


    Quote Originally Posted by Boyan Silyavski View Post
    I have experience with Pokeys and it didn't work well for me, possibly due to interference. As i have said in another thread, documentation is not good, leading to constant questions.

    As far as the market, we have to understand that Chinese don't care at all to make a controller to our needs. Their internal market is much bigger than the whole world market for controllers!!! So don't expect wonders here. They do what they need, so until they need it, there is no development.

    The big problem with them is closing even Open source which they use for free, mainly because of fear somebody not to copy what they do. As they copy constantly of course, so they fear the same fate . then comes the copy of a copy of a copy...

  9. #189
    So is it extremly complex or relatively easy?

    Sent from my LG-H850 using Tapatalk

  10. #190
    I'm nowhere as technical as you guys, but I still think that there is a lot of good stuff made in China. For instance, I have just received a typical cheap Chinese servo motor, it works beautifully, but no thanks to the instructions, they are diabolical. This is the thing that lets down so many Chinese goods, the lack of proper English instructions delivered by a technical person who understands the product and is able to make them clear even for a novice to follow.

    In the end it's a lot of guess work and I bet a lot of people have been put off ordering because of the lack of proper documentation and examples. Luckily, in my case, I have prior basic experience with servos to know where to luck and what needs to be done, so I was able to benefit from an otherwise excellent product.

    They could do so much better and sell them like hotcakes if they spent a few thousand dollars and hire a technical expert to put together some comprehensive instructions, but no, they won't do it, it's just beyond me!

    Edward
    Last edited by Edward; 24-08-2017 at 07:53 PM.

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