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  1. #1
    Ross77's Avatar
    Lives in Devon, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 703. Received thanks 25 times, giving thanks to others 42 times.
    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?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    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.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  3. #3
    Ross77's Avatar
    Lives in Devon, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 703. Received thanks 25 times, giving thanks to others 42 times.
    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.

  4. #4
    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.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  5. #5
    Ross77's Avatar
    Lives in Devon, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 703. Received thanks 25 times, giving thanks to others 42 times.
    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)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    Ross77's Avatar
    Lives in Devon, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 703. Received thanks 25 times, giving thanks to others 42 times.
    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)

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  9. #8
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,011. Received thanks 221 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    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.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    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)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

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  13. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Camera View Post
    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.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

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