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  1. #11
    One problem using the PP is that until the pc is powered up the pins can be in any rambled state and they can also chatter as the pc is powering up causing all sorts of unexpected happenings. That is the beauty of a motion controller this behaviour does not happen with Lcnc and a Mesa card.

    edit Having said that you might be able to use the charge pump in Mach3 so that the bobs are not enabled until the charge pump signal is seen.
    Last edited by Clive S; 08-07-2017 at 03:22 PM.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Clive S View Post
    One problem using the PP is that until the pc is powered up the pins can be in any rambled state and they can also chatter as the pc is powering up causing all sorts of unexpected happenings. That is the beauty of a motion controller this behaviour does not happen with Lcnc and a Mesa card
    Mmm.. yes, I understand that, but it's more of an issue with the BOB itself in that they've used the NC rather than the NO side of the relay - can't see the reasoning behind this or a way around it.

    BTW I'd love to move over to LCNC, but my impression is that it's for people with an interest in programming and computing rather than just wanting to get on with using a machine. I've looked hard, but I can't find the equivalent of the Mach3 User's Guide. I find that I can't get to a position where I can understand what I need to do to use Mach3 - and I regard myself as being moderately savvy with PCs.
    Last edited by Agathon; 08-07-2017 at 03:27 PM.

  3. #13
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 7 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,123. Received thanks 233 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Without seeing the videos (my broadband is currently not working, so am limping along on mobile broadband), if you're using a parallel port, you really need to use a charge pump for safety, regardless of what software you're using. As Clive has already said, parallel port pins can act randomly during loading. If the BOB you are using has no charge pump, the easiest option is just not to power up the machine until the computer is fully loaded.

    The Clear tecknic servos do seem good, however you have to remember as they need the step/dir signal directly, it adds in a lot of extra potential for interference and losing/missing steps. If I was to use them, I'd be looking at adding differential signal drivers to avoid potential noise issues.
    Plus I think they're more closed loop stepper, than what's more commonly referred to as a servo. Good in the fact they're better for direct driving ballscrews, but does mean top speed is limited.

    Performance wise, you're more likely to be better of with some good Nema23 motors, and adding a 2:1 drive ratio. Nema 34 really need high voltage drives to get the best performance from them.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    Without seeing the videos (my broadband is currently not working, so am limping along on mobile broadband), if you're using a parallel port, you really need to use a charge pump for safety, regardless of what software you're using. As Clive has already said, parallel port pins can act randomly during loading. If the BOB you are using has no charge pump, the easiest option is just not to power up the machine until the computer is fully loaded.

    The Clear tecknic servos do seem good, however you have to remember as they need the step/dir signal directly, it adds in a lot of extra potential for interference and losing/missing steps. If I was to use them, I'd be looking at adding differential signal drivers to avoid potential noise issues.
    Plus I think they're more closed loop stepper, than what's more commonly referred to as a servo. Good in the fact they're better for direct driving ballscrews, but does mean top speed is limited.

    Performance wise, you're more likely to be better of with some good Nema23 motors, and adding a 2:1 drive ratio. Nema 34 really need high voltage drives to get the best performance from them.
    Thanks for the reply. What's a "charge pump"?

    Re Clearpath - they are true servos rather than hybrid servo/steppers. I take your point about interference. I might pose the question to Teknic and see what they say - they've been really helpful so far.

    There seem to be as many opinions about drives and motors as there are drives and motors. I did canvass this forum and others quite extensively before buying drives and the consensus seemed to be that Leadshine AM882s at 70v was the way to go. Still, the Z axis is fine, and the X&Y drives can be redeployed. If I do make some change to the X and Y drives it will be to servos - not poncing about with these poxy stepper things any more

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Agathon View Post
    Thanks for the reply. What's a "charge pump"?
    if the bob does not see a continuous signal from the controlling PC it shuts down.
    Also called a 'watchdog timer'

    From my bob manual,

    The charge pump uses the 12 kHz signal from the parallel port generated by the
    CNC software to operate a logic circuit that gives an active low output. Any
    piece of machinery that uses powerful motors can be dangerous if controlled
    by a computer that can be in an unknown state while being powered up or in
    a software crash condition. Using the charge pump circuit to disable power to
    motors is a safety device in that it only operates when the software is running
    correctly and under user control. The charge pump circuit is also used to
    disable the output signals so even if your stepper boards do not have an
    enable pin they will be disabled automatically when the charge pump signal
    is not present.
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 08-07-2017 at 07:23 PM.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

  6. #16
    Thanks for the reply. What's a "charge pump"?
    Mach3 generates a 12.5Kc/s pulse onto one of the pins of the PP This is used to enable the bob. When Mach3 starts up. It is used in case there is a software problem or e stop situation the pulse disappears and basically switches the bob off.

    Re the drives is is usual for us to have a two to one reduction with a belt drive. I use these AM882 on my mill.
    Your mill though is in a league of its own.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Clive S View Post
    Mach3 generates a 12.5Kc/s pulse onto one of the pins of the PP This is used to enable the bob. When Mach3 starts up. It is used in case there is a software problem or e stop situation the pulse disappears and basically switches the bob off.

    Re the drives is is usual for us to have a two to one reduction with a belt drive. I use these AM882 on my mill.
    Your mill though is in a league of its own.
    I'll do some research on charge pumps.

    I have been puzzling about using Nema 23s with a reduction drive, but can't see how this will help in my situation. If I wanted to achieve 1000 rpm at the feedscrew the motors would have to run at twice that speed with the inevitable massive drop-off in torque. Even if the torque itself is multiplied by 2:1 (which it won't due to losses in the drive belts etc) the torque of the motor is likely to have dropped way below any mechanical gain. I can see how it helps with gaining torque at lower speeds, but looking at the torque curves of even the lowest induction and rotor inertia steppers it looks like less than a zero-sum game to me since their torque drops down to less than a third of their maximum. By the time any motor gets to having nearly 7000 steps a second they're going to have no torque at all. These topsy-turvy stepper things do my head in!

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    Last edited by Agathon; 08-07-2017 at 08:34 PM.

  8. #18
    How do you get rid of attachments? Realised that the axes on the blue graph don't make any sense.

  9. #19
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 7 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,123. Received thanks 233 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agathon View Post
    Thanks for the reply. What's a "charge pump"?

    Re Clearpath - they are true servos rather than hybrid servo/steppers. I take your point about interference. I might pose the question to Teknic and see what they say - they've been really helpful so far.

    There seem to be as many opinions about drives and motors as there are drives and motors. I did canvass this forum and others quite extensively before buying drives and the consensus seemed to be that Leadshine AM882s at 70v was the way to go. Still, the Z axis is fine, and the X&Y drives can be redeployed. If I do make some change to the X and Y drives it will be to servos - not poncing about with these poxy stepper things any more
    I'd like to get my hands on one to see, but the torque curves look more akin to those of a stepper system, than a servo system. Stepper and brushless motors are very similar, it's just stepper motors are synchronous (which is what gives them the detents), while servos are a/non-synchronous, which means you don't lose power/torque overcoming the detents.

    Regarding the Nema 23 v 34 argument. Compare them running similar voltages. You'll generally find Nema 34 graphs are using a high voltage driver, while Nema 23 are done using a relatively low voltage driver.
    I've just had a quick look to see if I could find a couple graphs to do a comparison, but the Nema 34 graphs I found were mostly using a 110VAC supply (about 155VDC), while the Nema 23 ones were using 30-40VDC supplies. At those low voltage, torque drop of is very noticeable, and crippling Nema 34s with only 70VDC also makes for a very similar torque drop-off. You need voltage to over come the back EMF at speed. Without that voltage, torque at speed is very limited.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    I'd like to get my hands on one to see, but the torque curves look more akin to those of a stepper system, than a servo system. Stepper and brushless motors are very similar, it's just stepper motors are synchronous (which is what gives them the detents), while servos are a/non-synchronous, which means you don't lose power/torque overcoming the detents.

    Regarding the Nema 23 v 34 argument. Compare them running similar voltages. You'll generally find Nema 34 graphs are using a high voltage driver, while Nema 23 are done using a relatively low voltage driver.
    I've just had a quick look to see if I could find a couple graphs to do a comparison, but the Nema 34 graphs I found were mostly using a 110VAC supply (about 155VDC), while the Nema 23 ones were using 30-40VDC supplies. At those low voltage, torque drop of is very noticeable, and crippling Nema 34s with only 70VDC also makes for a very similar torque drop-off. You need voltage to over come the back EMF at speed. Without that voltage, torque at speed is very limited.
    I have to say all this stepper and servo stuff is new to me. I'm very familiar with squirrel cage motors and vfds, but steppers, and now servos are a very steep learning curve. I know what you mean about the Clearpath graphs, but Teknic have stated that they are servos and not steppers. Their torque curves are certainly much more healthy at speed than any stepper graph I've seen (which admittedly isn't that many). Certainly when you compare the torque/speed graph of the Clearpath 2.04 Nm (rms) (CPM-SDSK-3421S-RLN) servo I was thinking of buying to that of the Astrosyn 4.8 Nm (holding torque), there's no competition. Where the Clearpath has no problem producing its nominal rms torque at 1000rpm the Astrosyn has fallen to something in the region of 0.9 Nm at around 3000 steps/s (900rpm).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just as an aside, if the Astrosyns were geared 2:1 they'd only be producing 0.4Nm

    Having looked at the torque curve more carefully I see now that with my table axes running at 2000mm/min that the motors should be producing something in the region of 1.7Nm - which should be fine and indeed seems to be so. I can also see why increasing the speed by 50% causes them to lose steps as they've lost 0.5Nm in torque

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