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  1. #1
    Jeff's Avatar
    Lives in Filey, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 31-10-2017 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 19. Received thanks 2 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    I've just about completed the mechanical build of my new router, it's a gantry style with twin ball screws and motors on the Y axis roughly 1500mm X, 1000mm Y. Gantry currently weighs in at around 45kg with a Kress 1050 mounted but I'm intending to upgrade to a 3.0kW spindle at some point which will push this to just a little over 50kg. Just waiting on the 4.0N nema 23's from CNC4you and then I need to start on the control system.

    I was going to use the CSMIO IP-M but I don't like the fact that it takes away the option to square the gantry by using a seperate homing switch on the slaved axis from Mach 3, nor do I like the companies condescending attitude to stepper driver users, they can't even resist having a dig in the user manual.

    I've got nearly 3k invested in the machine so far so I'm not looking to skimp on the controller, but at the same time I don't want to needlessly throw money at the machine. I was almost convinced that a stand alone controller like the DDCSV1.1 was the way to go but there is so little information on them that I don't really want to take the risk, so I'm looking for a controller with a solid Mach 3 plugin, that supports independent homing of slaved axes, and preferably doesn't need a BOB. Does such a thing exist, because I'm struggling to find anything.

  2. #2
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 6 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,156. Received thanks 209 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    The best, money-no-object, answer is probably the CSMIO-IP/S. Same as IP/M, but 6 axis and it does proper gantry squaring, master/slave offsets defined through setup parameters, etc. But it costs...

    I have a very similar machine, with 2.2KW spindle. I use the IP/M. I have two X axis home switches, one at each end of the gantry. On homing, only one is used. I then hit e-stop, which cuts power to the motors. I turn the other ballscrew by hand until the proximity switch triggers (as seen on its built-in led), effectively doing by hand what the usual homing routine should do. Then hit reset button, rehome (because Mach3 insists after e-mail stop event) but this takes a second or two because the axes are already there. I should put an index mark on the pulley to make it quicker, but have never really felt the need to bother. In practice, the whole business takes seconds and you only do it once, generally, at the start of a session.

    I even considered building a little bit of electronics to sit between motion controller and drivers to home the slave axis but it's complicated slightly by the differential signaling capability of the CSMIO, one of its useful features, so again I haven't bothered to do it. My only gripe about the CSMIO is that you need the right version of Mach3, not the latest, or one or two of features don't work. Since I "upgraded" to the right older version, it's been rock solid.

    One man's view, and not the only one possible.
    Last edited by Neale; 23-10-2017 at 08:30 AM.

  3. #3
    Jeff's Avatar
    Lives in Filey, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 31-10-2017 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 19. Received thanks 2 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    Hi Neale

    I'd looked at the IP/S but can't really justify the 650 price tag just to get a feature that should really have been included on the IP/M, CS-Labs obviously know how to do it so it's a baffling decision not to do it on their "hobby" controller.

  4. #4
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 6 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,156. Received thanks 209 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Hi Neale

    I'd looked at the IP/S but can't really justify the 650 price tag just to get a feature that should really have been included on the IP/M, CS-Labs obviously know how to do it so it's a baffling decision not to do it on their "hobby" controller.
    Agreed - it's frustrating but I reckoned it was worth going for the CSMIO, accepting a minor restriction, but getting a lot of other benefits that are not common in other motion controllers. But I did make my decision a couple of years ago, so maybe the market has changed.

  5. #5
    I am not sure and don't have any experience with them but if I remember correctly I thought the ES smoothstepper did dual homing.

    As Neale has stated the CSMIO-IP/S is a great bit of kit. I also have twin screws with dual homing using a Purlogic https://purelogic.ru/catalog/elektro..._ethernet_usb/

    I bought it from Zapp a few years ago but the documentation is crap and would not go down that route again.

    As I run my mill and lathe with Linuxcnc with Mesa cards 5i25/7i76 I am thinking of converting the router using the same cards (the master branch on Linuxcnc now dose shared homing) just by setting the offsets in the machine.ini file.

    But Linuxcnc is quite a learning curve but rock steady.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Last edited by Clive S; 23-10-2017 at 10:16 AM.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  6. #6
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,121. Received thanks 233 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Dynomotion KFlop?
    Can pretty much program it to work however you want, and it'll work with Mach 3.

    If you're running drivers that accept differential inputs, I may still have enough parts around to create a step/dir differential driver board (or I could just do the SMD work, and you can deal with the through hole parts). Only drawback is with just a bare KFlop, interfacing to the low voltage signals can be a bit of pain (you can always add a Konnect to get 24V I/O).

    Only other options I can think of are Po-Keys, and the CNC-Drive controllers. PMDX also do some, but I think they're Mach 4 only.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  7. #7
    Jeff's Avatar
    Lives in Filey, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 31-10-2017 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 19. Received thanks 2 times, giving thanks to others 3 times.
    I think Mesa / Linuxcnc is a step too far at the moment, I looked at Mesa/Pathpilot and discounted it for the same reason. I'd have bought the CSMIO IP/M in a heartbeat if it supported independent axis homing for slaves and I still haven't ruled it out completely but manually squaring the gantry seems like a bit of a fudge.

    The Purelogic board looks interesting but I can't find any English documentation, and I'm guessing support would be an issue too.

    The warp 9 ESS looks well supported but the cost with a PMDX-126 and shipping/import duty/vat puts this combo very close in price to the CSMIO IP/S so that puts me back where I started, either the CSMIO IP/M or a cheap standalone chinese all in one to get the machine moving and making chips.

  8. #8
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 6 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,156. Received thanks 209 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    I went CSMIO because of its 24V operation, Ethernet, differential signaling, reputation for reliability. Cost wasn't that different to other options which all needed a decent BOB to be added. Manual squaring is a fudge, agreed, and I really think it should be in the IP/M firmware. But in practice, it's a trivial part of the startup process, so don't let that dissuade you too much.

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  10. #9
    If you're not locked into Mach3, UCCNC with a UC300ETH and UB1 breakout board is an excellent alternative. Lots of 24V I/O, spindle speed control, analog inputs for feedrate and spindle overrides.
    And software that's actively being developed, that provides superior motion to Mach3.

    http://www.cncroom.com/interface-cards/uc300eth-ub1
    Last edited by Ger21; 26-10-2017 at 10:26 PM.
    Gerry
    ______________________________________________
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

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    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  11. #10
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 6 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,156. Received thanks 209 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Gerry - does the UC300 support proper dual-motor axis squaring? If so, that's another big plus point.

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