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  1. #11
    Doddy's Avatar
    Lives in Preston, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 132. Received thanks 8 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    m_c: Interesting insight there on your thought process - and entirely sensible.

    I do, as a profession, deal with HMIs and ergonomics, but in a rather different field, but your points are very well made.

    For me, I have an issue that I'm keeping my main computer 10ft away from the mill, and so I'm putting the functions to manage the interactive stuff (touching-off, etc) and the DROs onto the machine and enough to start/stop the program. Program management though, back at the computer. I've enough experience of tripping over hand-held pendant flying leads (replaced another USB plug last weekend when I sheared the connector by standing on the lead).

    On the panel I've shifted the encoder to the right, with the DRO immediately to the left of it - so as not to obscure with my arm, and planning (once I get the IP65 chinese push-buttons delivered that I can get some accurate measurements to design with), push an Arduino with an Ethernet shield, use ModBus ethernet to hook this up (been playing with that - it's doable, and I had ethernet to the motion controller already - it makes sense to extend this to the machine).

    I've contemplated touch-screens in the past, and kept an eye out for cheap ones (I am cheap) - I do worry though about heavily oiled fingertips with any interface (I'm am dirty).

    Most of the stuff I've done on the starmill is an evolution on the previous attempts... for me I know I'll make mistakes, learn, and try again. It's a hobby :) One day I'll be happy, but that's a while-off!

  2. #12
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,794. Received thanks 189 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    I have been relying on cheap computers from ebay for running machines, as you can get complete 'refurbed' setups for under a hundred, and I'd rather have the computer near the machine than that far away.

    The key thing with touchscreens, is stick to resistive screens as they rely on surface pressure, so are not affected by contamination like capacitive screens are. Resistive is generally not as accurate though, so you need to have the ability to have reasonably sized buttons.

    Mistakes are part of the fun, however experience has taught to me try and make them in the cheapest/easiest way possible..
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  3. #13
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 963. Received thanks 67 times, giving thanks to others 42 times.
    I tend to do mine in CAD to get a feel however this works well. I'm right handed, so Id place the MPG on the right. Here is a mockup of Thor's panel. Ive since bought a Shuttle Contour controller which works well as my MPG seems not to want to work on 5V, so kinda abandoning this for now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #14
    I didn't see if the box was fixed somewhere or if it was portable. The reason I mention that is because any time I use the MPG wheel, it means getting my eye right up to the spindle to see what's going on, so being portable is a must for me.
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 6 Days Ago at 09:43 AM.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

  5. #15
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 963. Received thanks 67 times, giving thanks to others 42 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    I didn't see if the box was fixed somewhere or if it was portable. The reason I mention that is because any time I use the MPG wheel, it means getting my eye right up to the spindle to see what's going on, so being portable is a must for me.
    True. In my case Id probably put it on a swivel arm that can be moved somewhat but its not infinitely portable or wireless.

  6. #16
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 9 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,794. Received thanks 189 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    I did briefly think about going the pendant route, however with this machine, I can stand at the spindle and still reach the control panel, so there's not really any benefit.

    If it was something like a big bed router/plasma cutter, I'd use a pendant.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  7. #17
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 968. Received thanks 164 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Until recently I have been using a wireless keyboard and standard Mach3 hotkeys and so on. It had the advantage that I could put it on the bed of the machine while eyeballing a setup position, and the built-in touchpad was useful as well, but I have just bought one of the 90 or so Chinese wireless MPG units. Plug-and-play for the basic functions, and with a little bit of work I have begun programming in my favourite macros (Z touch off, etc). I have found it more useful than I had expected, as it is so easy to switch between axes, jog speeds, and so on. Especially now I have programmed a button for "set X Y work coordinate zero". It's not so much a matter of being able to get to the spindle from the control position as being able to move around to squint at tool alignment or whatever and still have the control to hand. But it's horses for courses - this gadget suits my way of working. I'm fairly impressed by what it can do for the price. I had thought about building something, but for me it just wasn't worth it. Not as if I don't have enough projects on hand already...

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