Thread: The illusive Boxford 260vmc
Well Ill start plugging away at some pseudo, while collecting bits, and putting the new bits on this machine. Mind you I could still do what i2i was hinting at and send all the signals to mach and let it sort it all out thus manually contolling the machine by proxy as it were, mind you i still wouldnt know how to give mach the speed information...
Who uses a text editor?... HiMem C for the PIC is a full IDE, with colour highlighting, in-circuit debugging, stack and variable tracing... I reckon I can match pic basic for time to executable on any reasonably complex real-world task (i.e. one requiring real hardware, interrupts, comms handling, etc.) making an LED flash is not a real world program!
but we digress......
BTW a PIC to handle the jog buttons and convert to keystrokes for MACH3 would save on extra input lines and the need to add another parallel port....
HiMem C always looked nice, for my sins I chose SourceBoost when playing with C on the 16f. Big mistake, a lot of time fighting the compiler.
These days I'd recommend using an 18f device and the free MicroChip IDE, makes for a solid combination and opens up a vast collection of sample code. A little work reading through the MicroChip documentation gives you the added benefit of source code compatibility with the newer pic32 series so if you ever need extra speed (80MHz!), io, memory, graphical user interface lol... heh, pic32 maybe overkill but it sure is sweet :)
Sorry - meant HiTech C...its the one that comes with the free IDE, but I upgraded to the full version (not essential, but someone else was paying lol) HiMem C was another, older, tool I had... the compiler does a reasonable job of hiding the chip complexity, Ram banks, i/o banks etc. from you at relatively little overhead... could usefully use more than one break point for debugging but thats a limitation of the on-chip debug support rather then the compiler... but a good range of 3rd party libraries (TCP/IP stack, CAN bus stack, even a mini-webserver).
The thing is i will have to do some serios reading before im finished writing this code, because although I have had experience with both PICS and 'C', this has not been a vast amount, and never together. Ive never used them to interpret inputs and outputs to mach or even a PC parallel port, unlike yourself i think it would be safe to say.
I would like to thank you for speaking to me about this on an equal basis, however it is not equal, as your knowlege of all these subjects is obviosly way ahead of mine, however im willing to learn from you and indeed have already.
See what you think about this http://www.arduino.cc/ or possibly this http://www.skpang.co.uk/catalog/prod...roducts_id=474 (http://www.schmalzhaus.com/UBW32/) plus http://www.cpustick.com/index.htm for any basic fans ( :confused: ).
The Arduino is the hobbyists choice at the moment for small projects, I think it rather costly for what it is.
The Bitwacker gives a lot more bang for buck, but adds some complexity to the software development.
They cost more than a simple chip + support electronics but both have free development tools and neither require dedicated programming hardware. In addition they come pre-assembled and ready to use... Always a benefit :)
Both are total over-kill for a rev counter + LED display, where they win is ease of use. Should you want to add functionality at a later date, they have capacity to spare - the bitwacker could probably drive your whole cnc setup and still have time to make the tea :)
Last edited by ecat; 05-08-2010 at 12:13 PM.
I have both Arduino and Freescale Automotive (8 and 32bit) dev kits, but I keep coming back to the PIC 16F/18F series for small projects, mainly because the smaller DIP-style PICs are just so easy to create prototypes with and usually have more than enough bang for the peanuts they cost. Not tried the PIC32 world yet.
A 16 or18pin PIC16F, a cheap display, a bit of stripboard and a 4Mhz resonator are all thats needed for a simple rev counter
Last edited by irving2008; 05-08-2010 at 11:50 AM.
Or a piece of foil and one of those ebay £25 point and shoot auto reader counters.
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