|CNC machine progress||Sam Harmon||9/24/12 8:37 AM|
On Saturday, Joe O, Matt, and myself spent some time trying to get the MaxNC CNC mill working with EMC2. It was a learning experience :-) So far all we've managed to do is get the spindle to run, and it only does that when the controlling computer is powered down...
It turns out the MaxNC doesn't use a "standard" stepper motor control (i.e. send step/direction per axis using 2 pins each on the parallel port) - the motors have encoders attached (making them a little more like servos), and it uses some kind of quadrature encoding and has some microcontrollers in its onboard electronics that in turn step the stepper motors. In theory, EMC2 can support this through a function called 'stepgen', but I haven't found a decent tutorial or working configuration from someone else.
There are still a few avenues we're going to try to approach:
1: Use Mach3 on a Windows machine- It looks like the MaxNC electronics are supported by Mach3. It would probably be useful to try this (in the free version of Mach3 that limits you to 500 gcode instructions per file so we don't shell out $175 or whatever) just to figure out if the electronics do in fact work. If we can get it to run at all we could maybe see what's going on in the parallel port to figure out what needs to happen for the EMC2 configuration. Now we just need a working Windows install on a machine with a parallel port...
2: Through a MaxNC yahoo group, I found the executable for the original DOS software that shipped with the machine. This may not be terribly helpful, as I can't get it to run at all in DOSbox (seems to be missing all kinds of other files)
3: Try appealing to the internet for support: Noisebridge (the San Francisco hackerspace) has (as far as I can tell) an identical mill. they claim to have it working in EMC2, but didn't share the config files. I've asked via twitter for their config. I'll probably try some targeted e-mails to them next. There's also a guy involved with the Tesla Orchestra (our new neighbors at LH) who is an EMC2 developer. He may also be a good resource.
4: If all else fails, we can chuck the existing electronics and get a Geckodrive or some other 4-axis CNC stepper driver and roll with that. I may even order some cheap-ish one soon just to experiment with.
|Re: CNC machine progress||Corwin Harris||9/24/12 4:39 PM|
Can you link to the DOS software? I might have some hardware laying about which can run it.
|Club phone system||Joe ODonnell||9/24/12 5:01 PM|
|Re: Club phone system||Corwin Harris||9/25/12 10:57 AM|
Joe, that's pretty neat. But I wanted to address the fact that I've noticed that a variety of people are starting new off-topic conversations in existing threads. Can you please start a new thread instead? It will make finding your post and work much easier later. :)
|IVR Club phone system||Joe ODonnell||9/25/12 12:28 PM|
|Re: [makersalliance] CNC machine progress||Sam Harmon||9/25/12 10:45 PM|
PROGRESS WAS MADE!
Thanks to Tesla Orchestra's John Kasunich (who is a sometime EMC2 dev), we managed to get a stepper motor to move a bit! Part of the problem was that we were using the wrong hardware address for the parallel port card(should be 0xecf8- oops!). The rest was the odd quadrature encoding stuff.
If you're around and want to look at it, the file with what we did can be found on the CNC computer in ~/emc2/configs/StartingToWork. There's only a .hal file in there now. John suggested using stepconf to get a partial configuration going, and then merging in the changes from what we did and tweaking from there.
I also tried the Taig collet nut and that did in fact fit the spindle, so we have a little tooling once we get motion completely working!
Now, what should we do with the Chinese 4-axis controller I ordered? I'm open to suggestions...
|Re: [makersalliance] CNC machine progress||Joe ODonnell||9/26/12 7:54 AM|
Congrats and thanks for this huge step in our fabricating ability.
I suggest we use the 4 axis controller board in a new project to turn the laser cutter into a laser cutter/powder sinter machine. The new board would be used to control the dust deployment mechanism:
|Re: [makersalliance] IVR Club phone system||Paul Jarc||9/26/12 9:21 AM|
"Joe O'Donnell" <joseph....@yahoo.com> wrote:GMail's web interface does use the subject to group messages into
conversations. But other mail clients use the In-Reply-To or
References header fields to group messages into (possibly
tree-structured) threads. Those fields are filled in automatically
when you hit "reply", and most mail clients don't give you a way to
clear them out to indicate the start of a new thread. The only way to
make sure they're empty is to start a new message instead of replying
to an old one.
TL;DR: "Reply" is a handy way to fill in the addressee, but it has
other less-visible consequences that may not be what you want.
Starting a new message instead is the best way to indicate a new