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Old 01-08-2017, 09:58 AM   #21
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I had a chuckle when I'm posting about the 100's of hours of effort and all this cool technology and it is a hand tool that captures someone's interest
Don't worry mate I'm captivated by all the techie stuff. I am intrigued where you are going to fit this monster. Clearly not in your shed.

I am looking at what you are doing and using it to inform ideas for when I convert my BF20 to CNC.

Looking forward to videos of first automated cuts.


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Old 01-08-2017, 10:55 AM   #22
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Don't worry mate I'm captivated by all the techie stuff. I am intrigued where you are going to fit this monster. Clearly not in your shed.

I am looking at what you are doing and using it to inform ideas for when I convert my BF20 to CNC.

Looking forward to videos of first automated cuts.
Yes, currently living in the garage beside my wife's car. I'm sure you can relate to that!

Can you imagine how momentous the first automated cut will be if I got excited by hearing the torch on relay click!

D day won't be far away. Definitely before Easter.

Personally, I would recommend that you bypass Mach3 as its well and truly obsolete and go with LinuxCNC. Not knowing Linux is not an impediment as they have a complete .ISO install image that installs Linux and LinuxCNC at the one time.

There is also the stepconf program included which will build your config in a graphical environment and for a simple machine no hand editing of files will be required.

For a mill your size, I would not bother with the Mesa hardware. I'd grab something like this
http://www.omc-stepperonline.com/3-a...ter-p-183.html
(My 3rd order from these guys is due to arrive on Monday. ) For you, just order from their global site and skip any GST. It just takes a few more days to arrive.

Grab any Parallel port breakout board. Unlike Mach, there are not any restrictions on parallel ports and one on the motherboard will work just fine. Look for a Celeron J1900 board or similar that runs on 12 volt power and treat it just like another component to wire into your enclosure. Any more grunt and you are wasting money. 2 mb is fine but hard to buy now so I'm using 4 Mb.

Breakout boards start at this one which I have here (Came free with my stepper drives)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/breakout-...gAAOSwqfNXjxQq

This is pretty crappy, a better board is a C10 which is not much more and has bidirectional ports so you can add additional inputs.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/C10-BI-DI...AAAOSwJ7RYScNZ

Cheers mate, wear some paint off those machines you've bought and turn of that infernal plastic extruding contraption!


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Old 01-08-2017, 05:28 PM   #23
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Yes, currently living in the garage beside my wife's car. I'm sure you can relate to that!
Hell yeah - that just described my whole shop. :-D

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Personally, I would recommend that you bypass Mach3 as its well and truly obsolete and go with LinuxCNC. Not knowing Linux is not an impediment as they have a complete .ISO install image that installs Linux and LinuxCNC at the one time.
Cool - I'm a Linux guy from back when configing and building your own kernel was the norm. Very comfortable with Linux and associated techs.

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Cheers mate, wear some paint off those machines you've bought and turn of that infernal plastic extruding contraption!
I will. I have made a few supporting bits and pieces with the Lathe but in the middle of the mill table build at the moment. Lots of cutting steel and MIG sparks. Once mill is operational then have a nice little beginners engine to make. Plans all printed and ready to go.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:56 PM   #24
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Rod,

Thanks for the answer. I chuckled at your chuckle.

I like what you are doing with the high-tech stuff as well and I have a background which allows me to follow your descriptions of what's going on (just). I would love to start building something using Linux CNC myself, but the toy budget is in slow growth mode right now and life is in the way of much shop time. I am working on a stepper-driven indexer and rotary table and have made use of your posts on that topic.

Specifically, I like the panel layout and the way the lights work to keep the operator aware of the operating state of the system. The "Traffic Light" should work well in a multitasking shop (shed?).

Keep Building: You're keeping my interest.

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Old 01-09-2017, 07:01 PM   #25
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Rod - looking at the h/w you have suggested for a "light weight" setup versus the more industry path I believe you have taken, if you were to summarise, what do you see as the key advantages that the Mesa controller kit offers?

Cheers,
J.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:45 AM   #26
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Rod - looking at the h/w you have suggested for a "light weight" setup versus the more industry path I believe you have taken, if you were to summarise, what do you see as the key advantages that the Mesa controller kit offers?

Cheers,
J.
Just a few.

1. 24 volt system not 5 v to combat noise often prevalent in industrial environments particularly on plasma system. No one uses 5v in the real world
2. Unlimited inputs and outputs by addding additional daughter cards for different purposes.
3. Built in jog wheel encoders
4. USD $69 torch height hardware supported by LCNC vs up to USD $1000 systems
5. Ability to use ethernet to separate PC from plasma noise (optional)
6. Mach3 is a dead and obsolete environment.
7. Parallel port is dead and obsolete
8. Windows cannot offer a real time environment, LCNC can.

So never having used Mach3, even with a mate in my street who knows Mach3 backwards after building his own CNC lathe, I could not see any compelling reason to go with it.

I chose LCNC over Mach in the first instance. I had a go at using a parallel port breakout board and failed so when I kick started the project again, I upgraded to Mesa. I now know that a faulty ribbon cable I made was the reason why the parallel port did not work initially.

The choice to go to ethernet substantially increased the complexity of the Linux install but thats another story.

For a small mill or lathe, a parallel port would work fine without spending $200 on a smooth stepper card and buying. M3 license.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:32 AM   #27
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Rod,

Thanks for the answer. I chuckled at your chuckle.

I like what you are doing with the high-tech stuff as well and I have a background which allows me to follow your descriptions of what's going on (just). I would love to start building something using Linux CNC myself, but the toy budget is in slow growth mode right now and life is in the way of much shop time. I am working on a stepper-driven indexer and rotary table and have made use of your posts on that topic.

Specifically, I like the panel layout and the way the lights work to keep the operator aware of the operating state of the system. The "Traffic Light" should work well in a multitasking shop (shed?).

Keep Building: You're keeping my interest.

--ShopShoe
ShopShoe,

Speaking of High Tech, this is where the idea for the lights came from. My old workplace, designed by me from the ground up. You can see a stacklight mast on the machine out of focus behind Mark's head at about 2:30 into the video.

https://youtu.be/PSbTux4CY3U

The machine in the background is one of 2 black and white devices we had running at 160 pages per minute. There were capable of running at 320 copies per minute and speed limited by a software licence key that cost about $80k to remove. We also had a colour device that ran at 70 pages per minute. The paper punch is a 100% mechanical device, no electronics anywhere! A testament to German engineering. All up about $1.0m of equipment.

We achieved 99.7% on time delivery in a 48 hour window, way beyond industry best practice. I think Xerox themselves worked on about 90%. Maybe thats why there is none of their equipment in the factory.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:41 AM   #28
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Thanks for the pluses for the Mesa kit. I do rather like the look of it but then I like robust solutions. I'll focus on getting the mill working manually first then worry about this stuff. I did find a local supplier who do some of the Mesa h/w. The same lot I got a lot of my 3D Printer gear from. A good bunch.

http://www.makershop.co.nz/CNC/Mesa
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:05 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by joco-nz View Post
Thanks for the pluses for the Mesa kit. I do rather like the look of it but then I like robust solutions. I'll focus on getting the mill working manually first then worry about this stuff. I did find a local supplier who do some of the Mesa h/w. The same lot I got a lot of my 3D Printer gear from. A good bunch.

http://www.makershop.co.nz/CNC/Mesa
Its great you have a local source. I got mine from John Thornton in the USA, one of the key Linuxcnc forum members from here. http://mesaus.com

John has contributed some of the LCNC plasma torch height control code. Freight was reasonable and service was prompt. He has a lot of LCNC resources here http://gnipsel.com

I'm still not convinced on a small machine that you need to spend the money on Mesa as you can get by with a lot fewer inputs and outputs. Eg. Shared limit switches or even no limit switches. It does make life so much easier to wire up though!
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:00 PM   #30
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Its great you have a local source. I got mine from John Thornton in the USA, one of the key Linuxcnc forum members from here. http://mesaus.com

John has contributed some of the LCNC plasma torch height control code. Freight was reasonable and service was prompt. He has a lot of LCNC resources here http://gnipsel.com
I found John's site in the last 24hrs, quite useful. Even though I found a local supplier I can still land the gear from the USA cheaper than sourcing locally, so long as I keep under the GST radar.

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I'm still not convinced on a small machine that you need to spend the money on Mesa as you can get by with a lot fewer inputs and outputs. Eg. Shared limit switches or even no limit switches. It does make life so much easier to wire up though!
Well there is what I could get away with then there is what I want to be able to do. I quite like the idea of a 5th axis. I definitely want limit switches up the wazzo. I now what a pain crashing a 3D printer can be due to only having one side of an axis limited. I'm not taking that risk on something spinning at high RPM and costing a hell of a lot more dollars to fix if it really goes bad. Then through in half formed thoughts of a automated tool change, even if just to experiment with and the Mesa gear starts to look like the way to go.

I am intrigued with the ethernet over "parallel" cable choice. Is that really more relevant to the plasma cutters due to the level of electrical noise they throw out? It looks a lot tidier from an architecture/design angle .i.e. no extra card in the PC meaning you should be able to go to a really small form factor mini/micro style ITX board with the associated small case.

Cheers,
J.


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