Bridgeport EZtrak conversion

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23 Jul 2013 02:58 #36911 by hradford5
We've decided to convert our 1998 Bridgeport EZTrak machine to LinuxCNC. We want to keep as much of the original hardware as possible.
If we use the Mesa 5i25/7i77 combo can we just plug it into the 486 motherboard that is already in the enclosure, using that as our host computer, then make the connections, install LinuxCNC & tune it?
I don't mean to sound naive, I realize there is a considerable amount of work involved in the "then make the connections, install LinuxCNC & tune it" statement.
Am I correct in thinking that we can keep our X & Y power amplifiers (are these what are called drives)
Also the 5i25/7i77 will replace the Auxiliary & Axis BOBs?
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23 Jul 2013 05:15 #36915 by cmorley
Do the drives use +-10v analog input? (They are servo drives right?)
Is there an encoder feedback you can tap into?

Or are they stepper?
Then you need the 5i25/7i76 (well there are other options but that's a common one)
Mesa and PPMC produce good, compatible hardware cards for linuxcnc

I'm sure you will want to (possibly need to) upgrade the motherboard.
but it's easy enough to try your existing equipment with the live cd.
Not all motherboards are good linuxcnc (or MACH or...) candidates

The BOB's depend on the amount of I/O and voltages, but you will not be able to use the existing, unless they go through the parallel port.

Hope that's a start of the answers you need.

Chris M

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23 Jul 2013 05:24 #36916 by cmorley
If the drive amps are AMC this is very doable.
looks like they used AMC drives...

Chris M

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23 Jul 2013 06:24 #36917 by hradford5
I'm not sure what the drive inputs are, but I'll check tomorrow. The motors are SEMCO MT30H4-44 motors with encoders &
tachos.
What determines whether or not the motherboard is a good candidate?

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23 Jul 2013 07:02 - 23 Jul 2013 07:03 #36918 by Zahnrad Kopf

If the drive amps are AMC this is very doable.
looks like they used AMC drives...

Chris M


They could be one of three or four different ones used, depending on when it was actually built and if it was ever upgraded after needing a drive replacement. AMC drives were used at the end when the others had dried up. Could be Contraves, too, or even Motion Control or PacSci. Easiest way is to take a pic but either way you should be fine. One of the guys that installed and worked on them is a personal friend and still has toms of knowledge and records on them, so you're not stranded in any way. He's been helping me keep our CNC Bridgy running for almost 15 years.
Last edit: 23 Jul 2013 07:03 by Zahnrad Kopf.
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23 Jul 2013 07:13 #36919 by cmorley
By far latency is the critical factor.
There is a latency test on the live cd.
Here are comparisons:
wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Latency-Test
Since you are going to use hardware for encoder and analog, super great latency is not required.

Then I/O ports needed. parallel port or PCI

Some what processor speed for snappy response for non realtime programs.
See here.
www.linuxcnc.org/docs/2.5/html/common/System_Requirements.html

The 486 is so old, I don't think it will cut it, in fact, I'm sure it won't work at all.
Computers are cheap. check all your old ones.

Chrs M
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23 Jul 2013 08:49 #36925 by hradford5

The 486 is so old, I don't think it will cut it, in fact, I'm sure it won't work at all.
Computers are cheap. check all your old ones.

Chrs M


Thanks Chris, you're right, I've probably got something laying about that I can use.

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23 Jul 2013 21:15 #36939 by hradford5

If the drive amps are AMC this is very doable.
looks like they used AMC drives...

Chris M


They could be one of three or four different ones used, depending on when it was actually built and if it was ever upgraded after needing a drive replacement. AMC drives were used at the end when the others had dried up. Could be Contraves, too, or even Motion Control or PacSci. Easiest way is to take a pic but either way you should be fine. One of the guys that installed and worked on them is a personal friend and still has toms of knowledge and records on them, so you're not stranded in any way. He's been helping me keep our CNC Bridgy running for almost 15 years.


The drives are CMC (Cleveland Motion Controls?) p/n MHB12020-00

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27 May 2021 16:48 #210449 by scrapboy13
i was think on doing the same for a 1999 version do you have the altered wiring diagram so i can look at what you have done thank you
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