Need help with component selection

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20 Jan 2020 09:14 #155236 by Hytek
Hi all, after a long and grueling journey investigating the vast number of CNC control options available I have decided to plant my feet here. Though there is some stiff competition out there, I believe Linuxcnc will get me where I want to be.

Start with what I have, I have a Dyna EM3116 in good mechanical condition. A few years ago I set about to 'modernize' my machine, in doing so I have acquired the following:

Dell 24" touchscreen (building into a control panel to replace standard unit)
DMM DYN4 servo drivers (x3)
DMM .750kw servos (x3)
DMM breakout board (this is expendable)
ESS board (this is also expendable)
all electrical components to populate cabinet (contactors, fuses, power supplies etc.)
VFD to manage spindle motor

What I wish to achieve:
I wish to build this up to a 5 axis reliable machine that feels modern to use. Please note, I only have access to 240v single phase power.

With introductions out of the way it question time. I apologize in advance if I have failed to find things out myself and am contributing to 'forum repeat'.

1. Am i right in saying the Mesa 6i25 & 7i77 combo would be best choice for my application?

2. Would I need to purchase a new set of cables from DMM to accommodate the Mesa configuration? It is my understanding that the cables supplied to suit the DMM BoB have built in resistance which may effect signal voltages for other systems.

3.Is latency an important factor in a closed loop servo system? Most of my research only seems to mention stepper systems. Currently I am playing around with an old Dell OptiPlex 790 in standard trim, it does have a pci video card. Embarrassingly it sees maximum jitter of 67819 base thread. Even after a bit of a light molesting in the bios it still only achieves a top score of 57455

4. Now I have already asked this in another post & tommylight was kind enough to reply. However when I researched 'linux terminal' I found nothing that seemed usable with my basic knowledge of things, especially Linux. I wanted to know if there is a way to boot straight into the cnc screen. The system I have been using up to date is the proprietary system issued with the mill. It's a work machine to me and I have no need to access YouTube, eBay etc. on it. If doing this would compromise the operation of Lcnc then I will put up with the extra button press to get things going.

Thanks in advance for any help! Even if I don't get any help thanks for letting me in the club :)

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20 Jan 2020 15:03 - 20 Jan 2020 15:04 #155259 by PCW
1. Since the DYN4 drives are capable of running in step/dir mode I would suggest
using a controller with a step/dir interface, especially since this is your first LinuxCNC
experience and perhaps first retrofit.

2. You could use your DMM breakout and cables for step/dir, though you would likely need
an additional breakout board for misc I/O

3. Latency is not terribly important with hardware step/dir systems, even 100 usec is OK

4. I know people have done this, I can do it in a very kludgey way, but there should be
some more Linux savvy people here that can suggest a good method
Last edit: 20 Jan 2020 15:04 by PCW.

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20 Jan 2020 18:17 #155267 by tommylight
4. Linux Kiosk mode, there were some tutorials on how to do that for Ubuntu and Firefox for internet stations and i have seen them in use at the Frankfurt Airport.
You can autostart any application in Linux, so i never bothered to do a Kiosk mode for my clients, Linux Mint is very robust so no worries even if they install something.
To Boot into Linuxcnc all you need to do is add the link to the ini file in Menu>Preferences>Startup applications. You can also make it resize to full screen.

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20 Jan 2020 22:08 #155281 by Hytek
Thanks for the replies
PCW

Not my first retrofit, but it is my first fit with a servo system. And yes, definitely my first delve into Linuxcnc. As far as step/dir vs PWM goes I am still in the middle of investigating that one. One thing to note, I am looking at doing this job once and doing it right. This is why I listed the BoB and ESS as expendable. These came as a package deal when I thought Mach3/4 was the way I wanted to go. Clearly my procrastination on the controller was my conscience saying NO! I'm not even opposed to replacing the PC if that proves to be a weak point.

Tommy (hope you don't mind me calling you that)

Firstly, thanks for not correcting me on the whole Linux terminal/kiosk thing. Further investigation last night brought about a bit more confusion/decisions to make. I noticed your name pop up on a few projects like running Lcnc on porteus and such. Not sure if I need to go to that extent, especially with my limited Linux knowledge. But I do know I don't want to take a kick in the computing department to gain a 'creature comfort'. That said, your reply sounds positive & I will look into that

Thanks again guys!
The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight

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20 Jan 2020 23:14 #155284 by tommylight
forum.linuxcnc.org/9-installing-linuxcnc...nd-easy-installation
forum.linuxcnc.org/10-advanced-configura...ning-detailed-how-to
Have a read through that, plenty more confusion .... hmmm .....info there, even for wiring Mesa 7i77 if you go the servo route.
I do not mind at all.

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20 Jan 2020 23:45 #155286 by Hytek
Ha! at the moment my computer screen is like tab city. Hope my brain can absorb it all...

The mill came with servo system on it from factory. Though I am replacing them with the DDM units. The main reason for the upgrade/retrofit is the control software and components are dated and lacking by today's standards. Plus I would like to add a few creature comforts like touchscreen and such.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Endless

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24 Jan 2020 01:03 #155608 by Hytek
After a bit more research I have narrowed it down to a Mesa 5i25 & 7i76 combination. As PCW suggested step/dir is the better way to go. According to DDM-Tech it has less noise, also they have a wiring schematic for that setup already done.

I have concerns though. Reading through previous attempts to get this set up working (some posts 2+ years old) have resulted in a lot of sleepless nights, damaged components and a couple of compromises to get to an acceptable outcome. Has anyone done this setup recently? Have these issues been ironed out?
Note, I am aware that these types of jobs carry risk. But with the cost of replacement parts and the current state of the good ol' Aussie dollar I tend to lean towards caution.

Are there any other daughter boards etc. I am likely to need from Mesa? I would prefer to get everything at the same time as shipping from America to Australia is not exactly cheap. If you need any more info on my setup to assist please don't hesitate to ask.

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24 Jan 2020 01:54 #155617 by tommylight

Hytek wrote: I have concerns though. Reading through previous attempts to get this set up working (some posts 2+ years old) have resulted in a lot of sleepless nights, damaged components and a couple of compromises to get to an acceptable outcome. Has anyone done this setup recently? Have these issues been ironed out?
Note, I am aware that these types of jobs carry risk. But with the cost of replacement parts and the current state of the good ol' Aussie dollar I tend to lean towards caution.

Are there any other daughter boards etc. I am likely to need from Mesa? I would prefer to get everything at the same time as shipping from America to Australia is not exactly cheap. If you need any more info on my setup to assist please don't hesitate to ask.


Ohhhhh......chit! :) You just reminded of that "incident" regarding a user here that was utterly unable to follow directions and went through several sets of electronics.
If you continue to read about other retrofits, you will find plenty of users who came here with no experience required to do such a task but with the help of this forum ended up with perfectly working machines and in quite a short time.
There is no issue to iron out, so no worries there. The only things you will absolutely need to get it done is patience and a lot of reading. It would help if you are good at electronics, mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics, automation...... :)

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24 Jan 2020 05:46 #155629 by Hytek
Thanks for the reply Tommy. And no I won't be that guy. To not follow instruction or advice would suggest I know better. If that were the case I wouldn't here. Though I will research the advice I am given, I prefer to know why I am doing what I'm doing rather than running in blindly.

Skills wise, my shortcomings are in the areas of Linuxcnc, Mesa cards (first time user on both accounts). And limited amount of servo knowledge :(
The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight

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24 Jan 2020 19:57 #155670 by tommylight
You are welcomed, always.
You are entering a world where (almost) everything is possible, so the reading and learning will pay off many, many times.

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