Do any of you know if GSK-Link is similar or a variant of EtherCat?

12 Nov 2022 04:13 #256484 by BruceCharlesDesigns
I was looking at a Chinese mill and it looked like the servo drives were setup with Ethercat based on the daisy-chained Ethernet cables.  I did some digging on the model numbers looking for a GR2030-LA1 and found this on Alibaba which lower in the page shows the model breakdown and a pic of the drives linked with Ethernet....   

So the L in the model number indicates the drive uses GSK-Link.  Do any of you know if they have made their own proprietary Ethernet bus or if this is just what they call their EtherCat?

Any info would be appreciated.  Any experience with GDS drives or servos anyone wants to share would be welcome as well.


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13 Nov 2022 04:25 - 13 Nov 2022 06:01 #256561 by CORBETT

Those look to be proprietary using ethernet not ethercat.  Any product that will do ethercat in general will have the EtherCAT logo on the servo amp itself.  Here is what logo to look for:


Now with that said, even if it will be "seen" on the ethercat bus, it still doesn't mean that it will work with the LinuxCNC EtherCAT driver.  If you are wanting to use ethercat, then I would look for ethercat specific amps that are supported by the code or have been proven to work with the "generic" setup in the XML.  It's a very short list of supported products, even Yaskawa is not on the list but Delta, Omron, Stöber, and a few others are.

You can also do other options with EtherCAT such as using EL4132 analog output terminals to any older/newer analog amps (I use these) or use EL2521 pulse train output (I have these also).  Plus, EL4122 analog output terminal 4 to 20 mA (have some, but not in use). 

I forgot to add that db1981 (Dominik) wrote the CIA402 component that works with CANopen and ProfiBUS.

Hope it possibly helps,
Last edit: 13 Nov 2022 06:01 by CORBETT. Reason: spelling

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14 Nov 2022 04:01 #256654 by BruceCharlesDesigns
Thanks, Robert!

These are actually going to be in a mill that I'm going to order from China. I anticipate the GSK control will not be to my liking, and was hoping to just ditch it and end up with either PathPilot or ProbeBasic. If they had been ethercat that would have simplified things. I'm ever the optimist! :)

I have a bunch of travel to do, but the mill should arrive by May 1 of next year, and I'll be back on May 14th. Then I get to see what I've actually ended up with. Wish me luck.

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14 Nov 2022 23:38 #256742 by CORBETT
Yes, I know the optimistic feeling of a machine coming in... always hoping for the best, I am with you on that.  What irks me the most is buying something and then go back to get it and they hit it with a forklift or some other mishap before I get there, and then act like it was like that always.  But cell phone pics have ended that argument now adays.

You never know, you may end up getting use to the control and just go with it.  But yeah, good to be prepared if it sucks completely.  I have never used any of the Chinese controls, so I have no idea how they are compared to mainstream industrial controls.  Worst case, a retrofit to LinuxCNC

Yes, definitely wish you good luck and hope it does what you are wanting to accomplish.


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15 Nov 2022 19:26 #256794 by mwc
GSK systems are meant to be pretty good, but if you don't like dedicated standalone controllers without a full GUI, it doesn't really matter how good the controller is.

The main reason I don't go for dedicated mill controllers, is they usually have limited storage space, which can become an issue with complex machining, more so if you want to store multiple programs on the controller.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight

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19 Nov 2022 05:10 #257094 by BruceCharlesDesigns
I actually detest dedicated standalone controllers. 99% of my experience has been with either LinuxCNC running Axis or Pathpilot. I really like Pathpilot actually.

But I'm now more limited by what my Tormach can do so I need to address the hardware side of things. I now have a mill on order from WMT CNC in China. It will come with the GSK980MDi controller with servos. That controller and the servos us "GSKLink" which is why I had posted the original message.

If I get the mill and love it I'll try to live with the control. If I can't, I guess I have a big project ahead of me.

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