Non-tormach Pathpilot Install Questions?

14 May 2016 19:14 #74655 by nigel-tufnel
Hello. I am in the process of trying to get Pathpilot to work on a CNC mill retrofit and need a little help. I have successfully installed Pathpilot (version 1.9.5) on my PC and it seems to come up fine with the default settings and a Mesa 5i25 card installed in the PC. Note that I am using a Mesa 5i25 PCI card and a Mesa 7i76 breakout board for steppers. I started following the Wikia help page and got to the point where I copied the 5i25_7i76x2.bit file to the Mesa folder and then edited the tormach_1100-3.ini file to reference the new .bit file. It flashed the Mesa card but then upon reboot, I get a "machine control software experienced an error. Install a software update" message. The following messages/screens are all dead ends.

Anyone have any ideas where I'm going wrong? I am assuming I am using the correct .bit file (based on a cncbasher thread on this forum). I tried it both ways, with the 7i76 connected and disconnected. Made no difference. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

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14 May 2016 23:06 #74662 by PCW
I am no expert on pathpilot but I would expect this result until you have a working machine configuration
(hal/ini files) for your hardware (5I25+7I76)

Tormachs hal/ini files expect their own daughterboard and signals and PathPilot will likely not even start
until you change the configuration to match your (different) hardware

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15 May 2016 10:18 - 15 May 2016 10:21 #74675 by cncbasher
your not doing anything wrong , if you have followed my tutorials , the problem is that any error in your config files , Pathpilot with throw at you that theirs something wrong , and in it's own way because it still thinks it's a Tormach machine , it will give you the option to replace the ini & hal files again with it's own,

you want to inspect the Pathpilotlog.txt file , this will show you what errors their are . this is located in the gcode /log folder
and is quite handy for debugging .

there are a few Gotcha's to watch out for , as i have previously mentioned , such as name changes to attach to their GUI , not difficult to find , but easier to find once you know , such as the test spindle encoder , and led';s , and connecting to the jog pins .

your main error of pathpilot wanting to restore the ini files can be defeated , if you look in the UI python files , theirs 2 lines that need commenting out , see my tutorial for the exact lines and where . this will stop them actually being replaced , but you still get the warning that theirs something wrong .
if you have any problems , email me direct and i'll help you through .
but overall their not difficult , knowing about them is the key .

Last edit: 15 May 2016 10:21 by cncbasher.

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16 May 2016 01:12 #74711 by nigel-tufnel
Thanks for the info. What was said makes sense, I guess I was assuming I wouldn’t get any errors yet based on step 5 of “Flash the Mesa” since I followed the previous steps.

So I’ve been hashing through all this and have a couple questions.
1) I think I understand most of the variables in the .ini file. None seem like they should keep Pathpilot from spitting out signals that should make my steppers run on the test bench. However, there are multiple directories that seem to have the same files. Are the .ini files to edit under the ~operator/tmc/configs/tormach_mill directory or the ~operator/v1.9.5/configs/tormach_mill directory? They exist in both directories.
2) Which .ini file should I be editing? Just the tormach_1100-3.ini file or others?
3) I’m not quite so clear on the .hal files. I assume edit the tormach_mill_5i25.hal file that is under the same directory as the .ini files?
4) So I see the pin out listed for the 5i25 in the tormach_mill_5i25.hal file. Is there a reason why I need to change anything here if I can just configure my 7i76 input to match the Pathpilot 5i25 output? I thought the pin functionality of the 7i76 can be programmed? I could be wrong since I still don’t fully understand how the 7i76 works.
5) So how does one program the pin functionality on the 7i76? Does it happen when the 5i25 gets flashed with the 5i25_7i76x2.bit file? Does this happen every time the boards get powered?

Sorry for all the stupid questions. Electrons and computers are not my strong suit. I didn’t come into this blind; I knew I was in for a long haul. Just like drinking out of a fire hose initially.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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16 May 2016 02:44 #74713 by PCW
The 7I76 has completely different signal names than used in Tormachs hal file
(it has to it has more I/O and different I/O than Tormachs bitfile/breakout board combination)

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16 May 2016 07:57 - 16 May 2016 09:10 #74727 by cncbasher
Just dont panic Nigel ! .
your thinking too much ,

the files to edit are ~operator/tmc/configs/tormach_mill
yes use the 1100-3 ini file , if you have a working config from Linuxcnc than that would drop right in . except for about 3 lines ,
you don't need to worry about the 7i76 at all thats , taken care of by the replaced bit file .
the card is programed once by mesaflash , it is not as was the case with the older spartan 3 fpga written at start up .

let me know by email what you have connected to which pin of the 7i76 and i'll make up your config files , that will get you started
without getting the errors , i'm just about to do the same thing anyway for a client ,
it's no problem walking you through it all and connecting up the 7I76 . just bear in mind i'm in the UK

check your PM
Last edit: 16 May 2016 09:10 by cncbasher.

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07 Jul 2017 03:00 #95460 by Beano
Thank you all,
I am also starting out on this adventure, the above feedback will certainly help.


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