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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Toowoomba Qld
    Posts
    371

    Default Ethernet motion control board choices ?

    Okay before I go and spend all my money on CNC gear I am just checking that I have not missed an obvious choice that is starring me in the face.

    In short, I have a Taig CNC Mill, bought from Deepgroove1 many moons ago, it runs a Geckodrive G540 stepper drive
    Mill - https://www.deepgroove1.com/cnc-mill
    CNC controller box - https://www.deepgroove1.com/cnc-controller

    I'm currently running Mach3 but may go Mach4 or something else in the future, who knows.

    Being that the G540 only has a parallel input I have a dedicated computer that I run for the mill however I don't use the mill all that often. Can't use my main computer or laptop as no parallel port.
    The dedicated computer is old and is starting to show signs of dying. Had to rebuild it when I used it a couple months back, hard drive had gone corrupt and when I had to use it the last couple days I'm pretty sure the graphics card is giving up. I'm planning on rewiring the control box anyway as I want to add some solenoids.

    I have pretty much decided on going to a Ethernet motion control unit, reliability is a big thing and has been part of the reason for the limited usage of late. Not interested in finding another old computer as might end up back in the same place in a year.
    My travels have led me to Warp9's Ethernet SmoothStepper ESS
    https://warp9td.com/
    Australian Rep appears to be Homann Designs
    https://www.homanndesigns.com/index....roducts_id=187

    From what I can tell they seem to be the bee's knee's of Ethernet motion control units, not overly cheap but the only alternatives I can find still seem to be $100+ and might be a roll of the dice if they work or are any good.

    Have I missed another really good option or do I need to just pony up and get the ESS ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Glen Forrest, Western Australia
    Age
    57
    Posts
    38

    Default

    This is another alternative, I haven't used it but was been looking for an ethernet version for my next machine build and found it. It is a bit cheaper than the ESS and will run on mach3/4
    I run a USB SS on my current machine and have had no problems with that.
    Rick
    https://stepcraft.com.au/index.php?d...product_id=430

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Mesanet make great Ethernet, PCI and parallel port motion control cards for LimuxCNC.

    Cheaper than a smoothstepper and Mach4.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    Mesanet make great Ethernet, PCI and parallel port motion control cards for LimuxCNC.

    Cheaper than a smoothstepper and Mach4.
    Actually, a lot cheaper given the price of a smoothstepper... Plus the Mach cost.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Toowoomba Qld
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Can't say I have ever heard of Mesanet
    Looked them up http://store.mesanet.com/index.php?r...3_85&limit=100
    The 7192 looks like it could fit the bill and at 89 USD comes in a lot cheaper than a ESS, not sure how they compare function wise but I doubt I max out the functionality of either
    Was thinking yeah I'm trying to move away from a dedicated CNC computer but for that cost could do a cheap computer running Linux and come out around the same final cost

    Add one to cart just to check postage costs, cheapest postage is 58.20 USD
    That changes the calculations real quick, is there an Aussie distributor ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    205

    Default

    You get what you pay for.
    W7, Mach3 0.062, ESS, two Homann Designs MB-02 Bobs, Geckos: my guess is that half the hobbyist world runs this combo (although the BoBs may vary between countries). It works.

    Cheers
    Roger

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Roger,

    You imply that W7, Mach3 0.062, ESS, two Homann Designs MB-02 Bobs, Geckos is a superior setup because it costs more than a LinuxCNC setup. I don't think that is correct.
    Mach3 has well documented bugs and has not been properly developed for years.

    Mesa are well known by people who use LinuxCNC. They make excellent hardware. They also provide excellent support to the end user, including promptly generating custom firmware when needed for people using unique setups.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    205

    Default

    a superior setup because it costs more than a LinuxCNC setup. I don't think that is correct.
    No, that is not what I meant.
    W7 might have 100 users to 1 for Linux. It's a sheer volume thing, and the volume of users contributes to the level of support.

    You are right that Mach3 has been frozen. However, that does NOT mean it no longer works: it continues to do so just as it has in the years past, to the satisfaction of thousands of users. It's like W7 and WXP: way out of MS support, but still happily running around the world. Unlike old fish, SW does not 'go off'.

    Yes, Mach3 has some bugs, but the average user will never see them. You have to be doing some kinky things to invoke any of them. Very few people do the sort of hand-programming needed; CAD/CAM users will not see them.

    Eh, one day I might try LinuxCNC myself!

    Cheers
    Roger

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