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Why I will not use Acorn to upgrade my Compact 5


gsnalven@...
 
Edited

It seems that my original post has become inundated with advertisements for a product called Acorn and its promoters video channel. Let me tell you why I am not using this product. If you are, good for you, you used what you wanted to use, don't insult my abilities and experience with you provincial attitudes.

A list so I can keep this short and to the point:
  • Acorn hardware is built on a low cost general purpose hobby electronics module. I know this module and have used it for prototyping.
  • It uses a proprietary and what looks like an amateurish breakout board with connections all around.
  • It uses proprietary software running on a PC.
  • It uses a PC. I am unaware of any professional equipment that uses a PC to run things, especially one on Windows.They are unreliable, prone to crashing, always need updating, the disk light is always flickering, has poor real time controls. And if you ever connect it to the internet there is little control of what folly can be attached. Or for that matter plugging in an infect USB.
  • Did I say, it runs on a PC?
I intend to put together a stand alone CNC lathe much like the original Compact 5 and every other piece of factory built CNC equipment I have ever used. Please start your own posts if you want to push a particular product and don't use mine to disparage my efforts. I do hope that other users will see the quality's of a proper Compact 5 refit.


marty_in_mesa
 

That's fine. Anyone is free to choose what they like and works best.

Likewise others are free to make suggestions and share personal experiences.

The posts will stay.

Thank you!
Marty

On Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:40 AM <gsnalven@...> wrote:
It seems that my original post has become inundated with advertisements for a product called Acorn and its promoters video channel. Let me tell you why I am not using this product. If you are, good for you, you used what you wanted to use, don't insult my abilities and experience with you provincial attitudes.

A list so I can keep this short and to the point:
  • Acorn hardware is built on a low cost general purpose hobby electronics module. I know this module and have used it for prototyping.
  • It uses a proprietary and what looks like an amateurish breakout board with connections all around.
  • It uses proprietary software running on a PC.
  • It uses a PC. I am unaware of any processional equipment that uses a PC to run things, especially one on Windows.They are unreliable, prone to crashing, always need updating, the disk light is always flickering, has poor real time controls. And if you ever connect it to the internet there is little control of what folly can be attached. Or for that matter plugging in an infect USB.
  • Did I say, it runs on a PC?
I intend to put together a stand alone CNC lathe much like the original Compact 5 and every other piece of factory built CNC equipment I have ever used. Please start your own posts if you want to push a particular product and don't use mine to disparage my efforts. I do hope that other users will see the quality's of a proper Compact 5 refit.


marty_in_mesa
 

..and that includes the original control.


On Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:44 AM marty_in_mesa via Groups.Io <marty.escarcega=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
That's fine. Anyone is free to choose what they like and works best.

Likewise others are free to make suggestions and share personal experiences.

The posts will stay.

Thank you!
Marty

On Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:40 AM <gsnalven@...> wrote:
It seems that my original post has become inundated with advertisements for a product called Acorn and its promoters video channel. Let me tell you why I am not using this product. If you are, good for you, you used what you wanted to use, don't insult my abilities and experience with you provincial attitudes.

A list so I can keep this short and to the point:
  • Acorn hardware is built on a low cost general purpose hobby electronics module. I know this module and have used it for prototyping.
  • It uses a proprietary and what looks like an amateurish breakout board with connections all around.
  • It uses proprietary software running on a PC.
  • It uses a PC. I am unaware of any processional equipment that uses a PC to run things, especially one on Windows.They are unreliable, prone to crashing, always need updating, the disk light is always flickering, has poor real time controls. And if you ever connect it to the internet there is little control of what folly can be attached. Or for that matter plugging in an infect USB.
  • Did I say, it runs on a PC?
I intend to put together a stand alone CNC lathe much like the original Compact 5 and every other piece of factory built CNC equipment I have ever used. Please start your own posts if you want to push a particular product and don't use mine to disparage my efforts. I do hope that other users will see the quality's of a proper Compact 5 refit.


Roderick Mellott
 

That's funny because almost all the industrial machines I have used use a windows operating software. Albeit the machines i am talking abut are older 2004-2010 ect., but windows non the less, in conjunction with fanuc controllers.
 An embedded controller is not anything more than a dedicated compact version of a pc. The difference is, it is dedicated and the same should be done for CNC operation with a pc. 
 I also find the majority hopping on the Acorn bandwagon, but for the cost and flexibility of various and expanded uses, I use Pokeys.
 






On Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 9:45 AM marty_in_mesa <marty.escarcega@...> wrote:
..and that includes the original control.

On Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:44 AM marty_in_mesa via Groups.Io <marty.escarcega=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
That's fine. Anyone is free to choose what they like and works best.

Likewise others are free to make suggestions and share personal experiences.

The posts will stay.

Thank you!
Marty

On Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:40 AM <gsnalven@...> wrote:
It seems that my original post has become inundated with advertisements for a product called Acorn and its promoters video channel. Let me tell you why I am not using this product. If you are, good for you, you used what you wanted to use, don't insult my abilities and experience with you provincial attitudes.

A list so I can keep this short and to the point:
  • Acorn hardware is built on a low cost general purpose hobby electronics module. I know this module and have used it for prototyping.
  • It uses a proprietary and what looks like an amateurish breakout board with connections all around.
  • It uses proprietary software running on a PC.
  • It uses a PC. I am unaware of any processional equipment that uses a PC to run things, especially one on Windows.They are unreliable, prone to crashing, always need updating, the disk light is always flickering, has poor real time controls. And if you ever connect it to the internet there is little control of what folly can be attached. Or for that matter plugging in an infect USB.
  • Did I say, it runs on a PC?
I intend to put together a stand alone CNC lathe much like the original Compact 5 and every other piece of factory built CNC equipment I have ever used. Please start your own posts if you want to push a particular product and don't use mine to disparage my efforts. I do hope that other users will see the quality's of a proper Compact 5 refit.


gsnalven@...
 

I am talking abut the controller not the Cad/Cam system. Hop as you like!


David Rabenius
 

So, what retrofit have you come up with?? Nobody here is trying to push ANYTHING, just what they did. Looking forwards to seeing your retrofit.

Dave

On Sunday, November 17, 2019, 09:44:42 AM EST, gsnalven@... <gsnalven@...> wrote:


[Edited Message Follows]

It seems that my original post has become inundated with advertisements for a product called Acorn and its promoters video channel. Let me tell you why I am not using this product. If you are, good for you, you used what you wanted to use, don't insult my abilities and experience with you provincial attitudes.

A list so I can keep this short and to the point:
  • Acorn hardware is built on a low cost general purpose hobby electronics module. I know this module and have used it for prototyping.
  • It uses a proprietary and what looks like an amateurish breakout board with connections all around.
  • It uses proprietary software running on a PC.
  • It uses a PC. I am unaware of any professional equipment that uses a PC to run things, especially one on Windows.They are unreliable, prone to crashing, always need updating, the disk light is always flickering, has poor real time controls. And if you ever connect it to the internet there is little control of what folly can be attached. Or for that matter plugging in an infect USB.
  • Did I say, it runs on a PC?
I intend to put together a stand alone CNC lathe much like the original Compact 5 and every other piece of factory built CNC equipment I have ever used. Please start your own posts if you want to push a particular product and don't use mine to disparage my efforts. I do hope that other users will see the quality's of a proper Compact 5 refit.


gsnalven@...
 

Thanks for the open mind. Not so sure about pushers. I am currently collecting parts, I did post a link to some very high quality Japanese steppers for original "look" replacement as they are round, but a little bit shorter, fit the heat sink nicely. They are a close-out at $10 each. I bought 3 of them.

This is what I am currently looking at.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Best-price-2-Axis-CNC-Lathe-Controller-CNC990TDb-English-panel-MPG-Relay-box/264357803923?hash=item3d8cf3f793:g:vfQAAOSwF71ZyMy7

We buy components direct from China and currently talking to the manufacturer of this panel. My selection is the TDc model that does both incremental and absolute. This will give me a stand alone machine that I can operate from this controller like most CNC equipment, as well as, connect to a PC to download G-Code from CAD software or other sources.

Seems to me the right way to do it. I will post photos when completed. Just one of many ways to refit.


arjan.dijk
 

I'm curious about the differences with this (more expensive) control and this model that can be 3 times cheaper.

To be clear. There are more controls than you want to know running windows. To name a few
  • Mazak Matrix/Smooth
  • Heidenhain 640/530
  • Hurco
  • Masterwood
  • Xilog
I think most of them are offloading the timing to a shield/buffer, a bit like the Ethernet Mach3 boards.

Op zo 17 nov. 2019 om 19:11 schreef <gsnalven@...>:

Thanks for the open mind. Not so sure about pushers. I am currently collecting parts, I did post a link to some very high quality Japanese steppers for original "look" replacement as they are round, but a little bit shorter, fit the heat sink nicely. They are a close-out at $10 each. I bought 3 of them.

This is what I am currently looking at.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Best-price-2-Axis-CNC-Lathe-Controller-CNC990TDb-English-panel-MPG-Relay-box/264357803923?hash=item3d8cf3f793:g:vfQAAOSwF71ZyMy7

We buy components direct from China and currently talking to the manufacturer of this panel. My selection is the TDc model that does both incremental and absolute. This will give me a stand alone machine that I can operate from this controller like most CNC equipment, as well as, connect to a PC to download G-Code from CAD software or other sources.

Seems to me the right way to do it. I will post photos when completed. Just one of many ways to refit.


gsnalven@...
 

My experience is as an embedded hardware control engineer. An industrial "PC" platform is an incredible piece of hardware capable of doing this job as the central controller, Microsoft Windows is an incredible piece of software that runs on a PC and does a great job running spreadsheets, word processors and certainly number crunching and graphic displays. It has no inherent real time control capabilities and I have a hard time imagining any of the manufacturers on your list using it to run 5 axis integrated closed loop servo system plus a spindle at high speeds. You may be right, I don't see it. I know the Mazak uses Windows terminals for simulations and remote data. I also know the Heidenhain uses Linux not Windows.

Do you think they use a buffer board to send real-time feedback to the controller? I think Buffer and real-time are mutually exclusive terms.

I am done with this subject. There may be an example but I am not convinced. I said that I would not use Windows because I know how it operates and as a consumer product would not satisfy my requirements. Do you really think that these hobby implementations are performing on the same platform as a half million dollar machine?

On to the subject that interest me a lot. China trade, I have 40 years experience in China and lived there for 10 years. I have seen how they operate and they are currently literally eating our lunch. I support the administrations current trade policies as the playing field is far from level. I use to sell them a lot of product but those days are gone. This does not mean that I will not do business with them and in fact there really is no alternative for many materials. For example, I tried to find an alternative for circuit boards (PCBs), I did not get much from an internet search, I could pay 3 or 4 times as much for US made product forcing me to significantly increase the cost of my product. I would say 30 to 40% of my materials are made in China.

There are risks in dealing with China and we must overcome them. In doing so, we have visited many suppliers factories. Many are not manufacturers just trading companies selling whatever product. Many Chinese products are copies of other Chinese products so you never really know what you are getting. A few manufactures are absolutely world class first rate (also usually associated with the PLA!). Those are the products we want.

To the point of your question. One of those products is a toy of unknown origin the other is a machine tool controller developed for industrial applications. Without actually interviewing the suppliers I cannot be sure of anything and if I were to use this in a manufactured piece of equipment I would need to visit the companies involved. I did contact the seller of the later product, they have sales in English and they sent me manuals, its a massive 400x245x120mm. This device has very impressive capabilities; on paper. I cannot judge the true performance at this time. Their website is www.szghauto.com  and I don't think its a couple guys working out of their basement.

On eBay, I also avoid taking sellers named "goodtoolbuy" or "luckyproducts" too seriously. Check the fit and finish, the photos, how many other vendors offer the same thing manufacturer's name on the product.

Anyway, this is how I see things and what my plans are, Why do people feel compelled to tell me what they did? I certainly did my research and read their accounts.


marty_in_mesa
 

I can appreciate your experience.
To set the record straight about Centroid. The motion control is handled by the Beaglebone green, not Windows. Windows is the graphical user interface.
While you may find it is "amateurish" Centroid's specialty is and always has been CNC Machine motion control for over 30 years.
As was previously mentioned many other commercial CNC Machine manufacturers also use Windows for the GUI, but real time machine motion control is handled by a dedicated motion control processor.

I don't argue your point about China and we can't avoid purchasing hardware made in China. BUT I prefer to work with vendors in the US that can support the hardware.
There are many Chinese companies that are of poor quality and offer little or no support. The opposite is true as well. Its just my choice to use US vendors and let them be the go between.

Again, I respect your choices and you appear to do the same. 
This forum isn't the place to contest the points. It is the Emco_CNC-User's forum where anything with respect to the Emco lathes may be discussed openly and freely, and to be a resource for all Emco CNC lathe users. Many like to keep true to the original control, many don't have the experience to do a CNC conversion, many acquire these wonderful little lathes and wish to upgrade the control. No matter which. Ultimately it is the user's that decide after their research.

Respectfully,
Marty


On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 7:15 AM <gsnalven@...> wrote:
My experience is as an embedded hardware control engineer. An industrial "PC" platform is an incredible piece of hardware capable of doing this job as the central controller, Microsoft Windows is an incredible piece of software that runs on a PC and does a great job running spreadsheets, word processors and certainly number crunching and graphic displays. It has no inherent real time control capabilities and I have a hard time imagining any of the manufacturers on your list using it to run 5 axis integrated closed loop servo system plus a spindle at high speeds. You may be right, I don't see it. I know the Mazak uses Windows terminals for simulations and remote data. I also know the Heidenhain uses Linux not Windows.

Do you think they use a buffer board to send real-time feedback to the controller? I think Buffer and real-time are mutually exclusive terms.

I am done with this subject. There may be an example but I am not convinced. I said that I would not use Windows because I know how it operates and as a consumer product would not satisfy my requirements. Do you really think that these hobby implementations are performing on the same platform as a half million dollar machine?

On to the subject that interest me a lot. China trade, I have 40 years experience in China and lived there for 10 years. I have seen how they operate and they are currently literally eating our lunch. I support the administrations current trade policies as the playing field is far from level. I use to sell them a lot of product but those days are gone. This does not mean that I will not do business with them and in fact there really is no alternative for many materials. For example, I tried to find an alternative for circuit boards (PCBs), I did not get much from an internet search, I could pay 3 or 4 times as much for US made product forcing me to significantly increase the cost of my product. I would say 30 to 40% of my materials are made in China.

There are risks in dealing with China and we must overcome them. In doing so, we have visited many suppliers factories. Many are not manufacturers just trading companies selling whatever product. Many Chinese products are copies of other Chinese products so you never really know what you are getting. A few manufactures are absolutely world class first rate (also usually associated with the PLA!). Those are the products we want.

To the point of your question. One of those products is a toy of unknown origin the other is a machine tool controller developed for industrial applications. Without actually interviewing the suppliers I cannot be sure of anything and if I were to use this in a manufactured piece of equipment I would need to visit the companies involved. I did contact the seller of the later product, they have sales in English and they sent me manuals, its a massive 400x245x120mm. This device has very impressive capabilities; on paper. I cannot judge the true performance at this time. Their website is www.szghauto.com  and I don't think its a couple guys working out of their basement.

On eBay, I also avoid taking sellers named "goodtoolbuy" or "luckyproducts" too seriously. Check the fit and finish, the photos, how many other vendors offer the same thing manufacturer's name on the product.

Anyway, this is how I see things and what my plans are, Why do people feel compelled to tell me what they did? I certainly did my research and read their accounts.


cjlear
 

On 19/11/2019 1:15 am, gsnalven@hotmail.com wrote:
My experience is as an embedded hardware control engineer. Microsoft Windows is an incredible piece of software that runs on a PC and does a great job running spreadsheets, word processors and certainly number crunching and graphic displays. It has no inherent real time control capabilities...
My experience is as a computer engineer, the last Windows to have any real-time capability was Windows NT 3xx, and that was essentially OS/2 with a Microsoft front end. Windows is a massive POS bloatware that expands to fill any hardware resources you throw at it :)

Cheers

 Charlie


Art Fenerty <fenerty@...>
 

  Depends on the definition of real-time. Mach3 did do up to 100,000 pulses per second while running windows xp and Win7 when they were 32 bit. It would still run 
today in Win10 if microsoft hadnt encrypted the memory locations I used to facilatate it. I used to reliably get 10us call backs even while running many threads and programs. 
 Its as close as Ive seen to realtime from Windows. 

Art


marty_in_mesa
 

Art you did a remarkably outstanding job with Mach3. You are primarily the reason why DIY CNC is where it is today. Thank you for that.

Regards,
Marty

On Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 6:55 PM Art Fenerty <fenerty@...> wrote:
  Depends on the definition of real-time. Mach3 did do up to 100,000 pulses per second while running windows xp and Win7 when they were 32 bit. It would still run 
today in Win10 if microsoft hadnt encrypted the memory locations I used to facilatate it. I used to reliably get 10us call backs even while running many threads and programs. 
 Its as close as Ive seen to realtime from Windows. 

Art


gsnalven@...
 

Charlie, some of us have knowledge.


Art Fenerty <fenerty@...>
 

Thank you Marty. I think credit goes to a great many for that though. I was very lucky in figuring out how to 
make windows operate in a mode that emulates real-time in the way it did. My monitor displayed the 
blue screen of death for months till that was figured out. That secret never got out and it allowed Mach3
to reign supreme for a long time. 
   I have an awful lot of gratitude to the folks at NIST for LinuxCNC and how much I learned from their
code, primarily their planner, which Mach3 uses as its base code, though heavily modified for Windows.
I still use Mach3 on my Emco PC5 lathe and a CNC router. I use another controller I wrote for the 
cnc lasers I play with now, but Mach3 will always be with me.  

     I dont visit here often, but I watch with interest how it goes. My PC5 works quite well with 
Mach3, I use a pendent most of the time so Mach3 serves more as a DRO than anything else
as I pendent my way through the small jobs I do these days.

  I see a lot of question as to what one should use these days to convert an Emco, I tend
to think those single box fanuk emulators would be my choice were I to do do conversion
today, Some of the people who's opinions I most respect in that area have tried it and tell
me they are great. My emco was, I think ,the first conversion to Mach.. wasnt hard.. but
times have changed and I think the single box solutions look pretty good. As a hacker, I'll
stick with Mach3, but I watch with interest. :)

Art


gsnalven@...
 

For the believers, the capabilities of Beaglebone,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps0ZlWU6wsc


gsnalven@...
 

Nothing against Mach3 and for non-complex shapes I am sure it works fine. The problem is cuts that require a real-time aspect such as threading or multiple servo axis motion. If it was implemented on a dedicated controller it would be a first choice. Running on Windows it will not do the job. I know you know what I am talking about. Sorry all.


arjan.dijk
 

Sorry @Gsnalven, but this group is for people who want to figure out how to get things working. You can share what you were not able to achieve and what your results are and why you think it might nog be possible to get it working, but  "Windows will not do the job, I know what I'm talking about" sounds more like a God complex. I'm pretty sure that others might have achieved what you are strugg;ling with.

Arjan

Op di 19 nov. 2019 om 04:40 schreef <gsnalven@...>:

Nothing against Mach3 and for non-complex shapes I am sure it works fine. The problem is cuts that require a real-time aspect such as threading or multiple servo axis motion. If it was implemented on a dedicated controller it would be a first choice. Running on Windows it will not do the job. I know you know what I am talking about. Sorry all.


gsnalven@...
 

I never said that. And I feel more like the anti-Christ. But come to think of it, Windows cannot work and I know what I am talking about. Since there is so much hostility here to those who have different ideas, I will refrain from future posts.