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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Electronics > Servo Motors / Drives > Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith
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  1. #1
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    Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Is it possible to use AC servo drives with a PC running Linux CNC without a seperate motion controller and / or breakout board? I.e. Just a pc, software and parallel port output directly to servo drive like you can with stepper motors?

    I'm not sure it matters for this question but my Yaskawa drives are this model:

    SGDA 04 ASP

    I can't see how these drives connect to a computer. Yaskawa doesn't make any parallel port or USB cables that I could find, or breakout boards. I understand that they are mostly used with industrial CNC controller boards which come with ports for convenient connection to servo drives but what do people do when running Linux CNC or Mach3 software only solutions?

    Most of the lower cost breakout boards seem to specify that they are for use with stepper motors.

    Is there another type of port used with industrial computers instead of parallel ports? If so, what is it called (so I can search for cards and cables)? I have a cable with a 51 pin plug on one end and 4 Yaskawa female signal ports on the other. Is there a 51 pin connection commonly used with industrial CNC controllers (from before Ethernet connections were the norm)?

    If I have to buy a breakout board, are there any that can connect to AC servos and that are relatively affordable?

  2. #2
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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Any servo that takes step/dir inputs (position mode,) should work just like a stepper. Looks like Yaskawa calls them PULS and SIGN inputs. You will need to tune a servo though to get decent performance.
    I don't think there are any industry standard connection types. That 51 pin cable was probably made specifically for interfacing Yaskawa drives to a specific machine controller type. Generally you'll have to wire things yourself.
    Most DIY'ers who want to go beyond parallel port and step/dir with linuxCNC use Mesa IO cards. They can use torque or velocity mode (you tune all the servos in LinuxCNC instead of in the drives then,) and have nice breakout boards integrated for not too much money.

  3. #3
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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Don't quote me on this as I have not played with servos. But I think you will need a Mesa 7i77. If its step and direction controlled, the Mesa 7i76 or ethernet 7i76e should drive it but you might need to add another daughter card for additional encoder inputs. Ask on the Linuxcnc forum. Someone will know for sure.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  4. #4
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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    Is it possible to use AC servo drives with a PC running Linux CNC without a seperate motion controller and / or breakout board? I.e. Just a pc, software and parallel port output directly to servo drive like you can with stepper motors?

    I'm not sure it matters for this question but my Yaskawa drives are this model:

    SGDA 04 ASP

    I can't see how these drives connect to a computer. Yaskawa doesn't make any parallel port or USB cables that I could find, or breakout boards. I understand that they are mostly used with industrial CNC controller boards which come with ports for convenient connection to servo drives but what do people do when running Linux CNC or Mach3 software only solutions?

    Most of the lower cost breakout boards seem to specify that they are for use with stepper motors.

    Is there another type of port used with industrial computers instead of parallel ports? If so, what is it called (so I can search for cards and cables)? I have a cable with a 51 pin plug on one end and 4 Yaskawa female signal ports on the other. Is there a 51 pin connection commonly used with industrial CNC controllers (from before Ethernet connections were the norm)?

    If I have to buy a breakout board, are there any that can connect to AC servos and that are relatively affordable?
    Your plug is a standard 3M plug sometimes you can get a cable on Ebay these plugs are around $15 you can make a cable for any connection on the other end, so if you find a cable on ebay you can put anything on the other end you want to suit your Breakout board connection, not all the Plug pins wire connections are used, it can be done with a Ethernet cable

    If you drives are Position Control then you can run them with any simple control like Mach3 Etc. using Step /Dir Control I think by your model number though you have Speed /Torque Control Drives which would mean you have to use +/- 10v to control them which you can do with a Mesa system and LinuxCNC control

    The tuning is first done in the Servo Drive and is very simple with the Yaskawa software
    Mactec54

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Is this the right thing?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mesa-Electr...MAAOSwmBdblc31

    When I try searching for "Mesa IO card" on eBay I get no results so I am assuming that people refer to them by a different name (if it is the sort of thing you can find used on eBay)?

    My servo drive model is SGDA-04ASP which, according to the Yaskawa manual, means it can do both speed / torque and position control.

    With that in mind, does that mean that I can go directly from a Linux CNC PC (via a regular parallel port card) to each of the servo drives?

  6. #6
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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    No, that's a step-dir card. You need an analog servo card.
    The 5/6I25 are the basic FPGA control cards (5xxx cards are PCI, 6xxx are PCI Express.) They have a DB25 port and a 26 pin header that can be cabled up as a second DB25. Total of 34 IO between the 2. The daughter card for running analog servos from the DB25 cards are 7I77's.
    Next step up is the 5/6I24 FPGA cards. They've got 3 50 pin connectors totalling 72 IO's. None of the ports are on the back plate of the card, so you may need to run ribbon cables out of your PC case (if you have one.) The daughter card for running analog servos from 50 pin cards are 7i33's. Prices are similar for both combos. The 7i77 does quite a bit more with fewer IO pins from the controller card (not sure if there's any down side to that.)

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by skrubol View Post
    No, that's a step-dir card. You need an analog servo card.
    The 5/6I25 are the basic FPGA control cards (5xxx cards are PCI, 6xxx are PCI Express.) They have a DB25 port and a 26 pin header that can be cabled up as a second DB25. Total of 34 IO between the 2. The daughter card for running analog servos from the DB25 cards are 7I77's.
    Next step up is the 5/6I24 FPGA cards. They've got 3 50 pin connectors totalling 72 IO's. None of the ports are on the back plate of the card, so you may need to run ribbon cables out of your PC case (if you have one.) The daughter card for running analog servos from 50 pin cards are 7i33's. Prices are similar for both combos. The 7i77 does quite a bit more with fewer IO pins from the controller card (not sure if there's any down side to that.)

    In that case I am going to have to look for a different solution as there don't seem to be any used 7I77 cards available.

    The guy in this video (for Machmotion) shows a small adapter board to connect a PC to the first servo drive (using an Ethernet connection:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc5z3h...re=em-comments

    Maybe they will take pity on me and sell me one for a price that, in some way, reflects the value of what I am buying (which is rare with CNC stuff).

    I guess I can also try and look into how my motors were controlled originally as they came off an Adept Cartesian robot which is basically a CNC machine without the spindle.

    Sounds like I am out of luck for finding a cheap parallel port to SGDA servopack adapter or cable.

  8. #8
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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    You need to be using one of their controllers for that adapter board.
    That Ebay price is only $25 off the price for a new one direct from Mesa.
    http://store.mesanet.com/index.php?r...tegory&path=69
    A 5I24 plus a 7I33TA is only $198 plus a 50 pin cable ($15-20) and shipping.

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by skrubol View Post
    You need to be using one of their controllers for that adapter board.
    That Ebay price is only $25 off the price for a new one direct from Mesa.
    http://store.mesanet.com/index.php?r...tegory&path=69
    A 5I24 plus a 7I33TA is only $198 plus a 50 pin cable ($15-20) and shipping.
    I can't find that deal.

    There must be other solutions. I can't believe that everyone who uses Yaskawa SGDA drives uses one of these.

    Maybe the simple answer is "no you can't connect a Linux CNC computer directly to a Yaskawa SGDA drive".

    I have to admit that I am having hard time understanding what I need to be searching for on this. I can see from looking at drives that are already set up that the computer plugs into the CN1 port of the first drives and then each subsequent drive connects to the next one using the the CN1 and CN2 ports and these JUSP terminal block things. I can't understand how the first CN1 port connects to a computer.

    Every single wiring diagram I can find shows a line going from drive to controller with no further clues as to what cable is used or what PCI express cards I need to buy to add the right port.

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Apparently, my motors were originally controlled in the Cartesian robot by one of these controllers:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adept-Techn...rd!10530!US!-1

    Along with one of these interface boards:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/ADEPT-SIGNA...ry!10530!US!-1

    I need to find out if this (or another one of their) interface boards can be used with regular Yaskawa drives or if they only work with Adept amps (the original drives used with these motors).

    I like the design of these Adept controllers. It looks cleaner. Each drive slots into the controller chassis so you only wire powervto a single unit and then connect to a computer through the interface with actual finished cables. Not a single screw terminal visible or pin-out diagram needed.

  11. #11
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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    In that case I am going to have to look for a different solution as there don't seem to be any used 7I77 cards available.

    The guy in this video (for Machmotion) shows a small adapter board to connect a PC to the first servo drive (using an Ethernet connection:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc5z3h...re=em-comments

    Maybe they will take pity on me and sell me one for a price that, in some way, reflects the value of what I am buying (which is rare with CNC stuff).

    I guess I can also try and look into how my motors were controlled originally as they came off an Adept Cartesian robot which is basically a CNC machine without the spindle.

    Sounds like I am out of luck for finding a cheap parallel port to SGDA servopack adapter or cable.
    No you are not in luck that won't adapt to your Servo Drives, I don't know of any plug and play wiring setup like this for your older drives, which are very different to what is in the video
    Mactec54

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    If the drives support position mode (I think they do) you should be able to use a parallel port and a standard breakout board to drive them in step/dir mode
    (with LinuxCNC or Mach3) If you can not get sufficient speed/resolution with a parallel port, you can use a hardware stepgen with almost any
    controller including mach3,4, UCNC, Eding, LinuxCNC etc, though the hardware must match the control system.

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    I can't find that deal.

    There must be other solutions. I can't believe that everyone who uses Yaskawa SGDA drives uses one of these.

    Maybe the simple answer is "no you can't connect a Linux CNC computer directly to a Yaskawa SGDA drive".

    I have to admit that I am having hard time understanding what I need to be searching for on this. I can see from looking at drives that are already set up that the computer plugs into the CN1 port of the first drives and then each subsequent drive connects to the next one using the the CN1 and CN2 ports and these JUSP terminal block things. I can't understand how the first CN1 port connects to a computer.

    Every single wiring diagram I can find shows a line going from drive to controller with no further clues as to what cable is used or what PCI express cards I need to buy to add the right port.
    I'm not sure what the JUSP terminal block things are, but from the SGDA manual I don't see any way they can be daisy chained. CAN, Ethercat, RS485, etc. can often be daisy chained, but not simple step/dir or analog velocity/torque.
    It looks like this series of drives date back to 1995. EMC (predecessor to EMC2, which was the predecessor to LinuxCNC) had come out 2 years earlier, but it was very immature and hardly 'industrial' at that point. Nobody used PC hardware for real CNC controllers back then, so that's why you probably don't see any wiring diagrams for hooking up to a PC.
    Analog velocity/torque output with encoder input has been a standard for machine controllers for longer than step/dir has been. Step/dir happens to be compatible with hacked parallel port though, whereas PC's have no native way to communicate analog realtime outputs.

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    No you are not in luck that won't adapt to your Servo Drives, I don't know of any plug and play wiring setup like this for your older drives, which are very different to what is in the video

    What do you mean? The drives in the video are the same SGDA drives and have the same ports.

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW_MESA View Post
    If the drives support position mode (I think they do) you should be able to use a parallel port and a standard breakout board to drive them in step/dir mode
    (with LinuxCNC or Mach3) If you can not get sufficient speed/resolution with a parallel port, you can use a hardware stepgen with almost any
    controller including mach3,4, UCNC, Eding, LinuxCNC etc, though the hardware must match the control system.

    I was thinking that I might be best off using a breakout board. This one looks like it might be suitable:

    https://store.dmm-tech.com/products/...breakout-board

    as it is specifically sold to control their analog AC servo drives and their drives take instruction from the same RS233 / RS422 ports.

    I am starting to get the feeling that nobody here has actually used the Yaskawa SGDA drives so people are confusing me with guesswork and assumption.

    All CNC machines are controlled by a computer. Even if it uses a custom operating system instead of Windows, it still needs a method of communicating G-code (or equivalent) to output instructions to the drives. An "industrial controller" is just a PC. Using this piece of logic, and the fact that there are many YouTube video showing people running SGDA drives from a PC, I can deduce that it can be done and that my drives do not in fact predate the desktop computer....

    For anyone that has used these drives, there is a simple answer that goes something like "I connected my SGDA drives to my PC using this cable, board or card".

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    I was thinking that I might be best off using a breakout board. This one looks like it might be suitable:

    https://store.dmm-tech.com/products/...breakout-board

    as it is specifically sold to control their analog AC servo drives and their drives take instruction from the same RS233 / RS422 ports.

    I am starting to get the feeling that nobody here has actually used the Yaskawa SGDA drives so people are confusing me with guesswork and assumption.

    All CNC machines are controlled by a computer. Even if it uses a custom operating system instead of Windows, it still needs a method of communicating G-code (or equivalent) to output instructions to the drives. An "industrial controller" is just a PC. Using this piece of logic, and the fact that there are many YouTube video showing people running SGDA drives from a PC, I can deduce that it can be done and that my drives do not in fact predate the desktop computer....

    For anyone that has used these drives, there is a simple answer that goes something like "I connected my SGDA drives to my PC using this cable, board or card".
    You could use that, that's a standard parallel port to step/dir breakout but has a feature you don't need (the High voltage filter)

    This breakout has nothing to do with RS-422, it just an interface from a parallel port (or parallel port pinout motion controller) to up to 5 step/dir outputs
    with charge pump and spindle analog out features

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    What do you mean? The drives in the video are the same SGDA drives and have the same ports.
    They are not even close to your SGDA

    The Drives in the video are Sigma5 yours are 3 generations older than these drives, and have no compatibility to these newer Drives
    Mactec54

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    I was thinking that I might be best off using a breakout board. This one looks like it might be suitable:

    https://store.dmm-tech.com/products/...breakout-board

    as it is specifically sold to control their analog AC servo drives and their drives take instruction from the same RS233 / RS422 ports.

    I am starting to get the feeling that nobody here has actually used the Yaskawa SGDA drives so people are confusing me with guesswork and assumption.

    All CNC machines are controlled by a computer. Even if it uses a custom operating system instead of Windows, it still needs a method of communicating G-code (or equivalent) to output instructions to the drives. An "industrial controller" is just a PC. Using this piece of logic, and the fact that there are many YouTube video showing people running SGDA drives from a PC, I can deduce that it can be done and that my drives do not in fact predate the desktop computer....

    For anyone that has used these drives, there is a simple answer that goes something like "I connected my SGDA drives to my PC using this cable, board or card".
    I have some of these drives even some a generation older than your drives, but I prefer the SGDH Sigma II Drives or the newer current Drives

    The Dmm Breakout Board is Step/Dir only was designed to be used with Mach3, but any other controls that have Step/Dir output could use this board, there Board is custom for plug and play with there servo drives so not much use to you

    You can use a $5 to $8 Breakout Board for what you want to do, yes any computer can do what you want to do even a tablet with a USB port can run most control software
    Mactec54

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW_MESA View Post
    You could use that, that's a standard parallel port to step/dir breakout but has a feature you don't need (the High voltage filter)

    This breakout has nothing to do with RS-422, it just an interface from a parallel port (or parallel port pinout motion controller) to up to 5 step/dir outputs
    with charge pump and spindle analog out features
    No, it doesn't look like he can. According to the model number of his drives they appear to be analog input only.

    IF the drives accepted step/dir, this would be easy, but it doesn't look like they do, so you need something with analog output and encoder input. The only analog on that DMM board is for a spindle and wouldn't be suitable for a motion servo.

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    Re: Connecting Yaskawa drives to a PC for use with Linux CNCith

    Quote Originally Posted by skrubol View Post
    No, it doesn't look like he can. According to the model number of his drives they appear to be analog input only.

    IF the drives accepted step/dir, this would be easy, but it doesn't look like they do, so you need something with analog output and encoder input. The only analog on that DMM board is for a spindle and wouldn't be suitable for a motion servo.
    Take a look at the Sigma series SGM/SGMP/SGDA manual on page 214:

    OP's part number is SGDA 04 ASP

    P means position mode and that it accepts step/dir inputs

    EDIT Oops, you are right, I had the wrong P, the S means analog speed mode, the P means SGMP motor (page 213)

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