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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    New to the CNC Zone and performing my first CNC build. I’m having some trouble and nothing I’ve tried so far will allow me to jog the motors through LinuxCNC.

    I’m using a Mesa 7i76e as the sole control board. I’m using the CW-5045 microstep control driver and a Nema 23 stepper motor (23HS2430B). My stepper motor is listed for 3 amps, but I set the microstep control driver to 2.8 amps with the jumpers. My control board has power, although I’m using the P3 (5v) connector, not field power. I’m able to connect to the Mesa control board by using the command mesaflash –device 7i76e –addr 10.10.10.10 –readhmid. That means that I’ve got the W3 jumper correctly configured and basic networking is setup between the PC and the Mesa card.

    The microstep drivers are getting power from a 36v (11amp) power supply and the light is green on the both the power supply and drivers. The microstep drivers are connected to the stepper motors and confirmed multiple times that the wires are paired correctly (in my case red/green and blue/yellow). I have the microstep driver connected to the Mesa card on TB2 (starting at S/D 0). Each section of TB2 has 6 connectors and the first (ground) and last (5v) are ignored with Step-, Step+, Dir- and Dir+ connected to Pull-, Pull+, Dir-, Dir+ (respectively) on the microstep control driver.

    From LinuxCNC site, I’ve installed and run Wheezy, Stretch (R12 AMD64) and Stretch (R13 AMD64). I’ve tried running PNCConf on all 3 versions with no success. I ensured that I could ping the Mesa card and run mesaflash from the PC to the Mesa card with no problems. I also modified the .hal file to ensure that the IP address was 10.10.10.10 for the Mesa card configuration. The motors will not jog.

    I’m looking for some things to try, but I have a few thoughts. For the wiring from the microstep control driver and the Mesa card, I’m using wire from a Arduino kit I already had. I don’t know what the guage is, but it’s certainly pretty thing. I stripped it properly and it’s seated correctly, but is there a minimum guage to use for the pulse connections? My best guess is that this is a configuration issue, but I don’t know what else to try from that end.

    Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

    Matt

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    623

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt99 View Post
    New to the CNC Zone and performing my first CNC build. I’m having some trouble and nothing I’ve tried so far will allow me to jog the motors through LinuxCNC.

    I’m using a Mesa 7i76e as the sole control board. I’m using the CW-5045 microstep control driver and a Nema 23 stepper motor (23HS2430B). My stepper motor is listed for 3 amps, but I set the microstep control driver to 2.8 amps with the jumpers. My control board has power, although I’m using the P3 (5v) connector, not field power. I’m able to connect to the Mesa control board by using the command mesaflash –device 7i76e –addr 10.10.10.10 –readhmid. That means that I’ve got the W3 jumper correctly configured and basic networking is setup between the PC and the Mesa card.

    The microstep drivers are getting power from a 36v (11amp) power supply and the light is green on the both the power supply and drivers. The microstep drivers are connected to the stepper motors and confirmed multiple times that the wires are paired correctly (in my case red/green and blue/yellow). I have the microstep driver connected to the Mesa card on TB2 (starting at S/D 0). Each section of TB2 has 6 connectors and the first (ground) and last (5v) are ignored with Step-, Step+, Dir- and Dir+ connected to Pull-, Pull+, Dir-, Dir+ (respectively) on the microstep control driver.

    From LinuxCNC site, I’ve installed and run Wheezy, Stretch (R12 AMD64) and Stretch (R13 AMD64). I’ve tried running PNCConf on all 3 versions with no success. I ensured that I could ping the Mesa card and run mesaflash from the PC to the Mesa card with no problems. I also modified the .hal file to ensure that the IP address was 10.10.10.10 for the Mesa card configuration. The motors will not jog.

    I’m looking for some things to try, but I have a few thoughts. For the wiring from the microstep control driver and the Mesa card, I’m using wire from a Arduino kit I already had. I don’t know what the guage is, but it’s certainly pretty thing. I stripped it properly and it’s seated correctly, but is there a minimum guage to use for the pulse connections? My best guess is that this is a configuration issue, but I don’t know what else to try from that end.

    Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance.



    Matt

    By far the most common cause of lack of motion with step/dir systems is too-short step timings
    Did you try setting the step time to 5000 ns?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    4

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Thanks so much for the suggestion! I did change the step time from 1000 to 5000 ns. Unfortunately, after restarting LinuxCNC, it still didn't allow me to jog the motors.

    Matt

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    623

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt99 View Post
    Thanks so much for the suggestion! I did change the step time from 1000 to 5000 ns. Unfortunately, after restarting LinuxCNC, it still didn't allow me to jog the motors.

    Matt
    Some drives do not work reliably in differential mode so you might try single ended:

    7I76E +5 to drives PUL+ and DIR+
    7I76E STEP- to drives PUL-
    7I76E DIR- to drives DIR-

    If LinuxCNC shows movement and you don't have any errors,
    its pretty much guaranteed that step pulses are being generated.

    you could also try 10000 ns step time

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    4

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Thanks for the help! Unfortunately, the alternative wiring didn't do the trick. I now have two motors and drivers hooked up separately with the following wiring:
    1. Mesa 5v TO Microstep Driver Pul+ and Dir+
    Mesa Step- TO Microstep Driver Pul-
    Mesa Dir- TO Microstep Driver Dir-

    2. Mesa Step- TO Microstep Driver Pul-
    Mesa Step+ TO Microstep Driver Step+
    Mesa Dir- TO Microstep Driver Dir-
    Mesa Dir+ TO Microstep Driver Dir+

    I have tried upgrading LinuxCNC to 2.9 but that also didn't work. Is using 2.9 generally a good idea when using a 7i76e Mesa card? It seems like that version uses a PNCConf that is more geared toward 7i76e. The way it works in 2.7 seems to require you to edit the .hal file before you can use it.

  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    623

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt99 View Post
    Thanks for the help! Unfortunately, the alternative wiring didn't do the trick. I now have two motors and drivers hooked up separately with the following wiring:
    1. Mesa 5v TO Microstep Driver Pul+ and Dir+
    Mesa Step- TO Microstep Driver Pul-
    Mesa Dir- TO Microstep Driver Dir-

    2. Mesa Step- TO Microstep Driver Pul-
    Mesa Step+ TO Microstep Driver Step+
    Mesa Dir- TO Microstep Driver Dir-
    Mesa Dir+ TO Microstep Driver Dir+

    I have tried upgrading LinuxCNC to 2.9 but that also didn't work. Is using 2.9 generally a good idea when using a 7i76e Mesa card? It seems like that version uses a PNCConf that is more geared toward 7i76e. The way it works in 2.7 seems to require you to edit the .hal file before you can use it.
    LinuxCNC 2.7, 2.8, or 2.9 should all work fine. I would normally suggest 2.8 since that the current release and
    master (2.9) in under heavy development (unless you need some new feature of 2.9)

    When you say you get no movement, is this running LinuxCNC?
    In LinuxCNC do the DRO numbers (and the backplot) change when you jog?

  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    497

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Matt, you are in very good hands with PCW but really the first question is do you have holding torque when you fire up your machine? eg. you should not be able to turn your motors by hand. If you can, you have a wiring problem to sort out.

    The other tip I have is that its easy to get the number of steps per mm/inch wrong. When I fired up my 7i76e for the first time, I had holding torque but I did not see movement. Then I saw the tiniest of movement and realised it was working! I just needed to correct the steps per mm and I was away.

    Also be aware that you must home your machine before you can jog. (estop off, machine on, home all). You might need to read the homing configuration section of the html docs.

    V2.7 is very old now and the dev team is frantically trying upgrade the release version to 2.8. V 2.9 or master branch is the development branch that new features are added to. Sometimes it breaks. But having said that, I've only ever used master branch. I think 2.8 is a better bet today as there is some issues in V 2.9 with converting from Python 2.7 to 3.0 that you don't need to get mixed up with...
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    4

    Re: LinuxCNC with Mesa 7i76e Control Issue

    Thanks for all the help, I can now jog the motors! I had everything wired up correctly before, the problem was resolved once I upgraded to 2.8. It's very possible that the motors were jogging before, just minutely. I tried several step configurations in 2.7 but nothing seemed to work. It may be that I am not capable enough on LInuxCNC, so I'm going to start getting more educated on the configuration side of the software. My goal was to get the wiring correct, jog the motors, and then work on the tuning. Either way, it appears the wiring is good and I'll move on to the tuning part of my project. Much thanks to you the two responding users, your advice was very helpful!

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