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  1. #1
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    Smoothstepper for CNC?

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm wondering how the smooth stepper would function on a larger table design as I've heard about them being installed a lot in mills, and if I get a smooth stepper, will I still need a PMDX? Will it slow down the imp on the machine, or does it speed it up?

    Sorry it's a newbie question, but I've emailed the company, and not heard back yet.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
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    If you have questions about the SmoothStepper I recommend that you contact Jeff Birt at Soigeneris. He's very responsive and knowledgeable regarding the products he sells. I have a USB SS and have been very happy with it and have not had any problems with it. If I were to get another one I would get the Ethernet version simply because on principle it's better technology.

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Hi Chris,

    I've installed ethernet smooth stepper with C32 board on my machine. I can without problems jog machine at 30m/min with X and Y axis. I'm using rack and pinion with servo motors and 10:1 reduction gear. So far looks very good and ESS is very stable.

    Regards,
    Peter

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pero81 View Post
    Hi Chris,

    I've installed ethernet smooth stepper with C32 board on my machine. I can without problems jog machine at 30m/min with X and Y axis. I'm using rack and pinion with servo motors and 10:1 reduction gear. So far looks very good and ESS is very stable.

    Regards,
    Peter
    Very nice. Thanks for the info. What is the length of travel and who many IPM do you get with it? Is it better to go with ethernet over USB?

    Thanks for the info!
    Chris

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litemover View Post
    Very nice. Thanks for the info. What is the length of travel and who many IPM do you get with it? Is it better to go with ethernet over USB?

    Thanks for the info!
    Chris
    Hi Chris, my working area is 2,5m in X axis and 1,5m in Y axis. I have set max speed at 30m/min ( 1180 IPM). I can go up to 40m/min (1575 IPM) but I don't need that much speed. About USB SS I have never used it so I don't have any info.

    Regards,
    Peter

  6. #6
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    The PMDX -126 has provisions for mounting the SS right on the board.
    Depending on the breakout board you choose, the ESS may require up to three breakout boards.

    The SmoothStepper won't do anything to affect the speed, but it gives you the ability to output steps at a much faster rate. So you'll have the ability to go faster, if the rest of your components can take advantage of it.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  7. #7
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    Not an attempt to hijack your thread but I am also thinking about using the smooth stepper on my next machine.......

    Will it work on a windows 7 machine?

    Will it work on 64 bit?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssutton View Post
    Not an attempt to hijack your thread but I am also thinking about using the smooth stepper on my next machine.......

    Will it work on a windows 7 machine?

    Will it work on 64 bit?

    Thanks
    Yes, and yes.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  9. #9
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    ger21,

    Depending on the breakout board you choose, the ESS may require up to three breakout boards.
    What do you mean?

  10. #10
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    The ESS has 3 parallel ports of inputs/outputs.

  11. #11

    Smooth Stepper

    Hi Chris,

    I have a Shopbot PRT 48" X 96" Router that I completely replaced all the electronics and software with the exception of the stepper motors.

    I currently run it in Windows 7 32 bit on my HP Compaq 8710W laptop. I also used the PMDX 126 Break Out Board and plugged in a SmoothStepper right into the board. I also use Gerry's 2010 Screen Set. Everything works like a dream. Extremely satisfied.

    If you would like to take a look at the video I did on this retrofit you can see it here.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WQ8KcTSKyQ]Shopbot PRT Electronic and Software Retrofit - YouTube[/ame]

    John
    2007 HAAS TM-1P OneCNC XR5 Mill Pro. Shopbot PRT running Mach3 2010 Screen Set, Super PID and PMDX Electronics.Check out my Gallery on: http://www.johnsmarinesolutions@gmail.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelicopterJohn View Post
    Hi Chris,

    I have a Shopbot PRT 48" X 96" Router that I completely replaced all the electronics and software with the exception of the stepper motors.

    I currently run it in Windows 7 32 bit on my HP Compaq 8710W laptop. I also used the PMDX 126 Break Out Board and plugged in a SmoothStepper right into the board. I also use Gerry's 2010 Screen Set. Everything works like a dream. Extremely satisfied.

    If you would like to take a look at the video I did on this retrofit you can see it here.

    Shopbot PRT Electronic and Software Retrofit - YouTube

    John
    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing this. Very inspiring!

    Chris

  13. #13
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    Excellent video, Thanks for sharing.

  14. #14
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    John,
    How you wire SSR to pump from PMDX 126?

  15. #15
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    here is a little project I put together on the smoothstepper. The goal was to place it between my laptop and G540 controller. I was able to get all functionality working but one.

    Jogging, Axis Moving: Working
    Homing Switches: Working
    Estop: Working
    Probe: Working
    Router Relay Control: Working
    SuperPID Control: Partial, Unable to control speed with Mach3

    My laptop has Win7 64-bit and it does work very well with SmoothSteeper. I just have to put the SuperPID into manual mode when using the Smootstepper. It still turns the router on and off, I just cant get it to control the speed.

    See the project here:
    SmoothStepper Hookup
    Author of: The KRMx01 CNC Books, The KRMx02 CNC Books, The KRmc01 CNC Milling Machine Books, and Building the HANS Electric Gear Clock. All available at www.kronosrobotics.com

  16. #16
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    I just have to put the SuperPID into manual mode when using the Smootstepper. It still turns the router on and off, I just cant get it to control the speed.
    You might want to read through the long Super-PID thread. THere are plenty of people controlling their rpm with Smoothsteppers and a Super-PID.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    You might want to read through the long Super-PID thread. THere are plenty of people controlling their rpm with Smoothsteppers and a Super-PID.
    Its not that the smoothstepper cant control the speed of the router under certain combinations of hardware. Its the G540, SuperPID, and SmoothStepper that seems to be the issue.

    I did read it all and tried every thing on the thread.

    I have been able to successfully control the speed of the router with a G540 and SuperPID using a parallel port.

    IF anyone has been able to control the speed of the router with the G540, SuperPID, and SmoothStepper I would be real interested in how you got it to work.

    I have also contacted both SuperPID and SmoothStepper and am still waiting for a response. Currently my stance (to my CNC builders) is that the SmoothStepper works in every reguard but the one mentioned above.

    If this does get resolved I would be happy to test it and update my current projects.
    Author of: The KRMx01 CNC Books, The KRMx02 CNC Books, The KRmc01 CNC Milling Machine Books, and Building the HANS Electric Gear Clock. All available at www.kronosrobotics.com

  18. #18
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msimpson99 View Post
    I have been able to successfully control the speed of the router with a G540 and SuperPID using a parallel port.

    IF anyone has been able to control the speed of the router with the G540, SuperPID, and SmoothStepper I would be real interested in how you got it to work.
    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/853612-post304.html
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  19. #19
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    Ok. After much playing around I was able to get the speed control to work or at least within 500RPM.

    Apparantly the Spindle Calibration wizard is not compatible with the SmoothStepper. If you do try the calibration, be sure to remove the linearity.dat file as it will really mess things up.

    Since you cant calibrate you have to adjust the min and max in the "Pulley Selection" form.

    For the router I am using, I had to use a Min Speed of 1500 and Max Speed of 32000.

    With these settings I get within a 200 RPM at the bottom and 500 or so near the middle and 1000 or so near the top. This is acceptable.

    I will make the changes to my SmoothStepper setup project and let my folks know what I did.

    This does bring up a point. If you can get your machine up and running without a SmoothStepper you will be better off on the long run. There are compatibility issues that may or not be overcome without some research. On the other hand if you don’t have a parallel port and can’t add one or are using a 64bit OS then your only choice is to use the SmoothStepper.

    Personally, my preference is still a dedicated PC running a 32bit OS and parallel port. If you are doing any kind of production, this is the only way to go.
    Author of: The KRMx01 CNC Books, The KRMx02 CNC Books, The KRmc01 CNC Milling Machine Books, and Building the HANS Electric Gear Clock. All available at www.kronosrobotics.com

  20. #20
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    Cut some gears today using my 30x27 KRMx02 machine.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov5j-y0qcM0]GearTest - YouTube[/ame]

    The Video the left is cut with a DIY PC (Dual 3Ghz) with parallel port. The video on the right is my HP Envy (Dual 1.8Ghz) with SmoothStepper.

    Both are running the same Gcode connected to the same G540, SuperPID and CNC. Part is cut at 100IPM with 1000IPM Rapids using a 3/16" Spiral bit.


    Both were perfect and exactly the same.
    Author of: The KRMx01 CNC Books, The KRMx02 CNC Books, The KRmc01 CNC Milling Machine Books, and Building the HANS Electric Gear Clock. All available at www.kronosrobotics.com

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