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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Help selecting control hardware/software

    Hi guys,
    I am trying to decide on a motion controller/BOB/software combination but the analysis paralysis got a hold on me! I am halfway through a 4'x6' build and I need to get my control stuff ordered. I really enjoy the mechainical and wiring, but the software/controller/BOB choices have me scatterbrained!

    I am trying to find a reasonably inexpensive (this is just a hobby!) combination to drive a 3 axis machine with a second cloned stepper for the Y gantry axis, but I would also like to be able to square my gantry with endstops switches. I would love to be able to use the Estlcam controller, as I already use estlcam and am comfortable with it, but I don't believe I can use endstops for 4 axis with it. Any suggestions? I could go with UCCNC, but am not sure which controller/bob combination to use. Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    but am not sure which controller/bob combination to use
    What features do you need, and how many inputs and outputs do you need?
    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)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    20

    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    As far as features, I guess the standard suite of software features with the ability to home my 2 y axis steppers to square my gantry. outputs for PWM spindle control would be nice, inputs for limit switches on all axis, touch probe, etc. Would like to use an xbox controller or the like to jog (like estlcam offers). Nothing too extravagant

  4. #4
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    Nov 2013
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    619

    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Hi,
    I use Mach4 and an Ethernet SmoothStepper, I upgraded from Mach3 five years ago. I like it.

    No doubt others will recommend UCCNC and one of their controllers, others will recommend Centroid Acorn and yet othesr will recommend
    LinuxCNC and a Mesa board.

    In truth ALL of these recommendations are good. Everybody has their favorite and promotes it at the expense of the others, sometimes with
    good reasons, sometimes not.

    On the basis of price LinuxCNC comes in cheapest, followed by UCCNC with Centroid and Mach4 being about equal.
    Centroid enjoys a good plug'n'play reputation, followed by UCCNC and Mach4 and LInuxCNC about equal.
    LinuxCNC and Mach4 enjoy a superb reputation for being able to be customized to different machines, followed by UCCNC, with Centroid being
    least suitable for unusual machine combinations.

    As a said earlier ALL of these solutions are very good and you would not be disappointed with any of them.

    Craig

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    20

    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Craig, thank you for the help as always. I decided to go with UCCNC software and the UC100 controller with a C11G all from cncforpc.

    I have a quick question on my dm860t stepper drivers though. I am running a 77vdc power supply from Antek and pairing it with DM860T stepper drivers as discussed on another thread that you had helped me with. The manual for the driver states that the input rating is 18-80vdc OR 36-110vac. Problem is the input connector just says AC on both terminals, with no designation for DC polarity. Does polarity not matter? Not sure which terminals to tie positive and negative to. I cannot find any info in the manual or online.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails digital-stepper-driver-24-72a-18-80vac-or-36-110vdc-for-nema-34-motor-386-1000x1000.jpg   IMG_20200324_123421908.jpg  

  6. #6

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    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Also here is a picture of the machine coming along. Figured I ought to share it as a thanks for the help
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20200322_234101868_MP.jpg  

  7. #7
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    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Hi,
    your stepper driver has a bridge rectifier at the input and so the voltage input is polarity insensitive.

    Craig

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    20

    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Awesome, as always, thank you Craig.

    So i have my wiring pretty much buttoned up and am about ready to test run but i have a bit of a problem. I need to get the machine up and running hopefully over the weekend in order to get a few projects buttoned up that are promised that my small CNC cannot handle. Problem is that the uc100 controller which I had ordered bundled with UCCNC software had shown up on Monday, but I have not recieved any license key from UCCNC or from the company I had ordered it from (a reputable dealer for sure, as I have seen their name all over this forum). They are super responsive but it seems as though they are trying to get UCCNC in Hungary to email me a license and it is just not happening.

    Can I try out Universal Gcode Sender or some other kind of open source software on the uc100 for the weekend and then switch the UC100 back to UCCNC when I recieve the license key? For that matter can i switch back and forth without loosing the UCCNC license key that is supposedly tied to the uc100?

  9. #9
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    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Hi,
    no, a UC100 requires either Mach3 OR UCCNC as software environmant.

    Craig

  10. #10
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    You can run your UC100 with the demo version of Mach3 until you get your UCCNC license key.
    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)

  11. #11

    Re: Help selecting control hardware/software

    Take a look about RosettaCNC board and related software at https://rosettacnc.com/en/

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