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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix
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  1. #1
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    Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    Does anyone know which Gigabyte Brix Tormach are using (https://tormach.com/pathpilot-controller.html)? I have PP2 already but would prefer to source the hardware in the UK because of the exorbitant international shipping costs.

    Thanks,

    Dave.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    In some sense, it doesn't really matter. It's linux. All the smarts go into the special hardware board, which has good linux drivers. Get one with a little more RAM and faster SSD if you want to make sure you have room to grow, but I think the nominal one is one of the lower-end atom/pentium deals with just barely a few cores to its name :-)

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    Re: Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    I would beg to differ. I have bought two different mini PCs - one from AWOW and an Intel NUC 10th Gen i3 and neither work with PathPilot 2.

    PP appears to install on AWOW but will not leave the BIOS on boot.

    On the NUC PP installs and runs but cannot connect to the mill as no ethernet connection. I know the ethernet on the mill is working and the NUC does't connect to my router using ethernet either. I have since learned that the 10th Gen has integrated ethernet controller so I suspect it requires different device driver.

    Dave.

  4. #4
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    Re: Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    PP appears to install on AWOW but will not leave the BIOS on boot.
    Pretty sure that's "just" a matter of correctly grub-ing the install. You're right -- that's a linux-ey thing that I take for granted, but is not part of the "out of the box" experience.

    cannot connect to the mill as no ethernet connection
    Ah, with the switch to Ethernet based. My version they still used the PCI card.
    Still surprised it wouldn't work with most any ethernet card, though. Maybe it's a case of a missing kernel module? (Again, a linux-ism that I kind-of take for granted but isn't a good "out of the box" experience.)

  5. #5
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    Re: Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    Quote Originally Posted by davebaldwin View Post
    On the NUC PP installs and runs but cannot connect to the mill as no ethernet connection. I know the ethernet on the mill is working and the NUC does't connect to my router using ethernet either. I have since learned that the 10th Gen has integrated ethernet controller so I suspect it requires different device driver.Dave.
    I'm not sure of your connections but I was never able to to use a router/switch between the controller and a MESA card. I'm pretty sure you must have a dedicated port between the controller & MESA card. Then you need either a WiFi adapter or another Ethernet port for your Internet connection. This is how I do it...

    Also, the MESA card can be finicky when it comes to the NIC used. You may need to setup some rules in order to get it working.

  6. #6
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    Re: Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    The ethernet connection is direct with no router/switch. The cable and mesa card work fine as a Baytrail based mini PC controls the mill successfully, but the PC freezes at random intervals - a known issue with Baytrail, but the published fixes (to BIOS settings and in grub config) are not solving reliability for me, hence the new purchases.

    The new PC (NUC) uses 10th Gen intel CPU and this includes an integrated ethernet controller and reports when this was first introduced was it wouldn't run Mint because of lack of ethernet drivers.

    Dave.

  7. #7
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    Re: Tormach controller - which Gigabyte Brix

    For what its worth, I've been using Gigabyte Brix PCs with Linuxcnc and Mesa ethernet cards for about 4 years, I had no trouble with the J1900 and N3160 Brix PCs with 4gb RAM. A couple of guys in the UK tried the same PC's and had troubles with latency and it seemed the BIOS had changed.

    I think a better option which I have tried is the Odroid H2+. It comes with 2 NIC's. The only issue is that the 2gb network cards it uses are so new, the drivers are not in the Linux repositories so you need to download and install the relevant realtek driver from a usb stick. There is now a Mint ISO available on the Linuxcnc forum that includes this driver.

    In case you don't know, the Mesa ethernet cards require the PREEMPT_RT kernel. An alternative to the ISO I mentioned, there is a quick way that uses a Debian package of PREEMPT_RT to quickly install a working environment. Full details on the Linuxcnc forum.

    Good luck!
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

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