Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

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Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby bob » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:45 pm

Hello all. First post after lots of reading here.

I'm in the process of fabricating a 5x10 plasma table, and am trying to narrow down my choice of THC, and it seems like some flavor of Neuron is the way I'll go.

The machine:
5x10, rack & pinion XY, 10mm pitch ballscrew on Z
Everlast 50s plasma cutter with floating head torch mount
UCCNC and AXBB-E motion controller have been ordered (I'm brand new to UCCNC but have experience on several other CNC controls)
Closed loop Nema 34 steppers
I'll mostly be cutting thin steel (16ga.-1/8")
I'll be using SheetCAM

I've thoroughly read through all the Neuron documentation as well as every post I could find about them on multiple forums. My understanding of differences between the two is that Simplicity is fully standalone (only getting basic signals to start, pause, end, etc. from UCCNC) and has a lower 50kHz step frequency, while Lite has a UCCNC plug-in. So it looks like all of the parameters that can be set via buttons on the Simplicity can be controlled on-screen in UCCNC with the Lite? The Lite documentation has a lot of info on the Mach3 interface, but not UCCNC. Are there similar Cut Profile and Control Panel screens?

Is the Lost Arc Recovery feature also a feature of Simplicity, or just Lite?

The big question: for those of you using either Neuron, which did you choose and why? Do you find the button interface on the Simplicty adequate or is it tedious? Do you feel the Lite integration with UCCNC was worth the additional $300?

Thanks for any insight anyone can provide.
-Bob
bob
 
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Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:04 am

I would suggest you contact Andrew direct to discuss the neuron.

Ask Andrew for access to the Dropbox folder so you can install the neuron plugin.

I have and use the neuron lite, but I know of at least one person who did not like the neuron lite and binned it for his own plasma THC design.

There are a lot of options out there.... DO not buy a proma THC ! Not enough control.

I'm a bit busy at the moment but I will try to post later with a longer explanation and points to consider
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
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Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:53 am

These are the THC's I own / have owned:
{sold} Proma Compact 150 : https://www.proma-elektronika.com/compact-thc-150/
{still have + use} miniTHC : https://minithc.com/
{still have + use} Neuron Lite : https://neuroncnc.com/products/002
{still have + able to use} THCAD 10: http://store.mesanet.com/index.php?rout ... uct_id=127

The THCAD10 is available as a "5" and a "300" too {the number is it's design full scale voltage reading} .... it is basically a Voltage to Frequency converter board which is isolated and can operate / be fed a much higher voltage than it's FSD (full scale defelction {max reading}), it uses an encoder input which within LinuxCNC it is possible to directly control the THC via an encoder input as a closed loop. It is not possible to use it with UCCNC without additional hardware, so it is best to leave that one there.

I know cncDrive sell the Proma THC's (the 150 + the SD....) hence I'm on dangerous ground here criticising a product they sell ..... and promoting others on the cncDrive forum.
http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?categoryID=132

So in order to understand my comments about the Proma you need to understand where I come from about the proma. It lacks the ability to adapt to different materials without manual manual intervention, and can be too slow to respond at high feedrates (in my experience), and it has a high hysteresis (+/- 1V minimum setting for the Compact 150 (i.e. hysteresis is 2V), it also does not make use of the ARCOK signal {when you have it available}
With the proma SD you have NO ability to inhibit THC on small arcs or corners.

These are the settings available for the Proma Compact 150 + SD:
2019-12-24 09_03_36-Clipboard.png

2019-12-24 09_06_05-Clipboard.png

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My personal requirement for a THC is that it does not require my intervention when I place a 2mm mild steel on the table or 4mm or 6mm....... it should have the ability to change the settings based upon the material I tell it I have loaded..... I do this via sheetcam {preferable} or on screen via a button.

I got fed up with scraps of paper for the proma with the "best" settings for a specific piece of material and thickness..... and having to change the settings directly on the proma

{your requirements may differ from mine..... if you cut the same thing day in day out and live at the table then I'm sure you'll be able to setup what you need on the fly..... and remember them..... I don't use the plasma every day, week or month..... as its just a personal hobby for me.... your intentions may be different hence you can evaluate my points of view on this}

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Neuron Lite, allows you to set the settings on screen dependant upon the material you wish to cut..... the settings are all saved on the PC and are sent to the controller directly when you change them.
Other than the "settings", you only have one (1) fast input to the neuron lite which allows you to enable / disable THC via a non-sync M-code (M206/M206 or M10/M11 in Uccnc).
The Neuron Lite offers other features such as "Sample and Hold" (where it will sample the voltage at the start of the cut and hold that sampled voltage as the setpoint..... thereby keeping the same torch height)
It also does other things such as puddle jump (if you are piercing thick material where you get a lot of blow back of molten metal before the pierce is complete).
Adjustable THC response setting on the fly (allows you to stop your THC bobbing up and down {oscilating} if you have a very fast Z-axis to allow for some damping}

The Neuron Lite is a stand alone THC, so it will directly control your z-axis, you have no means to control it..... so it you want to do other things like use a touch / camera tracing probe, it can be slow to setup as you need to jog the z-axis, and not use g-code to lower / raise the z-axis.

Here are some of the screenshots from the current Neuron screenset (I've just moments ago) downloaded from the Neuron Dropbox (its set up on my laptop on the machine in the garage)..... hence it's in demo mode.
2019-12-24 09_38_10-.png

2019-12-24 09_38_43-.png

2019-12-24 09_39_16-.png

2019-12-24 09_39_37-UCCNC software _ Running in demo mode....png


I'll post another post as I'm limited to 6 attachments per post.
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
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Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:58 am

Continued screenshots:

2019-12-24 09_40_21-UCCNC software _ Running in demo mode....png


This is a closup screenshot of the Neuron Lite Settings, showing the "Target Volts" Button when you set the voltage setpoint.
2019-12-24 09_40_45-Window.png


And this shows the "Sample Volts" Button when you change the setting to Sample & Hold.
2019-12-24 09_41_07-Window.png


This is where you setup the material settings within the Neuron Menu:
2019-12-24 09_41_47-UCCNC software _ Running in demo mode....png


I volunteered to Andrew to have a go at updating the manual {to UCCNC} for him (about 12-18 months ago)..... sort of started but never got around to finishing it....... :roll:

I did not show the OxyFuel Engine tab as it is only available if you have the "Neuron Pro" as it will do both Plasma and OxyFuel.
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
Robertspark
 
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Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:22 am

The Neuron Simplicity (which I have never owned or used [hence take this point of view as whatever you want (free advice is just that sometimes .... worthless :D )]) is also a stand alone Torch Height Controller, but it only has 2 inputs to control it:
1 - Sequence Start + Run
2 - THC Hold / Disabled
2019-12-24 10_03_52-NeuronSimplicityUserManual (1).pdf.png


There are a LOT of settings within the Simplicity (which is good..... as it allows you to get a better cut quality and control than the proma) ....

2019-12-24 10_08_48-NeuronSimplicityUserManual (1).pdf.png

2019-12-24 10_13_22-NeuronSimplicityUserManual (1).pdf.png


But the problem (in my opinion) is if you cut the same materials + thicknesses every day is great as you will get consistent good results...... but if you cut different materials / thicknesses to change these parameters can be a pain in my opinion.....

The Simplicity allows you to save the settings in a "Cutting Profile" for later re-use...... but you still need to toggle buttons to select the right profile..... and if you are like me ..... you'll end up with a scrap of paper which gets covered in dirt and worn out (yes you can laminate it / stick it on the wall / in a frame) but you need to start toggling buttons on the THC to set the right profile..... I like everything accessible by the screen so I can read some text which means something to me (plus if you have a touchscreen you can just use that instead of a mouse + keyboard :D )
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
Robertspark
 
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Location: Nr Liverpool, England

Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:25 am

I also like the miniTHC and still use it..... but I use it fully!!!!
I save my settings in sheetcam and send the voltage setpoint (and THC delay) directly to the miniTHC, and then get it to use UCCNC via the UCCNC THCUP & THC DN and ARCOK signals.....

In my opinion it works with UCCNC very well and probably the best you are going to get with UCCNC internal THCUP & THCDN control.

It only costs a little more than the proma, but offers what I like..... an ability to save and download my settings directly to the THC so I don't have scraps of paper with settings and I'm fiddling with jog buttons to set voltages etc.

I am also aware of (but have never used) the PriceCNC AVHC https://www.pricecnc.com/
It offers the ability to save settings within it, and it is a THCUP/THCDN + ARCOK THC.
It also offers the ability to adjust the sampling rate (which can be useful to prevent an Oscillating Z-axis if you have a fast z-axis, or your sampled voltage is not stable).
again you have to fiddle with buttons if you change material thicknesses (which is not for me)
But I know others recommend it on the PlasmaSpider Forum (if you are into Plasma, that is the dedicated forum to go to in my opinion) https://www.plasmaspider.com/


The PriceCNC made in Ireland,
The Proma is made in Poland,
miniTHC is made in Russia,
Neuron is made in Russia / Ukraine / Crimea {Sevastopol is where my parcel was shipped from, you probably want to be aware if you are buying from anywhere within the European Union as there is an embargo on https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/pres ... -one-year/ hence it "may" be confiscated.... mine came a number of years ago now via Moscow + DHL and arrived within a week or so as a personal purchase and I was not aware of an embargo at the time + where it was being shipped from, if you were buying as a company that may be different }

There is also the Razordance THC http://www.razordance.co.uk/THC.htm which I have never used (I know Stirling has made appearances on this forum in the past to discuss various THC things).
It offers the ability for Sample and Hold and also the ability to send the setpoint voltage directly to the THC.....
I nearly bought it once (before the miniTHC, but it lacked online documentation, and the website appeared old / non-maintained ...... don't judge a book by it's cover)
It also operates on the priciple of THCUP/THCDN and ARCOK output..... so the z-axis will be controlled by UCCNC and not as a standalone THC.

I am aware of some controversy about the use of acceleration for THCUP and THCDN control within UCCNC with a {small 3 to 5??} number of plasma users not being happy about uccnc using Z-axis acceleration .... but if you go with the Simplicity / NeuronLite or Proma SD route this won't apply to you (as it controls the Z-axis directly without UCCNC). If you reconsider and go Proma 150 (not SD variant), miniTHC, PriceCNC, Razordance then the acceleration "may" apply to you. (it's like politics.... we all have an opinion and sometimes they will never agree.... UCCNC works one way with z-axis acceleration with THC and I'm happy with it, about 3~5 other users are not (I am not a heavy plasma user, the others are.... but 3~5 out of many UCCNC users.... {not sure how many of them are active forum users or plasma users though}).
http://forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic.php ... THC#p17270

The one user I am aware of that was not happy with the Neuron posted here (its within the above thread.... which I'd suggest you have a read of from start to finish and just ignore the jibes / sarcasm), it is better to read it from the original post than via Chinese whispers as to why he was not happy as it may be a consideration for you to have someone else's point of view:
http://forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic.php ... =10#p17196


That should hopefully give you a clear appreciation of THC + UCCNC.

I use the NeuronLite via a UC300ETH and I use the miniTHC via a UC400ETH.
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
Robertspark
 
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Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby bob » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:24 pm

Wow, thanks for the very detailed response! That is all super helpful, especially to see the Neuron Lite UCCNC screenset.That is exactly what I was wishing was in the current Lite documentation.

I will definitely be contacting Andrew as soon as the holidays are over. I wanted to post this here in order both to get some candid feedback from users and so that the information would be compiled and visible to anyone else who wants to see it. I've been reading Neuron threads all over the internet and trying to remember where I read what and piece things together. From everything I've read, Andrew's customer service is stellar, and it is another strong reason for me focusing on his products.

I'd already ruled out the Proma for all of the reasons that you mention, and inhibiting THC at tight arcs and corners is critical to me. I had looked at the MiniTHC pretty hard, but I do like the direct Z axis control of the Neuron, and at the end of the day I felt like for the cost I might as well just pony up some more for the Simplicity.

At this point I am really leaning toward the Lite. It is a budget stretch, but feel like ultimately it will give everything I need and I won't be wishing I had just done it from the start. I've been using a ShopSabre plama table at work for a couple of years, which runs WinCNC, and I'm used to just opening a tab and fine tuning settings from on-screen, and saving custom profiles.
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Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:48 pm

I have always had good communication from Andrew, and the Dropbox folder is updated every so often
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
Robertspark
 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:27 pm
Location: Nr Liverpool, England

Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby Robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:39 pm

Oh yeah.... Before I forget.....

The neuron lite has the option of 3 input voltages
RAW
10:1
20:1

Your plasma cutter seems to also have three voltages outputs
RAW
50:1
16:1

https://www.everlastgenerators.com/site ... %2050S.pdf

I use the raw voltage for my hypertherm 45 with the neuron.... I mounted the board within the plasma case and added some pins to the CPC (circular plastic connector) / CNC interface which is 10:1 out of the hypertherm into the CNC cabinet
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
UC400eth, UC300eth, UCCNC v1.2110, Neuron Lite
UCCNC v1.2110 Macro Manual
Robertspark
 
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:27 pm
Location: Nr Liverpool, England

Re: Neuron Lite vs Simplicity

Postby beefy » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:42 am

Robertspark wrote:The one user I am aware of that was not happy with the Neuron posted here (its within the above thread.... which I'd suggest you have a read of from start to finish and just ignore the jibes / sarcasm), it is better to read it from the original post than via Chinese whispers as to why he was not happy as it may be a consideration for you to have someone else's point of view:
http://forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic.php ... =10#p17196


I am that one user.

I wouldn't be swayed too much by my experience as I'm not your typical plasma guy. I always want more more more, and I could not get it with the Neuron. I designed a remote pendant but due to the Neuron plugin I simply could not get my own code to operate the Neuron screen buttons. I also had problems with my own code simply not working but as soon as I disabled the Neuron plugin, my code worked. So basically, to me, the Neuron was a "black box" which "contaminated" UCCNC and changed it, and made basic modifications unavailable to me. The Neuron is meant to be a complete plug and play solution for UCCNC and plasma and is not designed for people like myself.

Also the Neuron forum shut down and Andreys activity on the UCCNC forum seemed to mostly disappear. Sometimes the language barrier was frustrating too.

So basically I ripped out the Neuron and designed my own THC, so I could have full control over the Z axis and have UCCNC in it's stock standard form. I now have full controll again, and I can make my own screen set, add my custom programming to give me whoopee do features, etc, etc.

For someone who just wants a plug and play solution and doesn't have needs like mine, the Neuron should be fine, although I did mention to Andrey that the documentation was in serious need of being updated, and after over 1 year, it was still the same. Still if Andrey is happy to explain one on one for each user that has questions then ask away.
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