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Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:54 pm
by 6of1
First, please keep in mind I'm a dope and will be confused, lol.

I recently added a laser kit to my CNC router and have had a few problems. My current router setup is Win7 (64), Mach3, Ethernet Smoothstepper, Gecko540. To add the laser I purchased a DAC board to convert C-axis to PWM for the laser driver. No matter what we do (we, being myself and a bunch of other ppl) cant get it to NOT lose position (intensity of laser gets out of wack). I have another DAC board on its way to rule out a faulty board but I am not 100% that will solve it. What I do think will solve it is software that has fast enough PWM output. Mach3 is out, Mach4 is an option and I hope also UCCNC Software (but I will need 5LPT-UC300 Motherboard also). Spoke with a forum member and sounds like UNCNC might be the answer.

Ok, question time.. (round one) I have the demo installed so If you want me to look at a page I can follow along.

I would like to try and future proof my setup. What would be better? I currently run Mach3 with Ger21's 2010 Screenset and I am quite comfortable with it so I will be getting his 2017 for UCCNC. I am guessing (A).
A. Two profiles, Laser Profile & Router Profile so its all separate and not confusing under one screenset.
B. One profile that has both laser and router setup

I do not have a PWM spindle yet but would like one soon. I took a quick glance through the manual and I'm a little confused. I already have the LPT-Header Cable to connect my G540.
1. Will I use another 26pin BOB (have one on hand already) for the laser or is Laser and Spindle PWM output on [Port A] 16pin BOB?
Maybe an explanation as to how I should wire would be easiest, lol.

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:44 pm
by cncdrive
The UCCNC has separate settings, separate output pins and separate PWMs for the spindle speed and for the laser.
There is a dedicated spindle speed PWM pin setting and a dedicated laser PWM pin setting.
So, you could use the same profile and control the spindle and the laser from that profile. (Even the same time)

The laser you can control with the M10/M11 codes and the spindle speed PWM or analog signal you can control with the S word, e.g. S1000.

Ofcourse you could also run separate screensets for the router and laser, that option will also work...

And it is better to use an unisolated output or an output with fast isolators for the laser, because it has to act fast and so slow optocouplers will distort the signal too much making the performance of the laser bad.

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:23 pm
by 6of1
I'm sorry this is all so confusing to me, thank you for your help. I have already spent more then I should have. I need to know exactly how I will be hooking this all up and that it will work before I spend anymore time and money, lol.

Ok, I will run 2 profiles.

Will the Laser and the Spindle be on the same port? Which port on the 5LPT-UC300 Motherboard?

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:31 pm
by ger21
The UC300ETH has two standard ports, which are ports 2 and 3. So you'll probably want to use one port for the G540, and the other for your laser.

Whether you use two profiles depends on how you setup the laser, and the g-code you are using to control it. If you can use M10/M11 in your g-code, then you don't need two profiles.

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:27 pm
by 6of1
Ok, the confusion was ALL me.. I was under the impression that the 16pin [Port A] on the 5lpt was the only place that I could wire for the spindle and laser.

Order placed..

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm
by ger21
No, you don't even need to use the analog I/O port. Although they are nice to use for Feedrate and Spindle Override.

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:21 pm
by 6of1
Well I have the UC300ETH-5LPT all setup along with UCCNC software & Ger's 2017 Screenset. Due to poor placement of the fixed zero plate (by me) the auto zero routine needed some tweaking. Ger21 saved the day, Thanks Gerry!

I am getting ready to start wiring the laser up and just want to verify. I went through the manual a few times, so I think I got it all figured out. I have my BOB connected to port 3 on the 5LPT. This is the laser driver I am connecting to (has PWM):

I connect the Control wires to my driver like so:
Positive + (to) Pin 17
Negitive - (to) Pin 18 (or any between 18-25)

Then in the UCCNC Software set:
Config -> I/O Setup
- Laser output: 17 port: 3

And that is it? No other settings needed?

Re: Pre purchase questions..

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:45 pm
by ger21
It looks like it, but I'm not positive, as I've never used one of those. I'm curious as to how well at works, though. I spent a lot of time looking at them at last years Vectric User Group, where they had one setup and running.