1. Ok, the advanced height control project went kind of wild. I am currently sidetracked with web site issues. I will get back on this eventually. It has advanced far beyond initial expectations, and way beyond what is shown below.

ATHC Progress

Discussion in 'Advanced Height Control' started by SignTorch, 9/18/14.

  1. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    The plan was to buy a torch height controller, but building the initial height sensor spurred my electronic interests.

    Now I've gotten myself into a real science project. I decided to build the handheld cnc controller I always wanted.

     
  2. SeanP

    SeanP member

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    You really have been working hard on that project Gary,,,,,,nice work,, thanks for showing us.
     
  3. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    Oooh, I just figured out how any arbitrary button on the display can execute any arbitrary button or m-code function in mach3, through 1 simple brain, 1 simple script, 1 Modbus register, and 1 invisible dro and 1 invisible led. It looks feasible to handle LEDs and DROs on the display in a similar fashion.

    That means you could just put a button, dro, or led on the display, and it will work without having to do anything in mach, except add your own m-code script files for custom functions.

    If I can just make the display customizable, that will be something...

    As it is, each function has a separate screen control hard-wired to a brain and Modbus address in mach3, which is very cumbersome to configure all those functions individually on the display and in mach3, and each one adds to the Modbus payload.

    One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to execute g-code or view g-code on the display, that's something I'd like to have.
     
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  4. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    OMG... mach3 is amazing... and arduino due is pretty amazing.....

    I just got around to trying the arduino due keyboard functions, and it can send keystrokes to the computer, through its 2nd USB port,

    and mach3 can have a hotkey to select the MDI (g-code) input

    so arduino can send g-code commands to mach3 by sending keys for the MDI hotkey followed by the g-code
     
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  5. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    ok, now I tested a mach3 plugin, and it worked, and that will allow using a serial port between mach3 and the arduino, so it won't need Modbus, or brains, or hotkeys.

    but now, it is turning out totally different than when I started, so it's back to the drawing board to start over, now that I've learned how all the different parts work.

    when I started I had never used an arduino or touch screen or Modbus or brains or thc or any of the things I've been doing in this project

    steadily making progress though.... sorry I haven't drawn anything lately....
     
  6. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    ok, the mach3 plugin works so good it's crazy, I can emulate the mach3 screen on the touch screen display, and the display is customizable, and the plugin doesn't require any configuration in mach3 to handle different custom displays

    the athc (and the arduino) has been taken out of the middle of the display/plugin connection, and will be some sort of additional optional hardware interface

    that way the touch screen/plugin interface is so simple it can be a wireless USB device, and (probably) multiple pendants can control multiple machines

    and now I am developing how to go about making the touch screen display customizable, it has a micro-sd card to hold the images and screen designs
     
  7. SeanP

    SeanP member

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    Sounds like good progress there Gary, keep up the good work!!
     
  8. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    well fooey, I've decided, I'd be in over my head trying to make this into a product or even a project, since it involves both software and hardware, even if I got it made, it would be a nightmare to support such a product

    extakey-sd1.
     

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