XMOS Controller

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XMOS Controller

Postby bdring » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:55 am

I am going to start tracking the progress on my XMOS controller via the buildlog system.

I added a laser pulse feature. I used this as an aiming feature on a recent engrave. I had a piece of paper taped to the bed. I ran the head to the four corners of the work piece and pulsed the laser. I then had four dots on the paper and was able to align the work piece perfectly.

laser_pulse.JPG
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I have been working on a schematic for a shield. I was thinking about using the Sparkfun board, but Folknology offered to donate an Amino board to my project.
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amino_sneakpeak.png
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Add Z-Axis Control

Postby bdring » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:13 pm

I added code for the Z-axis. It only took me about an hour to code both the XMOS and the PC side and test it all. I didn't need the Z-Axis during development, but now that I am doing a lot more engravings, I wanted to have it. Here is the latest interface.
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xmos_rev_0_6_1.JPG
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Shield Schematic

Postby bdring » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:07 pm

Here is the current version of the CNC Shield for the Sparkfun XMOS Development board. I am going to have a few people review it before I buy it. I have the Sparkfun board on order and I will do so basic testing with it before I order too. The image below is not very useful. Use the PDF attachment. I just like to have a visual cue on each post so I can find stuff quickly.

Initially the code will be for engraving only. If you want to do G-Code cutting you will use your normal Mach3/EMC parallel port method. This board will connect in between the PC and CNC machine on the parallel port. This will allow you to use it in either mode without any wiring changes.

Basically it will operate in these modes.
  • CNC Pass through. The signals just go through the board like it is not there. The XMOS sees all the signals, so it might be able to do some neat tricks even in this mode.
  • Engrave mode. The XMOS controller runs via the USB port. The parallel port is still connected, but ignored. It does not have to ignore the parallel port in this mode, so some sort of Mach/EMC plugins could do some things here.
  • TBD. There is no reason this could not turn into a junior version of a smoothstepper. It would have less I/O pins than a smoothstepper, but it plenty to control any machine that currently runs off a single parallel port
xmos_shield.PNG


Edit: made a change to the schematic. Had some voltages wrong on the voltage translators.
Attachments
xmos_shield_rev_2.pdf
Shield Schematic Rev 2
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Source Code

Postby bdring » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:17 pm

The source code for the XMOS firmware is located on Github at this URL

http://github.com/bdring/XMOS_ctrl/

logov3.png
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This is my first GitHub project, so I am not real sure how to work with others on this yet.
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Re: XMOS Controller

Postby bdring » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:34 pm

The Sparkfun XMOS came today. I'll do a little testing and then layout the shield.
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sf_xmos.jpg
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Re: XMOS Controller

Postby bdring » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:21 am

I did a little bit of testing with the Sparkfun board that I will use as a base board for my CNC shield.

  • I tested the USB to make sure that will do what I need and it worked perfectly
  • I tested to make sure the XLINK pins can be used for I/O. They appear to work just fine.
  • I did a quick pass through test. This puts the controller in a mode where it reads the parallel port and outputs it back on another connector. This will allow the controller to sit on the cable and allow the PC to control the laser or take control itself. This will allow a lot of options and eliminate cable swapping. It can will also allow a hybrid mode where both the PC parallel port and both control the laser. It worked fine.

Here is a picture of my temporary scatter wire version of the setup. The little green card is a 3.3V-5V translator. Everything seem to be working perfectly. I am going to start the shield card layout this week.
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sfe_testing.jpg
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Re: XMOS Controller

Postby bdring » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:21 am

Here is my basic layout of the shield. The shield is just a temporary board that will be very easy to assembly and allow me to continue testing. Only two surface mount parts need to be assembled. They are 24 pin SOICs which are fairly easy to solder. Eventually I might make a single board solution.

The Sparkfun board is on the bottom in red and my shield is above in green. It is quite small at about 2" x 3". I may order a single board from Sparkfun's Batch PCB for about $20. Or I can get about 14 of them fromGold Phoenix for about $90. The problem with the shield is you need a $50 Sparkfun board to use it.
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shield_assy_1.png

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xmos_plus_shield.pdf
3D PDF - Just for fun
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Re: XMOS Controller

Postby bdring » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:08 pm

:x
I found out there is an error in the XMOS datasheet that says the chip I am using is 5V compatible. I hope I did not damage any of my parts.

This changes the PCB, which was almost ready to order. This is going to set me back about a week. :x
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Project of the Month

Postby bdring » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:27 pm

XCore_ProjectOfTheMonth.jpg
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My engraving controller won the XMOS "Project Of The Month"! The prize is a XK1 development kit. I already have one, but since these controllers are multi-threaded, you can just plug them together and add more processing power.

I have been on vacation, so I have not gotten anything done on this for a while, but the new PCB is in layout and should be on order soon.
Bart
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Re: XMOS Controller

Postby lasersafe1 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:44 pm

:P :D :D :D Congratulations !!! You derserve it!! :D :D :D :P
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