2012 AWE-608 Network support

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2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby Speedythinker » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:12 pm

Hi folks:

Yesterday I met with all three guys in Shenzhen, Mr. Lee (programmer), Mr. Chen (hardware engeineer), and the Mr. Wei (marketing). We had a long chat and discussing how to support the DSP card in better way. After that, I did some tests on the DSP card, mainly testing on the network function through RJ45.

Before the test, I really didn't think that it's a big deal. But I was wrong, I like the networking feature after the test.

What can the network port can do for you?

1) It let you to control the machine(s) through network remotly
2) It's much faster to dowload info from the PC to the machine
3) You can network it either by a router or by a reversed Cat-5 cable.
4)
a) You can use 1 PC to control 1 laser machine
b) You can use 1 PC to control multiple machines
c) You can use multiple PC to control 1 machine
d) You can use mutliple PC to control multiple machines


How to setup the network? It's pretty simple
By default, the network IP on the DSP is "192.168.8.x". You may use the LCD panel to configure the IP address. Note, it must be done manually as it won't get IP automatcially from a DHCP router.

For case one, 1 PC to 1 machine, you can accomplish it in two ways: with or without using a router
A) Peer to peer. What you need is a network cable with reversed connection. In normall setup, a network cable need 2 pairs (4 wires) to communcte: 1,2,3,6 For gigbye speed, then you may need more than two pairs wire. A reversed network cable is having #3,#6 reversed on one end of the cable but not both. This is the same as those patch cable for the server Uplink.

Then setup an IP for the card say "192.168.5.3". Afterward, you need to configure your network card (on PC) to have similiar IP address: 192.168.5.7. Gatway or DNS can be ignore in this scienerio.

On LaserCad, you need to chose network instead of USB connection. Plus, you need to tell that you're trying to communicate with device with IP 192.168.5.3. To test it, draw something and click "Download". You should hear "beep" and you're set

B)Through router: Let's say the router DHCP IP group is "192.168.1.x" Since the router DHCP will auto assign IP to any network dervice, you may have an IP say "192.168.1.10" assigned on your PC. In order to communicate to the DSP card, you need to configure the DSP with the same subnet. In this case, you may need to assign "192.168.1.15". Make sure the subnet mask is the same on all dervices > 255.255.255.0 The gateway setting on the DSP can be ignored.

Same thing, you need to tell the software that you're uising network but not USB for communication.


I tried to use two machine to talk to one DSP and each PC sent out a file (with different file name). The DSP will save the both file and let you pick any one to proceed the job. It's so convenience and so powerul. Now, we're thinking to make it wireless.


Marco
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby bdring » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:37 pm

That sounds great.

I would not think built in wifi is that important. There are a lot of ways easy ways to add wifi externally. Keeping the standard cost down is probably a better way to go.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby lasersafe1 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:07 pm

Now of course you will need a network controlled robot that will place the material in your machine that you are going to be remotely controlling. I personally think this is all going a bit overboard. I would rather just have USB if it were cheaper.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby steppenshoe » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:45 pm

Come on :) Aren't you on a network already? With two outbuildings and even before that with my shop in the garage, plus 6 kids, I can be at one of many computers and it would be great just to use the network.

As far as wireless its really not needed, but for the guy that wants the computer in a different room and has no way to string a cord(or does not want to) to the laser it could be helpful. Right now I have the cables running on my carpet and it drives my wife nuts.

I bet wireless can be added with no price difference whatsoever, it just needs to be accounted for. No one is going to pay much more than 500.00 so they need to give everything they can for that price, not raise the price. I do not think they can raise the price and get away with it(for the hobbyists anyway), they just need to jam in more features for the current price. Can they make a no frills unit for cheaper? I think they are pretty much as low as they can go. Maybe in the future the price will drop on the older units and the newer units can stay at the current price. Possibly they can have a regular and deluxe model.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby Gadroc » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:35 pm

I'll add my vote that network support is an excellent addition, and that direct wi-fi seems unnecessary. Most folks won't be moving around their laser very often to require the removal of the cable, not to mention you're probably already tethered by water cooling and fume extraction. I'd actually rather see USB drop to reduce cost rather than network. Adding in DHCP and something like zeroconf at a firmware level would make network dead simple for everyone removing what will be the major complaint from users.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby steppenshoe » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:13 pm

Dropping the USB can in no way lower the cost in my opinion. What can the difference be for the parts for them, twenty cents a unit? USB has to stay for the many that need to go that route or want to. A lot of people will not want not use the network for security reasons or just becasue they want their laser totally separate from everything else. I like the network, but there are some that want a stand alone machine where no computer at all is needed to run the machine or get files on to the machine.

To reduce the cost of the unit by an appreciable amount some big things are going to have to be taken away and then whats the point of it. Hopefully in time it will just get less expensive.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby Gadroc » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:59 pm

Agreed. It was more of a statement articulating I think network support is just as important. It really frees me up from having to have a computer sitting in the workshop just to run the laser. I can do the design work on my large monitor and not have to port a laptop over to the laser or whip out and make sure I have the latest files on a memory stick.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby bdring » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:02 am

I actually think what Marco explained is perfect. I just suggested adding wifi might be overkill. I will probably use the laser wired to the network and connect via my laptop wirelessly.
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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby Speedythinker » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:04 am

You guys really killing me here....!
But good thing is that the network feature seems a big deal here. I'm glad that you guys like it and I'm so happy to see the demo with an excellence response from the machine. You guys have my words "No price will be raised if wireless is added!" happy now?

May be I didn't explained it well. What was my intention was that I wanted to added a print server wirless module with RJ45 output for the DSP card and make it wireless. I really didn't mean to embedded a wiress module on board in the mean time. But if there is support, then we will think about it. Again, read me lips, no price rasised!

FYI, I'll try to get the old DSP (ver. 1) and put it back on production. Of course it's not as powerful as the new one and it only support Coreldraw x11 and x12. But it's much better than the Moshui. I'm willing to sell it for around $300 +/-. The looks similiar with less feature. It only support Windows 2000 and XP. If I get enough support from you folks, then I'll start to work out the production

Your input is very important to me. Please speak up!

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Re: 2012 AWE-608 Network support

Postby Speedythinker » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:11 am

One more thing I fogot to mention. The engineer was thinking about adding a new feature to the card whcih is allowing a HD digital camera to take a picture and send picture to th ecard direct. Sounds good or not? Then, adding a real time camera and allow you to see the work from remote location. If the features are added, then the wireless or networking seem more significant, isn't it

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