Ben's 2.x Laser Build

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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby MattyZee » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:21 am

ok, thanks. I thought the 145.ngc that gets called had the required M2 end-of-file command.

ANyway, after reading the G-Code overview section of http://www.linuxcnc.org/docs/2.4/html/gcode_overview.html I have put a % at the start and end of my .ngc file. Now it at least opens the .ngc file without an error. It shows a white box in the size and position defined by the O145 call. But it does nothing if i try and run the file (although the LinuxCNC window title changes from "raster-test.ngc" to "145.ngc"). Also, it does the same thing whether or not i have the image file in the folder or not. So I am still doing something wrong...
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby MattyZee » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:00 pm

oops, i replied too soon :oops: Now that my file is at least loading i didn't notice an error in the terminal window. I had the same error as sliptonic and his fix worked!

sliptonic wrote:...
I recently upgraded to 2.5.0 linuxcnc and rastering stopped working for me. Vector cutting is still working great. I've made a bunch of changes related to the name change but I'm still getting this error in the console:

Code: Select all
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/home/brad/linuxcnc/configs/2x_laser/M144", line 35, in <module>
    origin = stat.origin[axis]
AttributeError: 'linuxcnc.stat' object has no attribute 'origin'
...

sliptonic wrote:According to guys on #linuxcnc IRC channel: stat.origin was split into stat.g5x_offset and stat.g9x_offset
Renamed stat.origin to stat.g5x_offset and it worked.
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby educa » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:09 pm

Matyzee, did you get this working allready ?

Kind regards,

Bart
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby MattyZee » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:53 pm

Hi Bart,

Yes, sort of. After changing 'stat.origin' to 'stat.g5x_offset' it loaded without error and would run. Now i have the problem of the image being resized to a 1x1px image. It seems the passing of the parameters between M145 and M144 isn't working. The recv_params() in M144 always seems to return the latest pair. That is, if I have X=50,Y=50, H=100, W=100, XSCANGAP=0.04, YSCNAGAP=0.04. All of the parameters are 0.04. So when the image scaling and resizing happens it reduces to size 1,1. If i hard code the sizes within M145 it works fine, which is what i've done to successfully do my first raster engrave. I need to look into this problem some more so i can use the script properly and not have to edit M145 everytime i do an engrave.

Cheers
Matt
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby MattyZee » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:04 pm

Another question, Would this method of PPM work with a Mesa FPGA card? The PC i'm running LinuxCNC on is a bit slow and i'm limited in my max speed. I like the possibility of offloading the step generation to an FPGA ( i think that makes more sense than upgrading the pc). However, my understanding is that the make_pulses in the fast base-thread wouldn't be needed as that would be handled by the Mesa card. Only the slower servo-thread would exist. So would that mean some custom drivers would be needed to drive the Mesa card to do PPM?

Edit: found this: http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?HostMot2 I need to do some more reading on how Bens PPM and raster engraving interacts with the HALstreamer and see if i can get a Mesa card to do the same. maybe using a pwm module or a general IO.
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Re: 18mm lens spacer and adjusting the air nozzle

Postby JakeS » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:37 pm

I tried to cut this spacer using LaserCad 6.27 but it crashes while trying to import the DXF. Has anyone else had this problem?
Thanks
Jake


BenJackson wrote:My previous adventure with disassembling the lens had me doing lots of test firings with and without the air nozzle. I noticed that the spots fired with the nozzle were ever so slightly elliptical. With very short, low power shots into paper you would see a clean hole with a dark elliptical halo. Today I verified by removing the nozzle that the halo goes away.

To permanently eliminate the halo I did two things:

1. Finally cut a spacer ring (DXF attached) to center the lens in the holder. It's actually a slotted 18-22mm ring cut from 1/16th acrylic. It sort of snaps in past the threads and leaves a perfect 18mm opening for the lens. This is far superior to my previous attempts to center the lens! For one thing I verified that my spot moved slightly when I reassembled.

2. I zip-tied a laser pointer to a dial indicator base and set it up (parallel to the gantry, between the gantry mirror and the carriage) so that the red spot coincided with the test firing of the laser. This allowed me to test-fit the air nozzle several times. With the cheap red laser pointer there was always a "halo" effect around the spot, but I could readily see from that how well centered the spot was. I used 1/4" copper foil tape to shim the air nozzle until the red spot/halo were as centered as I could get. Trying to just aim the nozzle before tightening it didn't work because it would always register itself against one of the mating faces. It actually took quite a few layers of tape (in my case above the screw clockwise from the air input) to get it aligned.

Finally after that I shot a new test spot with the nozzle in place and it's nice and sharp with no halo. I'm curious to see if I pick up some extra cutting power as well.
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby Gadroc » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:35 am

It crashes laser cad on me as well, but I can successfully import it to Corel and Alibre. It's easy to recreate inside lasercad directly.

1) Draw a 22mm circle
2) Draw an 18mm circle
3) Set X/Y coordinate on both circles to be the same
4) Draw a vertical line through one side of both circles (this makes it so you can bend the spacer into place)
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby JakeS » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:43 am

Great, thanks. I wasn't sure what 18-22mm meant, but now I do. Thanks!

Gadroc wrote:It crashes laser cad on me as well, but I can successfully import it to Corel and Alibre. It's easy to recreate inside lasercad directly.

1) Draw a 22mm circle
2) Draw an 18mm circle
3) Set X/Y coordinate on both circles to be the same
4) Draw a vertical line through one side of both circles (this makes it so you can bend the spacer into place)
JakeS
 
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby BenJackson » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:32 pm

MattyZee wrote:Another question, Would this method of PPM work with a Mesa FPGA card? The PC i'm running LinuxCNC on is a bit slow and i'm limited in my max speed. I like the possibility of offloading the step generation to an FPGA ( i think that makes more sense than upgrading the pc). However, my understanding is that the make_pulses in the fast base-thread wouldn't be needed as that would be handled by the Mesa card. Only the slower servo-thread would exist. So would that mean some custom drivers would be needed to drive the Mesa card to do PPM?

I just bought at Mesa card and you can use my PPM config (but not my raster config) with it. You will still want to configure the fastest BASE_PERIOD you can and then you put the hm2_pci write_gpio thread in your fast thread ("addf hm2_5i25.0.write_gpio laser-thread"). That function drives just the GPIO outputs (while the normal "read" and "write" threads are operating at the slower servo-thread speed) so you can use the FPGA GPIOs at the same speeds you used to drive the parallel port. Now your PPM will be limited by the BASE_PERIOD but it's not nearly the restriction that it was for stepgen.

(Of course this won't work well for USB, ethernet or parallel connect Mesa cards)

Meanwhile I will be making an FPGA component to do PPM and ultimately raster engraving directly from the FPGA. Those solutions should work with *no* fast threads and even for the non-PCI Mesa cards.
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Re: Ben's 2.x Laser Build

Postby jv4779 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:54 pm

I have been very happy with my kluge analog out method of getting the raster data into a HAL component. It has proved to be very reliable and easy work flow. How will you get the bitmap data into the FPGA ?
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