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  #1  
Old Wed 23 August 2006, 00:03
Gerald_D
Just call me:
 
EMC2 - LinuxCNC (open source "free")

Open source http://www.linuxcnc.org/ runs under Linux. Works via the parallel port and is apparently a viable option for the MechMate (alternative to Mach series) - no hardware changes needed.
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  #2  
Old Wed 23 August 2006, 09:15
Mike Richards
Just call me:
 
Switching to EMC might require some heavy lifting (software wise). It requires a real-time operating system - not just the plain vanilla Fedora or SUSE Linux that most of us geeks use.

When I downloaded the source onto my Fedora Core 4 system, I moved it to the customary /usr/local directory and then gave the standard tar -zxvf command to unzip everything. It created the proper directories. However, when I ran the .configure --enable-run-in-place command it carashed when it couldn't find the rt directory. After a little sniffing around, I realized that rt = real-time. Since EMC runs through the parallel port, it has to have extremely tight control over the interrupts to generate step pulses at the correct interval. Normally Linux runs a lot of tasks concurrently, giving each a slice of time depending on their priority. That works very well for most things, since waiting a few milliseconds for the computer to get back to the spreadsheet or word processing document would be transparent to the computer operator, but that same delay would not work when you're controlling stepper motors.

Perhaps the easiest way to get started is to follow the basic installation directions:


Basic Installation

The best way to get started is to install Ubuntu (5.10 Breezy Badger or the newer 6.06 Dapper Drake LTS), and then follow these instructions to install EMC2 on it. This procedure will automatically install a realtime kernel, and will allow you to easily and automatically keep up with future EMC2 releases using the Ubuntu update manager.


I haven't done that because I have issues with Ubuntu - but that's a personal vendetta which has nothing to do with EMC.
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  #3  
Old Wed 23 May 2007, 12:49
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Seen reference to EMC2 recently - this Linuxware is still alive and kicking.
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  #4  
Old Wed 23 May 2007, 20:58
joecnc2006
Just call me: Joe
 
Texas
United States of America
Yes they have what is called a brain dead install (BDI), all you do is load it onto a blank system, or do a dual boot system, and when installed modify the (ini) file to the machine settings and your electronics i.e pin settings, it also comes with a cadd program built into the linux system.

i used it, but went with Mach3 eventually because of my existing system and what i was used to. and networked the machine computer. eventually will also use a cam on it so i can watch it when away from machine.

Joe
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  #5  
Old Sat 01 March 2008, 22:13
Richards
Just call me: Mike
 
South Jordan, UT
United States of America
I've been playing with Ubuntu version 7.10 for about a week and have found it to be much better than I had anticipated. (Fedora version 7 isn't working too well for some of my commercial customers, so I thought that I would try Ubuntu again.)

The version 6.x, which comes bundled with EMC2 software has issues with my LCD monitor, so I'm going to have to add EMC2 to version 7.10.

What I have found is that each version of 7.10 (server AMD-64, desktop AMD-64, edubuntu server and edubuntu desktop) all worked flawlessly from initial installation. The online documentation is excellent. The user base has documented many of the issues that I've had trouble with in the past between Red Hat (Fedora) and Debian (ubuntu), so work-arounds are not that difficult - although I've just spent five hours getting Apache, PHP and Sendmail to play nicely together. (Fedora installs by default all of the helper programs that a developer normally needs while Debian loads a minimal set of utilities - but the user base has clear notes and instructions on loading the needed modules.)

By the way, I have absolutely nothing against Mach 3 and Windows XP-Pro, but I have received too many emails from Windows Vista users who are having serious problems making Vista work in an industrial environment. My suppliers keep warning me that XP's days are numbered and that I need to start using Vista - which is the main reason that I'm trying Ubuntu. If it works, I'll start shutting down my Windows machines.
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  #6  
Old Sun 02 March 2008, 13:28
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...and your not the only company considering this either. Glad to hear your progress. The screen printing company I work with has already started the shift moving all critical motion base machines to Linux.
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  #7  
Old Thu 03 April 2008, 13:53
oricncstudent
Just call me: Fendy
 
Surabaya
Indonesia
What EMC2 is capable to do ?

Hi, I am Fendy, a junior member here.

I want to know what is EMC2 software is capable of doing with CNC.

Can EMC2 do the following things :
1. Translating G-Code
2. Simulating the effect of G-Code in computational environment ( just simulation, not using real material )
3. Controlling CNC

Thank you.

Last edited by oricncstudent; Thu 03 April 2008 at 13:56..
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  #8  
Old Thu 03 April 2008, 14:28
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
It accepts G-Code as the input and it controls CNC (produces pulses for machine control).

I don't know if it gives a graphical (on-screen) "simulation"

Edit to add:

Have looked at the web page again and it does seem to give "simulations"
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  #9  
Old Thu 03 April 2008, 21:05
oricncstudent
Just call me: Fendy
 
Surabaya
Indonesia
Thank you, I will try it later. Btw you had used it before didn't you ?
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  #10  
Old Thu 03 April 2008, 21:52
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
No, I have not used it before.
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  #11  
Old Thu 03 April 2008, 22:17
Richards
Just call me: Mike
 
South Jordan, UT
United States of America
I've not been able to get EMC2 working on any of the Ubuntu computers that I've tried it on. Every other Ubuntu application seems to work as expected, but EMC2 just does not want to run for me.
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  #12  
Old Sun 25 May 2008, 12:15
foinikas
Just call me: Sakis
 
Trikala
Greece
http://www.linuxcnc.org/content/view/21/4/lang,en/

"Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron" or newer.

In this page as you can see you can download the Livecd with EMC2,this is the safe way to try emc2 without crash your current system.(You can unplug the Hard disk before the try Livecd need only the memory to boot). I will try to Run Mach3 under Wine (http://www.winehq.org/) to see how it will go.

Last edited by foinikas; Sun 25 May 2008 at 12:37.. Reason: and info
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  #13  
Old Sun 25 May 2008, 14:31
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
 
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
A real-time application like Mach under an emulator. Sounds like an unlikely scenario to me but "Never say never".

Good luch and keep us posted.
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  #14  
Old Thu 29 May 2008, 15:10
foinikas
Just call me: Sakis
 
Trikala
Greece
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Shlaes View Post
A real-time application like Mach under an emulator. Sounds like an unlikely scenario to me but "Never say never".

Good luch and keep us posted.
Wine Is Not an Emulator.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winehq

Wine is a software application which aims to allow Unix-like computer operating systems on the x86 architecture to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows. Wine also provides a software library known as Winelib which developers can compile Windows applications against to help port them to Unix-like systems.
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  #15  
Old Thu 29 May 2008, 16:47
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
 
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
In my 25 years in the computer business, this phrase could serve as a definitional phrase for for the word ---emulator: "Wine is a software application which aims to allow Unix-like computer operating systems on the x86 architecture to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows."

Also from Wikipedia:

"Rather than acting as a full emulator, Wine implements a compatibility layer, providing alternative implementations of the DLLs that Windows programs call, and processes to substitute for the Windows NT kernel."

OK, so it actually funtions as a "partial emulator" and actually replaces some components of Windows.

This doesn't need to degrade into a semantic discussion because I wish you trememdous success in helping to provide alternatives. I was just saying that I will be a bit astonished it if works.

Thanks and...

Good Luck and keep us posted!
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  #16  
Old Sun 16 November 2008, 19:35
servant74
Just call me: Jack
 
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
Sorry, my computer geek hat came out:

WINE is more a 'call translator' than an emulator. Yes, it is symantics. There are things that just don't work under wine.

If you use EMC2, DO NOT UPGRADE past 8.04. I also suggest getting their downloadable live CD, and booting it. It works well, then will install. Unlike much software, EMC / linuxcnc project has decided to ONLY support the Long Term Support versions of Ubuntu. Version 6.06 and 8.04 are the current versions.

If you do a 'fresh install' of 8.04, and do not have emc2, their instructions on running the 'emc2-install.sh' script works. It basically updates apt, and adds the emc2 repository to your sources file, then issues 'apt-get install emc2'.

EMC2 is NOT in the standard distribution sources from Ubuntu, so it needs to be added to be able to get updates.

EMC2 configuration can be a little more challenging than Mach3. I would suggest staying with Mach if that is where you are now. If you are into learning or doing a DIY (or have really strange things you want to do then EMC2 can be your toy.

Also, I was communicating with the CAMBAM folks, and they are planning on doing a Linux version mid next year or so. If you would like to see that happen, let them know!

I hope this helps.
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  #17  
Old Sun 16 November 2008, 23:04
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Thanks for that Jack. I would like to play with some low-cost (free) alternatives to Mach. Not that Mach is too expensive, but because it leans too much to the low speed metal cutting on very firm machine tools with bells and whistles for thread turning and screw linearity/backlash compensations, etc. EMC2 might just be more barebones than MACH, and that might just be more suited to CNC routers in our category.
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  #18  
Old Mon 17 November 2008, 07:35
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
If anyone wants help with EMC2, just give me a shout. I'm running it on my MechMate, on my benchtop mill, and I've been working with Linux systems since 1992 or so.
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  #19  
Old Mon 17 November 2008, 07:49
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Thanks for that offer Brad - hope to take you up on it one day.

There are 2 things that bug me about Mach:

1. The trajectory planner seems to have problems with lots of little line segments strung together, even if they join perfectly tangentially:
http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1067

2. Hitting the "Pause" button does not cause an immediate pause, as fast as decel settings will allow. The distance what the machine moves on after a "pause" is not predictable. Typically 1 to 4" [25-100mm]

Any comment on how EMC2 handles these things?
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  #20  
Old Mon 17 November 2008, 09:04
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
I ran the test file from post #23 in that thread. My MM developed a case of palsy that was most disconcerting. So, no, there was no silver bullet on the trajectory planner issue. Note that I had to massage the gcode a little bit; EMC didn't like having two of the same modal group on the same line (there are two G20 on line four), and there seems to be an implied switch from linear to arc motion later in the file, as there are I and J with no g2 or g3 specified, so I inserted a G2 to make EMC accept the file.

On the pause, EMC has three concepts: Estop, "machine power", and interpreter pause. Estop does the usual ungraceful shutdown. Machine power decels immediately, and interpreter pause stops after the current command and before the next. In the latter two scenarios, the machine seems to stay true to it's position; in the estop, it doesn't.
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  #21  
Old Mon 17 November 2008, 11:27
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
The "stop" options sound promising.

Okay, that particular file of Greg's was seriously palsied. (didn't try it myself, but take your word(s) for it).

We once took a straight diagonal line across the table and divided that into many short straight line segments. Mach developed a galloping gait on those little lines, where a good trajectory planner would realise they are one long straight line. Maybe the more recent Mach versions are better, but at that time I was told that it was as good as Mach could get.
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  #22  
Old Tue 18 November 2008, 09:07
servant74
Just call me: Jack
 
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
Want to try or run EMC2?

For anyone that is interested, EMC2 is available on a 'LiveCD' so you can 'try before you buy' (or install in this case )

www.linuxcnc.org is the site

In the left hand column, there is a 'Live-CD' link. It will download a file that is a .iso file. Use Nero or similar to write a bootable disk image to a CD.

Boot the CD and it is running. If you decide to install it on your computer (It will wipe out windows if that is already there), there is an icon on the desk top to do it for you. An internet connection is useful to put on updates.

If you want, email me privately and I will mail you a tested bootable CD for $1US (in the US) to cover postage (I am out of work now, so even little things help! - I will mail to others but again I need to cover costs). PayPal is preferred. -- this is just a service.

If you have a machine you want to install it on your machine in full to start with, you can download and install Ubuntu 8.04LTS (8.10 is the current and not supported by EMC2. EMC2 is currently only supported on the LTS or Long Term Support versions of Ubuntu). Then download the emc2-install.sh shell script and run it. It will download and install EMC2 on top of your 'fresh' Ubuntu 8.04LTS install. An internet connection is required for this install method.

I hope that helps someone.
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  #23  
Old Tue 18 November 2008, 09:14
servant74
Just call me: Jack
 
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
CamBam - I tried it, installed Wine, mono for Windows (to give .NET functionality).

Under the real time Kernel needed for EMC2, I got messages that the sound device was missing. Yes, it was right, to keep down overhead, this device was not there on my machine.

I tried it no non-EMC2 kernel, and had a different issue (but the sound did work, and yes it is on the same computer!, without re-install) so I guess I need to wait for the CAMBAM native release for Linux.
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  #24  
Old Sat 22 November 2008, 22:31
sprayhead
Just call me: Francis
 
sydney
Australia
These boys at www.guiacnc.com.br are very much experts on EMC2:

Fabio Guilli
Sir Jorge
Yuri

I believe it will be a great solution for the MM.

A bit of mimics and screen captures should help with the language barrier. They do speak English.

They'll be able to say: E-N-G-L-I-S-H and also T-H-E B-O-O-K I-S O-N T-H-E T-A-B-L-E.

Just kidding, they might be of great help actually.

I'm excited to hear about the results
Francis
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  #25  
Old Sat 22 November 2008, 23:29
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Fabio (zetacnc) has built a MechMate Link. He owns that great website www.guiacnc.com.br. Yuri (YRD) is making great progress on his MM Link.

And they are eager to help us too!
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  #26  
Old Sun 23 November 2008, 08:37
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
I use http://www.christian-kohloeffel.home...dxf2gocde.html to convert DXF to G-Code. It's pretty simplistic and no frills, 2D only, but it works. Note that I use it in inches; I set my preamble accordingly.
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  #27  
Old Fri 28 November 2008, 19:26
YRD
Just call me: Yuri #17
 
Brasilia - DF
Brazil
EMC2 - GuiaCNC - Brasil

Gerald I will try to show how to configure EMC2 . . . . . . . .

This post was moved to a new thread here

Last edited by YRD; Fri 28 November 2008 at 19:31..
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