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Upgrading a CNC milling machine Part 2

maker, hacker, doer


June 26, 2015 15:39

Great project ! I have a BBB kicking around having replaced it with a Ras Pi 2 for my VOIP system server.

Got quite excited about this as I also have a Sieg mill which I am looking to convert to CNC control. The Probotix board itself isn't too expensive but when I saw the shipping charges to get the breakout board from the 'States to the UK....

It would be really good if RS stocked this board having teased us with it ;-)


0 Votes

June 23, 2015 16:45

This is a great project, and well described. Thanks. I have a similar upgrade to perform on an older, small 4-axis CNC machine and this has helped. I'd very much like, however, to ask some possibly dumb questions about the BBB as it is a solution that attracted me, but I realise I understand very little about.

There seems to be a need for an external, Linux PC - as seen in the screen shots and the homing video. I imagined from Post 1 that the BBB was performing all tasks but that clearly isn't the case. There is no keyboard, VDU or HMI described. What part of the CNC process is handled externally by the Linux PC and what part is covered by the BBB - Machinekit combination?

Is the BBB handling the (real time) generation of the step-pulses directly or indirectly from the G-code? Is there a way to describe the system with a diagram - like in Part 3 where the Spindle control is shown?

Is there enough processing power to handle a basic tool changer - mine uses axis travel to put tools into holes on a grid?

I apologise to the folks who are a few steps ahead in this technology.

0 Votes

June 23, 2015 13:52

Hi both, we sourced the PBX-BB directly from Probotix in the US and had it shipped to the UK. There are other similar boards available, some within the EU if needs be. It does make interfacing the BBB with stepper drivers a pleasant task and works well with Machinekit. Thanks for the comments!

0 Votes

June 22, 2015 19:34

As has already been asked, where do I get the Probotix PBX-BB cape from (in the UK)?

Looking at the schematic, it would be easy (albeit a bit rats nesty) to hard wire via a proto board for the buffers level translators direct to the beagle bone board. Take time though.

Given that the PBX-BB is only an interface to the stepper drivers and other I/O, I guess this is also an opportunity for someone to dash off an adaptor board in DesignSpark?

Great article anyway.

0 Votes

June 22, 2015 10:46

Excellent project. It would be good if RS actually stocked the Probotix cape.

0 Votes

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