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OpenBuilds APEX Controller

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by MaryD, May 4, 2017.

  1. Sonny Lowe

    Sonny Lowe Master
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    I'd be willing to provide a pendant to someone that could integrate it to Grbl (Grbl Panel) and/or Smoothieware!?!?
     
  2. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    @GerritV <- guess that means you (-:

    I don't know about smoothieware at all.
     
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  3. Jason Ducen

    Jason Ducen Well-Known
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    Designed and built my own awhile back.
    IMG_5220.JPG
     
  4. Sonny Lowe

    Sonny Lowe Master
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    I posted a "Feature Request" for the Pendant over on github/Grbl-Panel, not sure how much movement it will get as Gerrit seems like a pretty busy guy...we'll see what happens :)
     
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  5. Steven Bloom

    Steven Bloom Veteran
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    So I really like the controller based on the video. My problem is how are you going to do the power. I see that you are using one power supply at the top. Lets assume you have 4 axis that use 4.2A each. You would probably want to be safe and have somewhere around 20A @ 48V. Normally there are no small power supplies that would have that much power that would fit in there. Unless you plan on having a lower voltage with more amps in there. The problem with less voltage is you wont get the top speed out of the motors. It would be great if you would make a larger size one that can hold two power supplies.

    Thanks Steven
     
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  6. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    I was looking at a local stockist of pendants yesterday. *Expensive* here. The cheaper one is RS232 only (roughly USD74), the much more expensive one is USB and has an LCD. So, space for an open source one that people can just build for themselves. Maybe configure an Arduino as a HID keyboard device and just send keystrokes.... easy enough for a GUI to accept keys for jog motion etc.

    a long time ago I wrote a TSR program for MSDOS that would accept serial characters from a barcode wand and inject them into the keyboard buffer. Thus the target program did not need to know there was a wand, it thought the user was typing the barcode number. So I am thinking of the same transparency and work across many GUI's without integration.
     
  7. Sonny Lowe

    Sonny Lowe Master
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    David,

    I'm not sure what language you're speaking...TSR, MSDOS, HID, it's all foreign to me LOL.

    Truthfully, I get some of it, however, it's way out of my wheel house for sure!!! So again, I'd be happy to provide Pendant and even an Arduino to someone that could make this happen...I think it would be great for the community as a whole, and would be a welcome add-on to many of the machines/kits offered by OB. Is THIS ONE something that would work with a RS-232!?!?

    I do wonder how the keyboard would distinguish the movement multiplier from the handwheel (X1, X10, X100). I would want to be able to control the length of the movement through the pendant as well, and currently I believe that change is handled through the software, not the keyboard (please educate me if I'm wrong ;-)!?!?

    It might be a bit demanding of me, but if all the pendant could do is mimic the key strokes, I'd just use a mini wireless keyboard instead...if that would work!?!?

    Thanks for all your input, I look forward to hearing more :)

    p.s. I think we are getting out of the Apex realm now, so I wonder if this warrants it's own thread!?!?

    Sonny
     
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  8. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    TSR = Terminate stay Resident, like a Window system service
    MSDOS = the only real operating system
    HID = Human Interface Device = a USB desgination for a device like a mouse or keyboard
    That is interesting but missing much of what I would want. I want jogging of course, but also 'set zero for current axis'. To me this is the point of a pendant, you can go over to the machine and eyeball the zero position and set it without having to be near the main control interface.

    I was looking at this Hobbytronics. MACH3 Wired COM and USB Pendant - 4 axis

    I have been thinking to use a gamepad-like joystick plus some buttons. (I hate membrane keypads)
    Integrating an actual gamepad could also be done so long as we can find a reference for what it sends down the USB cable.
    that is what the Arduino in the system would do, it takes the button presses and wheel motions and turns them into (name a GUI) friendly keystrokes. The GUI thinks it is getting input from a keyboard.
    Yep, that works. But, can be quite hard to find that 'stop jogging' button in a hurry (-:
    probably....
     
  9. Adam Filipowicz

    Adam Filipowicz Veteran
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    Any update on when this will be available in the store?
     
  10. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Adam, we are working up prototypes and fine tuning some additions to come so no ETA as of yet but will shout it out as soon as it is, we can't wait!
     
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  11. PhotoSgt85

    PhotoSgt85 Veteran
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    If you are looking to get started with Arduino there are a plethora of videos on youtube. There is one guy who is quite helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8_xXNcGYgo.

    Depending on your level of proficiency in coding and electronics the learning curve can be easy. Honestly if you start small and work through the stuff you will get to the point where you can use them for a lot of cool stuff. Hope this helps.

    -PS85
     
  12. Joe Downard

    Joe Downard Well-Known
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    Getting ready to buy a cnc controller/drivers/motors... waiting patiently for this..
     
  13. Karl Miller

    Karl Miller Well-Known
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    I am excited to see when we can order the Apex. May I please give you my money?
     
  14. Tkms002

    Tkms002 New
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    any guess as to when it will be GA? Any idea what the cost will be?
     
  15. Raif Nabeeh Riad

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    When will you release the price and be available to buy it?
     
  16. mcbuilder22

    mcbuilder22 Journeyman
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    Any Updates?
     
  17. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    We just can't stop adding more coolness into this controller! Really though we are testing like crazy as well as tweaking aspects of the case design making sure everything is a proper fit. At this stage we are in for what we believe to be the final prototype and then we are good to go. We know its bee a while but its really going to be a great controller and it will be worth the wait.
    Thank you all again for being so understanding as we are working really hard to make sure this truly is the APEX of all motion control systems!
     
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  18. Karl Miller

    Karl Miller Well-Known
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    Sounds great! I think I speak for myself when I say, "SHIP IT!" :D
    How about posting a video of her in action, maybe configured with a 4-axis setup?
    Since you are in the final prototype stages, can you "ballpark" the specs and pricing for us?
    Also, will we have to ask Santa for this, or will we be able to use it to make some scary stuff for Halloween?
     
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  19. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    'feature creep' is the enemy!
    dub it V1 and ship it, add more cool for V2 (-:
     
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  20. cncshane

    cncshane Well-Known
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    Attached Files:

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  21. Rocrat

    Rocrat Well-Known
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    Sawubona Swarfer Unjani ?
    I agree , call it done and move on to production , then let the users come up with the features wanted and help generate version 2 in true open source maker style .
    I have two machines waiting on electronics and am just about to go another route .
     
  22. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    When I worked as an engineer at a very large semiconductor company we had a saying "shoot the engineers and ship the product". Some tongue-in-cheek truth to that.
     
  23. wingtime

    wingtime Well-Known
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    I can't wait to find out more about this controller. I'm fed up with the software limitations for the tinyg.
     
  24. cncshane

    cncshane Well-Known
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    Will the new "Acro" be driven with Apex?
     
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  25. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Yes it can Shane
     
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  26. Karl Miller

    Karl Miller Well-Known
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  27. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Proto and testing stage at the moment, will definitely share anything news worthy soon.
     
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  28. Karl Miller

    Karl Miller Well-Known
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    Thank you for your quick response Mark. I am about ready to assemble two new machines, and don't want to have to buy extra controllers that I will end up discarding (actually, can't afford to).
    Even though this thread may not currently reflect it, I know there's a lot of people ready to buy.
     
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  29. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Thank you Karl, we know that feeling and can promise you that we also are also really excited as to when we can release. We are chomping at the bit (pun city :D ) to see this board in use in the wild!
    We hope to have some pics to share soon of some of testing as we can.
    Thank you again for your patience and kind remarks as we work hard to bring the APEX to this awesome community!
     
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  30. Rocrat

    Rocrat Well-Known
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    Hi Mark ,
    What software is going to be compatible with the Apex ?
     
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