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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Engineering/Science/Simulation
LinuxCNC (EMC2) on Puppy
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1208
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan 2015, 14:52    Post subject:  

Thank you again Saintless!! Very Happy


ps. Never seen that before!

_________________
Acer Aspire 5349-2635 laptop dual proc, 4gb ram, frugal Tahrpup.
1999 Thinkpad 600e hacked Pent 3, overclocked 800 mHz, 490 kb running Lupu 528

Acer Iconia A1-830 Atom x86 Android tablet
www.sredmond.com
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Revolverve

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 101
Location: 45°17'24.9"N 72°16'03.2"W

PostPosted: Tue 02 Aug 2016, 16:07    Post subject: New iso with linuxcnc 2.7
Subject description: new iso
 

Remastered same old DebianDog-Jwm-3.4-9-rtai-686-pae-2.iso with linuxcnc 2.7.4.77.
Rename DebianDog-Jwm-3.4-9-rtai-686-pae-2-2.iso somewhere with its md5(browse here )
Works here!
Thank Saintless
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Revolverve

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 101
Location: 45°17'24.9"N 72°16'03.2"W

PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug 2016, 18:23    Post subject:  

If in need of included example holecircle.py "gui" script,like i did,
edit holecircle.py line#2:BASE = os.environ['EMC2_HOME']
to:BASE = os.environ['LINUXCNC_HOME']

Else,I got a stable working setup here;steppers,parallel ports&5years fast pc ...no hurt no break hitherto ,but,Caution,use at your own risk...Run into weird stepconf and linuxcnc starting problems if saving in a change.dat file, but not anymore when using savefolder.
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Revolverve

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 101
Location: 45°17'24.9"N 72°16'03.2"W

PostPosted: Sat 01 Oct 2016, 15:31    Post subject:  

I wont remaster with linuxcnc 2.7.7 but DebianDog-Jwm-3.4-9-rtai-686-pae-2-2 run fine if upgrated .
here:
http://www.linuxcnc.org/dists/wheezy/2.7-rtai/binary-i386/
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heywoodj

Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Thu 27 Oct 2016, 12:55    Post subject:  

I've been lurking here a long time, as my interest in this matter of CNC was purely academic. But now, I have a tiny CNC mill and my interest is a lot more concrete.

Like vtpup, I plan on running things from an ancient Thinkpad, an A22m. This is allegedly a 1000 MHz P3 machine. Now a hitch: this machine has a dead hard drive. Worse, it seems to KILL hard drives. I can still boot from the CD, and usb via PLOP.

Do you think not having a hard drive is a real shortcoming? I'm not keen on sacrificing another drive. Possibly, I could add a usb hard drive via a SmartCard adapter. The main reason I see to have a hard drive is to give some swap space. Or is there something I'm missing?

Also, I'm not keen on CDs and prefer to use usb flash drives. I've tried various methods for making bootable usbs including isobooter and Unetbootin, which works for my everyday computers, but not for this target Thinkpad. Ubuntus/Debians are so much fussier than Puppies(been using Puppies for 8 years.) to get to boot. Any hints on making simplified usbs from Ubuntu/Debian ?

I did get the DebianDog to boot, though it took a long time. Will report as I make progress.
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ally


Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 1649
Location: lincoln, uk

PostPosted: Thu 27 Oct 2016, 12:57    Post subject:  

boot using the cd and use the usb for the savefile and swap

have you checked the bios to see if it can boot from usb?

Smile
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 4756
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Thu 27 Oct 2016, 14:23    Post subject:  

heywoodj wrote:
Now a hitch: this machine has a dead hard drive. Worse, it seems to KILL hard drives. I can still boot from the CD, and usb via PLOP.
Do you know what is happening to the hard drives? Is the circuitry in the hard drive being destroyed or is the problem that the data on it is becoming corrupted (...and it works again if you reformat it somewhere else)?

I had one machine that seemed to destroy the hard drives circuitry and the fault was caused by a bad power supply, and I had another machine that destroyed just the data on the hard drives and the fault turned out to be faulty RAM .

Have you already tried booting the machine from CD and running it for long periods of time and does the rest of the machine run reliably? If so adding a swap partition on a usb stick as ally suggested is a good idea (make sure the stick is plugged in before booting or else Puppy will not find the swap partition).

I'm not sure if the smart card adapter will work - sometimes having the extra controller in the usb path will upset Puppy depending which driver it requires - and when that driver gets loaded.

For a swap partition to be effective the storage device has to be quite fast at writing otherwise it will slow down your machine. I suspect a machine of that age will have slow usb ports.

One other option is to use your pcmcia slot and fit a USB 2 adapter and put the usb swap partition in that. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that puppy will find a usb stick via pcmcia during boot as the pcmcia drivers may not be loaded early enough in the boot process. (I think this depends on the machine, and on the bios setting for pcmcia configuration/mode so it would be trial and error). However if it works it will maximise the write speed of your usb stick and improve overall performance.
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Revolverve

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 101
Location: 45°17'24.9"N 72°16'03.2"W

PostPosted: Sat 29 Oct 2016, 17:19    Post subject:  

I should retry one day with that old p3 laptop see how it goes with debiandog rtai.
Best of luck.
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heywoodj

Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sun 30 Oct 2016, 04:49    Post subject:  

So a little progress to report. I found I could expedite booting speed by adding:
Code:
 pnpbios=off
in addition to the previously added
Code:
acpi=off
to the appropriate stanza on menu.lst. Earlier, I would start the booting sequence and walk away allowing things to happen naturally and some unspecified time later return to find the boot has completed to the desktop. Now things boot at a leisurely speed, but a lot faster than before: 45 seconds to grub, and another 95 seconds to the desktop. (Well, leisurely compared to Puppies that is!)
ally wrote:
boot using the cd and use the usb for the savefile and swap

have you checked the bios to see if it can boot from USB?

Smile

Ya, the BIOS on this machine doesn't allow USB booting directly, so the necessary PLOP workaround. Heck, this BIOS doesn't even have persistence, as any changes "saved" there gets ignored at next boot. And I still prefer to use flash drives to using CDs, as I've got enough coasters!

greengeek wrote:
Do you know what is happening to the hard drives? Is the circuitry in the hard drive being destroyed or is the problem that the data on it is becoming corrupted (...and it works again if you reformat it somewhere else)?


As I recall, it was destroying the circuitry. I didn't have incentive to try multiple times to verify it, just one extra junk laptop HDD to sacrifice. I was amazed at the time, I could still boot Puppy from the CD without a hard drive at all!

Quote:
Have you already tried booting the machine from CD and running it for long periods of time and does the rest of the machine run reliably? If so adding a swap partition on a usb stick as ally suggested is a good idea (make sure the stick is plugged in before booting or else Puppy will not find the swap partition).


Booting from USB, the machine has been on for a couple of days, and seems to be fine. I've read that multiple (Thousands?Millions?)"writes" to a flash drive will wear it out, plus funneling everything through at USB 1.0 speed, probably, is far from ideal.

Quote:
I'm not sure if the smart card adapter will work - sometimes having the extra controller in the usb path will upset Puppy depending which driver it requires - and when that driver gets loaded.


I misspoke, I meant "PC Card",i.e. pcmcia, not "SmartCard", and have unsuccessfully tried my 4 USB slot adapter in there.

Quote:
For a swap partition to be effective the storage device has to be quite fast at writing otherwise it will slow down your machine. I suspect a machine of that age will have slow usb ports.

One other option is to use your pcmcia slot and fit a USB 2 adapter and put the usb swap partition in that. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that puppy will find a usb stick via pcmcia during boot as the pcmcia drivers may not be loaded early enough in the boot process. (I think this depends on the machine, and on the bios setting for pcmcia configuration/mode so it would be trial and error). However if it works it will maximise the write speed of your usb stick and improve overall performance.


As mentioned above, I've unsuccessfully tried a 4 port USB adapter in the PC Card slot. I'm considering getting an USB hard drive, put the system on one partition, a swap partition, and more, and plug it into the genuine USB port. Any thoughts?

The next frontier seems to be wireless networking. Puppy 4.2 from CD(!) allows a relatively easy connection through Network Wizard. after loading the B43legacy module. In DD, and Ubuntu for that matter, setting up a wireless connection is a nightmare, starting with not recognizing the existence of a wireless interface.

The Debian Dog's Simple Network Setup and Frisbee don't seem to like Broadcom network adapters as it has never spotted one by itself -- and that's all I seem to have! If I can't reasonably negotiate this problem, I might just get my long ethernet cable.

It always mystified me that a multi-gig distro like Ubuntu couldn't set up a wireless connection without first being on a wired connection to download drivers, or play videos without additional codecs, while a couple hundred-meg Puppy could do all that and more, with speed while the big boys just plod along.
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 4756
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sun 30 Oct 2016, 04:58    Post subject:  

heywoodj wrote:
As mentioned above, I've unsuccessfully tried a 4 port USB adapter in the PC Card slot. I'm considering getting an USB hard drive, put the system on one partition, a swap partition, and more, and plug it into the genuine USB port. Any thoughts?
Yes that is worth a try. Even if the usb port is slow it will be better to have some form of swap than none at all. At least that should stop the machine locking up for lack of RAM.

I use that method with a couple of my puppies and it works fine.
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heywoodj

Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov 2016, 11:22    Post subject:  

I got my wireless networking working in DD. It turned out that firmware was missing for my Broadcom network card:
Code:
...
[ 2075.483952] b43-phy0: Broadcom 4318 WLAN found (core revision 9)
[ 2075.553423] Broadcom 43xx driver loaded [ Features: PMNLS ]
[ 2075.743798] b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file "b43/ucode5.fw" not found
[ 2075.743814] b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file "b43-open/ucode5.fw" not found
[ 2075.743828] b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware and download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully read all instructions on this website.


So I copied over the entire Lupu 528 /lib/firmware/b43 folder from another computer to the / of the usb. Then after booting DebianDog to the desktop, copied that b43 folder to the /lib/firmware directory, plugged in the network card -- the LEDs light up -- negotiate the connection through iwconfig from the commandline:
Code:
iwconfig wlan0 essid "MyESSID"
...
Done.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the latency test still will not run, the same error as vtpup,
Code:
Error: could not insert module /usr/realtime-3.4-9-rtai-686-pae/modules/rtai_hal.ko: Operation not permitted
and a check of dmesg shows:
Code:
[  136.792149] RTAI[hal]: ERROR, LOCAL APIC CONFIGURED BUT NOT AVAILABLE/ENABLED.


Reading through this thread and trying various things(adding lapic to the kernel line, checking ,removing libgl1-mesa-glx, adding libgl1-mesa-swx11 (8.0.5-4+deb7u2)
libosmesa6 (8.0.5-4+deb7u2), etc.) unsuccessfully, I believe what I read was that vtpup was not successful in running linuxcnc on his T600E through DebianDog, and that success came through running the Ubuntu 8.4 version. Vtpup, if you are out there, is that correct -- no good on DebianDog, good on Ubuntu ?

I also tried downgrading linuxcnc from 2.6 to 2.5 as suggested by saintless, but there were unmet dependencies, mostly python bits that were not installable.


My results seems so far to show that DebianDog's latency test works fine, if miserably, with modern machines WITHOUT parallel port, but fails to run on my P3 A22m Thinkpad. However, when running on the "modern" machine, the jitter number is atrocious, like 800000000 ns!


So am I barking up the wrong linuxcnc tree, and should I ditch DebianDog for Ubuntu 8.4?
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heywoodj

Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov 2016, 02:16    Post subject:  

So, more progress to report. I installed Ubuntu8.4-test02.iso on a flash drive using isobooter and the P3 Thinkpad does boot AND it will run the latency test, with numbers almost 3 orders of magnitude better than the "new" machine!

And by unplugging and replugging the PCI combo card, the recalcitrant network controller has come back to life! While I would prefer wireless networking, wired ethernet is acceptable.

The networking on the Ubuntu is different from Debian Dog, and my method from the previous post did not work here. And the weakness of both Frisbee and SNS is that they are both dependent on the network card's module having been identified, loaded (modprobed), and the interface (eth0,wlan0,etc.) been brought up with ifconfig, In this case my Broadcom b43 was not configured by either distro. That's why I like the Network Wizard, it does the heavy lifting.

One other discovery was that it is possible to enable a scroll bar on xterm terminal. I was grumbling that reading the diagnostic statements on xterm if it was long and flew by, you would only see the last lines. It turns out you can enable scrollbars and other features by getting the pointer on the xterm window and <ctrl> + <middle mouse button>. Middle mouse button is usually emulated by pressing left and right mouse buttons simultaneously.

Tomorrow, I shall see whether the parallel port works on this machine when I connect it to the mill. Then I can really learn linuxcnc.
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heywoodj

Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed 16 Nov 2016, 05:26    Post subject:
Subject description: Yipee, it runs!
 

After more testing and more missteps, I finally have motion!

I initially thought there was a parallel port problem, made a parallel port LED tester which showed the port was live, just not being controlled by the software.This led to my reviewing the setup configuration.

During setup, I verified as best I could, the pin allocation. But I had left the base parallel port address at the default, 0x378. Only after much hair-pulling did I go into the BIOS (there are probably easier ways to check) and discover that it was set at 0x3BC. Change that value to 0x378, and we were in business! It's alive!

Ironically, I had been in the BIOS earlier to try getting things running, by trying out ECP vs' Bi-directional vs' Output-only options on the parallel port, not even thinking of the address.

After gleefully manually jogging the machine in all 3 axes, it became apparent the actual motion did not coincide with the what the DRO was reporting. So, after measuring, I discovered the value of the screw pitch was off by a factor of 2, my mistake for using someone else's number.

Then I tried out some sample examples, though most refused to run because of insufficient travel in one direction or another. This was usually resolved by either "homing" or "touching off" and resetting the position. (I'm still a little awkward at setting this, having enough motion without having the machine run into the stops)

But when all the conditions are met and the "Run" button is hit, it was magic, mesmerizing, as it swooped around, occasionally singing from the motors as it went about its business.

I still have a long way to go before I make my first part, but I can see that that path is laid out before me, without impossible obstacles.

So I want to give a big "ThankYou!" to vtpup for getting the ball rolling, saintless for doing the heavy lifting of developing the code, Revolverve for testing and more, and others in this wonderful Puppy community. You're all great!
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1208
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Thu 29 Dec 2016, 13:46    Post subject:  

Glad it's working for you, and sorry I missed earlier posts/questions! I haven't been back on the Puppy forums frequently, though I use it for everything, which in some ways is a good thing.....things just work!

There's a lot to getting a CNC system going on an old computer, including things like port addresses, as you found.

At present on the Thinkpad 600e with my mill, I use the Ubuntu 8.4 /linuxCNC that I finally got working -- I also stripped it down, since I'm not using that computer for anything else, now. Well not that boot choice, anyway.

As I remember it, I tried to make it puppy-like in appearance w/JWM and ROX, but it's been awhile, and I haven't used it in several months. I think that was the final configuration -- it just works, and the details start to get foggy.

I don't remember cutting anything using the Raspberry Pi/Arduino experiment that I also mentioned, but I'm pretty sure it would have worked. But I didn't like the command delay which running through USB on two separate computers created. Also GRBL was optimized for 3D printers, not mills, and there were some issues which that caused.

As I recall, I wasn't able to get the earlier versions of DebianDog RTAI program usable for CNC milling with my 600e, for some reason, but I think that may have been computer specific, and may not be true of the later versions. Just never had a chance to try those out since. Much thanks to Revolverve for working so hard on that though, and I do wonder if anyone else has had success there.

_________________
Acer Aspire 5349-2635 laptop dual proc, 4gb ram, frugal Tahrpup.
1999 Thinkpad 600e hacked Pent 3, overclocked 800 mHz, 490 kb running Lupu 528

Acer Iconia A1-830 Atom x86 Android tablet
www.sredmond.com
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Revolverve

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 101
Location: 45°17'24.9"N 72°16'03.2"W

PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan 2017, 10:42    Post subject: linuxcnc 2.7.11
Subject description: new iso with linuxcnc 2.7.11
 

Reremastered DebianDog-Jwm-3.4-9-rtai-686-pae-2.2.iso
with linuxcnc 2.7.11
Renamed (DebianDog-Jwm-3.4-9-rtai-686-pae-2711.iso ), in a light (181,616,640 bytes) iso.
Works here ...steppers , soundlogic bob,parallel port x2, 2011 intel i5.
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