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USB vs Parallel Port

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by offtrolley, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. offtrolley

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    Interested to know the differences between using USB or parallel port to control an OX router

    Software requirements, advantages of USB over parallel and vice versa
    Thanks
    Rob
     
  2. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    I'm just plain biased towards the USB side. No real reason other than I understand, and have USB at hand. P.P. is old hat now. I don't know if there is any speed to be gained with USB.
    It certainly seems easier to me.
    This is a Tweakie thing. He can give a very fair comment on both.

    Gray
     
    offtrolley likes this.
  3. offtrolley

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    Thanks Gray
    Rob
     
  4. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Guys,


    On two machines I use the parallel port connection and get 100% reliability. On one machine I use USB connection and although it is very rare, every once in a while I get a communication drop-out. Ethernet connection is now considered the best to use and that is probably the way things will go in the future (considering Ethernet communication was around before the 25 pin parallel port it has certainly stood the test of time).


    Tweakie.
     
  5. mybuild14

    mybuild14 Well-Known
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  6. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    Thanks for the link, @mybuild14, it is interesting. I may use it.
     
  7. Josh Mascote

    Josh Mascote Journeyman
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    The thing I have noticed with the PP vs USB is that the interfaces available for PP are far more advanced and have been around longer than the interfaces for USB (ex. LinuxCNC, Mach3). I have a gshield v5 (TinyG) and I am having a hard time finding anything close to the afore mentioned interfaces for USB. Also there is a noticeable lag with USB when issuing an emergency stop via software. I think USB has a lot more potential, but the software side seems a bit lacking currently.
     
  8. Balu

    Balu Veteran
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    One problem with USB that I've read about is that it is not a real-time device which helps a lot if you are trying to control something :)
     
  9. offtrolley

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    Oh well, I thought USB was the answer but reading into it a bit more and with the help of you guys here, I've decided against USB.
    Back to a parallel port connection then.
     
  10. Florian Bauereisen

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    Hi,
    parallel might give you problems when ground is "playing up", especially when using hf-spindles.
    USB works quite well as long (sorta rule of thumb) your cables stay within 3m. USB-Smoothstepper works fine otherwise. Much faster too. Only good comments on it on the net, my buddy using it to his satisfaction too.
    Best solution so far is the ESS-Smoothstepper using LAN.
    As all "lines" are optoisolated and data-transfere-rate is much quicker this will be the standard for cnc in the near future.
    I would not start a new cnc giong back to parallel or even USB. My new CNC will be using ESS-Smoothstepper.
    greets

    Flo
     
  11. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Sounds good, but it's a lot of money!
    Even on Ebay.
    Gray
     
  12. Florian Bauereisen

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    Yes, certainly.
    But when doing 3D jobs and your jobs starting to go from 40000 lines (2D) to 450.000-800.000 lines (3D) one starts to think otherwise.
    Reliability and speed gets more important then.
    greets

    Flo
     
  13. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    I concur.
     
  14. andrew

    andrew Journeyman
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    Neat discussion. I use usb to tinyg. I think it comes down to the supporting software. I like the idea of gcode interpretation on the driver board. Then you don't put an asynchronous system in charge of realtime motion. The isolation and differential signalling over ethernet is certainly an advantage. That's what I would use to design such a board today.
     

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