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Mac OS X control using MIDI hardware

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:07 pm
by WillAdams
Came across this and was surprised at the concept:

http://mikelow.net/notebook/1_cnc-mac.php
a new hardware control box strategy, the key being a MIDI decoder. The MIDI decoder essentially replaces the parallel port. All communication with the computer and the control box happens via MIDI over USB.

Re: Mac OS X control using MIDI hardware

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:15 pm
by cvoinescu
Interesting, but he uses stepper drivers with integrated step generators, so he doesn't need his software to twiddle STEP and DIR pins at high frequency over USB and MIDI, like LinuxCNC does over the parallel port. He just needs to update the step rate parameters of the drivers every now and then, and let them do the stepping. This type of stepper driver is not supported by LinuxCNC, as far as I know, so he has to write new controller software too. For his purpose, MIDI is just a serial interface; RS232 would have worked just as well.

So don't think that MIDI is a replacement for the parallel port in this application; he changed the problem enough that he needs only a low data rate without realtime control, and that's why he can use MIDI. If anything, this resembles the slave step generator architecture supported by Mach3 (SmoothStepper), but, for some reason, with MIDI instead of USB or Ethernet.

Mac OS X control using MIDI hardware

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:07 pm
by AnnaLudvigovna
Have been using LTO for years also, but recent came across the 3592 tape format. Has anyone experienced them or had a play?