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Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:06 am
by ijv
Already funded on KickStarter, its a 64bit SBC with heaps more power than a Raspberry Pi, 1,2GHz quad core with 2x USB & HDMI and 512MB - 1GB memory. Runs Ubuntu or Android so it looks like it could easily handle Universal Gcode Sender or any other Shapeoko control program.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pi ... nav_search

ijv

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:37 am
by Brian Stone
I bought into the kickstarter a couple of weeks ago. I'm getting the 2GB version. Truth be told, it's way more power than you need to run UGS or any other g-code sender. I'm actually going to use it for an art project that involves some video projection.

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:43 pm
by RoguePirin
Does anyone know if this can interface with the Carbide Motion controller of the Shapeoko 3? The SO3 page indicates that it works with Windows and OSX, and that no special driver is needed for OSX. My hope is that if I get this and put Ubuntu on it, that I can control my SO3 with it (hoping that no special driver is needed for Ubuntu). I would then use bCNC to send my GCode.

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:53 pm
by WillAdams
Yes, the Carbide Motion Machine Controller board for the SO3 will work w/ Linux and any Comm / Control program which will shake hands w/ its ID strings (Universal Gcode Sender and bCNC have both been updated for that).

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:48 pm
by RoguePirin
That'g good to hear. Thanks, Will.

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:57 pm
by TomDChi
For anyone else reading this (and I'm probably over simplifying so please correct me if I'm missing something important) the "driver" issue between a computer and the Shapeoko control board is sending serial text over USB - in other words, about the most basic communication around in computers today. It's very much possible for some oddball system to not be able to do that, but almost all systems can.

Once that's up and running, then the control software (such as Universal G Code Sender) is just sending blobs of text to the GRBL software running on the controller (in the case of Shapeoko systems) and GRBL is sending some feedback back, again as text. It's a very "generic" form of communication, and totally different than some more sophisticated, proprietary communication where you'd need a specific driver for the computer to communicate back and forth with a peripheral.

The upshot is that many, many platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux/Unix, Android, and others) can establish this basic, generic serial over USB connection, taking a major layer of complication out of the equation in selecting hardware to command the CNC system and send it g code.

(If you were totally nuts, you could do quite a bit just setting up the serial connection and sending commands in raw text form from a command line/terminal application.)

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:02 pm
by RoguePirin
Well, I bought into this KickStarter for the 2GB version. If all goes well, I will use it to control my SO3 wth bCNC running on Ubuntu. I am on the March delivery tier, so I hope to get it up and running sometime in April. I'll report back then.

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:30 am
by jfdotcom
It's still ARM. Microsoft's ARM tablet was a miserable failure due to lack of software.

Any type of 3D CAD is probably going to be miserable to use on that thing. Being able to whip out a part without going inside is the reason I have a decent PC in the shop. Going inside for a 10 minute part usually turns into 2 hours by the time you figure out what the kids want, the wife's list of things "since you have the time", etc.

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:18 pm
by RoguePirin
I agree in regards to the CAD aspect; I don't plan to use this as a CAD system. My SO3 is in the basement, in the room next to my office (no need to go upstairs and get waylaid by the family). My office has a computer system that is fine for all my CAD needs.

I am going to try and get this to work solely as the CAM system; I think it is powerful enough for that. This is a cheap enough experiment that I am ok if it doesn't work out. I currently have a Windows desktop machine controlling my SO3, but it is a huge tower that is taking up precious space in my SO3 bench.

Re: Workshop computer for $15

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:26 pm
by RoguePirin
For anyone interested in the status of this project, I received my PINE64 board in the mail this past Monday (April 4). Unfortunately, the Kickstarter campaign said that the board worked with Android, Ubuntu, etc. Turns out, it is only working with Android upon release.

From the user-base, though, there is a somewhat functional Ubuntu build out for it, but it is far from stable. I have loaded up the Ubuntu build and installed the xubuntu desktop. Unfortunately, I am having troubles getting bCNC up and running; I am not able to load pyserial, which is critical to communicating with the SO3 board over the USB port. I will keep at it and update this thread as I make progress.