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The Software

Last update: 31/07/2015

During the configuration process of EMC2, we find this screen that needs a little of explaination to be understood. Probably is one of the most important screen to obtain by the machine good performances.

Usually all standard values proposed by the EMC2 stepper configuration can be considered valid for most common machines but sometimes these values must be changed accordingly the cnc controller used.


Latency: we can consider the latency the time that the computer needs to stop from the normal processes and answer to an external request. Not always the use of a faster microprocessor or a faster pc means to have a lower latency because too many factors can influence this value (motherboard, usb, video, ecc.). Probably it is preferable the use of a normal pc with very few periferals than a faster and modern one with many periferals. You have to run a latency test to your pc to get the real result.

Step time: the step time in very poor words is how much the pulse must be long to be accepted by the machine. This is quite interesting because a wrong setup of this value can originate step lost very easily. 

A user must always have a look to the pdf of the translator chip inside his controller.These values are always reported and can be considered the minimum value to be choosen. Just having a look to any pdf of a chip (SLA7052M in this case) the minimum value has been clearly reported. Remember that the step is considered on falling edge.

Step space: it represents the distance, in time, between one pulse and another. Therefore it represents how long must be a LOW state between a HIGH state and another.

Direction hold: it represents how long must be a direction pulse to be recognized.

Direction setup: as before the distance in time between one change of direction and another.

The situation can be, at first sight, quite complicated but this is not true. When we purchase a commercial controller usually these values are clearly reported. The most important manufacturers of stepper controllers provide info where all these values are reported and can be inserted directly in the configuration file.

Just as example I can report a few values for the most common commercial controllers (taken by their respective manuals):

Gecko 201: ST 500 SS 4000 DH 20000 DS 1000

Gecko 202: ST 500 SS 4500 DH 20000 DS 1000

Sherline 8760: ST 1000 SS 6000 DH 24000 DS 24000.

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