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ChatterSync Wireless USB Drive

Donkey Hotey

Stainless
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
This is going to seem like spam but, not mine, no affiliation. I just saw this a couple of days ago and my mind was blown.


So far, this has been tested on post 2007 Haas controls with built-in USB, and the ability to run directly from the USB device. This unfortunately leaves me out but, figured I would share anyway. It may work on other controls as well. This is the question: does your control allow you to plug in a USB thumb drive and run a program straight from the drive? If so, this may be for you.

CNC Replacement parts (publisher of that video) is building these for sale, though the project was originally on GitHub. I suppose if you want to make one, you could.


For the price, I wish it would work on my machine and I'd gladly pay to not have to build it. If you want a project:


Okay, so what is it and what makes it different than other USB methods or RS232 devices? It's kind of ingenious. To the machine you plug it into, it looks like any other USB drive. The catch is that you can also connect to the same 'thumb drive' from a networked computer.

Normally you'd post output, either save it on your USB and sneaker-net over to the machine and load the program. Or you'd post to a network device like the various RS232 devices. From there, you'd either drip feed or load the program to the control before running it.

What this device does is allow you to overwrite the drive directly on the active USB and potentially the active program you have selected to run. So you run a first article, take notes on changes you want to make. Go back to your CAM software, make the changes and resave the g-code directly to the USB device through the network. Because the machine is still connected to the USB, you don't have to 'reload' the program. Walk back out to the machine and cycle-start. It runs the newly saved program. Pretty slick.
 
This is going to seem like spam but, not mine, no affiliation. I just saw this a couple of days ago and my mind was blown.


So far, this has been tested on post 2007 Haas controls with built-in USB, and the ability to run directly from the USB device. This unfortunately leaves me out but, figured I would share anyway. It may work on other controls as well. This is the question: does your control allow you to plug in a USB thumb drive and run a program straight from the drive? If so, this may be for you.

CNC Replacement parts (publisher of that video) is building these for sale, though the project was originally on GitHub. I suppose if you want to make one, you could.


For the price, I wish it would work on my machine and I'd gladly pay to not have to build it. If you want a project:


Okay, so what is it and what makes it different than other USB methods or RS232 devices? It's kind of ingenious. To the machine you plug it into, it looks like any other USB drive. The catch is that you can also connect to the same 'thumb drive' from a networked computer.

Normally you'd post output, either save it on your USB and sneaker-net over to the machine and load the program. Or you'd post to a network device like the various RS232 devices. From there, you'd either drip feed or load the program to the control before running it.

What this device does is allow you to overwrite the drive directly on the active USB and potentially the active program you have selected to run. So you run a first article, take notes on changes you want to make. Go back to your CAM software, make the changes and resave the g-code directly to the USB device through the network. Because the machine is still connected to the USB, you don't have to 'reload' the program. Walk back out to the machine and cycle-start. It runs the newly saved program. Pretty slick.
Hi donkey I've been doing something similar for years with a Kingston wireless USB. I broke the VCC line using a garage door remote. I drag and drop files using the browser on my laptop. Next step is two USB,s so I can drop files into one USB while the other is running.

Edit
I'll post some pics tomorrow
 
We had two OKK's in Kunshan with ethernet connections. A wireless-to-ethernet bridge worked really well. I was a little concerned at first but in practice, worked better than the fifty foot serial cables that some other machines had.

Haas have ethernet yet ? It's only been around for fifty years :)
 
We had two OKK's in Kunshan with ethernet connections. A wireless-to-ethernet bridge worked really well. I was a little concerned at first but in practice, worked better than the fifty foot serial cables that some other machines had.

Haas have ethernet yet ? It's only been around for fifty years :)
I wanted to fit Ethernet the HFO quoted me 5K and then said that they wouldn't supply it and I needed to buy a new machine with it already installed so I said up yours and used a little ingenuity. Maybe they were scared of draining the motors haaspower with peripherals:D
 
Hi donkey I've been doing something similar for years with a Kingston wireless USB. I broke the VCC line using a garage door remote. I drag and drop files using the browser on my laptop. Next step is two USB,s so I can drop files into one USB while the other is running.

Edit
I'll post some pics tomorrow
Yes, I'm curious to see how this works. On the GitHub page about the ChatterSync they actually warn against running the machine from the USB. That's interesting because that's the only thing that makes this a unique solution.

I hate typing so when I export the NC file, I always name the file 1.NC. Get to the control, type 1 and then read floppy. Done.

With the ChatterSync, I'd run 1.NC from the USB. When I export from Mastercam on the laptop, I'd always be overwriting 1.NC. That would be the active program forever.

Export the Mastercam file, walk to the control, Cycle-Start.
 
Yes, I'm curious to see how this works. On the GitHub page about the ChatterSync they actually warn against running the machine from the USB. That's interesting because that's the only thing that makes this a unique solution.

I hate typing so when I export the NC file, I always name the file 1.NC. Get to the control, type 1 and then read floppy. Done.

With the ChatterSync, I'd run 1.NC from the USB. When I export from Mastercam on the laptop, I'd always be overwriting 1.NC. That would be the active program forever.

Export the Mastercam file, walk to the control, Cycle-Start.
I generally use O0001 as my default and continually overwrite it. If I fit 2 USBs as mentioned I will probably use O0002 on the second. Only because I am easily confused 🤔. I'm running the 6 axis lathe today which is a lot for my little brain to sync all those parts whizzing around. I'll get back to you with a full description and pictures.
 
Here's a pic of the setup on the machine and the remote. It's 2 channels so I can install a second wireless USB. I power it off the outlet on the side of the machine. I hook the remote to my pocket because I continually misplace it.
IMG_20230906_085507_MP.jpgIMG_20230906_085525_MP.jpg
 
Next project is the lathe. It has a floppy USB converter. I would like to drag and drop files to it also.
IMG_20230906_085854_MP.jpg
 
The issue with running from the usb stick is because it allows updates to the stick at any time.

A device using a USB drive assumes that it's the only writer. So there is no way to communicate to the device that the files have changed in disk. Therefore usually you force the USB to disconnect and reconnect after updating the filesystem. It's the only way to trigger the device to notice changes (gets worse if you can do writes via usb as well...)

There's a couple of variations of this type of project. One of the more heavily scripted was to allow you to dump and backup the recordings from your Tesla... neat idea anyway
 
The issue with running from the usb stick is because it allows updates to the stick at any time
Incorrect. The Kingston USB is either in read or write mode. This prevents a file being overwritten while it is being used.
 
Yes, I'm curious to see how this works. On the GitHub page about the ChatterSync they actually warn against running the machine from the USB. That's interesting because that's the only thing that makes this a unique solution.

I hate typing so when I export the NC file, I always name the file 1.NC. Get to the control, type 1 and then read floppy. Done.

With the ChatterSync, I'd run 1.NC from the USB. When I export from Mastercam on the laptop, I'd always be overwriting 1.NC. That would be the active program forever.

Export the Mastercam file, walk to the control, Cycle-Start.
Hi! I wrote that readme so I can provide some insight :)

I opted to warn against reading from the USB specifically because the current daemon that handles the virtual disconnect/reconnect cycle required when files are remotely updated doesn't currently have any idea if a file is being read.

We're planning to implement a more robust solution in a future release. Ideally we would be able to see if a file is being accessed currently and lock it out. Otherwise adding a very simple physical switch hooked up to GPIO to "lock" read/write while you're at the machine would be a good solution.

Furthermore, currently by default the device is "read only" to the machine. However, this can be unlocked by change the env variable described in the readme.

We're also considering adding some controls and management for your chattersync devices right into our VSCode plugin so you can remotely control lock/unlock state, change hostnames, etc.

There's still plenty more work to do on this, we're aiming to spend 5-10% of our time on open source / free projects moving forward. I've been pretty slammed but am planning to implement some more updates to this around the weekend of the 23rd. Happy to hear any more suggestions or feedback!
 








 
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