On 04/03/2018 11:50 PM, Chris Albertson wrote:
Yes the faster you go the bigger the jumps.   With my 1MHz clock I can
only make pulses with periods that are a whole number of microseconds.

So I ask again:  What is the fastest step rate you actually use with a
real machine?
It TOTALLY depends! There are guys running delta 3D printers with NEMA 17 motors that probably go to insane RPMs, and thus really high step rates with microstepping drives.
What is needed?  Do people run motors at 100,000 steps per second?
100K (micro) steps/sec is 10K full steps/sec with a Gecko driver. 10K full steps/sec with a standard 1.8 degree motor is 50 RPS or 3000 RPM, so that is quite possible with a good driver and NEMA 17 motor.

What I'm guessing is that it is rare to run as high as 10K steps per
second.    I could be wrong, so I'm wanting to hear from people who
are running real machines.
10K (micro) steps/second would be 5 RPM or 600 RPM, VERY normal speeds even with much larger motors. If you direct-drive a 5 TPI screw at 600 RPM, you get 120 IPM, which is quite normal. So, 10K steps/sec is NOT at all rare when using microstepping drives.
To say this using  MK or LinixCNC terminology what is the fastest
usable "base rate"?    I am using a 1 uS (or 1MHz) base rate.   Is
that fast enough?
With Machinekit on the Beagle Bone, the PRU can generate steps a lot faster than X86 software stepping, and there is no base thread. I don't know the max rate you can get, but you can certainly get step rates well into the 10's of KHz, while doing other stuff, too.

Jon

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