These are the best practices for installing the Tooltron system in a machine shop. While they are not required, these are the lessons we have learned from performing a functional install.

System Considerations

  • A server close to the cardbox will minimize the usb cable run neeed
  • We've found that shop outlets tend to be noisy and kill computers, external power from a different circuit is best for the longevity of the computer
    • A line conditioner may be sufficient to protect the computer and Tooltron system

Cardbox Board Mounting

  • The board should be centered in an enclosure to allow multiple ports to use the bussed ports on the board
  • Make the connectors to the board wires as short as possible to limit the mess in the box
  • Hot glue all connectors to improve wire strength

Toolbox Board Mounting

Mounting will differ depending on the tool that you are deploying Tooltron to. ("'tronning the tool"). Here are some of the considerations to have while deciding where to mount the tool.

  • Mounting box contents
    • Red/Black (or Green/Red) buttons (any color combination will do)
    • 3 LEDs
      • Should be Red, Yellow, Green
      • T5, 5mm diameter LEDs
    • 1 keyed switch lock (override)
    • AC Power (hot and neutral) AFTER the machines mechanical power switch
    • RS422 and Vin from the Tooltron bus (Coming in from the BNC connector)
  • Mounting the board
    • Use plastic screws/washers to prevent electrical arcing to the chassis
    • Leave room for AC wires coming into the box
    • Make sure there is clearance for the buttons/LEDs/keyswitch along with the wires for them
    • Make sure that we have enough clearance from the chassis so we don't arc over to it (>300mils from nearest bare AC source)
  • Overall considerations
    • Make sure that the LEDs and buttons are easily accessible for the tool. They do not need to be mounted close to the board as long as the wires are protected.
    • LEDs should be mounted like a traffic light with Red at the top and Green at the bottom
      • Horizontally mounted lights should be consistent throughout the shop
    • Buttons should be consistent between tools
    • The use of high current connectors (such as automotive quick disconnects) between the tool and the Tooltron board will easy the replacement of boards if needed
    • Hotglue/epoxy all connectors/LEDs to strengthen them

RS422 Wire Runs

Also, consider the wire runs between tools and the need to protect them. Since the system is often deployed in a shop environment, it can encounter a very rough environment. Care must be given to protect the RS422/Power from accidents as it will take down the system. Consider at the very least running cabling off of the floor and zip tied to the wall in a bundle. Using conduit would be the best.