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Author Topic: Gecko 540  (Read 2181 times)
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Mishawaka
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« on: April 11, 2011, 01:54:30 PM »

Everything was running good and walked outside after I started some then came back and the tool went of path. Not sure what exactly happened so I zeroed to a different spot and started the code again and everything was way off. I went into Mach3 and redid the steps and checked backlash, it was off so I redid the settings but they won't hold into memory for some reason it looks like. Now the day this happened it was about 80 degrees, could this have something to do with the temperature? The controller is not in an enclosure but I have no moving air on it. I remember reading about not needing a heat sink unless it was in an enclosure. Is this right? Is this software or hardware related?
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RICH
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 04:39:14 PM »

After you have set the steps per and backlash setting you should save settings, go out of Mach and come back in. You need to restart Mach after a backlash setting change. Check Gecko installation recomendations .... I would think the drives should be heatsinked.
Make sure your motor tuning allows some headroom ie; not running near max since that could cause steppers to skip.

RICH
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Mishawaka
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 06:06:11 PM »

Thanks! I will have time to mess with it tonight. I restarted Mach after setting each axis backlash and those actually saved. I'll try setting restarting after setting the step after each axis and hopefully that will take care of it. Not sure where to set the motor tuning, have always just left it where it was after installation, the steppers are SureStep 23079 and from I remember it operates the controller at pretty much it's max so I guess it makes sense to have a heat sink on it. Do you know where I could get a heat sink for it? I guess I could make a primitive one on my MSI mill but not sure what aluminum and so on to use.
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RICH
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 07:39:18 PM »

A metal plate, say 3/ 16" or 1/4" thick Al plate. You can buy a small tube of heat transfer cement from Radio Shack which you apply between the drive and plate.

RICH
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Jeff_Birt
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 09:19:10 AM »

As long as you have some air flow around the G540 you should not need a heaksink with those motors. I use this same type of motor regularly and have done extensive tests w.r.t. the G540 temperature with them.

Quote
I went into Mach3 and redid the steps and checked backlash, it was off so I redid the settings but they won't hold into memory for some reason it looks like

I think there may be at least two separate issues here. You may be having problems due to using backlash compensation. I have seen this recently with a customer. Since the G540 is a 10x microstepping drive if you have a high pitch lead screw (like a Taig or Shelrine) you wind up with a steps/unit of 40,000 or so. If your backlash is considerable the parallel port driver cannot properly insert the correct number of steps to account for backlash in the small amount of time it has to do so. The result is that the parallel port driver over accelerates the motors and you loose position.

Losing position in general is a sing that your asking too much of the stepper motors. This could be from taking too aggressive of a cut or having your acceleration and/or max velocity set too high.

If Mach is not saving changes you make the first step is to shut it down and start it up again. If it still will not save then you need to find your XML profile and change its properties so that 'everyone' has read/write permissions.
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Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Mishawaka
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 12:09:01 PM »

Yes Jeff the steps are set at 40,000 and it sounds like there should not be a heat problem as I just have the controller leaning up against the wall. I will probably end up putting a heat sink on it anyways but was just running a few old ham radio parts for someone so I figured it could wait. I redid everything last night, it ran fine. Then uploaded the code for the part and it went bad again. I think I will remove the backlash and try that again tonight, if it still messes I am going to rewrite the code and see what happens. Can the code file somehow get corrupted if something happens while running? I guess I should mention that I reformatted the computer and reinstalled Mach then set it up and ran the part. I hope it is not the backlash as I want to keep the accuracy.
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Mishawaka
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 03:10:11 PM »

OK, redid everything again. Ran the code and again it went south. I set the backlash and everything was fine, uploaded the code and went south again. It really seems like it's the code. I ran some other code and the only thing really different is that I have offsets in the code. Here's the code, see what you think. Now just remember I ran three parts on this code and parts came out perfect.

%
G20 G40 G54 G80
T01 M06 (.125 Endmill)
G00 G90 X-.01 Y-.01 S4500 M03
G41
G00 Z.001
G01 X0. Y0. F.2
G00 X-1.0625 Y.1875
G01 Z-.01
G01 X0.
G02 X.1875 Y0. R.1875
G02 X0. Y-.1875 R.1875
G01 X-2.125
G02 X-2.3125 Y0. R.1875
G02 X-2.125 Y.1875 R.1875
G01 X-.9
G00 Z.1
M00
%

The Z axis is moving .026" instead of the .001 on line 5. Even though the steps are set at 40,000 which is where it is supposed to be set. I imagine all axis are doing the same thing.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 03:18:15 PM by Mishawaka » Logged
Mishawaka
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2011, 01:33:59 PM »

Bump
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Mishawaka
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2011, 02:18:04 PM »

Completely started from scratch again and still has the problem. I noticed at the Gecko website the XML file I downloaded today saved as 540BVFD instead of 540B even though it says 540B at the download link. The XML I have in Mach2 and 3 is the 540B that I downloaded originally. Should I replace the 540B with the 540BVFD? I checked Windows permissions and it looks right so I think that end of it should be OK.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 02:22:32 PM by Mishawaka » Logged
Mishawaka
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 02:55:33 PM »

OK, decided to set my laptop up the same way I have my garage computer setup and the same thing happens. I am convinced I have some commands in the code I am running that are messing up Mach3. In the offset tab I set the the tool dia. as .125" in the save tool offsets window and save it, it then shows .005 when apply and close that window where it says diameter. I noticed if I change that to .125" it changes the to 3.1750" in the tool table. Now if I don't change that, tool1 on the program page shows as .0049". Anyone else run across this problem?
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