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Author Topic: Configuring Mach 3 for a VFD and Spindle  (Read 4120 times)
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Waynec
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« on: October 04, 2008, 05:06:27 PM »

I'm trying to connect my fancy new spindle and VFD to Mach 3 and I'm not getting something right. 

I have Mach 3 running an Ascension 1000 breakout box that runs Gecko 201s.    I'm trying to connect the Step and Direction output for spindle speed control to the CNC4PC speed control board.  I'm also using a DB25 Dual Breakout board from Winford Engineering that lets me connect to pinouts of the parallel port, making wiring much easier than trying to find pin out locations inside the Ascension box.  At this point, I just want to verify that I'm getting voltage at the pins I select that varies as I adjust the spindle speed in Mach3.   

So, I'm not sure how to set the pinouts to send Spindle Step and Direction signals to the parallel port, and then on to the CNC4PC speed controller. 
On the Spindle Setup tab I set the Motor control to Use Spindle Motor output and checked step and direction.  This is what the CNC4PC needs as input.   On the Motor Output tab I enabled the Spindle motor, and set the Step Pin to Pin 1, and Direction to Pin 14.  Step and Direction ports are both left at 1. 

With this configuration I get no voltage at between pin 1 and 14 when I turn the spindle on in Mach 3. 

I'm not sure what else to check.  I know that the Ascension controller iis turning on my Porter Cable Router right now when I turn on the spindle or run a file.  It simply switches power to an outlet on the back of the box, but does not control speed.  I'm not sure if this is related or not.

I'd appreciate any help.  Right now, I have a fancy new spindle, VFD controller, speed control interface and so forth all sitting in a pile.  Arggh.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Wayne from White Salmon

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Waynec
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2008, 12:47:49 PM »

I must have asked the question in the most convoluted possible way.  What I really should do is read the manual, or at least watch the tutorial videos.   Roll Eyes.  I'm doing that now.  Hopefully I can fix my own problem, or at least ask an intelligent question in 200 words or less. 

So, which video tutorial covers installing a spindle?  I've watched the basic config tutorial, and the one on ports and pins.  That one gives some of the info, but if there is another that covers spindle install fully I'd  love to know which one it is.

Thanks for takeing a second to help me out.

Wayne


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Waynec
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2008, 02:19:08 PM »

OK, I watched the videos and I think I have the outputs configured to send the step signal and the spindle on/off out to the CNC4PC board.   When I do this, I see the CNC4PC board turn on the LED 2.  When I increase the speed of the spindle I see a very small (.2 volts) change in voltage when the spindle is running, and a small voltage change when I increase spindle speed. 

I didn't know where to connect the ground terminal on the CNC4PC input ground.  Is this the problem?  Does this ground go back to the Parallel port and if so what pin?  Also, Mach 3 provides step and direction outputs.  I assume the C6 speed controller doesn't need the direction output.  Is this correct? 

Second, I'm sending the Spindle on/off and CW/CCW signal thru output pin 16.  This connects to the CNC4PC input CW terminal.  It turns the LED 2 on/off when I turn the spindle on/off.   But I can't find a voltage change at any of the CNC4PC outputs that I need to energize the spindle on relay on the VFD.

Mostly at this point my questions are about connecting to the CNC4PC C6 board.  If anyone can help that would be great.

Wayne from White Salmon
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Waynec
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 06:58:30 PM »

I just looked up some info on parallel ports, and wired a ground wire from the DB25 pin 25 to the CNC4PC input.  This should provide ground if the parallel port is conventionally wired.  Mach 3 doesn't appear to use pin 25, so I assume its function is the same as when the parallel port is configured for a printer.  That would make pin 25 a ground.

So, I think I have the ground and step signals arriving at the CNC4PC speed control board.  I think I have the spindle on relay output arriving at the CNC4CPC board.  But I get only a very small voltage reading at the output, and no voltage at the relay output. 

I don't know where to go from here.  Anybody have experience wiring Mach 3 to a CNC4PC? 

Wayne 
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Chaoticone
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 08:37:27 PM »

Wayne, have you talked to Arturo or looked on CNC4PCs site for a wireing diagram, manual, set-up guide, ect. ? No way Mach can cover all the info needed to set up all the hardware that can be used with Mach but I'm sure some of the fine members here that have used the same board will help you.

Brett
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Waynec
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 08:52:28 PM »

Thanks for just the right advice.  I did finally end up joining the CNC4PC forum to get some answers from Arturo Duncan.  I'll try tonight to see if I can figure things out.

Hopefully I'll get things going soon.  Thanks for taking a second to point me in the right direction.

Wayne from White Salmon
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Chaoticone
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008, 09:21:45 PM »

NP Wayne, I wish I could help but I'm not familiar with that board. Hope you get it sorted soon.

Brett
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Waynec
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 07:03:32 PM »

I'm almost sorted out.  Mach 3 is sending step info to the the CNC4PC C6 speed control board, and Spindle On/Off direction that triggers a relay on the C6 board.  Groovy.  The C6 board now converts that step input to the voltage output, and when I change speeds in Mach 3, the C6 board output changes.  Woohoo! 

My silly question now is about getting the VFD relay to turn the spindle on.  Mach 3 outputs a spindle-on voltage of about 5V.  The VFD wants 9V at least to trigger the spindle ON/ CW switch.  Can I use the same 12V that powers the C6 board as the voltage to turn the spindle on?  Seems logical, but because I'm not perfectly clear on isolating grounds and such, I'm not sure I can use this voltage.    I suppose this is a question for the CNC4PC people, but if you know, that would be great.   

This has been a great learning experience.  I appreciate your patience with me here! 

Wayne from White Salmon
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HimyKabibble
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 07:20:49 PM »

I'm almost sorted out. Mach 3 is sending step info to the the CNC4PC C6 speed control board, and Spindle On/Off direction that triggers a relay on the C6 board. Groovy. The C6 board now converts that step input to the voltage output, and when I change speeds in Mach 3, the C6 board output changes. Woohoo!

My silly question now is about getting the VFD relay to turn the spindle on. Mach 3 outputs a spindle-on voltage of about 5V. The VFD wants 9V at least to trigger the spindle ON/ CW switch. Can I use the same 12V that powers the C6 board as the voltage to turn the spindle on? Seems logical, but because I'm not perfectly clear on isolating grounds and such, I'm not sure I can use this voltage. I suppose this is a question for the CNC4PC people, but if you know, that would be great.

This has been a great learning experience. I appreciate your patience with me here!

Wayne from White Salmon

Wayne,

    Doesn't your VFD provide the correct voltage to drive the motor on signal?  Usually there is something like a 12V power supply output that you connect to the FWD or ON input to turn it on.  On mine, I used one of the relays on my C11 BOB to do the switching.

Regards,
Ray L.
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Ray L.
Waynec
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2008, 01:33:15 PM »

Thanks to Carl and Arturo and others, I got the spindle and VFD connected and working today.  Mach 3 connects to the CNC4PC C6 board, and then to the VFD.  I can use Mach 3 to turn on the spindle and set the spindle speed.  I can adjust speed using the on-screen override, and I can use GCode S commands to change speed in a file.  The VFD has a stop button that still works while the spindle is controlled by Mach 3.

I needed one tiny bit of info, and Carl provided that for me.  I needed to know what the VFD   provided or needed to turn the spindle on and choose directions.  The manual gives instructions on which terminals to connect to, but doesn't say what those terminals need to operate.  I was assumming they needed a voltage from somewhere, but it turns out that they provide voltage that the relays on the C6 switch.  When the voltage goes to ground on the Com terminal on the VFD, the spindle turns on. 

Speed control is actually pretty easy.  You configure pins to output step direction from the spindle panel in Configuration, and connect this step output to the step input on the CNC4PC C6 board.  Its a pretty small voltage, but its there.  When you look at the C6 variable voltage output, as you increase spindle speed in Mach 3 the voltage output increases.  This output goes to the VFD inputs, and varies the speed.

I haven't done exhaustive testing, but I did warm up the spindle and vary the speeds.  Its very stable, and runs cool and quiet.  A big improvement over my noisy Porter cable.

Next comes wiring an Estop system, and doing a clean install of all these parts.  But the big hurdle is finally crossed.  I'll post more details so others considering the Chinese spindles and VFDs can have more detail on what's involved.

Thanks for all the help here.

Wayne from White Salmon
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