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General Mach Discussion / Re: Booting streight into Mach
« on: November 20, 2009, 11:50:48 AM »
Hello again,

OK, I have read most of these posts. Hood talks about putting MAch into the start up folder, I have to assume that is the same as using Windows explorer and copying MACH to startup folder? I am also trying to load the DROS with the numbers my G code is using as home. I do not have home switches. Right now I have a 17 step procedure (attached) to get the machine running after everything has been shut down. It is a given steps 1,2, and 3 have to be performed manually but 4 thru 17 I would think could be automatic. Is it just a matter of the persistant DRO setting? G code is attached as well. The DRO's read X = 0.150 and Z = 0.650 for home position. For the parts I am making I use the same X and Z home and write the G code from there to make different parts.

I will make sure I have the persistant DRO checked and load Mach to the startup folder.  Is there something else I should be aware of?


Procedure for lathe start-up

1.   Turn on computer and monitor.  Takes a few minutes.
2. Make sure power disconnect by door is ON.
3.   Alt Ctrl Del Logon computer.
4.   Click on “Mach3 Loader” Icon on computer.
5.   Select “Simpson Electric ORG” click OK. Wait.
6.   Select the “Program Run Tab” upper left, should be there.
7.   Click the “RESET” in lower left corn.
8.   Click the vertical bar “Ref All Home”. Top Center.
9.   Click on the square for “Zero X” and “Zero Z”.
10. Click the vertical bar “Ref All Home”. Again.
11. Select load G code or select “recent file” lower left.
12. In selection box select Green Red or Blue depending on part.
13. Select “Offline” near center of screen.
14. Click the “Start” twice at the left center. Program will run but NOT    machine.
  15. Select “Offline again”.
  16. Click on “Spindle CW F5” on right side middle.
17. Machine is ready to run. The machine can be started by pushing the Green start or by clicking on the Start on the screen.

;N10 Home X at 0 on ring Z at 0 on ring width
N20 G20 G18 G70 G90 M48 m09 G94
n110 m00
;n111 g04 p15
n120 m03
N121 G00 x0.1500 z0.6500
N133 G00 z0.0300
N134 G00 x0.0100
n135 g01 x0.0020 z0.0000 f0.6
n136 g01 x0.0000 z0.0000
N137 g01 x-0.0002 z-0.0108
N140 G01 x-0.0015 z-0.0150
N141 g01 x-0.0025 z-0.0180 f0.3
N151 G01 X-0.0030
N162 G01 z-0.0250
N163 g04 p0.8
N164 g01 x-0.0040
N168 g01 z-0.0280
N170 g01 z-0.0295
N171 g01 z-0.0300
N172 g04 p0.8
N173 g01 z-0.0315
N174 g01 z-0.0335
N175 g01 z-0.0375
N176 g01 z-0.0385
N179 g04 p0.2
N180 g01 z-0.0390
N190 g04 p1.0
N970 g00 x0.1500 z0.6500
n990 m47

General Mach Discussion / Re: No Pulse Frequency!
« on: June 29, 2009, 02:09:03 PM »
I was dealing with this problem, but I was using a computer with a 500 GHz processor and W2K. The pulse frequency would work for awhile and then go to zero. Take a look at task manager. Do an alt ctrl del, task manager, performances see how much CPU Usage you have going on. When I loaded Mach on the old computer I was often at 100%. I now have a new computer the is 2.6 ? GHz processor with Windows XP and stripped of all unnecessary programs, it is always less than 30% usage now.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Motors stalling, losing steps
« on: March 24, 2009, 04:03:04 PM »

I have to agree with Zaaephod. I bought a CNC lathe from a vendor who offered a PC with it. I turned it down because we had a computer not being used that had W2K on it. I hooked it all up and proceeded try and learn. After clearing up a few things I always had a nagging intermittent problem with the steppers going crazy. Turns out the PC was a 550Mhz machine. The manual clearly says 1Ghz processor which I either missed or ignored. The frustrating part was things would run great for weeks sometimes then go crazy. I hooked up a machine with WXP and 1.2 Ghz what a difference.

To help convince me I was using the three finger salute to task manager and looking at processor performance, I was hitting 100% just running Gcode without running the steppers. The pulse frequency would drop out. The driver test would always look good.

Thanks for everyones help and I look forward to working with Mach3 now instead of dreading it. :D

What surplus store did find the $75 computer at? You might want to work on that keyboard.


General Mach Discussion / Re: No Pulse Frequency!
« on: February 13, 2009, 03:47:21 PM »
I wrote a question about erratic stepper. I thought I had fixed it by adjusting the step per pulse under motor tuning for the problem axis. I left the machine for lunch and went back run again and nothing. I looked at diagnostics tab and pulse frequency is sitting at 100. Nothing in the event history other than e-stop from me hitting the reset.

I have to believe if this pulse frequency is dropping out randomly the steppers would act very strange.?

Seeing the dialog under this topic I will apply the fixes suggested.

Let me know if I should be looking at something else.



General Mach Discussion / Driver Test?
« on: February 11, 2009, 11:41:36 AM »
Hello again and Happy New Year.

Things had been going very well with Mach 3 for awhile. I managed to figure out a zeroing technique and I moved the cable for one of the motors that was erratic to a spare driver and life was good. Now I am back to that same motor doing same thing again. I can run for 20 minutes sometimes and others 2 minutes. While the motor is turning it has seizures and looses steps. As a result, the zero position is lost.  I have slowed down the drive no help and it was working.

I will verify that I did the optimisation, I think I tried that.


General Mach Discussion / Re: homing accuracy
« on: September 11, 2008, 11:31:31 AM »

I looked under downloads on the website. I see a couple selections. I went into Mach and found some stuff on XP documentation. I did not find optimization steps. Can you be more specific. I am running windows 2000.


General Mach Discussion / Re: homing accuracy
« on: September 11, 2008, 10:17:31 AM »

Find attached a sketch of the drive test. The fuzz on the right side only occurs occasionally otherwise a straight line. I will follow procedure outlined by Jim Pinder to see what I am missing there. This is a very good explanation of ref all home, machine coordinates, and G54, etc.

If the drive test shows something I should look at let me know.



General Mach Discussion / Re: homing accuracy
« on: September 10, 2008, 02:26:41 PM »
Hello again,

I did shut everything down on Friday after getting everything set at a point I could make a part. I started everything back up Monday, loaded the G code I used on Friday, loaded a part and hit start. The part did not come out at all like on Friday. After checking things out carefully still no success. I did go to the single step mode to see what is happening line by line. 

I did load the tuning & settings from the Y into the Z. I don't have information on the current limiting resistors at this point. The motor temperature did not seem to change, it just remained barely warm to the touch. I haven't put a thermocouple on it yet.

As far as the line in the drivetest being straight, I am not sure I understand. The stepper is just spinning the drive screw back and forth and line on the screen graphic was straight.

Needless to say I have run more than 50 parts this week and not made a single one even close to acceptable. From the pictures you can see I am taking an aluminum ring .006 thick by .176 wide. The lathe and tooling is then suppose to form flanges on each side of the ring. I have during the past three months been able to make about 400 parts so I have some confidence the system will work.

I have been reading other posts to get some ideas. Thanks.


General Mach Discussion / Re: homing accuracy
« on: September 05, 2008, 03:19:09 PM »

I moved the y-axis cable to the Z-axis, replaced the y's with z's in the repeatability program and ran 15 minutes without even a hesitation. Tweaking the velocity and accel I was able to improve repeatabilty to about .0003 in. I would get an occasional .0005/6. I am going to move my tooling back in place and try to make some parts. If all goes well I will contact the lathe vendor and ask about the XML file and the Y-axis settings.

Thanks for the support and have a great weekend. Hopefully you won't here from me on Monday.

I did shut MACH down and got the graph on driver test.


General Mach Discussion / Re: homing accuracy
« on: September 05, 2008, 01:54:47 PM »

The vendor of the lathe provided me with an additional stepper and drive to run the tailstock. I do have occasion where I will use the other axis.

That gives me an idea though, I will run the tailstock off the Z-axis drive and see if anything bizarre happens. Maybe it is the extra stuff for that stepper that is the problem?


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