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Topics - awander

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I have just completed my long-planned ballscrew installation on my Z axis, and in setting it up and testing it I did a lot more homing than usual.

The issue I have found is that if i either Ref All, or just Ref Z, the first time after starting Mach4, the homing routine works normally.

If i then hit Ref All again, X and Y (and A) will home normally, as they should, but Z does not move at all.

I can get it working again by jogging the Z axis first away from, and then into the limit switch(which usually does NOT cause the axis to stop or generate a reset while the system is having this problem).

If I then jog off of the Z++ switch, and press Ref All again, it will then home normally, first Z, and then X and Y.

Error message History shows, "!!!!!!!ESS: Homing Prep FAILED for Axis 2 - ESS Motor 2 - MOTOR NOT ENABLED!!!!!!
-----ESS: ERROR!  No ESS Motor being homed!!! Homing will probably not work..."

But the Z axis (Motor2) IS enabled, and will move with my MPG, Gcode commands via a program run or MDI, etc.

Similar results when I just Ref X axis.....

I have never noticed this behavior before, but I usually only home once a session, so it may have been there all along..

Any ideas?

I'm going to post to the Warp9 board as well...

System specs:

Mach4 in 4-axis Mill mode

ESS plugin V253

Windows 10 Pro Version 1809

I use combination limit/home switches. I have a switch at each extreme of travel for X and Y, and a single limit/home switch at Z++. A axis has no switches and is set to Home in Place.

"Home Order" has Z as "1", and X, Y and A as "2"My homing is set up with Z as priority

Mach4 General Discussion / G91 is not recognized in M4 Turn
« on: November 08, 2016, 08:52:00 PM »
When I try to execute a G91 from the MDI window, I get "Unknown G code used" error.

The Status line still shows the machine is in G90 mode.

I am cutting a part that I have made a bunch of times with Mach3.

Using Mach4, the part cuts correctly, but the Toolpath Display in Mach4 doesn't look like what the tool is actually doing.

See the attached files for the toolpath display, and the actual profile of the turned part.

EDIT: Now that I posted the question, I see what is going on. I was viewing the bottom red line on the toolpath display as the part centerline; it is actually the top red line that is the centerline.

But, another question-I don't see how to make Mach4 "color in" the toolpath drawing as it does the motions, like Mach3 did. Is this feature there, and I just haven't found it?

Mach4 General Discussion / Mach4 Jog Increments
« on: August 15, 2015, 11:40:41 PM »
The Jog Increments that are set in the Mach Configuration page appear to have no effect. I set them all to "0" and still get increments of 1, .1, .01, .001, and .0001 when I press the "Cycle Jog Inc" button on the stock screenset.

Mach4 General Discussion / MPG thru modbus
« on: August 15, 2015, 11:27:55 PM »
I have a modbus pendant with an MPG. The MPG increments or decrements a holding register.

I have mapped the modbus register into MACH4, but how do I use that register to move an axis?

Mach4 Toolbox / Scripts to control my VFD over Modbus
« on: August 13, 2015, 11:13:49 PM »
I have been fooling around for a couple of days, and finally got my Modbus VFD control working from Mach4.

I thought it might be useful to others to see the scripts that worked for me, though the parameters will probably be different for your VFD.

In screen Load Script:
(This section sets the VFD to be controlled by the modbus)

local hregCtrl = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oCtrlMode")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregCtrl, 2)
--set VFD control to Comms
local hregRef = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oRefSel")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregRef, 5)
--set VFD Reference to Comms
local hregCtrlWordEn = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oCtrlWordEnable")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregCtrlWordEn, 1)
--enable VFD Control Word

In PLC Script:
(This section takes the commanded spindle speed and converts it into a frequency value for the VFD)

local inst = mc.mcGetInstance()
local SPD = mc.mcSpindleGetCommandRPM(inst)
--what speed is currently called for
local cRange = mc.mcSpindleGetCurrentRange(inst)
--What Pulley range is currently active 0-19
local MaxRPM = mc.mcSpindleGetMaxRPM(inst, cRange)
--returns the MAX RPM for that pulley range
local Sdir = mc.mcSpindleGetDirection(inst)
local Dir = Dir
if (Sdir == -1) then
    Dir = -1;
    Dir = 1;
Dir = tonumber(Dir)
local Freq = SPD/MaxRPM*60*100*Dir
--60Hz is my max VFD Frequency; my VFD requires the frequency multiplied by 100
local hregFreq = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oPreset1")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregFreq, Freq)

In Signal Script:
(this ssection looks for Spindle FWD or REV commands and controls the VFD accordingly)

if ((sig == mc.OSIG_SPINDLEFWD) or (sig == mc.OSIG_SPINDLEREV)) then
    if (state == 1) then
        local inst = mc.mcGetInstance ();
        local hregCtrlWord = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oCommsCtrlWord")
        mc.mcRegSetValue(hregCtrlWord, 8)
        local inst = mc.mcGetInstance ();
        local hregCtrlWord = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oCommsCtrlWord")
        mc.mcRegSetValue(hregCtrlWord, 0)

In Screen Unload Script:
(This section sets the VFD back to front-panel control)

local hregCtrl = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oCtrlMode")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregCtrl, 0)
--set VFD control to keypad
local hregRef = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oRefSel")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregRef, 0)
--set VFD Reference to keypad
local hregCtrlWordEn = mc.mcRegGetHandle(inst, "modbus0/oCtrlWordEnable")
mc.mcRegSetValue(hregCtrlWordEn, 0)
--disable VFD Control Word

Mach4 Toolbox / Saving the selected spindle speed range
« on: August 09, 2015, 03:24:22 PM »
I added a DRO to the standard screenset that lets me select the Spindle Range, but when I close Mach4 and re-open it, the range goes back to zero.

How can i have Mach4 remember this setting?

Mach4 General Discussion / Mach4 and Windows 10
« on: July 30, 2015, 02:12:38 AM »
I finally broke down and bought a new PC for use with Mach3 & Mach4.

I use an Ethernet Smooth Stepper.

The PC is on the way to me, with Windows 7 installed.

I am thinking of upgrading it to Windows 10 when I receive it.

Is there any reason that Windows 10 would not work with MAch3 or Mach4, and the ESS?

LazyTurn / LazyTurn cuts where I don't want it to cut
« on: November 08, 2010, 09:38:09 PM »
I am attempting to generate the code to modify a Collet chuck witha B&S #11 taper, to make it into a B&S #9 Taper. This is what the chuck looks like(in cyan) and the new profile I want to cut is shown in white:

When I clean up and import the dxf into LazyTurn, I get the correct profile:

Then I assign a roughing pass, and I get what I consider to be extraneouscuts in the X+, Y+ quadrant:

This will destroy the collet chuck, so it is obviously no good. I want to start each cut at a Z position greater tyhan zero, to take up the backlash in my lathe, and I then want it to follow the angle of the existing chuck body, to the proper depth, and then cut the taper.

SmoothStepper USB / backlashcmpensat1on,and THC control
« on: September 20, 2010, 09:05:03 PM »
Has there been any update on the status of backash compensation, or of THC control, in the SS?

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