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Topics - wlarry

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General Mach Discussion / X axis driving down without command
« on: November 24, 2008, 10:12:18 AM »
I am running a plasma setup with THC-300.  Had the system working perfectly for several months then problems.  When the torch moves to the first cut, it senses the plate surface, and begins the cut. As the unit is cutting, the z axis is driving down.  If the THC is ON, it tries to counter the effect but by the second or third cut, the z has gone 6" and bottomed out. It does this regardless if the THC being on of off.  It appears as though the z axis is loosing track of its zero position. I can zero it at the start of a cut and by the time it had made 2-3 cuts, the z reading is out as far a 1.5".

Any thoughts ?

General Mach Discussion / Stepper Motor Loosing steps - I think
« on: August 24, 2008, 02:11:47 PM »
My setup is a plasma gantry, A axis slaved to Y. Leadshine microsteppers, PMDX-122 breakout board.  My A axis is missing steps, and sometimes stalling but only in one direction.  Initially the problem developed when a program was finished and the gantry was heading for home.  The A axis would quit (just for a couple of steps)for a better word and the gantry would see/saw its way back to home.  Now the problem is happening during the program as well. No whining from the motor, just makes a clunk like a gear skipping on the rack and then resumes. I disconnected drive belt from drive and ran motor by itself - same issue. Misses steps only in one direction.  Travel speed is 250 in/min, accel 12 so I don't think I'm exceeding the motors capacity. Same motors on my X and Y axis with same settings - no problems. This has developed it seems over time.  I have been cutting parts for about three weeks now. Checked my connections, all seem OK.  Anybody have any thoughts.

As usual, fixing one issue caused another.  My A axis of my gantry is intermittantly loosing steps and only when travelling in one direction.  Initially had a lot of PC problems optimizing to get mach happy. So I upgraded to a Dell Optiplex 260.  I installed mach (latest version - tested) and the THC300 bitmaps and files.  When I open the THC300 set, the screens are missing buttons.  The program screen is missing the e-stop reset button, reference home keys and other screens are missing keys as well.  Tried to reinstall a couple of times - no change. Made sure thc bitmaps were coppied into bitmap directory - no  luck  Worked ok on the last system ? Anybody have any thoughts ?

G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Defining two objects as one
« on: August 17, 2008, 06:56:12 PM »
Hopefully somebody can help me out.  I am trying to create a sign (plasma cut) of a horse, with text.  In corel X4, I can create the text sitting on a line and "weld" them together.  Sheetcam will recognize the text and line.  When I try to add the other object, sheetcam doesn't see it.  Does anybody have a step by step "idiots guide" to creating simple signs with pics and text ?

General Mach Discussion / Where is rapit move speed set ?
« on: August 13, 2008, 09:14:01 PM »
When my gantry does a rapid move, where is that speed setting coming from ?  I'm using sheetcam, I can set the cutting speed there.  There must be a default setting for rapid move speed - where ?

Thx ???

General Mach Discussion / Where to find Mach configuration file.
« on: August 01, 2008, 10:08:31 AM »
I had a power failure the other day during an electrical storm.  When I fired my PC back up and started MACH, the cofiguration was all wrong.  Had to recal motors, redesignate inputs outputs etc.  Once I have everything back to where it should be, is there a file or files that I can put on disk to load incase this happens again  ???



General Mach Discussion / THC-300
« on: July 25, 2008, 10:26:16 AM »
Did initial setup on my THC-300.  Fault light is on and has never gone out.  Also unable to get ark OK LED.  Applied 12 VDC to ark OK terminals as per instructions and still nothing.  When plasma is running manually, I can see a voltage on the readout, but because no ARK OK signal, machine starts torch, waits for signal, doesn't get one and shuts down the torch.  Have tried adjusting ark ok sensitivity pot and no luck.  Any body have any thoughts ??

General Mach Discussion / Having difficulty with torch heigth set-up
« on: July 14, 2008, 01:05:52 PM »
Having torch height issues.  When I run a program, floating z axis moves down to surface, zero's and moves back to 2" rapid travel depth.  Goes to start of cut, sets to plunge depth, then transitions to cut depth.  However the floating z is .2" away from its stop - torch head is .2" too deep.  I have set the switch travel, pierce depth, and cut depth  in mach and the pierce height and cut height in sheetcam. Anybody have any thoughts as to what is happening here ?

General Mach Discussion / Z axis homing for plasma setup
« on: June 03, 2008, 05:05:05 PM »
Somewhat confused on the z axis homing setup for a plasma gantry.  Currently I have the z axis homing at the top (max torch to table height).  I plan to use a THC-300 unit with the torch.  I am aware that I need a spring loaded switch to define top of material.  Does this switch become the z home signal or can I still use the home signal at the top and input the material top through another input in mach ?  I have noticed that with my current setup, whenever sheetcam puts in z movements, the motor wants to drive farther up past home and sheetcam won't allow a negative value to be input for the torch height.

Thanks guys.

General Mach Discussion / Steppers very choppy and slow problem
« on: May 09, 2008, 11:50:26 AM »
Hello, first post, first problem.  I am working on a plasma table.  Last night tried the steppers out on the bench for the first time.  When I switch to JOG mode and activate, steppers move in the correct direction, but they are very choppy, turning at less than 10 rpm and it didn't seem to matter what settings I adjusted in the motor config screen.  Ports and pin settings are correct, breakout board LED's are lighting when they should.  My motor supplier suggested a problem with Mach 2 plasma and windows 2000.  Suggested running XP and reloading Mach.  I suspect I've missed something in the proper motor configuration. Currently set at 3200 steps/rev Any suggestions would sure help.

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