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Topics - Monty

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I haven't posted anything in a while. I thought some people might be able to use this idea.

When I got my turret, one of the boring bar holders had been crashed pretty good. The bore was all messed up and the holder smashed down and back. Dorian is rather proud of these little gems, so I had a pretty good incentive to try to salvage it. At first I thought about pressing a steel bush into it, bore it out and just use it for Deming drills. Then while talking to a friend of mine we hatched a plan to make a boring head (I don't have one that would work for this.) The idea was to use a piece of high speed steel. Then it occurred to me that I have a lifetime supply of broken or otherwise ruined .25 in. solid carbide end mills. My dad is into lapidary work and has a diamond saw and grinders. The light bulb went off.

So here is the result. I used a piece of drill rod, drilled and reamed a hole for the carbide. Drilled and tapped for a set screw. Ground the cutter as shown from the shank of an end mill. Set it up in the machine. The first cut was fantastic. I got a little bit of chatter on the subsequent cuts, but it works. I don't plan to use this holder for any precision work, but it will hold a drill just fine to poke a hole for a boring bar.

So not really exciting, but potentially useful.


General Mach Discussion / auto toolchange cycle start elimination
« on: February 08, 2010, 12:36:07 PM »
This pertains to mach3turn.

I've selected the auto tool changer option in the general config. but for some reason when I call for a tool change it still requires a cycle start to continue.

What gives ???

The one good thing is since my chip control is not totally dialed in yet, it gives me a chance to remove the birds nest from the boring bar  ;D


General Mach Discussion / Advanced Spindle Control
« on: January 29, 2010, 05:56:35 PM »
OK here is the issue.

I would really like to be able to have spindle positioning on my lathe. The problem is the spindle drive needs an add on card to do that and they are basically not available anymore.

It will however take a +/-10V analog signal for direction and speed.

Is there some type of card to convert step and direction to analog 10V that would allow me to put an encoder on the spindle and drive it like another axis? If so would this still work in typical turn applications. How would you get around the spindle sensing issues for threading?


*****VIDEOS***** / EmcoTurn140 test cut
« on: January 23, 2010, 08:34:14 PM »
Here is a video of the EmcoTurn140 making the first test cut.


Sorry about the unstable camera. I had to switch hands to make sure the Estop was covered.

It still have a momentary panic whenever the turret takes off for the spindle. I'll get some better quality video after I have a good program worked out with the tool changer in action.


Show"N"Tell ( What you have made with your CNC machine.) / Engine Mounts
« on: January 03, 2010, 06:13:34 PM »
Here are some parts that I made with my mill. They are engine mounts for a 990cc engine. This is a work in progress. The bottom mount is made from 6061 T6 angle. The top mount is made from 7075 plate. The top mount replaces the crankcase breather so I put a PCV valve in it.

I used Alibre to model the parts and Alibre CAM to write the toolpaths. The first top mount I made was just a simple plate, and I wasn't satisfied with the weight. It was also a little too close to the top of the engine casting. I know there is gratuitous pocketing here......but hey what good is all this cad and CNC stuff if you don't use it.
It was really nice to just go in and tweak the part a little bit and update the tool paths and add the pockets.

I will have to make some parts with the lathe to finish these. I'll post the parts as I make them and put the project together.

Here is a pic of the first top mount.

VB and the development of wizards / lathe turret macro
« on: October 30, 2009, 11:09:40 PM »
I'm trying to move an axis motor from a macro.

The end goal is a macro to run my turret which I will post when it is a little further along.

I need to be able to do a rapid one way until a sensor trips and then reverse until another sensor trips.

What is the easiest way to do this? I know I can use G0 but then how to trip it? This is event driven not a distance thing.

Can I just use the oem scan code for fast jog?

Something like:

rapid +Y  'move Y in + direction

while a = 1
a = GetOemTrigger(1)

stop Y 'stop Y axis

rapid -Y  'move Y in - direction

while b = 0
b = GetOemTrigger(2)

stop Y  'stop y axis



Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Monty's Problematic Contraption
« on: June 06, 2007, 11:16:24 PM »
Well here is my mill. It is a Bridgeport Boss5. It was once an AH-HA retrofit. I replaced the computer and original AH-HA control card with a new computer and Mach3 with a G100. I kept the AH-HA stepper drivers and power supply. One reason I got rid of the HA-HA control was the lack of ethernet, CD drive, USB or anything other than RS232 and crappy floppy drive. It was great 10 years ago, but not anymore. I replaced the Floppy with a USB hub on the pendant. Now I can use a USB camera, a mouse, or a Shuttle pro pendant. ;D.

The pics are of the mill,  the old screen under AH-HA control, and the new pendant with the USB hub. 

Mach3 and G-Rex / shuttle pro g100 latency???
« on: May 31, 2007, 12:48:37 PM »
The suttle pro plug in when coupled with the g100 will not allow single step or incremental jog on the button selection. Not sure why. I am able to toggle through the x,y,z no problem. The outer wheel works. The inner wheel will jump forward in increments. Seems to be velocity dependant. I can slowly turn the knob and nothing happens. Turn it a little faster and the axis will jump forward say 10 steps then stop. If I keep turning it nothing happens, then it jumps forward another 10 steps. The jog keys on the keyboard are instant and work great. Would like to get the shuttle pro to single step and incremental jog. The shuttle pro will make a really nice pendant if it will just do these things. ;D. Is there anything I can do about this or is this a wait until the mpg, probing, and spindle sensing/threading problem is fixed thing?


Mach3 and G-Rex / how to config motors with G100
« on: May 30, 2007, 10:08:15 PM »
I have my G100 for my mill connected and talking to Mach3. Also talking to the AH-HA box that drives the motors. Jog works fine. Have a license file for G100 and mach both in the mach folder.

How the #$*#))@@&&%%^$#@@@# do you configure the motors?  I watched the video tutorial, but the screen doesn't look the same. The fields for motor speed and acceleration are grayed out and I can't change them.  Also no place to set steps per unit. Anybody know how to do this? ???


General Mach Discussion / Mach3 problems
« on: April 09, 2007, 08:17:45 PM »
Trying to help my dad set up his mini mill. Went through a terrible motherboard compatibility problem. Stripped everything out of the computer, shut down most of windows. tried a new video card. No Dice. Finally decided the MB was just not compatible with mach. (it had onboard video and no real way to disable the memory sharing)

new MB and the driver works and mach3 is stable.

The setup has a PMDX 131 with Gecko G201's. Right now I'm just trying to get the X axis to talk to a motor. I have a 4 wire stepper hooked up to the gecko on axis 1. The gecko is powered up.

The external E-stop works so there is some communication. But the $%)#@#$# thing will not talk to the motor despite my best efforts, so I am apealing to higher powers here. Anybody see anything wrong??

I have tried changing the axis between active low/high so that isn't it.

The axis has power at the correct voltage.

The wires to the stepper are:

Phase A-red
Phase B-blue
Phase C-black
Phase D-green

My bios choices of parallel port mode are:
EPP+ECP (currently set to this one)

Whatever is wrong is probably plain as daylight, but I am currently blind.

anybody out there with eyes that work?


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