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Topics - 01sporty

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I machine little stuff.  A #000 center drill won't tolerate a lot of misalignment.  A .020" carbide drill, set for a .200" depth is a bit more forgiving, but not by much.

So, when I read about a commercial product that promised easy alignment of tools, I was very interested.  The system is designed for CNC swiss automatics but the principle is the same for any lathe. 

At it's heart, the inventor mounted a camera/microscope in the bushing of the machine and came up with software that looks at a simple target, plots lots of points on the target as the spindle is rotated and determines the exact center of the spindle.  After that, it's a relatively simple matter to align the rest of the tools to that center.

The system looked to be beyond my budget (I didn't ask), so I decided to see if it couldn't be done on the cheap.


I bought one of these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/313868557442

It has a 8mm diameter so I figured it would be a simple matter to mount it in my 5C spindle.  It's never that easy.  The casing isn't electrically isolated so the camera kept cutting out whenever it was grounded to the machine.


I made a PVC casing for the camera and tried again.

It worked.

General Mach Discussion / RPM DRO Reading Strange
« on: March 27, 2022, 03:14:41 PM »
Mach 3, Plain Jane printer port setup on a lathe. Hall sensor on the spindle to read RPM.

My RPM Dro's have started reading huge numbers.  I'm talking in the millions and tens of millions, flashing crazily.

After chasing my tail looking for a setting that got inadvertently changed or a problem with the electronics, I finally realized the Dro's are reading correctly if you just look at the first four digits.

So I put a different screen set in and same result.  I looked at the screen set in MachScreen and the Dro is definitely set to four places with zero trailing.

I'm out of ideas.   :'(

General Mach Discussion / Looking for help with a spindle motor.
« on: February 21, 2022, 05:54:23 PM »
I've been trying to get this motor working to try as a spindle motor on a small lathe.

It's a plain jane Mach3 setup on a Win7 computer.  Parallel port to simple breakout board to the motor.

When I first wired it up, the motor ran really slow.  Mach3 wouldn't let me put in a large enough number in the velocity box in motor tuning.

This morning, I edited the xml file and got part way there.   Line 1383 (see picture) seems to be a percentage.  Changing it to 100 got results.  This changed the velocity in motor tuning to 6000 (see picture).  No clue what the relationship is.

After making this change (here comes the good part) setting the S speed to 200 gave me an actual speed of 200rpm.  Measured frequency was 6.68 KHz - spot on.

At S400 and S600 results were also perfect.  At S800, it all fell apart.  The frequency went to an unstable 23.49 and the rpm a ragged 720.

Any suggestions on how to make this thing work?

I recently put together a lathe so I'm completely new to it.
I set it up to do a simple reaming job.  I assumed it would work pretty much like a mill.
For some reason, the code just doesn't work.
It moves to Z.05 then X.24 then X0 Z.04 just fine.
When it tries to execute the G85, it moves to X0, dwells, then finishes the program.
It never reams the Z-.132.
Can someone tell me what's going on?

N10 %
N20 G18  G20  G40  G61  G90  G95
N30 G50  S3400
N40 O100 (REAM)
N50 (CREATED  03/07/2019 17:01:06)
N60  (#17 - T17 REAMER D 0.12INCH )
N80 (T17 REAMER D 0.12INCH)
N90 G95  G18  G50
N100 (T17 REAMER D 0.12INCH)
N110 G0 T1717
N120 G97 M3 S850
N130 M7
N160 G0 Z0.05
N170 X0.24
N180 X0. Z0.04
N190 G85  X0 Z-0.132 R0.P500 F0.005
N200 G80
N210 G0 Z0.05
N220 X0.24
N230 G53 Z0.
N240 G53 X0.
N250 M9
N260 M5
N270 M30
N280 %

General Mach Discussion / G540 Won't Go
« on: August 30, 2018, 06:07:15 PM »
I have a Gecko G540 that is a few years old but has never been used. I'm working on getting a little lathe put together.
It passed all it's preliminary testing in that it powers up and gives me a green light with the charge pump off.
I checked the parallel cable to make sure it had continuity and was straight through.  I also set the parallel port to EPP .
I set up Mach3 the way I thought it should be but I can't get a green light with the parallel cable connected to the computer.
The computer it's being attached to has never been proven so I attached it to the computer on my little mill.
Same thing.  It just sits there taunting me with its red light.
Seems to me that either the G540 has a problem or I'm missing some essential setting.  More than likely, it's the latter.

Suggestions on what I'm missing?

General Mach Discussion / Issue with new computer.
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:21:40 PM »
Well, not exactly new.  It's a Dell D610 laptop. It's the newest laptop I could find with a parallel port.
I installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 and did all the updates (183!!)
Then I installed Mach3.  Other than Windows, it's the only thing on the machine.

When I did the driver test, it crashed.  Went straight into reboot.
So, I uninstalled and re-installed the driver and rebooted.  Same problem.

Ran specialdriver.bat.  Windows gave me a bunch of grief about compatibility but I went with the suggested settings and it seemed to run normally.  

Now when I run driver test, it doesn't crash but it doesn't pulse either.  No graph parading in the window, no pulses per second, no timer variation, no nuttin.  

The only clue I have is when I click the Start Timer, I get a message box that informs me that it 'Could not locate missing vectors'.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

General Mach Discussion / Puzzle me this.
« on: March 30, 2013, 10:58:44 PM »
So, I opened up Mach3Screen, double clicked Rev All-Home and added Code("x0y0z0") to the end of the normal sequence of:
DoButton( 24 )
DoButton( 23 )
DoButton( 22 ).

The hope was to get the machine to move to 0,0,0 from the Home Offsets.
It does the DoButton sequence then stops.  If I Ref All-Home again,THEN it does the x0y0z0.  THEN, it proceeds to do the DoButton sequence again.

So, I changed it to:

DoButton( 24 )
DoButton( 23 )
DoButton( 22 )

Again, it does something very similar.  It completes the Dobutton's the first time its selected putting in the offset values.  Then it zero's x, y, z the second time it's selected, then goes through the DoButton sequence again.

The net result being, that I'm always left at the Home Offsets and never at 0,0,0.

How can I get it to move to 0,0,0 after doing a Ref All-Home?

General Mach Discussion / Help reversing an axis
« on: March 28, 2013, 12:33:56 PM »
I have an axis set up to Z.  It's actually on a horizontal plain and moves forward and back.
I'd like the Page Up to move it away from me and Page Down to move it toward me.
I'd like moving toward me to be positive and away from me to be negative.
I don't seem to be able to achieve both of these conditions at once.

I can reverse the direction of the motor with the Dir Low Active or in the Homing/Limits but if I get the Pg/Up Pg/Dn moving the axis the way I want, the positive/negative is wrong.  Conversely, if the positive/negative is right the keys are reversed.


General Mach Discussion / A Simple Macro
« on: March 02, 2013, 05:00:46 PM »
At least I thought it would be a simple macro.

All I want to do is pause the program until the operator activates a switch connected to input #2.
I'll need a second macro that pauses the program until the operator activates two switches connected to input #1 and input #2 but I figured I'd start with just the one switch macro.  I've tried two different methods and all I've gotten so far is "scripter compile error" on both.

I first tried:
While IsActive(INPUT2) = False
Message “Press Right Button to Continue”

That didn't work so I went with:
Message “Press Right Button to Continue”
If IsActive(INPUT2) Then Exit Do
sleep 10         

Suggestions please?

General Mach Discussion / Why does this radius not show up on my display?
« on: January 29, 2009, 11:39:09 AM »
N2420 G0X-2.2500Y-2.0000
N2430 G01 Y-2.1500
N2440 X-2.1207
N2450 X-2.0354 Y-2.0646
N2460 G02X-1.9646Y-2.1354Z-0.0080I0.0354J-0.0354
N2480 G01 X-2.0500 Y-2.2207

The radius on line 2460 doesn't show on my display.  It does cut properly.

Here's a similar bit of code that does show correctly.

n1 g0x.2929y1.7071
n2 g2x1.7071y.2929i.7071j-.7071

I'm using 3.036.


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