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Topics - Zero Cool

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General Mach Discussion / E-Stop LED Output/Pin Output
« on: May 07, 2011, 06:25:04 PM »
Is it possible to have Mach toggle an output Port Pin on and off when in E-Stop??

 I want to add a large red light to the Mill that will run off a solid state relay. If there is a way to have Mach turn on or off an output pin, i can find a way to do it. It would be extra nice if it would "flash" the pin but i would be happy with just on or off LOL!


General Mach Discussion / PWM & Mach
« on: May 03, 2011, 10:47:51 PM »
I am having a heck of a time getting Mach to output a PWM signal. Now I have managed to get this to work before...but that was on a different machine.

 I have designed an Opto isolated PWM motor controller. and I designed a PWM signal generator. these are connected together with a switch so that a user can select Manual control (from the PWM sig generator) or from PC control (from the printer port).

 With the Manual control signal generator everything works fine. I am using 400hz as my PWM signal. so everything works perfectly stand alone.

BUT... when i try and get the PC to output a PWM signal is where i run into problems. I have setup mach to output a PWM signal on say pin 6 and have set up 400hz as my base frequency and i have 20% set as the minimum PWM. I have the pulley ratio set to 1 as my spindle is direct drive. I have set 5000rpm as my min and 30,000 rpm as the max (changing these settings doesn't make any difference).

when I turn the spindle on in mach, nothing happens. but if i then press reset the spindle runs at the minimum speed i set up under the spindle control. IE if i set it for 20% that's what it runs at. pressing the speed up/down buttons just stops the spindle.

 So im not sure whats going on...

 When i was designing the ISO/motor controller I used a different PC and it worked GREAT! i could change speeds from within mach and everything! but i dont remember if i had something set up differently or whats going on...

General Mach Discussion / Mill orientation
« on: May 01, 2011, 07:56:21 AM »
When looking at the machine view/table view window in Mach. it always wants to put the design at the bottom and to the left of the work area as shown. My mill is set up so that "home" is back and to the left. this is the way it was built. Is there a way to tell Mach this so that when looking at the table view it starts at the top left??

 (I am still weeding through the video tutorials)

General Mach Discussion / 500 line test designs??
« on: April 30, 2011, 07:48:47 PM »
are there any places to download test designs for Mach that are under 500 lines?? I have my mill running the roadrunner program and it looks good so far  but it would be nice to have some test designs that will run complete. maybe some kind of pattern or something??

General Mach Discussion / Motor chatter
« on: April 24, 2011, 11:25:23 PM »
I am having a hard time getting my motors tuned in. no matter what i do they chatter at low speeds. if i change the tuning so they move faster. they run great. and they will move very fast. but slow. they chatter and stutter and make all kinds of noise.

 Any suggestions??

Feature Requests / DVD or downloadable tutorial videos
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:24:39 AM »
I would love to be able to order a DVD of the complete set of tutorial videos! or be able to download them all so I could make my own DVD.

 I don't have very good internet access where my machine is and it would be nice to take a portable DVD player or laptop out by the machine and watch the video and work on the machine at the same time.

 and just FYI, the audio quality of those videos could really be better. it is very fatiguing to listen to the mic pops and tinny CB radio quality audio for very long.

Feature Requests / 3X parallel ports
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:18:11 AM »
 I would imagine this would be a relatively easy thing. but i would really like to have access to three parallel ports! I currently have a dual Parallel port card in my machine and Mach does a great job of letting me have access to both cards. but i would still like to have access to more pins without having to resort to a USB device. I have a 3rd port just sitting there unused and i would think that it would be something easy to do to allow Mach to have access to those pins as well???

General Mach Discussion / PWM VS Pins 2-9
« on: April 20, 2011, 10:26:07 PM »
Why is it that i can only get Mach to output a PWM signal on pins 2 through 9???

Pins 1, 14,16 &17 are output pins as well but no matter what i do i cannot get a PWM signal on these pins. but pins 2-9 work just fine???

 I see that Mach has a setting to use port2 pins 2-9 as inputs instead of outputs. I was hoping to use that functionality but i can if i cant get a PWM signal to work on pins 1, 14,16 or 17

General Mach Discussion / System grounding questions
« on: April 11, 2011, 07:14:48 PM »
I am nearing completion of my custom stepper motor controller and i am wondering about proper grounding.

My Mill is a Shibura Roibot. a converted industrial X/Y arm with a modified Z axis. Internally the motors have separate ground wires connected to them then tied together and brought out on one wire. How should the ground for the mill as such be handled? Do I want the Mill ground tie to the motor controller chassis?? Do I need to take a ground wire from the chassis of the mill and the ground wire from the motors and tie them together at the motor controller?? the motors are bolted directly to the mill but maybe 2 wires is needed??

My Motor controller of course has the AC line grounded directly to the chassis of the motor controller box. the PC inputs are all optically coupled so no ground connection between PC and mill except through AC line ground.


My spindle motor is a modified Dremel tool running from a PWM controller so it is isolated from ground.

General Mach Discussion / 3 Parallel Port cards??
« on: April 10, 2011, 11:05:07 AM »
Is there a limit as to how many parallel port cards can be used with Mach3??

 I am currently running 2 in the machine I am building. the first card is pretty much used up controlling the TB6550 controller board. it seems to require Step, Dir & enable pins for all 3 axis plus spindle control and there are no pins left.

 I added a second card to control some Solid state relays for Vacuum and flood pump and I am using the rest of the pins for manual direction control.

 But I would like to add a 3rd card so I can utilize the P.I.D function for spindle speed control. I just don't have anymore available inputs on the 2 existing cards.

 So I'm curious if I can run 3 cards with Mach3. assuming I can get 3 cards to run in the PC in the first place.

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