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Topics - JimG

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General Mach Discussion / Getting Auto Tool Zero Operation to Work in Mach3
« on: September 05, 2023, 01:19:48 PM »
I've had a difficult day trying to get this operation to work in my Mach3 setup.   I have three scripts which I have tried and all work except for not adding the gauge offset when the probe touches.  The three scripts all date from around 2010 and all of them access the Gauge Block DRO with the code "GetUserDRO(1151)".  When I single step through the scripts,  the value from this operation is zero.

The screen I'm using is one supplied by support for Seig KX1/3 machines in the UK and I suspect that the work wasn't quite completes from a remark left in the script area of the Auto Touch button. :-)   I wondered if an OEM code wasn't attached to the DRO,  or whether a different one had been attached.   I've spent the afternoon trying to see if I could get some information using MachScreen to investigate the screen,  but absolutely nowhere.  It's not often that a bit of software beats me. :-)

I also picked up that OEM codes may have changed over the years and a more recent list of DRO OEM codes I accessed did not have a code 1151 in it.

Any suggestion on how I can find out what's going on.     

I also tried Screen4 to investigate the screen but that software just hung up,  even in compatability mode.

I'm running Version R3.043.062


General Mach Discussion / Spindle Control
« on: August 01, 2022, 04:45:20 PM »
I've started getting a problem with my Seig KX1 spindle control.    The Mach3 setup was upgraded from the original parallel port interface to an ESS system a couple of years ago and has been working well until recently.

The main problem is that when I start running a GCode file in Mach 3,  most of the time the spindle doesn't start.    The required spindle speed is shown on Spindle Speed and SRO,  but there is no movement from the spindle.   I can't start the clockwise spindle manually using the button on the screen or F5,  but I can start in the counter-clockwise direction using the screen button or F6.   I've now found that if I start the spindle using F6,  then run the GCode file,  that the spindle will stop,  then start running in the clockwise direction at the required speed and the cut proceeds as normal.

I'm afraid that the manual I got with the KX1 is not much help so I'm not sure where to start looking to try and sort the problem out.


Sieg Machines / Original KX1 Upgrade to USB or Ethernet
« on: January 25, 2021, 06:51:05 AM »
Can anyone recommend a way to upgrade my original KX1 with Mach3 and parallel port interface to use a USB or Ethernet controller?   I have already purchased a Pokeys57CNCdb25 and found that it could not control the spindle which requires a step and direction pair to do the job.   I've had a look around one or two other controllers but have seen one or two messages in forums which have raised further questions.


General Mach Discussion / Possible Parallel Port Emulation Problem?
« on: August 23, 2014, 03:05:26 PM »
My KX1 and PC running Mach3 stopped talking to each other last week after four and a half years of trouble free operation.   I had temporarily connected the PC to the internet to re-activate a copy of DraftSight on it and a load of updates seem to have been downloaded at the same time.   I wasn't aware of the updates until I noticed that the PC was still running after I had supposedly shut it down and when I fired the screen up,  I found it finishing off the installation of several updates.   I let it finish and shut it down.  but when I started the machine up the next day,  the Mach screens were changed and i couldn't talk to the KX1.

I spent a day or two checking everything,  trying to step back through updates to get back to the previous PC state,  then reloading Mach,  PCI card drivers, etc.  but still no luck.   I then dug out an old WinXP machine I had pensioned off a few years back and tried to get it back into working trim.  It had an onboard parallel port,  so should have been easy.  but it would not run Mach properly - i.e. I couldn't get a satisfactory driver test done.

I then went back to the original PC and tried checking the parallel port using Parmon.exe,  but couldn't see changes of the port using Parmon reflected on the output pins.  So I reckoned that the card was faulty and got a replacement.  On trying it today,  I found that port pin setting with Parmon was not being reflected on the output port pins on this replacement card either.   I went digging around on the Internet to see if this problem had occurred to anyone else and actually found someone who had had the same problem.  He had found that a parallel port emulation had been set up in his computer and that was what Parmon was seeing and interacting with.   It looks as though this might be my problem and might have happened after that [expletive deleted] update.   Any help on how I can confirm this,  and get rid of it?


General Mach Discussion / Scale Problem?
« on: February 25, 2013, 06:13:28 AM »
I machined a load of parts on my Seig KX1 a couple of weeks ago and when I got around to assembling them last week I found that some of the parts were oversize - typically +0.35mm in 75mm on the X axis,  or just under +0.5%.   I've audited the CAD and GCode and all the values are correct.  Unfortunately I was producing the parts as fast as I could over two or three days and I can't remember any peculiar conditions that might have existed when the oversize parts were machined.   I re-machined one of the oversize parts yesterday with the same GCode files and it turned out dimensionally accurate.

I checked the motor settings in Mach3 and they seemed to be OK - Steps Per = 500; Velocity = 1000.2;  Acceleration = 150; Step Pulse = 2; Dir. Pulse = 0.

I remember having the same problem about a year ago when another part turned out oversize,  but I was able to re-machine it to correct dimensions using the same GCode files.

Any pointers to what might be happening?  At the moment I'm going to check the motor settings before I start any machining.  I never normally touch the scale settings on the MDI and always assume them to be 1,  but I will keep an eye on them as well.  I also checked the code from Cut2D for the possibility of any G50/51 entries,  but there are none.

The mach version is 3.043.022.


G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Problem with ARCs
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:30:21 PM »
I'm writing GCode to cut a polygon with several arcs in it.  In one place,  three arcs follow one after the other and Mach shows an error reading the block for the third arc with the  "Radius to end of arc differs from radius to start" error message on that block.   I did discover a small error in the original CAD drawing and corrected that and adjusted the GCode,  but the error still happens.

I am using the SIN, COS and ARCTAN trig functions in Mach to calculate the parameters in the GCode.  When I single step through the code in Mach,  I note that when I come to the part with the three arcs the DRO readings start to deviate from what they should be - based on the co-ordinates from the CAD program (AutoCAD LT) and my checking the calculations with my HP35s calculator.   

Start of first arc
DRO readings          33.1302,30.8210

Start of second arc
DRO readings          34.3560, 31.6840
CAD co-ords            34.3560, 31.6848
HP35s results           34.3560, 31.6848

Start of third arc
DRO readings          40.3720, 28.9010
CAD co-ords            40.3731, 28.9013
HP35s results           40.3731, 28.90136

The next point at the end of the third arc is a hard reference from a fixed point,  so it looks as though Mach is throwing an error with a deviation of 0.0011 in X and 0.0003 in Y at the start position

Am I pushing the accuracy of the Mach trig functions too much?

I've also tried switching between incremental and absolute IJ working,  but with no change.

Any suggestions?


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