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Topics - Vogavt

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1
The boards are all successfully talking to each other, well sorta.

I have an oddity with the XHC and the spindle output controlling the on/off of the laser itself. As a safety feature of the PicConvert board, I've wired from the XHC's Spindle Output#1 to the PicConvert Board input for enabling the laser only when a call is made from within the Gcode for an M03. I just happened to discover that issuing an M03 (normal start of the spindle) actually turns the laser OFF instead of ON. And M05 (normal stop) actually does the opposite.

I'm using Mach3 and I've unchecked and checked active low / active high for Spindle Output, OutPut #1, etc. to no avail.

For now I've swapped the M03 with an M05 at the start of the GCode and vice versa at the end of the file. Terrible workaround!

This means I have to make sure the spindle start command has been invoked BEFORE I turn on the laser. The Spindle has been removed and I've built a drop in laser attachment in its place. This way I can carve as needed then remove the spindle and start laser engraving the work-piece.

I haven't crossed swapped the wiring and don't want to do that, i.e., positive to negative. I have the positive out from the XHC going to the positive in to the PicConvert.

I tried other outputs on the XHC and made matching changes in Mach3 for those outputs on the spindle setup tab. I was unable to measure any appreciable voltage changes on those outputs when calling for an M03 or M05. Only Output #1 will work. However, I also discovered that I need to have power switched on to the VFD for the output #1 to enable the PicConvert to send signal to the laser via the JTechPhotonics driver.

The issue lies in the XHC-MKX-IV Rev5 board.

Has anyone seen this before or could give suggestions on how to make it more conventional?
I haven't even gotten to the M11P1 (ON) and M10P1 (OFF) yet.

The image below is in regards to voltages taken at Output #1.


I'm wondering if I need some sort of pull-up resistor.

I appreciate you all looking at this.


2
General Mach Discussion / Issue with XHC USB Controller and axes direction
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:41:09 PM »
New XHC USB 4-Axis controller
Mach3 (licensed to me)
Windows10, 64bit

I had a perfectly working 3-axis XHC USB controller but I am setting up for a laser and wanted to use a 4th axis to control the laser output. Hence, I purchased a 4-axis controller from the same company with the latest version of firmware or upgrades.

I followed the directions for installing the new dll's, macros, etc. to the correct directories and began tuning the stepper motors by simply copying the data from screenshots from the other install, i.e., all the settings for steps/per, accel, velocity, etc., saved for posterity (read sanity).

On this latest revision (V) of the XHC 4-axis controller, the board has moved some of the pins over to the other side of the controller as well as adding both Dir+ and Pul+ for the steppers. The 3-axis only had Dir-, Pul- and 5V. It also dropped the PE (primary earth?) pin altogether (more on that later).

Reading as many posts here as I could (mostly for parallel ports, not USB) and from what I could gather from the internet, I only needed to put a connecting wire between both "+", tieing the stepper's "+" signals together for each axis. Seems logical, but as I know nothing about servos, I can only guess there's a need to have them separated. Unsure.

Anyway, the first problem is I can only move in one direction but not the other on all three axes. When using the keyboard's keys to move the gantry, say for the Y-axis, the movement from the up arrow takes place, but nothing for the down arrow. Stay with me now... if I use the MDI and call for "G01 Y-0.5" in moves, but if I call for "G01 Y0.5" it moves too, BUT in the same direction! Same holds true for Z-axis. But when I call for "G01 X-0.5" it moves, but no response when I call for "G01 X-0.5".

Simplier: X, Y & Z move in one direction only with keyboard, but MDI has a different response depending on the axis.

The second problem is the probe light doesn't light up when grounding. Let's go back to the PE pin being no longer present in Rev. V of the board. When I first turned everything on, since I couldn't find a place to put the PE wire from the original setup, I left it disconnected to err on the safe side. When I launched Mach3, I got an error message that said "Is the XPod Inserted OK? It has ceased to Respond,..". So I went to the troubleshooting/FAQ's and sure enough the solution was to "connect the ground wire (PE) of the inverter and the ground wire of the shaft to the earth".

Shut everything down and got out my multi-tester. After unplugging the power cord from the back of the controller, I probed the ground pin at the plug jack and the side of the power supply. Great! That's where I'll connect the PE. Did that and rebooted, launched Mach3 and the message was no longer there.

One of the probe wires fed into the PE pin, then back out to one side of the E-Stop. That's why I though I was killing two birds with one stone.

Spindle is working without issues. Comes on and off and changes speed based on whatever Speed I throw at it, so all good there.

I've played with pin settings, port settings, etc. but still no joy.

It took me 6 weeks to get the item here so I'm not enamored with having to send it back and wait again. I missed making the holiday gifts I wanted to make because of the delay with Customs and China.

Any ideas from anybody would be most appreciated.

XML file attached


3
General Mach Discussion / Using USB and Parallel Port together
« on: August 24, 2017, 09:58:07 PM »
Is it possible?

I recently purchased a 6040 CNC router with an XHC Mach3 motion controller (USB) which seems to be working very well.

I want additional outputs though and was thinking about adding a parallel port to my Windows 10 machine to get them.

Again, just checking on feasibility at this point.

When I installed Mach3, I purposely did not install the parallel port driver so I know I'd have to do a re-installation oh Mach3 and add that.

I'm mainly concerned about conflicts in configurations.

4
I've purchased a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) board to start down the path of gray scale laser engraving. I've read many threads, documents, etc. found throughout the web. However, so that I don't toast my second laser diode, I need a little hand holding.

The DACtem I've purchased can be found on Amazon shown here

I've purchased a Laser Diode (NDB7875) from DTR's shop (found here).

I've also purchased a Laser Driver board from eBay seller "x-wossee" but he doesn't have one for sale at the time of this posting.
Mine was: 3Amp Analog PWM Laser Diode Driver with Thermal Protection 445nm 638nm 520nm.  Currently, they have one that's 6 amps.

Unless I reading something incorrectly, the DAC shows that it maxes out at 10mA. My gut feeling tells me that since the diode appears to be capable to above 2A, the laser driver board (LDB) from x-wossee is actually the one that provides that amps, but the signal coming from the DAC tells the LDB how much amperage to put out. Correct?

I would also appreciated some guidance on the connecting wires that go between them all. I believe I can handle the Mach3 settings if I get it wired correctly.

5
Finally got Mach3 to recognize the second PP after downloading and installing the correct drivers. Used tests outlined at this and other forums for checking pin voltage.

Now, no matter what speed the spindle is turning at, is it pulsing in at a frequency directly correlated the rpm.

I'll never get a satisfactory finish in the aluminum this way nor could I stand that annoying undulating sound.

Maybe it's a simple setting somewhere that needs tweaked.
Any help would be very much appreciated.

I've already searched (yesterday and this morning) in this forum and the "zone" but haven't found anything to help.


Mach3 v.62, XP Pro SP3, Gecko 540 on PP1, cnc4pc C10 on PP2 (nothing connected on PP2 yet)

6
General Mach Discussion / Need Help! Probe Suddenly Quit Working
« on: March 12, 2015, 01:20:16 AM »
Needless to say it was working before.

When I connect the probe wiring to the work piece or the bit in the spindle using an alligator clip I now get a random blink as if the probe has touched the work piece. (Used to stay on during testing until I disconnected it)

I've not made any changes to the system.
I've checked the wiring with a multimeter for continuity from the wiring right up to the Gecko 540's pin 11.
I tried adding a 1k resistor, a 68k resistor, 150 ohm and 220 ohm resistors to no avail.

I even tried to emulate and still got no response in Mach.

I'm wondering if the Gecko's gone bad. Everything else seems to be okay.

I do have another parallel port with a BOB and may trying different Ports & Pins for it tomorrow just to see.

I've loaded other screensets and that didn't work either.

Like I said, I've changed no wiring or settings, just tested it before probing down (as I always do) and discovered that today it didn't want to play ball.

Any insight for other items to check would be appreciated.

7
I'm wanting utilize physical buttons through a control panel and as an example "Rewind" is simply Ctrl+W for the original screenset that comes with Mach3. No problems there.

However, if I switch to Mach 2010 screenset it doesn't work. I opened 2010 in Screen4 editor and see that the function is now activated by a simple word "Rewind" which I believe is a replacement for the original hotkey. The manual states that some function calls "could be" phased out in later version of Mach so no guarantee of older ones working in the future.

How do I get this "Rewind" to work? Granted I could go through and change that button to "Ctrl+W" but seems like there might be some unnecessary work involved unless it I could get it resolved. This in not the only button that uses newer calls.

I suspect there isn't going to me anymore releases for Mach3 anyway since Mach4 is out.

Could I use a macro?

I assigned the "Ref All" physical button to m884.m1s and that works but ONLY if I have the MDI line activated. So I have to click in the MDI area then press the button on the control panel.

Maybe I'm close but there may be a barrier that prevents me from getting closer.

Any help would be appreciated.

I'm using the latest verison of Mach3 and an Ideazon Fang Gamepad. (About half of the buttons have been setup to my preference. Just stuck at the moment.)
I intend to build another control panel using the board from the Fang if I can get this going.

8
Mysterious issue. Was working fine before. I am using version R3.043.66.

When I home my mill's X & Y axes, everything is fine but when I home the Z or the A, it just stick's and I get a notification that the soft limits have been reached and it aborts the homing routine.

Tried a reinstall of Mach3 but not any better. I haven't uninstalled and reinstalled yet, just tried to overwrite the original.

I do have the configuration set to auto-zero.

I went back a week to use an older xml file but that didn't work either.

Only thing I've done is change out a USB hub to a 10-port model, but don't see where that would impact anything.

Maybe it's just so obvious I'm overlooking it but I can't seem to figure it out.

I really don't want to do a fresh install unless it's necessary.

9
I just made some new brass gibs for my X2 and for the first time ever attempted to go higher rate than I've been on table movement in the past.

I was surprised to see the flag come up that say's velocity requested exceeds blah blah blah limits of configuration.

I know they're are others that are moving at a faster rate than this at 45k Hz and I understand that leadscrew tpi has a lot to do with that.

But does it understand my max feedrate is based upon "steps per" or something?

Where's the bottleneck if it's not in the leadscrew?

Am I missing another setting somewhere?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with the new feedrates, just taken aback that the system is infringing on faster movement.

10
Is there a way to ramp the spindle speed up to full speed instead of "full out" when the spindle starts?

I know about the delay function, but that's not wihat I'm looking for.

I'd like for the spindle to come up to speed in a smooth fluid motion not the way it does now which is almost intantaneous.

I've played with the motor tuning for the spindle, i.e. Acceleration and Velocity, but thoes don't make any difference best I can tell.

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