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Topics - howling60

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General Mach Discussion / feedrate override & "jerky" motion??
« on: May 21, 2007, 02:46:19 PM »
so, here is my situation..  running a 3-axis gantry (with X & A axis slaved for the gantry) router...   I have rapids set at 6_ _ IPM on my Y-axis, and about 300 in my Z-axis.

I am cutting a convex contour in the Y-Z axis, and then an 1/8 stepover in the X... in foam (think blue house insulation panels).. many many many short little segments blended together...

I am using an AD DL06 PLC with an analog card to control my feed/speed over-rides.

If I set my feedrates at 500 IPM in the GCode file, I end up with some rather nasty, jerky motion... Ok.. so turn the feedrates down cause we're obviously pushing the envelope for the speeds the machine can be happy at.... So, I turn my feedrate down to 200 IPM using the feedrate over-ride... motion is still jerky... hmmm

I go in my GCode file, and set my feedrate at 200 IPM...  this time when running, the machine has got really smooth motion...  even @ 100% feedrate override..   i turn it down to 100 IPM using the feedrate over-ride, and motion is still smooth (which would make sense.. if it's smooth @ 200,  it's probly gonna be smooth @ 100)...

So, My question is this..  why is the machine behaving any differently when i set my feed @ 200 Vs 500??  the end result is still 200 IPM when the feedrate override is put in.... It's not really a HUGE issue, as i can take care of it by changing my hardcoded feeds.. i'm just curious as to why it's doing this...

any input would be great!

BTW.. eagerly anticipating Quantum on this machine.. it would be the bomb diggity for what we're doing :) :)

My problem is such.. Used the VB editor within Mach to edit... which is frustrating enough, as it is not saving reliably.... ugh..
using the "play" button in the editor, checks out fine.. works fine..  everything SEEMED to work fine yesterday when i wrote all this, but now i'm getting an error "error on line 84--internal error <homeit>"
This corresponds to the "getoemled(800)" line within the "homeit" sub...

also getting an error on Line 88... corresponds to "msgbox........" line

this code is contained within the "reset" button, and I'm using it to do maintenance prompts, and a "must home before running" lockout...
anybody have any thoughts/suggestions?
Thanks in advance!!

*edit* running mach Version R2.0.061  on the laptop being used for testing anyway.

'Every Monday, when the Machine is brought out of a "reset" state, a prompt is initiated to grease
'the machine.  A Maintenance Log is created/appended with a time/date stamp, and an Operators Name.
'If the Date Stamp is the same as the last stamp in the maintenance file, the maintenance request is ignored.
'The state of the machine is checked upon coming out of The reset, and in conjunction with the "ref home" and "cycle start"
'buttons, a "HOME" action is forced prior to running ANY GCode Files.
Sub Main()

   Call Maintreminder()   'determine if maintenance is required & take care of process if necessary

   Call Homeit()      'Warn about homing after reset & prevent Gcode runs

End Sub

'* Subroutine: Maintreminder
'* Purpose: create a maintenance reminder prompt every Monday upon Resetting the machine
'* Programmer: Nathan Haskell
'* Date: 5-17-07

Sub Maintreminder()
Today = Date ()                  'Obtain Current Date
   DOW = Weekday (Today)               'Calculate Day Of Week (1-7)
   Clk = Time()                'Obtain Time Of Day
   Open "Maintenance.txt" For Input As #1         'Search Maintenance Log for last
   Do While Not EOF (1)               'Maintenance Occurance
   Line Input #1, Lastline
   Close #1
   LastMaint = DateValue(Lastline)
   If DOW = 2 Then               'Check to see if Today is Monday
      If Today = LastMaint Then         'And compare against the last Maintenance Log
      Exit Sub               'If the last Maintenance Log was from Today, ignore
                        'Otherwise, Perform Maintenance Routine!
      Begin Dialog Maintdlg1 60,60, 200,70, "Maintenance Required!"
      TEXT 60,10,90, 12, "Machine Must Be Greased"
      TEXT 10,24, 50,12, "Operator Name"
      TEXTBOX 60, 22, 108, 12,.nameStr
      OKBUTTON 80, 54, 40, 12,.okbtn
      End Dialog
           '* display the dialogbox for operator name input until a valid name (aka, anything starting with A or greater) is displayed... 
           '* Also continue to display until the "OK" button is pressed, to eliminate just clicking out of it... 
      Dim Maintbox As Maintdlg1                 
         Dialog Maintbox
         Loop Until Maintbox.nameStr >="A"
      Loop Until Maintbox.okbtn=-1

      MsgBox "Thank you " & Maintbox.nameStr & "!"
      Open "Maintenance.txt" For Append As #1
      Print #1, " "
      Print #1, "Greased at "  & Clk & " By " & Maintbox.nameStr
      Print #1, Today
      Close #1
      End If
   End If

End Sub

Sub Homeit()
   If GetOEMLED (800) = false Then               'If Placing into a Reset, then just reset
   DoOEMButton (1021)
   Exit Sub
   Else                        'Otherwise, Call the message box, then reset
   MsgBox "Machine Must Be Homed After Startup Or A Reset"
   DoOEMButton (1021)
   End If
End Sub

General Mach Discussion / Homing indicators
« on: May 17, 2007, 09:48:08 AM »
I have been reading through the various "how to make sure my machine is homed after startup" threads,
and have a question... why is it that in each code example that has been posted, LED 808 (Y axis ref) is checked to make sure the machine has been homed?  As opposed to checking all the valid axis in the machine anyway...

Just trying to understand the mental paths behind the code that is being put up for use/examples.

Thank you all!


General Mach Discussion / homing not zeroing axis?
« on: May 14, 2007, 07:27:23 PM »
Hey all...

my mill has recently developed a new feature!  of course, this could have very easily been accomplished by someone "fat-fingering" the touchscreen... 

but, here it goes...

started up the machine today and re-homed it.. we utilize prox switches for home switches... with homing speeds @ approx 6 ipm (if that)... @ activation of the prox, the machine reversed direction, and backed off the switch.  I looked @ the DRO, and it did NOT read 0.0 as I would expect?  I went through the entire homing process, and this occured with all 3 axis.

I fortunately, make a backup of all files on the mill every time i work on it, and so i backdated the entire M3 directory to 14 days ago, when i last considered making changes..   Powered up the machine, and it homed just like it was supposed to...  with an axis of 0.0 after the homing.

Am I just missing something really stupid here?  I checked through all my notes, and don't see that I have done anything to M3 since 4-30-07 (when my last backup was), but as i mentioned above, and operator could have "fat-fingered" something on the touch-screen.

any help would be great if someone could possibly help shed some light here..

oh, machine is running Win2k, latest release of Mach3



General Mach Discussion / lpt port mode
« on: May 01, 2007, 09:19:09 AM »
Hey there all!

Working on setting up a "new" machine for Mach3 usage...  was just going through the bios... and i have the option of setting the LPT port mode...  factory default is IBM PS/2...  is currently set to "ECP" or Extended Capability Port protocol....

any thoughts/ reccomendations on this?  I am thinking i will do the PS/2 compatibility mode, as i imagine it stands less chance of screwing with Mach's control over the parallel port.

Thanks in advance for any input!


Mach Screens / "Active" picture possible?
« on: April 20, 2007, 12:15:04 PM »
Hello all,

I am working on a cnc router that is being placed into a factory production role, and as such, I am trying to make it as "idiot proof" as possible...

I currently have a "pick your part" screen, where the user chooses what part they want to cut from a series of photos, it loads the GCode, takes them back to the program run screen, and then they hit "go"...

I have placed a ticker in the 4th axis DRO, that changes based on what has been selected, but I was wondering if there was a way to have a "hot swappable" image on the screen...

Basically, if the user has chosen part X, I would like to call up a picture of part X on the main screen, as a verification, but if they choose part Y, or part Z, the picture of those parts would be shown instead.

I was thinking of placing LED's underneath a picture, and in my button script, setting the LED, then referencing the LED state from within the picture.. but... not seeing how i can do that.

Any insight/thoughts would be great. ( oh yeah, this is using Screen4 as my designer, making basic screens)

Thanks again!


General Mach Discussion / reading modbus input
« on: April 16, 2007, 12:43:45 PM »
So, i posted this on cnczone, but after thinking about it, thought this might be the more intelligent place to ask :P

I am hitting a massive mental block on reading modbus inputs (using an AD PLC as extended I/O via modbus).  I am implementing some safeties on a machine being used as a "production machine"... and am writing some custom m-codes to interface with the safeties.

I know that i can map the modbus I/O to the inputs under the P&P screen, and just do an "isactive" command with my vb script, but with the number of things I am going to be possibly interfacing, I am going to want to be directly reading/writing to my modbus I/O.

If someone could please help me clear the fog, I would really appreciate it.  I have done it before, but it was over a year ago, and i am just blanking on how right now :( booo :(

Thank you very much in advance!


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