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Topics - benha

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General Mach Discussion / 3 -> 4?
« on: January 11, 2023, 11:06:23 PM »
Hello, folks.

I'm currently torn between two deeply held tenets:
1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
2. Stay close to the bleeding edge of tech, or you get left behind.

I've got a mill and a router currently - happily - running on Mach 3.  It's obviously not gorgeous, and it's obviously a little clumsy, but it works well and allows me to make the parts I need.

But I've got the itch (see #2) to transition to Mach 4, just because it's there.  Should I?  What do I get?  I have a 3-axis mill and a 3-axis router that I use to cut parts posted from various CAM solutions.  The posts all work.  The machines are all dialed in.  Nothing is really lacking. 

Apart from the visual changes and generally-more-modern underpinnings, what would justify spending the time and money to make the move?


General Mach Discussion / Spindle speed help
« on: December 09, 2018, 01:10:15 AM »

I'm in the final stages of rehabbing an old full sheet router with new electronics & Mach3.

I have an ESS, a PMDX-126, and a PMDX-107.  The 107 is wired up to a Delta 7.5KW VFD (VFD075A23H) which is connected to a 7.5KW Colombo spindle with a nameplate rating of 230V, 600Hz & 36000RPM.

I'm no wizard when it comes to configuring VFDs, but I think I got the parameters all done right.  In particular, both the PMDX-107 and the VFD are configured for 10V signal, and the VFD is set to 600HZ for max output freq and max voltage freq.

When I attempt to spin the spindle at max speed in Mach3, the freq display on the VFD stops at about 300 Hz.  And, frustratingly but encouragingly, while voltage measured across the 10v ref to common terminals on the 107 is right around 10V, the signal-to-common voltage is at about 5v.  That suggests to me that the VFD is interpreting the signal correctly, but something in my Mach/ESS/PMDX setup isn't right.

Can anyone suggest a likely starting point for debugging this?  I'm running out of ideas.


Mach SDK plugin questions and answers. / Load G-Code Behavior
« on: December 04, 2018, 06:26:38 PM »

I'm contemplating the idea of building a machine control panel for my mill to make it a bit more like an industrial-class machine.  Most of it seems fairly straightforward, but I'm struggling to figure out how to load a new program without having a mouse/keyboard since the Load G-Code command opens a windows filesystem browser.

Anyone already solved this problem?  Or failing that, anyone have ideas on how to make the Load G-Code function default to listing programs from a pre-determined folder and/or a USB key if inserted using the same UI as the Recent File feature?  I figure I can set up a central folder in DropBox and put files there from my CAM machine.

Then all I'd need is arrow keys and an enter key to navigate.


General Mach Discussion / Forum Search Broken?
« on: December 03, 2018, 03:00:48 PM »
Whenever I try to search the forum or follow a google link to a specific forum page things break.

The Google links just redirect to the primary forum page, and then when I try to search for the page I was after I get:

2: pspell_new(): PSPELL couldn't open the dictionary. reason: No word lists can be found for the language "en".
File: /var/www/vhosts/machsupport.com/forum.machsupport.com/forum/Sources/Search.php
Line: 700

Is this just me or do others have this issue, too?

General Mach Discussion / VFD Enable Question
« on: March 23, 2016, 10:50:50 AM »

Apologies if this should be obvious.  I've tried searching but couldn't find what I was looking for.

I have a Fuji Frenic Mini VFD that I use to drive a spindle on my CNC router.  During normal operation, I control the speed of the spindle using the PWM circuit on a Gecko G540.  This includes "stopping" the spindle by running it all the way down to zero.  This has all worked fine.

By default, when the VFD is powered up it's in "Stop" mode and I need to hit the green "Run" button on the front of the VFD to enable it to accept input from the PWM circuit system.  In this case, "Run" means it's ready to accept PWM input, not necessarily that the spindle is spinning.  The display on the VFD blinks steadily in Stop mode and is solid in Run.  So my workflow is generally:  Turn on the machine controller; Turn on Mach; Energize the VFD; Hit "Run" on the VFD; Start making parts.  Sometimes, however, I forget to hit "Run" on the VFD and end up damaging work or breaking bits because the spindle doesn't start spinning before the tool hits the work.  It's annoying.  

The VFD has digital inputs for "FWD" and "REV" which, when a logic signal is applied, appear to be equivalent to pressing "Run" on the panel.  I'd like to set things up so that the when the charge pump is active to the G540, the FWD terminal on the VFD goes high.  Theoretically the VFD will then always be ready to accept input from a properly functioning Mach3.

First off:  Is this a bad idea?  It's entirely possible that I'm missing something and that I'd be shooting myself in the foot by doing this, or if there's a better / more industry standard way of accomplishing my goal.  Please do tell.

Second: I'm not sure how to set up Mach so that a G540 pin is always high when the charge pump is functioning properly.  Assuming the answer to the above is not "you're nuts", how do I do this?

Finally:  Assuming it makes sense to use an output pin to activate the FWD pin on the VFD, is there any reason I would need to run that through a relay, or can I just connect the output from the G540 directly to the logic input on the VFD?



General Mach Discussion / Dual Axis Homing Question
« on: March 17, 2016, 06:18:33 PM »
Hi, Folks.

I've read a bunch of the posts around dual axis homing and haven't seen this addressed so I felt okay starting a new thread.  Hope I didn't miss something:

I'm setting up a router with two steppers on the X (long) axis - one for each side of the gantry.  X and A are slaved together and that's all working fine.  Historically I used a single home switch on the X axis and assumed things would be square enough, but I'm looking to improve my precision a bit and want to home X and A independently to ensure squareness.

The "obvious" approach to this is to ensure that the switches trigger at precisely the right place to ensure squareness.  That, however, requires micro-adjustment of the positions of the switches to tune things in.

What I'm hoping exists is a software offset that can be applied to the homed value of A, so that I can get the switches within 5 or 10 thou of "right" and then do the precision tuning by tweaking that parameter.  I haven't been able to figure out how to do that though.

Is this possible?


General Mach Discussion / VFD Help
« on: July 23, 2013, 01:05:32 AM »

I've nearly got my Mach / CNC router setup complete, but I'm missing one critical piece.  I haven't been able to get the spindle set up correctly under Mach's control.  There are a ton of threads on this, I know, but I haven't been able to get where I need by reading them.  I'm hoping someone can provide the "ah ha" I need.

First off, the equipment is as follows:
UgraCNC 2.2KW spindle.  This maxes out at 400Hz.
Fuji Frenic-Mini FRN0031S-7U VDF.
Gecko G540

I've got the Frenic listening to the Gecko, and the Gecko talking to the Frenic, but I can't figure out the appropriate set of parameters.  Whenever the VDF is activated by Mach, it immediately goes to 400Hz (the max frequency for the drive and the Frenic) and the spindle goes to its max rev regardless of what rev I've asked it to go to in Mach 3.  I'm assuming that what's happening is that due to either a PWM-Hz translation issue, or perhaps a "ratio" issue in the pulley configs, that any target rev is inducing a Hz count of >400, which is the max for the VFD, and so I'm always going to that value.  I've messed around a fair bit and haven't found a fix, though.  Obviously I'm 90% there given that the spindle speeds up and shuts off at Mach's control.  I just need to figure out how to configure things so that when I say "I want 5000 RPM" I get 5000 RPM.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


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