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Topics - rgsparber

Pages: 1
1
General Mach Discussion / reproducable fault makes no sense to me
« on: November 29, 2016, 07:06:11 PM »
For many months I have been trying to debug Mach3 freezing while I manually control the X, Y, Z, or A axes. Never a problem using the keyboard arrow keys and never a problem when executing gcode. I replaced Mach3, the .dll related to xbox controller, and directX software. Still got random failures. Cleaned the xbox controller of swarf I found inside but still got random failures. Bought a new xbox controller and still got random failures.

Today I discovered that if I pulsed the X axis with the xbox controller I could get Mach3 to freeze in about 3 quick pulses (around 1/2 sec pulse). Power cycled, and repeated the test. Did this a total of 3 times. In all 3 test cycles, I got Mach3 to freeze in about 3 pulses.

They I tried something out of desperation: disconnected my ps2 keyboard and usb mouse. I pulsed the X axis about 30 times and no failures. Power cycled and plugged the keyboard back in. Got failure after 3 pulses.

Although not a 100% reliable test, it does imply that the keyboard causes the Xbox controller to lock up Mach3.

Has anyone else had this experience? Does anyone have a theory on how this could happen?

I took the keyboard apart and did not find any swarf inside. I'm in the process of soaking the plastic parts in soapy water right now just to be safe. I will rinse and dry before reassembling. I know these keyboards are low cost but want to learn as much as possible about the root cause and not just swap parts.

A side issue is that I found if I pulsed the x axis and pulsed the XZero button, I would eventually not be able to zero any axis. Easy to avoid this case but did see it as odd and possibly related to the main problem. However, I get this fault even with the keyboard removed.

All insights and wild speculation welcome.

Thanks,

Rick

2
General Mach Discussion / what controls the A axis speed?
« on: October 03, 2016, 10:01:23 AM »
I am doing engraving with code that passed through CNCWRAPPER. The letters come out perfect but the A axis turns very slowly. If I raise the IPM in the command line, any movement that does not involve the A axis goes too fast. I suspect that the slow speed is purely because A is slow so X must slow down too in order to correctly match the programmed path.

How do I increase the speed of the A axis? I tried changing the velocity, restarting the program, and testing the change. No perceived change from 50 to 2000 IPM.

My A axis is a modified rotary table with a 90:1 gear ratio.

If I do G0A90, for example, it runs very fast. But G1F1A90 is very slow.

Guidance most welcome!

Rick

3
General Mach Discussion / Fully removing X-Box Controller files
« on: October 01, 2016, 10:22:16 PM »
I have used my X-box controller with no problems for a long time. But in the last few months Mach3 randomly freezes. It only does this when I am using the X-box controller to move along an axis and then stop. If I unplug the controller and use the keyboard controls, all is fine.

Can someone tell me how to remove all associated files so I can do a clean install? Only replacing the .dll file did not solve the problem. Are their other programs that work with the controller that could be the source of my crashes? If so, how do I do a clean install of those programs?

Thanks in advance,

Rick

4
General Mach Discussion / Buggy Functions List
« on: July 20, 2016, 09:19:29 AM »
Is there a list of buggy functions and possible work-arounds? Seems like a useful thing, especially for newbies like me. I would put "Run From Here" and screw mapping on the list. This is especially important since Mach3 is no longer maintained. A "work-around" might mean a change to an older version of the software, an alternate procedure that does the same thing, or pre-distorting the input data so the result comes out right.

Rick

5
General Mach Discussion / skipping around a g-code file
« on: July 12, 2016, 09:04:09 PM »
I have a rather large g-code file which I periodically update. I want to execute segments of the file rather than run it all during the testing phase. Often after running one segment of code, I have trouble when trying to run another segment.

I think I found a work around but want to know if there is a better way: I start with the program rewound and move to the first line of the code I want to run. Press "set next line" and press run. When done, I press stop. Then I rewind and move to the next segment.

Thanks in advance,

Rick

6
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Newbie error? - #1
« on: June 05, 2016, 02:52:51 PM »
I have been converting a program to be all parameters and ran into an error message. It took me a while to figure it out. I'm posting to first confirm I got it right and, if so, to alert my fellow newbies.

I wanted #2 = [ - #1]. In other words, to invert the sign of the number stored in variable location #1. Error message.

Used #2 = [ 0 - #1] and no error message.

A close reading of the Mach3 manual talks about subtraction but not flipping the sign.

Furthermore, I tried #2 = [ #3 - 1 * #1] and got no error message. I did get a panic opportunity to hit eStop. Mach3 read this as "take the contents of memory location #3, subtract 1.000. Then take the result and multiply it by the contents of #1. Oops.

So my take on this is that I must have that zero in order to change the sign of a parameter. Am I right?

Rick
         

7
General Mach Discussion / Having A Second Home
« on: May 20, 2016, 12:10:21 PM »
Commercial CNC mills typically have a home position which defines a physical location. This is the center of rotation of the spindle with respect to some feature on the table. I did buy some nice home switches for my little hobby CNC mill but was not happy with their repeatability. This article presents a low tech method to accomplish this same goal.

If you are interested, please see

http://rick.sparber.org/HSH.pdf


Your comments are welcome. All of us are smarter than any one of us.

8
You will find many fine examples of people using their CNC mills as lathes. But finding the details of how they did it is not so common. The part I cut is far from impressive, but this is not all bad. It means I needed to write only a few lines of  G-code. Details of the fixturing and code are presented.

If you are interested, please see

http://rick.sparber.org/LMCN.pdf

Your comments are welcome. All of us are smarter than any one of us.


If you wish to receive future article announcements automatically, please send me an email with “Article Alias” in the subject line.

Thanks,

Rick

9
General Mach Discussion / My Mach3 Adventure, so far
« on: February 25, 2016, 07:32:02 AM »
Since I'm new to this forum, I thought I would offer my small selection of articles for member's amusement. I welcome questions and comments. If something is incorrect, I will fix it. Articles focus on my hardware, Mach3, CamBam, and Alibre PE. The last article in this group was recently refined by members of this forum with excellent results.

http://rick.sparber.org/ma.htm#13

Enjoy!

Rick

10
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / The Arc Command
« on: February 23, 2016, 09:17:06 AM »
If you need to debug software generated G-code or create code by hand, understanding the arc command may be necessary. At first glance, it can be confusing. This article attempts to explain the arc command. It also documents an old Mach3 bug associated with drawing arcs on the XZ plane plus offers a work-around.

If you are interested, please see

http://rick.sparber.org/ARC.pdf


Thanks,

Rick

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