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Topics - Mike VT

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General Mach Discussion / Mdi is not a MODE
« on: November 03, 2016, 07:55:34 PM »
So just learned that if you are in the MDI screen and press the hard cycle/start button (shouldn't be doing that but I did), Mach executes the current program on the main screen.  Crashed a 3/4 endmill 1 inch deep into the vice at G0 speed.  Broke endmill, destroyed hard jay on chuck and broke retaining stud on cat 40 tool holder).  Glad I closed the doors before I did that.

Is there a way to disable the cycle start button when on the MDI screen.  I get that I should not have done that BUT.......

General Mach Discussion / Normally Open VS Normally Closed
« on: August 10, 2016, 08:19:43 PM »
This is a good one.  Would like to hear the arguments that go to the heart of the reasoning.

To start, lets say axis A (maybe a tool changer moving in and out from limit 1 to limit 2).

Why should the limit switches be wired one way or the other. 

This will be fun as most opinions will be based on previous readings from the net without any actual thought to the real question.

  All my limits were wired N.O.........Good thing, because Mach 3 has a bug with "IF NOT"

Fire away.

General Mach Discussion / Haas VF1 Conversion
« on: May 07, 2016, 12:41:15 PM »
I basically was given a 1991 Haas VF1 about 3 yrs ago.  It was a bit rough, but got it up and going.  The serial comms would not work and occasionally, all programs would get wiped.  This resulted in manually keying in all programs all the time.  Really sucked.  Decided to buy new boards to fix comm issue.  About 3k.  Few months later, get fatal eprom errors.  90 day warranty expired.  Repeat.  6 months later, same result.  The boards they have are all used and just ain't gonna do this again.

Just before getting this machine, I purchased a nice Acer knee mill that was very lightly used and had a dead cnc package.  I built the panel and setup mach 3.  Mill has been nearly flawless for years.

But, I love the flood coolant and tool changer on the haas.  So, instead of dropping 20-30k on another used machine, I'm going to do this conversion.

The x, y, z, coolant, limits, lube, I get all that.  Where I am a little fuzzy is the tool changer operation.  I fully understand the process that has to happen, just not sure exactly how to implement with mach.

Good news is that I do a lot of PLC programming and actually use Modbus TCP quite often.  I haven't found any real step by step on doing this but I get the impression that it will be a custom macro that will send the tool number to the PLC.  PLC would do the following.
Verify spindle is stopped.
Move to carousel height
Rotate spindle at min speed and engage orientation lock pin and stop
Engage shuttle to move in, check limit
Release tool and stay released
Move spindle to carousel clearance plane
Rotate carousel to tool x
Move spindle down to carousel height
Engage tool
Retract shuttle and check limit
Return something to the marco indictating success or failure

On to my questions.  Am I correct in thinking that the macro to Modbus TCP to PLC and back is the solution?
Or, can mach do this more directly.  Assume you would need the dual parrallel port if mach is handling the whole thing.
I am familiar with Mach 3 on my knee mill.  Is mach 4 going to be more suited to this?
Bunch more questions, but lets start here.

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