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Topics - Soxfan963

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Mach4 General Discussion / Help with stoppage mid cycle
« on: August 14, 2018, 07:11:19 PM »
Hey everybody.  I'm hoping for some guidance in troubleshooting a problem I've had for some time.

Basically something unpredictably freezes during a run cycle.  It's always while the bit is engaged and mostly (but not always) occurs while taking a heavier cut (but nothing crazy).
For instance, I was cutting a small part out of 1/2" Baltic Birch Ply yesterday. Feed rate 15 and full depth with a 1/2" spiral roughing bit.  About 1/2 way through it stopped. At this point I need to restart Mach 4, and restart the machine. Next I ran the cycle with the bit high (cutting air) and all was fine. Next I re-ran the part again. When it got to the place where it failed earlier it stopped just after making contact with the wood. Next, I re-ran the part and slowed the feed down to about 7. The machine finished the part.  This is a typical experience when it fails. But it doesn't always fail....
One thing to note, when the program stops, the Cycle Time clock keeps running. I'm also able to enable/disable Mach 4, but can't jog the machine or get it to move at all.

One of the problems is that I can't tell what the problem is. Is it Mach 4? Is it noise interference from the router/bit causing problems with the PC or with the BOB? (I bought a shielded ethernet cable to see if this was the problem, no dice). A water cooled spindle is the last piece of the puzzle that I didn't want to afford during the build. Could it be this?

Honestly, I just don't know where to look...

Here's my set up: It's a home made chassis with commercial parts...

Cad/Cam Software is BobCad V29
Mach 4 - V.
Ethernet smooth stepper with latest drivers (shielded Ethernet cable)
PMDX 126 Break out board
Kelling stepper motors, stepper drivers and power supply.
Dewalt DW618 Router (For now)
Aluminum Extrusions as the chassis and ball screws/linear bearings as the mechanicals.
Toshiba Laptop running windows 10-64bit and 8GB ram (set to never sleep!)

Any and all thoughts are much appreciated!

Mach4 General Discussion / Mach4 stopped communicating with ESS
« on: January 20, 2018, 07:49:38 PM »
Hoping someone has an idea what's going on here, cause I sure don't!

Home made CNC. Steppers/Drivers/BOB/ESS etc.. purchased from Automation Technologies. To save some $$ I went with a palm router to get me started instead of a DC spindle and VFD (probably a mistake, but...).

Everything worked well for quite a while except if I tried to take too aggressive of a cut. At that point the system would lose communication with the computer (Mach4) and everything stopped. It seemed to occur when the noise/vibration got to a certain audible frequency. I could adjust the feed rate/depth of cut and RPM of the motor to avoid the problem, but program times seem to be longer than what they probably should be and besides, I just want my stuff to work right!

So I just purchased a Shielded Cat 6 Ethernet cable and installed it thinking this could be the root of the problem. On my first test run I purposely pushed the bit a little harder than I knew it could handle in the past. I was cruising along and I thought the problem was fixed, then.... It stopped again, except this time Mach4 kept running the program. This was different than before. I shut the machine down, restarted Mach4 from scratch as I had been forced to do previously and tried again. This time, though, the machine wont move. Except my X axis (which was the only motor moving as it "Broke" earlier) turns very slowly, but only when it's connected to mach.

So there has to be a logical explanation of what happened right? Well I can't find it.. Nothing is visibly fried. All the lights on the ESS and C10 BOB are lit as they are supposed to be. All wires are snug and secure in their locations. Everything LOOKS normal, except the results...

What am I missing???

Thanks for any and all help!

Mach4 General Discussion / Canned solutions? M6 and others....
« on: September 17, 2017, 10:29:48 AM »
Why isn't there a canned solution for something as simple as a manual tool change?  This forum is loaded with posts about Mach 4 users having to write code to do tasks that should be VERY easy. As easy as selecting a few check boxes or radio buttons. I realize there are many different machines and processes that users are trying to run, but I have to think that most of what we're all trying to accomplish is based on a handful of basic operations.

I've been searching for a M6 Macro that will:
-Recognize that a tool change is needed and pause the program.
-Raise the Z axis to the top.
-Allow a bit change.
-Allow me to touch off the new bit.
-and Resume the program.

Why is this not built into Mach 4?

Mostly what I'm finding on this forum is people who are forced to learn how to write code (like me) when all we really want to do is run our machines.  I'm willing to guess that 90% of us don't consider Lua coding a hobby or a profession.

I understand that Mach 4 is VERY customizable, and that is great, but shouldn't be necessary to perform basic tasks like changing a tool!

Sorry for the rant..

Mach4 General Discussion / Z axis not performing as expected
« on: July 03, 2017, 06:55:28 PM »
Hey everybody,
I'm attaching my profile hoping someone smarter than me will take a look at it and tell me where I"m going wrong.

I have 2 basic problems and I'm sure they're related:
1. when I use the "touch" function to auto zero the tool (I have a puck style plate), the tool moves down in Z, touches, and retracts to the parameters I've set, but it doesn't change the height read out. It just keeps whatever z height was in there.

2. After I've made the necessary adjustments to get the Z height correct, I press "Cycle start", the machine moves X and Y correctly to the starting point then Z either goes all the way up and hits my limit switch or buries itself into the work piece. 

Not sure where to start looking.  The documentation on the Mach support pages are basically useless as far as I can tell, unless I'm just looking in the wrong place.  Seems like the forums are the only place to get help.

Any Ideas??

Mach4 General Discussion / Strange Touch utility problem
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:42:39 PM »
I've had this issue since setting up my machine. Here's what's going on...

Running M4 v 2.3233.  Using the Touch Touch off UI with a puck and alligator clip.

The first time I attempt to run the touch function, the bit comes down, makes contact with the puck and retracts 1" as I have set in the UI. My touch off puck measures .763" so the program sets the bit height to 1.763. Perfect, right?  I hit cycle start, the carriage moves to its starting point, but the Z height is now 1" too high and therefor never gets down to the stock.  I stop the program, rewind the code, and go through the bit setting process again, only this time the Touch Off UI sets the bit height to .763. I now have to click on that field, type 1.763, hit enter, and now it will run correctly.

What the hell is going on here?

Mach4 General Discussion / Mach 4 stops while running program
« on: May 01, 2017, 08:22:25 PM »
I've been successfully running Mach 4 (v2.0.3233) for a few months. A recent problem has come up. My router stopped in the middle of running a program and Mach 4 seemed to just stop responding. I had to shut down Mach 4 and start it back up just to be able to jog the bit out of the part.  I ran the program again and it stopped in a different place.  If I run the program up out of the wood, it completes the program. Put it back down into the wood, It stops somewhere in the middle of the program...

Any ideas??

Mach4 General Discussion / Help with my profile
« on: January 22, 2017, 10:50:18 AM »
Been going thru this for days and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.  hoping someone out there will be kind enough to look this over and let me know what's wrong... Ive attached my M4 profile for you to look at...

Here's the issues I'm having:

1) Z limit - any time I enable anything to do with the Z limits, I get a "Limit Switch Z++ Tripped!" Error and my LED's on the Diagnostics tab light up. At point I can't do anything with the macnine.
2) Homing - X axis homes as it should and backs off the switch, but Y axis goes to the limit switch and stays there with a "Home switch Y tripped message. Z axis I don't know yet because I can't get the switches to work.

Now I could probably set it all up with the soft limits and soft homing, but the software is supposed to perform these tasks and I'd love for it to work properly!

For reference, here's my machine set up:

C10 Break out board
ESS from Warp 9 version 186
Mach 4 v.
Automated technologies motors. X and z are 570 oz and Y is 906 oz.
My limit switches are chinese made generic and are of the NO/NC variety.   I have them wired NC and in series.

Not sure what other info I could provide other than my sincere appreciation to you guys for helping me with this!

Thanks again - Bob

Mach4 General Discussion / M4,ESS and Limit/Home issues
« on: January 21, 2017, 08:30:47 AM »
Hey everybody,

I'm so close to getting my machine running, but I'm still having a couple issues. Hoping for some help.

M4 V.
Warp 9 Ess

I have my X and Y axes limits responding as I believe they should. the appropriate LED's are lighting up in the diagnostics tab when they're tripped. but this only works properly when Z is NOT enabled. If it's enabled I immediately get a message saying that Z++ limit has been tripped.  It tripps about every 2-3 seconds and continues that way until I restart Mach and disable it.

Dazthegas did a video on this issue a while back, but I can't find his scripts. Maybe someone can provide a link to them or another solution??

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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