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Topics - bowber

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General Mach Discussion / Fitted UC100 now A axis doesn't work
« on: August 02, 2015, 06:04:20 AM »

I'm hoping to get some idea of how to trouble shoot this problem.

I've replaced my old pc with a windows 7 pc and a UC100, everything seemed to be ok but I didn't test the A axis (rotary table) until now.
I've checked the pinouts, enable etc and they all look right and match the old pc.
I've reconnected the old pc and the A axis works as before.

My main XYZ axis use Routoutcnc opto isolated 10 amp drivers http://www.routoutcnc.com/10ampkits.html

The A axiz uses a different driver but it's litriture says it's opto isolated  http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Stepper-Motors/Stepper-Drivers

My breakout board is just the pass through one from routoutcnc shown in the first link and doesn't have opto isolation. I don't have a seperate 5vdc supply in my controller box either, that all came from the parallel port.

I'm wondering if the 5vdc from the UC100 isn't enough to drive the stepper driver from arceurotrade or if there is an earth missing that is on the parallel port.

Everything else seems to work as expected, the homing switches and e stop signal all work with no problem, and typically the first job I want to do with the new pc/UC100 combo uses the rotary table!

Does anyone have any ideas? I have this feeling I'm missing something obvious.


General Mach Discussion / Mach3 on XP or newer OS.
« on: May 21, 2015, 08:58:53 AM »

I've been running Mach3 on my old, 2001, PC running windows 2000 and for various reasons I'm thinking of updating to a newer PC running XP, this ones only 5-6 years old  ;). But I was thinking of installing say windows 7 or 8 on it with a new hard drive, maybe a SSD to get fast booting etc.
So what's the current thinking on running Mach3 on windows 7 or 8?



My son has a project from Collage that he can do on my mill running Mach3 because they only have the one Haas CNC mill and the whole class has to write and run their own code, because it's meant to be written and run on the Haas I was wondering if it would run on Mach3.

He's not written it yet but it's meant to make use of the canned cycles, now I suspect that these will not be compatible.

I've also already done the code using the NFS wizard to show him how I'd do it on my mill but this may not satisfy the assignment criteria (took all of 2 minutes)

The project is to do one side of a cube with circular pockets getting smaller and deeper, this would normally be repeated on all 6 sides and also have holes in the corners.
Is there a pocketing canned cycle in Mach that could be used so he's met the canned cycle criteria?
Just thought there is the drilling cycle so that could be used to drill the deep hole first.

Any ideas would be appreciated as I'm no Gcode wizard, I just get by using CAM and the supplied wizards with a little hand coding to fill in the gaps sometimes.


As the title  ???

I'm feeling a bit frustrated at the moment with the NFS wizards, I've set a 25mm cutter for surfacing the table, my table has 762mm actual movement on X and 618mm on Y, these are also set in the soft limits so they show the edge of travel in the preview.

I'm trying to surface the top of my sacrificial board so at first I tried -8.5mm on X and Y corner and set the width and length to 630 and 770 as this would give me a larger surfaced area then the table movement (movement + cutter rad)
But after a bit of messing it looked like the movements on the wizard are the actual axis movement not the finished edge of cutter size so I changed these to X,Y corner to 0 and the length and width to 752 and 612 to give me a little inside the actual movement of the table, the working zero was set inside the machine zero a little to make sure it was away from the edge of travel.

I looked on the preview and the bottom of the cut was coming outside Y by quite a bit (my zero is bottom left as you look at the machine X+ to the right  Y+ away/up) so the axis was trying to come out on a -Y travel.
I tried to cut it anyway but softlimits complained so I didn't cut it.
I then altered the Y travel from 612mm to 600mm and it now showed the travel as being inside the limits, set the cut off and it's started cutting at the top left corner inside the limits by quite a bit, I didn't measure it but I'd guess at around 12.5mm - 1/2 cutter dia!
So is the wizard broken and just putting out random code or does it take cutter dia/rad into account or do I work on the cutter centre line and allow for the cutter dia/rad manually?


Hope I've posted this in the right place.

I've just bought some bits from Overclockers to update my wife's work computer and the motherboard includes a parallel port, it seems to have the different settings available in the BIOS etc so my be a candidate for a modern Mach computer built using new hardware.

Motherboard is an Asus M5A78L-M LX with AM3+ socket and space for 2 sticks of DDR3 memory, also has PS2 connectors for the mouse and keyboard.

It only has SATA disc support though.

I've not tried it with Mach and don't really have the time to try it as this is a design computer that's needed now, but I thought I'd give people the heads up.


General Mach Discussion / Problem with the gear cutting wizards
« on: January 23, 2010, 09:46:53 AM »
Hi all, hope your all ahving a good new year so far and managing to get those extra pounds back off after christmas, I think I'm almost back to my pre christmas racing snake figure ;D

Anyway, today I'm on with cutting some gears.
Got my rotary setup and machined the blanks to size, fitted the gear cutter and fired up the new fangled wizards, selected the gear cutting one and selected the behind right (slight interferance on the left so for this A's on the right) told it the blank dia, feed clearance cut depth, etc, all in mm, I then pressed the preview code and there was nothing, no code at all.
So I rechecked, still nothing.
I then posted the code to see what came out and there was some code but no angles etc and a very bizar Y move that took the Y over the soft limits, way over the 2.28mm cut depth and no X code for the 50mm move to cut the teeth.

So just to see what it did I clicked run and got the softlimit warning and then after that I couldn't move the mill at all, I tried reset, checked the diagnostic screen and there was still communication with the limit switches.
I then shut down to restart mach and the computer locked up with a softlimit warning that just stayed there flashing with the pc speaker bipping at me.
I had to turn off the computer and it took another restart to get mach communicating with the driver.

I also tried the normal wizards with no luck and no code generated

So has anyone else had this problem with the nf wizards?


Title says it all really!

I'm looking for a supplier of small quantities of titanium (hobby use) in both flat and bar stock plus any recommendations for machining it.
I've seen some info that says HSS tooling is still the best and also don't let the tool skid as it'll work harden the surface instantly.
So what's others experience with titanium.

I'm looking to use titanium on a small job for it's chemical resistance not it's strength to weight so not sure the grade will make much difference.


General Mach Discussion / Agghhhh, how is the safe Z meant to work
« on: September 28, 2009, 07:21:32 AM »
Just restarted a job that i couldn't finish on Friday, no problems with accuracy as it's just some cut lettering for a sign but when I did run from here the cutter went down into the material and cut a line htrough the previous lettering!

I have the safe Z setup to -5 and the box checked for machine coardinates so surely it should have gone up to -5 on the machine coardinates?

I've now set it to +5 and checked work coardinates and this worked as expected (5mm above work zero)

I'm using mach 3.042.020 and this has been working fine so I didn't want to get the latest and end up with other problems but perhaps I should get the latest one?

Mind you it doesn't matter now as the computer locked up and lost position so I'm going to have to start from the begining anyway, glad the material is cheap!


General Mach Discussion / Is it possible to check part location in GCode.
« on: September 11, 2009, 06:58:41 AM »

I have a part that I cut out by hand (triangle) at the moment in plastic and I would like to use my router to clean up the outside shape.
Problem is the table isn't big enough to fit more than one at a time, this means I still have to rough them out of the sheet by hand to be able to still get 7 per sheet.

So I was thinking that I could mark 2 points from the card template and have the Gcode check these points with the cutter before continuing and cutting the outside. I would have the shape marked on the table so the part would be roughly located.

My question is how would I do this? Can I hand code these points in and have Mach wait until I press the enter key?


Long title, says it all basically so I was after a bit of advise.

My mill is a Denford Easymill with 3.5 amp steppers on all axis, this weekend while machining some parts the Z started to loose steps while retracting on rapid moves in fact it just stopped moving sometimes, just like it was getting stuck or something.

Anyway I tried the axis by hand and it felt OK and moved smoothly, I then lowered the rapids down from 1m/min to 500mm/min.
The same happened but I noticed that the stepper seems to go through a funny patch like it's vibrating or something, could this be harmonics?, it's when it's making this noise that it stops being able to drive the axis.

X and Y have no problems with the same 2:1 ratio and 5mm pitch ball screws but they are dealing with the weight of the whole table however they weren't doing anywere like the same amount of work as the Z axis.
The workshop was really hot this weekend so I wondered if the driver was overheating and not being able to output enough power to the stepper so when I get chance I'm going to try it one evening when it's cooler. (unfortunately that looks like tomorrow)

I'm using Routout CNC 10amp drivers and a 37V 20amp power supply but no cooling fan in the case.

So if anyones got any ideas please let me know.


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