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Topics - dhookings

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General Mach Discussion / No jog speed control
« on: June 01, 2015, 11:45:24 AM »
I have a machine running under Mach3.
Works perfectly using my home made interface board (six years old), but I decided to build another board for someone with an identical machine. As my board uses opto isolators on the motor outputs, but not on the inputs I decided to use one of the Chinese breakout boards for the new arrangement. I have 12 switches that interface through an HID/usb port.
I hook up the breakout board X output to the stepper controller/driver to test, leaving the breakout inputs disconnected. Sure enough the X jog control on my original switch works, but only at one speed. On my original input board I have 3 switches for fast, medium and very slow to determine the jogging speed. With this setup they are no longer affecting the speed. On the screen the speed is shown as 193mm per minute which seems the speed the machine is moving. The same happens if I use the tab jog control; nothing changes the speed even as shown on the screen If I set the percentage jog from 1 to 100 there is no difference to the jog speed shown. Can't be the new breakout board as it is only following what it seems to be told by the screen. So have I damaged something in my original input switch HID ? No, because when I take the new breakout board away and hook up my old motor drive circuits the machine jogs exactly as it should.
If anyone has been able to follow my version of events and can figure out what is happening I would be very grateful


Dave Hookings

General Mach Discussion / What type of game controller
« on: May 11, 2015, 07:51:53 PM »
Probably about half-a-dozen years ago I made an interface from a usb games controller for jogging etc. The controller I used was very cheap, a tall stick in the middle and some buttons. There were 13 simple momentary miniature switches wired to the electronics through plug and socket connections. I had momentary switches on the frame of my machine and I just wired them to the same plugs used by the controller, disposing of the controller's mechanical bits. This has worked perfectly through key grabber ever since.
I am now trying to replicate this on an identical machine, but am stuck with finding a suitable game controller. I had a Gamepad lying around with a couple of motors providing tactile feedback - they all look very similar. The problem with this one is it is not simply a number of switches passing preset key codes. They don't even seem to be wired to the same common line. With Key Grabber set to test mode, four switches will show buttons 1 to 4 but hit one of the other buttons and they show completely different numbers. I think there are mode, turbo, set and start switches that programme different outputs depending on how they are set.
Has anyone any idea of the name of the generic PC joystick that I would have used then? Or can suggest something simpler than the Game Pad? I don't want to fork out for one of those expensive emulators when a simple game controller would do the job for a fiver.


*****VIDEOS***** / scripting
« on: September 11, 2011, 07:48:54 PM »
something a bit different



LazyCam (Beta) / Breaking up chains
« on: May 18, 2009, 07:16:08 PM »
Must be missing the obvious here. I make a drawing of a box with just a bottom and four sides before it is folded, so a rectangle with another rectangle on each side. I want to cut round the outside of this shape, but want the inner rectangle to be a different layer as it just needs scoring to be folded.
LCam treats the whole thing as one chain, and one layer, so I can't apply different cutting depths. If I could break it up into two chains I could move one of them to a new layer.
Any suggestions?


LazyCam (Beta) / Can cycles
« on: May 18, 2009, 07:06:27 PM »
When I opt for circles below a certain radius to be can cycles, there is a drop down list to select G81, G82... etc.
I select G83 and LCam produces gcode with a G81.
Is this a feature or should I look for a solution? At the moment I edit the resulting G code.


VB and the development of wizards / Probing Z gives problem
« on: May 16, 2009, 01:39:16 PM »
I have been working on a Z probe macro, similar to a recent post.
I use the keygrabber to input joystick signals.
I have 6 jogging buttons, 3 buttons to set the jog rate, 1 button to zero X and Y, and 1 button to zero Z.
The jogging buttons are routed directly using Config - Ports and Pins
I have been successfully using these for months.
Now added 2 more buttons through the keygrabber. One of them initiates M991.m1s through the oem(301) and the other is routed to input#1.
The codes are attached.
My problem is that everything works perfectly, except that after doing a Z probe the two buttons that move X and Y and Z to zero do not work. Everything else in the macropump.m1s does work. I have to close down Mach3 and start again to get my normal buttons working again. Any suggestions as to where I have gone wrong?

G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / G12 Problem
« on: December 17, 2008, 05:27:38 AM »
Background: I am experimenting with making a solder mask for a pcb. My pcb layout programme gives me a list of x/y positions which indicate the centre of a pad. These need scaling by .0001 to represent inches, so at the start of my main programme I code g51 x.0001 y.0001. I have decided to use a circle to stencil a blob of paste on each land.
My milling tool is 32th, so for a 40th wide pad I use a subroutine:
O540 %40th wide pad
g0 z.004
g1 z-.004
g12 I.004
g0 z.1

For some reason that code, when shown in the toolpath, gives a straight cut on the x axis to x0, wherever the starting coordinate position is, and no circle.
I have assumed no scaling on the I word as the manual says that scaling can apply to I and J but does not show the syntax for it. Anyway, the toolpath shows exactly the same path if I use g12 I4 instead.

I must be doing something obviously wrong, but I can't see it.


G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / g52 and subroutines
« on: December 12, 2008, 10:55:43 AM »
I am experimenting with using g52 and subroutines to cut the same piece of work more than once on a single sheet of pcb. I feel that I may have a syntax error.
The g-code shown in the Mach3 window has a square after the G98 p2 line and the last line which is g99 is not shown at all. When openned in Notebook the code looks as I meant it to be. I am wondering if there is some kind of syntax checker in Mach 3 that is altering my original programme, due to a syntax error. Is this likely.
Also, the toolpath window shows the two identical pieces of work, but when I step through, but not connected to the mill, it shows the first piece of work being cut twice.
Any pointers would be appreciated.


General Mach Discussion / keygrabber not starting up
« on: August 02, 2008, 06:52:51 AM »
All of my Mach3 systems were working fine until a computer misfunction. I have since had a nightmare with a new motherboard, installing and reinstalling operating systems. Under Vista I had no work display in Lazycam, no Motor control screen in Mach3 and various other odd symptoms. Keygrabber would only work if opened from another computer in the network.
I have now reinstalled Windows 2000 and everything is back working except Keygrabber, which I use a lot.
I get the following while trying to open:
"The procedure entry point_except_handler4_common could not be located in the dynamic link library msvcrt.dll"
I have tried downloading that file from the net, although it was earlier and shorter than the existing. Still the same though.
I really don't want to reformat the drive and start froms scratch.
Can anyone help?


LazyCam (Beta) / drill holes
« on: February 01, 2008, 08:28:39 AM »
Am I right in assuming that 'Drill Sel Circles' and 'Drill Rad Circles' are buttons to produce Can Cycles? ie select some circles then pressing the first button will produce G code for a can cycle, set a minimum radius in the second button and all circles below that will produce can cycles?
If so I can't get it to work, trying on two different computers.
I get "Debug Assertion Failed line 288" If I press 'retry' I am lucky if the programme just shuts down. On one occasion the computer froze, requiring a mains disconnection.
The message on 'retry' is "Unrecoverable error in ENDGLDRAW1"
Any pointers?

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