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Topics - dmoore

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I am attempting to switch 4 CNC router tables from Mach3 over to Mach4 but one area I'm stuck on is the "Time in Seconds" period of an axis in which the velocity is applied.

Here in Mach3 you can see the period of time is 1 second (which works perfectly fine).

Here in Mach4 you can see the period of time is 4 seconds (which coasts too long after jogging).

How do I adjust the "Time in Seconds" period from 4 seconds to 1 second?

Thanks in advance!

I thought I'd post this in case someone else runs into this issue.  The problem is that Mach3 when combined with the newest ShuttlePRO hardware, Mach3 will "stick" when the outside ring is turned and the axis will continue to move even after the ring returns to the center.  I'm awaiting a possible solution from Contour and I'll post it here.

Here is a photo of the "good" and "bad" boards.  Externally they look identical.

Modbus / Not Recommended: factorymation.com - Teco SG2-20VR-D PLC
« on: May 10, 2009, 06:39:06 PM »
For anyone considering a low budget PLC, I would recommend that you stay away from the Teco SG2 series of PLCs from factorymation.com.  Specifically the modbus doesn't work properly and no one seems to know how to fix it.  I've tried four different 485 adapters, numerous wiring combos and all without any luck.  Also, these units can not be configured to work with anything other than 38,400-n-8-2 - so if you are at 9600 or some other rate you won't be able to make this PLC work with your other devices.  The modbus documentation (translated Chinese) is of poor quality and support is also non-existent.

General Mach Discussion / Mach3 Spindle/VFD plug-in - Interested?
« on: March 28, 2009, 08:52:49 PM »
After spending dozens of hours writing code and troubleshooting a Mach3 to VFD control interface, I wondered if there was interest out there in having someone create a simple plug-in VFD interface (not using brains and vbscript).  It appears that the majority of people today control their VFD's with simple NO contacts without the benefit of VFD spindle speed control, VFD error reporting and VFD current draw feedback.  It occurred to me that there may be a market for someone to build VFD specific plug-in's for Mach3 that provide all those functions right out of the box.

This is assuming that the VFD supports Modbus or serial communications.

Modbus / Modbus and Timing
« on: March 08, 2009, 01:15:59 PM »
I have a few questions about Mach3 and how it handles timing with respect to Modbus:

* I see several references to "Timeout 1234 ms" in the Modbus plug-in saying to set it to ~50ms.  What exactly does this setting do?

* If you have a given configuration within the Mobus Serial Plug-in set to Refresh it's output every 1000ms and you have a brain configured to update that configuration (much more often than ever 1 second), does the plug-in wait until the 1000ms refresh time is up to send the update or does it send the update (over modbus) at the moment it's commanded?

* I've seen references (in the modbus video?) about staggering the Modbus Refresh intervals.  Do these intervals all have their own timers?  It would seem that if I set one on 25ms and another on 100ms updates that on every 4th update to the 25ms timer that it would also occur at the same time as the 100ms timer.  Is this correct?


I've been working with a Teco Genie II SG2-20VR-D PLC from FactoryMation.com (http://www.factorymation.com/s.nl/it.A/id.47/.f?category=1298)to interface with Mach3.  My issue is that ModBus seems a bit random in it's ability to work.  I'm also controlling a Teco 7300CV VFD, also from Teco and it works perfectly over Modbus.  I've tried three different USB to ModBus converters, all with the same basic results - no response, random responses, etc.  What I've tried so far is:

* 38,400-N-8-2/RTU (the default and unchangable rate)
* Different wire
* Isolating it from the VFD
* Seperate power supplies
* Different ModBus adapters
* Monitoring/Testing outside of Mach3 using SimplyModbus
* Resistors/Terminators as indicated in the manual

Since I have the VFD working so well over ModBus, I'm wondering if there is a anyone that is successfully using the Teco SG2 PLC working over ModBus?

I'm wondering if anyone has some examples of error handling they've done using brains?  I've got the basics of starting, stopping and setting speed working ok.  I've been trying a variety of things but I havn't come across a single "perfect" solution for error handling.  Currently I am using brains to pull data from mobus into userDRO's and then displaying errors using a macropump.  Some of the issues I'm trying to address are:

  • Report back errors from the VFD (overload, overspeed, etc) in the error box
  • Stop the job if an error is generated by the VFD
  • Issue a reset command to the VFD (over modbus) when the user clicks the RESET button - using some sort of latch


SmoothStepper USB / Unable to configure Mach3 for SmoothStepper
« on: February 11, 2009, 09:06:29 PM »
I am having issues with configuring Mach3 to work with the SmoothStepper version 1.2.  Here are all the details:

* Clean install of the latest Mach3 R3.042.021
* The newest Mach3 Smooth Stepper plug-in - Beta2_v015ogb
* The newest USB Smooth Stepper driver - SmoothStepperUSBDriver2.04.06

I've installed the plug-in and it appears in the \mach3\plugins directory.  The SmoothStepper board also appears in device manager without any errors.  I've tried different USB cables and different ports on the computer - all with the same result.

What occurs is that Mach3 starts, displays the port selection screen and then just hangs.  And hangs so hard that I can't even end-task Mach3 - I have to turn off the computer.  I've attached a screen shot of the plug in screen.

I have no idea where to go next - there doesn't seem to be any "logging" that I can find and since Mach3 doesn't crash, there isn't any DLL to blame.  I will note that if I select parallel port instead of the SmoothStepper on the port selection screen, Mach3 loads and works fine.

Does anyone have any idea how to troubleshoot this?

I've also attached the SmoothStepper.xml configuration file.

Modbus / Does Mach R3.00 support ASCII or RTU modbus?
« on: January 20, 2009, 06:57:23 PM »
It's not completely clear if the default for Mach3 if modbus communication is ASCII or RTU.  Anyone know?

Modbus / CRC Error with Modbus Test on RS485 against a Teco SG2-20VR-D
« on: January 16, 2009, 02:44:19 PM »
I am trying to interface a Teco SG2-20VR-D (user manual here: http://www.bb-elec.com/bb-elec/literature/manuals/SG2PLR_UserManual_0707m.pdf and modbus manual here: http://www.bb-elec.com/bb-elec/literature/manuals/SG2_V-typeModbusProtocol_0807.pdf) with Mach3. 

Here is what I've done so far:
*  Configured the unit to have slave address "02" using the "LAD Version 1.9" using the RS-232 interface (separate from 485)
*  Installed 120ohm resistors on the 485 line
*  Configured a USB to 485 adapter to COM6
*  Under the "Modbus Confugration" screen, Port Num: 6, Baud Rate: 38400  8-2-N, Do NOT use RTS for transmit, Timout of 1500ms
*  Click the "Test Modbus" button
*  Port Num: 6 and Baud Rate: 38400, Slave Addr: 2, Start: 100 (hex), Num Regs:1, input registers
*  Click "Open" and it responds "No error"

Here are my questions:
*  Why is there no option for stop, parity and data bits on the "ModBus Serial Control Monitor" page?
*  Why would you need to re-enter Port Number and Baud Rate again on the monitor page if it's on the Configuration page?
*  What does the slider bar under Discrete Input(s) do?
*  What is occuring when you click "Report Slave ID" and "Read Excp Stat" buttons?  When clicking "Report Slave ID" mach3 returns "receive timeout".
*  Why do I get "CRC Error" when I attempt to read?
*  Is there a difference between slave address "1" and "01"?
*  My PLC uses RTU, not ASCII - is Mach3 using RTU or ASCII?  Is it configurable?
*  Is there any simple way to peek at the data on the 485 serial line?

On a side note... I've watched the modbus videos and read everything I could find on the mach site with the word "modbus".


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