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Messages - Waynec

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Notes in GCode files
« on: August 31, 2009, 11:11:24 PM »
HAH!  Perfect!  Thanks for the quick reply. 


General Mach Discussion / Notes in GCode files
« on: August 31, 2009, 08:57:31 PM »
I use a CAM program to create my GCode files, but I often want to put a note or two at the beginning of the file, or in the file before tool changes.  I'd like to put the name of the file, its revision, and what tool and material to use, for example.  And on tool changes, I'd like to put the tool name, diameter etc. 

How do you do this in GCode so that Mach doesn't read it or trip over it?  Is it just a semicolon in front of the comment, like in other programming languages?

Alternately, can I get Mach 3 to display info based on what it reads in GCode?  Nah.  It would be best to just read the line or two in the GCode header.

Thanks so much for the help.

Wayne C

I recently resolved a similar problem with my CNC.  I have two motors on my Z axis, and one would quit turning one direction, so that even when I changed directions, one motor would obey, and the other would not.  The result was an instantly racked gantry.  

The problem is slightly different, in that the motor in question is NOT turning in one direction.  In your case its turning in the WRONG direction.  Be sure that is the case.  In my case I had to disengage the motor from its rack gear to clearly see the direction of the pinon gear.  

In my case a motor winding was not getting voltage, which ended up being a bad connection at the Gecko driver for that motor.  When I pushed on the connector I got the motor to work correctly, but only intemittently. I replaced the Gecko and installed new connectors and its been working fine.

But I have to add that I probably BLEW the Gecko by prodding around at the connector when I was troubleshooting.  It sparked once, and then quit working altogether.   I guess that made the repair easier, but more expensive.  

If you are using Geckos, try swapping out both the Gecko and the connectors.  I now keep a spare Gecko driver so I can do this.  

Good luck, and don't get too frustrated.  It'll fix.  

Wayne from White Salmon

General Mach Discussion / An easy one- a page to write down config settings
« on: February 18, 2009, 07:35:48 PM »
I like the ideas I've seen here, and I also think the existing manual is decent considering the complexity and versatility of the software.  But I can think on one easy thing- 

Add a page or two with spaces to note key settings for your current configuration.   Port and pin settings per axis, spindle settings, etc. 

I know that you are supposed to back up your set/xml files,  and most of us do.  But if you just want to verify what a particular setting is supposed to be when you are monkeying with various settings, a written reference page would be a great idea.

Wayne C

General Mach Discussion / Anyone? Bueller?
« on: January 17, 2009, 12:19:46 PM »
I'm trying to see if anyone has an idea why my gantry jerks when I click the reset button.  Only when I turn it off, not on.  Its about a half inch lurch.

Should I be looking at mechanical or control box or Gecko issues? 


Wayne C

General Mach Discussion / Gantry Jerk at Reset
« on: January 14, 2009, 10:55:17 AM »
I'm doing so well with Mach 3 now- learning Screen 4, getting things dialed in- its good!

Today's little issue is a problem when I shut down the machine or click the reset button to take it offline.  I get a half inch or so of jerk on the X axis.  It doesn't seem to happen on Y or Z axis.    I can't tell if the DRO is showing the change in position, but I suspect not.  Its just a sort of one time jerk when I release the gantry from motor control.  There is no similar jerk when I turn the Reset ON. Only when I switch if OFF.

I'm sure I read something about this, but I can't seem to find it now.    I'm using Gecko controllers on a crudely modified ShopBot if that makes a dif.

Thanks to all.

Wayne C

General Mach Discussion / What the FFF?
« on: January 11, 2009, 12:27:31 PM »
I'm back!  I just figured out how to install and test the button script you so generously provided.  It works on my test software only install, but one thing to clear up. 

I first opened my screen set in Screen 4, and looked at the Cycle Start button by double clicking.  The G Code function input box had 'fff' in it.  I went to Mach 3, and put the little script on the button, and removed the 'fff'.  Everything seemed to work, but I wonder if I'm turning off something that needs to be there.  Or is this some typo or errant key twitching on my part?

Does the 'fff' need to be in the GCode Function for the Cycle Start button? 

Thanks again for your help.

Wayne C

General Mach Discussion / Re: Mech Home before Go To
« on: January 11, 2009, 11:47:53 AM »
Thanks the both of ya.  After thinking about it I agree that I don't really want to have the machine start any motion that I don't trigger.  So the script will do the trick.    I'll go the Cycle Start route I guess.

Overloaded, when you say that the X axis is 'referenced' does this mean at the limit switch?    And so this means that the "Ref Machine" message will appear if the X axis machine coordinate is NOT zero?   That would make sense to me.  I just don't want to assume what these terms mean.

So that I understand this,  if the X axis is referenced to Zero, you can safely assume that the Y and Z axis have also moved to the limit switches since the homing movement order is Z axis, Yaxis and then X axis.    That's why you choose the X axis DRO.  Right?

You guys have supreme patience to all us intruder non-machinist types.  I'm a woodworker by trade, and a CNC router owner- a Shopbotter.  That may provide a clue about my mechancial apptitude.   Certainly not a lathe or mill guy.  Its a very different way of thinking about what CNC is. 

Anyway, I appreciate your help here.  I guess I'll be asking questions about how to install and test a script next.  Lemme see if I can RTFM and figure it out first.

Thanks again!


General Mach Discussion / Its right in front of me.
« on: January 10, 2009, 09:21:55 PM »
Well, posted too soon.  I looked at the GCode listings in Mach3, and I can see that its the mechanical home.   So, now of course I want to know if I can somehow get Mach 3 to do this when it opens.  For me this would work better than adding the lines to a file, something I'm sure to forget.  Normally this happens when.. oh wait.  It happens when I run my spindle warm up program.  So I can add these lines to this and probably eliminate the problem.  Brilliant!

But, is there a way to trigger that bit of GCode when I start up Mach 3?  Maybe add it to the startup string or activate it when I push the Reset button the first time?    Somehow, I'd like to make the startup mechanical homeing automatic. 

Thanks for your patience. 


General Mach Discussion / Re: Mech Home before Go To
« on: January 10, 2009, 09:10:41 PM »
Graham, let me be sure I understand this.  When you say this will search the home position, does this mean the mechanical home at the limit switches?  Or the home position I create when I reset the axis' to zero at the corner of my work surface? 

Also, can I put this in the startup string in General Config or maybe in the post processor so that I can't somehow forget this? 

I hate to admit I need to make this idiot proof, but that's what I'm wanting to do. 

Thanks for your quick reply, BTW.


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