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Messages - 72Zorad

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Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: February 06, 2014, 10:38:09 PM »
Back from travel and believe I solved one problem.
Also noticed I didn't answer your question about a gantry system.  If I understand what a gantry is it is typically one of those large flat wood routing or plasma cutters that has an overhead gantry.  No, mine is a Wells Index knee mill.

And, I'm pretty sure I solved one issue.  My mill homes to upper right.  I was trying to enter zero for far left and say 40 for far right in the soft max and soft min for the X axis and it didn't like that.  I read about the home offset in the Homing/Limits config and it mentioned you could enter a value there if you home to say the middle of your table.  Since mine offsets in upper right I just entered my soft max and soft min then put the home offset for X and Y at the max value.  It seems right but I didn't have a lot of time to play with it.

Now I just have to figure out why it isn't consistently indexing.  I did verify there are wires into both + and - index pins on the Galil breakout board for each axis(I believe it's a 1900) but I haven't run the wires back.  I suppose an easier way would be to look in the Galil documentation and see if I can find a place to 'see' the index pulses in the Galil software/driver.


Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 27, 2014, 09:42:06 AM »
I'm out of town for a week but will investigate this more when I return.

I need to read up on the Mach3 options for homing/limits options as I don't really understand what each option does.  I messed around with them and got the error to go away but haven't figured out how to get the table limits entered (mine homes to upper right).

It started doing strange things, like jog commands in either direction would only jog towards the home switches. 

When I get back I'll read up more on the options, especially reversed and home negative as these seem to have a correlation to each other.  I'll do some testing and take notes.


Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 25, 2014, 01:14:03 PM »
Getting close.  Limit switches working.  Homing switches working.  

However, I'm getting inconsistent results when homing.  I have it set to use index pulses.  I hits the homing switch then reverses and slowly moves in the opposite direction as expected but it's not consistently stopping at the same location.  This seems especially true if I shut the computer down.  I will stop one time at perhaps 7 on the physical index on the servo.  The next time it may stop at 133.

I have noticed a couple of things.  The first is, as expected, it homes the Z axis first.  However, at about the same time it finishes and zero's the DRO the information dialog box shows an error.  The error is:
 Galil Error: 13 JG only valid when running in jog mode

I looked this up and found this on the internet:
13 JG only valid when running in jog mode
If the axis is already executing a move in another mode, such as a PA move, it is invalid to issue a jog command.

Not sure what that means but I'm not issuing any commands so I assume the system is trying to.

The second thing I noticed is that although all movement, system moves and manual jog moves, are nice and smooth once it hits the limit switch it smoothly moves off of it for a bit.  However, it starts looking like it wanted to stop but then changed it's mind and continues.  It slows, almost to a stop, then moves on.  I know computers are 1's and 0's and it's either true or false, just reporting what I'm observing  ;)



Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 24, 2014, 11:44:54 PM »
Sorry....in the last post I meant to say the monitor/keyboard arm hangs off the right side.

Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 24, 2014, 11:43:11 PM »
Oh, wow!  Thanks so much for the information.  This is an originally NC machine from 1979 and was a production machine.  I have been all over the internet and found nothing about upper right homing.  I'll stop obsessing about why mine is 'wrong' now.  ;D

Knowing this isn't a non-standard configuration I think I'd prefer upper right anyway because my vise hangs over a bit off the back and my home made coolant containment system projects a bit further.  Although it is not fixed hard to the table this will keep the homing from pushing my coolant shield around requiring that I readjust it every time I home.  Also the monitor/keyboard stand hangs off the left.  Homing to the upper right will also keep me from having to swing the monitor arm way out of the way because the table, coolant shield, and anything on it might hit the arm.  I wonder if these things are why production machines home upper right.

I don't like the idea of Z homing down.  Just seems like an easy way to crash into the vise or a fixture or something.  I think I'm going to see if I can move something around to make it home at top.

Over the week I've researched a bunch on the internet, read the Galil plug-in documentation several times, and watched the Mach video on limit/homing switches a couple times.  I'm now feeling really comfortable with what I need to do and how this all works so I'll go up tomorrow and see what I can make happen.  I'm pretty excited to get it homing and indexing so I can test it and see how accurate it can be.  I'm hopeful that I can put a fixture on the table, indicate to a known point on it, completely shut the system down, start it back up, home, and then accurately bring it back to the same point without having to indicate it each time.

Oh, and my switches have both NO and NC contacts so I can alter them if necessary.

Thanks again for your input and assistance,


Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 22, 2014, 09:02:03 PM »
I know I'm talking to myself here but someone else may come to this thread and perhaps get that nugget of information they are looking for.  Besides it seems to be helping me noodle my through this  ;D

Late last night I realized I had done a poor job of troubleshooting. The two switches likely had different functions and I was assuming they were all wired the same when I only looking at the wiring in one.  So, I opened one of the switches I didn't know the purpose of and it has two wires instead of four.  One wire has a black insulator and the other has a clear insulator.  These are the switches wired in to pins 45, 48, and 51 on the control board (Homing pins).  These are definitely the homing switches.  Now I just need to figure out why they appear backwards.  The activating stops for these switches are located such that, when activated, the quill is in the far right corner and the quill is all the way down.  If I understand the home location that is backwards for all axis.

Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:47:30 PM »
Well, so far I've been talking to myself which is a good thing because I'm solving my own problems.  However, I'm currently baffled by limit/homing switches.  My previous machine (Sherline) didn't have limit/homing switches so when I got the new one I bypassed this setup in my haste to make parts (well that and after using only a hobby mill you think you'll never get near the limits of a large mill).

I'm trying to get the 2010 screenset operational with an end goal of using the automatic tool height option.  For this it reference a known location on the table so now I need to get this set up so the machine 'knows' where it is instead of just zero'ing the X and Y wherever my part bottom left or center is.

My machine has two switches on each axis.  Testing indicates that one switch stops travel at the extents of the table/spindle movement, allowing no further movement in that direction but if I hold the key to jog the other direction it will drive off the switch.  I'm guessing this is done external to the Galil controller and Mach3 as neither were configured by me for limit switches and the diagnostic window doesn't show any limit switch activity when they are activated.  I also opened one of the switches and the leads are white, green, black and white.  The Galil 1842 does have wires in pins 45, 48, and 51 (home Z, Y, and X) but they have a clear coating, clearly not the same wires coming off the actual switches.

I have no idea what the other switch does.  The stops for them are set at the extreme of +Z, -Y, and -Z.  It would seem that if they were where I think homing switches should be they would be at -X, -Y, and +Z (lower left and top of spindle travel).  Moving them by hand doesn't do anything when the table is moving.

In my reading I found:
Having separate home switches can be a good thing in some situations, some controllers can allow Index homing if you have servos. The machine will home, hit the switch then look for the index pulse from the encoder and set that as machine zero.

This may be relevant as this is a servo driven mill.

Anyone know of a limit/homing switch 101 website?



First, awesome plug-in.  I love the functionality I now have while not standing in front of my computer with my fingers on the keys.

Second, is there a way the authors of these plugins can be tossed a few bucks.  This is a top notch plug-in and this type of innovation is perfect for the hobbyist machinist. I'd like to be able to help support it so it doesn't go away.

And lastly, my question.  I've configured the left thumb stick for X and Y axis.  The right is currently configured for side to side for the Z axis.  For me up down for the right thumb stick seems more intuitive than left right.  In other words pushing forward seems obvious to me for 'raise quill' and pushing down for 'lower quill'.  I'm afraid I'll get near the part and want to jog Z up and won't remember if left is up or right is up.

So, I changed the config so the right thumb stick left right is A (not currently used) and up/down is the Z.  However, now I find that the Z moves pretty slowly compared to the X and Y.  I'm assuming this is because you probably don't want to rapid a rotary table at the same speed as a normal axis.

Should it rapid the same?  And, if not, is there a way to make it so it rapids a bit faster than it currently does?



Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 19, 2014, 06:31:15 PM »
Before hooking it up to the mill I installed the XBox controller I just got and configured the plug in.  I wanted to add this functionality as well as the 2010 screenset with the new build.  Took it up and hooked everything back up.  Seemed to work fine as I jogged it about.  I tested all three axis (cont and inc) with no issues.  Suddenly the screen went dark.  Of course this is right after giving it a continuous -Z jog commands.  The quil plunged down to a fixture and broke the bit.  Not sure what happened here.  I was replacing the old computer because about every 50 runs or so it would blue screen and it always sounded like it was going to die at any time.  In the past when it blue screened the mill would just stop (spindle and feed).  I didn't have the spindle on but was surprised when the feed didn't stop.  I guess that's the difference between a blue screen and a lock up.
Gave it a hard restart and fired it back up being careful to test it about as high as it would go.  Everything seemed fine so I loaded a test run and it seems to be running without issue.  Brought the computer back down and installed the 2010 screen set.  I'll take it  back up tomorrow and put it through the paces and see how it does.  I also haven't verified the movements are accurate so I'll check that out too.  I'm adding the 2010 screen set to do some auto tool height changes and start using the homing/limit switches as I've never set up or used the limit switches.  If anything goes poorly I'm sure I'll be back on this thread :)


Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 19, 2014, 04:28:54 PM »
Could it really be that simple?

I copied the Mach3, Galil, and Galil Common folders from the old system onto a thumb drive as well as the driver shown  in device manager for the Galil board.  Rebuilt the new machine with Windows XP.  Copied over the 3 previously mentioned files to the same location as they were on the old system.  Fired up Mach3 and got a pop up message that said I had to install Galil Smart Terminal with version 7.  Inserted the Galil disk and selected the autorun for Smart Terminal install.  It installed and called for a reboot.  Upon reboot it 'found new hardware' so I browsed through the Galil and Galil Common folders until one of them 'un-greyed' the next box (I forgot the actual folder name) so I could continue, then selected next.  Now Mach3 is starting with no errors. 

Of course it isn't connected to the mill yet, but I'm optimistic until someone tells me I shouldn't be or my machine fails to run once I connect it back up :)


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