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Messages - brw0513

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Thanks Hood for the reply and for the suggestions.

The PCI parallel port must be more susceptible to the problem than the port on the motherboard.  The unintended stepper motor behaviour doesn't present itself when the MB port is used.

General Mach Discussion / My VFD Drive Controls My Stepper Motors
« on: May 15, 2014, 05:29:07 AM »
I'm a patient man and my glass is always half full, but my CNC router sure is testing my resolve   :-\  

I'm having nuisance limit switch triggers and have decided to use the second parallel port (PCI slot) on my PC to double the number of inputs available to Mach3.  The idea was to use these additional inputs to help identify if there was a pattern to which limit switch is supposed to be getting triggered.

To test the parallel port, I just enabled the port and changed the port settings within Mach3 (via ports and pins) and swapped the printer cable over.  Things were going great until I turned on my spindle (Teknomotor driven by a Delta VFD, speed set manually via a dial on the VFD).  When the speed dial was turned Mach3 registered an immediate emergency stop but even so the speed dial on the VFD controlled my stepper motors     ???

Anyone had this before?

Can anyone offer any things to try to solve this issue?


FAQs / Re: Setting Mach 3 Port to PCI parallel port address
« on: April 23, 2014, 06:28:45 AM »

Thanks for the tip.  I'll check that out.

Are you using a total of 3 parallel ports with Mach3?  I thought Mach3 was limited to 2 such ports.


FAQs / Re: Setting Mach 3 Port to PCI parallel port address
« on: April 22, 2014, 07:19:40 AM »
PCI Parallel port should not change it's address after every computer power on.....

Agreed.  But it does!

FAQs / Re: Setting Mach 3 Port to PCI parallel port address
« on: April 21, 2014, 07:02:34 AM »
I've recently installed a PCI parallel port card too.  My PC has a "motherboard"  parallel port, but I need to do some diagnostic work with nuisance limit switch triggers so thought the extra inputs to Mach3 would be good for that purpose.

At the moment I'm running Mach3 off the PCI parallel board i.e. all I've done is made the address change in the Mach3 config .xml file.

Two questions:

1.  Is there any way to get Windows XP to fix the PCI parallel port address permanently?  Every time I turn my PC on the port gets a new address.  This is very frustrating to have to make the change in the Mach3 .xml configuration file.

2.  I installed the driver off the CD that came with the PCI card.  Mach3 seemed to work ok initially but I am getting some odd stepper motor behaviour now.  Should I be selecting the actual "Mach3" driver and running the DriverTest.exe utility?

3.  What is the name of the parallel port driver that Mach3 originally installs?  I'd like to check both the MB port and the PCI port are using the same driver.


General Mach Discussion / Suggestions for Commissioning My Router
« on: April 21, 2014, 12:17:03 AM »
I've nearly finished my CNC router  ;D  It's a moving table design using NEMA23 steppers, Teknomotor spindle, an Australian made PROMiCA IC3A controller set to 1/8 micro-stepping and Mach3 software.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.

The NEMA23 motors are 1.8 degrees per step.  With 8 micro-steps per full motor step, a 2:1 gear reduction to 5mm pitch X & Y lead screws then I have 640 micro-steps per mm of travel.  There is no reduction on the Z axis so its 320 micro-steps per mm of travel.

Is there any recommendations for commissioning?  So far I've tried three things:

1.  I've plotted out a relatively simple geometric pattern (circle, rectangle, square) on paper.  With the plot on my router table and a USB micrscope fixed to the spindle case I've written basic G-Code to chase the plotted path.  It worked well enough, but I think the plotter introduces a slight scaling to distort the plotted size.  I'd only rate this strategy as 7 out of 10.

2.  I've laid a scale rule on the table and used it compare linear moves requested in simple G-Code.  This worked very well.  I'd rate this 10 out of 10 but it only assesses one axis movement at a time.

3.  I've run the "road runner" G-Code file that comes with Mach3.  The image shown by the USB microscope never comes back to the (0,0) centre pop mark - it's sometimes off by around 0.25mm but once it was off by around 1mm.

Cutting a template out of MDF is the next thing on my list, I'm interested to know what others have chosen to do. 

General Mach Discussion / Re: Soft Limits Not Working
« on: February 12, 2013, 04:29:45 AM »
Yes Hood.  My router is homed using a photo-interrupter switch on the X, Y & Z axes.

I'll try again tonight.  Probably user error again.

General Mach Discussion / Soft Limits Not Working
« on: February 12, 2013, 02:13:23 AM »
Still learning and enjoying the process  :)  Although I hope this is not a dumb question  ???

I've set up the Soft Max and Soft Min limits under Config/Homing/Limits.  But Mach3 lets me drive (via system hotkeys) right past them.  Is there some other step required to enable the soft limits I've set?


Yep.  What a magic utility that Jcode plugin is.  Just what I needed.  Many thanks to Mr Brian Barker.

Hmmmm.  I'll start with the Jcode plugin.  It looks like it could be the utility I need.

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