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Messages - BIGWING

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SmoothStepper USB / Mach3 ESS G76 threading problems
« on: December 21, 2018, 12:11:51 PM »

I have an Emcoturn 120 lathe that has been working with Mach3 for about a year now. The threading wasn't brilliant but ok.
The surface finish was fairly rough. I put the poor surface finish down to the fact my feed rate could only keep up for RPM 's less than about 250.
To combat this I purchased an Ethernet smoothstepper.

I have set the ESS as best I can and there has been vast improvement in the in the smoothness and available speed of my steppers.

However there is one area that is not working properly that is using the G76 threading cycle. Now I have an intermittent fault that is either
 a) each thread pass not picking up previous so effectively removing all peaks from threads or
 b) cutting no thread at all ie going from start of thread cut to clearance position
 (see attached photo) note predicted tool path seems to be correct but the actual tool path does not always match it)

I have tried with programs produced from cam package and using the threading wizards with the same results.

The threads I need to cut the most is M4 with 0.7 pitch. Now with the RPM set to about 500 the feedrate of 0.7 seems to be very constant in the DRO.
I have three LED's set up to help with threading 1) index 2) trigger 3) threading
The index LED seems to be the only one working. (however not sure if they worked in pre ESS days as I never really paid too much attention to them)

The fault seems to be intermittent as even powering down and back up again can change from one to the other.
 I have got to the stage where I am trying to work my way round altering every setting to see what effect that will have, but to no avail.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated

Just for information my current settings are as follows

Mach3 ver R3.043.062      (when previously turning ok threads I was using a later ver of Mach3)
ESS M3-180220-v4f1-l

controller freq 1 KHz (tried modifying up and down)
spindle 32khz

noise filtering
Encoders/mpg 10.0 (tried modifying up and down)
Misc 10.0 (tried modifying up and down)

Spindle step and dir Pulse width (us) 5.0

stepper settings steps vel acc
x 1280 400 80 (started off with smaller micro steps and
z 1280 400 80 and ended up here)
spindle 1000 120 200

Breakout board Optoport V3 and spindle board V4
I also have an ethernet version pokeys fitted for control panel layout

General Mach Discussion / Re: Access to maintenance parameter values
« on: March 17, 2017, 10:43:52 AM »

Thinking about it, even if he did do that I am not using the latest version of Mach3 as I found the closer

I got to the final version the flakier the program stability became. I think there was just sticking plasters added

to patch up problems. Which was understandable I suppose as Mach 4 was now the focus to pay the bills.

I think I will just have to bite the bullet and rig up a sensor on one of the axis screws and deal with it that way.

It seems a great shame as I think the information I need is there (just out of reach) but just waiting to be tapped.

Many thanks for your help


General Mach Discussion / Re: Access to maintenance parameter values
« on: March 16, 2017, 02:34:13 PM »
Hi rhtuttle

Many thanks for that. I have checked with my xml and they do indeed tie up with the values in my Maintenance statistics

Unfortunately I am still not able to access the info using these labels

When I was searching for past questions on the subject I noticed that back in 2006 there was a promise

that Art was going to establish the "calls" to allow this to happen. I am assuming this work did not go ahead.

Has all work on Mach3 now stopped or is this something that is still a possibility?

Cheers George

General Mach Discussion / Access to maintenance parameter values
« on: March 13, 2017, 10:10:08 AM »
Hi All

I want to get my lathe cnc lubrication system up and running

I would like to access some of the values contained in the maintenance flyout

Ideally I would like the combine the value of both the x Total Distance and Z Total Distance

when the combined value is greater than say 20 Metres bring on the pump for a few secs

using either brain or macro

I have noticed that GetParam("TotalHours") works but I can't see anything for Total Distance.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


General Mach Discussion / Re: 8 position lathe toolchanger
« on: January 29, 2017, 09:09:02 AM »

Just realised I missed off the resistor values in my circuit diagram. From my research the 270 Ohms resistor is a current limiting resistor and if you leave it out

you will fry the sensor (suggested range 180 Ohm to 2.1 kohm) . The 270 kohm resistor is a pull up resistor with suggest range (2 kohm to 470 kohm)

This is the extract from the site where I got the info (let's make robots)

 "Finding the exact values needed to make the photo interrupter work is a bit tricky.

Play with different values of both resistors to get a good response. The idea is to have high enough voltage when the slot is blocked to register as a HI input but also

be close to ground when the slot is blocked. If it doesn't get to ground then either the current - limiting resistor is too strong or the pull up resistor is too weak.

If the signal line doesn't get high enough, you may need to lower the resistance on the pull up resistor."

The values I chose seem to work well for me. Hope this helps.

Also I don't think my explanation of the system logic was clear.

When configuring pokeys to accept these 4 sensors they should be assigned as INPUTS 1 to 4  (not outputs)

I have tweaked the turret position diagram and added truth table for clarity.

I have also added the brain for completeness.

Please note that bugs contained within the brain software impose certain restrictions on it's use

One of these I found was that the program would only work if it was short enough to fill one page only.

So to shorten the number of lines of the program some of the superfluous statements were removed.

ie tool position 2 is uniquely described by the conditions Input 3 And Input 4  are zero's.

No other tool position has that condition

program lines containing Input 1 and Input 2 can be removed.

Cheers George   

General Mach Discussion / Re: 8 position lathe toolchanger
« on: January 26, 2017, 12:37:37 PM »
Hi Penguinair

I am not the best person to ask as my Electrical knowledge is very limited.

I read the diagram (may be wrong but see sensor outputs attachment above) as 24v supply but I was not able to

correctly decipher the pin outs and managed to smoke my board. !!**@@**!! The price for a replacement from

Emco was circa £300 GBP  So I managed to replicate the boards function using off the shelf parts for about £5 GBP

(see attachments) Basically it is just 4 photo interrupter sensors used to produce the output signals. The schmitt

trigger inverter conditions the output to be either 0 or 1 nothing in between. Note the attached diagram only shows

the circuit for one sensor obviously the complete circuit requires four. The outputs were sent via a pokeys  to a tool turret brain.

(see working solution @ machsupport forum/mach discussion/brains development /" compare immediate not working" BIGWING


This program followed the truth table to give a value for the current tool which I used in my modified M6Start.mls program

to index the turret.

However I am aware that there is a ready made control solution to the emco tool turret with a complete integrated package

in mach. I think the developers name is Andy Barrow. I think the company name is barrow dynamics but I might have my wires crossed there.

Best idea is to google it. I am sure if you get in touch with him he will know what the correct pin outs are for the Emco board

and save you a lot of work.

Cheers George

PoKeys / Re: MPG not working properly
« on: October 19, 2016, 07:02:55 AM »
Cracked it !!!  (I hope)

Can't remember changing it but for some reason I had the Mach3 MPG brain ( ModIOMPG.brn ) checked

and I think this was competing with Pokeys control.

Anyway I have unchecked it and it appears to be working fine now.

PoKeys / MPG not working properly
« on: October 17, 2016, 08:39:18 AM »
Hi All

I am at the final stages (I hope) of an Emcoturn 120 lathe mach3 Pokeys 57E retrofit

I had just about everything working fine when I wanted add final piece of jigsaw

which was the installation and control of a lubrication system. When the relay was

activated to operate pump I was getting some electrical noise showing on my screen.

To combat this I decided to tidy up the bunch of spagetti that I called wiring.

I rerouted all on cable tray (separating power and signal) and checked all my cable shielding grounds etc etc.

All has worked well EXCEPT my MPG wheel that I use to control jogging on

the Z and X axis.  When I start to jog using the wheel (using step) If I move just

one increment just keeps pulsing movement and only stops when the reset is pushed.

When the reset is activated again the movement continues. It only stops fully when

mach shut down and then started up again. I have noticed that in the diagnostics page

the mpg dro shows -65536.00 as soon it is used.

Note. The pulsing is not regular but rather more intermittent but always there.

The jogging works perfectly if I use the keyboard arrows or the Tab flyout screen to control the jogging.

The MPG was set up on pin 8 (A)  and pin 12 (B) using ultra fast encoder  setting.

(Pin 13 Ultra fast encoder index was automatically generated but not used. Can't remember if that was there before)

I have tried using pin positions 1(A) and 2 (B)  (fast encoder checked) but same outcome.

The wheel is the large version supplied by Pokeys.

No signs of noise on the system now.

(The ethernet cable is cat6 shielded)

5v supply seems ok  (tried using both pokeys 5v and separate 5v supply)

(don't have oscilloscope to check wheel can this be done using voltmeter?)

Any help would be greatly appreciated


PoKeys / Re: how to use macros with Pokeys 57E
« on: May 21, 2016, 05:23:35 AM »
Thinking about this a little it could very easily be adapted so up to 15

buttons could be indirectly mapped to macros ie 15 Trigger signals 29-43

If IsActive(29) Then
   Code("M***1")        :ie call the macro of your choice   
End If
If IsActive(43) Then

not tried it yet but can't see why it wouldn't work if rest works.

Hope this may be of some use to someone

Cheers George

PoKeys / Re: how to use macros with Pokeys 57E
« on: May 20, 2016, 04:21:45 PM »
Hi All

I think I've cracked it (well it seems to be working so far)

I tried and better tried to get mach to read pokeys pins directly but gave up in end

So if anyone else is interested this is a workaround.

1) In the General config page on the initialization string I added M1201

This initializes a watchdog macro  just waiting for the trigger OEM command 301

2) Created Macro M1201 (only two lines)

SetTriggerMacro(1221)    : When 301 is recieved Macro 1221 is actuated
SetMacroZero(4)             : This zeros the dro

3) Went into Pokeys configuration page and mapped the 8 buttons I wanted to

use via IO column to Input OEM Trig#1.......to Input OEM Trig  #8   (in order)

4) went to system Hotkeys setup   External Buttons OEM codes

and set Trigger#1.. to.. Trigger#8  ALL   to 301

this means that all the buttons would would call macro M1221 if pressed

5) Created Macro M1221

If IsActive(29) Then        : 29 is the signal number of Trigger#1 (    See Mach3 wiki vb constants and signals)
    Code("T101")            :  Write to toolchange command to MDI
End If
.                                  : same format for all tool with signal numbers 29.to..36
If IsActive(36) Then
End If

As I have said It seems to be working so far.

If anyone can see any improvements or a less winded approach

it would be great to hear from them as I am still new to this game.

cheers George

ps I already had a macro using OEM 301 that indexed one tool per button press

but had to wipe that as far as I can see it will only work for one macro. (I think)

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