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Messages - Tweakie.CNC

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5831
FAQs / Re: Behavioural Changes in Mill
« on: April 25, 2011, 04:19:16 AM »
The symptoms you describe are similar to what would happen if one wire to the stepper motor was disconnected. Although you seem to have checked every possibility already it may be worth checking the wiring again.
The symptom can also be caused by a bad opto isolator (for the X axis direction signal) on the breakout board (if they are socketed then swap two and see if the problem persists).

Hope this helps,

Tweakie.

5832
General Mach Discussion / Re: axis changes from + to - by itself
« on: April 25, 2011, 02:23:10 AM »
If your controller is not recognizing the direction signals correctly then the motors could rotate in the wrong direction. This situation can occur when the controller is expecting the full 5 volt TTL signals for it's inputs but the computer's LPT parallel port is only outputting 3.3 volt TTL signals. In many cases this depends on the operating threshold of the opto isolators used in the breakout board so it may be a good idea to measure your parallel port direction pin voltage and and if it is not the 5 volts TTL standard (0 volts when jogging one way and 5 volts when jogging the other way) check that your BoB is compatible.

Just a thought.

Tweakie.

5833
General Mach Discussion / Re: Motor chatter
« on: April 25, 2011, 02:01:16 AM »
Sounds like the good old days ? before microstepping.  :'(

I use 1/8th stepping and that is pretty smooth at low speed but with the later controllers 1/16th stepping is not uncommon now and that is really smooth.
Could this be the problem ?

Tweakie.

5834
General Mach Discussion / Re: spindle control
« on: April 24, 2011, 11:09:44 AM »
Groundhog,

Looks like you have already done all the basic checks etc.

The X4 spindle is controlled by a direction signal on pin1 of the LPT parallel port. When this pin is high the spindle will rotate in one direction when activated and rotate in the other direction when the pin is taken low. Therefore you should be able to change the spindle direction from CCW to CW by changing the 'dir active low' config in Mach (as per arrow). Then by entering G0 M3 in the MDI box it will go one way and G0 M4 it will go the other and stop with M5.

I have tried the generic .xml and it all works fine here so if your Mach configuration is correct then it is more than likely a broken wire relating to the LPT pin 1 and its connection to the X4 terminal board. You should be able to check this with a multimeter (positive to pin1 and negative to ground [pins 18 to 25]) using the MDi and commands M3 and M4 to toggle the pin state between 0volts and 5volts (approx).


Tweakie.

5835
Quote
I guess it comes down to what each software was created to do. Idealy one would like the software that "does it all" since we explore doing different machining tasks
over time. Along with the do all software comes the price tag. Very difficult to justify. You just can't win. I am playing around with CamBam....still have 10 trials left.

So true.   :)

Tweakie.

5836
Hi Rich,

Perhaps it can, I am not really sure.

I used to use CamBam (the free version) and that did not support automatic V Carving from TTFonts whereas with VCarve Pro it is only a couple of clicks and the toolpath is complete and pasted to Mach - no need to consider multi pass as this is taken care of automatically from the tool selection.

Perhaps I am biased because it took me a long while to save up for this software but, compared to CamBam, it is just so easy to use it is untrue.

Tweakie.

5837
General Mach Discussion / Re: Building CNC Machines
« on: April 24, 2011, 08:01:54 AM »
Hi Ron,

If only it was that simple.
Unfortunately, because there is more than just one way of doing just about everything, there is huge difference of opinion on which is the best way so you have to shop around choosing the best bits (in your opinion) from here and there.
I built my own CNC from scratch and spent many months looking at every design I could find on the net, hoping to learn from others mistakes, finally settled on my design and away I went. It turned out pretty well and I can produce good stuff but If I was starting again, with what I have learnt since, the design would have some major  differences.
Reading this forum will give you a mine of knowledge, some things being what to do and others being what not to do but IMO the only real way is to jump in both feet. Personally I don't think Routing and Plasma share any common ground as far as machine design is concerned and two machines would be a better option if this is what you are planning to do. Perhaps constructing a cheaper and more basic machine would give you the experience to know exactly what you need for a quality build.

Don't know if my ramblings help at all  :)

Tweakie.

5838
General Mach Discussion / Re: Motor Tuning not showing up
« on: April 24, 2011, 07:42:12 AM »
Hi Peter,

Looks like you don't have the drivers installed. Run the 'Driver Test.exe' in the Mach3 folder, that should cure it.

Tweakie.

5839
Obviously I would need to make a lot of these to justify the cost of the software but this only took minutes from drawing it on the screen to having it ready for a coat of satin varnish using Vetric's VCarve Pro.
It was cut in Teak in three passes and there is visibly a slight variation in toolpath which is probably due to the backlash in my Z axis but it is a free gift to one of my neighbours who thinks it will do just fine.  :)

Tweakie.

5840
General Mach Discussion / Re: STEP MOTORS CONEXTION
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:43:11 AM »
E,

For some reason your driver is not seeing or recognizing the 'Direction' signal from Mach. When this signal is High the motor turns one way and when it is Low the motor turns the other way. Check your setup in ports and pins to make sure you are setting the direction signals correctly (pin#, port#, active low/active high etc).

Tweakie.

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