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Messages - Pompey Dockyard

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Hi All,
I have been using my mill via the parallel port for years with no problem but recently fired up a laptop, to use a USB SmoothStepper.
All was fine under PP mode, I could enter the required speed and Mach3 would see the spindle index pulse and regulate the spindle speed according to what it was set to with the S command, speed regulation was very good (PWM mode).

On my laptop, I have the SmoothStepper with no BoB using Port 1 only - i.e., nothing connected to port 2 and no other connections.
SmoothStepper is connected directly to a Xylotex XS-3525/8S-4 stepper driver board. A Homann Designs Digispeed XL remains connected to the Xylotex board's break out screw terminals.
I am using Mach3 version 3.043.062 and SmoothStepper version 2.08.24 with V17fe.m3p file. I was using an earlier version of all but upgraded to those when I struck the problem described below - I still have the problem.

I copied my PP XML file to the laptop and set up smooth stepper with the plugin etc.
X, Y, and Z axes work fine and I can fine tune steps and backlash OK.

I can start the spindle and stop the spindle using M3/M4/M5 commands via a Homann Designs Digispeed XL using PWM and Mach3 displays a speed when the spindle is running.
However if I set the speed with an S command, to say 500rpm, when a M3/M4 command is executed the spindle immediately ramps up to top speed (e.g., 1700rpm) and stays at that speed.
It doesn't matter what speed I enter with the S command, the result is the same.

I can see rpm's in Mach3 but they are not stable.
For instance, irrespective of what speed is entered in Mach3 I get a constant spindle speed of 1700rpm (verified with a second spindle sensor/display) and I see the Mach3 display of 1700rpm intermittently fluctuate upwards by as much as 600rpm momentarily, the second rpm display remains constant at 1700rpm.
I have tried two different spindle sensors with Mach3 with the same result.
I've tried different Ports/Pins, Motor settings, and Spindle settings in Mach3 but nothing I do rectifies the problem.

Here are my current settings:
Motor Outputs Ports / Pins
X. 2 / 3
Y. 4 / 5
Z. 6 / 7
Spindle. 14 / 17
Step/Dir Port 1. Dir - active low, Step - active high

Input Signals Ports / Pins
Probe. 1 / 12
Index. 1 / 15
EStop.2 / 2
All active high
Note: I could not get Estop to work on my original PP settings of port 1 and pin (2?) - (I can't remember what it was set to), so why it works on a port 2 setting when I don't have anything connected to it is a mystery!

Output Ports / Pins
#1. 1 / 1
Active low

MPG #1. 1 / 10 and 1 / 11  counts 4/vel 100
I have not tried using the MPG device with SmoothStepper yet but it worked fine with those settings on PP.

So, can anyone put me out of my misery and tell me what I am doing wrong?


Share Your GCode / 9x20 lathe, reverse tumbler bracket Gcode wanted
« on: January 25, 2015, 12:32:40 AM »
Hi All,
I have a 9x20 lathe and want to make a reverse tumbler for it.
I had the Gcode to cut the bracket many moons ago (to use when I got around to it...) but it has disappeared from my files.
Has anyone got Gcode for the reverse tumbler bracket?  ???

Many thanks,

Thanks Dan, I've downloaded it, I'll hang onto it for later. ;D

Hi Dan,
You mean this one? (2011-05-21    PlugIn: SmoothStepper_v17d.zip)

It's not available for download anymore.

There are only these three available: 2011-10-30    PlugIn: SmoothStepper_v17efb.zip,
this: SmoothStepperUSBDriver2.08.02.zip
and this: SmoothStepperUSBDriver2.08.14.zip.

Anyways, it's going to be a while before I get my workshop operational and mill reinstalled and by the time I get round to it things may have changed so I'll keep my eye on things.

Many thanks,

Thanks Dan,
I've just been looking at the plugin versions and info on the SS web site but I'm still not clear what plugin and Mach3 combo I should use. There is still a bunch of red text saying that they have discovered a problem and that we should use the Dev versions of Mach3 rather than the lockdown one.

So I assume that I use this plugin (SmoothStepperUSBDriver2.08.14.zip) with Mach3 Dev R3.043.059? Incidentally the Mach downloads web page lists the SS plugin as 1.19.********* - needs updating.

Many thanks.

Thanks Dan,
So was the fix in Mach3 or was it in the SS?
As I probably have a very downlevel SS  :( I'm hoping it's a Mach3 fix.


Hi all,
I've been away from machining for some years, moved house/state and all, and just thought I would get back to the forum.
Anyway, without trawling through masses of posts, was backlash compensation ever fixed for the SS?
I've checked the build logs for the latest lockdown release of Mach3 (what, no Mach4?) and didn't see any mention of a BC fix - or is the fix meant to be in the SS?
What's the latest on BC, guys? I still have my (unused) SS sitting in a drawer somewhere.


Hi Greg,
Speaking for myself, I need the backlash comp and I'm guessing that there are heaps more people who want/need that than there are people who want/need the torch height control? The fact that THC was asked for first should come second to the wants of more people who are asking for backlash comp I would think.
Sorry if I'm barking up the wrong tree but I've been patiently waiting for backlash comp since I bought my SmoothStepper ages ago and I can't use it until backlash comp is available!
So, when can we see BACKLASH COMPENSATION please?
Dave.  :(

SmoothStepper USB / Re: Spindle control in latest Mach3 does not work
« on: November 14, 2008, 09:38:20 PM »
Can you attach your xml so i can see if I can repeat the problem. You might also want to try the latest Dev version.

Thanks for the reply,
I installed the latest Dev version and that fixed it.
The Mach3 RPM counter mysteriously incrementing rapidly and then falling to zero when a spindle command is issued, is a result of having the spindle speed averaging option turned on.
The software immediately tries to average out a non-existent speed when it receives a spindle 'on' command before it satisfies itself that the speed is actually zero, only then does the spindle start rotating.
A bit disconcerting to the uninitiated, I don't recall it happening with the Mach3R2.63 I was running.
Anyway, when I get time I'll hook up the SS and have a play.

Cheers. :)

SmoothStepper USB / Re: Spindle control in latest Mach3 does not work
« on: November 12, 2008, 02:12:07 AM »
What controls your spindle?

Hi Hood,
I'm using a Homann Designs DC-02 Digispeed XL, it worked fine before the Mach upgrade and still shows all the correct indicators.
The problem is definitely with Mach3, as shown by the RPM display counting up before the spindle even starts moving.
I have checked out the spindle sensor with my Shumatec DRO and it also works fine (yes, I have also checked all the connections to my breakout board and PC).

As I said, nothing has changed apart from a new Mach3 install.


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