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Messages - Pompey Dockyard

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21
SmoothStepper USB / Spindle control in latest Mach3 does not work
« on: November 11, 2008, 06:21:32 AM »
Hi All,
I recently bought a SmoothStepper and downloaded the latest Mach3 (3.042.015) and latest SS driver and plug-in.
Before I hook up the SS I want to get the new Mach3 running satisfactorily (I have not yet installed the driver or plug-in) but I find that, whenever I activate the closed loop feedback option in spindle control, spindle control does not work as it should.
What happens is that the Mach3 RPM counter increments quickly up to something like 1200RPM (difficult to read it, it's so fast) then decreases to zero - only when the count drops to zero does the spindle start moving, but then the spindle accelerates to way past the dialled-in speed and then decellerates back down to a very low figure before speeding up again to a high setting - then the whole process is repeated for a few cycles before the spindle stops of its own accord.

Before I upgraded to the latest Mach3 (I was running Mach3R2.63) my spindle control was working fine, I've checked my spindle control hardware and it's fine.

Anyone any ideas? ???

Thanks,
Dave.

22
Your welcome Dave,
    Glad you are narrowing things down. I don't understand why your y is not exactly 2x the x though.


Brett
Yep, it's weird all right  ??? - however, I've decided to put that on the back burner for a while as I need to machine the bits for the Z axis conversion. When I get that done (and I have read up on the inner workings of Mach3!) i'll get back to it and post my findings.

Cheers,
Dave.

23
Hi All,
I have Mach3 running my steppers successfully! ;D

The calculations I did, and that others confirmed, were pretty darned close but I had to fiddle a bit to get the steppers to move the table the required X distance. X axis was pretty easy to do - it's direct drive, but Y axis still needs some fine tuning (it's geared 2:1, i.e., two turns of motor for one turn of leadscrew). I spent hours the other night and couldn't figure out why I could not get Y axis correct - until I disovered that the gibs were loose! Tightened them up and now I'm in the ball park - just a little way to go now. Funnily enough it is not an exact two times the number of steps I use for the X axis! Weird. Anyway... I'm pretty confident I'll get it nailed next time I play with it.

Incidentally, I started with Mach2 but after playing with Mach3 a few months back (simulations) I didn't like Mach2 so tried Mach3, since I am only usinga PIII running at 600MHz I was expecting trouble but it runs as sweet as a nut when I run any of the G Code examples (road runner etc). I am mighty impressed, and have learned a heck of a lot about motor tuning!  :D

Cheers,
Dave.
PS - Brett, thanks for your off-line help.

24
This is what I came up with

200 * 8 = 1600 steps per motor revolution (1.5mm)

1600 * 2/3 = 1066.6666666666666666666666666667 steps per mm

Darek
Hi Darek,
Thanks - I came up with the same figure but it didn't work. Has me stumped, what I also found was that after a while of changing the steps per unit (a LONG while), Mach3 seemed to be losing the plot, e.g., I'd tell it to move 25mm and I got it tuned to that (but the figure I had to enter was very very small!) and, still using that figure when I moved back to the zero point, the table only moved somewhere around 1 to 2 mm! I gave up after that.

Methinks I'll rebuild my PC and do a clean install of Mach2, I just got my licence key from Art and he says that the early version of Mach2 runs well on slower PC's - mine is a PIII running at 600MHz - so maybe that has something to do with it.
Probably won't get to doing that for a coupla days but I'll repost when I have done it and entered the steps we both calculated. Wish me luck! :D

Cheers,
Dave.

25
Hey Dave, here is an example.

Here is how you do the math. I will give you mine as an example. What we need to know is, How many pulses from Mach will it take to move the machine 1 of your units? (inch,mm) Mine is in inches. 1 inch = 10,000 pulses on mine. This is how I came up with the number.
My steppers have 200 pulses per revolution. ( 360 degrees divided by 1.8 degrees = 200 )
Micro stepping = 10. So 200 X 10=2,000
Motor to screw gearing is 1-1. So 2,000 X 1=2,000
Screw lead is .200 of an inch. My screw will have to turn 5 rounds to move the nut 1". 1.0 divided by 0.200=5. So 2,000 X 5=10,000.

Brett

Thanks Brett,
I had seen (your?) post about this to someone else and used it as a basis - took me a while to figure out the conversion to mm's and also my microstepping is 1/8th but I ended up with a figure that didn't work so I thought I had it wrong. See the reply post to HillBilly.
Thanks,
Dave.

26
Hi All,
Most people on this group probably use inch measurements, but how do I set the steps per unit for my motors when I'm using millimetres as my unit? I'm running Mach3.

Here's the set up:
Xylotex driver running in 1/8 microstep mode, 200 step steppers and my X axis moves 1.5mm for one turn of the handwheel.

Maths was never my strong point and I'm stumped here :'(. If someone one can give the applicable formula for metric units I'd be very grateful. ;D

Thanks,
Dave.

27
General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach2/3 Hardware requirements?
« on: August 14, 2006, 05:14:18 AM »
Thanks for the note Rusty,
I have downloaded Mach 2 and I'll load it onto the garage (er, I mean workshop) PC and have a play with it - unfortunately it's going to be some time before I get all CNCd up, but who knows - I may have a faster PC by the time I get it all done.

I e-mailed Art off line earlier and he says he has heard of people running Mach 2 on 400MHz machines so it should be OK on my 600MHz. By the way - I asked about running it under Windows 98 but he says it only runs under XP.

Cheers,
Dave. :)

Dave, don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Just run Mach2 like I'm doing. the license is good for either so if you happen across another laptop, you can move up.

Mach2 runs great on the 400mHz HP that I have, paid $150 delivered for it. I've got a used Compaq 2gHz I paid $350 and it was such a nice laptop and a step up for me, I couldn't sacrafice it to the garage.

Mach2 is pretty well debugged so that is to your advantage as well. A big step up for me over TurboCNC :)


Bummer,
I just checked my computer and it's actually a Pentium 3 running at 600MHz, so I guess that won't do!
I already have two computers and don't fancy spending on another! Looks like Mach software is out of the running then.

Cheers,
Dave. :(

Art told me in an email that Mach 3 really needs a minimum of 1gHz CPU.

28
General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach2/3 Hardware requirements?
« on: August 13, 2006, 07:25:45 AM »
Bummer,
I just checked my computer and it's actually a Pentium 3 running at 600MHz, so I guess that won't do!
I already have two computers and don't fancy spending on another! Looks like Mach software is out of the running then.

Cheers,
Dave.  :(

Art told me in an email that Mach 3 really needs a minimum of 1gHz CPU.

29
General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach2/3 Hardware requirements?
« on: August 11, 2006, 01:12:06 AM »
Brian,
I have an 800MHz Pentium 3 running Windows XP Pro SP2, will Mach 3 run OK on that? Can't remember how much RAM it's got, I think 500MB, maybe less.
I would prefer not to have to strip down Windows as suggested on the Mach site, so the alternative is I could create a dual boot with Windows 98 version 2 and run Mach 3 on that.
Any comments on that scenario?

Thanks,
Dave.  :)

Mach3 may be to much for that computer :( But you can test it if you like :) Mach2 and 3 can be on the same computer ...


Hope that helps
Brian


30
General Mach Discussion / Re: What causes lost steps?
« on: August 11, 2006, 12:53:23 AM »
What you describe sounds like a variable resistor (known as a 'pot') for adjusting something on the axis. Each axis has a pot to tune the steps to the particular motor in use - it may be that the previous motor on that axis was different to the ones you are using now.

It could be a reference setting for the current the motor gets. That would probably cause the problems you describe. If it is a current reference be careful you don't set it too high as you could damage components on the board  :'( - check out the Xylotex.com web site for info on that about their boards.

Cheers,
Dave.

This is lost steps :( Slow down the axis a bit and slow down the accel's. this is the first step.. what do you have for a stepper driver?

I figured it out although I am not sure what I did! I have an older camtronics board driving my motors. I looked at the board and at each axis there appears to be the same setup as far as chips, resistors and things.
ONe of the things is a small whitesh gray rectangle with a very small flat head screw in it. I have no idea what they are or do but turning that screw stopped the problem. Turn it one way and the motor stops turn it the other and it goes.
As you can tell I am new to this. LOL.
It was driving me crazy because it worked fine, I buy mach3 and vcavre today, fire them up and the machine does this!
That srcew must have worked its way loose I guess.

Anyone want to enlighten me as to what I did? I can post a picture if need be.
Thanks for the help.

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