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Topics - Fastest1

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  I have been using Mach3 for a few years. Turn and or mill at different times. Mostly without a Smoothstepper but I have used them a little.

  Lately due to an issue with my parallel port. I decided to set up my above system with the ESS. I am having an issue or 2 and the Warp9 forum thinks it is either a misunderstanding on my part or a Mach problem. Both could be a possibility.

  I have Turn installed, profile operating correctly as in direction of travel for each axis etc. The limit switches which I also use as limits are connected, activated and working as they should.

  The issue is what happens upon touching the limit switch itself and the setting or number that ends up in the DRO.

  In Turn I have to reference each axis independently (more on that later). So first I home the Z axis using "set Home Z". The axis travels the furthest from the chuck, hits the limit switch, backs off the prescribed amount placed in the ESS homing limits dialog box prior (-.1). Then the DRO indicates -.1 (this is in machine coordinates). This is what I want and this is the extent of travel less .1.

  Then I use the same procedure for X. However X homes away from the center line of the spindle and upon hitting the limit/home switch backs off the prescribed amount -.05 in this case. It also indicates this on the DRO (again in Machine coordinates). What I would like is for the DRO to indicate the number of the opposite end of travel. 0 should be the center IMO. So all numbers should be positive and the number upon touching the limit and backing off should be as an example 5" less the back off -.05, 4.95.

  Now this is where the problem is. On Mill I swear I can change the DRO by the number I place in the "home offset" of Mach's homing/limit set up box so the number indicated after touching the limit is what ever I have put there. In Turn I get no such response. I get the back off amount setting within the ESS Homing box. If I place a number in the "home offset" box in Mach it will back off the switch that amount.? Even though the back off setting in the ESS is -.05.

  So I notice the "auto zero" always has a green check on the Mach homing and limits page. It will change and accept the change until I press the reset button. I can hit save settings, reopen the box and the green check is gone. Then I press the reset and that value changes back. That is why I suspect the ESS, something has priority either Mach or the ESS?

  If I put a number in the G28 home location box, it will go to that number. 

  Btw if I hit home all or home Z or whichever axis, rapid acceleration occurs slamming into the limit switch and then faulting out.

General Mach Discussion / DriverTest evaluaton?
« on: November 28, 2015, 11:07:18 AM »
   I am having an issue quantifying just what is responsible for smooth and fast motion on a PP based PC.

   I have always used computers that met the minimum requirements of Mach 3. Some PC's propel my machines to seemingly unuseable speeds and others stall, same controllers, same settings in Mach. Just different PC's.
   I have used the optimization steps in Mach and checked and or changed my port status etc.

   Many times during the pursuit of speeds attained prior I would hear a clicking coming from the steppers.
   I have only read a few other threads that mention this. In my case it always sounded mechanical and had me adjusting gibs and bearings, lubricating, cleaning etc. Never to improve.
   Just lately I was finally smart enough the remove the steppers from my lathe only to find the sound was still there. I drove the axis by hand and was amazed at the smoothness and lack of effort required to move any of the axis'.
   Friction is not causing my stalling issues. Nor are the speeds I am asking of the steppers.
   Changing the acceleration has no effect nor turning the toolpath on or off.

   Searching the forums for a specific mobo, RAM, graphics card with guaranteed success almost impossible. Is it the software? The parallel port itself? A graphics card? I cant imagine it is luck of the draw.

   I realize that I could use a motion controller of some flavor. I have a few. However my stubbornness makes me pursue WHY? As mentioned above I have had great success with the PP. No need to change if I can find out why.

   Here are 2 different screenshots of the DriverTest results, not mine just pics from the net. Looking at the results of the tests and the signals. Which would be the better computer to use and why?
   Both are testing at the same speed.  
   Both claim system excellent.

PoKeys / 57E stuck in recovery mode?
« on: October 01, 2015, 05:21:04 PM »
I am not sure of what I did. I just downloaded M4 and the Pokeys plug in. I also downloaded poblocks. I can see the 57E in pokeys configuration window. All it says in recovery mode. It doesnt seem to recover though. Next step?

General Mach Discussion / ESS/MX3660 and Estop issues?
« on: May 30, 2014, 01:33:39 PM »
   I have a few machines that run Mach. All the do the mechanical work just fine, however the computers respond differently. I cant figure out why.

   At present I am testing a layout for my lathe. It consists of an ESS, an MX3660 (leadshine). The ESS has power full time (as long as machine is plugged in, in other words the power supply for the ESS is not connected thru my contactor)

   I have movement fine.

   My issue is that if I push the physical EStop button the machine quits (as it is contactor fed and the EStop kills the latching of the contactor) however nothing on the Mach screen would let you know that. Being suspicious that the contactor was somehow not letting the signal thru (since there was no power). I even pulled the EStops wiring connector from the MX3660 while leaving the contactor powered. I see that the MX3660 does disable the drive. But once again nothing on the Mach screen lets me know. I would think a restart should require an unlatching of the EStop button, pressing the reset button on the Mach3 screen then to press a momentary switch which energizes and latches the coils of the contactor.

   I have tried active low and high on the Estop button, smoothstepper and mach control of the Feedhold and everything and anything I can think of.

   Does anybody else see the Estop (the flashing of the reset button on screen) using an ESS? The switch works it just isnt getting thru to MACH or showing that it has anyway.

General Mach Discussion / Turret tool changer and its set up?
« on: March 11, 2014, 02:47:17 PM »
   Presently I have a Dyna DM3000 lathe with a 6 position turret tool changer. I have had it running in a few different configurations over the years. Never really satisfied with each set up, mostly due to my lack of understanding of the options and how a professional lathe should be set up.

   Inevitably someone comes along with a much nicer conversion and you realize the options you left out or misunderstood or figured out how to implement since the last assembly.

   When I first got the lathe, I was given the tool change macro written by a generous forum user with the same model of lathe. The macro works fine however it only travels 1 direction, rotates in multiples of 60 degrees depending on which tool is requested and then backs up a few degrees into the pawl (that is screw adjustable for tool height).

   All of the original literature on this lathe states that the tool changer is bidirectional. As I learn more, I see MRM on the zone dissect the tool changer and discover there is a 24vdc solenoid that can retract the pawl and truly allow bidirectional rotation. I now have an extra 24vdc power supply in my cabinet along with a relay just for that solenoid. My thought is that it will be wired as would any auxiliary feature such as coolant, mist, spindle etc. There are also a series of photo interrupters on the turret shaft but I am not sure of what they are, or are there for, just yet. I am guessing rotational verification or positioning of some kind.

   So my question is this. How would I write a macro that can

A. Go the shortest distance to the next tool?

B. If going the direction against the pawl, to lift the solenoid during that directions rotation but let it activate upon the backing into the pawl?            I still believe the few degree back up will be required for repeatable tool height.

C. If you do understand what the other interrupters are for, please chime in.

Share Your GCode / Anyone have a small 2.5D file I can run?
« on: October 20, 2013, 12:23:59 PM »
I have always wanted to cut something with the Z in constant movement. Most if not all of my limited experience has been 2D? where the Z plunges a ramps to specific depth, pockets or profiles and then repeats til the depth of cut is satisfied. This is cool enough however I would like to see all axis moving simultaneously just for the thrill, eventually I will learn how to do it myself.

I run a G0704 and have a few 1/8"-3/8" end mills, spot drills, chamfering tools etc. Not trying to make anything large just enjoy the movement.

Thanks for any and all help.

General Mach Discussion / Machine control strategy questions
« on: February 12, 2013, 10:42:21 AM »
  I am running a RepStrap consisting of a hot end with parts from various sources and using Slic3r and Mach3 to print.

   I typically ref my machine at the beginning of a print or during that working seesion (I am not running limits or home switches on this particular configuration just yet). After reffing I use an M8 command to turn on my heater controls. All is working pretty well in those regards, however at the end of my print I use a G28. Not knowing any better this does 2 things, it rewinds the extruder and gets the filament out of the barrel so clogs are less of a problem and eventually ends in an M30 which turns off all outputs. These are great features. especially in printing where a part might take 6 hours or more. Babysitting was not my intent.

   The questions I have are,

  1. Is there a way to have the A axis only retract a specified distance from where the program ended instead of all the way back to 0? This value would always change (at least with each different print).

  2. Is there a way to initiate the M30 before the G28 automatically?

 Also I notice the G28 runs very slow at the end, most likely reading the last feed rate posted? These questions probably belong elsewhere but you know how it is. Thanks

General Mach Discussion / Vise placement/reference?
« on: January 18, 2013, 12:00:14 PM »
   So I have been running Mach for a little. During this time I have learned a few things, mostly the hard way. Concepts sometimes hard to understand as a Noob to most of the processes.

   Now I am thinking easy repeatability for the majority of my tinkering. At present I place my vise in the middle of the table with the fixed jaw to the rear away from the operator, up near the column ( a G0704). I had been placing my stock in my vise on parallels etc and then using the lower left corner (of the stock) as my 0,0,0 point. This works but involves a constantly changing position. Then the light bulb pops on regarding the many articles read referring to referencing from the fixed or static jaw. Seems simple enough. Home machine, touch off to rear jaw on X & Y, set this point as zero in both of those axis. Great now we have a place that will always be the same as long as the stock is confined within the walls of the vise jaws, right? Doing this, does this necessitate moving the placement of my parts creation in the lower right quadrant of my CAD? It seems like it would. Not that it is a problem, just a realization (I think).  Edit: after reading my own question, if my stock extended outside the jaws on my X or Y axis, wouldnt it just be moving my stock into the adjacent quadrant in CAD?

   If that were true, wouldnt the same technique be used for Z reference off of the parallels? Place the parallels in the vise, zero off the top off the parallel and all moves in Z would be positive? Or just maybe starting above a known location? I am not having a problem keeping accurate (in my mind, results have all been in the .002-.004 range which is simply amazing to me so far) but could definitely alway see room for improvement and repeatability. Anything that would simplify set up would be great.

                                                           Sorry if this seems basic. I was used to sitting in the back of class in my school days to see the girls in front!
                                                           I have learned more on these forums regarding math, electronics, computers and machining than I ever did in schools.
                                                           I am not blaming it on the schools either.

   I just learned to chain ops together. At the moment I am using the same tool and tool number for each op but after each keyway or pocket it prompts for a cycle start after the tool change.

   There is an ignore tool change feature within Mach but I wouldnt think i need to change my settings there. I have been wrong before, alot.

   I cant believe how long it took for me to learn that chaining ops was possible. Beautiful performance if I would get over my fear of feedrate or doc commitment. .125 end mills dont seem to hog very well for me :-)

   I have been going thru the process of setting up some tools on my mill using TTS holders. Everything was going well. I was able to call a tool, install requested tool. Hit go to zero and each tool would succesively go to the zero location established with tool 1 as the master (though I still question if the diameter is being considered?) It hits the Z level perfect. Anyway yesterday I reopened Mach3 and it indicated tool 6 was in the spindle (it was) and I reloaded a code and hit cycle start. I watched in absolute disbelief as it proceeded to run a .25 2flute thu my table. I hate it when that sh!t happens. Only damaged my ego and understanding. The tools seem to be remembered due to their offsets but maybe a reference is forgotten? I am not even sure of how to ask the question.

   Should I always (or do I have to) install tool 1 at the beginning of the opening of Mach and touch it off on the part surface even if this is where I closed it down from the previous day? After that I am pretty sure it would be prudent to do it anyway but just curious of expectations.

   I also mentioned I wasnt sure about the diameter being considered. In my tool table i have tool 1 (a TTS passive LED touch probe, also the longest tool so far). It has a .4 diameter ball on the end which I have entered in the table. I touched off on a piece of stock yesterday in X, Y & Z (again with tool 1, in the spindle and indicated in the Mach window). I then called for a tool change, installed requested tool (.25 diameter 2 flute) and hit go to zero. It appeared to go the exact same spot as tool 1 was leaving an gap between the side of the tool and the piece. Z was fine.

   I am sure it is operator error and misunderstanding. There is one thing I have learned in this hobby, any denial of learning disabilities are now confirmed. I can read over and over with no understanding. Sometimes just reading one response will make the light bulb go on. Do I just enjoy the frustration and challenge? That is a different forum.

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