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Messages - mrprecise44

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Vistacnc Control Pendants / P2-S Pendant
« on: June 24, 2016, 07:55:00 PM »
I have the P2-S pendant built by vistaCNC, and find it to be a superb unit. Once you use it, and begin to take advantage of it's functions it will amaze you with it's versatility.

All of the functions have been well though out. When setting up your machine with a new job, it makes everything much easier. It is in the initial set-up that one makes lots of little approach moves. It has a Step/Jog setting that moves in increments of your step setting. Holding down the function button, under your thumb if holding in your left hand, and rotating the big dial, it shows the step setting on the LED screen, and turning the dial changes the step. Let your thumb off the button, and the screen goes back to jog function, and shows the axis dimension; and turning the dial now jogs with your new step setting. 

Rotate the selection knob from the step/jog position, to the target/home symbol, and click the button under your thumb twice, and it sets you axis HOME. Rotate the selection knob back to the Velocity position, next to the step/jog position, and you are not in a jog function that moves as fast as you turn the dial.

This makes setting up a job, or jogging to a different location fast and smooth.

Another nice feature is the OFF/SCR left knob position. At this position, the pendant cannot jog or accidentally move the machine
while you are running a job.

The right knob is axis selection, start/stop funcion, spindle start/stop. Very convenient. It also has an emergency stop button on the right side of the unit.

This unit is like having a super button panel, in a tiny package you can hold in your hand. The LED shows axis position as you change the axis selection. You can also slow the feedrate as the job is running.

This is one impressive unit.


« on: June 24, 2016, 07:26:08 PM »
Safe Z, means just what it sounds like. It is a position to which the Z axis is retracted, which will not crash the tool into anything. This is usually just below the home/limit switch of the Z. In the menu, you can set the Safe Z position relative to Home 0.000, or a distance in units just below the home. I set mine to .050" below home. Also, you can set the action for the machine to go to Safe Z if you hit the stop button.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach 3 with C-10 BOB... on a lathe?
« on: June 24, 2016, 07:03:18 PM »
In you picture, you have connected the driver +connection to the C10 board common pin.  The C10 board common can be jumpered for a plus+, or - ,  but they are NOT for supplying power to the driver.

The power supply + and - pins are for the driver supply.  The driver input pins are labeled for STEP, DIR, +5V, HM, ??, GND.

Remove the wires to the C10 common you have connected to the drivers.

Connect the driver +5v and GND terminals to the Power Supply respective +5v and GND terminals.  One of the terminals on the driver is for an ENable signal. I cannot read the terminal identity adjacent to the GND pin, but one of the two will be the ENable. This pin must see a +5v before the driver will power the motors. The enable signal is not high current, and is usually wired from a relay actuated by a "charge pump" circuit. This insures the motors do not receive power until the Mach3 program is fully in control after turn-on. Otherwise, a motor could be accidentally driven causing damage or injury.

CNC4pc sells a charge pump board, and also has the electrical diagrams on their site.

You can temporarily connect the EN pin to +5v for testing, but it should really be actuated as described above.

Your drivers may also have a current setting, which can be set according to the motor requirements.


General Mach Discussion / Re: help with my VFD
« on: June 24, 2016, 12:37:56 PM »
If it is a Huanyang inverter, they usually enclose the instruction booklet with the unit. If there is no booklet, you can download if from their website. There are quite a few settings necessary, and they are listed in the manual. In order to input the settings, there is a "key sequence" described, and then you can step through the settings memory. This is not a "plug and play" device.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach 3 with C-10 BOB... on a lathe?
« on: June 24, 2016, 12:31:31 PM »
The drivers must have a ground connection. Your diagram does not show a ground to the driver.

Newfangled Solutions Mach3 Wizards / Re: MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'
« on: June 22, 2016, 03:48:54 PM »
Further comments on the original question:

Write produces letters and numbers on the centerline of the generated text. It does not use cutter comp. If you are not using an engraving tool bit, and use an end mill, you will have to try different separation settings and or different fonts to make the letters readable. The letter width is proportional to the height, so the height must be input in the program.

Zero your tool to the surface of the work, input your depth of cut.

Using a 60 degree engraving bit, varying the depth changes the letter line width, and my label making was as good as the professional lettering seen in the samples at the printing company where I purchased the plastic sheet. My final depth of cut was .035 inch.

To hold down the label material, I used double sided sticky tape. I cut blanks approximately 4 x 6 inches, and stuck them down on a piece of 1/4" plastic sheet that was large enough to use hold down clamps clear of the spindle. Visually aligning the work square to the table is good enough as you just set your home position inside the sheet edge enough to get 100% clean-up on the label plate border.

I cut the border depth to .061" and the labels snapped apart easily after removing them from the 1/4" base. Some clean-up with fine sandpaper on the label plate edges and cleaning the milling dust from the letters with a toothbrush is necessary.

When sticking the 1/16" sheet with double sided tape, just have the tape on the edges where the borders are. It is not necessary to cover the bottom of the sheet material 100%. Tape holds very well, and is also hard to clean off if you use too much.

Write was written for Mach3, and is a very impressive piece of work.


Newfangled Solutions Mach3 Wizards / Re: MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'
« on: June 21, 2016, 03:07:02 PM »
I have been making some plastic labels using the sheet material that is a layer of black, with white plastic base. Using a 60 deg. engraving bit, when going about .025 deep, the letters show up clearly in white, against a black background. The material comes in 1/16" and 1/8" in various colors as well as black.

Using "WRITE", all words have a X/Y start position box in the upper left corner. If the X and Y position are both 0.000, the word will be written with the lower left corner at X 0.000, Y 0.000 home position.

In my labels, the dimensions are 1.500" long, x .500" high, with two screw holes at each end. Cutting the outside of the label leaves a nice white border.

Print the desired word in the program. Select the font; in my case I used the Helvetica as it is plain and readable, and input the "Height" setting as .160.

Output the word to Mach3. Then enlarge the view of the word until it nearly fills the window. Your X/Y home line is on the screen view
tangent to the word on the left,lower corner. Jog your X axis until it is just tangent to the last letter right side. Write down this X dimension, as that is the physical length of the word.

In my case, my label plate is 1.500" long. Subtract from 1.5 the word length dimension, and divide the result by 2. This will give you the starting "X" position, leaving equal amount of space on the right and left side of the word.

In my labels, there were usually two lines. The upper line start "Y" dimension worked out at .290", and the lower line start "Y" at .050"
This had to be derived by trial and error, but once you arrive at what looks good, this can be a constant.

Each particular word has a specific length, and it is not just a fixed horizontal length for all letters or numbers. You must do each word separately.

Since I made many different label plates, each finished label program contained a heading like this:
(x st - .471)
(y st - .050)
(Helv- .160)

This helped ID the program. Remember to "Save as" when your program is finished, with the label name, as the original program is saved by "Write" as write.txt.

Some words, or multiple words don't look just right depending on the first and last letters. You can just edit the starting X position until it is visually pleasing.

Hope this helps.


General Mach Discussion / Re: C32 and Clearpath help
« on: May 08, 2016, 04:52:54 PM »

Glad to hear you got it sorted out.
From everything I have learned about the Clearpath motors, they are a quantum leap in efficiency and design. Keep us informed as you progress with your project.
Although they initially seem quite a bit more expensive than standard stepping motors, the final result in a system with this new technology is really superior to anything now on the market.


General Mach Discussion / Re: C32 and Clearpath help
« on: May 05, 2016, 03:33:10 PM »
Hi bazpickle:
Well, finally someone in this forum is setting up a system with Clearpath motors. I am planning to use them on my next machine build, and have read extensively on their website, and operation manual. They operate just like any stepping motor, taking a step and dir signal, and have a built-in encoder and amplifier.

There are two people who have set up systems on Youtube, and used the CNC4PC C10 board, which is the most basic board available.

Have you read the Clearpath manual section describing step/dir mode? They explain how to do the set-up, steps per, initial jog step value, max feed rate, and setting travel limits. After a motor has been set, you must do the auto setting routine.

Each specific motor must be run in the system automatic parameter setting mode, which is an automatic, self testing process which will run for some length of time, up to 15 minutes.

The above referenced video does a step by step set-up.


Hi kf2qd:

The dspmc controller is one I have used for many years, and it is an excellent unit. Another one is made by CS labs, which I have no personal experience, and a third one is Galil.
All of the external controllers have more I/O than you will probably ever be able to use, so that is not a problem.
The dspmc unit is made in Phoenix, Arizona, and they are very responsive to any questions. They have a section in this forum, as well as the other systems mentioned. None of these controllers are cheap.

The only downside to using an older analogue driver system is availability of drives if you need a repair or replacement. Since a big portion of the cost of a system is the servo's and amps, this should be considered. The servo's were brush type DC motors. Retrofitting an older system can be costly in many unseen ways, and there is no "cheap way" to build a good system. Going with a newer controller will also involve fitting newer design shaft encoders of the differential type.
Analogue systems are no longer being manufactured, as the CNC machines have evolved into brushless AC servo's at the high end, with built-in encoders, and PID auto servo tuning software. They are faster, smoother, more accurate, and simpler than the older vintage machines.
It would be worth considering a newer retro-fit to a well built, solid machine foundation. The older machines were usually very well built structurally, and make an excellent starting point for a state-of-art machine. You want to end up with a machine that is stable, trouble free, and easily repaired of need be.

You can do a lot of reading on the respective sections in this forum, regarding the analog systems, and see what the various builders went through to get their machines working. Many have entire machine build histories covering months. Very interesting.


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