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Messages - ryckmans_t

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General Mach Discussion / Re: relay control headache
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:38:42 AM »
Finally found the problem...

I was looking at the relay contact with an ohmmeter - never got a signal. Then I had a look at the diode sitting across the relay contacts with a voltmeter - M3/M5 did indeed change the volatge across that!
It turns out that this breakout board is powered by a USB cable and did not get enough current to switch the relay on/off! With a better 5V power supply, things are working now...



General Mach Discussion / Re: relay control headache
« on: February 23, 2013, 09:06:15 AM »
Also, if everything was setup'd fine, would I be able to switch the realy on/off by using M3-M4-M5 or E1P1/E1P0 in the MDI?
If I type "X0.1" in the MDI the machine moves, but if I type any commands from M3-M4-M5 or E1P1/E1P0  I get a beep only...

General Mach Discussion / Re: relay control headache
« on: February 23, 2013, 08:57:05 AM »
Thanks Jeff - I just wanted to show which pins I have available.

In Motor Output, I have Spindle disabled.
In Output Signals I have Output#1 activated, I set it to Port 1 and pin 9. How do I know which output my relay is connected to? Unfortunately I don't have the setup sheet for my breakout board anymore...
What setting do I need in the Spindle Setup?

At the moment in Relay Control I have
"Disable Spindle relays" is NOT checked
Clockwise (M3) linked to Output 1

In Motor Control
"Use Spindle Motor Output" is NOT checked

.. many thanks


General Mach Discussion / relay control headache
« on: February 23, 2013, 08:32:33 AM »
Hello folks,
I am new to Mach 3 again (- I dabbled with it last year). My breakout board is similar to this one:

I follow this advice:

I am trying to setup mach3 so I can switch the relay on/off using M3-M4 and M5 or E1Px.. and can't get it to work. I read everything I could around, but still don't get it. The mill works, with this pinout

X 2-14       (step pin =2 dir pin = 14)
Y 16-3
Z 7-8
A 6-5
B 4-17

whatever I do in the MDI (M3, M4 M5 with a small move after, or E1P1 E1P0)... nothing happens. The relay does not click (I also check with a continuity meter - no connection is made)

could anyone talk me through the setup? I know it's basic... but I can't get it to work!

many thanks


Thanks Ian - very nice. A friend of mine send me a Python program in which he generates Bezier curves between the pixels... this guy is far too smart!

Will have a try at your idea anyway - Python is a nice break from trying to get my mill working!



Ger21 - sure, it is easy to get the coordinates out of the images. The problem is, these coordinates are cartesian, and milling that would look like printing with an old matrix printer.
In other words, if you had a picture of a spiral, what would look better: printing it with a matrix printer using the cartesian coordinates, or printing it with a plotter using polar coordinates? Print dots or plot the curve directly?
My small mill has some backlash I can't solve right now (my mechanical understanding/skills are close to zero) so "matrix printing" will look bad and not smooth.

Unless you know a technique to transform these cartesian coordinates into a vector? - which was my original question

Anyway, it looks good on wood now - it is not perfect but I am quite happy with it!



Really sorry - found the obvious way: transform the picture into a .dxf file using "Img2CAD", then imported that to LazyCam

the offer is still there if someone want to try the "outlining" software


Hi folks,

taking a short break from trying to remove backlash, I wanted to turn to something simpler...

I want to do some engraving of of Japanese characters, so I had some written and scanned scanned that. The image had grey zones (folds in the paper), so wrote a small python program to decide if a grey was a black or a white, then removed all the blacks that were not an "edge" of the picture - so I have now the outline of the character - neat.

now I could easily "read" that image and generate a long list of coordinates that need to be drilled - x,y pixels. But this would look bad - the spindle would move at x=0 from y=0 to y=end and drill every black pixel on that line, then do x=1 and y=0 to end and drill the pixels on that line... etc, rather like an old TV. This would look quite bad, especially given the backlash I have

What I need is all these pixels to be joined by a single line (okay, several as the lines don't always intersect in "holes", such as in the letter "O") that can be then drilled as a curve - any ideas of how I could do that?? I am sure there are programs that take a list of coordinates, finds the function that goes throught the points - that is what I need I guess!

If anyone is interested in sending me some picture files to see the output, please feel free! High contrast will give better results - see examples attached

many thanks


General Mach Discussion / weird Z axis behaviour on Panther 210
« on: May 06, 2012, 06:19:47 AM »

Along with my other issues ("newbie - help with solving backlash issues « 1 2 »"), my Z-axis is behaving strangely.
When using page-up, page-down, the spindle goes randomly up or down - e.g. it moves but not really in relation with the command.
In gcode I have the same issue - the Z axis seems to move randomly up or down when a Znn command is found...

any ideas?

Many thanks


General Mach Discussion / Re: issues with PCB milling - newbie
« on: May 06, 2012, 05:34:41 AM »
yes - it is stepped. Now for my Allen key...

thanks for the code.. I will have more questions in 30 mins I am sure!


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