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Messages - metlcutr55

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hi Hal thanks for commenting

i wont keep the servos, they are fanuc items and i want out of fanuc as much as some folk seem to want them.  i run a fanuc controlled workcenter at my day job,
the $$ the folk who come to repair them get is beyond ridiculous as are replacement parts.  my mill is analog with brush dc motors, i think id like the new ac brushless stuff, but if the mill is going to run well, i think i may try to keep the lathe replacement parts as close to the mill as possible, to share as many repair parts as possible. and i have read that the fanuc red cap motors are a hard match up to any of the pc based systems out there.  Machmotion and Ajax are being looked at, there is other stuff out there, Motiontek, Kanalog, DSPMC, but a lot will depend on who can help a guy like me who has little electronic knowledge, i am capable of following instructions, and thats about it.  a lot will also depend on the input i get from the good folk on this board.  i am sure i can handle a mostly mechanical installation, but might like to try to do as much as i can electronically, it will help in my retiring years to have as much knowledge of the internal workings as possible.

and here i am again!!!

legacy computer guy has come and gone,  we fooled with it for a while, various things, no luck.

we had talked about the machine as i bought it years ago, with a new 386 motherboard driving it, and how
replacements had been made, to a 486 then to a pentium 90, all successfully.  he was the guy who put the p90 in
for me.

he decided to slow this board, which was 166, down by moving some jumpers, and dropped it to 133.

i have been running test programs i wrote and old part programs for the last 45 minutes without a single failure.   ;D

i think we have it licked, time to tool back up and make something!!!   ;D

i will not be gone from this board, soon as the mill makes me a lil $$$ it will be time to pull the fanuc off the
nardini lathe and get that onto a pc control.  ill bet that will cause me to generate a few threads here.

the fanuc has lost its mind from sitting too long this winter i guess.  even tho i put a new battery on and fired it up 2x a month for a charge.  i get some type of parity error that the local cnc fellow says indicates the unit is fine but has forgotten its software.  a fellow on the internet has been kind enough to share his nardini fanuc files with me but i think i am tired of fooling with fanuc and want to go pc based.

i look on ebay, fanuc pc parts seem to command pretty fair money.  my question to you folk would be:  do you think there is any added value in trying to sell this
control system complete, from the servo motors on back?  or would it draw more $$ pc parted out on ebay?

thanks again for reading!

hey guess who's back?

still having issues bad enough to not be able to run this machine.  all the issues are in x and y, z is fine

it loves mdi moves, in rapid or in feed.  doesnt like the handwheel per my last post in this thread.

wrote a program that just does a rectangle 1 x 3 (2) times.  all the fails come at corners

run this program 20 times, it will run ok 7 or 8, the rest of the time x or y will fail at a corner
the "axis on" light will go out, stay out a half second, then come back on.  no other pattern detected
very random between x and y

same fellow is coming to help tomorrow, he had some thought that the new pentium board is fast, maybe
too much.  something to do with "interrupts?"  he asked me to do the program again with a small pause between ea move.  i put a 1/2 sec pause
between them, no changes

wrote a circle program, one again it fails on corners.  motors just dont like to change direction.  i wish they didnt every time
its the 35-40% of the time they work fine that makes the troubleshooting harder.

just throwing his out there, the fellow helping is a great legacy computer guy but not a cnc man.  and im just a good machinist
that is slowly learning this stuff.  always welcome you guys input.

an update for those who care.

the fellow who was helping me with the old 486 tried a few things including building a customized motherboard from some of his old stuff, not so good, we eventually sourced a couple old lightly used pentium boards, and dumped the old hard drives in favor of an ide interfaced compact flash card reader.  i have a full spare motherboard and 2 spare cf cards that are cloned to the one we're using

its in the machine and the oem software is up and running the machine.  not real well tho, im getting a lot of what i think are encoder based errors "position" "end point precision" "following error".  the x and y axis on lights will wink off and back on quickly, then come the errors.  the machine does not like to be driven by the jog keys or handwheel, these errors pop up after a lot or a little movement.  but go to jog increment mode and set a distance of 1 or 2 or .25 inches, and the machine seems fine with it.  run a program and the errors pop up after 5 or 6 or 8 lines, run a program with a lot of tiny spiral moves and it seems the errors come quicker

the machine did sit 8 months thru a cold unheated winter and a warm wet (humid) spring.  im wondering if letting things get warm and dry again and running the machine a bit will clear this up.  also going to unplug and replug as many related connections as i can, maybe some corrosion in the contacts.  write some test programs with different types of moves and try to pinpoint what causes it the most.

as before im all ears to suggestions, and even tho it seems still wounded, it is nice to see it alive again.

after reading a lot about the mach3 interface, im wondering if it will run on this machine as is (less the problems), i like what i see compared to the oem system


im back! i have read these posts over and over, i think the necessary path is becoming clear.  i am competent mechanically, but an electronics noob.  the only way i could get into modifying my current system with pc parts that i would need to wire myself would be if there were a mentor close to me in the s w NH area.  that would be a great experience and education, in lieu of that, i think i need the "kit" solution, where i will mostly just do the mechanical install.  i do have electric/electronic help available, but he has not done a pc based system.  it is very attractive to anticipate having a modern computer, control software, brushless motors & new amps, and i am pretty sure with a lil help my vfd, mpg, mist and oiler will integrate nicely into the system.  but i cannot see trying a pc part electronic install by myself, i can close my eyes right now and see the blue flash and smell the ozone!   :o

i am still puzzling over Machmotions required inclusion of the 1000 controller with the servo lathe systems but not at all with the servo mill systems.  i will talk with them soon im sure they will clarify.  their systems are the priciest of those i looked at, but not so bad considering nearly everything is already there and appears to be top shelf.  it took 4 months of part timing eves in the garage to put the $$ in the cookie jar, it is there and its time to sh** or get off the pot.  with both of my "good" machines down, i have been making stuff on my chinese 7 x 12 lathe, and mostly on my rong fu 40 round column gear head mill.  i am damn tired of counting dial revs, esp with .03 backlash screws, loosing x, y & z each time i move the head and hand cranking the machine, it will be so nice to mdi type g1x10y2f5 and push the button again, not to mention being able to do multiple features in a shot rather than putting the part in and out of the vise for ea feature!!!

i will need to fairly (to buyer and to myself) price the old westamp amps and motors coming of the mill, and the fanuc stuff coming of the lathe, to refill the cookie jar for when the mill is done and its lathe time.  i do want the mill and lathe on the same brand pc based control, the thought of the expensive fanuc man having to head to my shop lugging expensive fanuc parts is scary.  my mill had a couple years of light duty on it when i bought it, and the nardini fanuc had 6 years of the same, in 8+ years of running both, the mill was noticeably less trouble far as little breakdown issues, even though the mill ran about 2x as much.  so i am a fan of systems built from available items rather than proprietary stuff.  if i get a blanket order someday for 100000 widgets, then maybe a "real" control is in order.

thanks again for your input!!

i really appreciate all the input, please keep it coming if you have the time!  ive made some assumptions about closed and open loop, which are incorrect i guess.  all based on looking at various folks advertising, their faqs, etc, i had assumed servos could be run either way, but closed would be better, and that steppers would  be open loop.  my main worry was that unless the loop was "closed" servos could "lose" steps and cause dimensions (and relative position of the machine) to be lost as i guess steppers can if they are undersized?  a few of the stepper based systems i have seen appear to be robust enough to run my machines, bu these fears had kept me from considering them.  they are certainly less $$.  not sure i could deal with all the funny noises they make and i have not seen them anywhere in my years in the industry. once again i am assuming, but it looks like for the small difference in $$ servos are the way to go?  i think i am correct in seeing Machmotion only uses the interpreter 1000 on their lathe servo controls, why the difference from their stepper kit?  bear with me folks, i am getting a little smarter about this, and you guys are helping.

thanks again for the reply.  ive looked at the Machmotion stuff a lot, i believe the all the mill controls are just step-direction, and only the lathe servo controls use the interpreter 1000 (where the dspmc is likely contained?), which would make it closed loop?  of course as someone new to this i could be wrong.  i have to wait for uncle sam to send my tax refund then i think i will give Machmotion a call.  i guess i will try to sell my analog stuff as a lot 1st there may be someone interested, if not, off to ebay pc by pc.  once i have the mill running i will likely repeat this whole process with the nardini lathe and the fanuc 20t.  if there are any more comments of course id love to hear them, and thanks to all!

thanks to both of you for your comments.  the only things that would trouble me about Mach3 are the pause/stop issue and the restart issue, i would like to hear more about that.  but with my very limited electronic experience i am getting the impression that the Machmotion kit may be my best option.  how about a word or two about running a servo system that is not closed loop, as the Machmotion system is not (i believe).

thanks all!!

thanks fro the input TP.  there is a competent fellow helping me with the old 486, it just seems everytime we make a step forward something else pops up.  i have done a little looking via google for the new isa boards you mentioned, found some in the $250-$300 range, if i was sure that would be the cure i would buy two just to have a spare.  i believe the dos 6.22 constraint for hard drives is 2gb, id gladly buy a couple new hard drives and do a < 2gb partition, rather than fooling with old finicky ones.

im not sure of your statement "may not do everything....", the software the cncauto people use in my machine is pretty basic, runs fanuc gcode, has a few conversational helpers for pockets, bolt circles etc, from my looking at mach3 a bit, if anything mach3 looks more capable, and has a nicer interface, better graphics, and links to the motor and machine setup that are not available now in my current software.  i do need a bunch of help getting set up, but i hope to be a lot more knowledgeable about my machine after going thru the setup process.  i am flying a little blind now, i am hoping to get some guidance here, im a machinist not a technician.  when it comes to saving a little money by buying the smaller less complicated breakout board, etc, etc. that is not an issue, i will buy what is needed.  if i get the feel here that the Machmotion complete kit is the way to go, i will do it.  id just like to get some opinions first, of course id rather spend $2000 to get going rather than $6000.  if i need to pay someone for help, its not a problem, or to offer machining time on the machines once i am back running.

and yes i said machines.  my 20 year old nardini fasttrace lathe has also been cranky for a while.  and with fanucs out of sight pricing for parts and technical help, that control is likely being replaced with the lathe version of whatever i come up with on the mill, to keep them both the same, to make parts and working on them as identical as possible.  i made my living in my garage for 12 years with these machines.  i had to take a real job in a shop 2 years ago when the economy went to sh**.  nice having insurance, other bennies again, but i will retire from there in 5 years.  i need my garage shop in good shape again for that day.

so thanks TP, everybody chime in please!

i have this mill: http://www.cncauto.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=M3X-5V

mine is 20 hrs old, because the control software is dos based, and because the motion control card fits in a slot only found on gen 1 pentium boards and back, i am stuck with this old school technology.  motherboards and hard drives are getting hard to find, are always used, and to compound things, the fellow who builds these machines is not helpful at all, he has told me just replace everything from the ballscrew pulleys on back.  i have no diagrams or schematics of any kind, and none will be coming.

i have looked at Machmotions teco refurb kit that would replace everything electronic and electric, im impressed with what i see, but its just short of $6000.

as best i can tell, my servo motors are from indiana general, dc brush, with sealed can type (optical?) encoders. my servo amps are westamp.  my motion control board has no name on it, but my software refers to it as the MP 04 board. i will guess since it is the board requiring the old vintage slot, it will not be reused in getting my machine running again.

so i have a nice mill here, bunches of relays in the cabinet likely controlling the vfd, mist, oiler, etc.  good servo motors and encoders.  a servo amp with 3 drive boards, a big power supply, and a dead dos computer and a few hard drives definitely showing their age.

i dont think i want to repair this system as is, i think i want to move into more modern times, run mach3 with a new computer, but retain the servo amp, motors and encoders.  when/if the old amp, motors fail, i will incorporate new hardware.

i am just able to do basic wiring with a little help.  i am not an electronics guy at all.  i do want to do as much of this as i can myself, so i the end i will gain some knowledge of my system, and be able to troubleshoot and repair, at least at a basic level.

i hope you all will give me a lot of input in where i need to go from here and how to get started, and i thank you for your help and patience in advance.


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