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Topics - derek

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General Mach Discussion / Using a spindle sensor for Mach and VFD
« on: November 18, 2012, 10:36:55 AM »

I have a  spindle sensor setup using a QRB 1134  optical sensor. I'm installing a Delta VFD-M for my ATC. It has an option for indexing the spindle.   It has programmable digital inputs.
Is there a way to share the signal from the sensor between the VFD and Mach.


PoKeys / Need some help with Pokeys and My ATC
« on: November 15, 2012, 01:46:24 PM »

I’m a little (understatement) confused with pokeys and inputs. I have proximity sensors on the ends of the travels on my tool changer. The macro I’m going to be using uses the inputs from the proximity sensors to turn the outputs on or off at the proper times.

Here is a snippet of the macro that I tested with.
 Do While Not IsActive(Input1)
 sleep (10)         

This works great but I need more than 4 inputs. There are only 4 inputs listed in the drop down menu on the IO column of the pokeys plugin.

Should I be using a user led for the proximity sensors instead of inputs and have the macro watch for the led?


General Mach Discussion / Need a little macro help
« on: October 04, 2012, 07:05:16 AM »
Starting to work out the details on my tool change macro for my ATC.
Ran into a bit of a stumble right away. Here's what I'm trying to accomplish:
ActivateSignal( OUTPUT5 )
Wait for signal from proximity switch on input 1 then
ActivateSignal( OUTPUT6 )

I've searched and tried a few things but a can't seem to get it figured out.


I’m in the process of building a 10 tool carousel style tool changer for my knee mill.
I’ve reground the R-8 taper to accept BT30 tool holders and I’m using the 4 ball gripper and belleville washers for the draw bar. This is working out great.
I bought a pokeys and a M39 relay board to run things.
The carousel will be driven with a servo motor directly through Mach as the C axis but everything else is going through the pokeys.
The tool changer flies in in three steps. Down, over to engage fork into tool, down again to remove tool and clear spindle, rotate carousel, up to load new tool, back away, and up to start position. I’m putting proximity sensors at the ends of each travel. The proximity sensors will be mapped to Mach LEDs.

The way I’d like to work this is when a tool change is called up the carousel will lower to the first position, when the proximity sensor is active it will execute the next movement over, then when that sensor is active it would actuate the draw bar and release the tool, The carousel would then drop down, rotate the C axis to the next position and then reverse out.

I've done some simple macros and I've modified a few existing complex macros so I'm a little comfortable with them. I have no experience with brains though.


I've been looking for a good starter project to get my feet wet with Arduino. I came a cross an article on make where a guy mounted a switch on his mailbox and he received a text whenever the door was opened.
Here is the link http://blog.makezine.com/2010/12/29/snail-mail-push-alerts/
I'm not quite sure how to trigger it with mach but it shouldn't be too difficult. I'm also thinking that with an additional output and a macro I could get a notification when it's done running. A power failure indicator would be nice as well.

I do a lot of 3d work and I run the machine 24/7 if necessary so an estop or power failure can cost me 12 hours or more depending on when it happens.

Any thoughts

SmoothStepper USB / Does Verify work?
« on: January 26, 2012, 06:57:02 AM »
I've got the usb smoothstepper working with mach R3.043.057 and V17efb plugin. Homing works fine but when I click on the verify button the Axis don't move. The weird thing is if I manually jog one of the axis away from the switch as soon as I release the jog button the axis rapids back to the start position and "Position Verified Successfully" Appears in the status window.

I saw this on the download page of warp9 "The Verify function was implemented, though it does not operate the same as the Parallel Port driver. To operate the same will require a change in Mach"

So does that mean I need to change a setting in Mach or Brian needs to make a change in Mach.


General Mach Discussion / Verify moves Y axis the wrong way
« on: September 11, 2010, 08:22:07 AM »
Verify has been working properly for me for a while now. I just installed new Dugong drives and their BOB. With the new setup I had to reverse the Y axis direction in Homing Limits screen.  When I reference the drive it moves in the proper direction ( Y-) but when I use the verify button it moves in the Y+ which is away from the switch. X and Z work as they should.

Any ideas on this one?


General Mach Discussion / 3D acceleration problems and choppy cuts
« on: June 20, 2010, 01:38:48 PM »

I've been battling this problem for ages. And it's only getting worse because the complexity of my work is increasing.  Plus I'm really getting tired of sanding out the chops.
I have a 4' x 5' Gantry router using 600 OZ Ametech servos driven 2:1 and Rutex 990H drives.
I do fairly large foundry patterns. My last pattern had over a million lines of code and took 33 hours to run. And that was just the finish pass!

The problem is related to acceleration for sure and I've read all the posts about Tempest. I even gave Quantum a try and although it smoothed things out it was just too slow to be practical.  If I raise the acceleration the cuts get better but I start loosing position.

My plan is to upgrade the servos to something that will give me a buttload (that's a technical term look it up) of torque. In a perfect world I would change the servos, drives and power supply. But in this economy it far from a perfect world.
My thought is to switch to the Keling KL34-180-90 1125 oz servo and a new power supply. I'm hoping to retain the Rutex drives and limp it along until I can replace the drives with a set of Dugongs down the road.

So My questions are:
Am I kidding myself about using the rutex drives with the new servos.

Will this intermediate step actually help increase my acceleration.


General Mach Discussion / Feedhold stops spindle
« on: January 21, 2010, 03:06:33 PM »
I installed Mach on a lathe and when I hit the spacebar the spindle shuts off. Is there a setting to keep the spindle on. It stays on when I feedhold on my router but I can't find a way to make it work on the lathe.


General Mach Discussion / Is backlash causing these choppy cuts?
« on: July 14, 2009, 05:34:44 PM »
I've been dealing with this for a long time now. It's mostly a problem on larger pieces only because it's more noticeable. It happens on everything.

This was cut with a horizontal strategy with a .010" step over. The Intol and Outol are .001" and the piece is 15" in diam. The cut direction is mixed.

The piece has been primed and I sanded through to the base material so the ridges and valleys would show up.

Here is a wide shot. One think to look at is how symmetrical the chop is as it leads around the bell and the goes straight as the wall of the pattern goes straight. also notice how there is no chop where the axis is running nearly parallel.

Here's a closeup

I'm really getting tired of sanding this crap!!!


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