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Messages - Pedio

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41
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Short output pulse from Mach4 + ESS
« on: August 15, 2016, 11:46:59 AM »
I am using the PMDX motion controller with my laser and taking a PWM signal from the board. When I first ordered the laser the signals were too fast for the electronics in the laser and they had to send me another one with a "fast" PWM. I suspect the problem was how fast the commands were being seen by the laser. My post processor often breaks an arc and a line that are actually attached to each other. The laser would do the arch and then miss the command for the line. This was a laser problem. The PMDX board does well with the PWM. The guys at PMDX were terrific in helping me to get the laser working with their board.

I use a Z axis movement to trigger a spindle on or off. My post processor deletes any Z axis movement and adds the spindle on or off command. This is pretty nice as I can use different "tools" to control the intensity of the laser. I change the spindle speed for the tool and it will control the laser output.

Note - if your laser is anything like mine you have to radically change the power to get a noticeable difference. My laser is set for 0-100 as the spindle speed. I have to reduce it 40 before I notice any real change in the cutting/burning ability of the laser.

42
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Perferred screen at startup
« on: August 14, 2016, 12:35:10 PM »
Works - thanks!

43
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Perferred screen at startup
« on: August 13, 2016, 09:42:22 AM »
Thanks - will try this when I am back at the machine.

44
Mach4 General Discussion / Perferred screen at startup
« on: August 12, 2016, 02:32:24 PM »
I would like the Jog window to be the active window at start up. Before if I went to the Screen editor, move something on the Jog window, and quit the screen editor with the jog window active it would set the Jog window as the start up. Has something changed? 

45
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4 and ESS latest update issues
« on: August 12, 2016, 02:29:02 PM »
Hi,

How do you control the intensity of your laser? Also, what do you define as 'works intermittently'? Please give us more details about your particular setup.
I control the intensity of the laser by treating it as a spindle. I changed the post processor on my CAM to activate the spindle on a downward move and disable the spindle on an upward move. The spindle speed is 0-100 and I have assigned the different speeds to the tools I choose for the laser.

Of course I have disabled the Z axis movement in the post processor. I am using Vcarve Pro. If you want a copy of my post processor just PM me.

As for the files locking up. I have had that problem when on M5 commands for quite some time. Version 2872 seemed to take care of it but it is back with version 2914. Usually I can disable M4, then enable it, and hit start and the program will continue.

My laser Gcode files are pretty big since I color in areas with the laser. I think that is why we notice some of these problems more.

46
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Problems with upgrade to 4.2.0.2914
« on: August 08, 2016, 09:34:26 AM »
Bob,

Also, I think the box was moved up and to the right. I think I will use Xs drawn on some indexing lines to make sure of the direction and spacing. I will draw the indexing lines first.

47
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Problems with upgrade to 4.2.0.2914
« on: August 08, 2016, 09:30:44 AM »
Bob,

Will send you the files later today. I have run a number of other files as well. The small dots that fill in appear to move slightly as the file progresses, e.g., the dots toward the ends of the file seem to be more in line with the outline (outline is drawn last on most of the artwork I do). I plan to draw a box around the outside of the random dots so I can see if the files move off as they process. Most of the dots are drawn and outlined from the top right to the bottom left. If I draw a box around the dots first I can see lines of dots shift as the file progresses. I will run the file before I send it to you to make sure it show the problem.

The cutting board Gcode file drew the first few letters, then drew the different parts of the black wreath, and then drew the other letters. Each part of the wreath is drawn and outlined separately. I suspect each part of the wreath was a little off from the previous part.

I have checked the machine to see if there was any play in it. Also, I cleaned the mechanical mechanisms just in case. I would suspect if something were loose or jamming it would not have a error on both axis - but you never know!

As I mentioned before these are really big Gcode files. They are much bigger than a 4'X8' sign with wood grain that I would make on the same machine. This would mean a small error would show up more often.

Also, I ran a file with the following - Rapid 50, acceleration 7, and feedrate at 20 and I had approximately the same offset as the second random dot pattern.

P


48
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Problems with upgrade to 4.2.0.2914
« on: August 07, 2016, 03:27:44 PM »
I slowed the acceleration down to 7 and the square was off almost exactly the same amount as the acceleration at 10.

49
Mach4 General Discussion / Problems with upgrade to 4.2.0.2914
« on: August 07, 2016, 02:27:06 PM »
I recently upgraded Mach 4 to 4.2.0.2914 with the new PMDX plugin software 0.44.214.

Background - I use a laser to do artwork and will often have very large gcode files that have lots of small moves. Many times an object is filled in using .005" laser lines and lots of odd shaped figures. What this means is my machine does lots of moves and any problem tends to accumulate over time. My machine is set up in inches.

What I saw after I upgraded Mach 4 and PMDX was that after filling in a large area the machine would be off of the original location. See the cutting board picture attached. The Gcode did the first few letters and then went to the scroll work. When it came back to the letters it was off.

To help troubleshoot this I made up a test pattern that drew a square and put a number into the square. It then filled in another square by using a back and forth motion. The fill is actually one long line that goes across at a 45 degree angle. Everything seemed to work fine (slight square overlaps are probably in the Gcode file). See attached

I then made a pattern of a number of random dots and filled them in using a 45 degree line. This caused the problem. (see attached). I drew the number 1 square before I started and then again after the first pass of filling in the random dots. You can see that it was off. I then filled in the random dots again and drew the number two square. This was done with the acceleration at 20 and the rapid at 200 in M4. The feed rate was 30.

Although I have never had problems I thought that this might be due to over driving the stepper motors so I slowed the machine down to acceleration of 10, rapid at 100, and feed rate of 20. The problem was still there. (see attached)

I have run my machine much faster than this in the past. I have a router on the machine. Since I was using the laser it did not have to push through anything that might have stalled the stepper motor. The problem seems to show up when the machine has to make a lot of rapid moves. Any thoughts?


50
Mach4 Plugins / Re: Shuttle Pro question
« on: June 08, 2016, 11:01:36 PM »
change the jog increments on the home screen.

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