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Messages - Pedio

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81
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 16, 2016, 07:49:58 AM »

Regarding the EStop not turning off the spindle/laser - when you say "the LED is on when estop is pressed", do you mean when you press an external EStop button (that is wired into the EStop input on the PMDX-132)?  Or do you mean when you click the "Disable" button in the lower left corner of the Mach4 screen?


Bob- I have a toggle switch that turns on and off the 12V to the laser. It gives me absolute control over activating the laser. Once the 12V switch is on I can then control the laser with the PWM from Mach 4. If something happens I can turn off the laser with the toggle switch. I also have the 12 going through the mushroom button for eStop. I have two NC contacts on the mushroom button so when I push it I disable Mach and the laser / spindle. The laser and spindle are both on the same side of the button (can't find a three contact NO mushroom button). Since I am using the toggle switch for both the laser and the spindle it works now.

The problem I am having is the when I use the ShuttlePro to stop the motion the laser sometimes works and sometimes does not. It works about 40% of the time. I believe I told you guys it was the disable button that was not working all of the time. I will see what the eStop on the ShuttlePro is mapped to and let you know.


82
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 15, 2016, 09:10:46 PM »
Gang - I added the laser to the spindle control because it was much easier for me to change my post processor for the CAD program (Vcarve Pro). My theory was that I could set up tools to use different feeds and speeds to handle different levels of laser. What I actually found is it was easier to leave the laser (3W) on full power all of the time and vary the feed rate or the depth (number of passes) to get the level of darkness I desired. Also, I have used the offset tool to make the lines thicker. I can add shadowing with offset and depth of cut (number of passes). The spindle control works very well. Not sure how I would use the A axis with my CAD program (Note - I tend to over think things).

The only problem I am having now are
  • The laser does not always turn off with the disable button. I know there has been a lot of talk about eStop button. My laser is controlled with a toggle switch to switch it on and off. I turn on the laser power and then the PWM controls the power. I have this wired to a mushroom button; however, sometimes I use the disable button on Mach 4 and the laser is still on. PMDX is working on this. They are great guys and will figure it out.
  • I am still having problems with controlling the laser at low power. When I use the script it seems to stay at low power even when I run a script. I think this is a post processor problem. I plan to look at it the next time I am at the CNC. Also, I think I can add to the script to turn off the laser to add a line to return it to full power. Will post what I find.
  • I am still having problems with Mach 4 freezing at spindle controls. Not every time but it can really mess up a work piece.
  • The feed rate is 7 (Inch per minute) and I have to go over the same line at least twice (leather and cutting boards). It is slow but it works.

Here is a leather jacket I made today. Really amazing what you can get for $5 at GoodWill and turn into a $*********+ jacket!!! Speed 7 in/min, three passes, and 3 W laser at 100%.

83
I tried that version and had all sorts of problems. There is another thread on the problems. I went back to this version.

84
Mach4 General Discussion / Shuttle pro plugin - updated software needed
« on: February 14, 2016, 04:46:49 PM »
If you are using the ShuttlePro plug in for Mach 4 you might want to download the latest ShuttlePro software at http://forums.contourdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3772

When you run Mach 4 as administrator the older version of ShuttlePro software can cause problems.

I use one of the buttons on the ShuttlePro to move the Mach 4 screen between monitors (using Actual Multiple Monitors). When Mach 4 runs as administrator it does not work with older versions of ShuttlePro software. Upgraded and everything works well.

85
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 14, 2016, 02:48:28 PM »
Bob - I added this code to the Spindle CW button and it seems to work.

local inst = mc.mcGetInstance();
local sigh = mc.mcSignalGetHandle(inst, mc.OSIG_SPINDLEON);
local sigState = mc.mcSignalGetState(sigh);

if (sigState == 1) then
    mc.mcSpindleSetDirection(inst, 0);
else
    mc.mcSpindleSetDirection(inst, 1);
    local rpm = 100;    -- Set this to the actual RPM you want as your starting point
    mc.mcSpindleSetCommandRPM( inst, rpm );
    mc.mcSpindleSetDirection( inst, 1 );    -- 1 == forward, 0 == off, -1 == reverse

end
Nope still does not work. The laser will stay at a lower power. Hmmmmmmm????

86
Mach4 General Discussion / Mach 4 freezes occasionally at spindle control
« on: February 14, 2016, 01:51:55 PM »
Occasionally Mach 4 freezes when it encounters a spindle control. I can run the same G code file numerous times and Mach 4 will all of the sudden stop at a M03 command. The cycle start button will be grayed out. Sometimes I can disable Mach 4 and re-enable it to get the cycle start button to be slectable again. Sometimes this does not work so I have to reboot Mach 4 again. I am running build 2797 with SmartBob 33.159 plugin.

Anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions?

87
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 14, 2016, 01:44:44 PM »
Bob - I added this code to the Spindle CW button and it seems to work.

local inst = mc.mcGetInstance();
local sigh = mc.mcSignalGetHandle(inst, mc.OSIG_SPINDLEON);
local sigState = mc.mcSignalGetState(sigh);

if (sigState == 1) then
    mc.mcSpindleSetDirection(inst, 0);
else
    mc.mcSpindleSetDirection(inst, 1);
    local rpm = 100;    -- Set this to the actual RPM you want as your starting point
    mc.mcSpindleSetCommandRPM( inst, rpm );
    mc.mcSpindleSetDirection( inst, 1 );    -- 1 == forward, 0 == off, -1 == reverse

end

88
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 14, 2016, 12:33:30 PM »
The spindle (laser) on worked fine. I tried setting the power to 0 to turn off the laser but that did not work. The spindle CW button on the normal wxMach screen toggles the spindle on and off so this will work for my laser off.

Oops - spoke too soon. The code to position the laser works to turn on the laser at a very low power; however, after I use the code to position the laser the laser power stays at that level when I run the G code file. Even if I reload the G code file the laser stays at the lower level of the test. I have to restart Mach to get the laser power back to normal.

89
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 14, 2016, 12:15:59 PM »
Bob - also, are you sure the PWM works the way you indicated? If I set the PWM slider for 100% and turn on the laser to the max I have the spindle set for (100) it is very dull. If I set the slider for 250% everything works well. It seems 250% is actually 100% of the laser. It could be that I am confused.

90
Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Add a laser to my CNC
« on: February 14, 2016, 11:05:28 AM »
The spindle (laser) on worked fine. I tried setting the power to 0 to turn off the laser but that did not work. The spindle CW button on the normal wxMach screen toggles the spindle on and off so this will work for my laser off.

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