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Messages - Highspeed1964

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Any help / suggestions please?
« on: October 08, 2016, 04:19:52 AM »
To answer your question as I understand it, it would depend on the rating of the power supply and the current requirements for the motor/driver systems.  I'm not too familiar with servo motor systems so I'm not sure if there is a driver for those but I'm sure there would have to be since most BOBs do not supply enough current to run motors directly.  In any case, having two 48V power supplies would indicate to me that each one individually cannot supply enough power for all the motors (including the 4th axis that you use occasionally).  In this case, the two power supplies should be dedicated to specific components in the system.  In fact, even with one power supply it is recommended to run separate leads to each motor driver to reduce cross-talk potential.  Depending on how your system is currently wired, this could be contributing to some of the issue if you've simply daisy-chained the power from one motor driver to another.  But I suspect it is an issue with the amount of current the single power supply is delivering as compared to the current required to run the three motors - let alone the 4th one on occasion.  And the fact the the X and Y motors do not operate smoothly after sitting a while indicates the possibility that the remaining single power supply may be failing as well.

If you have not already done so, make sure you have completely disconnected the failed power supply as this could be loading down the other one.

Otherwise, I think your new power supplies should help eliminate this problem as long as you have also made sure your motor driver power leads are not daisy-chained one to another.  And as robertspark has indicated, make sure your grounding is proper and you do not end up with a non-isolated connection to your computer.

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

EDIT:  I re-read your original post and realized that you did mention drivers even for the servo motors.  So definitely check that you are not daisy-chaining power leads between these and instead run power leads for each driver directly to the power supply.  Again, make sure the total load (current draw) for all drivers connected to a given power supply do not exceed the rating for that power supply.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Read and write to Z DRO?
« on: October 08, 2016, 04:02:14 AM »
Just curious why you wouldn't want to do it with a macro?  Once a macro is written, it is called by a single line in the g-code (e.g. M101) which is what you're saying you want.  It doesn't have to be the tool change macro (T5 M6 or T1 M6) but writing to DROs is best accomplished with a macro as far as my experience has shown.

G92 is not a recommended way of zeroing an axis as this can offset other offsets. In other words, G92 is additive to other coordinate systems such as workpiece coordinates used with G54, G57, g54.23, etc. and could really get confusing if you're not completely sure how it works.

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

General Mach Discussion / Re: Understanding spindle control in MACH3
« on: October 06, 2016, 03:58:34 PM »
Sorry for the delayed response, I had trouble remembering where this post was on the forum.

Let me start by answering the last question:  Mach3 takes the range of speeds determined by your pulley settings to assign the PWM value.  It interpolates between the lowest and highest speeds to determine the duty cycle for all speeds in between.  Make sure you have the correct spindle set in the settings screen.  You can set multiple pulley setups and if you don't have the correct one selected there you will end up with strange/unexpected behavior.

Now on to the original discussion.  I am glad to hear you do have the converter for the PWM to analog signal.  So, not knowing your electronics background or what test equipment you have available and are able to use the first thing I would suggest is to check the voltage coming out of the converter for various Spindle speed settings.  I usually check at minimum, maximum, mid-range, 1/4 and 3/4 settings.  These should result in 0v, 10v, 5v, 2.5v and 7.5v respectively.  If you have access to an oscilloscope, you could also check the PWM signal itself to ensure you see the appropriate variance in the pulse width duty cycle.  At mid-range speed, the high pulse should equal the low pulse.

Finally, you may need to recheck your inverter settings again.  Bear in mind that many inverters are not very linear and will have some variance even if your input signal is completely linear.  But certainly nothing like what you have described.

I'm also puzzled why the spindle starts at a different speed than what is showing on the screen.

Let me know what you find or if you have other thoughts/symptoms you come across.

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

General Mach Discussion / Re: Why won't they send me my license?
« on: October 06, 2016, 02:17:33 PM »
You may also need to check your Junk/Spam folder to make sure it didn't get put there.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Ess Smoothsteper speed problem
« on: October 05, 2016, 03:23:33 AM »
There's a couple of things you need to configure to get that 0 - 10V DC signal working.  I'm not familiar with the ESS Smoothstepper, so I'll have to discuss in generic terms.

Firstly, you need to know which pin maps to this 0 - 10 volt output.  That should be in the documentation for the Smoothstepper itself.

Then you need to configure the Spindle in Ports and Pins | Spindle tab.  You should have both the "Use Spindle Motor Output" and "PWM Control" boxes checked.  Then set the PWMBase Freq. to an appropriate value (usually 50Hz will work).  You can also set up control relays on this screen to allow start/stop operation of the spindle via that mechanism if needed, but that is out of the scope of this post.

Then you need to go to the Motor Outputs tab and set Spindle to "Enabled" (green check in that column), the Step Pin# to the pin number of your BOB that maps to the 0 - 10V output and the Step Port to the correct port for your Smoothstepper.

This should get your spindle running at varying speeds, but it may operate backwards (full RPM setting in Mach will result in minimum RPM on the spindle and vice-versa).  If that is the case, you'll also need to change the "Step Low Active" to the opposite of what it is (change it from a red X to a green check or from a green check to a red X) and that should get you going with spindle control under Mach3.  I'm not sure how different this may be in Mach4 but it should be similar so if you're using Mach4 then you'll need to consult the user's guide for where these settings are made.

Hope that helps,

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

General Mach Discussion / Re: Understanding spindle control in MACH3
« on: October 05, 2016, 03:06:27 AM »
I'm not sure that the spindle needs to be set up in the motor tuning configuration screen for PWM.  I have not configured anything in that section and I'm running just fine on my machine.  What I don't see is mention of a PWM to Analog converter in your system.  That 0 - 10V DC input on the inverter cannot be connected directly to a PWM output.  PWM is a digital signal with varying "duty cycle" and a constant peak-to-peak voltage of 5V DC.

The way PWM works is by changing the "on" pulse width to a certain percentage of the overall cycle time.  For example, with your set PWM base frequency of 50Hz each cycle of pulses (one high pulse and one low) would be 20ms.  Then if the high pulse was set to 2ms, this would result in a 10 percent duty cycle.  Now take your range of 6000 (let's keep nice round numbers for this discussion) to 18000 RPM and this results in an overall range of 12000 RPM.  10 percent of 12000 is 1200 so the resulting RPM would be 6000 (minimum frequency) plus 1200 or 7200.  Now this is still in the digital world and needs to be converted to an analog voltage between 0 and 10V DC.

What the converter does is two-fold:

1.  Averages the voltage of the pulses to get an analog voltage between 0 and 5V DC based on the duty cycle (percentage value described above).
2.  Amplifies this voltage from the 0 - 5V DC analog signal generated in step 1 (this average cannot be higher than the peak voltage applied) and generates the 0 - 10V DC signal required to run the inverter to drive the spindle motor at the desired RPM.

What will happen if you do not run the PWM signal to the converter is that you will be applying a 5V DC digital signal to an analog input.  Depending on the design of the input stage of the inverter, it may "see" 5V DC and command a speed of 50 percent which is close to the 10800 RPM you are seeing when you first start up the spindle with the button on Mach3.  However, the inverter will probably not handle the averaging function well and will give erratic speeds as you vary the duty cycle of the PWM signal but as you've seen in your trials, it will never be above 50 percent of the available RPM.

You need to run the PWM signal through a converter unless your BOB or Smoothstepper has one built in.  This will generate the appropriate 0 - 10V DC analog signal required by the inverter input.  Also, note that the actual speeds may not be as accurate since there could be some non-linearity introduced in either the converter, the input stage of the inverter, or both.

Hope this all makes sense.  Let me know if you do have this PWM to analog converter or a 0 - 10V analog DC output on your controller/BOB.

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

General Mach Discussion / Re: Machine had a another brain fart.
« on: September 28, 2016, 03:49:39 PM »
Sounds like a good plan to me.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach3 settings
« on: September 28, 2016, 03:46:22 PM »
That last screen shot is missing a couple of important details.  Particularly the last two columns labeled "Step Port" and "Dir Port".  Those should normally be set to 1 so that the system knows which port to set those pins on.

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

General Mach Discussion / Re: Machine had a another brain fart.
« on: September 28, 2016, 03:25:06 PM »
Good point, Hood.  If the screen is showing the correct tool path (you can check this also on the "Tool Path" screen which has a much larger image to view) then it is most likely a trouble with the machine itself and not Mach3.  So switching to Mach4 wouldn't help.  Mach3 is still a good viable program to use.  I have not seen a need to change to 4 myself so let's figure out what is going wrong instead of adding another variable to the mix.

Since it sounds like your Y axis is the one having trouble based on what I'm reading in this thread, could you try swapping the X and Y motors?  If you do that and the symptom changes to the X axis then it's the motor.  If it stays with the Y axis then I suspect electronic noise is the culprit.  Proper grounding cable/wire routing is the best way to deal with that and there are whole discussions around eliminating noise.  I am much less than an expert in this area so I would differ to others to chime in on that.  So try the motor swap if it's not too difficult on your machine and let us know what you find from that.

The one thing that bothers me is that Auto Zero issue you had.  This still sounds like a DIR line issue, but with a different axis.  You may have to adjust the Step Pulse setting in the Motor Tuning screen.  What it sounds like now that I think about it is that the step pulses may be starting too soon after setting the DIR line high/low (depending on direction) and the stepper driver does not have a chance to sense the direction change before starting the motor spinning.  Most stepper drivers have some minimum required delay between changing the DIR signal and receiving the first pulse on the STEP line and if the first pulse occurs too early it could spin the motor in the wrong direction briefly.  This would account for the .150 difference in your Y zero operation and would also account for the brief push down before retraction on your Auto Zero operation.

Keep us posted on your findings,

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

EDIT:  While posting this, I see Hood also replied.  Hood, what are your thoughts on that DIR/STEP timing I discussed above?

VB and the development of wizards / Re: why my M6Start.m1s doesnot run?
« on: September 28, 2016, 12:51:17 PM »
A couple of things:

First, I don't think you need a licensed version for running the macros.  The only limitation that I'm aware of is number of lines in a program (500 IIRC).

Second, make sure you're looking at the correct location for your M6Start.m1s (and all other macros as well).  In the Mach3 folder there is a folder called "macros".  Inside that folder are other folders such as Mach3Mill, Mach3Turn, etc.  You should also have a folder with the same name as the icon and .xml file you use to start Mach3.  In my case, there is a folder named 6040Z and that is where the macros are stored for when I start up Mach3 with an icon also named 6040Z that uses an .xml configuration file in the Mach3 folder also named 6040Z.xml so as you can see, everything matches up.  If I edit a macro in the Mach3Mill folder for example, the changes would not show up when I run Mach3 from the 6040Z icon.

Finally, I don't believe the Sub Main() and End Sub Main() are needed here and this may be part of the problem.  This may cause the code within the Main() to not execute depending on how Mach3 VB interpreter handles that.  I have not used them in my code nor have I seen it used in other macros (out of the box defaults that are installed with Mach3) and everything works just fine.

Hope that helps,

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse

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