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Messages - fdos

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Mach Screens / Re: Gauges
« on: May 26, 2006, 06:35:37 PM »

Oh yes it does.   It will finish the current block then BANG the axis relocates to the new coord.

Art may or may not have addresses this yet.   I did mention it at least a month ago, and this was his reply

Hi Wayne:

  Mach3 does not do too much handholding in terms of doing something crasy
like zeroing while running, Steve put alot of thought into the turn screens
to make them idiot-proof, but since Mill is my development test tool, I have
never made it completly idiot proof. (Else I woudlnt be able to use it..  :)

  Ill not the zeroing buttons though and stick a safety in there.. (Thanks).
I usually do this one control at a time as the problem is noted..


Mach Screens / Re: Gauges
« on: May 26, 2006, 04:20:08 PM »
That's a great idea!!!
Recreate "Real World" machine interface layout for Mach 3/4.
If someone was trained using a Hass, Bridgeport, Heidenhain and Mazatrol they would have the same interface when using Mach 3. I like the way you think 8)

Well I wasn't quite saying clone them, but that is often done on some of the controls designed for education, especially from companies like Denford and Boxford here in the UK.   They use personality modules which make the machines look and feel like the "big boys" controls.

What I like about some of the screens shown here recently is the clarity provided by  the use of some colours etc, this is only marred by the clutter due to them being based on the original screensets.

Other issues are more serious, and appear in the originals.  an example is the ability to rezero any axis while the machine is RUNNING!   actually pressing that zero button would almost certainly cause a disaster.

I think the only way out of this is to have a hierarchical screen system, where the run screen is nested such that it cannot be possible to access the other screens without stopping the program.   I think Steve Blackmore used something like this on his turn screens for the same reason.

Anyway food for thought.


Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Re: Suggestions wanted
« on: May 25, 2006, 06:58:26 PM »
Looks on the surface to be a fairly well made machine, but did you check out his feedback?   Looks pretty bad to me!   You might also finda  better price elsewhere.

Mach Screens / Re: Gauges
« on: May 25, 2006, 12:28:53 PM »
Cool concept indeed. I wish i had of thought of that.

This concept will really rattle the traditionalists. :)

Benny, the opinions of some, including myself on occasions ;)  Is not about being traditionalists at all.   What I have noticed is that these opinions virtually always come from those with a lot of CNC experience and a good handle on whats really necessary.

The science of ergonomics comes into play a lot with the design of cnc machine tools.   In fact it's vital that the person operating the machine can see at a glance whats going on.

If the user wishes to treat a cnc machine as a toy thats fine by me, as long as that user doesn't ever whine that they got confused ;)   My needs are different.

I do admire some of  graphical talent shown in here, I'd admire it even more if they took some time to understand the reasons why real world controls are laid out the way they are.

But back onto the subject of meters, these are common place on realworld controls for things like Spindle load and speed etc.   More often they are analogue meters.   But Heidenhain and Mazatrol controls have had moving bar (VU type meters) on screen for years.


General Mach Discussion / Re: What is a CHARGE PUMP?
« on: May 24, 2006, 01:44:47 PM »
no not quite...    The charge pump is a small circuit designed by Mariss Freimanis of Geckodrive which has an input.  This input is connected to an output on the printer port which has been assigned as the Charge Pump signal.

When Mach is running and not in an error state this output has a 12.5kHz pulse appearing on it.

The circuit mentioned above, monitors this signal and if it dissapears for any reason opens a relay, this relays contacts would normally be part of the external E-stop chain.  So if it opens your drives etc could be disabled.


General Mach Discussion / Re: machine conversion starting all over,
« on: May 19, 2006, 03:51:41 PM »
I'm in the UK.

Been just a bit busy with a nightmare grinding job, which isn't going quite to plan.

If I were you I would try to keep the original motors if they still work ok.   You may even be able to keep the orginal drives, although they would probably be lower performance than a Gecko.   The critical thing is to find out if your drives are compatable.

Modern drives like the Gecko are microstepping drives, which gives you much smoother motion than the older full and half step drives.

Other items on your machine you may be able to keep are the power supplies, if they are suitable for the Geckos (if you go that route)

I did look at the Automation direct drives you mentioned.   They were not only more expensive than Gecko's but also only 35v 3amp if I recall correctly.

The voltage is really what determines your motors speed and the current the torque availble, thats a very simple explaination!   If you motors are 8amp you should attempt to run them close to that.

On my stepper system I run my drives at 72v, and my motors are 4.5amp. It works very well.


General Mach Discussion / Re: machine conversion starting all over,
« on: May 18, 2006, 02:36:53 PM »
I mentioned the skyko because initially you said you had servo's ;)

Gecko's would be far the best best as a LOT of mach users have used them successfully. Plus your motors are fairly large.

It might be worth asking if there's anyone in your local area who is useing Mach so you can see what it's about.  I'm not even sure where you are!


General Mach Discussion / Re: machine conversion starting all over,
« on: May 18, 2006, 01:39:48 PM »
From what you said about the 6 wires earlier it sounds like a pretty standard stepper.

The drives?  Well who knows.   To run direct from mach you will have to locate the step and direction inputs, and hope they are designed for 5v signals.

I I were there, I'd be able to check but I'm not!   do you not have any schematics for the machine?

In the long run it might be better to get 3 geckodrives, at least then you will know what you are driving.   Forget any of the cheaper drives out there, they would not be man enough for this size of motor.

General Mach Discussion / Re: machine conversion starting all over,
« on: May 18, 2006, 01:04:15 PM »
Thats almost certainly a stepper motor.

Looks like you may be in luck if you can interface to your drives.

Any change of seeing whats in the drive cabinet?   At least see if you can read off any makers names and model numbers off the drives.


General Mach Discussion / Re: machine conversion starting all over,
« on: May 17, 2006, 03:57:44 PM »
Please do try to take some pictures so we can be sure of what you have.

The Bandit is a fairly old control so is more likely to be stepper based, but I like to be sure before giving any advise.

Let us know....

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