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Messages - smurph

Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 25, 2014, 12:07:56 AM »
I'm pretty excited to get it homing and indexing so I can test it and see how accurate it can be.  I'm hopeful that I can put a fixture on the table, indicate to a known point on it, completely shut the system down, start it back up, home, and then accurately bring it back to the same point without having to indicate it each time.

That is exactly what it will do!  I love having that capability.  My machine homes at 100 IPM, so homing and getting back to my fixture is pretty damn quick.  Hit the "Goto 0" button (500 IPM) and you are done!  I used to check it to make sure it was correct.  I don't anymore because it is so repeatable.  Yeah, it might bite me one day, but until then I will enjoy the convenience.


Galil / Re: Migrating to newer computer
« on: January 24, 2014, 10:51:03 PM »
Mark...  I thought I would give you someone else besides yourself to talk to.  Because I don't want your to end up answering yourself.  That is a bad sign, you know!  :)

The home direction is controlled by the polarity of the home switches.  If POS is wired to LSCOM, then the axes will home one way.  If NEG is wired to LSCOM, then the axes will home the other way.  This is only useful with the Galil HM and FS commands.  This makes these commands tricky as just by changing polarity of the switches makes the axis travel one way or the other.  So we don't use them.  We control the homing direction with what is defined in Mach.  It is is going the wrong way, simply reverse the direction in the Mach settings.  Now, that should get you moving in the right direction, but then you have to play with the switches a bit?  So the wiring polarity thing can come back and bit us here.  If the switch is a NC one, it may be represented in the data record as 0 or 1 depending on the LSCOM polarity.  All home switches should be wired the same.  There is no support for having one home switch NC and another one NO.  And hopefully, that is the case for you.  Assuming so, there is a check bock in the Galil plugin config that says "Homes active low" or something to that effect.  Toggle that one way, test, and if it doesn't work, toggle it back and test.  You have to play around to find the combination that works for your machine.

As to which direction the machine homes, I have found that it really doesn't matter.  But most of the production machines that I have worked with all seem to home to the top right hand corner of the table.  The spindles switches can be anywhere though.  Top or bottom.  Depends on the machine.  My Matsuura has the switch at the top of the Z travel. 


Galil / Re: Problems with losing position
« on: January 24, 2014, 10:28:47 PM »
Well...  Mach3 with a Galil is not the same as Mach3 controlling a stepper system.  Mach3/Galil is a closed loop system!  The servo PID loop is closed on the Galil.  And there is another important distinction; Mach3 gets its position from the Galil!!!  This is in contrast to a stepper system where Mach3 has it's own notion of where it thinks the table should be.  What is displayed in the Mach3 DROs comes from the Galil (which comes from the encoders).  This can be verified by disabling the servo drives and turning the motors by hand.  You will see the position updated in the Mach axis DROs.

So something is amiss here...  Are your motor tuning counts set right?

While all of the issues you described above might throw a stepper system for a loop, I have never seen any of them get my Galil and servo system out.  I can hit e-stop, escape, hit a limit, stop and everything in between and Mach always knows where the motors are.  I find it VERY repeatable and reliable.  If I set a part zero, then slam into a limit, all I have to do is hit GOTO 0 and I'm back to my part 0 with amazing accuracy.  If I hit e-stop and blow my axis reference away, all I have to do is home the machine and hit GOTO 0 and I'm right back at my previous part 0.  Again, with amazing accuracy.  (I do use index homing.)

What you are describing sure sounds like a mechanical issue to me.  Another fellow just had similar issues and he found his slip.  (,25998.0.html)  It may work in Galil Tools for a bit and then start acting up.  My advise is to take a hard look at the motion system.  Because I have never seen what you are describing come from any other source.  Mechanical issues can be tricky.  I have seen a slip in one direction and not another.  Inconsistent slips.  Slips more on direction sometimes and then reverses, etc...  Very frustrating.  But I really think this is your problem.  For several reasons...

1) I don't experience what you are describing at all. 
2)  There are a LOT of Mach3 Galil users and they are not experiencing this (or else I would be flooded with complaints!).  We have a customer that sells engine block boring machines that use Mach3/Galil.  If things were not as they should be, there would be a bunch of ruined engine blocks laying around.
3) I have solved a LOT of mechanical motion issues in the past that were deemed "impossible".

I'm not ruling out some strange occurrence though.  Also, hacked versions of Mach3 do strange things.  So make sure your license is valid.  Some users have gotten bilked by purchasing Mach through less than ethical people.  They may have a bad license and not even know it! 

Good luck hunting.  Seek and destroy!  :)


Galil / Re: Galil + Mach3 slowly losing position
« on: January 19, 2014, 02:13:28 PM »
Glad to see you got it sorted!!


Galil / Re: DMC-4080 on-board amp hardware questions
« on: January 15, 2014, 11:22:48 PM »

I have not actually seen a 4000 series controller with the amps built in.  All I can say is read the Galil docs a couple of times and then re-read them.  The last thing you want to do is brick it.  But I feel like the integral amp boards can be used.  If not, I'm sure Galil will reconfigure it for a reasonable price.  I was just reading the docs and I thing it is certainly possible to use the controller though.  The only thing is the amp enable outputs are a bit different on the amp controllers.  It may require removing the cover to configure them.  An the voltage ranges may not be available.  Regardless of if it has amps, you will need to provide power to that plug.  The amps are powered by a different power source I believe.

I can tell you for certain that the 4000 series controllers are really sweet. 


Galil / Galil plugin version 4.6 available.
« on: January 08, 2014, 05:54:30 PM »
There is a new Galil plugin available on the plugin download section of

Two plugins...  One for Smart Term and one that will work with Galil Tools (and possibly Galil Suite) PCI drivers and Ethernet controllers.  Pick the one you want.  You don't want both plugins in the plugin directory at the same time! 


Galil / Re: Galil Connector
« on: December 10, 2013, 05:47:33 PM »
Yes, exactly like that.

Drive enable is a function of the Mach enables.  I believe you can stagger the enable delay in Mach 3, but I do not know how.  You may want to pose that question in the General section.


Galil / Re: Ethernet communication drops with RealTek card
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:48:39 PM »
I have seen a fair amount of computers come with these RealTek Ethernet controllers on-board.  And another issue with them is that the transmit buffers are woefully inadequate for streaming data TO something.  They work fine when the PC is streaming data FROM something, like a video from the web, etc...  But streaming data to the Galil was problematic.  So you have to go fiddling with the Ethernet card driver settings.  Find the transmit buffers and max them out.  Then it seems to work fine.


Galil / Re: Galil Connector
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:38:44 PM »
Ilia, you can limit the output voltage with the TL command.  I use it on my Matsuura because the amplifiers actually take a -6 to +6 voltage range.  Galil is VERY handy when running obscure stuff.  :)


Galil / Re: Galil Connector
« on: December 10, 2013, 12:40:16 AM »
Nice!  Thanks Ilia!