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New to Site with Machine Questions
« on: January 06, 2009, 01:57:27 PM »
 :)Hi, my name is Chuck and I'm the owner of Coeur d'Alene Cabinetry in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.  To enhance my business I purchased a 5'x 10' Vortech Router about 4 months ago.  I'm currently going back through the Mach3 software documentation to make sure I have everything set up correctly.  The original set-up information just doesn't seam right compared to what I'm reading and watching in the tutorials.  I have several years of experience in CNC machines, I spent 18 years in the Navy Nuclear industry as a machinist, tool designer, and supervisor.

I have a few questions about settings:
1st, How can I assign Motor Outputs for the spindle control if they were not supplied by the original vendor?
2nd, I programed a layout for a series of counter sunk holes to hold down my spoil board to the hold down table. I did a test run and everytime the "Z" axis went up and down it actually kept going deeper and deeper in depth.  Fortunately, I caught the problem and stopped it before it went through the entire table. I posted this question on the Vectic Software site and a gentleman from England suggested I decrease the acceleration speed, but the whole Motor tuning thing is confusing.  It took me over 3 hours the other day to calibrate the correct "Step per" calculation to get the "X" and "Y" to move the proper distance.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

Chuck

Offline Hood

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Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 02:28:59 PM »
1st question will depend how your spindle is controlled, give us some details of it and someone should be able to advise.

2nd question. Certainly sounds like you are losing steps and what is happening is your motor is stalling on a rise and so next down movement it is starting at a lower height than Mach thinks its at so it sends it too far. As was mentioned on the vectric site acceleration may be set too high, also velocity could also be set to high. Unfortunately there are so many variables that no one can really advise what settings you should have for them so its just a case of starting low with both and increasing and testing until you hear your motors missing then back off a bit, you dont need to come out ouf the motor tuning page to test, you can just move your motors via the up and down arrows for testing.
Hood
Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 03:09:16 PM »
Thanks Hood,

The current spindle control comes from a digital readout on a control panel located on the side of the router.  There is a small dial that lets you adjust the RPM.  However you must do some calculating before you set the reading.  The actual RPM is 60 times what the reading on the DRO is.  Plus there is no fine adjustment, all you have to do is barely touch the knob and the RPM's take off.

Currently, I can turn the spindle on & off with the Mach3, but I want to control everything with the Mach3.

As far as the "Z" axis problem, I'm going back and going through the set-up as described in the Mach3 documentation.  The settings I have came from the machine vendor.  So far I've had to change everything they sent to make my machine run properly.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Again Thanks.

Chuck 

Offline Hood

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Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 04:12:29 PM »
Sounds like you have a VFD controlling the spindle. If so then the chances are it can take a  zero to ten volt input for speed control. If it can then there are a few boards out there that may be suitable, Peter Homann does the digispeed , www.homanndesigns.com ,  so if you can find out the make of VFD you could email him and see if his board would do.

Hood
Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 10:44:24 PM »
Hi Hood,

I went through the entire motor tuning section and the "Z" problem seams to be fix.  I also re-calibrated all three drives, X, Y, & Z. 

However now something else has popped up it's ugly head.  I ran my original drilling pattern that I laid out in VCarve Pro.  The first run I did on the single step to make sure everything was working and the program stopped running at line 30.  So I re-homed the machine, re-winded the program, regenerated the program, and pushed the start button.  Everything started off fine, in fact it was running great, then all of a sudden the program stopped at line 79.  With that I decided to stop for the night and go back to running tomorrow.

Is there something I missed?

Chuck

Offline Hood

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Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 02:21:04 AM »
If you use the additional options on the reply page you can attach the code file and maybe someone will see a problem in it.
 Also have a look at the ticker message at the bottom of the screen and see if there is a message there when it stops, could be something like softlimits are being activated.
Hood
Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 11:49:35 AM »
Good Morning Hood,

I'm going to try running the program again this morning above the actual work piece and see what happens.  I should of looked at the ticker message after the machine stopped, but I was so excited to finally see the machine running properly I forgot.  But I will definitely be looking for any message if it stops again.  I've also been told to disable my screen saver and any anti-virus as they will both do funny things to your programs.

I tried to attach a copy of the program file, but the site doesn't support "CRV" from VCarve Pro and I don't know how to change it to "TXT".

Thanks for all of your help.

Chuck
Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 01:40:48 PM »
 >:(Help Hood or anyone,

OK here we go. I disabled the screen saver and the anti-virus this morning before I ran the program.  I set the "Z" axis above the work surface and ran the program.  Everything ran great through the entire program.

Then I re-set the "Z" axis to the proper depth (actual material surface), re-winded the program, regenerated the tool path, and started the program for the second time.  Everything started off great, then the program stopped at line 50 this time.

Before I moved anything the ticker message was reading "Limit Switch Activated".  I really don't understand now because the program was cutting in the middle of the work space nowhere near any of the limit switches.  The limit on the "Z" axis is set at -6.600 and the program total depth is 6.4622.  That leaves .1378 away from the soft limits set for the depth.

Now I'm really confused.  I also noticed that I can't do anything with the "Set Next Line" and "Run From Here" buttons in the run area.  I've tried to set a line and run the program from there but I can't get anything to work except starting the program from the beginning.

Anyway, I'll keep plugging away here.

Chuck
Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 02:24:39 PM »
Hi Chuck,

         Under General Logic Configuration, set the Debounce Interval to 500 and see if that helps.
Debounce is basically the length of time Mach will see a signal before it acts on it. If you have switches that physically bounce or have noise in the wiring of these switches Mach will see it as a switch being triggered, by setting the debounce higher you are telling Mach to wait for a longer period of signal before it acts on it, that way your short pulses are not acted upon by Mach and only a true activation of the switch will be seen.

Not sure about the Run from Here prob.

RC
Re: New to Site with Machine Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 02:41:30 PM »
Chuck,
   Just wondering about your program. I think your actual GCode file will be a .nc,.txt, or a .tap file that you can attach.
Also, here is a clip from the manual.
 And you mentioned that you RE-WINDED the program...is there no M30 at the end ?
Post it if you can.
Thanks,
RC

Ooops...forgot the clip