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Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« on: February 04, 2009, 12:28:36 PM »
Hi all,

One of my stepper motors started acting oddly and started sometime after a limit switch failed and Z hit the top limit.  When it did this it made a sound similar to a clutch on a cordless drill, a kind of course grinding sound.  Now, I have if out on my bench and see that it is turning but in a really jerking manner.  If I increase the speed via motor tuning it does turn up to a point then the shaft stops turning and the motor (I think) is still turning inside.

So, How can I tell what is going on with the motor?  I don't want to take it apart until I know something about it.  Do they have a 'clutch' mechanism inside of them?  Should I go ahead and order a replacement or is it likely that I could correct the problem?

Thanks in advance......
Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2009, 01:54:19 PM »
If the motor has a gear reduction inside you could have stripped the teeth off one of the gears. What kinda motor are you using?
Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 02:47:02 PM »
Thanks for your reply...

The motor is a Tamagawa (or Jamagawa) but now I know more.  I moved the connection to a different axis and the other motor behaves the same way so the problem has to be in the controller box or board.  Later I'll open it up and check continuity on all connections and do a overall visual inspection.  I'm using a XyLotex controller and am now wondering if the symptoms are indicative of known issues and where to look for them.  I don't know how else to approach it.

Offline DAlgie

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Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 09:32:24 PM »
A stalled stepper motor will make a sound like an over running clutch, sort of strange I know but that's what they do. I don't think you have a motor problem. It might also be jerky on a bench without a load on it, expecially if it is using higher voltages. Put it back in your machine and fix the limit switch and see if it works ok now. BTW, never pull a stepper motor apart, it somehow messes them up, and all documentaition I have seen says this as well. Good luck.
   DaveA.

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 01:41:22 PM »
The motor stalling will have led it to draw more power - is your Zylotex current limited. You are probably right, if you try a different motor on the same driver and that plays up, then the trouble is with the driver, not the motor. Try the "faulty" motor on a good driver and see what happens (you have probably done that while waiting for a reply)
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.

Offline Sam

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Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2009, 09:31:39 PM »
I'm not familiar with Xylotex drivers. A stalled motor can introduce back emf into the drives, which could potentially blow circuitry. Especially if you were moving at a fast speed.
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."
Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2009, 09:42:47 PM »
if a stepper motor is driven with no load, it sometimes enter into resonnance. the same will happen if you try to drive it to fast. what happens is that the controler shift the phases too fast for shaft to follow so the shaft buzz between the phases. it is more frequent if using full or half step. if you increase the microstepping a little bit and check if the setup on this axis is not trying to drive the motor faster then rated.
Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 04:20:09 PM »
Thanks everyone.  While moving the axis connections around I noticed that the Y motor was making low volume a high pitched sound which has deteriorated to the exact same behavior of the Z motor.  You are probably DAlgie since the issue is creeping across the whole controller.  I bought this with the XYlotex gear installed and if I were starting over with a new mill I don't think I would purchase the XYlotex again.

So, knowing this along with the issue I have I'm just going to scrap the XYLotex and rebuild.  Can anyone guide me a little on what I should buy?  I think I am narrowed down a short list of Gecko or a Taig closed loop system.  I haven't seen anything stating that the Gecko gear is closed loop so shouldn't the motors I have work OK with it??  My current motors do have the optical coupling stuff so would this imply that they could also work with the Taig controller.  The optical stuff currently has a pigtail coming out of the motor housing that is cut and taped up.  I don't remember if I noted what type of mill I had above so just in case it is a Taig....

Thanks everyone.
Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2009, 05:08:21 PM »
Thanks everyone.  While moving the axis connections around I noticed that the Y motor was making low volume a high pitched sound which has deteriorated to the exact same behavior of the Z motor.  You are probably DAlgie since the issue is creeping across the whole controller.  I bought this with the XYlotex gear installed and if I were starting over with a new mill I don't think I would purchase the XYlotex again.

So, knowing this along with the issue I have I'm just going to scrap the XYLotex and rebuild.  Can anyone guide me a little on what I should buy?  I think I am narrowed down a short list of Gecko or a Taig closed loop system.  I haven't seen anything stating that the Gecko gear is closed loop so shouldn't the motors I have work OK with it??  My current motors do have the optical coupling stuff so would this imply that they could also work with the Taig controller.  The optical stuff currently has a pigtail coming out of the motor housing that is cut and taped up.  I don't remember if I noted what type of mill I had above so just in case it is a Taig....

Thanks everyone.

The "high pitched sound" is just the PWM chopper - perfectly normal for nearly all PWM stepper drivers, including Geckos.

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.
Re: Stepper Motor Problem/Issue
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 12:46:58 PM »
The high pitched noise isn't the same as what I've heard when actually driving the motors.  While the motors are making the noise I noticed that they 'twitch' back and forth not committing to one direction or another.  I've played with the speeds and steps and have not found anything that makes a difference in any way.  I do know that while the shafts are twitching I can grab the shaft and turn it at will in either direction.  When I let go, it continues to 'twitch and growl'.  To me, it looks like the controller may be sending the pulses but at a voltage or amperage that is too low to actually drive the shaft.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 12:49:29 PM by will1234 »