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Author Topic: Smooth Stepper reset  (Read 8529 times)

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Smooth Stepper reset
« on: August 22, 2009, 04:16:49 PM »
Has anyone else had a problem with the Smooth Stepper hanging up.  That is, if I do something that makes it glitch, like hitting my e-stop, the Smooth Stepper has to be unplugged for about 15 seconds, restarted, and then Mach has to be re-started to get the thing sorted.

We were at a trade show with a machine and somebody leaned against the e-stop.  I finally gave up and re-booted the computer to get the Smooth Stepper back online.  VERY embarassing while potential customers watched.

I took it out before delivering the machine - too many little issues.  For example, bridge squaring was iffy!

That was about 6 months ago - any improvements since?
Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 04:21:24 PM »
I've been running a SmoothStepper for almost a year, and no such problems.  It has, perhaps twice, gone out to lunch due to a buffer under-run, but exiting Mach, dis-connecting and re-connecting the USB cable, then re-starting Mach got it going again.  And I believe that problem will be fixed in the new Plug-In Greg is working on.

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.

Offline Greolt

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Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 08:19:18 PM »
I have wondered about this also.  When communication is lost to SS a disconnect and restart is required.

The SS does have connectors on board for a reset switch, but as far as I can tell they have no effect.

Unplugging the USB cable is the only thing that works for me to reset the SS.  That is why it is still on the shelf.

Greg
Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 10:55:16 PM »
I have wondered about this also.  When communication is lost to SS a disconnect and restart is required.

The SS does have connectors on board for a reset switch, but as far as I can tell they have no effect.

Unplugging the USB cable is the only thing that works for me to reset the SS.  That is why it is still on the shelf.

Greg

Greg,

How many computer peripherals do you have that you can just reset on-the-fly?  Any USB device will require a re-connect to re-boot it....  Besides, I've had to do that perhaps 3 times in the last year.

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.
Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 01:27:14 AM »
What USB Protocol are you using?  (i.e. USB 2.0).  I was having a ton of comm issues with smooth stepper on a machine that had USB 1.0.  Then I purchased a PCI to USB 2.0 Card and after installing virtually all my problems went away.  I seem to recall getting some pop up message once that said something like, Communication error motin has been stopped in the future this will be handled more gracefully, press ok to regain control.  Pressing OK did not regain control, nor did a reset- however, shutting down Mach (no power cycling necessary) and relaunching Mach cured all.

HTH,
Sid

Offline Greolt

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Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2009, 01:31:12 AM »


How many computer peripherals do you have that you can just reset on-the-fly?  Any USB device will require a re-connect to re-boot it.... 



Yes I hear what you are saying Ray.  But what is the reset on the SS for?

Greg

Offline budman68

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Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 08:26:12 AM »
I have wondered about this also.  When communication is lost to SS a disconnect and restart is required.

The SS does have connectors on board for a reset switch, but as far as I can tell they have no effect.

Unplugging the USB cable is the only thing that works for me to reset the SS.  That is why it is still on the shelf.

Greg

Can't say I blame you Greg, that's a but un-nerving  :o

Dave
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Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 09:28:09 AM »
The reset is for forcing the flash memory to clear. You should never actually have to use it though.

When you have to unplug the SS and restart mach to get things going again it is a clear sign that you are picking up noise on the USB cable. After the USB hub in your computer gets tired of trying to work through all the noise it will shut down. As another poster said, a similar problem can come from some USB 1.1 ports being flaky, I have one of those PCs my self, the PIC USB card has kept it going for years though.

Make sure your USB cable is as short as possible and is not routed along with noisy lines like your stepper leads, or AC lines. Other things in your machine can cause a lot of electrical noise too, like the spindle motor. I  have found on Taigs that if you get the spindle power power arranged just right alongside the USB cable it will cause problems. I mounted a line filter up by the motor to solve the problem (and made the line filter kit available through my website).
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline budman68

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Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 09:32:56 AM »
Hi Jeff,

Is all that info that you just mentioned included in the smoothstepper instructions or something like that something "everyone" should already know?

I would think if noise was enough to stop the unit, there would be some sort of filter built into the line itself on the smoothstepper? Kind of like how they used the filter on a PC monitor cable?

Thanks,
Dave
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Offline Greolt

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Re: Smooth Stepper reset
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 09:33:55 AM »
The reset is for forcing the flash memory to clear.

OK so why does it not work for me?   I must not only restart Mach but also disconnect/reconnect the SS.

Is that not what the reset on the SS is for?  Or is it some other purpose?

Greg