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Mach 3 and older Techno
« on: September 08, 2009, 07:00:20 PM »
I purchased Mach3 to run my first gen. Techno gantry style machine. It has a Mac 100 controller and I am using a PC with Vista.

Where do I begin?

Am I going to have problems with the old controller? If so, what controller will work?

Am I going to have problems with Vista? If so, do I need to downgrade to XP?

The Techno has steppers, so the out of date servo motors is not an issue.

Bottom line, I spent 8 hours watching a experienced Tech scratch his head trying to make my machine run. I need help, advice, and any other type of support you can offer. Let me thank you in advance, it is much appreciated.


BTW, I am in the Memphis area, and if you can hook my machine up and get it cutting, please let me arrange for you to visit our shop. Best Regards


BP
Re: Mach 3 and older Techno
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 04:12:02 PM »
I had a similar experiance with my table. It took me 3 months to figure out mach3 runs without a controller. Mach 3 turns your PC into a controller. Controllers are solid state and are usually meant to run on the specific program it came with. Mach3 is more universal. It works on step and direction pulses sent to your motor drivers. Do your steppers have 4 wires going into the controller or the motor drivers? If they go into the drivers they should have a couple wires going into it from your power supply aswell. One high voltage like 24 vdc and one low voltage 5 vdc. The step and direction pulses go from your driver into a breakout board which basically provides an interface between the parralel port cable and and the drivers and limit switches. It has a bunch of screw down ports on it where you strip and insert the wires. It should be labled what pin it goes to. then you program it into the Mach 3 software and calibrate it. All this is in the Mach 3 manual.

Alot of the older hardware is limited by its original software because computers weren't as flexible or powerful back then. You shouldn't have any problem finding drivers if your machine doesn't have any. 3 drivers will cost around $350-400. A breakout board is around $50. A new power supply is around $100. Thats really all you need unless your stepper motors are 5 wire. 6, and 8, wire motors work. You just don't use the extra wires.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 04:17:51 PM by ohpakron »
Re: Mach 3 and older Techno
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 05:09:19 PM »
I had a similar experiance with my table. It took me 3 months to figure out mach3 runs without a controller. Mach 3 turns your PC into a controller. Controllers are solid state and are usually meant to run on the specific program it came with. Mach3 is more universal. It works on step and direction pulses sent to your motor drivers. Do your steppers have 4 wires going into the controller or the motor drivers? If they go into the drivers they should have a couple wires going into it from your power supply aswell. One high voltage like 24 vdc and one low voltage 5 vdc. The step and direction pulses go from your driver into a breakout board which basically provides an interface between the parralel port cable and and the drivers and limit switches. It has a bunch of screw down ports on it where you strip and insert the wires. It should be labled what pin it goes to. then you program it into the Mach 3 software and calibrate it. All this is in the Mach 3 manual.

Alot of the older hardware is limited by its original software because computers weren't as flexible or powerful back then. You shouldn't have any problem finding drivers if your machine doesn't have any. 3 drivers will cost around $350-400. A breakout board is around $50. A new power supply is around $100. Thats really all you need unless your stepper motors are 5 wire. 6, and 8, wire motors work. You just don't use the extra wires.

My motors are 8 wire, and here is a photo. I ordered the G540, and hope to use the power supply on the Techno. Please take a look at the photo and give me your thoughts. Much appreciated. BP





And here is the G540
http://www.geckodrive.com/product.aspx?c=3&i=14469
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 05:11:33 PM by BORDER PATROL »
Re: Mach 3 and older Techno
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 09:41:49 PM »
Looks like you don't need a breakout board since it has some screw down terminals for limit switches. You probrably don't need a 5 volt power supply either. You'll need some resistors, which you can get at radio shack. Looks likes its a 2 amp motor, so get three 2k ohm resistors for the current set and solder the two little wires to pins 1 and 5 to your db9 solder cup connectors. Hope your db9 connectors are in the same pinout as the driver needs or your going to need to solder on the new ones that come with the driver. Looks like there's some writing underneath the wires. I cant see from the picture, but hopefully they say coil a b c d or something like that. Usually the white ones are not used. You can just cut the white ones and put some electrical tape around the ends. You should probrably ziptie or tape the four pairings of wires together and label them in case I'm wrong. Follow the pinout format of the driver and solder the motor wires to pins 6 7 8 and 9. Just follow the manual for the driver carefully for all the pinouts. Identify the power supply and hook it up to the screw down terminals 11 and 12. The motor hook up looks pretty simple to me. Your spindle might be a little complicated unless you know where the relay board is. Relays are just switches which turn your spindle on and off. If all else fails with the spindle, you might be able to just put a new 120 vac plug on it and plug it in and unplug it. Then just copy the parrallel port inf in the manual onto the Mach3 ports and pins configuration.
Re: Mach 3 and older Techno
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 11:49:35 PM »
I purchased Mach3 to run my first gen. Techno gantry style machine. It has a Mac 100 controller and I am using a PC with Vista.

Where do I begin?

Am I going to have problems with the old controller? If so, what controller will work?

Am I going to have problems with Vista? If so, do I need to downgrade to XP?

The Techno has steppers, so the out of date servo motors is not an issue.

Bottom line, I spent 8 hours watching a experienced Tech scratch his head trying to make my machine run. I need help, advice, and any other type of support you can offer. Let me thank you in advance, it is much appreciated.


BTW, I am in the Memphis area, and if you can hook my machine up and get it cutting, please let me arrange for you to visit our shop. Best Regards


BP


Bp:
I am doing the same thing you are!!  Purchased an older Techno Isel with the mac 100 controller and I am in the process of upgrading to mach 3 and the gecko 540. See my thread on CNC Zone, the  Techno forum,  under: Need help! (You can google cnc zone) pictures and everything. The guys there have been helping me out  and sent a lot of info. Some of it should be of a help to you. The gecko should be here any day and I just got the mach 3 program today. I hope to use the mac 100 power supply and box with the on-off switch and the e-stop switch, dump the drivers and breakout board. You will probably need the resistors for the motor wires. I will ask on my thread.  ohpakron seems to be leading you in the right direction but it's good to double check sometimes.There is an explanation of which wire goes to which pin from the old motors to the gecko dp conector pin. Techno does not provide service for this older stuff but when I called them they did send me the manual by email. It has all the wiring diagrams etc. in it. Call them and ask for tech support and request the pcmac 100 manual. If this doesn't work for me I will get a new power supply and new motors and new cables here: http://Http://www.cncrouterparts.com/index.html. Good prices and everything matches up with the gecko 540 and works with mach 3. There is a link for a complete box on my thread also, with or without the g540.
Hope this helps.

Ted
Re: Mach 3 and older Techno
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 04:12:50 PM »
I've been running an old Techno gantry for about 2 years using Mach. (After 3+ years of of running the Mac 100 controller, I longed for a little more control!)

I essentially used the Techno power supply and replaced everything else in the control box. (The motors, motor wiring/home switches I left as originally installed). Using Bob Campbell's BOB and Gecko 201 drivers set up per their respective manuals and driven by a $250 rebuilt desktop PC, it runs perfectly. The only issue I have is rare unexplained Emergency Stops, but this problem certainly isn't unique to this set-up. (I suspect that the limit switch wiring is at fault, but this doesn't occur enough to make me actually fix the problem!).

My only regret is that I didn't move to Mach sooner...

ventuseu
Re: Mach 3 and older Techno
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 08:48:52 PM »
I had the same problem with e-stops. My gantry uses steal wires and a fray was brushing against a limit switch. It ended up crashing my breakout board.