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Author Topic: Curious occurrance  (Read 2617 times)

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Curious occurrance
« on: April 09, 2010, 08:40:33 PM »
I have been gone for 5 months and just got back to my CNC mill. Everything was working fine when I left, so I wasn't expecting any problems.  Yea....sure ;)

I fired up MACH and then powered up my controller.  To my suprise, nothing worked.  It took me an hour to realize that I had started MACH with the wrong XML.  Duh!!!!!!!!

Great....restarted with the correct XML, powered up my controller and bingo...I heard the stepper motors "lock" in postion and I thought I was ready to go....again ;D   This time, everything "seemed" OK, but, when I tried to jog, the DRO's advanced, but the stepper motors didn't move.  This time I spent two hours pouring over the forum trying to find the answer.  I knew that my ports and pins settings were OK because I had run the machine before with this XML (once I loaded the correct one  :-[) I was just about convinced that I had somehow damaged the parallel port on my computer, but decided to reboot the computer one more time and suddenly everything started working perfectly.

At this point, I have no idea why it didn't work (when I used the correct XML) or why it started working again.

I'm happy it's working, but I'd like to know what was going on when the DRO's were moving but there was no axis movement.

Has anyone else ever run into this sort of situation?  Do parallel ports just get "flaky" sometimes and then straighten themselves out?

Also, I read about a "parallel port test program" referred to in several threads.   Where can I find that?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 08:55:20 PM by bill-the-cat »
Bill (the Cat) Shubert
Re: Curious occurrance
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 10:41:36 PM »
I think it can be the port address is not configured correctly or also it can be you are in offline mode

Regards
Re: Curious occurrance
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 10:45:32 PM »
Bill
  The exact same thing happened to me this week.  I have rebooted, checked all settings (mach3 and parallel port addresses), re imaged my pc from a backup I took and still nothing is moving except the dro’s in Mach3 when I move any axis with the keyboard.  
I had a smoothstepper setting around so thought I would try that, it is now working with the smoothstepper but would like to get the parallel interface working again.
I have a parallel PCI card and the one on the motherboard, neither works when 10 minutes before all was fine. No power hits/drops, no storms in area. Nothing was happening that I know of that would cause this.
Using the latest Mach3 lock down version, XP on a 3ghz pc.  My next step is to try my PC that I use for non cnc day to day work.
George
Re: Curious occurrance
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010, 09:30:01 AM »
I think it can be the port address is not configured correctly or also it can be you are in offline mode

Regards

That's the curious part.  I checked all the usual suspects...port address, port and pin settings and offline mode.  It was all correct.  One thing I did notice was on the Diagnostics screen.  There were no pins showing high on the port display (when it wasn't working). Not even when I triggered my limit switches.

Now that it is working, two pins show high when the machine is sitting idle and the related pins light up when I trigger my limit/home switches.  It's like the parallel port was dead and now it's working???????  Just can't figure out why.
Bill (the Cat) Shubert
Re: Curious occurrance
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2010, 09:38:03 AM »
I have had similar problems in the past.

I always boot computer THEN turn on controller no problems since.

Phil
The Good Thing About Mach3, Is It's very Configurable

The Bad Thing About Mach3, Is It's Too Configurable
Re: Curious occurrance
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 10:35:27 AM »
I have had similar problems in the past.

I always boot computer THEN turn on controller no problems since.

Phil

That could have something to do with it.  Normally, I follow the same procedure...boot PC, start MACH, power up controller.  In this case I had an initial problem since I started MACH with the wrong XML the first time.  I can't recall the exact sequence I used when I started MACH again with the correct XML.  Maybe I didn't follow this sequence completely with the correct XML. Regardless, the results were still curious.  The limit switches worked, but the steppers would not move.  This would indicate to me that the parallel port was working, but only the step/direction signals were not getting through ???

Thanks Phil!
Bill (the Cat) Shubert

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Re: Curious occurrance
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 09:04:27 AM »
I've had a similar thing happen at least 2 times in the past and I've definitely started the controller after mach is up and running, same as you, no indicators working on the diag screen
I just put it down to the mach PP driver not starting up or something like that and a restart seems to cure it