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Author Topic: Computer to drive Ascension  (Read 5434 times)

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Computer to drive Ascension
« on: October 28, 2006, 08:25:33 AM »
I have had some difficulties getting Mach 3 to run reliably.  I started off with a new e-Machines computer and no matter what I did (Windows optimization, Mach settings etc) would cause the machine to run smoothly and without sporadic e-stops and limit switch stops.

So I pulled out my old Dell Pentium II 450, which I loaded a striped version of XP pro and things are up and running … slow in compiling the tool path but running none the less.  According to what I’ve read here however, the old Dell 450 just won’t cut it and I am likely to experience problems.

I was wondering if anyone has had success with relatively new “off the shelf” computers and if so what brand and configuration.  I can’t afford to keep buying computers that for some unknown reason will not perform correctly.

As well, if any of you have built one from scratch and it is running Mach successfully; please direct me to the correct components.  I would surely appreciate it.

Thanks,
Bill
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2006, 08:37:35 AM »
Bill did you run a driver test on the E-machine? if so was it a flat line?

I think you need to add some debounce to the inputs and that could be your problem :)
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com

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Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2006, 08:57:42 AM »
Bill,
   Just so you will know, I'm running Mach 3 on a dell dimension B110. This is a bare bones $280.00 PC. I works beautifully. :)  Before you buy one, let's see if we can get what you have working first. I'm not very knowledgeable at all on PCs ( learning fast on this forum ) but a lot of these guys are. I bet all of these heads thinking about it can get it done.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2006, 10:05:40 AM »
Brian,

I also should have mentioned that eventually the computer just shut down on me and would never restart.  Not sure if it was due to the adjustments called for in the Optimization guide, BIOS setting changes trying to stabilize the ACPI effects or whatever.  There might have been other issues at play.

Anyway, I did everything called for in the optimization guide.  The driver test showed around 23000 - 24000 and somewhat stable.  The machine still would not move smoothly.  Finally I ran the "SpecialDriver.bat" and it began to move smoothly but somewhat inaccurately and with occasional e-stops and limit switch stops.  Debounce might have been a factor as I had zero in both fields.  Not quite sure I understand what I've just written but I'm new to Mach and eventually someone out here will educate me.

I was able to return the computer but was looking for direction from successful users before making another investment.

By the way, you guys and/or gals are quick!
Thank you for the response.

Bill
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2006, 10:53:58 AM »
Debounce fixed me up ,
Set it to 1000'ish  ;D
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2006, 01:30:44 PM »
If you would have put a debounce I think you would have been all set :)

The next computer that you get run a driver test on it and check the Graph. if the graph looks good you are good to go. If you are getting Estops and or limits you need to have some debounce.

Best of luck
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2006, 07:06:26 PM »
Brian,

I am cuious about one thing though.  When I did the initial calibration for distance, the machine would jog smooth as silk to whatever distance I set in.  Then when I would try to jog or move (G0 or G1) in any direction the movement would be jerky.  I'm confused as to why the calibration movement was smooth and the other was not.  Have any idea?

I'll pick up another computer this week and give another go at it with some debounce added.  Till then this old Dell 450 running version 184.001, other than taking a long time to compile an 86,000 line file, seems to be running the Ascension/ShopBot ok.

Thanks again

Bill
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2006, 07:59:59 AM »
Bill  the Joging uses less CPU then the Gcode moves. With a better CPU you should be good to go :)


Thanks
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2006, 08:35:15 AM »
Bill,
Thats how mine acted too.
Im running a 3 Ghz with 1 gig memory.
It would calibrate distance smooth as silk , even Jog smooth.
But when I would home it would stop after a few inches.
Had me befuddled   :)
Set the debounce and all is Gravy now !!
Brian , can you explain in "Noobie" terms why that would be ?
Homing moves much slower , thats the only diff I noticed.
Re: Computer to drive Ascension
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2006, 09:45:58 AM »
if you have electrical spikes showing up on your machine they can triger inputs. They can come from many places Coils opening, motors running, bad grounding  or just power wires pulling a load. So the bebounce is only letting inputs that have been on longer then  the debounce time. The noise is never a very long input :)

Is that any help?
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com