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Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« on: May 20, 2011, 05:07:29 PM »
   Hey there guys,
        I got a  real problem here lately with my cnc.  I built this machine for myself this past year and it has been a REAL adventure learning to do it and how to use it.  It took me a little while to get it all working and get the bugs worked out but after that it ran for QUITE a while many many months of good service and made me some cash which I really need right now. I am out of work due to a major surgery that I needed on my lung.   I have been using the machine to make some small parts that I sell and it would run for MANY MANY hours without issues.   I recently got the spindle setup which is a Teco sensorless vector drive and using my C11g board and some relays I got the spindle to be completely controlled my mach in both speed, direction, and stop. It worked like this and even did some tapping with a floating head easily.   A couple weeks ago my computer started giving me issues so I had to replace it with a used one I bought off craigslist.  I took off everything that has been loaded on it and loaded mach3.  It had been running with that for awhile but lately I am getting some weird stuff happening.  The computer will freeze up on me and the drives sometimes fault during a program.  I have been pulling my hair out trying to find the cause and thought it was the spindle drive which is located in the same large enclosure as the geckos,bob,pps, etc.   The computer USED to be inside there too but this new one does not fit so it sits underneath it.  I have so far completely disabled the spindle both electronically and in the Mach3 software and have been running a simple program to test it out and it STILL faults and it is not JUST one axis any time. Sometimes it is the X, sometimes it is the Z, one time the Y axis started to creep away on me slowly and I managed to hit the E-stop before it crashed.  I have all the limits and homes working and I can reference the machine.  I have tried to play with all my wiring connections to make sure I do not have a loose wire or something. It is a crazy thing because this little 15 minute program SOMETIMES will run thru without any problems then sometimes it will fault on the second or third operation.  It is just pure craziness and I am at MY WITS END HERE!!  I have spent the last two weeks trying to find the problem and it still eludes me. This machine HAD been extremely reliable and run almost daily for a long time.  Now it is all crazy and I do not know what the hell happened. I am NO electronics expert here and I do not have an O-scope here to test it out.   

     The machine has an Antek all in one toroidal transformer PPS, three Gecko G320's, an CNC4PC C11G bob, a Teco sensorless Vector drive.  I am using some largish 1125 Oz. in.  keling inc. motors and AMT encoders on all three axes.  I have noticed that my X axis pot settings HAVE to be down on the very lowest end of the gain settings but the limit can be all the way up.  All three axes are pretty quiet when the machine is running and everything is smooth and quiet right up til it starts to fault on me. I can leave the machine on for hours all day without any movement and it never locks up of shuts down or faults. I have run the driver test and it is saying excellent. I have turned off all the power save features in the computer and tried everything I can think of to get it to work. Can a computer cause the Geckos to randomly fault?   Can a PPS do it?   What the hell is going on here so I can get it fixed!!     I have been running the same program in air to see if it will fault and it sometimes will run the whole program without any issues and then sometimes it will  fault.  This is with NO SPINDLE and no power to the spindle the only things hooked up are the geckos on the three axes.  NO  coolant pump, no nothing.... Just the basic three axis machine. I have the controller running off 110vac as well as the computer and the monitor on the same power outlet.   I am TOTALLY lost here and TOTALLY screwed because I need this machine to work both because I am trying to use it to offset my lack of income and because I have it for sale so I can sell it with some other equipment I have here to get into a commercial machining center for my shop because I do not think I will be able to go back to my woodworking profession due to my health issues.  I would appreciate ANY assistance here.  Please do not ask me to start swapping parts and components because I am pretty tapped out right now. The only spare components I have are another G320 and a used AMT 102 encoder I replaced awhile back.... Thanks for any assistance in advance... peace

Pete

Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 05:15:01 PM »
Oh yeah I am in the Knoxville Tennessee area, ANYONE who is really good with this stuff that thinks they can get it fixed I would be willing to trade stuff for that service because I am really in a tight spot here.  I have a lot of time and work and MONEY into this machine and it is slowly KILLING me here.  I hate to sound desperate but the fact is...... Well... I AM!!  I need this thing to work again to finish some jobs I have here for some customers as well as some other stuff I have requests for that I can make some cash with but without the machine working it may as well be pie in the sky....    Thanks in advance for any advice or help... peace


Pete

Offline Hood

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Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 05:17:03 PM »
Is the computer OK if you just leave it chugging away, maybe loading it a bit with something like Toast to stress it a bit? http://majorgeeks.com/Toast_d867.html

 Have a look on the motherboard at the capacitors and see if they look like they are bulging or leaking, also look in the BIOs and see if the voltages are stable.
Hood
Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 05:30:46 PM »
I will look at it but is it possible for the computer to make drives randomly fault?   I AM using the computers power supply to power the C11G board via a uSB hookup wire.  I TRIED to use the Antek's PPS to do it but it would never work right.   I bought this PPS with a 5v and a 12v output to make sure I could do that but the 12v causes a bunch of noise issues when it goes into the C11G board to generate the 0-10v signal for the spindle control so I had to remove it.  If I put that wire in there, shielded or not I get noise issues.  Before I took the spindle drive down and unpowered it I noticed the spindle would occasionally shut down for an instant and then speed right back up during the programs ..    Also something wierd too is that the spindle has ALWAYS been affected by the rapids of the machine. IF the machine moves say X axis for a little while to another point far away from the last one as the machine rapids over there you can hear the spindle slow a bit and then when it gets there it speeds right back up again. It has ALWAYS done this so I never thought anything about it and it never was a problem. This new thing however is different, the spindle sounded like power was shutoff from it or maybe the frequency output (step/direction) from the computer was interrupted which effectively shuts down the spindle for an instant maybe a second or three.  I cannot believe how crazy this problem is.  I have had issues with the machine before, mostly when I first got it running but they were simple things and I worked thru them and it has been DEAD reliable for quite a while and now it is freaking out on me right when I really need it.  I cannot express the level of suckage  this is at right now..... I just want to find the problem and get it fixed again so I can use it or sell it or whatever....  It really is a great little machine and before this issue was WORKING GREAT!!  Thanks HOOD,,,,,you are the man!!  peace

Pete

Offline Hood

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Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 06:07:32 PM »
If the computer is playing up then it could be putting out spurious pulses which your motors cant physically respond to and if thats the case then the drives would fault with a following error.

It may not be the computer but it does sound like it to me from what you have said, Also worth checking all connections are good and that supply voltages are good as well.

Hood
Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 06:49:04 PM »
Okay Hood,
     I got into the bios and checked the voltages on the computer.  It is showing within .02v at the lowest but mostly fluctuates at 5v+  and the 12v and other voltages seem to be fine and smooth.  I gotta make some dinner but I am gonna check the caps and whatnot on the MB and see what gives.   I played with the tuning pots on the X axis and got it messed up and now it faults on the X with any rapid so I gotta tweak it again but it is still sitting out there with no ghost resets or anything weird.  Before I messed with the X pots earlier I could rapid at 180 IPM easily on all three axes even the head which is really heavy.  No faulting even on reversing altho my accel settings are at 6 or 8 on all three axes.  The machine sounds quiet and smooth and everything moves without issue with or without power.  When I run that program, SOMETHING will fault and it is never the same axis.  I am really stumped here with this machine now.  I suppose random pulse stream interruptions could cause a fault in qecko's but I am totally lost here...peace

Pete
Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 09:35:38 PM »
Still cannot find the issue here.... I have been playing with it for over a week now.  About to push it  out into the street in front of a dumptruck but that would not be fair to the dumptruck....   I got the X axis to run smooth again but the machine will still not run a program without faulting SOME axis.... Peace

Pete

Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 10:25:21 PM »
Still cannot find the issue here.... I have been playing with it for over a week now.  About to push it  out into the street in front of a dumptruck but that would not be fair to the dumptruck....   I got the X axis to run smooth again but the machine will still not run a program without faulting SOME axis.... Peace

Pete


Pete,

Given that all the problems started with the new computer, it's reasonable to conclude the computer is the source of the problems.  Does this machine have on-board video?  That is a common cause of problems with Mach3, as they can "hog" the memory bus.  Have you done the Windows optimization recommended for Mach3 use?  What processes are running?  Have you disabled ACPI?

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.
Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 11:09:49 PM »
Ray,
    Yeah I know that is the obvious problem and I have tried to shutoff the power save stuff in the computer. I have not gone thru the optimization stuff yet mostly because I am not familiar with it. The  computer is an HP...   I am really pissed here because I had the machine sold and now that I am having some issues I cannot in good conscience  sell it until I get it working good again.   The spindle is COMPLETELY isolated now so it is not a spindle noise issue like I had when I first got it working...    I have never seen the machine fault ANY axis like this before...  Crazy stuff... peace

Pete

Re: Gecko G320 and crazy faulting issues...
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 03:54:39 PM »
Pete,
Did you get it fixed yet?
I have almost the same setup you do and all of the same problems that you do as well.
the only difference is that I use Copley amps and and have had no problems with them.
I have the C11G board (random Estop), Teco VFD (sometimes the motor just growls and doesn't start) and Mach goes into Estop every time I edit a program (computer problems)
It sounds to me like you have encoder feedback issues. did you coil your wires and zip tie them together when you were getting ready to sell?   Richard