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Mach 3 keeps freezing
« on: May 31, 2011, 03:45:49 PM »
Hello all,

I'm new here in the forum, as well as new with Mach. I'm retrofitting an older Hardinge lathe. Mach 3 has been working well for a couple weeks, and just now has stopped functioning. It started with error messages about the smoothstepper not showing up, as well as usb write errors. I tried reinstalling the SS drivers, trying different cables, etc. After a few tries, Mach just freezes on startup. The PC does not freeze, just Mach. I've tried reinstalling Mach, as well as installing the latest development version of Mach. It just freezes. I've run the Mach driver test, and it shows no problems. I've unchecked everything in the windows startup. What else can I try? What could be wrong here?

As I stated before, Mach ran fine for a couple weeks, and nothing else has changed. The PC is used solely for this machine. It's a Dell Optiplex with 2.33Mhz processor, 2G of ram, running XP SP3.

I would appreciate any insight.

Thanks,
Kevin

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 04:36:45 PM »
Sounds like the SS is the issue, if you unplug the SS does Mach unfreeze?
Have you got the latest SS plugin?
Hood
Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 04:41:50 PM »
Hood,

Thanks for the quick reply.  Unplugging the smoothstepper caused Mach to run for a little bit, but it still froze. I installed Mach on my laptop running Vista (in the last half-hour), and that setup is running perfectly. I'm thinking its an issue with the PC. What is the best version of the SS plugin to use?

Thanks,

Kevin

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 04:58:17 PM »
The latest would be the best, especially if you want backlash comp.
However with Mach still freezing when the SS is disconnected it would seem to be more computer related as you suspect, have a look and see what CPU utilisation is and see if you can find out what is using it all when Mach crashes.
Hood

Offline ger21

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Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 05:05:52 PM »
Quote
I've run the Mach driver test, and it shows no problems.

Running the drivertest installs the parallel port driver. You do NOT want the driver installed when using the Smoothstepper. Make sure you uninstall it.
Gerry

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Offline Hood

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Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 05:10:55 PM »
Never had an issue with that Gerry but suppose it could. One thing it does bring to mind is there have been reports of problems if you have multiple versions of SS plugin in the plugin folder, again never been an issue for me but worth trying. To get rid of older plugins just change their extension from dll to M3P, that way if you need to go back to them just a double click and they will install.
Hood
Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 12:12:51 PM »
How do I uninstall the PPort driver? Is that the one that shows up in the device manager? Also, Mach is now freezing on the laptop that it was running fine on yesterday. Mach opens, find the SmoothStepper, asks if I want to use it, and upon clicking "ok" it locks up.

This stuff really does make you want to pull your hair out.

Thanks for the replies!

Kevin
Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 04:51:02 PM »
I think I made a breakthrough. I switched back to the PC on the machine, and confirmed that it kept freezing up. Removed the PPort driver, made sure I had the latest SS plugin. Still froze. Then, I ran a ground wire to the corner mounting hole of the SS, the one with the jumper, and the system now stays stable.

Crossing my fingers that I just solved a lot of headaches.

Thanks again for your replies.

Kevin
Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 08:31:30 AM »
I have had the same issue. I have  USB SS  and  5 meter USB cable. Additionally I have 2 spindles with 2 VFD  running same time. Without  any preventive action I could run 4 or 5 minutes then  mach3  was freezing .  After reading your recommendations  I put  2 ferrites  to both ends of USB cable. It helped. Frequency of random stops is decreased  but didn't solve completely. Then I have ground my machine. I t didn't help at all.  I have put another wire shorting to machine chasis  and shell of USB input cable of SS.  There is no freezing at all now. I can run at 4 khz setting. ( due to my pc can't meet demands I have dropped it to 1 khz later)  At beginning  I can't go over 500 mhz.  I hope this will help the people facing same problem.
Re: Mach 3 keeps freezing
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 03:02:02 PM »
Hi,
USB is quite susceptible to noise, keep it as short as you can. Ferrites at each end help but adding one in the middle breaks  the 'antenna' length.

If it still gets on your wick buy an EthernetSS, they do much better in noisy environments.

Craig
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