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Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« on: October 04, 2011, 08:35:14 AM »
Hi All,
This is a copy of the mail I posted on the Calypso forum in case the problem is more Mach3 related - or in case someone here has some thoughts....
Hi All,

Required information first of all:
1) Mach version: 3.043.037
2) MSM version: 1.1.11
3) Windows version: XP
3a) If vista or W7, 32 or 64 bit? N/A
4) Interface: Parallel Port? Smooth Stepper? or ? Parallel port
5) Are any plug-ins installed? If so, what are they? none

Background:
I have been using my home converted BF20 for around 2 years now and I joined the MSM beta users when the opportunity arose.

Over this period I have been steadily improving the mill to operate faster and more accurately and it now runs at a comfortable 700mm/min and does what I want (I am not an industrial operator, my CNC work unwinds me from a day of high tech telecoms - usually!)

My most recent change was to design and build my own high speed spindle which so far has been successful - with the inevitable debugging and problem solving along the way along with configuration changes.
During the period spent debugging the spindle, I have had the power turned on for the parallel interface board and to the steppers but, because everything was in a huge tangle of wires, circuit boards, components, scope probes, etc, I did not move the axes.

2 nights ago, I decided to put the spindle aside until I could design the Mk2 version and I went back to make a simple aluminium cutout.

The problem:
The axes will not move at even 1/10th of their normal speed - they are loosing steps, stuttering whining and all sorts of noxious things.
This happens under MDI doing rapids, also using the joystick I use for large movements and with the MPG.
Max speed is around 9 mm/min.......

Obvious conclusions:
I had damaged something electronically or electrically. I went around the entire system ensuring that:

  • every cable was either properly connected or completely disconnected
  • all power supplies were at the correct voltages
  • signals were as they should be (at a quick glance)


After that, I did what every Windows user does and restarted MSM, then tried rebooting and restarting, all to no avail.

I then decided to load an old version of Mach3 on a bit of a whim - this is my pre MSM version and did not even have the correct steps per mm values for the Y axis. This worked perfectly (apart from the steps).

After that, I went around the 2 setups trying to see what configuration setting is different between the 2 - and I cannot see what it can be.

PLEASE forum users, if anyone has any bright ideas on this problem which is causing me some grief, I would be very grateful to hear them.
Remember, this started directly after I was playing around with the spindle and spindle settings - which are now all at the disabled or set to minimum.

Thanks in advance,

Simon
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 08:39:11 AM by Simon0362 »

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 08:42:47 AM »
If you attach both xmls I will take a look and see if I can find an issue.
Hood
Re: Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 10:29:11 AM »
Hood,
Many thanks.

The file "The_Mill" is the old pre-MSM file and the "Brand New Mill" is the current one - I think. I have to admit to a certain amount of confusion from time to time...and the MSM screens don't seem to have any information about the current configuration file loaded - unless I have missed that as well.

Simon.

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 02:38:35 PM »
Dont see anything much different in the xmls that would affect things so dramatically, you do have the Dir Low Active the opposite way for X axis but that would only make it go the opposite way. Have you tried loading the MSN screen on the profile that is presently running?
Hood

Offline BR549

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Re: Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 07:29:18 PM »
There are some things in the MSM that you cannot back up versions OR they won't work right. You need to get with DAVE to help debug the problem HE is the only one that knows the MSM system and what he has made work his way.

Hope that helps, (;-) TP

Re: Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 02:53:28 AM »
Hi Hood,
Thanks for your analysis - I had come to the same conclusion (apart from the direction pin).

I tried your idea - and it seems to work perfectly. I spent an hour last night re-adjusting and getting the axis moving in the correct direction - both needed changing because I had introduced a ball screw on Y since the last time I used it and that is a RH thread as well as a different stepper on X, hence the direction change there.

I will take great care to back up my xml before I head off into more spindle work, but for the moment this seems to be a work around, although no idea what the underlying problem is.

Thanks again,
Simon.

@BR549 - Thanks for the though - I originally posted the same message on the MSM boards and Dave responded last night as well. However I have seen reports of others in similar 'I only changed this and now it is completely broken' vein. However I find the MSM screens to be really very effective so I will battle on....

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 failing after spindle setup
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 04:33:10 AM »
Good to hear you have it working and yes, backups are always a good idea :)
Hood