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Author Topic: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma  (Read 26271 times)

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Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« on: January 20, 2012, 12:48:47 AM »
I have my 3 axis machine up and running, humming along fine able to follow GCode. Now I am trying to get it to turn on my plasma cutter. I am using the Gecko G540 and have wired a relay to short out two pins. What are the commands for the output signal? I have wired the control to one of the pin outputs in the Gecko. I realize I need to scan in my wiring diagram for this to make sense but I know many people have been down this path before can someone help?
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 12:28:16 PM »
you will have to find and tap into the trigger of the plasma torch if you are using a hand torch. since you say that you have assigned a pin for the torch on,for instance output 1, go to port and pins, spindle setup, and make sure disable spindle relay is unchecked. in the box beside labeled m3 enter your output number . in mill options check the box labeled allow thc .
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 12:30:00 PM by tripleblack »
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 12:43:05 PM »
Thanks tripleblack I will try that this weekend. The plasma torch I am using is a Everlast 60, it has a CNC port with pin outs for torch on and torch ok. It also does the voltage but right now if I can get those two input/outputs working I will be happy. I will let you know how it works.
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 06:39:09 PM »
Ok I have the machine working now, having configured it like tripleblack suggested. Thank you very much for that. Next bridge to cross is that as soon as the plasma fires it causes a e-stop. Even when I don't command the G540 to fire the plasma it sets it off when I turn on the torch manually. My plasma cutter does have HF start and I have tried shielding my cables as best possible. Any suggestions?
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 06:43:09 PM »
Here is my xml file.

Offline Hood

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Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 07:18:02 PM »
Try setting a debounce interval on General Config page. Try 2000 and if it helps lower until you have the issue again then increase again slightly.
Hood
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 07:36:32 PM »
Ok I have the machine working now, having configured it like tripleblack suggested. Thank you very much for that. Next bridge to cross is that as soon as the plasma fires it causes a e-stop. Even when I don't command the G540 to fire the plasma it sets it off when I turn on the torch manually. My plasma cutter does have HF start and I have tried shielding my cables as best possible. Any suggestions?

That's most likely because the Chinese plasma you're using (1) has HF arc start and (2) emits tons a HF noise.  As soon as the torch fires, the surge of HF noise on the system causes the eStop.  Increasing debounce may or may not help.  We tried setting up one of those machines and went all the way to 10000 on debounce with no luck.  Turned out that even just running the plasma 50 feet away by hand and not even attached to the CNC table would still trigger an eStop on the table.

I've heard of some people using these machines with some degree of success.  The first thing you want to do is make sure your grounding in by the book.  Shielded cables grounded properly and everything, even the PC,  grounded through a ground rod driven as deep into the ground as you can get it.

If you turn off ALL inputs (IE: limits, home and estop) it may work.  It didn't in our case as even on a properly grounded system, there was enough HF noise to interfere with the motor signals.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 07:40:38 PM by rrc1962 »
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 08:23:23 PM »
Thanks Hood and MC1962. I am concerned now about the HF, wants I started reading about those concerns it was too late. I have the HF start machine. I am not a fan of Chinese equipment but am enticed by the price. I will try to increase debounce and try the grounding routine.
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 10:02:17 PM »
When you can buy a new 60A plasma for $450, you know you're not getting much.  I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time...or especially money...trying to make it work.  You'd be better off with a older used TD or Hypertherm.
Re: Configuring Mach3 For Plasma
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 10:54:33 AM »
Hood I increased the debounce and it helped but I got the estop again soon after. I even increased up to 10,000. I need to try some more grounding, but I realize the EMF gremlins are difficult to beat. When I bought the machine I didn't plan on putting in a CNC. If you have any other suggestions I am willing to try.