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New startup
« on: October 05, 2012, 05:44:31 PM »
Hello All:
I am a new member and have a problem that I hope someone can help me with.  I am running Mach 3 software on a 3 axis mill.  My computer pooched so I have started over.  My system is this:

IBM Thinkpad laptop with windows XP pro.
Mach 3 software(licensed).
Geko PDMX-131 driver board for stepper motors.
XYLOTEX 24H290-35-8B 3NM stepper motors.

I have read that the laptop is not supported without some other device.  What exactly is that.

When I load Mach 3, and power up the GEKO unit, I can feel the stepper motors load(more resistance to turning by hand), but the readouts don't change and NOTHING I do will move the machine.  If I press the jog buttons in Mach 3 the readouts change, but the machine physically does not move...

When I had it running before, I could run a program, cut parts, etc.  The motors would get hot, but I guess that is normal.  Now it just sits there no matter what I do!!!

HELP!!!

Thanks for listening to me whine, but I would really appreciate help getting moving again.




Offline Hood

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Re: New startup
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 06:08:44 PM »
Sounds like you dont have Mach configured properly, maybe the ports and pins for motors not set right or maybe the wrong port address.
Laptops can be problematic. Shut Mach down go to the Mach folder and double click the driver test and see what it looks like. If the graph has spikes on it then you may have problems, if its a nice flat line then you will likely be ok.
Hood

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: New startup
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 07:59:03 AM »
Quote
I have read that the laptop is not supported without some other device.  What exactly is that.

Hi Joe,

As Hood has said, laptops are not the ideal but if all else fails and a laptop is the only choice then you need an external motion controller and there are now quite a few different makes for you to choose from.

I purchased a Smooth Stepper (http://warp9td.com/), some years back, it is still working as well as the day I first connected it.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: New startup
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 11:24:04 AM »
Thanks for the responses.

So the motion controller is another add on board separate from the GEKO board?  Where does that go, from the ethernet connecter and then plug the parallel cable to that?

Keep the responses coming, as I am learning as I go, and thanks again...
Joe

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: New startup
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 11:52:44 AM »
Hi Joe,

That's correct except than my SS is an early model and uses the USB to connect to the computer.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !

Offline kolias

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Re: New startup
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 11:59:58 AM »
I did have a ThinkPad before but run into many problems running my cnc and after I sold it I got a desktop which is the best for cnc

Having said that, I did have on another cnc a DELL very old laptop and never had a problem with it running my cnc. Conclusion: if I must use a laptop I will try a Dell

Also the cnc computer should be a dedicated cnc computer which has only the cnc related software. No Internet, no anti virus, no firewalls.
Nicolas
Re: New startup
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 12:09:31 PM »
Thank again guys...  Looks like I will be looking for a new box.  One thing I have noticed is that since I loaded MACH 3, the laptop has slowed to a crawl.  When I pust the reset button on the CNC screen, it beeps for about 10 seconds now before resetting.

Regards:
Joe
Re: New startup
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2012, 07:39:17 PM »
Well, I am moving along.  I have got the machine jogging not, and the axes moving.  I have the axes set also to accurate readout.

I still have 2 problems.  when executing a program the axes feed in "steps" of like a quarter turn instead of a smooth continuous move.  On a commanded move of  G01 X1.500 F5.0, instead of a steady and continuous feed to 1.500 I get about 10 moves of about .15 in distance. 

Finally, my ARC centers seem to be reversed.  I ran the program on the other computer and it worked.  On this one the arcs appear reversed.  On a corner, instead of a 90 degree commanded clockwise arc the machine moves in a 270 CCW arc.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks again for the responses I have already gotten.

Regards:
Joe

Offline Hood

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Re: New startup
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2012, 02:57:06 AM »
First problem sounds like a bad pulse train, have you run the driver test with Mach closed to see what it looks like?

Sound like your IJ mode is set incorrectly for your code. Ideally your code should call the IJ mode with a G90.1 or G91.1 at the start of the code but you can change the default mode on General Config page.
Hood
Re: New startup
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 08:49:18 PM »
All:
Just a follow up to the group that responded so excellently to my inquiries to thank you.  I replaced the laptop with a desktop PC that was lying around at work.  They couldn't use it because they forgot the admin password and could not log on, so they gave it to me.  It is a VERY good box with lots of speed & RAM.  I loaded MACH3 on it and did the tuning thing.  It came along well and is running great.  The motors get hot, but I have read they run up to 100 deg C.

One thing does confuse me is the pulse per unit setting in the motor tuning page.  It asks the number of pulses per unit(inch).  The motor has 200 pulses per rev driving a 5 pitch ball screw, so it should be 1000 pulses per unit(200 pulses X 5 turns per inch or 1000).  The motors won't run at that setting, but they do run at 10000(10K).  What gives?  Am I missing something?  Also, I can change the acceleration rate now to quiet the motors a little.  Anything over 8 seems to really make the motors & machine howl.  6 seems to be the smoothest.

So with all that said, the machine is up and running and I can make parts.  My next project is to mount limit switches.  Any helpful hints are appreciated...

Thanks again:
Joe