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Author Topic: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping  (Read 9911 times)

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Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« on: March 17, 2013, 03:13:59 PM »
I just started in the world of CNC and am having an issue with my Soft Limits in Mach3 set up.  I've read a bunch, watched videos, and search other people's issues, but have yet to find anything to resolve my specific problem.  I'm sure it's something simple, but I just can't figure it out, so I'm hoping someone can point me in the right directions.

I'm not sure if any of this matters, but the following are my hardware specs:

  • CNC: Zen Toolworks 12x12
  • Computer: HP DV9000 Laptop, 2GHz, 2GB, Windows 7, 64-Bit
  • Communication Interface: Ethernet via MachForWin64
  • Software: Mach3
  • Three homing switches: X-, Y-, Z+  (wired individually)
  • Three limit switches: X+, Y+, Z-  (wired in parallel with E-stop button)

I have sucessfully set up my home switches and am able to 'Reference All Home' with no issues.  Also, my limit switches work correctly in that they E-stop the software.  It appears that I have set up my Soft Limits set correctly but they won't stop the travel.  The reason I say that they appear to be set up correctly is that if I drive any of the axis past its soft limit and then turn off the 'Soft Limits' switch, I am unable to turn it back on until I travel back below the limit -- instead, I get the "Machine out of limits for SoftLimit Activation" message.

So, why does it let me travel past the soft limit setting even though it obviously knows what the limit is?
- Brian

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 04:15:01 PM »
I am not sure if the "MachForWin64" is your controller or not? If it is then check with the vendor that softlimits work on it, they will have to be done in the device if it is an external controller and there is a possibility that it does not support soft limits.
Hood
Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 09:28:40 AM »
I am not sure if the "MachForWin64" is your controller or not? If it is then check with the vendor that softlimits work on it, they will have to be done in the device if it is an external controller and there is a possibility that it does not support soft limits.
Hood
Hood, thank you for your very quick reply!

I took your advice and contacted Stepper3 (the makers of the MachForWin64 board).  They quickly put together a plugin update that now acknowledges the soft limts. 
- Brian

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
Good deal!  :)

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 02:43:27 PM »
Great :)
Hood
Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 02:57:34 PM »
Be aware though, might want to set them up a bit short.
Says "during Jogging", how about while a file is running ?
From the website .......

"Changes in the latest version (1.1):

    When soft limits are enabled the plugin now ESTOPs when an axis passes its soft limit during jogging. Because the ESTOP happens in the plugin and not on the board, the axis may still move about an inch past the soft limit before the ESTOP occurs."

FYI,
Russ

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Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 03:01:31 PM »
Good call Russ!

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 03:18:31 PM »
Be aware though, might want to set them up a bit short.
Says "during Jogging", how about while a file is running ?
From the website .......

"Changes in the latest version (1.1):

    When soft limits are enabled the plugin now ESTOPs when an axis passes its soft limit during jogging. Because the ESTOP happens in the plugin and not on the board, the axis may still move about an inch past the soft limit before the ESTOP occurs."

FYI,
Russ

Actually, I have already given him feedback on the new version.  I voiced my concern on both the speed at the limits and the fact that it treats it as an E-stop.  I'm hoping he'll be able to utilize Mach3's "Slow Zone" setting to keep it from blowing past the limit.  Also, treating it as an E-stop is very inconvenient when you jog to the limit -- you can't simply go the other way once it is reached.

Anyway, my biggest immediate concern was whether the soft limit issue was something I was doing wrong or just in the hardware.  The plugin update confirmed that it's in the hardware, so I can now continue with my Mach3 learning.

Thanks all for the input and thank you Russ for pointing that out.

I will certainly keep updates here of future progress regarding this issue.
- Brian
Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 08:47:11 AM »
Update:

Steve at Stepper3 responded to my follow-up email:

Quote from: Steve @ Stepper3
we do have the intent to take a more thorough approach to fixing the soft limits issue.  However, it will require a firmware revision to our ethernet board, that will require a user to send the board back to reprogram.  I am working on a revision C of the ethernet board, that I intend to have out soon, that will address the issue.

I wanted to address the softlimits quickly for you, which is why we put the 1.1 revision out. 

I like that they quickly got a software revision out to address the issue (even if it was just a partial fix), and then moved on to the more involved hardware fix.  It sounds like they're heading in the right direction to get the soft limits functioning properly.
- Brian
Re: Mach3 Soft Limits -- Not Stopping
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 08:51:09 AM »
Thanks for the update Brian, please keep us posted.

This is an interesting product and it will be interesting to monitor it's development.

Regards,
Russ