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Author Topic: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors  (Read 4852 times)

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Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« on: April 18, 2014, 04:39:11 PM »
Hi all,

This question can go in two directions and feel free to take whichever caters to your know-how. I recently have had some issues with Mach3 giving me an error with a popup window, asking me if I should try to recover, all of which times have failed to recover, and the software had to be force-closed by windows. There have been a few moments where I get a "blue screen of death" after that, and windows actually needs to reboot. I'd like to find the source of this error that is occurring, and I think it may have to do with my pendant, but I can't verify that. I am a beginner at using Mach3, is it normally a very finnicky program?

In any case, I'd like to know what people's strategies have been when their software has failed and they have lost the position of their work. What do you do when that happens? Do you always start over? Is there a way to save the setting to reload that positioning? Do these questions point to a different problem?

My current set-up:
Mach3 (Latest version)
Romaxx WD-1 w Dewalt 611
iMach M2 USB Pendant from VistaCNC

Curious to know what the community thinktank has on this, Thanks!!


Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 05:07:02 PM »
Not much info to work with.

How about tell us the type of PC, version of windows, is more than one program running with Mach 3, what are you doing when windows crashes, using an external motion controller, etc?? Have you disabled the pendant and see if the crashes stop? Try a clean reload of Mach? I would try V.062 and stay away from V.066.

I've never had Windows XP crash using mach 3.

Offline ger21

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Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 05:47:35 PM »
The most important information, that nobody ever seems to post, is the message in the popup window, which will often tell you where to start looking.
Gerry

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Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 07:01:21 PM »
I wouldn't call Mach 3 finicky.  I am pretty impressed with how stable it has been for me. I haven't had a rebootable crash so far.
Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 02:44:43 PM »
My machine came with Home Switches, after setting Home Offsets to Table Centre Surface using my edge finder I can now set and save one of the many available Work Offsets to my current Work Zero, do some work and then shut down Mach3, the PC and my machine. I can then come back the next day, start everything up, do a Ref All Home, select my saved Work Offset and carry on where I left off.
I think this may be a good direction to go, Mach3 isn't funny, finnicky or otherwise wierd though so your OS or PC may be the root of your issues,
ATB,
Nick
Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 08:49:01 PM »
How good are your home switches?  I ask because the last machine I had with them they were only useful to set soft limits which would stop the machine without losing position. However they did not repeat well. If you lost position and homed you could be quite a few thousands away from where you were before.  My defense became a Post It Note, with the three axis dial readings written down when I zeroed the program.  I could easily jog to those positions accurately and zero everything.
Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 04:17:08 AM »
My home switches are repeatable to around a thousandth, I got bored after 10 cycles of full travel testing but my experience is of no discernable error when returning to a job the next day after shutting down.
I'm not using microswitches or other re-purposed switches, they're job specific limit switches with a straight roller-end plunger input and internally have a flat, spring mounted contact bar across the contacts, no boingy-clicky action, silent and very smooth.
Z Home is also my Z limit but I'm using lever arm units as limit switches on X & Y, they're loud & clicky and nothing like as repeatable as the limit switches but they stop the axes hitting the ends if I drop the ball or lose the plot ;-)
Regards,
Nick
Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 09:52:40 PM »
Nick,
That's quite good repeatability, the last ones I had were +-0.010"
Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 03:40:02 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone. I haven't been able to repeat the error in the last couple of days but when it arises again I will be posting it and searching for simliar threads. FYI I'm running Windows 7 32-bit.

I think the main solution to this problem is for me to actually install some homing switches onto my machine, since mine has none. I have no idea where to start though. I've seen short tutorial videos, but I think I need something more in depth to grasp the project ahead. Any thoughts?

Matt
Re: Tips for Homing/Alignment Recovery after Mach3 Errors
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2014, 02:25:57 PM »
Matt,
Home switches that are not accurate are useless, and accurate ones properly installed are a lot of work and expensive. You might consider mounting adhesive tape scales along each axis for gross positioning, combined with a dial and pointer on the screws for fine positioning.  This will easily get you to sub 0.001 accuracy for a restart.