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Author Topic: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.  (Read 10410 times)

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A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« on: January 20, 2015, 03:20:32 PM »
   I've had a problem with my system from the beginning; ie from when I got it working back in 2013. The problem is this: after a time, usually 30 or 40 min, I get an error message from Mach 3 saying "Communication with Galil has been lost" (or words similar to that), and the system has to be shut down and restarted. If a program was running at the time there is usually trouble getting things to start where they stopped. (My system has encoders with no marker pulse, so I don't try to Home to the Home micro switches.) I have also found that the Mach 3 "preparatory move" is sometimes wrong, and moves all 3 axes together: generally a bad thing. I'm getting better at recovering, but really I shouldn't have to. My system should run for hours if necessary without stopping because of a communication error.
   So today I took a look at my communication parameters; they were:
Primary handle: TCP
Unsolicited messages: Take no action
Data Records: Manual Data Record Refresh
Open multicast handle: box was checked
  That last box shouldn't be checked according to the plugin manual. So I thought maybe this was the problem. But I changed some more things. So today, before I ran a fairly long program, the communication parameters were:
Data records: Automatic
Refresh rate: 16ms
Cache depth: 2
Event driven DMC command: box checked
Open multicast handle: box unchecked
   I ran the first part, about 50 min with no problems. Maybe this is the cure, I thought. Ran a second part, which would take more than 50 min if it hadn't stopped with a communication error after about 30 min. After recovery it ran for about 30 min to finish the part with no error. But it would appear I still haven't fixed the problem.
   There should be no problem with noise on the ethernet cable. There were no other machines running in my shop while I was doing this. I have florescent lights on (not solid state ballasts), and my furnace runs from time to time. It has a small induction motor, so not really a noise source. The Galil board runs in a cabinet containing the power supplies and servo amps; but everything is linear, no switching amps or power supplies.
  My Galil board is a DMC2133 3 axis board. My PC is a Dell Latitude D830 dual core, 2.4GHz, 1.5GBytes of RAM. Don't think my PC is too slow, but I'm just trying to make sure I give adequate info.
   So, ... can someone offer any suggestions? Does anything look obviously wrong? I'd sure like this system to work RIGHT.

Any help would really be appreciated.
A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2015, 06:29:17 AM »
Hi,
It sounds like you have had similar problems as me. See the post I have added, titled "Should I update my firmware".  I have several Galil Ethernet controllers that stop in the middle of a program most days.  I have just noticed that in recent times Galil has updated their firmware, with ' Ethernet communication improvements". Maybe worth a try!  I have not tried this yet!
Also use the latest plugin that I believe has been updated over the last few years.

I also suggest adding ferrite coils to reduce electrical interference,  particularly on the Ethernet cable.

Mark
Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 03:00:12 PM »
   Thanks for the response AussieBloke! After 1200 or so reads and no responses I gave up checking for any help. Have been meaning to get in touch with the Mach3 folks but just haven't done that yet. My machine goes for long periods unused and then periods of intense usage.
   Seems to me I checked that I had the newest  firmware, but will check again. I have kind of learned to live with this problem. Turns out that homing to a micro switch without an index pulse is more accurate than I thought; so I home my machine at the start, like I should. This lets me start again with good registration.
   I have trouble believing my problem is related to electrical interference. My servo amps are linear and no other machines run in my shop while I use the CNC router other than the router. But I suppose it could be the router.
Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 03:21:23 PM »
I have had problems with Galil plugin MP3 ver 4.6. It will not allow me to config a second time, and the DROs do not seem to be related to the servo motor encoders, rather they seem only to change on motion commands from Mach3. For example, sending a MDI command of G31 X1 F30 will change the X-DRO to 1.000 even with power disconnected from the motor, and thus no encoder movement. Manually turning the motor and encoder produces no change in the DROs.

Ver 4.4 of the Galil MP3 plugin seems to work correctly.

I have a copy of ver 4.4 that I will share.

Offline ger21

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Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 05:34:07 PM »
Do you really need to post this 100 times???
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2018, 01:01:06 AM »
Yes, I think so. I want to be sure it gets read by the correct people, and for others to be aware of the problem. Not everyone reads all the posts on the forum, and I want others to be aware they may have a problem. I am trying to help others to solve their problems. I first reported problems in November 2014, but was not fully aware of just how bad it was. I am just becoming aware of the consequences of this, namely significant loss of position information. I think the developers did a huge service for the hobby CNC community when they developed Mach3, and want it to be the best it can be.

Offline ger21

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Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2018, 08:09:12 AM »
Mach3 development stopped about 5 years ago, so it's not going to be getting any better.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 10:08:56 AM »
So you don't fix errors and support your customers who paid for the product?

Offline ger21

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Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2018, 10:41:46 AM »
I don't work for Artsoft.


As I said, all development stopped on Mach3 about 5 years ago.

If you want to use a current product, which is supported, use Mach4.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: A Galil Mach 3 communication problem I need help with.
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 12:42:19 PM »
Your suggestion to just use Mach 4 is great, except for the expense involved. As you may be aware, Mach4 does not support the DMC 17xx or 18xx controllers and requires an ethernet controller. A new 5 axis ethernet controller from Galil costs $2695. Since I have a significant amount of money invested in my present controller (new cost is also $2695), it is not likely I will be upgrading to Mach4 anytime soon. If you are running a business, $2695 is not a lot of money, but for a hobby user who is retired, it is certainly significant.