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Author Topic: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed  (Read 28253 times)

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Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2015, 04:44:43 AM »
Did you ever get a response from Jeff about your configuration xml?

Unfortunately, no - for some reason it seems to have been ignored.  :(

Through lots of twiddling with settings (which I now cannot remember) I did manage to get the spindle to be somewhere near the correct Mach3 entered speeds for the low speed pulley but speed control was not linear and was way off for the high speed pulley (only two pulleys on my mill) despite me trying everything I could think of.
Note that Mach3 via the PP is always in complete, accurate, control of the spindle speed and I never have to tell it that I have changed pulleys.

It appears to me that (with the SS connected) Mach3 does not have any control over the speed entered whatsoever, despite it receiving and showing the actual spindle speed. I have tried all the suggestions for SS settings but none of them fix the problem.
Why the heck it has to be so arcane is beyond me...  ??? Surely someone can give me a complete list of Mach3 and SS versions, and settings for both, that WORK!

I'm seriously thinking of junking the SS and buying one of these (http://cncdrive.com/UC300.html) and maybe buying their software too (http://cncdrive.com/UCCNC.html)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 04:55:49 AM by Pompey Dockyard »

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2015, 08:40:33 AM »
When trying to set up spindle control there are lots of small parts to consider. How is your spindle controlled? Simple relay or do you have some sort of VFD or speed control. What sort of interface signals does the spindle controller take? What sort of PWM or Steps/Direction converter are you using? There are also a couple of SmoothStepper specific settings to be aware of but mostly spindle control is the same with the parallel port or SmoothStepper.

Take a look at: http://www.soigeneris.com/Document/Warp9/Installing_and_Configuring_the_SmoothStepper.pdf . Toward the end of this PDF I describe the major steps in getting spindle control working. Note that you have to find out what specific settings your PWM or Step/Direction board require. For example a PWM converter will have a base frequency that it is designed to run at and you have to program this in the SmoothStepper configuration. If you have a Step/Direction board then it will have a maximum step frequency that it is designed to work at.

Hope that helps...

Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2015, 09:47:15 AM »
Yeah, I agree, why did he ask for the xml if he was only going to spout off about reading the documentation which we have done a hundred times. I am beginning to think he doesn't have a clue either.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2015, 11:05:36 AM »
Guys, please understand I DO NOT work for Warp9. I have a full time job and I run Soigeneris. Even though I have very little free time I still try to pop in on all the forums and help people out. If I miss something every now and then I'm sorry, I'm only human.

I posted the link to the documentation for you Bill as your message did not really say much about what you were working on, what you had tried etc. Since I just added the spindle information to the documentation a few months ago it is possible that when this tread started back in January it was not there.

It is not very encouraging to go out of your way to help other people out and then have them piss and moan because you don't do it fast enough.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2015, 01:14:48 PM »
Here is an updated XML for Pompey. In short the problems were that you did not configure the SmoothStepper for spindle control, you have to set the base frequency and spindle type in the SmoothStepper configuration dialog. I also turned off the spindle PID feature in Mach 3 Ports&Pins spindle tab; it does not work with external motion controllers (and does not always work well with the parallel port either.) Also in the SmoothStepper configuration all of the maximum Axis Step frequencies were incorrect for your steps/unit and feed rate. The formula for calculating this setting is in the documentation I linked to above. The Spindle setting in Motor Tuning were also not correct, the information on how to configure the Spindle Motor Tuning is in the documentation I linked to as well.

You also need to set up your pulley settings to match your machine. Since I don't know this information about your machine I could not set it correctly.

I hope this helps. Remember I'm helping here just to be nice...
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2015, 05:05:35 PM »
Sorry Jeff, you seemed to be the only one providing any type of support for the Smooth Stepper so I thought you worked for them. The same topic has been raised on the warp9 board several times.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2015, 05:36:31 PM »
Yes spindle control comes up a lot because it is fairly involved as you have the Mach3, SmoothStepper, BOB, PWM or S/D converter and your VFD/speed control. You have to figure out enough about all of them to wire things up and then to configure each one of them to work together. Programming a by itself itself can be very complex.

Now add in the fact that everyone has a different machine, which is wired differently, and it is not a matter of having a list of settings in a manual as the settings are unique to each machine.

Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2015, 09:12:35 AM »
Hi Jeff, Sorry for the delay, have been busy with other things.
Thanks for looking at my XML and posting a revised version.
However the revised one did not work. Every time I issued an M3 command the spindle immediately ramped up to top speed, irrespective of what S command was issued.
Going into the Pulleys settings caused the spindle to ignore any M3 or M4 commands and refuse to rotate, the only way to get any spindle control back was to reboot the PC and the SS.
That happened every time I changed a pulley setting.

I tried a different PC, a different USB cable and anything else I could swap around or change but still the same result.

I went back to my previous XML (a later one to the one you looked at) that I had had some success with and it still worked OK, I then managed to tailor the pulley settings to get spindle speeds somewhere near to the entered S commands but I'm not happy at all with the way the SS handles spindle speeds - compared with the original PP connection it's a dog's breakfast.  :'(

Thanks for your help anyway.

Dave.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2015, 10:28:22 AM »
Are you trying use the spindle speed PID in Mach 3? If so turn it off and also delete any file in the Mach 3 folder/macro folder called 'linearity.dat'.

The SmoothStepper just generates pules, just like the parallel port. The only difference is that for a PWM spindle you can set the acceleration. The SmoothStepper and parallel port both adjust the output in a linear fashion, i.e. 50% speed output is a 50% duty cycle square wave output. Any non-linearity is the result of your speed controller/motor. The spindle speed PID Mach 3 is a function of the parallel port driver and it can help with non-linearity problems (sometimes it works OK and sometimes it does not). It does not work with an external device so if you have it turned on or have a linearity .dat file it will screw things up.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Mach3/USB SmoothStepper will not control spindle speed
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2015, 04:42:52 AM »
Are you trying use the spindle speed PID in Mach 3? If so turn it off and also delete any file in the Mach 3 folder/macro folder called 'linearity.dat'.

The SmoothStepper just generates pules, just like the parallel port. The only difference is that for a PWM spindle you can set the acceleration. The SmoothStepper and parallel port both adjust the output in a linear fashion, i.e. 50% speed output is a 50% duty cycle square wave output. Any non-linearity is the result of your speed controller/motor. The spindle speed PID Mach 3 is a function of the parallel port driver and it can help with non-linearity problems (sometimes it works OK and sometimes it does not). It does not work with an external device so if you have it turned on or have a linearity .dat file it will screw things up.
Jeff,
You said that you had turned off the PID in the file you posted for me, I haven't checked as I do not know anything about the PID!  ???
What is the PID and how do I turn it off if it is set? I know where the settings are for it (I think) but that's all, the numbers in the boxes and the check box combinations are a dark art as far as I am concerned.
What do the letters P I D stand for?
I will check for the presence of a linearity.dat file
As I have said before a few times, my speed controller works consistently and flawlessly under Parallel Port control (and still does if I try it) so there is no question of the speed controller or the motor being at fault.

Thanks,
Dave.