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Author Topic: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!  (Read 4013 times)

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Hi, my name is James. Friends call me AJ. I would like to start off by saying thanks for any help you can give. Now, where should I begin... It all started about a year ago. I wanted to design & build small parts for RC hobbies and maybe other small projects. I really wanted to build my own CNC machine; but, I just absolutely didn't have the time or space. I decided to buy a small machine, learn the in's and out's of using it, and then add to it and build a bigger machine. I had no prior CNC experience when I ordered it, this was going to be a learning experience. The flashing lights, the smell of wood & metal burning, gizmos moving all at the push of a button, this was going to be great! With a big smile on my face, & the price being cheap,  I purchased a Chinese one off Ebay. Since this was a learning experience I really didn't want to put a lot of money into it. After a few weeks it had finally arrived (on a slow boat from China), it was packed very well! However, I was slightly disappointed with the instructions. It only came with one or two pages and it was very broken English; but, everything was self explanatory, so in no time I had it assembled. Now it was time for the computer end of this process. I didn't think the demo version of Mach3 would be enough; Therefore, I got the licensed version (500 lines seemed small), looking back it would've been enough for testing. Load Mach3 port pins, motor tuning, etc... very exciting, it's now the moment i've been waiting for! The motor is coming to life, the switch gets thrown, the box starts to hum, I use the jog button, at this point I'm feeling pretty damn good! All of the sudden the machine makes this god awful sound and the movements slightly stop or just completely stop. All this happened a little over a year ago, I have made many adjustments in port pins, checked the machine for binding/bent motor tuning. This is a last ditch effort, when I say "ditch" I mean if I don't get it up and going this time... I'm selling it and not looking back. I have no experience in electronics, I can solder. I have no programming experience either, so everything needs to be in simple, easily understandable terms. Below is going to be a list of my computer information/ software and my CNC machine, an just for laughs a few videos and pictures. And away we go!
**MY COMPUTER:
Dell Optiplex 740
**PROCESSOR:
AMD Athlom 64x2 Dual Core processor 3800+2.00 GHz (whatever that means)?
**INSTALLED MEMORY (RAM):
2.00 GB
**SYSTEM TYPE:
32-Bit operating system
**WINDOWS 7 PROFESSIONAL:
This computer is dedicated to this machine
Now for the CNC Machine
**BRAND:
YOOCNC
**MODEL:
6040z-JS3
This is the black box version with separate stepper drivers
**STEPPER MOTOR:
Two phase 57/3.0 A
**SPINDLE:
800-watt water cooled
  In the video below, it shows the CNC stall; but it made a full pass before stalling, that I edited out. I have made a few small parts with this machine, but something is still definitely wrong.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LNMwdgDCvI0
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 03:13:16 PM by Abanks »
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 04:45:17 PM »
Sounds like it's missing steps or a mech binding issue. Could be a problem with the PC parallel port voltage levels. The older XP machines the LPT ports have 5v levels. The newer pc's can have 3v LPT voltage that can cause strange results when connected to stepper drivers. Does it happen on all the axis or just one? Post your XML file and I will take a look and see if I can spot anything.

BTW... it would be nice to not get long winded and leave out unnecessary verbiage... stick to what the problem is.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 04:57:23 PM by geh7552 »

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Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 04:51:16 PM »
As a test in Config, Motor tuning ,  LOWER the Velocity AND  Accelleration values of EACH Axis BY 50% then retest.

(;-) TP
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 12:57:53 AM »
All axis are having trouble.  Sorry for the wind an verbs I'm windy and verbie.
Thanks again
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 08:20:46 AM »
Didn't see anything that would cause the problem so it's looking like a PP issue in the pc. The accel rates are pretty high... might want to lower them by 50%. Make sure the kernel rate in Mach is set for 25khz. Setting any higher does nothing except use up cpu time. Then run mach timing test utility to find out if the kernel speed is stable.

I am using a Dell 6400 XP and had the same problem using the parallel port to a Gecko 540. Tried everything and never found the cause. It seems Dell Optiplex systems are more prone to PP issues from what I researched. I went with a SmoothStepper ESS Ethernet to Gecko and never had the problem again. Or try another PC and see if the problem still happens.

Windows 7 Pro is overkill for cnc/mach 3 use and doesn't improve Mach performance. I would pick up a cheap used XP machine.. plenty on the market, 1 gig, gut out all necessary programs and bloatware and only use it for the cnc machine.    
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 08:23:26 AM by geh7552 »
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 11:27:17 AM »
I just made this video of the steppers removed from the carriage. Screws and guides are silky smooth. Please check it out.. Thanks in advance.
http://youtu.be/pfN4uGR5D-g
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2015, 12:45:39 PM »
Looks like the accel rates are way too high and losing steps when trying to slow down. Still things seem to point to the Dell LPT port if its happening on all axis. Try another pc if you have one available.
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2015, 11:07:36 PM »
Thanks for the help. I guess the first thing to try is a older computer. Don't have one handy. will post the results ASAP.
Re: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!! THIS IS GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2015, 07:33:53 PM »
UPDATE:
I got my hands on a older computer. I believe that was the problem. Check out the video
Thanks geh7552 
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2OYVeW6YKfs