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Author Topic: Parallel port woes, again. Help wanted, again  (Read 3232 times)

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Offline Davek0974

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Re: Parallel port woes, again. Help wanted, again
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 10:47:52 AM »
Make sure to kill the screen-saver too if any ;)
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives

Offline Preso

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Re: Parallel port woes, again. Help wanted, again
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 08:16:16 PM »
More weird behaviour! But, a solution too. I fired up the PC this morning and set the power options disable sleep and USB suspend. I booted up Mach3 again and the same problem as yesterday. X axis would not move using the keyboard shortcut or the MPG. Z axis was fine and the Y axis appeared to be moving so quickly it was losing steps. Bah! I reinstalled the UC100 with admin privileges but no change. I reinstalled Mach3 over the old installation. Again, no change. Just as a sanity check I tried some MDI after zeroing the DRO's. I entered G0 X32 and all three DRO's went to .401. There was an audible clunk from one or more of the steppers but as far as I could tell nothing had moved. By now I was ready to order an exorcism on the machine because I had never seen this sort of behaviour before. As a final check, I swapped out the X and Y signal cables to the stepper motors and now both were working although with swapped directions. I swapped them back again and all seemed normal. I guess one of the axis cards was not seated properly or maybe the plug on the back of the machine controller was not fully connected. I am guessing it was the axis card as it is unlikely that all four conductors in the stepper motor plug were disconnected together. I am thinking I am dealing with more than one problem here since the machine worked fine for about two hours yesterday and then failed after the PC went to sleep. The Axis card thing may be coincidental so until I get a chance to try some more serious work with it I cannot be sure.
I have killed the screen saver as a precaution. I am a sort of glass half full kind of guy so I will just hope for the best.
Regards,
Preso 

Offline Preso

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Re: Parallel port woes, again. Help wanted, again
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 06:33:25 PM »
Issue resolved (I hope).
I tried to run Mach3 again a few days ago and I was back to the issue of only having two of the three connected axes working after having a full day of fully functioning CNC happiness the day before. I did all the usual things to no avail and then out of desperation I disconnected my machine controller and took the cover off to peer inside. Everything looked reasonably clean so I removed all the axis cards and blew everything out with compressed air including all the edge connectors that the axis cards slot into. I also blew down the axis cards themselves and reinstalled everything. Would you believe that all is now normal? I am now thinking that there was a buildup of metal dust or some wayward piece of microscopic swarf that was shorting something out. After I got my machine controller I did take the precaution of fitting fine stainless steel mesh to all the cooling slots on the top of the case but there are some rather largish holes on the rear panel of the case and some unprotected slots on the underside where I am guessing dust and chips could be sucked in by the cooling fan. My son used to work in a shop that made hydraulic cylinders and he was constantly complaining about metal dust building up on the speaker and microphone in his mobile phone. Evidently this dust just floats around in the air where it will stick to any magnetic objects or settle onto horizontal surfaces to be picked up by other surfaces. Once you get a critical thickness layer it becomes conductive and therefore damaging to electrical and electronic equipment.
So, for now at least I think I have a reliable CNC machine running again. Yay! :D