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Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« on: August 05, 2017, 12:44:41 AM »
Trying to get contact probe working.
CNC 4 Axis 6040 router. Mach3 Gecko G540 controller.
I had my control box rebuilt with more stable power supplies and a G540 controller. Now I can't get the contact probe to work. I've tried every suggestion offered in various forums to people with the exact same problem but still not working. I'm told that pin 13 is the active one for the probe. 'Auto set' under pins and ports cannot find the probe when the 2 parts are in contact. Move the pin to 15 and under diagnostics, the 'digital' square is lit. No mater what I do, it doesn't blink and Auto Set cannot find it.

I found a vidio from a fellow calling himself GruBrew who shows you how to insert some VB code into Mach3 to make a contact probe work. That didn't work either. Should I be upgrading to Mach4 and Windows 10 to fix this problem? Presently I'm using Windows xp Pro which seems that everything else works as it should except perhaps I can't use limit switches either.

All help gratefull accepted.
Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 05:20:04 PM »
Hi,
certainly Mach4  and Windows10 can handle probing but you shouldn't need to do it, a 540 Mach3 and parallel port should work fine. If you did
upgrade you'd need to buy a motion controller and suddenly things become a bit more complicated!

You need to determine which pin the 540 uses for its probe input. Repeatedly energising then de-energising the probe should make one of the input LEDs
on the diagnostic tab light up. That's the input you should assign in Ports and Pins as your probe input.

The 540 is wired to use certain pins for particular tasks, limit switches for example. An ordinary breakout board you can assign any of several input pins
as limit switches. The 540 does tie you to certain ways of doing things but many people have had a great run with them...just remember that if the 540
manual says that pin is 'X limit' that's what it is, you cant change it!

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 05:17:04 AM »
Thank you for that information.
The fellow who updated the controller told me a short time ago that I had the probe wired into the wrong pins on the G540. It's evening in Australia now but I'll follow his instructions and I'm pretty confident the probe will start working. It's comforting to know Mach 3 is probably more suitable for my use than Mach 4. Already this machine has cost a lot more than its price. The less I have to spend to have everything functional the better right now.  :)
Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 05:21:35 PM »
The G540 has 4 inputs that can be used for ANY Mach 3 input function (apart from the ESTOP). You can assign your probe pin to any of the four G540 inputs.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:52:22 AM by Tweakie.CNC »
----------------------------------------------------
Homann Designs
http://www.homanndesigns.com
email: peter at homanndesigns.com
Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 03:12:56 AM »
Hi,
I downloaded and re-read the G540 manual and Peter is spot on, there are 4 available inputs and a probe input, for instance, could be
assigned to any of them.

What had confused me was that pin 15 which is normally available as an input has been used for a fault input to the PC from the G540 and it
would appear that it can't be changed.

Mach3 requires at least one input, an Estop. In default configuration pin 10 is assigned as Estop, which is input#1 for the G540. Probably makes sense
to leave it that way. That means there are now only three inputs left, one you wish to use as a probe so now you're down to two inputs for limits and
home switches. Its going to be a challenge to get all those switches wired in such a way that each can trigger an appropriate function in Mach.

Another alternative to combining all your limit and home switches is to use a second port with a breakout board. You cold then make pins 1-9 inputs
in addition to the regular 10-13 and 15. Inputs to burn!

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline ger21

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Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 08:15:49 AM »
Quote
Mach3 requires at least one input, an Estop.

Mach3 does NOT require you to use an EStop input. I've been using my machine for 10 years without one.
Gerry

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Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 08:40:43 AM »
Hi,
I downloaded and re-read the G540 manual and Peter is spot on, there are 4 available inputs and a probe input, for instance, could be
assigned to any of them.

What had confused me was that pin 15 which is normally available as an input has been used for a fault input to the PC from the G540 and it
would appear that it can't be changed.

Mach3 requires at least one input, an Estop. In default configuration pin 10 is assigned as Estop, which is input#1 for the G540. Probably makes sense
to leave it that way. That means there are now only three inputs left, one you wish to use as a probe so now you're down to two inputs for limits and
home switches. Its going to be a challenge to get all those switches wired in such a way that each can trigger an appropriate function in Mach.

Another alternative to combining all your limit and home switches is to use a second port with a breakout board. You cold then make pins 1-9 inputs
in addition to the regular 10-13 and 15. Inputs to burn!

Craig

The G540 uses pin 15 as the fault input.  It is usual to assign this in Mach3 to the EStop function. When wiring up a controller, it is common practice for the estop mushroom switch to remove power from the controller when pressed. When power is removed from the G540, the fault line will activate the Mach3 estop input which is the desired action.
With the G540, you can also use the enable terminal. When you open that, the G540 will assert the fault line putting Mach3 into reset.

As to limits and home switches,  you can wire all the limit switches in series, feeding them into a single G540 input. When the machine runs into a limit switch, Mach3 doesn't care,  which switch was hit, just that one of the limits was hit.

You can also wire the home switches in the same manner, or use the limit switches as the home switches as well. When Mach3 homes it homes a single axis at a time so in this situation is does know which switch was hit. So if it suits your machine configuration, you can use a single G540 input to look after all your limit and home switches.

Have a look at this example schematic I've done for the G540.

http://www.homanndesigns.com/pdfs/EN010_V8.pdf

Cheers,

Peter

----------------------------------------------------
Homann Designs
http://www.homanndesigns.com
email: peter at homanndesigns.com
Re: Problem with G540 controller not responding to probe settings
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 12:19:29 AM »
I've dicsoverd now how to get my contact plate working and the limit switches too. Trial and error diacovered how. Thank you all for your comments.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 02:15:42 AM by Tweakie.CNC »