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Author Topic: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4  (Read 970 times)

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Offline Osker

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Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« on: May 12, 2018, 03:52:17 PM »
I am a victim of the latest Windows 10 update and I am attempting to migrate from Mach3 to Mach4.  For simplicity I am starting with the lathe.  My control hardware consists of an Ethernet SmootheStepper (ESS) connected to a Gecko G540.  All of which was operating normally before the Windows 10 Update.  Since then, I have downloaded and installed a licensed a copy of Mach4 and the latest ESS plugin.  I have followed the ESS documentation for configuring it to work under MACH4 and configured MACH4 according.  The Diagnostics screen show that the ESS is communicating.  While in the Jog screen, the indicated positions of the X and Z axes change as expected, however neither stepper turns.  Obviously, I am missing something.  I am hoping that someone with similar hardware has made the transition.  If so, please send my your working Machine.ini file so that I may be able to spot where I am wrong.

Regards,


Dan
Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 04:22:59 PM »
Hi,
welcome. Mach4 does have some challenges that put a few people off. On the other hand those who stick with it become very keen, if you
stick around you'll find that I am very keen, rabidly so!

Both the ESS and  the 540 are good pieces of gear, I would guess a setup fault rather than  hardware failure.

Have you got an Estop button  wired to the 540? If so does operating the Estop cause Mach4 to go into Estop as well?
I'm thinking that the ESS is not communicating with the 540, possibly charge pump or enable or something like that.

If the Estop trick doesn't reveal anything useful can you probe the DIR pins of the ESS?

Can you post a screen shot of your ESS pin assignments? Also a shot of your motor outputs?

When I first started with Mach4 I too used the ESS and I found it quite confusing to start with, there seemed to be some things you set up in the ESS plugin
but others had to be done in the Mach plugin.

The general rule is set everything up in the ESS plugin. Setup changes you make there will be automatically updated in the Mach plugin as well. If, in your
confusion, you go and change something in the Mach plugin the settings for the same item could be different in the two plugins and Mach can be excused for not
working under those circumstances.

In the first instance keep your setup as simple as you can...no limit or home switches. On the ESS inputs page you should have, at least to start with,
the Estop enabled only. Again to start with try just having Motor0 Step and Dir enabled and all other outputs disabled.

If you try such a cutdown setup you should be able to experiment with either/or charge pump or Enable signals to determine the right combination.

Craig

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 04:27:45 PM »
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline Osker

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Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 05:33:04 PM »
Craig,

Thanks for the assistance and the link to Daz's video.  It was a simple mistake.  I have three machines and use all three of the ESS ports.  I went from memory and mapped the lathe to the wrong port.  Used the proper port in the configuration and can now move both axes.  Now, I just have to get the charge pump output to be seen by the G540.

Dan
Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 05:40:16 PM »
Hi,
my standard reply to anyone talking about the charge pump is Why bother?

In the five years I've used Mach without the benefit of a charge pump I've never had a problem....have you

I understand its to prevent outputs from fluctuating prior to the PC and Mach assuming control of the outputs. This is to prevent the motors or whatever
doing something strange before the controller is genuinely in control. If that's the case then I've never had a problem, so I'm not going to try and fix it!

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

Offline Osker

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Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 08:59:58 PM »
Craig,

I do not disagree with your thoughts regarding the need for a charge pump.  I have been doing hobby CNC since 2000.  I have run, and I am presently running boards without the use of a charge pump.  Never had an issue.  The Gecko G540 has a swiitch that allows one to bypass the charge pump, which I have used in the past without issue.  The importance of a charge pump  or the lack thereof, is not what drives my interest.  It is simply the mental challange of figuring out "why" my charge pump is not being seen.  Turns out, it was a simple matter of changing the charge pump setting from active high to active low.


Thanks again,


Dan
Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 09:10:19 PM »
Hi Osker,
kool, you like a challenge.....well I've got JUST THE THING:

http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,37266.0.html

smurph describes it like poking a 'knitting needle in one ear and out the other'. Having tried to do it anyway I can certainly agree with his description!.
It seems only fair to spread the pain/misery around...LOL

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

Offline Osker

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Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 10:15:55 AM »
Craig,

Thanks for the link.  Learning Lua is going to be enough challenge for now.  In Mach3 I had written macros for both mill and lathe.  Those will need to be re-written for Mach4 as well as the associated Gcode files for a few items that I make more than once.    I think I am going to be quite busy for a while. 

Dan
Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2018, 06:32:53 PM »
Hi,
I have this pretty much permanently on the desktop when coding:

https://www.lua.org/manual/5.2/

Beware that some features of 5.3 don't work...and its not plainly evident why not.
Funnily enough its not Lua per se which is difficult its using the API and understanding the structure of Mach
with all its different scripts...screen load...screen unload...PLC....PMC and on and on.

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

Offline Osker

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Re: Assistance Configuring an Ethernet SmoothStepper in Mach4
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 10:01:27 AM »
Craig,

Thanks for the link.  I have added it to my Favorites bar.  I am certain it will come in handy.

Dan