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Author Topic: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.  (Read 492 times)

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Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« on: July 27, 2018, 10:40:06 PM »
I've just completed building my first CNC ever. I know nothing about electronics or engineering, so I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far. But, I'm having some problems. I've attached a picture also to show off my control box. I used the old JGRO blueprints, and old desktop running XP, and Mach3.

Here are my issues...
1. For some reason the Y-Axis has random directional movement. I can press the same jog key several times in a row and it moves randomly in one direction or the other. Checked the pin configs and they seem fine. the X-Axis works just fine.
2. The Z-axis controller has a red light showing and will not control the motor. The red light only comes on when the directional job buttons are pressed for the Z-Axis.
3. Has to do with my motor couplings that SUCK! So I'm fixing that one myself.

Picture of control box attached.

thanks,

Ken

Re: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 12:10:31 AM »
Hi,
sounds like the Y axis driver has a faulty 'Direction' feed.
Do you have a mulitmeter?. If so probe the 'Direction' input pin, it should remain high while driving in one direction
and low when driving in the other.

It could be several different things...a loose connection between the driver and BoB or if your PC's parallel port is producing a high
level voltage of 3.3V, common for recent design PC's, where your BoB is designed for a 5V input, the TTL standard of years ago.
Often such BoBs will work with reduced input voltage but can be intermittent sometimes.
Can you probe the BoB to establish the input high voltage from the PC'S parallel port?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 10:28:10 PM »
Getting frustrated. Tried buying a new Parallel port (PCI) and no matter what I do now I get no movement. Also, the power light is constantly on now, even when the USB is not plugged in.

Let me ask this, is the USB Bob or Ethernet Bob easier to work with? I've been trying to use an ancient computer I had tucked away in a closet because I wanted to start with the Parallel cable version, but with the problems I'm having I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier just to change out and switch to my modern laptop.
Re: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 11:03:05 PM »
Hi,
given that your initial complaint was that the Y axis was playing up but the other axes were not....why throw away the parallel port that you had?
I asked you to do some tests that may give you an insight into the problem....what you have done instead is put in a new PCI card and introduced
a whole bunch more problems.

May I suggest you go back to your original installation and diagnose the issue/issues you have. Once you have diagnosed the fault or faults
THEN make some decisions about fixing them. One of the alternatives might be a USB or Ethernet connected motion controller.

Quote
Let me ask this, is the USB Bob or Ethernet Bob easier to work with?
They are different rather than easier. If you buy a Chinese made unit then it may prove to be very much harder than fixing your parallel port issues...
Chinese made boards have poor/no documentation and poor/no manufacturers support. If you buy a good US/European brand then it will work
as advertised and all of the best known (and loved!) Mach manufacturers will support it. Amongst the advantages that come with using an external motion
controller is being able to use a much wider range of PC's and 64 bit OS's.

The cheapest of the 'known good' USB motion controllers start at $120. There is a bunch of more capable (more IO and features) from four different
US/European manufacturers in the range of $150 to $250. A Vital Systems Hicon board will set you back $600 plus whatever extra features/activations you require.
If you want really REALLY topshelf.....go Gallil.....around $3000 for a three axis unit!

If you buy cheap off EBay you can expect to be ripped off....buy direct from the manufacturer or their nominated distributor...there are just so many
knock offs out there. There is a guy on the forum who is of the opinion that the controller he's got has a Canadian made Ethernet SmoothStepper built
into it.....bulls*********t....unless Canada has become a province of China!

The simplest and cheapest expedient is to go back to your original parallel port and diagnose the problem.....note that's DIAGNOSE the problem,
then and ONLY THEN try to fix it.

If you have $200 to spare then by all means get an external controller......they will pay off over time but you will still have some serious learning
and problem solving to be done. CNC is not plug and play.

Craig
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 11:09:50 PM by joeaverage »
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 11:27:33 PM »
Hey Craig, I appreciate your help. Reason I went for the board is because I tried what you said, and even on the one motor that is working correctly I see no different in the voltage rate when going in either direction. So, I'm still at two axis not working. The Y still goes randomly in either direction when pressed and z does not work at all.  Reading back over the wiring diagrams to ensure I have it all wired correctly.
Re: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 12:30:35 AM »
Hi,
what breakout board are you using?

How about a couple of pics to get a feel for what you are trying to do?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Flipped the switch! It runs but having a few problems.
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2018, 11:32:45 PM »
Actually, good news. I kept thinking maybe the issue was a weak signal because I had "chained" the enable and 5V power line out of the board to the 3 motor drivers. I took the Z-Axis wires out of the chain for now and suddenly the Y-Axis is working perfectly fine. Even did some cutting today for the first time.

Only 2 problems I have now are finding couplers that will hold onto the 1/4" lead screws and Getting the Z axis to work. the red warning light is on and comes on as soon as I turn it on. so, going through and checking all the wiring on that one for good connections.

Making progress!!