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Author Topic: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?  (Read 827 times)

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Offline gme

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"Touch" module malfunctioning.  I use the Makers Guide Triple Edge Finder to zero X, Y and Z axes working coordinates.  The Triple Edge finder has a hole that centers over any of the 4 corners of a work piece.  When I lower Z into the hole and execute the center finding function, the probe (in my case an end mill or steel dowel) moves in the usual sequence, i.e., -x, +x, -Y,  and +Y.   The probe starts out as it should; however, at one of 4 touches, it frequently faults.  When a fault occurs, the probe touches and just stops and Mach4 goes into a disable state.  What follows is a cut and paste of a history screen, which documents what happens.  The fault occurs randomly and can occur at any one of the 4 touch points.  The problem has also occurred when setting Z=0, but only 2 or 3 times.


 X axis is performing a touch move.
ESS starting Probe 0
ESS: Successful Probe0 Strike.  Probing finished.
X axis is performing a touch move.
ESS starting Probe 0
ESS: Successful Probe0 Strike.  Probing finished.
Y axis is performing a touch move.
ESS starting Probe 0
ESS: Successful Probe0 Strike.  Probing finished.
ERROR: No contact with probe

Note that history reports a touch (Strike) at -Y, but errors and reports no contact.  In this case, the probe touched at -Y, stopped there and Mach4 when into disabled status.

Previously, I used Mach3 and the Big Tex Blue Screen, which had the same functionality.  It worked fine.  Never a problem.  The problem showed up when I upgraded to Mach4.  While the problem occurs often, it did not show up every time I run the center finding touch function.  I sometimes have to run it 3 or 4 times until it runs correctly.  Very annoying.

Can anyone help me with the fix.

Here is my system data: PDMX126 Bob, PMDX107 spindle control, ESS Smoothstepper.  My computer is an HP laptop, 12 MB of ram, a fast processor and Windows 10.  It is a dedicated to my CNC ops and is only connected to the internet for updates.  When disconnected, I shut down all anti virus software.  My CNC is a 4 x 4 gantry router running NEMA 34s on all axes.  My spindle is properly grounded and has an incoming line filter.  No noise related issues.  More importantly, my VFD is rarely turned on when I am running the touch sequences, so it would not be adding any noise to the mix. 

Thank you,

Gary
The old man and the C - - -NC

Offline gme

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 03:28:27 AM »
Oh, one other thing.  I  have the latest version of Mach4 and ESS Plugin.  The problem has been there from the beginning and across a number of updates.

Gary
The old man and the C - - -NC

Offline dws

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 08:48:59 AM »
I have also had a similar issue with the latest version, 4338. I changed to an earlier version, 4322. My machine is working fine now.
David

Offline gme

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 12:50:32 PM »
Thank you, David.  I thought version 4322 was the latest version.  It's the version I'm presently using, and like previous versions, is giving me the problem. 

You said your issue was "similar."  Could you describe the issue you were having?

Thanks,

Gary
The old man and the C - - -NC

Offline dws

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 02:16:46 PM »
I don't remember the details exactly. When I was zeroing my machine using a script that I wrote that was working on many previous versions, it was having a failure when zeroing the tool (Z axis). It was having a failure before it hit the touch probe. I don't remember the error message. I then tried entering commands in the MDI panel. It would not move the Z axis; although it did home all axis.. The X and Y commands would work.  Didn't spend much time troubleshooting. I switched to 4322 using the same Profile, Screen, and Modules. Everything worked.

I really don't know if 4338 or what was corrupt. Since you are running 4322, the issue that I had may be unrelated to yours. Also, I am running ESS plugin 250, and the AVID CNC BOB. (not the PMDX126.
David

Offline gme

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 03:19:49 PM »
I don't remember the details exactly. When I was zeroing my machine using a script that I wrote that was working on many previous versions, it was having a failure when zeroing the tool (Z axis). It was having a failure before it hit the touch probe. I don't remember the error message. I then tried entering commands in the MDI panel. It would not move the Z axis; although it did home all axis.. The X and Y commands would work.  Didn't spend much time troubleshooting. I switched to 4322 using the same Profile, Screen, and Modules. Everything worked.

I really don't know if 4338 or what was corrupt. Since you are running 4322, the issue that I had may be unrelated to yours. Also, I am running ESS plugin 250, and the AVID CNC BOB. (not the PMDX126.

Sounds like your issue was different than mine.  You were using a script.  I wasn't.  I was using the touch module in Mach4.  While yours wasn't touching, mine does.  The mill/dowel makes contact with my touch plate and then stops and faults.  When using the center finding function, it can move right and left for the X axis, then move to Y.  It may touch at -Y and stop/fault.  Or, it may move one way or the other on X and stop on contact and fault.  In other words, it may touch, stop and fault at any of the 4 points of contact.  The same sometimes occurs on the Z touchoff.  The axis goes negative, touches and stops and faults.  It does not retract as it's supposed to. 

Despite the differences, I do appreciate your weighing in.  Thank you. 
The old man and the C - - -NC

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 05:46:45 PM »
Sounds an awful lot like you have a noisy probe input.

But this says you do not have the settings in the touch dialog correct for what your trying to do.
"ERROR: No contact with probe"

Could it be some of both going on?
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Offline gme

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 07:48:49 PM »
Sounds an awful lot like you have a noisy probe input.

But this says you do not have the settings in the touch dialog correct for what your trying to do.
"ERROR: No contact with probe"

Could it be some of both going on?

Thank you.  A noisy input hadn't occurred to me - probably because the problem did not arise until after I upgraded from Mach3 to Mach4.  None of my electronics have changed since I put them together.  The wire running from board to the fitting on the case is shielded.  If a noisy probe is a possible problem, any suggestions on how to fix it?

On the question of settings, I have no idea what, if anything, to change.  I've attached a picture of "Touch settings"  See anything set wrong?



The old man and the C - - -NC

Offline gme

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2019, 03:07:11 PM »
It does, in fact, appear to be a noise issue.  I recalled that the ESS plugin has a provision for adding noise reduction under the pins config tab.  I played with it today, ramping up the amount of reduction until the fault no longer occurred.  I ultimately took 5000 microseconds to correct the issue.  That's just over 40% of the 12,000 allowed.  Good to have it working, but I still have to figure out how to get rid of the noise.  ESS says there should be no noise reduction applied to a probe.  I agree. 

I found that when I hooked up my VFD that there was quite a bit of noise being output.   The VFD is in a separate box and wired to a separate circuit.  Knowing that my grounding was all done correctly, I looked at the possibility of a noisy incoming line.  I added a 30A line filter.  The filter turned out to be my noise-be-gone solution.

So, I'm thinking a 120V line filter might be the solution here.  Thoughts?
The old man and the C - - -NC

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Mach4 touch module malfunctioning. Mach4, or ESS, or PMDX126 causing?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 04:01:19 PM »
Regarding noise.........

Your motion device may have a filter setting for input/s. That may be a helpful software solution. Filtering like that just makes it so the first time the signal state change is seen it won't be reported as seen. It will have to be seen as that state for some sustained period of time before it reports the state change. In other words, a quick short blip of the signal would be ignored.

The better option is to fix the noise issue through design. Sounds like you have done some for that already but shielded cable is not a guarantee and only eliminates one potential sore spot (which can actually be magnified by the shielding if not done correctly).

Keeping all low level signals in a control cabinet (away from noise) and using only 24 volts on the machine can help a lot. Using optically isolated relays to do this also gives big benefits.

Adding a capacitor to inputs has the same effect as noise filtering in software.

Adding resistors to inputs requires the input to supply more current (push harder) to change state.

A combination of caps and resistors may be an option.

This link might help too. https://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php?topic=25616.0


Regarding touchoff settings...............

Make small increases to your retract distance and play with it to see how it affects moves. The error you got is saying the probe move finished before the probe input changed states. If the probe input never changes state while doing the actual touch move, that is the error it will report. Increasing your retract distance will increase the distance it travels in a touch move too.
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!