Hello Guest it is May 29, 2023, 04:59:33 PM

Author Topic: Freezing Issue  (Read 624 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Freezing Issue
« on: October 16, 2020, 03:54:51 AM »
Hi all,

I recently found a post on reddit and this guy was describing my exact issue:

Asking for some of insight as to why MACH 3 randomly freezes in the middle of a job with a router table. The spindle continues to spin but all jog capabilities are frozen, and cannot turn the spindle off (Emergency cutoff on the router table still works however). This occurs at random times, sometimes 5 minutes into a job, sometimes 6 hours into a job. Sometimes it wont happen for weeks. Will happen with router bit deep into work piece and will also happen when spindle is lifted up and jogging over the next g code line. There are no patterns when when it occurs, and leads me to believe it is completely random.

What I do to remedy is exit out of MACH 3 and save fixture before leaving. After rebooting MACH3 I manually enter in the line of g code it froze on and continue the job. The computer (dedicated solely to M3 and nothing else) itself running M3 is not frozen. And I am easily able to close out of M3. I have had stepper driver issues before, but this doesnt seem anything like those types of issues. I really don't think it's an issue with the cnc router itself.

Edit: PC running windows xp 32 bit, celeron processor, 2gb memory, 500gb hard drive, dedicated only to M3, Is not connected to internet, updates off, power save / sleep mode off. Running control board with 25pin serial connection.

M3 does not flash on the reset button (like it would if a limit switch got tripped). Everything just stops mid cut while the spindle continues to spin at set RPM. I have the same setup, same power saving options turned off. The one difference is that I use an iMach3 P4-SE pendant and plugin that runs flawlessly. Its never happened to me while manually jogging the machine. If I walk away from the machine and let it sit (say over 20 mins), It's happened that when I get back its frozen. Happens during longer runs where I'm not fiddling with the computer too.

Every power save option was meticulously checked off...Except! maybe the pendants power save option under device manager.

Any similar experiences? Noise maybe? or anyone have this pendant and a similar issue?

Best regards.
Best regards.
Bruce F.
Re: Freezing Issue
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2023, 06:55:37 PM »
I'm a little late to the party, but I have very similar specs and I also use the same P4-SE pendant. I have the exact same issues you're having.

I've unplugged the pendant entirely and I recall still getting a freeze after ~20min of not fiddling with the mouse. I may try to remove the plugin file entirely and see if that has anything to do with it.

Ever find a solution to this? I've been fiddling with the mouse and the pendant every 10min during jobs for years now..

Re: Freezing Issue
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2023, 07:12:17 PM »
it's not impossible that the pendant is doing it but its more likely that Machs parallel port is 'running out of data'

Mach3 generates numeric trajectory data and that is buffered and ultimately digested by Machs parallel port driver. Its the drivers job to take the numeric description of the controlled point in
1 millisecond time slices and generate the pulse streams for the motors. If the buffer ever 'Runs out of Data' the machine will stop, in most case irrevocably. This can happen if Windows decides to do
something other than run Mach, or more likely spends too long doing some other task before it gets back to Mach.

There may be a service or process that is causing it or it may be another piece of software on the PC.

All those years (9) ago that I used Mach3's parallel port it used to happen to me to....sometimes. Then I bought an Ethernet SmoothStepper and its never happened since.
Well, that's not quite true, I had a brief period of time where my ESS was 'Running out of Data' too. It turns out my machine PC had been on and running for four months
continuously without ever being switched off and Mach4 (I upgraded eight years ago) running 24/7. The memory had become fragmented. I turned the PC off and rebooted.
I now reboot once a month just to be safe.

The bottom line is that an external motion controller like an ESS or UC100 relieves the PC of the duty of generating the pulse streams. It's generating these pulse streams
which renders Mach3 prone to stalling or stopping.

'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'
Re: Freezing Issue
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2023, 10:42:55 PM »
Thanks for the detailed reply Craig, I think you're absolutely correct.

I've read multiple posts where parallel port users are reporting the same problem. Despite changing all the power settings in Windows and disabling as many background services as possible, they still get the freezing when its idle (or during a program and not interacting with the mouse/pendant).

I think it's time to upgrade to an external motion controller. Thanks again!

Re: Freezing Issue
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2023, 10:49:47 PM »
If I recall correctly the screen drawing takes quite a bit of processing power with large files, say 2Mb or more. If this is happening
with large files try turning off the screen drawing to relieve the processor of that task.

Overall I'd have to agree an external motion controller makes good sense. I'd always thought that the parallel port was OK until I bought an
ESS. The motion was so much smoother that I was able to run my steppers 1/3 faster without missing steps, and they seemed to run cooler.
I've used the ESS nearly every day since, best value piece of hardware I've ever bought.

'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'