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Steppers DEAD!
« on: March 07, 2008, 08:37:26 PM »
 ┬áHi guys,

I'm in Hilo, Hawaii not much CNC pros here but I'm still looking for some help, started with Master5, crashed a few times over the years and got up and running with Art's help and the guys at alignrite, NOW in 2008, I'm running an older IBM cpu with Windows XP pentium3, 1.70 GHz, 128 MB of RAM, DB25 Printer port cable, CPU male and into a Testra 4x483 SoftStep female running the stepper motors of a Wolverine3 from Alignrite, by the way takes 4 complete turns of the dail to move 1 inch, spindle is an AStro 250. I have some capture video of my system if anyone wants to see if they can help me figure it out. My steppers useto scream when I turned the cpu on, now it's a clunck sound when it comes on for a second, and then turns with no resistance or torque, when the mill is running right I'm in CNC heaven, I'm good, I only bother people when the mill is down, like NOW!, can you guys take a look, do I still need a breakout board with the Testra 4x483 and a new port cable, my steppers are DEAD!......H-Wheeler, Wheeler means I'm in a wheelchair for the past 30 years , vietnam vet. The reason I'm into CNC is, I did casting hot metal, but was limited to size, a friend said to go billet for Biker stuff so here I am, HELP.


Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 09:43:34 PM »
Hey H-Wheeler,
    The video would probaly help. Has it ran at all on Mach3.

Brett
;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!

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2008, 07:50:54 AM »
If you are saying there is no torque on the steppers when the system is on, that means there is no power to them so check out the power supply and make sure a fuse hasn't blown or whatever. 

Another feature on some boards is a "disable all axis" pin that has to be grounded before the axis work - check if you have one, and make sure it is permanently grounded, or if it is grounded. make sure it is a good firm connection.

Pardon me asking - has this system ever worked - if it has, what has changed (if anything) to make it not work. This will give us a clue as to what might be wrong.
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.
Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 05:49:20 PM »
Hi C,

Yes the system has run before , but when a new CPU is used I have to re-tweek it to get it going, can I send the videos to you, if I can?

Hey H-Wheeler,
 The video would probaly help. Has it ran at all on Mach3.

Brett

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 04:40:33 AM »
No - a much better idea would be ( seeing it is winter over here in the UK) - for a small consideration, I will fly out and spend some time with you diagnosing the problem over a few beers.

If we can't manage that, I suppose the video will have to do.
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 08:07:08 AM »
Having studied the pictures - this is a standard system of output from LPT1. At first I did not see it, but I just have (having written all the rest of the reply).
There is an enable jumper - labelled JP2 - the legend reads, I think -
Top - External - 4 - Enables Drives - Normal
Bottom  - Drivers always enabled


Check if you have any of these jumpers connected. I personally would connect the bottom one - and have the drivers enabled all the time otherwise, I assume, your will need some sort of enable/disable switch for it.

If this was the problem - ignore the rest of the diatribe.

 Assuming this unit is working correctly, I can see no reason why your system should not work.

Try this and see what happens.

Get one motor - preferably away from the lathe/mill on a workbench or somewhere. Connect your unit to it on the X motor set of contacts. Connect the power supply to the unit. Turn on the unit. You should hear a clunk from the motor and if you try and turn the motor manually it should put a a good resistance to being moved. If this is the case, we must assume that the unit is working correctly.

Turn to your computer - with Mach3. I assume you want the miller with three axis (although to set up does not make that much difference).
Before connecting your computer to the lathe -
Try jogging the axis - do the DRO's jog up and down. If they do not check on Config/System Hotkeys and set the jogg keys to what you like - generally X and Y go on the up and down, left and right arrows, I have my Z on page up, page down. Click the jog you want to set, and press the keyboard key to set it.
If the axis will now jog turn to Config/Ports and Pins. Ensure the top left PORT1 is enabled.
Same page, select Motor Outputs - you will have to set up these as the instructions on the top of your driver unit. As well as step and direction don't forget the step port, direction port which should be 1.

Switch off the driver unit, plug in your printer cable and turn back on. You should get the same clunk. Your motor should now respond to jog controls for the X drive motor.

If this is working so far, you are home and dry.

You can test all the outputs from the computer by merely setting the same output pins for the Y and Z axis and seeing if they work.
You can test your driver by connecting the motor to the other two outputs and repeating the same tests - altering the pin numbers to suit.

If it hasn't worked this far there are some other tests you can try on the LPT1 port (principally to check the voltage your computer is putting out - which should be 5volts - some computers only put out 3.5volts which is not enough for reliable operation).
As far as tesing the driver card, that is a bit beyond me, but if you can borrow another computer and test Mach3 on that, that is the way to go.







Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.

Offline Chip

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Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 06:49:00 PM »
Hi, H-Wheeler

Just another opinion hear.

Looking at your stepper drive picture, I would not change any Jumpers, All the
Connections you need are in the Printer cable now.

Looks like to enable your drives you need to set External-4 pin 17.
 

Config, Ports & Pins, Outputs  to "Enable1" see pic 1

After starting Mach3 "Reset" should turn on the drives.
If it doesn't change the Active Low State to "X".

Config, Ports & Pins, Motor Outputs as in Pic 2

Dose your Mill have a forth axis A, "R axis" as in the Picture ?

If not then don't put in the A axis pin numbers


I wouldn't set the "Home" switches up till you get it going, Motor Tuned.

Config, Ports & Pins, pic 3


I think the "Active Lows" are set correct, If not change them to the other state "X"

Then on to Motor Tuning,

Let us now.

Hope this Helps, Chip

Offline Chip

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Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2008, 10:22:14 PM »
Hi, Rich

No Egg throwing hear, Just People helping People.

Maybe will get an update soon.

Thanks, Chip
Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2008, 10:46:08 PM »
Aloha Guys, 

I'll take each one as they are, I just tested the DB25 for continuity, It's straight through, checked the connections from the back of the driver box to the stepper connections and their good, , unchecked and disconnected Y and Z in motor outputs,changed the X settings in motor outputs, step-7 and dir-6 to step-9 and dir-8, it gave me an error message in the  config. check facility under output signals check, I put it back to the original settings and the error message was gone, after i rebooted, "no port/pins error found. I need to know how do you check for the 5v going to the steppers with the multimeter, at the connection of where? Do I do it when it's hot, I'm no electrician, and the multimeter's not mine(lol). I'll take everyone's advise because it hurts not to be cutting. Thanks again GUYS, I'll let you know what I find out.
Re: Steppers DEAD!
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2008, 11:34:01 PM »
Just a Question........in the diagnostics page , is the pulse frquency suppose to move as in 25455-25451-25461-25453 etc. etc.etc, because I have 2 computers that run Mach 3, but only one is hooked up to the mill, and that one does not move, the one not hooked up to the mill is for checking the code runs. I have tried to use this comp but it's the same problem. I'll send a screen captures of my pins/ports pages if that will help, and no I do not have any limit switches at this time. Thanks though.....Aloha