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Author Topic: disabled steppers after a period of inactivity??  (Read 3107 times)

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disabled steppers after a period of inactivity??
« on: May 08, 2008, 03:52:30 AM »
Hi guys, I'm new to this game and have run into a minor set up problem that I'd really like to resolve before continuing the setup of my first basic mill.  I started using KCam because it seemed to be a good choice for a beginner, but after being a little disappointed with its performance gave Mach3 a test run, well there's just no comparison, I was a little afraid of all the bells and whistles in Mach3, but taking it one step at a time I'm starting to work things out.

Now in KCam I used pin 14 as an output to my controllers to enable my steppers, and after a period of inactivity I think it was five seconds they would be disabled to help avoid overheating of the stepper motors, can Mach3 do this I can't seem to work out how??

Any help is greatly appreciated,

« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 04:19:50 AM by Dazza »

Offline jimpinder

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Re: disabled steppers after a period of inactivity??
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 05:07:23 AM »
Not that I am aware of. You can use one of the outputs as an enable line, but I do not know of a facility to disable them merely after a period on inactivity. My steppers are connected all the time - I do not even have enables on them - and, if the drivers are correctly adjusted, they do not get warm. The important thing is find out the spec of your motors and then set the drivers to that current output.

This sort of facility is normally done by your driver cards, which normally reduce the current to your motors once stopped - for example on the Gecko cards and quite a few others. I don't know what drivers your are using, but have a look at the spec. This should tell you.

Mach does appear a little daunting at first - but that is becasue it is a comprehensive program for lathes, mill, lasers, torches, etc etc. The most important thing is to workout what you want from it - and ignore the rest til you are ready.
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.
Re: disabled steppers after a period of inactivity??
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 06:09:17 PM »
Hi jimpinder, and thank you for your reply.

I build the PICStep by Alan Garfield, his web site is here ( www.fromorbit.com/projects/picstep/index.php ), you know I think I may have used the firmware with the (no timeout power reduction) I better check the software from the chips, actually only one motor which is different from the other two is getting uncomfortably warm, I know the controller is set correctly for that motor but maybe I have the wrong firmware in that particular controller.

At least now I know to stop looking for a feature that isn't there, and yes you are right my controller does and should take care of power reduction to the motors during inactivity, I'd better do some investigation and find out exactly what's going on, I should be able to work it out.

Thanks again for your help jimpinder,