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  1. #1
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    Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    So I've got a Sabre 404. I do not have the proprietary Gerber ART Path software, but I understand that this machine will run G-Code. I have started with a freeware that generates the g-code from a model. I am sending this g-code to the router via the command line.

    For example:
    c:\> TYPE filename.nc > COM3

    This works. To an extent. When I select the incorrect postprocessor format, it errors out and will not start. When I select what I think is the correct postprocessor format, the router will run, but it is not doing what I need it to do. I selected a simple shape with not much going on, but here's what happens when I hit start after setting the home position:

    1) It starts the spindle
    2) It runs the spindle into the workpiece.
    3) It seems like it is running deeper into the workpiece than it should be.
    4) I get a table bounds violation error for the X axis on the remote keypad

    I have read through the g-code, but do not see anything where the X goes under 0 or over 12, so I'm really not sure where the problem is. So a few questions:

    1) Should the g-code be in metric/meters, such as .00003937 meters instead of 1 inch?
    2) Any advice for what to include in the g-code at the beginning of any files used on this machine?
    3) Does anyone have a sample g-code program for a small item on a Sabre 404 or a 408 that you know works on your machine that you might be willing to share?
    4) I would be interested in what an ART Path program completed file would look like as well, if anyone has one of those that they would be willing to share.
    5) Can anyone expand on the Z-axis initialization at setup on this machine? Should I do the table initialization or should I do the work piece initialization? I have done both, as the manual states that initializing both the table and the work piece will allow it to know how thick the material is, but I don't know if that makes a difference in a program that is not generated by ART Path. I also don't know if this is the problem that I am having with the program that I am trying to run.
    6) Regarding the Z-axis initialization, wherever I do the initialization, I hit the button to accept the point it is currently sitting at and it will then move the spindle up about an inch. Is that the correct function? It does not say one way or another in the manual.
    7) I know that there has been quite a bit of discussion of different programs that can be run on this, but I would like to first make sure that the basic functions work. Anyone know of a freeware version of any software I can use to verify functions?

    Any thoughts on this are quite appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    You need to use a software to send the codes to your cnc.

    it is not gcode . It is gerber language.

    you need to use their artpath software or i know another software that it works with gerber cnc .

    mattcnc@protonmail.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattcnc123 View Post
    You need to use a software to send the codes to your cnc.

    it is not gcode . It is gerber language.

    you need to use their artpath software or i know another software that it works with gerber cnc .

    mattcnc@protonmail.com
    Thank you for replying. The software I’m using includes a postprocessing output option to make the file for Gerber 408 machines. When I use this postprocessor, it does seem to respond, but I’m not sure if I have to modify the way that I am setting up the axes in this toolpath generation software or if it’s how I’m initializing the Z-axis.

    Note also, that in the Sabre user’s manual, it states the following:

    You will use a design program such as the Gerber OMEGA or GRAPHIX ADVANTAGE to create the sign or image you want to rout. The Sabre can also rout designs created by a wide variety of other design programs. If you do not use OMEGA or GRAPHIX ADVANTAGE, the design program you use must be able to produce one of the following formats:

    -AI (Adobe Illustrator® format version 1.1 only)
    -EPS (Encapsulated PostScript®, Adobe Illustrator format)
    -DXF (Drawing Interchange File Format)
    -PRN (Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language, or HPGLTM)
    -G Codes, which are interpreted by the G Code feature (Requires the use of Hyperterminal and the assistance of a Gerber technician.)

    What I’m interested in knowing is what the Gerber technician will do to make the system run with G Code.

  4. #4
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    Which software do you use ?

    send me your sample output code .

    mattcnc@protonmail.com

  5. #5
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    Which software do you use ?

    send me your sample output code .

    where are you located ?

    mattcnc@protonmail.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattcnc123 View Post
    Which software do you use ?

    send me your sample output code .

    where are you located ?

    mattcnc@protonmail.com

    Thanks for getting back with me. I’m in Houston. I would like to post this on the forum, in case anyone else has the same problems.

    I built this very simple model in FreeCAD, which has a Gerber Sabre postprocessor.



    The .nc file would run a bit and then come out with a “TABLE BOUNDS VIOLATION ERROR +Y”. I have shortened the code and attempted to run it and it comes out with the same problem. I have included the code along with comments about what the machine is doing.

    %
    N1 G90 G20
    N2 T0 M06 << Pauses with keypad stating "LOAD TOOL 0000"
    N3 S6000M03 << Note that after running this program, the spindle speed
    is set to 6000 rpm on keypad after I manually
    changed it to 7000 rpm. Seems to accept spindle speed.
    N4 G0 Z1.375 << Moves down quickly
    N5 X0.5 Y0.573 << Makes a fast move to this location.
    N6 G1 Z1.025 F10 << Spindle moves down slowly (Seems to accept feed rate)
    N7 Z1. << Slowly moves down (-Z)
    N8 X1.5 << Spindle moves to the right
    N9 Y0.773 << Gantry moves back
    N10 X0.5 << Spindle moves to the left
    N11 Y0.973 << Program stops with "Table Bounds Violation +Y
    N12 X1.5
    N13 Y1.173
    N14 X1.224
    N15 X1.223 Z1.125
    N16 X0.652
    N17 X0.651 Z1.
    N18 X0.5
    N39 Z1.025
    N40 G0 Z1.375
    N41 M05
    N42 G91 G28 Z0
    N43 G90
    N44 M30
    %

  7. #7
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    This is Gcode.

    you need gerber language.

    try to get artpath software.

    could you jog all three axis?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattcnc123 View Post
    This is Gcode.

    you need gerber language.

    try to get artpath software.

    could you jog all three axis?
    Agreed — this is g-code. It definitely works on this machine, per the comments that I wrote next to the code below, but only for a dozen steps or so before it errors out. Do you by chance have a simple/example Gerber language file that you could post here?

    All three axes jog in both rapid and slow mode. When I tell it to return home, it moves to wherever I had set home to the previous time.

    Thanks for all of your help.

  9. #9
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    I've played with this system a bit more and have discovered a few things that appear to be strange to me, though perhaps I'm missing something. Anyone shed any light on this?

    1) I've created a few different very simple programs. If I have the G-code written so that none of the milling moves to a point that is anywhere in the negative X or negative Y, (relative to the point that I have set home to) I do not get the "Table Bounds Violation [?]-Axis" error.
    2) I have uploaded the exact same program about four times to the router and had it rout the job incorrectly, but the same way each of the four times. I was testing to see if there is corruption in the data transmission. There may still be such a thing, but if there is, it's consistent each time.
    3) I have swapped the memory sticks on the motherboard with each other, in case there had been a problem with the RAM, but it still ends up running the same incorrect routing job. (consistently)

    In light of that, I have a few questions:

    1) On the cable that runs between the cpu tower and my computer, the computer end is a serial cable (10-pin) while the cpu tower end is a 25-pin connector, but there are only three pins. Inside the cabinet, it appears that there are five wires running into the R150 GA connector. Is this correct? If not, will this just require a new cable? (see image below)
    2) I do not see how to clear a job completely out of the router memory once I'm done running it, want to abort it or decide that I don't want to run it again. Are there instructions on how to do this?



    All help is appreciated.

  10. #10
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    Almost all of the problems I've been having have been solved. Where I am now is that I cannot get the z-axis to take the initialization that I set it to. No matter what I do, whether I set the material or the table and no matter how high or low I set it, when the program runs, it starts at the exact same depth of material cut. Note also that when I set the z-axis depth at a point below where I think that the z-axis depth is set, the spindle moves upwards to the z initialization point. What I mean by that is when I hit the "A" button on the keypad in the Z material initialization menu, the spindle jumps upwards to its preset spot. If I do the initialization at a point above this preset spot, the spindle doesn't move. This doesn't make sense to me. Any thoughts?

    Also, I suspect that there may be something I need to change in the program for allowing a different Z initialization position... maybe? Anything?

    For those of you coming back to this post sometime in the future, the issue I had had was the communication protocol between my computer and the router. I had been using the Tripp-Lite Keyspan USA-19HS USB-Serial port adapter. I'm still not sure how to connect to my laptop through this, but when I went to my old computer that has a serial port on it, the system works (except for the Z initialization, as described above). On my laptop, in Windows, I can set the protocol to 9600 baud, 8 bits, 1 stop bit, Even parity. But when I go to the command line and use the MODE command, it shows that the COM port I'm using is 9600 baud, 8 bits, 2 stop bits, No parity. Nothing I have attempted has been able to change this at the command line. If anyone knows how to make this change, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I'm using my old desktop PC to run the machine. At this point, I'm not spending any more time trying to make my laptop work with the machine. The problem had been that the program being sent to the router was getting garbled in the translation through the incorrect communications protocol through the COM port.

    EDIT: My new laptop computer (that does not work through the USB-Serial adapter) is a Windows 10 machine. The old desktop computer that does work is a Windows XP.

  11. #11
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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    Hi.
    Im still owner of a old Gaber Sabre 408 since brand new.
    Many years ago I decided not to use Art path.
    I had problems with g-code to start with.
    I was never able to control the machine with usb/serial adapter.
    Im using Art cam.
    N

  12. #12

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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    I have read elsewhere the Gerber needs to be set to G-code mode in the setup? I know nothing of these issues, so just a thought.

  13. #13
    I am in a similar situation, I picked up a 404 without software. I have mach 3 and Fusion. I can set the Sabre to run on gcode but I can't get the gcode onto the Sabre. I am connected using a 25 pin cable. I tried to use the cmd that you posted, but I'm not sure I'm understanding it and inputting it correctly or at the right level. What advice can you give me?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJHolcomb View Post
    I am in a similar situation, I picked up a 404 without software. I have mach 3 and Fusion. I can set the Sabre to run on gcode but I can't get the gcode onto the Sabre. I am connected using a 25 pin cable. I tried to use the cmd that you posted, but I'm not sure I'm understanding it and inputting it correctly or at the right level. What advice can you give me?
    Conceptually, you need to send the gcode file to the router. The three items in the command line entry are

    1) “TYPE”, which is the DOS command-line command that sends the file to the target destination.
    2) “filename.gc”, which is the name of the gcode file, that needs to be sent.
    and
    3) “COM3”, which is the communication port destination where the data will be sent.

    However, before you input that command, you will have to do two things:

    1) Ensure that your computer is communicating with the router in the correct communications protocol. This is where you use the MODE command. I am not near a computer right now, but if you type MODE /? at the command prompt, it will tell you the instructions on how to modify that port to the correct communication protocol. This is how you input the baud rate, stop bits, parity, etc. Note that you will have to input this info every time you reboot or put that line into your startup routine.
    2) Ensure that you are sending the data file to the data port on your computer that is actually connected to the router. This could be COM1, COM2, COM3, whatever. You will see the lights on the pendant flashing in sequence while data is being sent, just to confirm.

    EDIT:

    When you use the MODE command line, you have to use the “>” symbol between the filename and the communication port name.

    All of these commands are input on the command line, which you get by typing CMD in the run field at the start menu.

  15. #15

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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    Hello I have a Gerber Sabre 408 we just got that I am trying to run G-Code on. In the manual I pulled from the internet there is a section "Selecting the job data type" where you can select G-Code data type. After following the directions (Menu/Configuration/Setup/Job Type) I do not have the option "Job Type". I was wondering if there is a setting to turn on advance options or if I am running a firmware that does not have this option.

    EngineerTex responded to this question and others I sent him in a private message, he has asked me to post that here for any with the same issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by EngineerTex
    I found the gcode option available when I started playing around with it. I do not know if it had to be enabled externally, as the machine I bought was used and probably a late 90’s model. I was able to change that option just the way it showed to do in the manual.

    My connector also only had 3 pins.

    Regarding my Z-axis, I found that I had to invert the start position, but then everything worked properly from there. Here’s the process I had to use to invert the start position:

    1) Jog the tool until it just contacted the workpiece.
    2) Note this absolute Z height as shown in the display on the pendant.
    3) Subtract this number from 5.000 (I think it was 5.000, but I haven’t looked at it in over a year) and this would be the start position in my Gcode. For example, if my touch point was 1.500” on the display pendant, I would show 3.500” in my program (5.000-1.500=3.500)

    This workaround may have been a problem with something else in my programming, so it may not be necessary for you.

    Finally, if you can, I would appreciate it if you post this thread, including your question and my response in the forum so that anyone else with this problem can easily find the answer.

  16. #16

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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    @EngineerTex I think I have figured out why you are cutting lower then your settings. The Gerber Sabre sets its tool height off Tool Height Gauge that is approximately 1/8 thick. The Z axis automatically goes deeper then what you set off the table or material because it is taking the thickness of this gauge into account. Please see the page of manual below:

    https://imgur.com/SR8FX1y

    The gauge is a plastic piece 2.75" x 5.5" x 1/8" with a small hole in, I ordered one but after I knew what it looked like I found one in the spare parts box we got with the router. See image below:

    https://imgur.com/vmviFjc

    This gauge is available through Gerber distributes, "Tool Height Gauge" Part# P62836B

  17. #17

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    Re: Gerber Sabre 404 in G-Code Mode

    Hi - realise this is long since past, but I have the current version of Freecad and I can't find a Gerber Post-processor. Does this still exist? if so, where could I find it? Thank you

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