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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Plasma, EDM / Waterjet Machines > General Waterjet > Linatrol tracer set up on Koike Plasma
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  1. #1
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    Linatrol tracer set up on Koike Plasma

    Hello,
    I am trying to set up a Koike Plasma table with a Westinghouse/Linatrol tracing head and a Lynx HL-8/9 controller. I have no manuals for the controller or tracing head and so far have been unable to get the tracing head to reliably aquire a line and make the corners on the pattern. If any one has any advise it would be appreciated.
    Thanks in Advance
    Arlen

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    I used to have a manual somewhere, If I remember, the critical points on not tracing reliably was lamp intensity (discoloured) and height. I will try and find the manual.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

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    arlenw, as al said bright lights are a must. I put new lights in mine a while back and couldn't believe the difference! Also the type of ink is important, a sharpie felt pen I find works as well as anything. My hl-90 is 1 1/8 off of the table but with the new lights I am suprised at what it will follow....like a 3/8 steel paperweight! Good luck, Steve

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    Thanks for the help. I cleaned the outside of the lamps but did not replace them. I also cleaned up the cavity the lamps go into, but it still had a yellow tinge to it. There is a partial sticker on the outside of the tracer that says to set at 1.5 inches to the mark, but I could not find a mark any where. In the morning I will try to find new lamps, but the lamps in it had no marking any where on them so I am not sure what to get. Steve, if you can let me know what lamps you use that would be great. I will also try setting the hieght to 1.125 from the table top to the bottom of the tracer. Friday and Saturday I tried setting the head hieght from the bottom of the adjustmen to the top in .1 inch increments and did not find any sweet spots. There is also an adjustment on the top of the tracer head that rotates a limited amount left and right that has graduations the bottom edge. I was wondering what it is for, I tried the whole vertical adjustment thing with the top adjustment in 6 different positions spread over the adjustment range as well.
    Al, if you happen to find that manual, I would be more than happy to pay for a photo copy. I have been looking on the web but so far have not found any down loadable or for sale copies.
    This table started out as an acetylene tracer only and then was upgraded to the lynx cnc controler and plasma. I purchased it on ebay and the company I got it from did not have much in the documentation department. They had not used the tracer or acetylene portions for a long time. Other than the y rail being a little rough in spots and the pinion on the y gearbox being worn out it is doing pretty well. As soon as I can identify the pitch on the pinion (my pitch gauges do not go small enough) I plan to get a pinion and machine the old one off the main shaft and replace it. The machine came with 2 extra drive wheel/gear assemblies that the pinion drives that look usable. Koike is very proud of that little gear box.
    Thanks Again
    Arlen

  5. #5
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    The manual I have is for the Westinghouse HL-82, I can dig it out in the morning.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

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    Arlen, If I rember right the lamps are a GM dome or courtsey (spelling not my strong point!) light, mine came from Walmart, but they are a 12v dc lamp. There should be a line in the side of the black gizmo that turns, that is the 1 1/2" mark. Now that I reread your post is the part that turns on the top? Mine is on the bottom. That is for kerf offset or comp. What model of machine is yours? Mine is an IK1200J. Has been a good machine but I hope I never have to buy anything from Koiki! Steve

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    Markings on the tracer head are HL-8, Linatrol, K.N. Aronson, 3926D32G02, SN. 0094
    and on the section that holds the lamps L & S AG3, 1666C46G0, SN. 13412. On the alphanumeric strings I was making my best guess as they are not very legible. Table was manufactured in 1993. My part that turns is on the very top of the tracer head. The bottom of mine does not appear to turn, the only marks I can find near the lower portion appear to be scratches where the head has run into things. I am on my way to walmart to get some lamps.
    Thanks
    Arlen

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    Sorry I forgot to include model Number. It is a IK1500G, controller is a Hybrid D9/8(appears identical to Lynx controller) made by Westinghouse Canada. The manuals I have are a Hybrid D6B Cutting Machine Control EIARS-232 programming manual, and a manual for the Hypertherm Max-100, a installation manual for the Hypertherm Torch Height Controller, A manual I downloaded for the Greco Minifile, and the original installation manual for the IK1500G. Machine appears to be set up and wired for an automatic torch ignitor, plate marking system, and sheet top coolant spray, but I did not get the parts for these that mount on the cutting rail or the ignitor transformer. If anyone has any of these parts they no longer use I would be interested in them.
    Thanks Again
    Arlen

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    I tried new lamps today. Still having problems with the tracing head. only occasionally aquires a line, and will not make a corner. No better or worse with the new lamps. I am wondering about the set up files for the tracer. Any one know what kind of values I should expect to find there. I am kind of suprised at the values I found for the servo set up. X and Y Pgain 130, Igain and Dgains all 0. X axis is smooth as silk, I get a bit of oscillation at times on the Y (where my bad pinion is) but it damps out with a little stabilazation from my hand.

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    What kind of pen are you using to draw with? Steve

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    Steve,
    I have been using a black sharpie, but perhaps it is not fine enough, it leaves a .058 or so line. I have been making the tracings on heavy drawing paper I use in one of my old pen plotters. I have also tried .5 mm soft drawing pencils. It seems to ignore these accept as follows. Strangly enough, I have found that if I make a pencil mark about 1 1/2 inches before the sharpie line, it seems to increase the chances of aquiring the sharpie line. It will then follow straight or slightly curved lines but will ignore significant bend and travel onwards in a straight line until it gives a lost line message.
    Thanks
    Arlen

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    It still sounds like it isn't seeing the line.....have you cleaned the mirror and the lense? Mine dosen't care so much about the width as the difference between black and white. I have a manual for tha HL90, I will take a look and see if there is anything that might help. Good luck, Steve

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    Hello again,
    Today I disassymbled the tracer head, cleaned the mirror and the inside of the lenses. I found another of the 12 v 5 w lamps inside. lenses and mirror where a little hazy but cleaned up nice. I gently cleaned the photo sensor that sets near the big lense. Replaced the lamp inside. Now I have a little light line about a quarter inch long that shines on the table when the tracer is off. I still could not get it to work right, but it behaves diferently than before. It will change direction frequentlly when the head passes over a line, but it just goes straight in the new direction until it hits another line then it will stop and say "Lost Trace". When it stops and the lower lamps go off, the little light line will be dead on the line I would like it to be tracing. Other times it will stop and say "Lost Trace" as soon as it comes to the line I would like it to trace. That little light line will be dead on the line I want to trace when the main lights go off. If some one out there would not mind,I would sure appreciate a blow by blow description of how you aquire a pattern and any set up parameters that are in your system for the tracer. To add to todays joys, my minifile disk drive quit today as well. Entering code on that little membrane keyboard is no fun.
    Thank You
    Arlen

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    If you look on the lynatrol site at the hl-90 picture that is what mine is. It is verry simple to operate...speed, direction, manual drive and jog to pick up line. When it locks on the line a light comes on and it follows it until there is a break in the line or you manualy drive it off of the line. I wonder if there is a problem with the photo gizmo that sees the line? Thats about all that I can think of. Good luck, Steve

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    From looking at the pictures I suspect the internals are similar, but my tracing head looks like the HL8A one on the Linatrol site and my controller looks like the Lynx one on the same site except I have one additional switch on the plasma section of the switch bank. When I switch to the tracing mode on the controller, the bottom lights on the tracer light immeadiantly, and when I press one of the jog switches the head starts in the direction indicated by the switch, I assume to find the line to trace.
    Thanks for the help. Will appreciate any additional thoughts you may have.
    Arlen

  16. #16
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    Hello again,
    I think I am down to figuring out which switch I need to have where to get the tracer working. It acted like it was going to work today in both gas and plasma modes. In plasma mode it went to the line and stopped and was waiting for a successful arc, (I did not have the plasma on.) and in gas mode it went to the line and stopped did a preheat cycle and started lowering the torch and wanted a set hieght input which I have not figured out how to give it yet. Its behavior in the test mode was encouraging as well. The markings on my switches are pretty well worn off, and I have some I have not figured out what they do yet. I have a few more switches than are shown on Lynx controller on the Linatrol web site I have been refering to as an aid, and a couple I have figured out functions for are not in the same location as on the Lynx controller. Things started looking up when I switched the position of one of the switches I had been unable to identify.
    A rep for the gas house that is the nearest rep for Koike stopped by to see the machine today, and hopefuly they will be able to get me some manuals. Today was pretty positive, did some beautiful gas cuts on 2" black, no slag or visable taper, customer thought it had been done on a laser. Took me 2 days of cutting on the stuff to find the right combination though, first part was usable, but the last were awesome. Tomorrow I will test a different combination of consumables on the plasma. I have been really hard on consumables on 1/2 to 1 inch stainless. I am very interested in cut rates, pierce technics, arc voltages, etc. for 304 SS in different thicknesses. Al and Steve, thanks for your help, and if you think of anything else let me know.
    Arlen

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    Sharpie pen

    We also have the Linatrol head and it DOES NOT like sharpie pens.
    The repair guy said that black sharpies have red ink in them and he eye does not read it well.
    Try another pen or a pencil and see what happens.
    We also use a black table. You can put a cut out white pattern on it and it will follow the outline very well.

    Good luck.

    Doug

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    Interesting, I read that in the manual too. Apperently either sharpies don't have enough red in them to matter or the HL90 dosen't know it isn't supposed to work! Before I changed the lights it got to be verry unpredictable if it would read it or not. With the new lights it will almost read your mind! Cheers, Steve

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    Has anyone had to change out the floppy drive in a Gecko Minifile? Mine died last week and I finally got around to swapping the floppy today with a new one of the same make (Sony) and Model number (old drive had an additional -1 on the end of model number). Now the minifile knows when you put a disk in, but when you do a directory command it just says end of directory. Used to come up with the first file name, then you pressed the # key and it gave you the next, etc., to the end and then it said end of directory. I am assuming that the electronics in the new drive is to fast for the old electronics in the Minifile.Was also unable to open files I knew are on disk, it just says illegal or nonexistant file name now. Old and new drive are identical in appearance and connections, and niether has any jumpers. Chips on the new drives controller board are smaller and have different numbers than those on the old drive, but the board lay out is very similar except for the number of wires going to the drive motor. Any ideas on what floppy drive might work in a Minifile system? Or maybe a system parameter in the minifile that needs changed to work with the new drive?
    Thanks
    Arlen

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    Another problem I am working on is interfacing a computer to the serial port on the controller. When I get a manual on the controller I am sure it will have the info I need, but I would like to get hooked up before then if possible. Does anyone know if the comunication protocol is the same as that for the Minifile or not? Hand entry of programs is painfully slow, and that is what I am stuck with until I can get the Minifile back up or a computer interfaced.
    I did not get a chance to play with the tracer today, but I will let everyone know what happens when I get a chance. I got through the stuff I needed to trace so badly by drawing it up and hand entering the code. It added several hours just in data entry to the parts I had patterns for. The parts I had planned to cut this afternoon would have required hand entry of 10 times as much code, so I started working on the Minifile and/or geting a computer interfaced instead. I will sure be glad when I have worked through every bug and problem and run smooth for a while, but in the mean time I will have learned just about every wire and part on this old machine. I bought it in Illinois where it had been used hard, but I think 1600 miles on a trailer took its toll as well, But I still think it is better than a plasma cam or practicle table type machine, for my needs any way. It was cheaper too! I had figured I would be cutting mostly 10 ga. or less, but I am doing mostly 1/2 to 1 inch thick stuff, and more 2 inch plus than 10 ga. minus. I had not planned on doing much oxy-fuel work, but on the thick black it sure is nice.
    Thank You
    Arlen

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