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Thread: Overheating

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    26

    Unhappy Overheating

    Hi All, I've just (hopefully) diagnosed a problem that I managed to create by mounting my computer underneath the gecko drive. It's a dell small form factor unit that, up until now worked fairly well. However, knowing that the gecko puts out a decent amount of heat, I neglected to move it away from the heat source. This created a multitude of issues with the program (Mach3),that was running, from stopping the program to having it work in reverse, to missing steps on a grand scale. Also, while trying to sort out the problem, I could move the z axis one way, then have it work in reverse by using the same button (page up). After crashing it and breaking several bits, I walked away until I could calm down and rectify the issue. (resisting the urge to throw an empty stubbie at the machine).
    The solution, as far as I can see, is to use a tower, mounted under the workbench, where there is sufficient airflow and removal from the heat source. Also to have the gecko on stand offs from the workbench allowing some sort of airflow under it. I'm also planning on upgrading to Mach4 and doing some tutorials on the same. I like the interface of mach3 and am hoping to get used to a more reliable bit of software, even though I'm not leaving myself without some blame. The fact that the machine would sometimes stop without any given errors, should have alerted me to an issue. I might be a slow learner, but my memory is ok so far!
    Hope this helps someone in the same circumstances,
    cheers

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    584

    Re: Overheating

    Nice work staying calm long enough to get it sorted willow...lol
    Big cases are good in Australia. I always like to use two larger fans. One sucking in at the bottom and one blowing out at the top.

    Steve

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    549

    Re: Overheating

    Did you see this article on Gecko's web site?
    https://www.geckodrive.com/support/g...atsinking.html

    Homann has a heatsink kit,
    https://www.homanndesigns.com/index....roducts_id=339


    If would start here.

    I wasn't using Geckos but I had similar issues recently with some high quality Lam Technologies drives. I was driving them with 64 V AC ( 1 volt below their max) which was feeding the motors about 90 volts DC on my plasma table. I set the system up to give me 35 m/min rapids and 5 m/sec/sec acceleration. I have a very tortuous 1200 x 1200 mm nest of parts. It was actually the motors that got hot and one side of the gantry would miss steps big time becasue they overheated.

    So I implemented Lam's boost technology so the current to the motors was reduced by 50% when at rest or cruising at constant velocity. (I don't think this would be possible with Mach but Linuxcnc allows me to write custom components). This fixed the motors overheating, but then the drives themselves overheated and triggered the fault signal that allowed Linuxcnc to stop gracefully. I had the drives stacked one above each other so the top drive faulted as it was being heated by the ones below. So I rearranged the drives so they were all side by side and enabled a fan in my cabinet. So this fixed that, then the plasma cutter overheated despite being rated for 100% duty cycle at that current! Man it was a tough test!
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by rodw View Post
    Did you see this article on Gecko's web site?
    https://www.geckodrive.com/support/g...atsinking.html

    Homann has a heatsink kit,
    https://www.homanndesigns.com/index....roducts_id=339


    If would start here.

    I wasn't using Geckos but I had similar issues recently with some high quality Lam Technologies drives. I was driving them with 64 V AC ( 1 volt below their max) which was feeding the motors about 90 volts DC on my plasma table. I set the system up to give me 35 m/min rapids and 5 m/sec/sec acceleration. I have a very tortuous 1200 x 1200 mm nest of parts. It was actually the motors that got hot and one side of the gantry would miss steps big time becasue they overheated.

    So I implemented Lam's boost technology so the current to the motors was reduced by 50% when at rest or cruising at constant velocity. (I don't think this would be possible with Mach but Linuxcnc allows me to write custom components). This fixed the motors overheating, but then the drives themselves overheated and triggered the fault signal that allowed Linuxcnc to stop gracefully. I had the drives stacked one above each other so the top drive faulted as it was being heated by the ones below. So I rearranged the drives so they were all side by side and enabled a fan in my cabinet. So this fixed that, then the plasma cutter overheated despite being rated for 100% duty cycle at that current! Man it was a tough test!
    Hi Rod, I did read that article and found it very interesting. To the point where I immediately bought 3 heat sinks for the gecko and a Homann design twin fan.
    I used a couple of stand offs to mount the fans directly over the heat sinks and made a program to cut out the required holes on the rear cover with a decent exhaust fan shown in the photos.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20200716_170053.jpg   20200716_170409.jpg  

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    11894

    Re: Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by thewillow View Post
    Hi Rod, I did read that article and found it very interesting. To the point where I immediately bought 3 heat sinks for the gecko and a Homann design twin fan.
    I used a couple of stand offs to mount the fans directly over the heat sinks and made a program to cut out the required holes on the rear cover with a decent exhaust fan shown in the photos.
    Unless you do a lot better with your wiring you will have nothing but trouble, you can not expect to have a reliable machine unless you have the wiring sorted how have you wired the VFD Drive this is one of the most important parts to be wired correctly if it is anything like the above wiring, this will cause your drives to stop working also
    Mactec54

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    Unless you do a lot better with your wiring you will have nothing but trouble, you can not expect to have a reliable machine unless you have the wiring sorted how have you wired the VFD Drive this is one of the most important parts to be wired correctly if it is anything like the above wiring, this will cause your drives to stop working also
    Thanks, I think!
    I don't know how you can make that assessment when the gecko is not even in the machine in those photos. The photos just illustrate the positioning of the heat sink and fan. If you want to critisize I left the final wiring and xml package to Peter Homann to complete, who did an excellent job as far as I can see. I wanted the wiring to be spot on, and I'm not an electrician, so I left it to an expert.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    11894

    Re: Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by thewillow View Post
    Thanks, I think!
    I don't know how you can make that assessment when the gecko is not even in the machine in those photos. The photos just illustrate the positioning of the heat sink and fan. If you want to critisize I left the final wiring and xml package to Peter Homann to complete, who did an excellent job as far as I can see. I wanted the wiring to be spot on, and I'm not an electrician, so I left it to an expert.
    Then post how it is wired as this does make a big difference to how reliable your machine will be, with what wiring you showed in the photos it was a mess and would cause all kinds of problems including the machine stopping and crashing
    Mactec54

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