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  1. #157
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    Jan 2007
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    Success !!

    Ok, after MUCH trouble getting a fresh load restored to my shop PC I've got it back hooked up, at least enough to get the motors running.

    I restored the OS from the first time I set it up. No updates were applied. I removed the old Mach3 folder and did a fresh install of the latest dev release of Mach3. I loaded the latest ESS plugin.

    I build a new profile from scratch, every pin/port and motor setting. I haven't even tested the home switches yet and currently have the motor tuning set conservatively.

    I just finished running my test files that jogged each axis one inch and back 50 times. Previously each axis was off around 10 thou. after this.

    Well, each axis returned to zero on the indicators (analog for the X and Y, digitial for the Z).

    OMG !!!

    I don't want to get too excited after all I've been through. The guts of my original control box are spewn about like a grenade went off in there. Only minimal hookup remain. Weeks and weeks of frustration, so I'm not ready to count my chickens before they hatch fully.

    But ya know what? I don't care, looks like the damn think is finally working :banana:

    Gerry, thanks so much for the suggestion. I have to admit I really didn't have a lot of faith in this but your experience holds a lot of weight with me. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU

    Ok, I'm going to quit bragging before I anger the gods. I'm going to go play some more and see about getting the home switches working.

    Cheers all, beers on me :cheers:

    BobL.

  2. #158
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    34418


    As soon as you get everything set up, make a backup copy of your .xml file.
    Mine has gone bad twice in the last year or so. In both instances with mine, it wouldn't home correctly, either moving the wrong way or moving a fixed distance and stopping. Using the backup .xml file got it instantly working again.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #159
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    Well, the news is not all good.

    When I went back and ran the test jobs (cutting air) the z axis drifted again

    BobL.

  4. #160
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    Jan 2007
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    Next Steps?

    Ok, I've got a clean load on the PC and a clean load, clean config on the software. I don't want to get wrapped around the axle again.

    So, when I get back to the shop I'm going to re-run the Cycle50 test on each axis just to make sure that's all good.

    Assuming that checks out, there's a couple of other things I want to verify but what I'm really thinking of doing at this point is to just go ahead and get the other control box going, move over just enough to achieve movement, and begin testing from there.

    I don't want to chase a ghost and this way any trouble shooting necessary will at least be done in a more permanent box.

    Will keep you posted.

    BobL.

  5. #161
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    I got home and the Y axis wouldn't even jog over and back without error. The Z and X passes the cycle 50 test.

    I poked around and noticed that I had knocked the ground off off the motor PS. Hooked it up, all axis passed the cycle50 test.

    I did a test cut (air) of the Aztec center test file and for the first time ever everything returned to zero after the job.

    Running more test now, but is it really possible that the reload did in fact fixed it and the missin ground caused the confusion?

    I for one am hoping so at the moment.

    More later.

    BobL.

  6. #162
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    Ok, two more test runs and those were off. This time the Z ended up above zero after the jobs and it used to end up below it. It was off a fair ammount, but not as much as it was before, but at this point I don't know what means something and what doesn't.

    Looks like I'll probably be moving things to the (as yet to be built) new control box and go from there.

    BobL.

  7. #163
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    Jan 2005
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    Bob,
    I have not been getting updates to this thread. :-(
    Things sure have be causing you to go in a circle.
    With any luck soon you will sort it out.
    Other than good thoughts all I can offer is to divide and conquer.
    You have too many variables right now IMHO.
    Try separating the electronics from the machine or the motion controller from the system.

    You have too many levels of possible problems.
    Sounds like you are still missing motion.

    Something really simple like setting the motors up on bench with some flags and see if you have the problem there.

    I will try to stay tuned better.

    Dave

  8. #164
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    Control Box II

    I reached the same conclusion that Dave pointed out, which is that I had too much going on. The clincher was that I was spending way too much time doinking with a control box that was not permanent.

    I scrambled to come up with something using the resources available and came up with the idea to use a pair of used PC cases. One the Power Side housing the power supply, contactor, etc. The other one for the logic boards.

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    My first thought was to use a piece of plywood as a panel between them. This would make mounting everything easy and provide support to the stripped cases. For electical isolatioin between the two sides I veneered the plywood with aluminum flashing.

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    I quickly decided this would not allow me as much access as I wanted and I just didn't like it. So I just pushed the two stripped PC cases together and called it a Case The front panel is a kick plate used for protecting doors and picked up at the big box store. Both panels came from one kick plate and I resused the original mounitng holes. That is my Super PID poking though. I decided to mount it on the power side rather than the logic side.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The right side with the Power Supply will be mounted to the base. Access will only be available by removing the side panel.

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    On the logic side easy access can be gained by simply removing the side panel. Plus the case itself can be easily removed for full access. Part of the rear of the case is left behind and is where the cables will enter.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So anyhow, what do ya'll think of this plan? Thanks for looking.

    BobL.

  9. #165
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    Bob,
    That looks great.
    I think the ability to remove the case and not have to remove cables is a good idea. It will speed up install and debugging.
    I hope you slay the dragon soon.
    Dave

  10. #166
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    Thanks Dave. Yeah, I think it will work out alright as long as I can get everything in on the back wall.

    I am working towards getting movement before adding too many things. Should make trouble shooting much easier if necessary, but I'm hoping this will not require trouble shooting

    Edit: It's a little hard to see but the Eth. Smooth Stepper is mounted to the PMDX board, so it's in there already.

    BobL.

  11. #167
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    Jan 2005
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    I am glad your Ethernet SS is working for you.
    I doubt I will buy another SS product after my experience. :-(

  12. #168
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    Jan 2007
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    More Progress :)

    I've been under the weather this weekend but I did go out and take some pictures of where I'm at. Some of these may not look much different than the last ones but a lot of work was done.

    The other pics were mock-ups so I could figure out what kind of structure I needed. I re-purposed parts of the original case to make the mount for the front panel. The case on that side still slips off easily. So these are final config pics on the way towards the day I start wiring.

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    I made mounting space for another pair of gekos. When and if I can ever get to the fourth axis stage I will go with gekos for ease and simplicity.

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    I think this case is gonna work out pretty good. I wanted a lot of access and this case provides it without having to remove any wires, connectors or the front panel.

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    BobL.

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