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Mach 3 Question

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Hawkeye

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#1
Two years after the fire, I finally got a computer to move the steppers on my X2 CNC mill today. Lots of fun guessing at what to try next when you're working out of a downloaded off-shore translated manual which didn't actually come with the control board. The only problem I've seen now is that I can't move the X-axis to the positive (right) side using the keyboard arrow or the plug-in remote made for Mach 3.

The Y and Z axes and the X-axis negative (left) all work fine when controlled by the arrow and Pg Up/Pg Dn keys and the remote. All functions work properly when controlled by a G-code routine, including the X+.

I'm convinced that it's Mach 3 that's doing it because , when I turn off the power to the control board, the Mach 3 displays for all the axes will increment and decrement to the key and remote inputs except the X+.

Has anyone had this happen one their machines? Any solutions would be appreciated. Mach 3 has gone to a semi-automated support system, so it'll take a while to get any help from them.

Thanks, guys.
 

TomS

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#2
Two years after the fire, I finally got a computer to move the steppers on my X2 CNC mill today. Lots of fun guessing at what to try next when you're working out of a downloaded off-shore translated manual which didn't actually come with the control board. The only problem I've seen now is that I can't move the X-axis to the positive (right) side using the keyboard arrow or the plug-in remote made for Mach 3.

The Y and Z axes and the X-axis negative (left) all work fine when controlled by the arrow and Pg Up/Pg Dn keys and the remote. All functions work properly when controlled by a G-code routine, including the X+.

I'm convinced that it's Mach 3 that's doing it because , when I turn off the power to the control board, the Mach 3 displays for all the axes will increment and decrement to the key and remote inputs except the X+.

Has anyone had this happen one their machines? Any solutions would be appreciated. Mach 3 has gone to a semi-automated support system, so it'll take a while to get any help from them.

Thanks, guys.
Try resetting the Hot Key for X+. Could be an incorrect number is set or there is no number.

Tom S.
 

Hawkeye

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#3
It turns out that the parallel port driver was a bit screwy. To fix it, you have to load a fresh copy of the Mach 3 software and then unlock it with your license key file.

I got past that issue, but now I have a new one. I was trying to confirm the accuracy of the table movements. I set a 4" gauge block on the table, lined up one end on the spindle centre line. When I moved the table in the X-axis, the display showed about three times the correct distance at the other end. Something for another day.

Now, I should start designing all the parts I figured would be best done on a CNC. Getting closer every day.
 

TomS

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#4
It turns out that the parallel port driver was a bit screwy. To fix it, you have to load a fresh copy of the Mach 3 software and then unlock it with your license key file.

I got past that issue, but now I have a new one. I was trying to confirm the accuracy of the table movements. I set a 4" gauge block on the table, lined up one end on the spindle centre line. When I moved the table in the X-axis, the display showed about three times the correct distance at the other end. Something for another day.

Now, I should start designing all the parts I figured would be best done on a CNC. Getting closer every day.
Did you calculate the "steps per" and input that into the motor tuning screen? You won't be able to use the machine to make accurate parts until you get this right.

Tom S.
 

Hawkeye

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#5
I set the motors the same as when I had it running before. I'll keep working on that approach, maybe tomorrow.
 

TomS

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#6
I set the motors the same as when I had it running before. I'll keep working on that approach, maybe tomorrow.
Here's the formula I used. My machine has 5mm pitch screws and drivers are set to 1000 micro steps. My initial setting was 5080. 25.4/5 = 5.08*1000 = 5080. Has to tweak the number to get movement within .0005". Hope this is helpful.

Tom S.
 

Hawkeye

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#7
Today I got to wondering whether the trouble I had yesterday with the Mach 3 display advancing a LOT faster than the table was moving while I was controlling it from the keyboard or pendant would go away when it was running from G-code.

Yup. Verily.

I restored all the motor settings I had been using before the fire and ran a routine I had written to test the hot-wire attachment I had made for it. Here's the result back then:
P4130893a.jpg


Today, I printed out the original drawing to scale and measured it against the design dimensions. Accurate to the nearest thou. I attached the drawing to the table and lined up a pointer in the spindle. It traced the line perfectly. I made an AVI video, but this site doesn't support those any more.

So now it's worth pressing ahead with designing all the thingies that this machine can make easiest. I also have to make a new hot-wire attachment. I told the 'restoration' company I wanted it back, but they obviously threw it out. The hot-wire will be a great tool for prepping for lost-foam castings.
 
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