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PM-45M-CNC Setup and Configuration with Mach3

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GaryL

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I will work on it and should have it by the end of the day, along with some screen shots of the mach3 setup.
 

Boswell

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Thank you very much Gary!

You Gotta Love online communities !
 

GaryL

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Hello Boswell, I have changed my XYZ to start at the lower left corner. Also the 2 blue wires (017) that were connected on the upper left corner of the old card don't go on the new board they are just connected together.
If our cable numbering is not the same let me know and I will reference the function of each wire.
 

GaryL

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DSC_0687.JPG Wiring on Original Board.JPG DSC_0687.JPG I just noticed that our original boards are a little bit different, for example mine has no COM+ or COM-.
Here is a picture of my original board and the wire descriptions.
 

Boswell

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OMG. This is great. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such detailed information. This should make short work of getting mine upgraded.
I have powered both boards on my workbench and have a test configuration of both Mach3 and Mach4 talking to the smoothstepper board so all that is left is to build a mounting bracket and then move the wires over. I'll give an update this weekend on how it is going. Thanks again for the wonderfully detailed notes and pictures
 

Boswell

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I have finished comparing your configuration with mine and there are some differences in how our Mill's were wired but manageable. In general the same wire numbers are used but the X and Y axis Step/Dir/+5 sets are swapped (no big deal) and I have the X-Y-Z Limit switches wired together and going into one Input where you have them as discrete wires. Also not a big deal. I think I have it all planned out now. Tomorrow Morning I'll make the Brackets and get the physical work done and move on to swapping out the boards.
Once again. Thank You Gary for your great documentation!
 

GaryL

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Hello Boswell, I was curious about which power supply you ended up with to power the SmoothStepper.
 

Boswell

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The warning against using a switching power supply for very low current levels is a valid one and generally with a switching supply it would be good to add and electrolytic capacitor on the DC side. I decided to avoid all of that and go with a Linear supply. I found one from Mouser rated at 100-240 VAC in and 5v DC at 1000mA out. It is also fully encapsulated and small. It cost $26. Part number 490-VSK-S5-5UA-T and made by a company called CUI

AC-DC Power Supply.jpg
 

Boswell

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I completed the Bracket and mounted the power supply and PMDX-126 with the smoothstepper on it. I used Locktite on the screws holding the standoffs onto the base plate and lock-washers on the screws holding the angle brackets. Tomorrow Morning (when it is much cooler) I'll disconnect the old chinese board . I will have to drill 4 holes to mount the base plate to the equipment box and then start wiring it up. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have it all done and tested.
Bracket with Boards.jpg
 

Boswell

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Well, as I posted the picture of the backplate with the PMDX-126 mounted I realized I needed some way to get wires under the backplate. So I cut a large relief to allow wires to come in from below as well as above. I just cut it on the bandsaw by hand so it is a little rough looking (rounded the edges with a file so wires will not nicked.)
Bracket v2-a.jpg Bracket v2-b.jpg
 

GaryL

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It looks like you are ready. On another point, once you get the Smoothstepper configured properly you should shut down mach before removing power from the Smoothstepper and you should apply power to the Smoothstepper prior to launching Mach. If I don't do this on my setup I have to reconfigure it again.
 

Boswell

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I got the Smoothstepper and the PMDC-126 mounted and wired in. I can see that they are getting power and Mach3 is talking to them OK but no motion. I ran out of time this weekend to work on it but I think it has to do with the E-Stop. I don't think it will be a big deal to resolve once I can spend a little time to troubleshoot. I'll probably get to it one evening this week.
 

Boswell

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Well, I found 20 min that I could work on finishing up and got it working. Apparently Gary's E-Stop and mine are not the same. I was able to wire my Estop into the connector the way it was intended meaning that my estop button is Normally Closed as it common for E-STOP and Limit Switches. I also found that I had wired the Step and Dir wires backwards, not sure how I did that but it was easy to fix and it is all up and running and I am ready to make swarf.
A Huge thank you to Gary for doing this first and for taking the time to document what you did. This made the job significantly easier and much less scary.
 

Boswell

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I went out at lunch today and hooked up the probe I had bought awhile back. It worked perfectly! It just keeps getting better and better.
 

Boswell

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Just wanted to say again how happy I am with the PMDX and ETHERNET SMOOTHSTEPPER combination. With one exception it has worked perfectly and in fact two important features are now working, Backlash compensation and the Probe. The one thing that I have had a minor issue with is that occasionally the Smoothstepper looses connection (buffer runs empty) causing it to (quite smartly) shutdown. Only once has this happened while actually making a part and the other few times have been when manually jogging during setup. I did not install an isolated ethernet connection between the MACH3 system and the smoothstepper that is recommended in the Smoothstepper documentation so I have ordered a second Ethernet adapter (NIC) to install in the MACH3 system.
 

GaryL

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Hello Boswell, I am glad that it is working out well for you. I have not seen the issue of the Smoothstepper loosing connection, but the Smoothstepper is the only device that connects to the Ethernet port on my computer.
Also it is good to hear that the backlash works.
Have you tried using it with Mach4?
 

Boswell

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I loaded Mach4 but did not do much because I did not like the default UI have not seen hardly any alternative UI's. It short, I did not see any advantage at this point over my Mach3 with the MachMotion screen set. I'll check back in a few months but it is nice to know the system is now "Future Proof" to the extent possible.
 

rdean

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Buffer run empty only happens to me when I have a huge program with the 4th axis(rotary). It is caused by the video display of my computer not being fast enough to update the screen and send the pulses in a timely manner. If I disable the Mach3 tool path display it works fine. This is a known problem as are the other two you mentioned.

Ray
 

Boswell

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Ray, this is brilliant. I think the tool path display is a waste of monitor space anyway. I'll have to see if I can disable it in the MachMotion screen set I use.

thanks
 

joehardee

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Here's an updated version (Draft II) of the Software and Driver Setup manual and an additional draft document covering Homing and Setting Limit Switches. There are two documents because of their large byte size. The first document is just cleaned up a little with no changes to the technical content.

Please let me know if this stuff is helping you folks so I can get some idea if I'm knocking myself out for nothing... Comments and suggestion for content and to improve readability are welcome.


Once again, I'd like to thank a nameless person for proofreading the latest doc... Once we get beyond "draft" status, I'll put editor information in there. I'm going to keep these in "Work Instruction" format as I hate pedantic manuals with all kinds of headings, titles, lists of figure -and all that crap. Beef. I want beef -no fluff.


Ray...

View attachment 71807

View attachment 71808
Thanks for the installation guide for the PM-45-cnc. So here is my problem I bought a PM-45-cnc second hand from a guy that use it very little. He bought it from an auction.He set the machine up and it work for what he needed it to do. When I got the machine it would not home or continuous jog. It steps jogs and runs g code just fine. When I continuous jog it just clunks not loud. When I try to ref any home it the same. I have and still make part on it daily . The past owner (2 owner Im 3) had the same problem. I have went the all the install guide all my setting are the same as what it says. Except for the driver. The only driver that I could find for the jcn-40 was ver 1.42 and that is what is installed. I have see here that some machine are wired a little different. Could it bee that i need to switch some pins around? or could it be the diver ver. if so could you give me a link to the ver in the guide. or email to me?
 

Boswell

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Joehardee, One thing I can think of to check is what your maximum RAPID speed is. Possibly it is trying to go too fast for the steppers to keep up and so they just don't do anything. As for the control board and driver, that has been a weak point of this mill. Once working it seems to work OK but the documentation is a challenge to understand and it does not look like they have or likely will release an updated driver. Both GarlyL and myself have replaced the motion controller that came with the mill with a Smoothstepper board with great success so that might be an option. The fact that you can use the mill implies that the basics are working. When you try to do a continuous JOG are you using the keyboard or the pendent that came with the unit? What if you slow the override down to 50% or 25% will it still not continuous Jog? I assume that when you do a continuous JOG it does not move but MACH3 reports that it is moving, correct? If so, what is the IPS that MACH3 is saying it is moving when you do a continuous JOG? I bet with some patience we can figure this out.
 

joehardee

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Joehardee, One thing I can think of to check is what your maximum RAPID speed is. Possibly it is trying to go too fast for the steppers to keep up and so they just don't do anything. As for the control board and driver, that has been a weak point of this mill. Once working it seems to work OK but the documentation is a challenge to understand and it does not look like they have or likely will release an updated driver. Both GarlyL and myself have replaced the motion controller that came with the mill with a Smoothstepper board with great success so that might be an option. The fact that you can use the mill implies that the basics are working. When you try to do a continuous JOG are you using the keyboard or the pendent that came with the unit? What if you slow the override down to 50% or 25% will it still not continuous Jog? I assume that when you do a continuous JOG it does not move but MACH3 reports that it is moving, correct? If so, what is the IPS that MACH3 is saying it is moving when you do a continuous JOG? I bet with some patience we can figure this out.
ok by the maximum rapid speed are you taking about in motor tuning? or is there some other setting some were else. I have tuned the motors down as low as 10 velocity and .5 on acceleration but have no change on jog. all it dose is change the sound of the clunks .I have an imach pendent it works the same as the keyboard. I even removed it and the dll for it to see if it was the cause. Yes mach3 dose report back that it is moving. it reports back .o10 for each hit of the key and the unit/min for flash .26 for a second.
 

Boswell

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Joehardee, what happens if you hold down the movement key when in continuous jog mode (or continuously spin the dial on the pendent? Does the DRO show it moving (not 0.010 but continuously) even if the table is not? Do you get the same response in all three axis? If you look at the hand wheel when you try to do a continuous jog, does it move at all like a little movement when you here the Clunk? If you can issue a G0 movement command and a G1 movement command then I don't see how it could be a Motor tuning issue. I guess you could re-install MACH3
 

joehardee

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Joehardee, what happens if you hold down the movement key when in continuous jog mode (or continuously spin the dial on the pendent? Does the DRO show it moving (not 0.010 but continuously) even if the table is not? Do you get the same response in all three axis? If you look at the hand wheel when you try to do a continuous jog, does it move at all like a little movement when you here the Clunk? If you can issue a G0 movement command and a G1 movement command then I don't see how it could be a Motor tuning issue. I guess you could re-install MACH3
let me try to reword this, when I am on continuous jog (yellow light on the tab flyout screen) the dro only moves if i keep hitting the jog direction. It wont move if I hold down. ctrl + jog key is the same. The pendent reacts the almost the same with spinning of the dial. If I have it on velocity mode and turn very slow it will move. It will not move on Continuous mode. If I send G0 it rapids fine. i reinstalled mach today with the same results. thats what is strange about this is that it all works but the continuous and homing the machine. it runs any g code i send to it and performs great. if you have any other ideas let me know. how much was the smooth stepper upgarde?
 

joehardee

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Hey guys im in the middle of doing the PDMX and stoomth steppper. I have a dumb question. where did you guys ground to the pc at? Im refereeing to the ground buss on the xyz stepper out. the one that Grayl has label ground to computer
 

GaryL

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I just ran a wire to the back side of the computer case, but I should mention that was just a guess on my part.
 
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