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PM-45M-CNC Setup and Configuration with Mach3

Boswell

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I know I did not run any extra wires to my PC. It is connected to the AC Ground via the power plug and an Ethernet switch via LAN cable. We know Ethernet works fine with out running extra ground cables because it is used this way in millions of situations. I think the concern for careful grounding is more important if you are directly connecting to the PC via Parallel Ports. I don't remember exactly what I did with the ground connections on the BOB but probably connected them to the chassis ground of the Mill.
 

joehardee

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Guys i think i need some help. i have no motion dros move but movement of xyz. Boswell my mill is wired like yours. Meaning that dir,steps, e stop, and limts were different then GrayL. so here are the symptoms. 1 the status light on the 126 flash a code that i cant find any info on. it just flash 2. not a 3 then something like the manual codes refer to. this starts right after i hit the reset in mach3. 2 when i jog from the key broad the steps light on the 126 by the status flash. it looks like there are leds by the output port of the 126. Do those flash to? 3 did you guy have to do any thing to the 126 before you installed it. like change jumper or install software.
 

Boswell

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Joe, good to see you found the problem. Is it all working now?
 

joehardee

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Joe, good to see you found the problem. Is it all working now?
yes and no lol. when I frist stast mach 3 it woks fine. meaning in input x1 it moves 1" but as soon as i load a g code it. it scales up. x1 is like 3+ inches. this is gcode that is known to run before the card. i never had this happen before. but the mach was trun key when i got it. is the a mach 3 scale setting im misssing? or in the smooth stepper?
 

joehardee

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yes and no lol. when I frist stast mach 3 it woks fine. meaning in input x1 it moves 1" but as soon as i load a g code it. it scales up. x1 is like 3+ inches. this is gcode that is known to run before the card. i never had this happen before. but the mach was trun key when i got it. is the a mach 3 scale setting im misssing? or in the smooth stepper?
nevermind i need to sleep or some thing! Had it on mm. and loading inch g code. lol
 

Boswell

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Just keep the questions coming. It seems to be working :)
 

joehardee

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Just like say after a couple of days running and playing around with the pmdx and smoothstepper on my mill, I am total happy with the upgrade. It is was well worth the couple of panic attacks I had. Just to confirm the backlash comp works , probe it works, my flood coolant works, my imach pendent works right for change. I would like to thank GaryL for the hard work he went through to make it so easy for me to do also a thanks to Boswell for noting the wiring differences in these machines and the quick replay time. Now on a new subject Has any one had any luck with a tool touch plate to auto Z0? what Im meaning is when i go to say g28 and change to a new tool it would come down and hit the plate or something and set zero for the tool.
 

TomS

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Just like say after a couple of days running and playing around with the pmdx and smoothstepper on my mill, I am total happy with the upgrade. It is was well worth the couple of panic attacks I had. Just to confirm the backlash comp works , probe it works, my flood coolant works, my imach pendent works right for change. I would like to thank GaryL for the hard work he went through to make it so easy for me to do also a thanks to Boswell for noting the wiring differences in these machines and the quick replay time. Now on a new subject Has any one had any luck with a tool touch plate to auto Z0? what Im meaning is when i go to say g28 and change to a new tool it would come down and hit the plate or something and set zero for the tool.
Is this what you are looking for in the way of a tool setter?
20161109_081514_resized.jpg 20161109_081557_resized.jpg

Dimensions are 2" x 2" x 1" thick. Simple to make and easy to use. I will copy the button script when I get to the shop later this morning.

Tom S.
 

Boswell

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Tom, Do you place your tool setter on top of your workpiece (or wherever Z=0 for the part you are making) or do you zero to a known location and use the tool offset table?
Is the Z-Setter spring loaded? It does not look like it from the picture and if it is not spring loaded, how to you keep from having problems with over-travel when setting Z?

Thanks
 

Boswell

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Just like say after a couple of days running and playing around with the pmdx and smoothstepper on my mill, I am total happy with the upgrade. It is was well worth the couple of panic attacks I had. Just to confirm the backlash comp works , probe it works, my flood coolant works, my imach pendent works right for change. I would like to thank GaryL for the hard work he went through to make it so easy for me to do also a thanks to Boswell for noting the wiring differences in these machines and the quick replay time. Now on a new subject Has any one had any luck with a tool touch plate to auto Z0? what Im meaning is when i go to say g28 and change to a new tool it would come down and hit the plate or something and set zero for the tool.

Joe, I glad to hear that you got it a ll working. Just being able to use Probeit was work the effort for me.
 

TomS

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Tom, Do you place your tool setter on top of your workpiece (or wherever Z=0 for the part you are making) or do you zero to a known location and use the tool offset table?
Is the Z-Setter spring loaded? It does not look like it from the picture and if it is not spring loaded, how to you keep from having problems with over-travel when setting Z?

Thanks
I don't use the tool offset table, yet. Haven't progressed to jobs that use more than 2 or three tools. As I become more proficient and run more complex jobs then I'll need to learn how to use the offset table. So to answer your question, I set the tool setter on my work piece to set Z zero. Takes less than 30 seconds to set the tool height. It is not spring loaded and I've not had a problem with over-travel. To make sure I haven't lost connection I go to the Diagnostics screen and touch the tool setter to the tool and make sure the light comes on. And I have the feed rate set low. Can't remember the exact number but it's less than 10 IPM. Also have my hand on the e-stop just in case.

Edit: There is script available on the net that not only sets your Z zero but also updates the tool offset table. Can't remember where I found it and haven't tried it so don't know how well it works, if at all.

Tom S.
 

joehardee

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Joe, I glad to hear that you got it a ll working. Just being able to use Probeit was work the effort for me.
I have a probeit question. When you do a basic xyz probe. from the basic xy page. dose it set the z at the half the diameter of the probe you entered. Meaning when i go to zero after im done the ball is below the z surface that i just probe.
 

Boswell

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Joe, I have never used Probit to set Z. Only x and y. I have a LED based z-setter that I use manually to set Z. Unless you are going to use a Tool Table, there is no value that I can think of to use the probe to zero the Z. You will just have to redo the Z Zero when you put the tool in you are going to cut with.
 

Boswell

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Yesterday I was in the process of re-calibrating my probe with Probit and I had an un-commanded spindle event. 2500 RPM with the probe in a chuck. Hit the Big Red E-STOP button to shut it down. Lucky I did not have my hand close so the only damage was to the probe. The wire was broken. I will spice it back but odds are the wire is damaged in places that are not obvious but we will see. The real scare was the un-commanded spindle turn on. I don't know if this was a Mach3 issue, a Probit issue, a SmoothStepper issue or the BOB.

I think that I will ensure that I have the E-Stop engaged anytime that I have my hands near the moving parts. A good reminder that these are dangerous machines and it is easy to get complacent with them.
 

rdlanning

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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
Ray,
Thank you for your very thorough PM-45M-CNC setup instructions. I am an electrical engineer and mentor to a high school robotics team which purchased a PM-45M-CNC machine in June of 2015. It took a year before the school was finally able to get the budget to get the machine wired with power. Anyway, we are now in the process of trying to get the machine to work. I have Mach3 installed on a laptop and the Jamen JNC-40M version 1.58 driver successfully installed. I can run Mach3 and it recognizes the machine. I was able to easily follow your instructions for configuration. Unfortunately, the machine just does not work! Here are some of the symptoms:
When I attempt to press the Mach3 "RESET" button, a message pops up that the Emergency Stop button or a limit switch is active which is preventing the machine from exiting the reset state. I verified the machine was not at any limit switch and that the emergency stop buttons are not depressed and I still get the same message. The warning said it could autoconfig the inputs to correct the issue (I assume this changes the active state settings). Anyway out of frustration I told it to autoconfig the I/Os but unfortunately the machine behaves in the exact same way after attempting this. Unfortunately, it scrambled the I/O settings, so I reconfigured the I/Os again per your instructions.
When you look at the diagnostic screen in the Mach3 the input "lamps" are constantly flashing on then off then on then off etc. I have a feeling this is not right. The states should be static when the machine is not in motion. So, is there a communication setting that is off? I was concerned that maybe the USB cable was bad, but another one behaves the same way. I then connected a ground wire from the machine ground block to the computer to see if there was a ground noise issue with no improvement. Any ideas? I'm hoping someone has seen this before and knows exactly what to do. I have not been able to get the machine to move at all. We also have a pendant which does not function either.
 

cut2cut

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RD,

This may not be a solution but it may help narrow down whether you have an interference / ground issue. There is a "debounce" setting in Mach 3 that delays false E-stop and limit switch signals. By not recognizing short spikes of electrical noise it basically filters out the false signals. The larger the number you set in the debounce settings the finer the filter. The negative aspect of setting the debounce setting too high is it will delay the amount of time a real E-stop is engaged by the user. I used 200 recently and it solved an intermittent issue I had with false E stop / limits being triggered falsely while my nearby coolant sump pump was running. Prior to using coolant I didn't have the issue.
Anyway, I believe the debounce setting is in the general settings upper right corner. Do a YouTube/google search and you'll see others explain the same issue I had. Yours is more extreme, however.

If you have more issues I'd consider a different controller card that interfaces with Ethernet instead of USB. I'm told USB can be very problematic for consistent CNC control.

Ps. If the pendant was included with the mill, it's known to have severe issues. Probably best to remove it from the equation ! Sadly

Cheers,

Jake
 
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Boswell

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RD, Glad to hear that you are starting to get it setup. As Jake suggest, simplify things as much as you can to start with. When you say that the input lamps are flashing on and off. Do you mean ALL of them or some of them. Are they random or is there a pattern. One step might be to only enable/configure the E-Stop in Mach3 and then troubleshoot it. It should not be flashing under any normal condition and so if the e-stop input is flashing it could be an intermittent connection (random flashing), a Power Supply issue (it should be a Normally Closed circuit so the board is providing power) or a problem with the board or driver.

Anyway these are some ideas to get started with. Please share your troubleshooting steps and results and we can brainstorm ideas.
 

rdlanning

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Thank you for the quick reply to my dilemma. I worked with the machine some more last night. I tried playing with the debounce settings which unfortunately did not help the problem. I had previously disabled all of the inputs to just E-Stop and the machine still behaved the same way. I looked at all of the I/O to the Jamen JNC-40M card last night and the power supplies and everything looks just as it should be. I briefly connected machine ground to the floating controller card ground it still behaved the same way. I unplugged the pendant controls and Mach3 still behaved the same way. I've literally traced and inspected every wire in this machine at this point. It all seems to point to the Jamen JNC-40M controller card which is unfortunate since it is a brand new machine. I'm using the latest version of Mach 3 and the latest JNC-40M driver version 1.58. The PC is able to recognize the presence of the JNC-40M with no problem, just as documented. So, how do you tell what version of firmware is on the JNC-40M card? Can it be upgraded and how do I get the latest version?
I uploaded a short video clip of what the Mach3 diagnostics screen looks like to my google drive. You can see it at the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5qqT-Ir3vYXem1MbVYtSTBWbDA/view?usp=sharing
 

cut2cut

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It ultimately sounds like a faulty JNC-40N or faulty power supply. Barring that, I'd create a new installation of mach3 on a different computer just to rule out a software gremlin. Then it's either a software setting or a faulty wire. Maybe.

Jake
 

rdlanning

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Thanks Jake. I'm going to use an oscilloscope tonight and look for noise on the power supplies. The DC voltages are all correct when measured with a handheld meter.

David
 

Boswell

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I would agree that it looks like a problem with the JNC or the power supply to the JNC. An O-Scope will tell you quickly if you have power drop-outs that correspond to the flashing Inputs. Have you called and talk to Matt and Precision Matthews? I hear he is very responsive. One of the things that I disliked about the JNC-40N controller is that I could not find any updates to drivers or firmware and in addition the Probe input never worked. I eventually replaced it with a Smoothstepper board.

One more suggestion for Isolation. Disconnect the wires for the Limit switches and the Home Switches and then see if you still get the flashing. If the O-Scope shows constant power and the inputs are flapping without any connection then you pretty much have it isolated to the JNC board.

Good luck and keep letting us know how you are getting along.
 

rdlanning

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Inspection with the Oscilloscope showed no noise issues with the JNC-40M board I/Os. It is looking like the JNC-40M controller was DOA. I'm going to try to just get another I/O board. I will try complete isolation tonight and see if it is happy under those conditions.
If we were to upgrade to a Smoothstepper board, is the setup fairly straight-forward? Is the board documentation better? I assume I would just wire in the I/Os, connect the 24VDC power with Ethernet to a computer, configure Mach3/4 and we'd be rocking...
Thanks for your support!
 

Boswell

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You will need three things to install a smoothstepper Ethernet board.
1. The Smoothstepper Ethernet board
2. the PMDX-126 BOB (Break out Board) with Spindle controller
3. a 12vdc Power Supply.

GaryL and myself have both made the conversion and if you scroll back a few posts in this thread you will see documentation and pictures of both of our work. The documentation on the boards is in English and very detailed. I had to read some of several times to understand it, not because it was poor english but because it was technically dense. Thanks to the work that GaryL did, it was a snap for me. Added benefit is that the Probe input works properly and so does the Backlash compensation. You will not be able to use the pendent that was supplied with the PM-45-CNC but frankly that is no loss.
 

jbolt

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I will second the PMDX-126 BoB, ESS motion controller & PMDX-107 spindle controller combo. I have these on my PM-932 CNC conversion and they have been flawless. I agree with Boswell on the manuals being a little technical but that's a good thing. The PMDX customer support is top tier.

I use an xbox 360 game pad for a pendant. Mach3 has plugins for it. Works very well.
 

lim1wph

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Well fellas, I just ordered a PMDX424 and 407 along with Mach 4. There's going to be some difficult times ahead while figure all of this out.
 

Boswell

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I was surprised at how easy it was to get the motion controller replaced. I spent more time on mounting and moving the wiring over than anything else. I never did get Mach4 working. It fell into the category of "Don't fix what isn't broke" and Mach3 is doing everything I ask of it.
 

lim1wph

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I was surprised at how easy it was to get the motion controller replaced. I spent more time on mounting and moving the wiring over than anything else. I never did get Mach4 working. It fell into the category of "Don't fix what isn't broke" and Mach3 is doing everything I ask of it.
They inferred that this board is made easy for mach4. I guess I'll have to see how it works or
 
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