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SWATH
08-11-2010, 05:52 PM
Hi everyone,

I have been researching CNC stuff like crazy for the past couple of months since I haven't been able to get a shop to make my parts for a reasonable cost (or at all). Being totally new to CNC I read everything I could on line, ordered supplier catalogs to skim, watched every CNC video and tutorial on the internet, and even may enroll in some machine shop classes at the local university. I initially contemplated converting a Bridgeport type knee mill until I discovered the Tormach. The size and "plug and play" interface attracted me as I'm not interested in futzing around with an expensive frustration and having inventor/R&D pursuits I need to be making chips instead for prototyping and small production runs. Pretty much decided on the Tormach so I read every page on that forum. Then I read about the Mikini and checked out the comparison chart and am now wondering if this is the machine for me for approximately the same cost.

It has a smaller footprint than the PCNC 1100 which is great for my small garage, full enclosure, faster rapids, more HP, and purportedly more repeatability, precision, accuracy, and rigidity.

I have no tooling whatsoever other than a dial caliper and a spare desktop computer with AutoCAD 2005 (and decent working knowledge of how to use it). So I am essentially starting from scratch (I also have no CAM or controller software other than the free MACH3 and LazyCAM demo)

I'm interested in learning more from you guys about this machine and if it is right for me. I'll probably need to purchase it sometime within the next few months to get my stuff going, as a friend has said, right now I'm like an artist with no paint brush. I've got a lot of ideas and one thing that is already designed, prototyped, tested, and ready for small production runs. BTW what I mostly intend to cut is 4140 steel with some 3D contouring and I'm afraid of it taking FOREVER per part, as well as 6061 and 7075 aluminum. What do all of you have to say about the Mikini 1610L (especially in regards to the Tormach PCNC 1100 or others)? Thanks!

rowbare
08-12-2010, 10:25 AM
You might want to contact howecnc, he has both a Tormach and a Mikini. I think he is willing to show the machines. He is in the northeast if that is any help to you.

bob

SWATH
08-12-2010, 11:14 AM
You might want to contact howecnc, he has both a Tormach and a Mikini. I think he is willing to show the machines. He is in the northeast if that is any help to you.

bob

Thanks rowbare,
I read in one of his previous posts that he had both and preferred the Mikini, in fact that is what got me interested in checking out the Mikini. I'm not sure if I would be able to make it up to the northeast anytime soon but hopefully he will post his detailed opinions on the two machines here. Unfortunately there is just not a whole lot of info out there about the Mikini and tons about the Tormach.

rock lobster
08-12-2010, 05:30 PM
I'm in the same boat as you: I don't want to spend a whole bunch of time configuring a machine, building enclosure, etc. I also considered the Tormach initially, but after hearing about other machines, such as the Mikini and even Industrial Hobbies, I soon focused my attention elsewhere. I think that the Tormach mill is great for hobbyists, but I am not a hobbyist and need a machine that can perform day in and day out with repeatable accuracy and precision. Since my budget and shop space will not allow me to purchase a VMC, or even a used VMC, I will probably end up purchasing the 1610L.

Since I don't have a machine yet, my best advice to you is to send Mikini an email with some questions. Phil will give you his technical expertise that may help you decide on what to purchase in the long run.

jeffrey001
08-12-2010, 11:45 PM
One thing I would check is that Tormach or Syil have a lot of options to offer.

I'm also on the market for a small cnc mill and I'm also considering the Mikini but I like the Syil X7 too. It is more expensive but will have an ATC soon and full enclosure and servo motor.

I would like to use it as a prototyping machine so an ATC is a must for me.

But if I have to choose between Tormach and the Mikini, I think I would go for the Mikini because of spindle power and it's enclosure.

Jeff

SWATH
08-13-2010, 12:28 AM
One thing I would check is that Tormach or Syil have a lot of options to offer.

I'm also on the market for a small cnc mill and I'm also considering the Mikini but I like the Syil X7 too. It is more expensive but will have an ATC soon and full enclosure and servo motor.

I would like to use it as a prototyping machine so an ATC is a must for me.

But if I have to choose between Tormach and the Mikini, I think I would go for the Mikini because of spindle power and it's enclosure.

Jeff

Yeah I glanced at the Syil X7 but didn't really know what to make of it. It doesn't offer any advantage over the Mikini that I can see (other than an ATC). I think Mikini needs to get on an ATC ASAP. I would love to have an ATC but I guess it is not necessary at first. If I had time and Mikini was opposed to offering one I would contemplate retrofitting one if possible. I don't know much about Syil machines are they pretty good? I hope a Mikini rep shows up here and to talk about their machine. I've got an idea of making multiple parts simultaneously on the 4th axis and then separating them later for finish machining on the remaining sides. There is pocketing on 4 sides and contouring/profiling on 2 and I'm worried that a machine of insufficient power, speed, and rigidity would take way to long to make affordably. Judging by the speed of the Mikini cutting 4140 in the video, I think it would be more than adequate. An ATC would be a game changer because I can envision this part requiring at least 7 different tools (probably more) while in the 4th axis and 5 or 6 tools while in a vice for finishing. With lots of contouring I don't want to be doomed to sit and babysit the process but I will if I have to for awhile.

rowbare
08-13-2010, 09:18 AM
I'm also on the market for a small cnc mill and I'm also considering the Mikini but I like the Syil X7 too. It is more expensive but will have an ATC soon and full enclosure and servo motor.


The ATC on the Syil is nothing special. It is simply a wine rack type holder on the end of the table. Anyone with a milling machine can duplicate it in a few hours. They use a power drawbar and a TTS clone system for holding tools.

Tormach has shown a nice little umbrella tool changer. If it makes it to market, it should be easy enough to adapt to other machines.

All the Mikini is lacking at this point is a power drawbar setup.

bob

SWATH
08-13-2010, 10:36 AM
What tool holders would you use with an ATC? I'm guessing regular r8 shank is no good, would you need to use TTS? Or perhaps the BT30 spindle?

jeffrey001
08-13-2010, 11:01 AM
The ATC on the Syil is nothing special. It is simply a wine rack type holder on the end of the table. Anyone with a milling machine can duplicate it in a few hours. They use a power drawbar and a TTS clone system for holding tools.

The ATC on the Syil is an umbrella type with 10 tools.

It is not a rack type holder.

Jeff

rowbare
08-13-2010, 01:51 PM
The ATC on the Syil is nothing special. It is simply a wine rack type holder on the end of the table. Anyone with a milling machine can duplicate it in a few hours. They use a power drawbar and a TTS clone system for holding tools.

The ATC on the Syil is an umbrella type with 10 tools.

It is not a rack type holder.

Jeff
I am sorry if I misinformed anyone but the only tool changer discussion I had followed referred to a table mounted changer in relation to the power drawbar.

Doing a bit more research I saw some talk of a carousel tool changer to be offered on the enclosed X6 and X7s with price tags in the 18-20K range. These machines are to my knowledge not yet available.

Until then, the only automatic tool changer on their website is precisely what I describe: http://www.syil.net/en/productShow.asp?id=515

bob

rowbare
08-13-2010, 02:02 PM
What tool holders would you use with an ATC? I'm guessing regular r8 shank is no good, would you need to use TTS? Or perhaps the BT30 spindle?For the current machines, the most practical is to use TTS with a power drawbar system.

While there seem to be some BT30 options, most of these use drawbars as opposed to the pull stud and gripper systems that are needed for ATC user. I imagine that the as yet unseen carousel tool changer that Jeff mentions will be BT30 based.

bob

jeffrey001
08-13-2010, 02:20 PM
This is how you change tool on the Mikini.

YouTube- 1610L MIKINI CNC MACHNING CENTER CHANGING TOOLS



Those are pictures for the X7 with ATC and servo motor.

howecnc
08-14-2010, 11:29 AM
It is nice to see this forum getting some use.
If there are any specific questions about the Tormach or the Mikini, I would be more than happy to answer them.

jeffrey001
08-14-2010, 12:22 PM
It is nice to see this forum getting some use.
If there are any specific questions about the Tormach or the Mikini, I would be more than happy to answer them.



Do you own both machine

Jeff

howecnc
08-14-2010, 07:02 PM
Yes I do. I have had the Tormach for 2 1/2 years now and I got the Mikini late last fall.

mcphill
08-14-2010, 10:10 PM
The ATC on the Syil is nothing special. It is simply a wine rack type holder on the end of the table. Anyone with a milling machine can duplicate it in a few hours. They use a power drawbar and a TTS clone system for holding tools.

Tormach has shown a nice little umbrella tool changer. If it makes it to market, it should be easy enough to adapt to other machines.

All the Mikini is lacking at this point is a power drawbar setup.

bob

The power drawbar that Syil is starting to market should be retrofitable on the Mikini - I plan to try this once my machine comes in.

howecnc
08-14-2010, 11:29 PM
a regular Kurt power draw bar should also work on a Mikni. I do wish they offered a tool touch off sensor to make life a little easier.

pkelecy
08-15-2010, 12:34 PM
Yes I do. I have had the Tormach for 2 1/2 years now and I got the Mikini late last fall.

Just curious. What prompted you to buy the Mikini since you already had a Tormach? Assuming you needed another to keep up with a growing work load (which I'm guessing) I would think there would be advantages to staying with the same machine (share parts and tooling, only one system to learn, one support group to deal with, etc.). Seems to imply there was something with the Tormach you weren't quite happy with.

As I said, I'm just curious, so I hope you don't mind me asking. I may go cnc at some point in the future, and that's partly my interest also.

Thanks,

Pat

howecnc
08-15-2010, 01:48 PM
The Mikini is faster and takes up less space and is fully enclosed which was best for the space I have. If the 770 tormach had been released earlier I may have gone that way.

The reason for the second machine was for growth.

pkelecy
08-15-2010, 02:11 PM
How do they compare with regard to precision? In particular, what is the tightest tolerance you find you're reliably able to hold with each? For me, that's just as critical as speed.

Thanks again. -Pat

SWATH
08-15-2010, 02:29 PM
The Mikini is faster and takes up less space and is fully enclosed which was best for the space I have. If the 770 tormach had been released earlier I may have gone that way.

The reason for the second machine was for growth.

Did you get the 4th axis? If so can it do both turning like a lathe and indexing like in this video or does it require a servo to do this?
http://www.youtube.com/user/Simpsons36#p/u/10/295Phu8GnjE

howecnc
08-15-2010, 08:13 PM
How do they compare with regard to precision? In particular, what is the tightest tolerance you find you're reliably able to hold with each? For me, that's just as critical as speed.

Thanks again. -Pat

I am a believer that any machine can make any part if the talent is there to make it happen. Both machines can make any part that I take for work and hold tighter tolerances than I can measure in some cases.

If you were to jog the Tormach in step mode of .0001 with an indicator on a surface you won't see the needle jump until you have hit the button about 5 times. At that point you will see the needle move .0005.

Same test with the Mikini you get .0001 for 0001.

The tram of the head on the Mikini was .0003 right out of the box.
I have never gotten the head of the Tormach better than .002 in X and .0005 in Y.
I think that both machines perform as advertised as far as accuracy.

howecnc
08-15-2010, 08:15 PM
Did you get the 4th axis? If so can it do both turning like a lathe and indexing like in this video or does it require a servo to do this?
http://www.youtube.com/user/Simpsons36#p/u/10/295Phu8GnjE

I did not see the need to get the 4th axis for the Mikini where I already had it for the Tormach.
I don't believe that Mikini is going to offer anything similar to the duality lathe.

mcphill
08-15-2010, 08:35 PM
Did you get the 4th axis? If so can it do both turning like a lathe and indexing like in this video or does it require a servo to do this?
http://www.youtube.com/user/Simpsons36#p/u/10/295Phu8GnjE

The Mikini 4th axis is a traditional stepper system, not made for turning at all, it is made for accurate low speed positional indexing.

SWATH
08-15-2010, 09:34 PM
The Mikini 4th axis is a traditional stepper system, not made for turning at all, it is made for accurate low speed positional indexing.

I see, that's what I thought. How would one get a 4th axis to both turn and index like in the video? It this in the realm of a home build with a servo motor?

Howecnc,

Did you purchase yours with the integrated controller? What option did you add? How long for delivery?

mcphill
08-16-2010, 01:00 PM
It all depends on your specific needs. It can be "easily" built, but in general low backlash and high speed are conflicting priorities. I would think it would be cheaper to have to solutions rather than a single compromised one...

SWATH
08-18-2010, 04:31 PM
1. Do you feel servos would add much performance?

Yes, depending on application. They are 750W per axis vs 300W. They do
however have different torque curves, and are better suited to high feed
rates, typically used in production. They are $1000 per axis (XY or XYZ).

2. Can the 4th axis do turning? Perhaps with a servo? Can you tell me
more about the 4th axis (I can't find any info or videos)?

Sure, happy to send over a specification sheet. See followup email. Stay
within axial limits and you can turn on the 4th axis or broach with the
machine. Your material removal rates will be very slow, as with some of
the bed mounted turning products available. It can also be used as a live
4th axis unlike other conversion based rotary solutions.

3. Will the machine run on just a 220v dryer outlet?

Yes, 220V single phase. (Machine operates from 200-250VAC 50/60HZ single
phase natively without converter). No other machine of this total drive
power does this to our knowledge.

4. Does it have levelers for the feet?

Leveling mounts are not included, but provided for in the casting if
desired. Kits are available for $150 if needed (4 mounts). The Machine
does not require leveling to achieve precision (Stiffer than it's own
weight).

5. Can I use my own desktop computer?

Sure, Assuming it is reliable, has a clean timing signal, and running 32
bit hardware and software, without networking. Expect to spend 5-40 hours
debugging and setting up if you are not familiar with Motion control. As a
point of reference, about 70% of our machines are configured with
installed integrated controllers. If you strike out after trying your
solution, or end up needing more reliability down the road, our controller
can be user installed in a few hours.

6. What affordable Cam software do you recommend?

We carry Bobcad Cam. $500 with the machine. We also carry Visual Mill
($995). Happy to talk through the differences.

7. Does the spindle do rigid tapping?

Yes, it has encoded feedback for rigid tapping. It requires user setup and
interfacing to EMC2 (Mach does not support it yet).

8. What tool holders would you recommend?

We highly recommend the use of ER series Collet chucks, and build them in
ER25 (up to 1/2") and ER40 (1/2" up to 1") sizes for the machines. $200 /
$300 in kits with wrenches, fractional collets and cases.

9. Can you use a power draw bar?

We do not recommend the use of a power drawbar for many reasons (happy to discuss) on the 1610L. We do recommend the use of a cordless impact to
actuate. See our video. Same concept as a power drawbar. If you desire,
any of the bridgeport retrofit kits can be adapted to the 1610L.

10. What is the lead time from order to delivery?

Typically 1-2 weeks. Varies slightly with order volume, standard and
custom options. We custom build machines for special applications as an
aside.

11. What comes in your tooling package?

Everything you need to get started out of the box. 10 pc HSS fractional
end mill set, R8 Collet set (4 pc, fractional), 6" mikini angle lock vise,
5/8 Tslot clamping set (52 pc).

12. What is "spindle position orientation"?

Encoding of the spindle for tapping above. Not offered on most benchtop
machines. Typically a option on industrial machines.

13. Are there any upgrades/add-ons going to be available to future proof
the machine?

Yes, the machine and control system are built with this in mind. Unlike
the vast majority of machines, our control and drive systems are totally
modular, replaceable and upgradeable.

14. How do you recommend moving the machine from crate to workspace?

Depends on your workspace and equipment available. We offer overhead lift
kits, provide forklift slots in the base, and toe jack points in the
casting. It can also be moved with a pallet jack. The crate base is a
fabricated steel frame.

15. Why is 200ipm rapids recommended over something faster?

Liability. 200 IPM on a 16x10" workspace is really quick. The machine can
physically go faster, but we cannot ensure our dedicated and proprietary
safety system could slow down or stop the machine in the over travel range
before causing physical damage.

16. Can the machine be in an uninsulated garage subject to heat and cold?

Sure. We recommend it is kept above freezing and is thermally limited from
overheating. And of course, this will cause the machine to slightly expand
and contract.

That's all for now, sorry but I have a lot of questions.

No problem. Happy to answer more.

I am in the process of remodeling my garage and plan to remove the door going into the basement so I can fit a machine through. Ideally I would have the machine in the basement if I can fit it. The opening is ~37in. when I remove the jam and framing so my options are limited if the machine cannot be kept in the garage.

The machine was designed to go through a 36" door fully assembled. No
problem. Note that machines of similar travel, and even smaller machines
cannot do this without disassembly.


Thanks.

mcphill
08-18-2010, 05:55 PM
Funny. I would say 80% of those questions are the exact same ones I asked, and the answers are the same as I received as well...

howecnc
08-18-2010, 06:32 PM
I see, that's what I thought. How would one get a 4th axis to both turn and index like in the video? It this in the realm of a home build with a servo motor?

Howecnc,

Did you purchase yours with the integrated controller? What option did you add? How long for delivery?

Yes I got the integrated controller. I also got the touch screen. about 2 weeks.

roberto123
09-10-2010, 09:04 PM
Hello, I am thinking to make upgrades to the mikini 2008 I own, first of all...

Powerdraw bar (the Syil's powerdraw bar looks great but... $$$$, maybe Kurt powerlock)
Tormach tooling system (definitely is a must!)

Have anyone done it?

SWATH
12-06-2010, 06:32 PM
Mikini ordered! Yea!

mcphill
12-06-2010, 07:02 PM
Mikini ordered! Yea!

Congrats! Do you have an estimated delivery date?

SWATH
12-06-2010, 08:59 PM
Congrats! Do you have an estimated delivery date?

Not yet but due to demand Phil estimated about 5 weeks.

SWATH
12-08-2010, 06:21 PM
So I'm getting together a list of things to make this machine come alive. What kind of tooling would you guys recommend? I'm looking at getting a couple of Glacern vices and the ER40 collet set, and around 10 ER40 R8 collet chucks, a couple of drill chucks, and a 3" facemill from Maritool.

What are your thoughts on these?

Also I have no indicators or probes. I was originally looking at a 3D Taster to knock out all three axis on one tool then maybe a tool height probe to touch off tool offsets. I'm also thinking about a touch probe. What do you guys think I should do about these?

howecnc
12-10-2010, 07:16 PM
Tooling would depend on the type of work you are doing. Mari Tool is great stuff with great prices. I went with ER32 which I feel are a little big for the endmills I typically use. I make a lot of small parts. I actually bought some ER16 collet chuck from Hertel. They are high in price but great for 1/8 endmills and smaller. I would also try to get a smaller facemill. I went with the same facemill you are talking about and the machine does handle it but I think something 2" and smaller would be a little better.

BPR
12-10-2010, 10:58 PM
Aloha All,

Just ordered mine also. Should be here in 4-5 weeks! What a great Christmas this is going to be! I'll post my experiences as well, and we can all compare notes. Like most, I did a lot of research and evaluating before making my choice. Almost bought a Syil X7... really glad I didn't now. I think the Mikini is the way to go, and like most people report, Phil is great.

As an aside, after I made my decision, I found out that he used to live here on the Big Island close to me, and Mikini is Hawaiian for Machine!

Paul

jeffrey001
12-11-2010, 03:46 AM
Aloha All,

Almost bought a Syil X7... really glad I didn't now. I think the Mikini is the way to go, and like most people report, Phil is great.



Paul

Some time ago, I was considering a Syil X7, with all extra, what is the point that make you change your mind and buy a 1610.

Jeff

BPR
12-11-2010, 10:25 PM
Some time ago, I was considering a Syil X7, with all extra, what is the point that make you change your mind and buy a 1610.

Jeff

Aloha Jeffrey,

There are many things that drove my decision. Support is extremely important, and even though Mikini is a relatively new company they have an excellent support record from what I can tell.

Here are a few reasons in no particular order...

1) The fact that it is the closest to being 100% american made of all the mini mills.
2) It uses a custom Meehanite casting for the frame, and not a copy of the other asian mills.
3) It has a manual interface on the machine for quick & dirty work.
4) Full, well thought out custom enclosure.
5) Read nothing but good reviews everywhere.
6) (Drumroll here) Phil used to live here on the Big Island, and Mikini is Hawaiian for "Machine"!

Its just a well designed solid piece of machinery and it weighs a ton. The casting was designed from the ground up to increase rigidity.

None of this is to say that the Syil isn't a good machine, but their models are confusing, and getting information from them is inconsistent. I like the fact that Mikini makes one model, and has improved on it year after year instead of trying to cover all price ranges and options.

Hope this helps,

Paul

jeffrey001
12-12-2010, 03:23 AM
Thanks BRP for the reply.

It has been months since I asked for the Syil V7 with full enclosure, ATC and servo motor.

The kit is not ready yet but what I want, is really a machine with tool changer.

I'm also looking with linear rails, not dovetail.

The X7 look like a great machine, but like you said, support does not seems to be their strength. Does the Mikini offer option for spindle, like BT30 or something similar.

Jeff

BPR
12-12-2010, 05:07 PM
Thanks BRP for the reply.

It has been months since I asked for the Syil V7 with full enclosure, ATC and servo motor.

The kit is not ready yet but what I want, is really a machine with tool changer.

I'm also looking with linear rails, not dovetail.

The X7 look like a great machine, but like you said, support does not seems to be their strength. Does the Mikini offer option for spindle, like BT30 or something similar.

Jeff


Jeff,

Call Phil at Mikini or email him and he'll answer any questions you have. I do know that they are working on a new production machine, the 1610LP which will have full automation. Syil is supposedly doing the same. Each should run around 22-25K. Again, I would go with the Mikini because I fell like they have the best engineering. This new Mikini will be offered as a retrofit kit as well for the 1610 I'm told. And it uses a different spindle.

Aloha

jeffrey001
12-12-2010, 05:34 PM
Thanks BPR for the info.

Just sent email to them to see what they have to say about the new model.

Will keep you informed if getting something I can share.

Jeff

SWATH
12-21-2010, 01:21 PM
Ok I got most of my tooling ordered here is what I ended up with:

Glacern:
6" premium vise 2
ER40 fractional collet set 3

Maritool
ER40 R8 collet chuck 10
drill chuck 1
R8 facemill holder 1
3" facemill 1
ER40 wrench 1

End mills
0.125 TIALN 4fl ballmill carbide .5" 2
0.125 TIALN 4fl carbide .5" loc 2
0.25 TIALN 4fl ballmill carbide .75" 1
0.25 TIALN 4fl carbide .75" loc 1
0.375 TIALN 4fl carbide 1" loc 1
0.5 TIALN carbide 4fl rougher 1.25" 1
0.5 TIALN carbide 4fl 1" 1
0.5 TIALN carbide 4fl 3" 1
.25 60deg chamfer mill 4fl 1

drills
#47 carbide drill .0785 2fl 1
#28 carbide drill 1.405 2fl 1
#15 carbide drill .18 2fl 1
#4 counter sink .125-.3125 carbide

key cutter
5/16x.938 1
.5 45deg chamfer cutter 8fl HSS 1
square carbide inserts 6

ENCO
52 pc 5/8 clamp set


Now I'm thinking about indicators. I'm really looking into the Haimer 3d universal (anyone know where to get one of these?) or something similar and then perhaps the Wildhorse 3D probe/tool offset probe.

Software will consist of RhinoCAM Pro, Mach3, and G-Wizard.

SWATH
12-29-2010, 06:29 PM
Ok I finally found a place I could order a Haimer and ended up getting the 3D Universal analog. I thought the dial would be better when indicating vises or something where you could actually see the dial move instead of watching numbers jump, and it was considerably cheaper but with the same accuracy. I ordered it from transconn.com (http://transconn.com) and didn't have to go through a credit check just to buy something like another company I tried. They actually had a barely used demo model that I got for dirt cheap.

I also got a touch screen monitor to hook up to it when it arrives. Here are the last things on the list I need to get:

1. Mach 3 Full license
2. GWizard (although the demo I have seems quite buggy)
3. Tool offset probe/height setter and touch probe
4. stock material

On the note of stock material I was going to mess around with wood at first just to get the hang of things but would move to cheap 6061 aluminum just to fine tune my code then start cutting 4130 or 4140 HT steel alloy. Does anybody have a favorite place to order stock material from? I was thinking onlinemetals.com but I would like to find a cheaper place.

Also if anyone knows of a good electronic tool height setter and possibly a touch probe let me know!

mcphill
12-31-2010, 01:06 PM
[QUOTE=SWATH;870851 Does anybody have a favorite place to order stock material from? [/QUOTE]

I just got a 4' stick of 4"x6" 6061 from Speedy Metals Online Industrial Metal Supply (http://www.speedymetals.com) . Took about a week before they shipped, but was the lowest price I could find after a bit of online searching...

mcphill
12-31-2010, 01:10 PM
Is this the one you got?

TAC Rockford - Zero Master Analog (http://tacrockford.com/accessories/setup/zero-master-analog.php)

How much did you pay, if I may ask?

SWATH
12-31-2010, 02:35 PM
Is this the one you got?

TAC Rockford - Zero Master Analog (http://tacrockford.com/accessories/setup/zero-master-analog.php)

How much did you pay, if I may ask?

No that one is metric only. I got this one:
Haimer GmbH - 3D Sensor Universal (http://www.haimer-usa.com/usa/taster-universal.php)

The Universal is the same one but in inches and a little bulkier. The retail prices are $350 for the analog and $685 for the digital.

I got a demo model for $260

SWATH
01-06-2011, 01:44 PM
So far I got most things on the previous list in and I am impressed with everything. I also just got the Haimer 3D Universal in last night and it is really cool.

I'm looking for a tool offset indicator and was originally going to go with an electronic touch probe but am thinking about this for the price:

Pro Touch Off Gage (http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-touch-off-gage.html)

It seems like it would be a great one to have and for only $60. The only thing that sort of bothers me about it is that the touch cap where the tool contacts is Aluminum instead of hardened steel or carbide. Would this be a problem getting an accurate measurement especially over time if you carbide tools start to wear the top surface?

Also does the Mikini bed need to be trammed? If so I was thinking that their tram gauge would also be useful:
Pro Tram System (http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-tram-system.html)

I'm thinking I might be able to use one of these two things as a horizontal indicator to adjust the Haimer for spindle concentricity as it recommends.

SCzEngrgGroup
01-07-2011, 11:26 PM
Better to have a little wear in the indicator, than to be chipping your expensive carbide tools....

Regards,
Ray L.

mechie
01-16-2011, 01:58 PM
I facemilled a 6" round x 1/2" thick piece of tool steel bolted to the table. A quick check of the perimeter using a Mititoyo digital caliper said the two sides were parallel within .000035" if that is to be believed. I don't think the Mikini has a way to tram it, but you're not going to get better than that if you could.

BPR
01-16-2011, 04:09 PM
So far I got most things on the previous list in and I am impressed with everything. I also just got the Haimer 3D Universal in last night and it is really cool.

I'm looking for a tool offset indicator and was originally going to go with an electronic touch probe but am thinking about this for the price:

Pro Touch Off Gage (http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-touch-off-gage.html)

It seems like it would be a great one to have and for only $60. The only thing that sort of bothers me about it is that the touch cap where the tool contacts is Aluminum instead of hardened steel or carbide. Would this be a problem getting an accurate measurement especially over time if you carbide tools start to wear the top surface?

Also does the Mikini bed need to be trammed? If so I was thinking that their tram gauge would also be useful:
Pro Tram System (http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-tram-system.html)

I'm thinking I might be able to use one of these two things as a horizontal indicator to adjust the Haimer for spindle concentricity as it recommends.
If the aluminum top gets worn or damaged, they sell a replacement for only $5. In fact the reason its made of anodized aluminum is so it won't damage your sharp tool edges! I am amazed at the prices of Edge instruments, where most tools or instruments for this profession are usually the opposite.

dirtridn2010
02-05-2011, 09:22 PM
So far I got most things on the previous list in and I am impressed with everything. I also just got the Haimer 3D Universal in last night and it is really cool.

I'm looking for a tool offset indicator and was originally going to go with an electronic touch probe but am thinking about this for the price:

Pro Touch Off Gage (http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-touch-off-gage.html)

It seems like it would be a great one to have and for only $60. The only thing that sort of bothers me about it is that the touch cap where the tool contacts is Aluminum instead of hardened steel or carbide. Would this be a problem getting an accurate measurement especially over time if you carbide tools start to wear the top surface?

Also does the Mikini bed need to be trammed? If so I was thinking that their tram gauge would also be useful:
Pro Tram System (http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-tram-system.html)

I'm thinking I might be able to use one of these two things as a horizontal indicator to adjust the Haimer for spindle concentricity as it recommends.

Hi Guys. I gotta ask. What is "trammed" it is not a term i'm familiar with. please enlighten me. I'm in Australia, It's not a term we seem to use. Regards Peter (dirtridn2010).:wave:

jeffrey001
02-05-2011, 10:01 PM
Tramming a milling is to be sure that the spindle or Z axis is square or perpendicular with the table.


Look at this video:


YouTube - BRIDGEPORT MILL Tramming or Indicating the Head to Zero

Jeff

dirtridn2010
02-05-2011, 10:14 PM
Tramming a milling is to be sure that the spindle or Z axis is square or perpendicular with the table.


Look at this video:


YouTube - BRIDGEPORT MILL Tramming or Indicating the Head to Zero (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfANyiS8Hs4)

Jeff

Thats great. Thanks jeff, I'm very familiar with the practice, just not the term. Regards Peter (dirtridn2010)

SWATH
02-12-2011, 05:03 PM
I got a question guys. How is this thing wired? I'm doing the electrical wiring for where it is going to be right now so this has been something I was wondering about. I know I need to run a 220v line to it but how is the computer and monitor powered? By an exterior wall outlet or does it receive power from the main 220v line? Does it have its own on-board outlets? If not how many wall outlets should I put nearby and do they need to be behind it or off to a side? What wire did you guys run to it, 2 wire or 3 wire, and what gauge? Does anyone know the wattage?

mcphill
02-12-2011, 05:49 PM
I got mine without the computer. It had no external wiring done at all. It needed a 3-wire 220 outlet - ground and two phase lines. I ran a 4 wire line, including a neutral. With the lines, I am able to use one of the phase lines and the unused neutral to create a 110V outlet in the chassis. I use this outlet to power my computer and monitor, all with only a single wire connecting the machine to the wall outlet.

SWATH
02-12-2011, 06:02 PM
That helps a lot Mcphil, thanks for the speedy response. I'm a little confused though, I emailed Phil asking him what style plug the machine needs and he said it doesn't use a plug, it is instead hardwired to an on-board 20amp service panel. Is this not the case?

mcphill
02-12-2011, 11:44 PM
Well, it doesn't come with a plug, or any wire. You have to power it yourself. I asked the same question when mine was on the way ; )

I chose to install a plug and a 220V socket in the wall, so I can unplug it if I want to. It doesn't "have" to have a plug. It also only requires a 3-wire AC connection. It is left up to the end user, basically, to choose how to wire it.

Also, I feel the schematic is wrong, as it appears to indicate a hot/neutral/ground connection. This is possible in an industrial setting with a 220V hot, but in a residential situation, it is two 110V hot sources that are out of phase creating the 220V...

dirtridn2010
02-13-2011, 08:01 AM
Well, it doesn't come with a plug, or any wire. You have to power it yourself. I asked the same question when mine was on the way ; )

I chose to install a plug and a 220V socket in the wall, so I can unplug it if I want to. It doesn't "have" to have a plug. It also only requires a 3-wire AC connection. It is left up to the end user, basically, to choose how to wire it.

Also, I feel the schematic is wrong, as it appears to indicate a hot/neutral/ground connection. This is possible in an industrial setting with a 220V hot, but in a residential situation, it is two 110V hot sources that are out of phase creating the 220V...

Are there any CNCzone users that have a Mikini 1610L in Australia.
I am trying to see a machine or two and talk to people in Australia that have a Mikini. I can be contacted on dirtridn2002@yahoo.com.au

mcphill
02-13-2011, 11:10 AM
I am sure Phil would be happy to hook you up if he has sent some there - have you asked him?

dirtridn2010
02-14-2011, 06:55 AM
I am sure Phil would be happy to hook you up if he has sent some there - have you asked him?

I have actually, i'm just waiting for the info.

SWATH
02-15-2011, 11:38 AM
What kind of coolant do you guys recommend? I was thinking Koolmist 77 but I also see people using something that looks like milk. What is that and which coolant is better for which materials?

mcphill
02-15-2011, 02:37 PM
I am using TriCool TC-1. Supposed to be good for all metal types, and only takes 10 oz for the whole system on the Mikini. It is water soluble, and has a bactericide so it won't stink too bad if left standing.

SWATH
02-23-2011, 02:38 PM
Well I just got word from Mikini that my machine has finished QC and is being crated today. I ordered it on 12/6/10 so it took about 80 days until it was ready for pickup. I'm using Bestpricedave08 from uship for freight (same guy as you mcphill). I estimate it will take a week or so to get here but that's ok because I'm still building the area where it will sit (my basement) but I've got it furred, wired, plumbed, insulated, and I'm onto drywall now and should be ready for the machine by next week.

I got some Brown and Sharp 123 blocks and the pro edge touch off tool height setter and a vice stop.

How do you do tapping? I spoke to Phil and he said the Mikini supports rigid tapping but that Mach3 or emc2 doesn't or something to that effect. I assume this means that you can't just put a tap in a collet and do it that way and that you have to get some special tapping head? Is this true? What are you guys doing for tapping?

BTW, given the accuracy of the machine (even though .0003 is what is advertised Phil says it's an understatement and that it is actually more like .00015) is it possible to machine your own set of parallels and angle blocks?

jeffrey001
02-23-2011, 02:45 PM
You will need a floating tapping head


Is the Mikini have spindle control feedback sent to Mach3


Jeff

SWATH
02-23-2011, 02:57 PM
You will need a floating tapping head


Is the Mikini have spindle control feedback sent to Mach3


Jeff

I think so here is what he said:

7. Does the spindle do rigid tapping?

Yes, it has encoded feedback for rigid tapping. It requires user setup and interfacing to EMC2 (Mach does not support it yet).

I don't know what that means can someone explain?

jeffrey001
02-23-2011, 05:55 PM
This mean that there's a sensor of some kind that send feedback to mach3 to regulate or to give the true spindle speed on read out,

They told you that the machine could do rigid tapping if it was controlled by another software like a fanuc upgrade and servo motor.

Mach3 by itself does not support rigid tapping.

To do rigid tapping, the feed (Z) and spindle speed must be synchronize and that's exactly what Mach3 can't do.

The machine does not have a very powerful spindle motor so when tapping, this require a lot of torque and the spindle begin to slow down a bit and that is enough to break the tap or damage the thread.

That's where the floating head is useful, it will compensate for the variation of speed and feed.

Jeff

mcphill
02-24-2011, 07:49 AM
I have not done it yet, but I want to look in to thread milling. I think for 1/4" and larger taps this looks like a great option...

SWATH
02-24-2011, 09:38 AM
I have not done it yet, but I want to look in to thread milling. I think for 1/4" and larger taps this looks like a great option...

I think it might be a good option for larger holes. I'm toying with the idea of thread milling something for a friend but the concentricity has to be very precise. I told him it needs to be single point threaded on a lathe to make sure the threads are tight, silky smooth, and concentric but I asked Phil about it anyways. I was asking about a 4th axis turning head to do it but he asked why I wouldn't just thread mill it with helical interpolation. I told him how precise and smooth and concentric the thread need to be and he was like "yeah, so what, you can get that with thread milling." I don't know I guess I'm just paranoid of faceting from the axis drives or tool marks from the cutter but then again I have no experience with machining yet.

So what do you guys think? Can you produce a thread as nice as single point threading using thread milling?

BTW, if the Mikini spindle is not powerful enough to do rigid tapping (3-5hp) why would they bother with the encoded feedback? Just for accurate RPM readings?

jeffrey001
02-24-2011, 02:04 PM
BTW, if the Mikini spindle is not powerful enough to do rigid tapping (3-5hp) why would they bother with the encoded feedback? Just for accurate RPM readings?

I'm sorry , I was thinking about the Tormach motor spindle, the Mikini is more powerful.

My mistake


The only problem with Thread milling is that the tools are so expensive that you must have many part to mill.

Jeff

Brian L
02-27-2011, 06:09 PM
Thread mills aren't that expensive, from about $45 to $100 and these are for specific thread pitch, they have multiple flutes at say 20 pitch, so you only have to make one circle for the whole thread. Or, you can get a cutter that looks like a small key cutter and has the thread form angle on it.... this you can do just about any pitch, but will require you make numerous circles to get the thread length you want.

Given that to tap, you will need a floating tapping holder, reversing tapping head or some such, at a fairly considerable cost.... thread milling looks pretty cheap in comparison. As for threads turning out "silky smooth", after making tens of thousands of parts thread milled.... they usually turn out a whole lot better than just about any other method.

As for encoder feedback on the Mikini spindle... that will come into play when a tool changer is available also... rigid tapping isn't the only use. There is also a fine boring cycle that will orient the boring head and step away from the diameter by an offset amount that would need this feature also.

jeffrey001
02-27-2011, 06:25 PM
What I have done sometime, is to grind a tap to keep only one tooth from it.

It is time consuming but sometime it is faster than waiting delivery of the tool .

Will do the job. Work great on the lathe too.

Jeff

kenealym
03-01-2011, 06:52 PM
I have been using the tapping tool supplied by Phil with the 1610. It is a Maritool C3/4" TER25 - (see Tool Holders, Collets and Machine Accessories - MariTool (http://www.maritool.com) for video of one working). This has a straight 3/4" shaft which I insert in a 3/4" R8 Collet. It uses standard ER25 collets to hold the tap although I understand you can also buy ER25 tapping collets which have a square profile at the base to better hold square ended taps.

I use Mach 3 and use the G84 command (even though the documentation says it is not yet implemented).

The syntax is G84 Z-10 (tap 10mm deep) R2 (stop, reverse spindle to CCW and withdraw at feed rate to Z=2mm) F800 (feed rate 800mm per minute)

This command must be preceeded by a CW spindle start and speed command.

If new XY coordinates are entered the machine moves to that location and taps another hole. This mode is retained until a G80 or M5 command is given.

The correct feedrate is the Pitch x Spindle speed. This is easy for metric - 1.25mm pitch means say for 500rpm needs 500 x 1.25 = 625mm/min feed. For non metric you need to convert your tpi to pitch - eg 8 tpi means pitch is 1/8 or .125inch.

There are a couple of issues. As the Mikinimech is designed to take a minimum of 8 sec to reach full spindle speed you need to program in a delay in Mach 3. (Config, ports and pins, spindle setup, under general parameters.) A couple of seconds delay in the CCW spin up is sufficient as the spindle reaches about 50% of target speed in three seconds and the tapping device has a compression and tension allowance to cope with variance in the feed.

So far so good - the main issue I have been having is that while this has worked fine for plastic and thin aluminium (4mm), using the taps in thicker aluminium or in mild steel the spindle stalls. I am still working on what I can do here. So far I have used only dripped tapping fluid and speeds up to 1000rpm. It may be that with flood coolant/lubrication and higher speeds I may get more grunt.

SWATH
03-01-2011, 08:45 PM
I was looking at that tapping head but I was also considering the the Tormach floating tapping head with the quick change sockets.
Tormach Tooling System - Tapping Heads and Collets | Tormach | We provide personal small CNC machines, CNC tooling, and many more CNC items (http://www.tormach.com/Product_TTS_tapping.html)
The disadvantage would be the significant loss of Z height (especially after loading it in an ER40 collet). In regards to the stalling I wonder if your machine has the older 3kw spindle or the newer 9kw? Phil said that they upgraded the the spindle drive as well as the X and Y axis drives at some point, I don't know exactly when the change occurred though.

Previous Spec sheet:
http://www.mikinimech.com/1610lspec20.pdf

Current Spec Sheet attached as .pdf:

kenealym
03-01-2011, 08:51 PM
I have the 3Kw (2.2kw continuous) model - I wasn't aware of a 9kw spindle. The spec sheet still refers only to 3Kw. I know that there is a highspeed spindle option which is a factory fitted replacement for the standard spindle.

SWATH
03-01-2011, 09:04 PM
Their abysmally slow to update website still shows the old spec sheet. Phil emailed the new one, see attachment in my last post.

kenealym
03-01-2011, 09:22 PM
9kw would be 12 hp rather than the 5hp in the new spec - I wonder what is going on here. I will have to check with Phil.

SWATH
03-01-2011, 11:31 PM
I think 9kw would also make it a 40amp load on 240v. Let us know what you find out. It kind of concerns me now because I've already wired my wall with 10/2 wire which is only rated up to 30amp. If it is 40amp (just for the spindle) I'll have to re-wire it with 8 or 6 gauge which would be a pita. Somehow I doubt the 9kw spec because even though Phil told me the spindle drive had been upgraded he still said it uses a 20amp breaker which I don't think would make sense.

SWATH
03-02-2011, 12:58 AM
I went back and dug up what Phil said about the updates, looks like it was merely a firmware upgrade:


"We did change the firmware in our motor controllers to allow higher peak
limits. This change was actually made over a year ago in production after
a year of testing, but is first reflected on the 2011 specification sheet.
We also now list peak spindle drive ratings.

We always try to under promise and over deliver and thus have conservative
claims / specifications with safety factors (and machines that
consistently exceed customer expectations).

Axial drives were changed in mid 2009 to higher power drives reflected on
2010 and 2011 specifications. These are continuous ratings. We may in the
future also list the peak axial drive rating which is 480 watts."

kenealym
03-02-2011, 01:07 AM
Phil has replied:

"We have updated the specifications to fully detail the power, however, The spindle drive has not been changed in hardware or software since 2009.

Our drives are 3 Hp continuous, 5 Hp peak output (output). Peak electrical input power (the way many spindles are "rated") is 9KW. We were under-rating the peak mechanical output last year in our sheets.

hp is 0.746 KW (making 9Kw roughly 12 Hp). Peak power occurs at Peak RPM in our system (as with most all electrical motors). Torque is linear (a benefit of the brush-less DC system we use)"

SWATH
03-02-2011, 01:18 AM
Phil has replied:

"We have updated the specifications to fully detail the power, however, The spindle drive has not been changed in hardware or software since 2009.

Our drives are 3 Hp continuous, 5 Hp peak output (output). Peak electrical input power (the way many spindles are "rated") is 9KW. We were under-rating the peak mechanical output last year in our sheets.

hp is 0.746 KW (making 9Kw roughly 12 Hp). Peak power occurs at Peak RPM in our system (as with most all electrical motors). Torque is linear (a benefit of the brush-less DC system we use)"

So what do those numbers mean? The motor runs at 3hp continuously but can hit 5hp for short bursts? Does the 9kw figure mean that the motor can draw 9kw at its peak rpm?

kenealym
03-02-2011, 02:26 AM
I am not an electrical engineer but I think it has to do with the difference between RMS and peak to peak current and with the transient current peak on the start up of the motor. The system is still rated for 20amp 240v supply.

MichaelHenry
03-02-2011, 02:48 PM
So far so good - the main issue I have been having is that while this has worked fine for plastic and thin aluminium (4mm), using the taps in thicker aluminium or in mild steel the spindle stalls. I am still working on what I can do here. So far I have used only dripped tapping fluid and speeds up to 1000rpm. It may be that with flood coolant/lubrication and higher speeds I may get more grunt.

What sort of taps are you using? For power tapping gun taps are generally recommended. They push chips ahead of the tap, whereas standard taps accumulate the chips in the tap gullets and that can cause a standard tap to jam on deep threading.

Mike

dirtridn2010
03-11-2011, 12:11 AM
Hi Guys, In the last throws of my decision making about the Mikini. One question that you may be able to solve for me is the issue of whether I go for Stepper or servo drives.
Phil tells me that they will install them on each axis xyz 4th and 5th if required.
It's a 1k per unit, which seems reasonable. But are they really justified on such a machine?
The way Phil seems to put it is that your rapids can be faster and still maintain all the accuracy. He also recommends the HSS (24,000RPM to go with it) to maintain chip load.Your thoughts would be appreciated.

dirtridn2010
03-11-2011, 12:17 AM
I still have not been able to see a Mikini. It makes it tough. If i buy a car one of the reasons is that I have seen and driven it. Even heard lots about it. Is there anyone out there in AUSTRALIA who has one, or even had one. I would love to hear from you thru CNCzone or email (psau7850@bigpond.net.au). I one thing I only just noticed despite it being in the paperwork for a while is that they are final assembled and QC'ed in the U.S. Gotta be better than China.

BPR
03-11-2011, 04:41 AM
I was considering the same thing when I ordered mine: Steppers vs Servos! I personally think that it depends on what you plan to do with the machine. For me the servos didn't make sense as I am doing R&D prototyping mostly, so the extra speed didn't really seem to matter. From what I understand, there are pros and cons to both systems. I think that the steppers are more than adequate for the class of the machine. If you are looking for more of a production machine, then you should probably wait for their 1610LP model coming soon. It will be a real production machine with ATC and more powerful spindle. I'm sure that it will be very nice. Phil also told me that there will be an upgrade path for the 1610L, so you could buy one now and upgrade later on.

mcphill
03-11-2011, 09:35 AM
Servos were definitely in my list of "wants", but not "needs". I also decided to go with steppers, as I do mostly one-off parts. I have no concerns regarding accuracy going with steppers, and waiting an additional 10-15 minutes, or even an hour, due to slower feeds, is not an issue for me. I do think there could be a slight quality gain with servos (especially on 3D contours), though, as they will be closed loop, so you can't miss a step as you can with servos.

If I had the extra money I would have gone with servos. If I were in Australia, I would think long and hard if it is even a remote chance I would want to upgrade to them later...

For me here in the US, I know I can upgrade to servos "at any time" and it won't be that involved. It will be slightly more expensive in the long run, but the cost of entry was too high for me to do servos off the bat without me knowing if the investment would even pay off. However shipping costs aren't that high for me, and being close to the same time zone makes it so much easier for quick access with questions if/when I upgrade. If I were in Australia, I would want the confidence that comes with the servos being installed, debugged, and tested at the factory, rather than by me...

SWATH
03-11-2011, 10:51 AM
I too was also torn about the stepper vs servo option. I talked to Phil for awhile about it and he talked me into staying with steppers. He said that the steppers that they use are ultra premium hybrid micro-stepping drives (or something) whereas the servos would be middle of the road as far as servos go. He also said something like despite the servos being more powerful they have less static holding power or something. I asked him about losing steps and he said it would be difficult to do unless you have a crash or something, he also said that you will likely pull the tool out of the collet before you lose steps. Anyway I came out of that conversation thinking the steppers were better and relieved that I wasn't spending a lot more money on something that may only be marginally better if not the same or worse. I figure if I'm ready to step up my game to full on production I should be able to afford the 1610LP by the time it comes out, it's projected to be around $24k. That way I can have two Mikinis, one for R&D and one dedicated for production.

On another note, today is the day my Mikini lands in my driveway! Pictures and video to follow, although maybe not until the weekend, it might take me that long to get it in the house. I plan on doing a fair amount of video for you guys since the only videos on youtube are from Mikini and are too short. Mcphill has a couple on Vimeo though, which are nice. They are the only customer videos of the machine in existence as far as I know.

SWATH
03-11-2011, 07:24 PM
Well scratch that. The freight company screwed me. We had arranged for delivery today so I took the day off and went out and rented some moving equipment (truck, pallet jacks, ramp, etc.). They never showed and never called. So I looked up their number too find out what's going on, turns out they decided to just deliver on Monday instead, it's more convenient for them. Meanwhile I'm sitting here with all this rental equipment for the weekend being charged per day.(chair)

mcphill
03-12-2011, 11:28 AM
Ouch, sorry to hear that. They owe you something for that mix up! Good luck getting it, though... I went back and forth with my final delivery many times, and it took over a month for us to finally be able to match times - they were guaranteed to make it in the window I finally gave them!

dirtridn2010
03-13-2011, 07:24 PM
I would be totally P...ed is that had happened to me. I can't wait to see your vids on your new machine. If I end up getting e Mikini, I will try to do the same thing. Ian am still waiting to hear from somebody (anybody - good news bad news)) in AUSTRALIA who has a Mikini. Phil has been very very good. He has provided me with stacks of info in very quick time. But i still have this urge to talk to SOMEBODY in AUSTRALIA who has one. The machine seems to tick all the boxes for me. I want to order, But but I just need to know (I don't know what to do if I cant hear from somebody in Australia). I suppose I could go for Tormach (al least I have spoken to a couple of guys in Australia with them) I don't need your life story, I just need to know that things went well, or that the problems got sorted and the machine is what it claims to be.

SWATH
03-15-2011, 11:38 AM
Machine has landed! All I can say is WOW this thing is a monster! Big and super freaking heavy. I mean this thing is so heavy it kept crushing my wooden ramps so I had to reinforce them and was even a little difficult to push on a pallet jack with no resistance. I knew it was going to be heavy but it was heavier than I anticipated. The driver kept asking what was in it that weighed so much, he must have commented on the weight ten times in as many minutes. He said he that was heaviest thing he had ever moved. Did I mention it was heavy. After a late 8pm delivery I finally got it de-palleted and put in place at around 2am this morning. One problem was that the cut outs for the pallet jack forks didn't match up with either the two different sized pallet jacks I had so I couldn't set it down on the ground and had to set it on wooden blocks so I could get the jack back out from underneath it (anyone know what size pallet jack this thing requires?). I'm very impressed with the quality of this thing, everything seems top notch and very rigid. In fact the whole thing seems like a massive hulk of solid iron, no play in anything that I can feel. I also appreciated the surprises that Phil threw in (hush hush). Hopefully I'll be able to power it up today after a stop to Lowe's to get a plugged cable for the power feed. BTW what way oil are you guys using, the manual recommends #1 (I suppose because of the linear bearing ways) but that #2 was also acceptable. Anyway here are a few pics of the process:

http://img858.imageshack.us/img858/7268/img2480.jpg
http://img852.imageshack.us/img852/7707/img2483u.jpg
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/2811/img2485z.jpg
http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/6817/img2492i.jpg
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/5484/img2496q.jpg
http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/9718/img2500x.jpg
http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/8703/img2499g.jpg

More to follow once I get it set up.

mcphill
03-15-2011, 12:28 PM
Hey, they wrapped the bottom doors - glad they updated after my experience!

It is a nice machine, I was hoping to get a pallet jack for moving it around now, guess I need to make sure it fits in those slots...

I am using a Mobil Vactra #1 equivalent. #1 is thinner than #2, which I thought sounded like a good idea... Both are spec'd for small to mid-size machines:

Mobil Vactra Oil Numbered Series (http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENINDMOMobil_Vactra_Oil_Numbered_Series.aspx)

I picked mine up at a local Wholesale Tool shop - I imagine Harbor Freight carries something similar...

SWATH
03-15-2011, 07:14 PM
So far I have two problems. One is that I can't lower it to the ground without the right sized pallet jack (which apparently is called a 4-way jack) and I can't power on the machine. I have the plug wired up, 125v on 2 lines, and plugged in, the breaker works, but the contactor (thing right beside the breaker with the blue button/switch) does not seem to be working, it doesn't do anything when I power it up. If I manually push it in then current flows through it like it's supposed to but the machine still won't power on or do anything. I can't any response from the machine whatsoever. I called Phil and he immediately answered and began trouble shooting it but everything that he suggested to check was ok. He is going to talk to the electrical engineer and get back to me. Anyone else experience this (nothing happens after turning on while all the usual things to check are fine)?

SWATH
03-16-2011, 01:17 AM
Ok one problem solved. After talking to Phil he suggested I check both lines for voltage. I was checking each line and reading 125v, so I checked both simultaneously and they still read 125v. Bingo, I knew what it was then, I checked the breaker and it was a tandem. I put two single poles in its place and the machine came alive. Now I just need to get it on the ground and I'll be all set.

I jogged around with the pendant a little putting a pencil in a drill chuck and drawing a square. I put the face of the chuck on a gauge and it took 25 clicks on the wheel to nudge the dial .001 making each increment .00004. I zeroed the Z then jogged around a bit, then came back and jogged the Z back to zero on the gauge, the DRO read .0002. So far so good.

mcphill
03-16-2011, 05:05 AM
To place it on the ground, you can settle it down on blocks (like a 4x4) under each side. Then you can jack up one side (put a 4x4 in the pallet jack slot, use a floor jack to lift it up to take the weight off the blocks on the ground), remove one side of blocks, and lower it down. It will be angled on the floor (one side on blocks, the other side not). Then jack up the other side, remove the blocks, and lower to the ground.

MichaelHenry
03-16-2011, 06:32 PM
Harbor Freight frequently has an aluminum racing jack with a low profile on sale for $80 or so. I use one of those with my Tormach PCNC 1100 mill whenever I need to service it. The Mikini weighs quite a bit more but the jack should be rated high enough for it too.

Mike

SWATH
03-16-2011, 09:47 PM
Which way is the spindle supposed to turn when talking CW and CCW? When in both manual "FOR" and with M3 the spindle spins CCW when looking from the top (it is clockwise when looking up from the part being cut), is this right?

jeffrey001
03-17-2011, 05:29 AM
Must be CW.( looking from the top)

Just look at the tip on an end mill or drill and imagine it cutting material.

You rarely use M4 unless you mount a saw or retract with a tap.

Jeff

SWATH
03-17-2011, 11:05 AM
Must be CW.( looking from the top)

Just look at the tip on an end mill or drill and imagine it cutting material.

You rarely use M4 unless you mount a saw or retract with a tap.

Jeff

That is exactly what I thought. Looks like the wires are reversed or something.

Update:
Actually Phil just got back to me and stated that it is wired this way on purpose. Is that weird?

jeffrey001
03-18-2011, 06:09 AM
I cannot understand how wires could be wired the wrong way.

Machine are supposed to be tested before shipping.

But it could probably happen anyway

Jeff

SWATH
03-18-2011, 11:48 AM
He said it is wired correctly with forward being ccw and rev being cw and that I could easily reverse the wires if I want it the other way. He also said X and Y are also opposite. actually I'll just post what he said:

"We configure forward to be CCW. Mach 3 can be configured to default in
either direction. We will be happy to help you change the manual default
if you wish. The same is true for the default positive directions of
travel in that we can help you very easily change the defaults to your
preference"


When I home the axes the Z travels to the top, for the X the table travels to the left, and for the Y the table travels to the column. I like the Z setting because you would have positive numbers when traveling up, but the X home confuses me and the Y I haven't decided about yet I think it's fine though. I definitely want to change the spindle setting as all of my cutters cut CW and I might change the X unless someone can give me a reason not to.

This seems to be just academics because he suggested homing was generally unnecessary:

"Remember that homing on a
command position machine is for programming reference only - not required
on startup like an older single loop machine"

Here is another thing I'm confused about.

"Q: The spindle speed does not display on the Mach DRO when the spindle is
spinning it just reads 0, shouldn't this display the real time RPM?

A: No, we don't have spindle RPM feedback enabled to the controller due
to errors that can be introduced and the fact is it redundant"

What errors can be caused by Mach displaying the RPM? Can I enabled it somehow and still avoid problems? I don't mind redundancy.

The machines are operated for 10hrs prior to shipping. I haven't found anything wrong with it yet except for my own ignorance about how it works. I've never milled anything before in my life and have zero experience on a mill manual or CNC but I'm a fast learner.

cjdavis618
03-18-2011, 10:29 PM
If you are looking from the top of the motor down to the bit, from the front of the mill. The mill should start rotation to the right from the rear of the bit(CW), not rotate to the left (CCW).

If it is set that way from the factory, someone is confused. You will have some very bad days when your post processor puts out an M3 command and your mill slams the part into the end mill Turning backwards.

M3 should be CW and M4 should be CCW.

SWATH
03-23-2011, 02:27 AM
Hey guys sorry I've been so busy trying to figure out how to use this machine that I almost forgot to put up some pics and video so here they are:
http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/1012/img2514qu.jpg
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/7519/img2515g.jpg
http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/5449/img2516.jpg


YouTube - Mikini 1610L video 1

jeffrey001
03-23-2011, 03:30 AM
It' the best video I have seen about this machine.

Great explanation.

Hope to see some metal flying soon.


Jeff

SWATH
03-23-2011, 01:38 PM
It' the best video I have seen about this machine.

Great explanation.

Hope to see some metal flying soon.


Jeff

Yeah me too, I've had it with cutting wood. I filmed some more aggressive 2.5D cuts in that same 2x4 last night and it was like a dust explosion. It covered the camera lens with dust so it wouldn't focus well and it took me an hour to clean the machine. I need to find some metal to cut now so I can use the coolant to keep it all contained. First I need to lower the machine to the ground (hopefully this weekend), and then skim the way oil out of the tank (I had a leaking oil manifold under the table). The smell of the oil is driving my wife crazy but Phil sent out a new part immediately, I'm just waiting for it to get here.

kenealym
03-23-2011, 04:38 PM
Swath,

Looks from your video that you have things sorted but just to clarify on a couple of the earlier posts.

CW is CW when you look down from the top of the spindle - no option here as that is the way cutters are made. Manually from the front screen or using M3 that is the way it should go. (BTW that was the way my 1610L arrived so I am confused re why yours should have been different)

The homing as you describe sounds correct. X0 Y0 for the purposes of cutting is bottom left. X+ moves the cutter to right by moving the table left. Y+ moves the cutter away from you towards the column by moving the table towards you.

Z+ is upwards away from the table and you cut Z- into your work.

You do have the option to set up Mach3 and your pendant for either direction but you will find it easier to think about the cutter/spindle rather than the table. So you set the right arrow on your keyboard to move the table left (and so relative to your work the cutter moves to the right) and so forth.

You may have already found too that Mach3 can swap between machine and work coordinates. Machine zeros are at the limits where you "Ref home" to and machine coordinates stay the same relative to that; work coordinates are wherever you want to set your zero to for each axis and stay relative to that until you re-zero. If you want to you can set up multiple sets of "work offset" coordinates.

Another tip that is useful for setting up, say, to bring everthing to the middle and lift the spindle up - You can put in a set of machine coordinates (in Mach3 native units - see Config, Select Native Units) under Config, Homing Limits, G28 home location coordinates, which then let you type in "G28" to the MDI and have all the axes move to a specified location.

ROCKYMTN
03-23-2011, 04:43 PM
Yes, Nice video indeed ! I also ordered and received the 1610L just a couple of weeks ago. Same position you are in now although I went with the external controller with MACH 3 installed on an older XP PRO machine I already had. Other than a few hiccups I have everything setup and the machine is cutting in air. Next step is to add coolant and cut something real. I'll try to post pictures and video too.

SWATH
03-23-2011, 04:47 PM
Thanks but I posted wrong about the homing directions. For the Z the spindle moves up, for the X the table moves left, but for the Y the table moves towards you. So the XY home position is actually top right of the table with Z all the way up.

I swapped the CW CCW in Mach so M3=CW and M4=CCW, but the manual controller still spins CCW in FOR and CW in REV and I'm still confused as to why.

Do you guys know if it is possible to use the manual jog pendant in Mach or is manual only?

kenealym
03-23-2011, 04:54 PM
No the pendant only works in the manual mode. That is not to say that someone clever electronically can't get it to work through Mach3. I agree it would be nice!

(Mach3 looks like it accepts input through the second LPT port so that might be the way to get it working - I only have one though)

ROCKYMTN
03-23-2011, 04:59 PM
Swath,

That's exactly how my machine behaves when I home. Z up, X table left and y table moves toward you.

I have not been able to use the manual pendant while in CNC mode - I just use the jog equivalent on through the keyboard arrows and pgup/dwn in MACH.

Odd about the spindle direction, mine is same as kenealym described - CW looking down on both panel and MACH.

howecnc
03-23-2011, 09:21 PM
The Pendant was only designed for manual mode. I found it disappointing but at least the machine can be used without a computer. I am not sure why they can't make both manual and cnc modes read the stepper motors at the same time.

SWATH
03-23-2011, 10:49 PM
The Pendant was only designed for manual mode. I found it disappointing but at least the machine can be used without a computer. I am not sure why they can't make both manual and cnc modes read the stepper motors at the same time.

I wondered that too, I got screwed a couple of times thinking that they were the same but they are totally independent.

ROCKYMTN
03-23-2011, 11:25 PM
[QUOTE=SWATH;916340]Hey guys sorry I've been so busy trying to figure out how to use this machine that I almost forgot to put up some pics and video so here they are:


So as luck would have it my monitor is slowing dying and needs replacing. I've been thinking of a touchscreen version to control the 1610L and when I saw your video I am thinking this is the way to go. Any concerns with the one you have now? Can you share the model number? Thanks!

SWATH
03-24-2011, 01:19 AM
[QUOTE=SWATH;916340]Hey guys sorry I've been so busy trying to figure out how to use this machine that I almost forgot to put up some pics and video so here they are:


So as luck would have it my monitor is slowing dying and needs replacing. I've been thinking of a touchscreen version to control the 1610L and when I saw your video I am thinking this is the way to go. Any concerns with the one you have now? Can you share the model number? Thanks!

I got no complaints although I think a mouse of some sort is still a good idea since I don't know if you can right click or zoom with a touchscreen. The touchscreen is great to just look at a button and touch it. In fact sometimes when I'm trying to configure and test Mach settings on my laptop I find myself reaching out and trying to touch the screen.

The model is the HP 2015TM it was under $250 new on Amazon and you just need to download the drivers from HP's website for use with XP and put them on your control computer and install them. Remember that in addition to a power cord and a VGA cord you must also run a usb cable from the monitor to the computer for the touchscreen ability. I would also recommend a compact wireless keyboard.

HolyMoly
03-24-2011, 01:50 AM
Was doing some browsing and found a link on artsofts (Mach3) forum and found a pedant specifically for Mach3 you can see it at vistacnc.com
I'm in no way affiliated w vistacnc but interested in the mikini, mach3 , pendant and program proofing by wire...have no idea what the official name for that is.
I have a feature on my lathe that you can set for trying generated programs. By that i mean you can set it to run through the current gcode program by turning one of the handwheels.The faster u crank the wheel the faster it moves through the prgm. Its a pretty neat feature, I use it all the time to make sure my prgms are doin what they should and not slamming into the chuck, the offsets are correct etc. I'm not up to all the lingo and maybe this is common on all cncs? Anyway my reason for the blah blah explanation is I am wondering if a Mach specific pendant and Mach3 itself could be set up to do what I described? Specifically regarding the Mikini?...cuz I plan on havin a 1610 very soon.

mcphill
03-24-2011, 08:28 AM
Can't use the Pendant in PC mode, and if you switch to manual mode to use the pendant, MACH doesn't keep up with the position/steps.

You can use the arrow keys to move around in PC mode, and MACH is "aware" of those moves.

I have hookup up a USB Logitech Wingman, I can also jog manually with this, and have it update within MACH at the same time.

SWATH
03-25-2011, 12:58 AM
I think I'm experiencing odd behavior. Has anyone noticed that when you jog with the manual jog pendant set to x10 it stutters on all axes? I doesn't do it on x1 or x100 only on x10.

Also it seems out of nowhere my keyboard jog keys have become "sticky". Meaning the table continues to travel for an varying distance after you release the key. I know this was not happening up until tonight.

ROCKYMTN
03-25-2011, 09:50 PM
I think I'm experiencing odd behavior. Has anyone noticed that when you jog with the manual jog pendant set to x10 it stutters on all axes? I doesn't do it on x1 or x100 only on x10.

Also it seems out of nowhere my keyboard jog keys have become "sticky". Meaning the table continues to travel for an varying distance after you release the key. I know this was not happening up until tonight.

I just checked my machine more thoroughly in manual mode as I've mostly been in Mach 3 since it arrived. Seems to be fine on all three settings of x1 x 10 x 100. Don't know if you are using a wireless keyboard or not but I've had problems with wireless keyboards, mice etc at work - interference and low batteries will cause them to do erratic and strange things.

SWATH
03-25-2011, 10:58 PM
Yeah I thought about the low battery thing although it seems to work fine. I'll change the batteries out tomorrow and see what happens. The problem also persists when using the onscreen jog pendant too though. I am feeling like a moron right now because I keep trying to undo stuff I have somehow inadvertently done to mess things up and nothing is working. I even uninstalled Mach and reinstalled the newest lockdown version and reverted back to the backup XML but it didn't seem to help.

Here are the issues which I think all have to do with Mach:

1. When jogging, the axes continue to move for anywhere up 3 sec or so after I release the key. A few days ago this was not happening the axes stop on a dime as soon as I released the keyboard key. Also the DRO does not change while the axes are moving, they only update after the axes stop moving which did not happen before.

2. Sometimes the axes stutter and freak out making all sorts of noise (and losing steps) when doing simple moves. I can jog around at 75IPM and it's smooth, then I do a G0 move (also at 75IPM) in the MDI and BWAAAGGGAGAGHHHAGH. I have a macro which sends the Z to a tool change position and it always does that even if it is an G1 F10.

3. Somehow something has changed where when I reference all home the X axis no longer does anything the light just flips to green without the table even moving. I didn't change anything to do that that I can tell.

4. The stuttering with the x10 manual jog pendant seems to have gone away so maybe that's a good thing.

5. I also have some macros that work perfectly with Mach on my laptop but not on the machine computer which has got me quite perplexed.

Just getting frustrated with Mach mainly.

mcphill
03-26-2011, 10:50 AM
I have stuttering on some setting as well. I have been meaning to take a video to show Phil, but have not gotten to it. I think this must be a hardware error on the machine that should be fixed under warranty. Now that there is another documented case, I will make sure to make that video and get it fixed - it clearly is not me or what I am doing if it is confirmed by another user on their machine.

ROCKYMTN
03-26-2011, 11:49 AM
I was having odd issues too with running two or more axis at the same time. I got thumping sounds approximately 5 times per second - a lot of vibration too and noisy motors. I experimented with the kernel speed in Mach slowing it down to 45 KHz and that made a huge difference to the stability. I also accidentally had the ethernet and sound hardware enabled on the machine which took critical CPU cycles away from the Mach 3 driver. Anyway, turning off these extra hardware pieces and dropping the rate down fixed my issues. At 45KHz I'm limited to 130 IPM moves - I have it set to 100 IPM now and that is fast enough for me as I learn the machine and software. But anyway it is now smooth as silk even up to the 130.

I think you guys have integrated controllers so this may not even apply. A quick check at a lower kernel speed though might reveal something. I'm assuming the integrated controllers have the extra hardware turned off too but worth a check.

Phil sent me the Mach 3 profile for the machine and in there the kernel is defaulted to 60 KHz. Probably ok for a fast controller but a little too much for mine.

mcphill
03-26-2011, 03:28 PM
The stuttering that SWATH and I are talking about are when we use the manual pendant. It has nothing to do with MACH, it is in manual mode (the computer can be off)... HAS to be a Mikini issue, as that's the only thing involved. I think my issue is in the pendant itself. My guess is a bad switch or a bad connection where it plugs in to the machine.

SWATH
03-26-2011, 11:24 PM
Yeah the stuttering is caused on the manual jog pendant only when on x10. However now axes seem to stutter when using mach and entering moves on the MDI. Also macros stutter the axes. I reverted back to the backup xml but that didn't do anything and when jogging the motions still lags for a few seconds before it stops. The default xmls I got installed on the machine had the kernel speed set to 45khz and I have not changed it. The max speed is set to 75ipm but when I tried 132ipm (max for the 45khz kernel speed) it stutters, so I just put it all back to where it was. BTW the CPU is 1.8 ghz so I don't know the max it can go but I would think it should be able to handle 45khz or even higher.

SWATH
03-27-2011, 01:45 AM
Here is a video of some of the problems:
YouTube - Mach and Mikini problems

Please tell me what you think. Is this a Mikini problem or a Mach problem.

BTW I meant to say that the Z and Y axis move and home but the X axis does not move. Also I didn't experience any of this when I first got the machine. Could some of these issues be a lubrication issue perhaps?

mcphill
03-27-2011, 07:30 AM
None of that looks good, and it doesn't appear to be related one problem to another... Any response from Phil?

Did you get the controller from Mikini?
What DID you change in MACH, if anything?
Have you tried "nuking" your MACH install and reinstalling?
When you do lube, do you see the oil coming out (btw, I doubt highly this is a lubrication issue)?

Best of luck in figuring this out...

ROCKYMTN
03-27-2011, 01:26 PM
Here is a video of some of the problems:
YouTube - Mach and Mikini problems (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfIdWuzBM5Y)

Please tell me what you think. Is this a Mikini problem or a Mach problem.

BTW I meant to say that the Z and Y axis move and home but the X axis does not move. Also I didn't experience any of this when I first got the machine. Could some of these issues be a lubrication issue perhaps?

Would be interested to see what Phil says. He has been very responsive to my emails and questions. Sounds like a combination of issues but I bet it's the mach controller causing the majority of the problem.

I debug stuff like this all the time at my job so if you want to try isolating the problem you could try the following.

(1) While machine and mach controller are powered off, disconnect the parallel port cable and operate the machine in manual mode. It's important to disconnect as a faulty piece of hardware on mach controller side could be interfering with the logic lines even though it is unpowered. Does 1x, 10x and 100x all work? Does spindle speed up correctly? Work light ok? Auto oiler operating? Do DRO's on LCD screen update correctly? If you still get stuttering on the x10 but other speeds work ok then it sounds like a lose wire or pendent problem as mcphill said. Stepper drivers and motors don't care where they get there pulses from - if machine works ok then the motors and drivers are probably fine.

(2) If above is all ok then the mach controller OR the parallel interface hardware on the Mikini side has frapped. While the mach controller is still disconnected, try out the mach software again and operate it as if the machine was connected. Does it behave now? Does its DRO increment like before? It's important to get both sides functioning and operating as expected before reconnecting. If mach is still acting screwy than try the following.

(a) Try doing a system restore in windows back to an earlier time when the machine did work.
(b) As I mentioned before, drop you Kernel speed down to a lower frequency - so 45KHz did not work, try lowering it again. The stuttering in your video is EXACTLY what I was seeing until I lowered mine. Mach says to run it at the highest speed where it is stable. Maybe something happened to computer to make it unstable at 45KHz?
(c) Did you install any software or add any drivers to the computer? If so, uninstall those and recheck.
(d) Reload mach 3
(e) Maybe a virus or anti virus program is causing a problem. Check or uninstall.
(f) Try mach on a separate computer if possible for a sanity check and drive the machine with that - I had an older Pentium 4, 2.54 GHz machine laying around that I did a fresh XP install on and used that for my controller. I know, captain obvious here.

I don't think lubrication is the issue - the steppers are more than powerful enough to drive the system with lube gone.

Best of luck tracking this down.

SWATH
03-27-2011, 03:37 PM
Ok I'm going to answer some questions and hopefully it will help with the diagnosis. I'm not near the machine right now but I'll get on it a little later and get some more answers.

1. It is the Mikini supplied integrated controller 1.8GHZ. It pretty much came with nothing on it but Mach and 2 xmls (which I assumed were identical but I didn't check, one was labeled backup)

2. The only think I installed on the computer was drivers for the touchscreen monitor but that was way before I experienced any problems.

3. I downloaded some screensets from Artsoft's website and put them on the computer although I really only use MachsteelBlue. I hadn't had any problem with it.

4. I switched the spindle direction in Mach so that M3 would be CW and M4 would be CCW. I also disable the A axis so it wouldn't attempt to home when I press reference all. No problem.

5. I used Klaus MachScreen to assign some hotkeys to some buttons. No problems.

6. I wrote a toolchange vbscript macro (M6start) which works fine on my laptop computer but doesn't get the right tool number or tool description for the pop up window I programmed when I use it on the machine computer. I also made a new button which just calls the GotoToolChangePosition.m1s macro (which worked fine at first). Although I didn't notice the problems immediately after installing the macros it was definably after all these changes.

I don't recall doing anything other than that, then I suddenly started noticing problem after problem. First I noticed the X axis was no longer moving when I pressed reference all, then I noticed the strange jogging behavior. Then the next time I powered it up I noticed some stuttering here and there but nothing major. Last night when I made the video it was the worst, I couldn't hardly move any axis without stuttering. That was also the first time I got a spindle halt from just spinning in air.

BTW I also started getting "Driver Watchdog triggered" errors or something when just jogging.

I also noticed Mach started taking awhile to load so I uninstalled it and reinstalled it and reverted back to the backup XML but the only thing that doing that fixed was the X axis started homing again. When I power it up again later I'll try to report back more.

mcphill
03-27-2011, 05:50 PM
Some of this is starting to sound like the computer is having issues. Either the power supply is dying, or the CPU is having problems. Can you tell if the computer was built my Mikini? It almost sounds like they maybe forgot to put thermal paste on the CPU, so it is overheating, and that is making is run very slowly.

Do you by chance have another computer you could run MACH3 on, and run the machine from that computer? That would confirm whether it was a PC or a Mikini-side issue. Any old P4 or newer machine would work.

One other test would be to run the computer for a while until you start seeing the stuttering. The close MACH and run the MACH drivertest.exe program "right away". If the driver test fails when "hot" you clearly have an overheating issue...

Finally, you may have some temperature readouts from the CPU in some diagnostics program on the computer. You would have to dig in to the hard drive to see if they were loaded. There are also freeware programs available to give you that data, and/or you can read it in the BIOS after a reboot.

Note that you should not have to do any of this, the "easy" route would be to let Mikini take care of it all. That won't, however, be the "fast" route. It is up to you and your skillset on whether these troubleshooting options are something you feel comfortable doing or not...

SWATH
03-27-2011, 10:50 PM
Ok I fixed one problem, the X axis homing. Somehow the x axis homing got disabled, easy fix.

Another problem seems to have disappeared and that is the stuttering with the jog pendant, I cannot reproduce it anymore, it now jogs smooth on all settings.

The other stuttering is still there but it is very weird.

I can jog the axes at 100IPM without any stutter, it is very smooth. However if I enter a location in the MDI it stutters like crazy on anything above 20IPM (25 gets a little stutter every couple of seconds, 30 it constantly stutters). I also notice that sometimes in the commotion of the stutter you can see the axis very briefly reverse direction while it is trying to move to the location like the motor is fighting against itself between trying to go forward and backwards.

The issue with the lagging jog is still there and disconcerting, I almost broke my probe and crashed it a couple of time because it just kept going, I had to hit the E-stop a few times.

mcphill
03-28-2011, 11:12 AM
<soap box>

I would not use anything of value on that machine right now, the risk of damage is WAY too high. Until the stuttering is 100% gone, don't risk putting a probe in there or cutting anything! Whatever you make will be at best scrap, at worst hurt the machine itself (which one could argue is "neglect" since you know the machine is not functioning properly).

Don't risk your $15k investment!

Get warranty support, and get the machine working to you satisfaction.

</soap box>

SWATH
03-28-2011, 11:21 AM
Don't worry I'm not cutting anything, I'm just waiting hear back from Phil. The Mach people think it may be the computer because I looked at the CPU load and I was surprised at how high it was when running Mach. Without Mach running it was low, around 1-5%, with mach running it bumped up and stayed around 40-50%. This is on a 1.8Ghz machine with pretty much nothing else on it. That seems kind of high because when I run Mach on my laptop it hovers around only 3-9% on a 2.6Ghz CPU, that can't be normal? It still seems like a Mach issue to me though since the CPU drain only happens when Mach is running and I've not experience problems with the computer otherwise.

SWATH
03-28-2011, 02:10 PM
Phil got back to me and offered to either help me troubleshoot it or return the computer for testing and replacement at no charge. I'm going to troubleshoot it because I'm not convinced it is a hardware issue and he agreed. Tonight I'm uninstalling Mach completely and deleting the C/Mach folder (something I did not do before). Then doing a fresh install. I'll let you all know how it goes.

SWATH
03-29-2011, 01:11 AM
Ok after some diagnostics I've confirmed that the problem is either Mach or my xml. Something in my xml is hogging the CPU. Here is a synopsis:


Here is an update, I've done some diagnostics and discovered some interesting behavior. I uninstalled Mach completely, deleted the C/mach folder, uninstalled the parallel driver and even deleted all instances of mach in the registry. I then reinstalled Mach, the problems were still there and I was monitoring the CPU usage. When either the default xml or the unaltered backup xml was used the CPU usage hovered around 60% when sitting idle. If I tried to jog it at 100IPM it would spike and flatline at 100%, jogging at 20IPM was smooth and the CPU usage hit a high of about 80-90%, jogging at 30IPM was stuttery and the CPUs went up to around 100%. When I started mach with just the mach mill default profile the CPU usage dropped significantly and hovered around 10%. Indicating something about my xmls are hogging all the CPU. I then uninstalled it completely again and reinstalled earlier versions of Mach beginning with the current lock down 3.043.022 and working backwards repeating the process because I had updated to the current version as the demo version installed on the computer was an earlier version (I can't remember the version number). I went through about 5 versions going back to 3.043.012 with no luck. Then by accident I installed 3.042.20 which was a circa 2009 version and all of a sudden it worked. The CPUs were much lower around 20% with mach running my xmls and the jogging was smooth and responsive, the DROs updated in real time again, and command G0 moves were smooth at 100IPM.

I'm not sure what version came on the computer but I would like to know because although not current it at least worked. However even the current version only hogs all the CPU and bogs down the system when using my xmls so I'm wondering if they are corrupted somehow (even though I've never directly loaded the backup xml that was on the desktop into mach, I always make a copy and put it in the Mack folder to use it) or perhaps the newer versions of mach just don't like them.

mcphill
03-29-2011, 08:46 AM
I built my own controller, and installed the "current at the time" MACH3 on it. It didn't work because I didn't have the Mikini XML.

I got the XML from Phil, installed it, and all was well.

The CURRENT version of MACH is fine. Like you stated, it sounds like either your XML (or some of the mods you did?) mucked things up - you did state the machine originally worked fine, and not until you added some scripts did it have issues, right? Is it possible your new screen or some of the macros/scripts you put on are causing it?

If you want a copy of the XML I have, PM me or e-mail me at mike(at)mcpii)dot(com and I will send it to you.

Also, can you confirm you still have stuttering from the manual pendant at the X10 setting?

SWATH
03-29-2011, 08:59 AM
Yeah it worked fine when I first got it. Something I did to the xml seems to be causing the problem although what I can't explain is how the backup xml which I have never altered is also causing the same problems. I deleted all of the screensets when I did the uninstall/reinstall and am using everything bare bones stock, default screen, no scripts, nothing. It all seems to be the xml and or Mach's handling of it. I'll see what Phil says today.

Yeah I no longer get any stutter with the manual pendant in any mode, weird.

ROCKYMTN
03-29-2011, 12:57 PM
I'm also using current MACH3 as downloaded just within last two weeks as Mach3 R3.043.022 and all is OK.

Due to my LCD monitor flaking out, I ordered the exact same model as SWATH has as a replacement - HP touchscreen L2105tm - due to arrive tomorrow. I doubt that is causing any issues but I'll let you know if anything odd happens after the driver install.

SWATH
03-29-2011, 01:40 PM
Another observation:


Also interesting to note that on my laptop I have the current version of Mach and the xmls work fine with minimal CPU usage. A Mach administrator also downloaded my xml and tried to see if it would give him problems and it did not, he said it was fine except for this one comment

"One thing I noticed is I get a huge spindle override happening when I start code, this may have something to do with PWM but afraid I dont know anything about that as I have only ever used Servos for Step/Dir spindles.".

I'm not sure if the licensing has anything to do with it but I have the full license and have put the .dat in the c/mach directory, that was another change from when I first got it. So if it is not explicitly the xml and not explicitly Mach that is the problem it could be that when Mach is using my xml and actually interfaced with the machine there is is process bottle necking the communication or looping some process, eating up the CPU (like the parallel driver or something, although I uninstalled it and reinstalled it with each new mach install).

ROCKYMTN
03-29-2011, 02:38 PM
I have the full license as well with the .dat file in the mach folder.

Another quick thing to check is: If you haven't tried already....

Goto your device manager under system - system properties - device manager and look over the list. See if anything has a "!" by it as identifying a problem with a device. Computers will sometimes get bogged down if something in here is amiss. Check the LPT ports tab too to make sure printer ports are correct.

SWATH
03-29-2011, 10:12 PM
Does mach use these? Device manager says that they are not working properly and are experiencing problems.
http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/2830/img2574jc.jpg

ROCKYMTN
03-29-2011, 11:01 PM
The SM bus controls part of the onboard chipset functions so yes in a indirect way. It is a standard intel chipset driver that you can download off of the internet - it does need to be installed for the motherboard to be stable. The scary part is that you are missing your port driver! You should have a LPT/COM section there too. It almost looks like your parallel and serial ports are turned off in bios. Just to check, reboot your computer and check your parallel port in the bios and make sure it is enabled. While you are there, make sure all your power save options are turned OFF. Some of these power save options will throttle down your cpu when the load is light and these are also controlled via the SM bus which at the present doesn't seem to have a driver. Did any chipset drivers or other software come with the computer? If so reinstall the drivers - if not contact Phil for driver info.

SWATH
03-29-2011, 11:29 PM
I checked the BIOS and the parallel port is enabled, I'm not sure why it doesn't show in device manager. Can someone with an integrated controller confirm that your SM Bus Controller is functioning? I don't want to install it if it is supposed to missing. I'm not sure what "Unknown Device" is. I'll see what Phil says tomorrow.

An update for Mike: I was able to get the axes to stutter and jump a bit again when using the manual jog pendant on x10 but only when I turned the wheel very slowly.

mcphill
03-30-2011, 08:56 AM
ANY "unknown device" is unacceptable. If it is not needed, it should be disabled. If it is needed, it must have a driver. NO exceptions!

Thanks for the x10 info. Low speed is when you need the BEST control IMO. I never use the pendant any more because I am "scared" at what it will do... I need to send Phil a video and get the issue resolved, this is actually a "selling point" for the machine which is currently a big risk to even use.

MIKINI MECH
03-30-2011, 10:23 AM
Remember that when using manual pendant control you are directly interfacing to your axial drives with your physical hand wheel. There is no (possible) look-ahead, and thus the accelerations generated can be very high. As the pendants don't have inertia or force feedback, this may not be evident unless you think about what's going on.

The pendant has three multipliers of input for a reason. The control system is tuned to a "natural" speed of input.

If you are turning the manual wheel very slowly, use a lower multiplier. If you are turning really fast, use a higher multiplier. Both relative measures, but make sense in use. (somewhat like manual transmission gears/ratios on a car and engine speed ... sorta)

Remember you are controlling a high mass, high precision device in real time. Using a high rate input very slowly is somewhat akin to trying to start and stop the axis repeatedly. The high accelerations required to do this become evident. Somewhat like repeatedly hitting the manual hand wheel on a machine rather than smoothly turning it. (Back to the manual transmission analogy this is somewhat akin to lugging an engine ... but again only sorta)

Depending on your "natural" input speed and manner of tapering control speed you may find this occurs more or less in your typical use at different multipliers.

You will also find that you cannot instantly reverse an axis in motion. Again this is due to the dynamics involved. You can't do this physically on a power fed manual machine either.

We touch on both of these issues in the users manual troubleshooting section.

Seeing something other than this in manual mode ? Please get in touch with us, we're happy to help.


- Mikini Mechatronics, LLC
- 831.254.2012
- Support@mikinimech.com (Attn Phil)



Thanks for the x10 info. Low speed is when you need the BEST control IMO. I never use the pendant any more because I am "scared" at what it will do... I need to send Phil a video and get the issue resolved, this is actually a "selling point" for the machine which is currently a big risk to even use.[/QUOTE]

MIKINI MECH
03-30-2011, 10:42 AM
In agreement with prior posts, all devices should be either properly configured or properly disabled (In any controller).

"SM bus" (The chipset driver) should be properly enabled. We're unclear if the unknown device is your touch monitor that was installed, or other device that was conflicting and was disabled on reboot. Your ports should also show up normally.

To this end, we're also unclear if this is a result of the device/driver/configuration changes that were made.

Check your email - we've sent detailed instructions and driver files to assist you in returning to a known good configuration. The email was sent prior to the time stamp on your below post in fact.

We're here to help, don't hesitate to get in touch for assistance with configuration issues.

Regards,

- Mikini Mechatronics, LLC
- 831.254.2012
- Support@mikinimech.com (Attn Phil)






[QUOTE=SWATH;920012]I checked the BIOS and the parallel port is enabled, I'm not sure why it doesn't show in device manager. Can someone with an integrated controller confirm that your SM Bus Controller is functioning? I don't want to install it if it is supposed to missing. I'm not sure what "Unknown Device" is. I'll see what Phil says tomorrow.

mcphill
03-30-2011, 10:11 PM
A few threads in this post have referenced "stuttering" in the axes when using the manual pendant on the x10 setting. I have started a new post to address that concern here:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/mikinimech/125348-jumping_manual_pendant_x10_setting-post920524.html#post920524

SWATH
04-01-2011, 06:20 PM
Can someone tell me what their CPU load is when Mach is sitting idle and in CNC mode with the following kernel speeds set in Mach 25khz, 35khz, and 45khz?
Also what was your default kernel speed with the supplied xml? Still trying to figure this out but not having much luck.

Thanks

ROCKYMTN
04-01-2011, 07:16 PM
SWATH,

Mine is sitting at 1% idle, 2% cpu load while running a "homing" test. 21% while running a program. This is at kernel of 45KHz. On a 2.5GHz Pentium 4 with 1 GB of ram. I checked at 25KHz and loads where about the same.

Also, I installed the Touch screen monitor like what you have and that is fine. No issues with driver - however, I did have some problems with the add-on mill wizards in Mach 3 locking up but that is another issue related to Mach only that I'm debugging now.

mcphill
04-01-2011, 07:25 PM
I'll pop out and make a video. I don't recall, can you change kernel settings without rebooting? I am pretty sure mine is running at 75 khz...

What CPU is in your computer (what chip and what speed)? Did you get the driver issues resolved?

SWATH
04-01-2011, 10:07 PM
Thanks Rocky, that is what I thought it should be.

Mike,
Yes you can change the kernel speed then just restart mach. The chip is an Intel Atom 1.8Ghz processor. I'm still working it out. Apparently something I did to it nuked the parallel port driver or something so it's not showing up. This may be causing the CPU overload. At the default 45khz the CPU load is 60% during mach idle, at 35khz it is 30%, and at 25khz it is around 15%.

mcphill
04-01-2011, 11:52 PM
I failed to check it today, but I will tomorrow. My computer is an Atom as well, though I think it is dual core. Not sure if it is the same processor or not. Did you get a driver CD with the board? If not, can you find the board model number and download them? All Atom boards are from Intel, I believe, so that should help in finding the files you need. Can you disable the parallel port in BIOS, then reboot and re-enable it? This may "trigger" Windows to ask for the driver again.

SWATH
04-02-2011, 12:03 AM
The board is an Atom D525mvw. Phil did email me the chipset drivers and that solved the SM Bus Controller issue but I still have the unknown device and were thinking that may be the parallel port. Yes I disabled the parallel port and rebooted (the unknown device still shows up with everything but a VGA cable plugged into the computer). When I re-enable it nothing changes.

mcphill
04-02-2011, 12:26 AM
Hmmm.... If the unknown device shows up with the parallel part disabled in BIOS, I would lean to think that device is NOT the parallel part... Did you try deleting the unknown device? Right click it in Device Manager, and pick Delete or Uninstall.

SWATH
04-02-2011, 12:33 AM
Yes I did that, no matter what it always shows back up on reboot. Even if the unknown device is not the parallel port, I'm still missing the parallel port in device manager.

mcphill
04-02-2011, 12:45 AM
Don't suppose you got an XP install disc with it, did you? Sounds like maybe it's about that time...

SWATH
04-02-2011, 12:48 AM
I agree, it's that time. I did not get any software discs with the machine, but I asked Phil if he could either send me the XP install or the ISO to image the drive with.

mcphill
04-07-2011, 07:59 PM
Any update or progress?

SWATH
04-07-2011, 10:18 PM
None of us can figure it out, so I'm sending the computer back tomorrow.

SWATH
04-09-2011, 11:43 AM
I sent the computer back yesterday for diagnosis and remedy so I have been trying some manual milling. I needed to face some 4140HT to make a blank for CNC machining for when the computer comes back. I was using a Maritool 3.15" facemill with 6 Sumitomo SEHW1204AFTN coated carbide inserts and it slices right though it like butter. My cuts were very light which I'll get into in a minute as to why but I tried .01 and .02 doc .5 to 1" woc. The first time I did it I didn't have my Gwizard handy so I just guessed at the spindle speed and put it at 2000rpm and just jogging at a medium pace on x100 (I think the panel read somewhere between 8 and 15IPM). This left an incredible finish, like a mirror you could easily see your reflection in it. I did notice the chips were burnt black though. The next day I tried it after plugging the metrics into Gwizard and it gave me a spindle speed of 464 for a SFM of around 360 (my surface speed before was like 1600). This spindle speed did not leave nearly as nice a finish and I encountered another problem. Periodically the spindle speed dips for no reason like it loses power, you can hear it and monitor it on the display panel. When running at 470rpm is takes a dip to around 250 then slowly comes back up over about 8 sec. This happens whether or not I'm cutting anything and does it maybe every 30-60 sec. When I'm cutting this causes a spindle stall because the chipload gets too high and the cutter just jams. The spindle load doesn't increase and you can observe this happen just cutting air. Does anyone else experience this? Also I found that using the x10 setting while cutting can be bad. Even if you are turning it at a moderate and smooth pace and it's cutting along no problem, it will still jump at some point which can send the cutter into the material too fast potentially chipping a tooth and you will lose position (if that's important to you). So I just used the x100 and turned it slowly. I have video of these cuts I'll post soon (although I did catch a couple of spindle stall on video you can also see/hear where it slows down when it doesn't stall).

mcphill
04-09-2011, 02:00 PM
I have asked Phil about the spindle speed. I can hear it changing in pitch. Phil told me that it is "switching" electrically (kind of like a transmission?) but that the speed should be constant. I have not seen the displayed RPM on the screen jump (but I have not cut that much, either). I also tried some x10 cutting yesterday, and will not ever do it again. I was trying to do it "right", but I too got some jumping...

Looking forward to seeing your videos...

Might be worth starting a new thread for a specific question/issue?

Texas machinist
04-10-2011, 12:47 PM
Swath
I am a newbie to the forum, but with 30 years machining experience behind me. Not a "smart butt know it all, but a lot of knowledge between these old ears. I believe the reason for the spindle speed slow down is low torque at low rpm. You said 4140 HT, what is the RC hardness 38-42 or higher? Hope to be of help.

SWATH
04-10-2011, 10:10 PM
Swath
I am a newbie to the forum, but with 30 years machining experience behind me. Not a "smart butt know it all, but a lot of knowledge between these old ears. I believe the reason for the spindle speed slow down is low torque at low rpm. You said 4140 HT, what is the RC hardness 38-42 or higher? Hope to be of help.

Thanks for the note, according to my calculations the 4140 HT should be around 34-35RC. I don't believe that to be the issue though, the spindle is a constant linear torque servo. Phil has replied to my problem and thinks the spindle is slightly out of tune possibly due to shipping. He has sent me instructions on how to re-tune which I will attempt to do tonight. The symptoms are indicative of being out of tune.

mcphill
04-10-2011, 11:04 PM
Would you mind posting those tuning instructions?

SWATH
04-10-2011, 11:23 PM
sure

mcphill
04-10-2011, 11:51 PM
Thanks!

SWATH
04-11-2011, 01:46 PM
Swath
I am a newbie to the forum, but with 30 years machining experience behind me. Not a "smart butt know it all, but a lot of knowledge between these old ears. I believe the reason for the spindle speed slow down is low torque at low rpm. You said 4140 HT, what is the RC hardness 38-42 or higher? Hope to be of help.

What sfm would you use for a 6 coated carbide insert 3" facemill in 4140HT? Gwizard gives me 470rpm and about 360sfm, but I thought this was too slow because when I initially tried 2000rpm it cut much better and had a much better finish. Then I tried looking up the manufacturers data for the inserts (which was very hard to find but eventually I did) and they recommend a sfm range of 400 to 750, so when I tried this and set the spindle speed to 890rpm again it cut much better and left a much nicer finish. I was only cutting .01doc, 2.0 woc. Also I chipped 3 of my inserts because after a spindle halt with the lower speeds I had to turn off the machine and turn it back on to silence the alarm and when I tried cutting again I had forgotten that the spindle direction is reversed so it's default is CCW. Upon re-starting the spindle had reverted to the default direction and I drove the cutters into the workpiece backwards. I am now officially going to reverse the wires to make the default CW (easy to do).

Texas machinist
04-11-2011, 02:59 PM
Swath
Keep in mind that when milling the cutter is turning, were with a lathe the part is turning. Your job you are using a 3" cutter. SFPM is the speed of the cutter, regardless of WOC, or DOC. On harder material you will get a better finish at higher speeds and small DOC. with what you were doing I used 80% of the High end of MFG recomendation as a starting point. In your case 750 * .8 = 600 SFPM = 764 rpm for a 3" cutter. Check your cutter and use the actual diameter that theinserts are on. .010 -.020 maximum DOC, the harder the smaller the DOC for finish. You can do the same job again, and something will have to be minorly changed.

Check out this link for this and future reference.
Milling: Cutting Speeds & RPM Calculations (http://its.fvtc.edu/MachShop3/speedCalc/SpeedRPM.htm)

Also consider the cutter you are using for a 2.0 WOC. A 3" cutter with 6 inserts has 1.5 inches between inserts. Using a little trig to figure the distance between inserts. which means you have 2 inserts on the material at a time cutting forward and 2 inserts on the trailing cut, if the cutting point on the inserts are on a 3" diameter. Hope this helps.

scudzuki
04-11-2011, 10:05 PM
Swath
I am a newbie to the forum, but with 30 years machining experience behind me. Not a "smart butt know it all, but a lot of knowledge between these old ears. I believe the reason for the spindle speed slow down is low torque at low rpm. You said 4140 HT, what is the RC hardness 38-42 or higher? Hope to be of help.

Swath indicated that the drop in spindle speed occurs under no load as well as while in a cut.
It has nothing to do with the torque curve of the spindle motor, it is an issue with the spindle drive.

Since GWizard's data is compiled from many manufacturer's data (and is thus an average) and assumes uncoated carbide for that cutter, it's no surprise that it suggested surface speeds a bit lower than optimal.

Joe

BPR
04-12-2011, 10:22 PM
A little off topic here, but has anyone used the Royal R8 Quick Change Tooling System? Its similar to the Tormach TTS but not exactly. It has an R8 Holder that you insert CAT style collets into. Its a push button, one handed, quick change system. Its intended for medium to light cutting, but it definitely looks like the fastest tool change system that I have ever seen. No draw-bar to tighten, just snap a cutter holder into the R8 adapter, and you're done. Push the button and the tool pops out into your hand!

If anyone has experience with this, I would appreciate hearing about it. Here is a link to their site. Royal Products (http://www.royalprod.com/product.cfm?catID=11)

Mahalo!

Texas machinist
04-13-2011, 12:15 AM
I wonder what the TIR ( Runout) is at the tool shank with 3 fits. R8 to spindle, cat 30 adapter to cat 30 tool holder, drill chuck, collet chuck, set screw end mill holder ??? Bet it is more than .002 total accumulated runout. Ask them to show you a spec that they will refund your money on if exceeded.

SWATH
04-13-2011, 12:46 AM
BPR,

Congrats on the machine, please let us know of your experiences. Also let me know if you experience periodic dips in spindle RPM especially at speeds below 1000rpm.

BPR
04-13-2011, 04:03 AM
Hi Tex,

According to Royal's documentation:

❑ Very accurate — total system runout is less than 0.0005" TIR.

I assume that is exactly what you were asking about... Total system runnout: If true, it is very impressive for such a convenient system. But this would be the optimal R&D setup. You could measure and put everything into a tool table. This should be able to beat an ATT in time, but it still needs to be attended.

Texas machinist
04-14-2011, 03:06 AM
.0005 Total runout for 4 joints. I would have to see it to believe it. That means that the nominal joint runout would have to be less than .0000125
Like I said "Show me", and I am not from Missouri. LOL

Brian L
04-15-2011, 07:02 PM
I run the Royal Quick change system, modified the R8 shank to MT4 to fit my Deckel mill, but same thing beyond that. The tool holders do repeat within .0005".... of course standard precautions, the tapers have to be kept clean and free of dings, but yes they do repeat and runout is way better than most Chinese R8 collets.

The only thing I would say, is that it's not really meant for heavy side loads and large amounts of stock removal rates. I tend to limit myself at 1/2" carbide endmills, so no 3/4" end mills or shell mills.... I'll pull it out of the spindle and go to direct style tool holders for larger tools. If you do tend to side load it pretty heavy, I've noticed it handles the cuts fine, but you tend to have a bit of trouble getting the tool out of the taper.... there is no positive ejection, the balls retract from the tapered groove and the tool holder should fall free.... well after heaving milling you might have to take a piece of brass and tap the side of the holder to pop it loose.

So, perfect for drilling and milling on a smaller machine, which i would say this qualifies. There is one other R8 tool change system that I think is better, R8 SnapChange by Ultron Engineering.... we had it on all of our Bridgeports in the machine shop and it is super quick and (IMO) more rigid than the royal as the holders fit native in the R8 taper. It wouldn't work on this type of spindle, it uses the quill movement to actuate the gripping device.... although an enterprising sort might use the holders, make his own gripper using Belleville washers and some sort of air/hydraulic actuator.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v127/dmogbrian/Deckel/Easychangeunit.jpg

howecnc
04-15-2011, 09:02 PM
Royal Product quick change is excellent. I have a set that I used on my Tormach for when I was cutting steel. Then I got the power draw bar and haven't used it since because the R8 collet has to stay in the spindle.

I have used it on the Mikini as another tool holder and it still performed very will.

The problem with the system is the price.

Brian L
04-15-2011, 11:07 PM
Ebay is your friend.... LOL! I managed to buy a couple of masters and numerous tool holders. Then a friend found a whole bunch of holders with no master... so we traded pieces and made two nice sets. This was maybe 6 to 8 years ago.... and I haven't seen really smokin' deals on any of the Royal stuff since... good deals, but not dirt cheap.

SWATH
04-26-2011, 03:30 PM
Would anyone care to measure what voltage they are getting across the 2 lines going to their machine for me? Thank you.

ROCKYMTN
04-27-2011, 10:24 AM
Would anyone care to measure what voltage they are getting across the 2 lines going to their machine for me? Thank you.

I measure 240 VAC going into the machine. Black to Red wire. White is neutral (ground) and bare copper is ground. Any luck getting machine back up and running?

SWATH
04-27-2011, 10:49 AM
No luck yet. I had an electrician and the energy company come out and they were both measuring 250v so that may be the problem. I'm waiting to see if there is anything they can do. Probably not though since 250v is in spec.

mcphill
04-27-2011, 01:07 PM
250V should be no issue - what is going on? Did it work for a while and then stop, or is is just not going? I had a big capacitor pop on mine in the first few times I used it, no power after than. There were capacitor "guts" all over when it happened and I heard it pop, but if it had happened when I was not there I would have had to track it down. Phil sent a replacement board for that and it has been fine since.

You also don't need a neutral at all for the Mikini machine itself. I have run a neutral so that I can put some 110V outlets on my machine, but all the machine needs is the two phases of 120 (which is 115-125 each, 180 degrees out of phase) and ground. I currently don't have the neutral hooked up to anything.

FYI, found these "specs" on Wiki: "At the source [the voltage] should be 120 V and allow a range of 114 to 126 V (-5% to +5%)".

SWATH
04-27-2011, 01:27 PM
Mike,
I'm not entirely sure what is going on. The spindle rpm/voltage takes a dive every so often even when just spinning in air. The power feeding the machine and spindle driver board is constant but high at 250v. Phil assured me that 250v was too high and even approaching that voltage could cause problems. I am just trying to rule things out by getting the voltage closer to 240 so I can see if the problem persists. Also the 250v 20A fuse blows as soon as I turn on the machine now (this started happening just a couple of weeks ago and coincidentally the power company said they had voltages surge in my area since a couple of weeks ago), which leaves the axis drives unpowered. Phil has been quite helpful in helping me troubleshoot but if it is the power lines themselves it is out of his hands. The electrician that looked at it thought it was the high line voltage and the electric company also agreed the voltage was quite high although barely within the maximum end of the spec. I might suggest to Phil that perhaps it may be a good idea to rate the voltage of the machine to at least the maximum spec of residential voltage (which is 252v).

Thanks for the voltage reading Rocky, I wonder if you would also be willing to disconnect the ground line and neutral line from your panel and measure the voltage from those wires to the panel grounding bar with the machine both off but breaker on and also with both on.

I only have 2 hots and a ground but the ground gets about 10v going over it with the machine on which may be interfering with the clean ground signal required for the Hall Effect sensor on the spindle. I also inspected all the electronics and capacitors but nothing looks abnormal.

mcphill
04-27-2011, 02:25 PM
Ugh... That doesn't sound like fun!

I just had a whole house surge suppressor put in, it goes in before the panel - wonder if something like that might help you? Only cost a bit over $100:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=whole+house+surge+protector&cp=13&qe=d2hvbGUgaG91c2Ugcw&qesig=_Pr_2VcPJmSUgXU4ALmUzg&pkc=AFgZ2tnQ5LBeVFLcyF9R1CbrF-4099PMxr0w6vcpIpD0TahWsJUKCKnaKIr2s1N7zyO6LI1b1WtKAjAwo0GsthNenTUyaLF3Yg&pq=lower+high+residential+incoming+voltage&safe=active&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17062732040585708520&sa=X&ei=VmG4TeChBMnY0QGlwrHRDw&sqi=2&ved=0CGMQ8gIwAg#

I don't know of a way to "get rid" of 10-20 Volts other than an AC to AC transformer... Odd that the equipment would be so sensitive to incoming power that is in spec. I can understand needing a steady voltage, but 250 is within spec and should be usable...

I see that the spec sheet states "only needs 220 volts"... Spec is 240V nominal...

ROCKYMTN
04-27-2011, 03:51 PM
Mike,
I'm not entirely sure what is going on. The spindle rpm/voltage takes a dive every so often even when just spinning in air. The power feeding the machine and spindle driver board is constant but high at 250v. Phil assured me that 250v was too high and even approaching that voltage could cause problems. I am just trying to rule things out by getting the voltage closer to 240 so I can see if the problem persists. Also the 250v 20A fuse blows as soon as I turn on the machine now (this started happening just a couple of weeks ago and coincidentally the power company said they had voltages surge in my area since a couple of weeks ago), which leaves the axis drives unpowered. Phil has been quite helpful in helping me troubleshoot but if it is the power lines themselves it is out of his hands. The electrician that looked at it thought it was the high line voltage and the electric company also agreed the voltage was quite high although barely within the maximum end of the spec. I might suggest to Phil that perhaps it may be a good idea to rate the voltage of the machine to at least the maximum spec of residential voltage (which is 252v).

Thanks for the voltage reading Rocky, I wonder if you would also be willing to disconnect the ground line and neutral line from your panel and measure the voltage from those wires to the panel grounding bar with the machine both off but breaker on and also with both on.

I only have 2 hots and a ground but the ground gets about 10v going over it with the machine on which may be interfering with the clean ground signal required for the Hall Effect sensor on the spindle. I also inspected all the electronics and capacitors but nothing looks abnormal.

I'll do some more electrical measuring over the next couple of days. I measured at my wall socket with machine unplugged.

ROCKYMTN
04-30-2011, 09:19 AM
I've been doing some voltage monitoring over the past few days and here is what I found. Minimum voltage = 240 VAC, Maximum = 247 VAC, no measurable ground voltage offset. Residential electrical service. Having machine on or off didn't make a difference to the reading. Used two calibrated precision FLUKE DVM to compare. Phil says I'm ok at 247 VAC but I'm a little nervous as I'm getting close to that 250 region. I have not seen any weird or other odd things from the machine. Powers up and down just fine. I'll keep monitoring.

Northern Colorado has quite a few wind generators in operation and I suspect and seems correlated that my higher readings are when the wind is blowing. Readings during the calmer times sees the voltage drop down in the lower 240's.

Surge suppressors wont help with higher running voltages and are only designed to deal with very short duty cycle voltage spikes.

Brian L
04-30-2011, 10:02 AM
You deal with high line voltages by changing taps on transformers (on three phase machines) and by adding what are called "buck-boost" transformers. You can increase or decrease voltages as required to get in the proper range.

According to my local power company, and they conform to ANSI C84.1-1989 (American National Standard Institute), there are two ranges, "A" which allows voltages from 228 to 252 on a "240V" system, and then you have range "B" which allows 220V to 254V. While they "strive" to stay within range A, they can be within range B... and these are considered "steady state" voltages, they can have momentary voltage sags to 60% (144V) and over voltage transients to 120% (288V) of normal voltage.

All of that is if you are on a 240V system, depending upon location you could be on a 208V system too....

If this machine absolutely can not handle anything over 250V it isn't going to be safe anywhere in the USA without some sort of voltage protection, uninterruptible power supply or other such voltage limiting device will be required.

SWATH
04-30-2011, 12:30 PM
A couple of days ago I notice a 8-12 man electric crew at the end of my street with a bucket truck and a new pole and bunch of equipment. I didn't think of it at the time because of the seemingly large scale endeavor but they were there to address my voltage complaint. I called and they said they had sent out a crew and engineers to examine and fix the issue and that the voltage has been lowered. I now read 246.6v RMS during the day which gets up to 248v at night (3am).

Last night I began another round of trying to find out why the machine ground line gets ~10v on it when I turn the machine on (which should be 0-1.5v max). It happens only after the power is fed through the machine, it does not happen at the wall outlet. So I got in there and started checking all the wiring and recorded some data but I'm not sure it is valid yet. For instance, the Mikini interface board seems to put 4v on the ground but I don't notice a 4v jump in the main ground line when I reconnect the ground nor do I see a 4v reduction when it is disconnected. Ungrounding the 12v DC power converter adds around 7v to the machine ground line. The spindle board doesn't seem to add voltage to the ground but the ground voltage increases when the spindle is running. So I regrounded everything properly in the machine and went though tightened all the leads and suddenly I notice 4-7v over the ground instead of 10-12v. This kind of led me to believe that there is some loose connection somewhere that is causing too much impedance so I'll be checking all that today. The spindle problem still persists though despite the lower ground voltage.

The fuse blowing issue may be faulty fuses, as I only measure 56v and 13A across the clips and yet they immediately blow when energized. Breaking one open revealed what seemed to me to be too small of a filament to carry 20A, so the fuses may actually be mislabeled. Curiously I also broke open the original fuse and although the filament was mostly burned up it did appear to be of a similar size.

mcphill
04-30-2011, 01:01 PM
This kind of led me to believe that there is some loose connection somewhere that is causing too much impedance so I'll be checking all that today.

FWIW, I had several VERY loose connections on my machine. The main AC line pulled right out when I was originally running power to it. I went through and tightened everything. None were totally loose, but many were very, very loose (probably would have been able to pull the wire right out).

This is a common issue on Chinese built machines...

SWATH
04-30-2011, 03:06 PM
Well the voltage went back up to 250v, so I've got to call and complain about that on Monday. I did test a whole bunch more stuff today though. I'm fairly confidant that the voltage over the ground line is originating from the machine somehow. I also carefully inspected my ground from the machine to the panel to the buried rod outside, and determined continuity and low impedance to at least the rod itself. I don't know if the soil is somehow resisting taking voltage but I doubt it. I shut off all the other breakers so the only ones on are the main and the machine breaker in the panel. Just tightening connections in the machine got me to 6.5v over the ground instead of the 10-12v I was getting, so that is what I'm dealing with now.

When I try to run the spindle with the machine ungrounded I experience the same type of problem with the dipping RPM but greatly magnified. So I'm still thinking it's a grounding issue but the machine seems well grounded to me, so it's got to be the extra voltage interfering with a clean ground signal as Phil is pointing out. I just can't figure out where it's coming from but I'm pretty sure it is originating from the underside. I think that because I don't get it at the outlet itself when I disconnect the ground from the side and measure the voltage between the ground wire and the outlet body, it reads essentially 0.00v, so I don't think it's originating from something grounded on the panel causing noise or something in the line itself. Secondly When I reground the outlet, plug in the machine, but disconnect the power cord ground wire from the yellow/green machine ground wire and measure across those I get 2.8v with the breaker inside the machine turned OFF, 2.1v with the breaker ON, and 6.5v with machine on. I also tested this with all the panel breakers turned back on and the readings do not change. Also when I disconnect all the power lines supplying components in the top side I still do not notice a change in the ground voltage. I don't know if the voltage readings taken when the machine is off mean anything but it seems weird to me that even with the breaker off I'm getting voltage over the ground which may be indicative of something. It is when the machine is on that the ground voltage goes up significantly. One thing I can't unground by itself to test is the spindle motor since it is bolted to the machine but when disconnecting it's power supply the readings still do not change.

I don't know I'm just thinking out loud, any thoughts?

mcphill
04-30-2011, 03:15 PM
Don't suppose you have a buddy with a forklift and trailer? Would be great to try the machine at another location to 100% rule out your electrical infrastructure...

SWATH
04-30-2011, 03:57 PM
No I don't, it would be nice though.

srongey
05-01-2011, 12:34 AM
Instead of taking the machine to another electrical source, you could you borrow or rent a generator to try as an independent supply; more of a diagnostic than a long term solution.

Are you sure the ground in your wall outlet is truly connected to ground? It's not unheard of to have outlets without the ground connected.

Regarding the fuse blowing, not to be nit-picky on terminology but I worry when someone says they measure the current "across" something. Current needs to be measure in-line with the circuit so people talk about the current "through a component. If you measured across the fuse clips with a good fuse in place then your value will not be correct. If you measured the current with the fuse removed (or blown) then the value should be correct.

SWATH
05-01-2011, 12:56 AM
Instead of taking the machine to another electrical source, you could you borrow or rent a generator to try as an independent supply; more of a diagnostic than a long term solution.

Are you sure the ground in your wall outlet is truly connected to ground? It's not unheard of to have outlets without the ground connected.

Regarding the fuse blowing, not to be nit-picky on terminology but I worry when someone says they measure the current "across" something. Current needs to be measure in-line with the circuit so people talk about the current "through a component. If you measured across the fuse clips with a good fuse in place then your value will not be correct. If you measured the current with the fuse removed (or blown) then the value should be correct.

Thanks for tip, the generator idea is not bad. The manual does advise against using a generator though. Yes the the wall outlet is grounded, it goes directly from the outlet to the panel (about 20ft). I ran the wire myself and also checked for continuity all the way to the grounding rod outside. Yes the the current on the fuse is measured with no fuse in place just one lead on one side and the other lead on the other side. I measure 56v and 11-13A which somehow is blowing a supposed 250v 20A fuse, which makes me suspect faulty or mislabeled fuses...ebay. Those buggers are hard to find anywhere else.

srongey
05-02-2011, 12:31 AM
I don't know if ground loops could be a problem with this type of equipment, but they are an issue with sensitive measuring equipment. Ideally, the wiring for all grounded items should branch out so each line is terminal. If an loop is ultimately formed it acts as a coil that can have an induced emf by a changing magnetic field (e.g. from the magnetic field produced by other nearby components).

For the voltage you see on ground, is it AC or a DC offset?

For the fuses, could there be a high current transient that you can't resolve in your measurement but can trip the fuse? If you suspect your fuse supply, you could test them with a current source. You could even make a simple current source with a battery and a variable resistor. Then you could connect a fuse and current meter and monitor the current level as you dial it up with the variable resistor to see if it handles at least 13A or even see where it blows.

srongey
05-02-2011, 12:48 AM
One other idea at least as a diagnostic; I'm not sure whether it would be desirable as a long term solution. You could drop the voltage seen by the machine by putting a resistor in series with it. Granted, this would need to be a high power resistor (e.g. ideally double the highest current draw you expect, maybe around 40A or so). If you had a resistor with value equal to ~5-10% of the machine's input impedance, your 250V source would be split with ~12-23 V across the resistor and ~227-238 V across the machine load.

hprose
05-31-2011, 09:15 PM
Having that much fluctuation in power is a real problem. Not sure if you have solved you situation but you might want to look at a ups system that is 208 single phase input and output if this is your requirment. No, I do not work for APC but use their ups systems. There are numerous models and their maybe one that fights you needs. As I am in process of upgrading from a Syil x3/x4 to possibly a Mikini, I have been scouring the forum to find both good and bad. A rock solid solution to this problem is to put a ups inline with your machine and this just might be the easiest solution for protecting it. Just as an example, a model from apc model SUA3000RMT2U has a price starting at $1,525.00 but its Input voltage range for main operations is 141 - 255V. And puts out 208V. Comes with a single L6-20R and a L6-30R receptacles. Just a thought.

Good luck in your search for a solution and hope this helps,
Henry Rose

SWATH
05-31-2011, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the advice. I still have the problems but it's not the line voltage. I got the power company to bump it down permanently. I've been measuring at different times a day for weeks and it varies from about 245.5 to 248v RMS although it's rare that it gets over 246.6. I've had 3 electricians come out and try to diagnose it, they all checked all the wiring and everything and are baffled why it's not working right but they don't know much about the machine. One electrician had an actual industrial electrician on the phone with him who seemed to know a lot about cnc machines during a 2hr trouble shoot and they couldn't figure it out (but he wasn't there is person and I couldn't track him down to get him to come over). I going to try and get the ground continuity to the earth tested and then try and find a knowledgeable person to come out and take a look at the spindle issues and the fuse blowing issue. I haven't got my computer back yet though but it's not like I could use it yet anyway.

mcphill
06-01-2011, 10:49 AM
:eek:

I rooting for you! Hope you get it all working soon - I know you must be really frustrated right now, but hang in there...

Brian L
06-01-2011, 10:58 AM
Had a discussion on another forum about lightning strikes and proper grounding. It brought up a few issues.... is your house properly grounded? You might want to add a ground rod and bond it as close to your machine as you can.... in the industrial shop we drilled holes though the concrete and drove a ground rod behind each machine.

If you have your voltage at acceptable levels, then what is the issue now? The machine varies in speed with the DC drive? It's machine related, not power related.... the conversion of AC to DC should have removed any voltage issues to begin with. You are chasing things in the wrong direction here, in my opinion.

SWATH
06-01-2011, 11:45 AM
Yes the house is properly grounded as far as wiring goes, two locations on the cold water pipe and coming off the panel to two ground rods about 3ft away. Panel is bonded to ground. I was told by two electricians that another separate ground line for the machine could cause ground loops and was unnecessary anyway because it is wired up properly to the existing ground. The problem is that when I turn on the machine it adds 12v over the ground line and since the hall effect sensor needs a clean ground signal I assume it is miscalculating the proper speed and causing an intermittent drop in rpm. The industrial electrician suggested that there may be something wrong with the hall effect sensor. I'm not sure how to test it but when I manually turn the spindle by hand it lights up all three led lights at various points in the rotation. Someone else also suggested it is some kind of feedback coming off the machine but I'm not sure how to test that.

mcphill
06-01-2011, 01:04 PM
Seems pretty clear to me - when the machine is off, you have 0V on the ground line. When you turn the machine on, you have 12V present. Case closed?

I know it will be a bear to track down, but shouldn't the burden be on Mikini at this point? It sounds to me like you have done all that is within your power to ensure everything is right on your end...

Still don't have anyone you can take the machine to, just to see if a different location experiences the same issues? Maybe one of these electricians you are talking to would be OK to have you try it at their home?

Brian L
06-01-2011, 02:19 PM
Seems to me the ball is in Mikini's court. Are you suggesting he trundle off the machine to someone else's house to verify it does the same thing on their power? That's pretty extreme.... maybe an extension cord from the neighbors dryer outlet in the garage....

SWATH
06-01-2011, 03:26 PM
Yeah I thought it was too, so I began systematically unpowering things on the machine to see if the 12v disappeared. It did not, instead when I disconnected certain things it would add more volts to the ground line. I told Mikini about this and was told that the 12v on the ground is still symptomatic of a high impedance ground line and that should have the ground tested.

Brian L
06-01-2011, 03:31 PM
OK, how far is your ground rod from the machine? Take some solid copper wire and run directly from the machine to the ground rod. No chance of a ground loop feedback that way, and no impedance to even consider any longer.

SWATH
06-01-2011, 03:40 PM
One of the electricians did something to that effect but didn't take it all the way outside to the ground rod, just to the panel grounding bar. I may try your approach as well. Wire runs 25ft from machine to panel and about 10ft from panel to ground rod so total travel is about 35ft over wire.

Brian L
06-01-2011, 03:52 PM
Do it direct to the ground rod. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen issues in a house wiring system. This way you completely eliminate any possible issues with the house wiring... if the problem goes away, then you really have a problem, if not, you can now call Mikini comfortable that it's not possible anything on your end is incorrect.

Wife is a realtor, she had a house for sale, friends of the family, her niece's best friend from high school. The house is maybe 15 years old... while they have it for sale, one day a breaker trips... husband doesn't think much about it, goes outside to flip the breaker back, pow! It trips again..... start looking around, smell smoke... can't figure it out.... finally go in the attic, in a wall up high, maybe 12 foot off the floor in the master bedroom (vaulted ceiling in the bedroom, lowered ceiling over the bathroom), so he could see the vertical wall area and here is a black, burnt and charred section of drywall and the stud looked like it had been almost to the point of burning down the house, all charred black. Turns out a drywall nail came out the side of the stud, grazed into the wiring through the insulation. Now, it had been sitting there for 15 years without an issue and then that day, it would have burnt the house down if he had tried to flip that breaker one more time.....

So a ground coming loose, corroding, becoming isolated, none of it is beyond the realm of possibility.

pkelecy
06-01-2011, 05:23 PM
I'm a lurker (hoping for a Mikini someday :)) , but thought I would post a comment. Some CNC mills have an internal DC bus that supplies the servos. To produce that, the input AC is rectified and filtered with a bus capacitor. When the machine is first turned on, the capacitor voltage (which is zero initially) looks like a short circuit. So to prevent the current from spiking excessively, a resistor or inductor is normally placed in series with it. Based on the way fuses are blowing on power-up, this current limiting resistor/inductor could be bad (shorted). Just a thought, but might be worth checking out.

Good luck!

Pat

SWATH
06-08-2011, 12:48 PM
Ok I got the ground resistance tested today and it is fine, <5ohms@50ft. So the machine is properly hooked up to ground and the ground has low resistance. I'm leaning more toward it being the machine now so I'm going to get an industrial trouble shooter out here to figure out what exactly is adding the 12v and what I need to do to fix it. I tried running a wire directly from the machine to the rod and the spindle was still acting hinky but I was in a hurry so I probably didn't get good connections, I'll try again later tonight.

SWATH
06-22-2011, 03:54 PM
After pulling all my hair out trying to get a CNC knowledgeable electrician to try and diagnose it, I spoke with another one today who seemed to know exactly what the problem is. He said he sees this with larger machines that use a DC transformer and suggested I install what he called a "zero tap transformer". I didn't follow entirely but he thought converting AC to DC without this special transformer could cause these problems on single phase power with a residential ground. He is going to look over the block diagram in the manual and let me know what he thinks. Hopefully he can come and look at it, but I gather from all these guys that they are too busy to deal with anyone other than a large machine shop.

Brian L
06-22-2011, 07:44 PM
Interesting, but what does Mikini have to say about all of this? Doesn't seem like any of this is on your shoulders, doesn't Phil stand behind his machines?

ROCKYMTN
06-22-2011, 09:40 PM
Hmmmm a DC transformer doesn't make sense at all - or at least transformers don't work very well when DC is applied :eek: Maybe he meant a center tapped transformer? This way you could generate a good supply with a mid-supply reference ground located right at the machine. Both legs would be balanced at around 115VAC. I could see that as a good test.....

However, I'm still questioning your ground as being a problem as you DID have your machine up and running and have video of it working - right? Did you have the same quirky spindle issues at first power? If the spindle is the only thing still misbehaving, I'd send the controller board in for Phil to look at. At least if would rule that part out.

My controller board died a couple of weeks ago and right before it did, it had very erratic speeds and gave a spindle halt when just moving off the stock that I was cutting. I'm wondering if there is something amiss on your board that could be confusing the controller and causing speed dips.

Board is repaired and is heading back to me. Eager to have machine back running.

Rooting for you !!

SWATH
06-22-2011, 11:56 PM
Well the spindle has always had the problem since I first got it. I asked Phil about early on and he said it was just the sound pitch not the rpm dropping and was normal and just electronically shifting gears, so I ignored it. It doesn't do it at the faster speeds as in the video and is not noticeable when cutting wood. The spindle really takes a dip (like 50%) at the lower speeds (below 2000rpm). The speed dips become painfully apparent when cutting metal with spindle halts and tool chipping. That is when I realized that it is actually dropping speed.

allenj20
06-23-2011, 03:16 PM
I have had trouble with my spindle since I got the machine in early 09. My spindle has died 3 or 4 times I lost count.

Phil sent me the new V2 electronics at no cost as a result of all the problems I had with the spindle. It's good that Phil stands behind the product but it has been extremely frustrating none the less as you can imagine.

The spindle is definitely the weak point of the design. I think the idea of a brushless linear DC drive is a nice differentiator. But I think it is not as well trodden a path as the AC motor with a VFD. Plus Chinese electronic components are somewhat dodgy to begin with so the more well tested the better I am thinking.

The last time mine died I seriously considered converting it to an AC motor and VFD. If it dies again I will do that I think. Nothing else has given me trouble with the machine the steppers etc... well except the coolant pump recently froze up but that's not a huge deal.

I regret not getting the Tormach or even maybe just building my own from a good Rong-Fu RF-45 (not clone). At least that way I could always order spares off the shelf from a number of suppliers.

Though I would guess this could have happened with a Tormach as well. I am sure there are many people that have had this kind of trouble like this with these Chinese CNC machines. I know there are some in the Novakon forums that have had a lot of frustrations.

Phil has always stood behind the product and always responded professionally to all the issues I just wish there were a few less issues.

SWATH
06-23-2011, 03:42 PM
He also mentioned something about a bad speed pot or something. It certainly could be the spindle motor, in fact I may try to completely disconnect the U,V,W wires from the board and see if I still get voltage fluctuations on the board. I don't know if that will tell me anything but it is something I haven't tried yet. I've also been in contact with another very frustrated Mikini owner who has had a lot of spindle problems and replacements as well.

ROCKYMTN
06-23-2011, 04:44 PM
I have had trouble with my spindle since I got the machine in early 09. My spindle has died 3 or 4 times I lost count.

Phil sent me the new V2 electronics at no cost as a result of all the problems I had with the spindle. It's good that Phil stands behind the product but it has been extremely frustrating none the less as you can imagine.

The spindle is definitely the weak point of the design. I think the idea of a brushless linear DC drive is a nice differentiator. But I think it is not as well trodden a path as the AC motor with a VFD. Plus Chinese electronic components are somewhat dodgy to begin with so the more well tested the better I am thinking.

The last time mine died I seriously considered converting it to an AC motor and VFD. If it dies again I will do that I think. Nothing else has given me trouble with the machine the steppers etc... well except the coolant pump recently froze up but that's not a huge deal.

I regret not getting the Tormach or even maybe just building my own from a good Rong-Fu RF-45 (not clone). At least that way I could always order spares off the shelf from a number of suppliers.

Though I would guess this could have happened with a Tormach as well. I am sure there are many people that have had this kind of trouble like this with these Chinese CNC machines. I know there are some in the Novakon forums that have had a lot of frustrations.

Phil has always stood behind the product and always responded professionally to all the issues I just wish there were a few less issues.

When you say your spindle died was it the actual motor or the controller boards that went? When mine died, two electrical parts smoked on the spindle driver/controller board - a small cap on the backside plus a resistor on the top. My board is due back tomorrow and I HOPE that fixes the problem. I was hesitant to ship the spindle motor back too as motors are fairly robust...... Keeping fingers crossed......

allenj20
06-23-2011, 04:56 PM
When you say your spindle died was it the actual motor or the controller boards that went? When mine died, two electrical parts smoked on the spindle driver/controller board - a small cap on the backside plus a resistor on the top. My board is due back tomorrow and I HOPE that fixes the problem. I was hesitant to ship the spindle motor back too as motors are fairly robust...... Keeping fingers crossed......

Well the motor was replaced at least once maybe twice and I think in every case the Spindle Driver board was replaced. Phil has told me the V2 spindle driver is much more robust and should be more reliable. Curious who here with a busted spindle past or present has the V2 spindle electronics I.E. the 2010 or later design?

I should also mention I never crashed the spindle, abused it, or pushed it hard in any way. My max DOC was 0.020 mostly in 6061 I am very conservative with DOC in general because I am not in a huge hurry and would just as soon not push the capabilities of the machine until I get a good feel for it and know what it can handle. I have basically always babied the 1610L spindle because I am afraid the next time I start the machine the spindle will be dead again.

BTW in the Denver area in case you are too

ROCKYMTN
06-23-2011, 05:24 PM
Well the motor was replaced at least once maybe twice and I think in every case the Spindle Driver board was replaced. Phil has told me the V2 spindle driver is much more robust and should be more reliable. Curious who here with a busted spindle past or present has the V2 spindle electronics I.E. the 2010 or later design?

I should also mention I never crashed the spindle, abused it, or pushed it hard in any way. My max DOC was 0.020 mostly in 6061 I am very conservative with DOC in general because I am not in a huge hurry and would just as soon not push the capabilities of the machine until I get a good feel for it and know what it can handle. I have basically always babied the 1610L spindle because I am afraid the next time I start the machine the spindle will be dead again.

BTW in the Denver area in case you are too

Thanks allenj20 for reply back. I definitely have the newer controller as I have a fairly new machine (March of this year). Bummer to hear about yours needing replaced so often and I would certainly feel the same way about swapping out the motor for a AC version. Sounds like they (Mikini) may still have bugs to work out with that spindle hardware/electronics.

I'm also curious if anyone else is experiencing spindle issues....

Yes, close to Denver, Loveland to be exact.

mcphill
06-23-2011, 06:01 PM
I have had odd "spindle speed" issues with my machine since new. Phil has said that it is just a "sound" like "shifting gears" electronically, as he told SWATH. I am not sure that is the case, but I also haven't put a tach on it yet to get a real speed feedback.

One odd think I find is that the RPM reported by the Mikini on screen is only about 1/2 the speed requested by Mach at lower speeds. Up around 5000 RPM in Mach3 it reads 4900 on the Mikini, but down around 1000 it reads 500. Anyone else have this as well?

slowtwitch
06-23-2011, 07:34 PM
.

I'm also curious if anyone else is experiencing spindle issues....



Sadly, you can put me on that list.

allenj20
06-23-2011, 09:00 PM
Sadly, you can put me on that list.

What sorts of problems have you had? And do you have the version 1 or version 2 electronics?

slowtwitch
06-23-2011, 10:33 PM
What sorts of problems have you had? And do you have the version 1 or version 2 electronics?

I have version 2 electronics. I'm currently communicating with Phil, in hopes of getting this mill running and don't really want to post my experience...just yet. I will say that when the mill does run, it runs great. Sadly, it only ran on a couple days. in the time that I have owned it.

allenj20
06-24-2011, 11:20 AM
I understand and feel for you having gone through the same exact thing. It sucks, hopefully Phil will get you going.

Cheers

SWATH
06-24-2011, 01:19 PM
I was going through some video I took a couple of months ago and I found one that showed the spindle power dropping during a very light cut, I think the DOC was like .01 or .008 or something. It happens at 0:22 and 0:44 in the video. I kept it from stalling by letting off of the jog pendant and stopping the feedrate long enough for it to get back to speed.

YouTube - &#x202a;Mikini Spindle problem&#x202c;&rlm;

allenj20
06-24-2011, 02:21 PM
I was going through some video I took a couple of months ago and I found one that showed the spindle power dropping during a very light cut, I think the DOC was like .01 or .008 or something. It happens at 0:22 and 0:44 in the video. I kept it from stalling by letting off of the jog pendant and stopping the feedrate long enough for it to get back to speed.

YouTube - &#x202a;Mikini Spindle problem&#x202c;&rlm; (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYsX8V0YUlc)

That certainly does not look right. Just curious what did the spindle load meter show at that point?

allenj20
06-24-2011, 02:32 PM
I have had odd "spindle speed" issues with my machine since new. Phil has said that it is just a "sound" like "shifting gears" electronically, as he told SWATH. I am not sure that is the case, but I also haven't put a tach on it yet to get a real speed feedback.

One odd think I find is that the RPM reported by the Mikini on screen is only about 1/2 the speed requested by Mach at lower speeds. Up around 5000 RPM in Mach3 it reads 4900 on the Mikini, but down around 1000 it reads 500. Anyone else have this as well?

I have a problem with Mach and spindle speed on the Mikini but it is not quite the same as you describe.

On mine if I request 1000 rpm say do s 1000 in MDI and then m3 it goes to 1000 rpm give or take a few percent. However if I issue a subsequent speed change without stopping the spindle then it will be low by 120-200 rpm so if I issue a S 2500 it would go to like 2380 or some such and each subsequent speed change would be lower than what I requested by about the same amount so another s 1000 and it would go to 865 or some such. If I stop the spindle with m5 issue a new speed say s 2000 and restart the spindle with m3 it will be right again within a few rpm.

I am assuming it is a mach 3 tuning parameter issue because in manual mode it is always right. I plan on spending some time this weekend recommissioning my mill back in to service and what I am going to do is go through the mach 3 setup procedures as if it were a mill I built (which it sorta is at this point) and do all the motor and spindle tuning procedures and check the backlash in all axis.

SWATH
06-24-2011, 03:11 PM
I have a problem with Mach and spindle speed on the Mikini but it is not quite the same as you describe.

On mine if I request 1000 rpm say do s 1000 in MDI and then m3 it goes to 1000 rpm give or take a few percent. However if I issue a subsequent speed change without stopping the spindle then it will be low by 120-200 rpm so if I issue a S 2500 it would go to like 2380 or some such and each subsequent speed change would be lower than what I requested by about the same amount so another s 1000 and it would go to 865 or some such. If I stop the spindle with m5 issue a new speed say s 2000 and restart the spindle with m3 it will be right again within a few rpm.

I am assuming it is a mach 3 tuning parameter issue because in manual mode it is always right. I plan on spending some time this weekend recommissioning my mill back in to service and what I am going to do is go through the mach 3 setup procedures as if it were a mill I built (which it sorta is at this point) and do all the motor and spindle tuning procedures and check the backlash in all axis.

That's weird I don't think mine did that, but I never looked to see. Sounds like a Mach issue.

ROCKYMTN
06-25-2011, 02:59 PM
I have a problem with Mach and spindle speed on the Mikini but it is not quite the same as you describe.

On mine if I request 1000 rpm say do s 1000 in MDI and then m3 it goes to 1000 rpm give or take a few percent. However if I issue a subsequent speed change without stopping the spindle then it will be low by 120-200 rpm so if I issue a S 2500 it would go to like 2380 or some such and each subsequent speed change would be lower than what I requested by about the same amount so another s 1000 and it would go to 865 or some such. If I stop the spindle with m5 issue a new speed say s 2000 and restart the spindle with m3 it will be right again within a few rpm.

I am assuming it is a mach 3 tuning parameter issue because in manual mode it is always right. I plan on spending some time this weekend recommissioning my mill back in to service and what I am going to do is go through the mach 3 setup procedures as if it were a mill I built (which it sorta is at this point) and do all the motor and spindle tuning procedures and check the backlash in all axis.

Mine did the same thing too and I would need to stop spindle and reissue the new speed. I'm quite sure that's a mach issue. It's on my research list to look at later.

dirtridn2010
06-25-2011, 11:04 PM
I have been reading, with keen interest about the spindle owes on some machines. I wonder if this issue, which seems to have popped it's head up with newish machines could be a reason why Mikini seemed to have slipped on their production schedule. When I ordered my machine (a while ago now) Phil advised me of a pretty defined timeline under which things would occur. On the 1st June my machine was supposed to go into "final assembly" and "QC" in the U.S. I was supposed to be contacted after that two weeks (their words, not mine) with the info needed to organise a transporter for my machine. Now, nearly two weeks after that........silence, not a word. Perhaps manufacturing/QC problems...like spindle issues. Question. Did the timeline Phil provided to you guys work out accurately? Or am I being a bit pedantic about the timeline? Regards to all CNC'ers

ROCKYMTN
06-26-2011, 12:25 AM
I have been reading, with keen interest about the spindle owes on some machines. I wonder if this issue, which seems to have popped it's head up with newish machines could be a reason why Mikini seemed to have slipped on their production schedule. When I ordered my machine (a while ago now) Phil advised me of a pretty defined timeline under which things would occur. On the 1st June my machine was supposed to go into "final assembly" and "QC" in the U.S. I was supposed to be contacted after that two weeks (their words, not mine) with the info needed to organise a transporter for my machine. Now, nearly two weeks after that........silence, not a word. Perhaps manufacturing/QC problems...like spindle issues. Question. Did the timeline Phil provided to you guys work out accurately? Or am I being a bit pedantic about the timeline? Regards to all CNC'ers

Hello, I ordered my machine just at the end of last year. At the time Phil thought it would be around 2-3 weeks before shipment. My check cleared around Jan 14, at which point lead-times on the machine bumped out to around 3-4 weeks (Sounded like Mikini sales had picked up) - anyway machine was ready to ship at around the 5 week after check cleared. Along the way, Phil was fairly responsive to build status requests from me. He was even nice enough to hold the machine pickup a week as I had a urgent business trip to attend to.

Yes, there does seem to be various spindle issues going on right now and hard to determine if they are related and how many users are having specific problems. Maybe we need a new thread to address machine specific issues and eventual resolutions. The only thing I know is my controller board is drawing too much current and continues to do so, shutting down the spindle in the process. This seems unique to me and appears to be more related to a component issue. However, up until recently, the machine was working perfectly and was a real joy to use. I'm 100% confident that Phil (Mikini) will get this issue resolved.

I'm sure Phil will get back to you on build status. Cheers from Colorado.

mcphill
06-26-2011, 09:57 AM
I never received any updates on my order. The only way I got status updates was when I prompted one via an e-mail request. Phil was happy to respond to my requests, but I don't think he ever followed through on an response (even when he said he would give one on a certain future date) unless prompted by me.

So, I suggest you request an update rather than waiting for one.... The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

SWATH
07-01-2011, 01:03 PM
Update:

I had an Electrical Engineer come over and check things out with his oscilloscope for about 7.5 hours last night and here is what he found.

-My ground line is clean
-My incoming power is clean (although he was a little concerned with how high the voltage was at 247.8v but it was steady).
-The spindle motor is fine with about 1 ohm of resistance to ground on each phase and checked with the spindle manually rotated looking for a short.
-The Hall effect sensor is fine with a nice clean square wave on each of the three sensors.
-The pulses going to the spindle motor look fine.

Yet the spindle kept dipping as usual. He said that when the dip happens he sees nothing unusual in the wave form other than the motor slowing down. He also sees nothing unusual in the hall effect sensor wave form other than a slow down. From this he has concluded that the controller board is for some reason commanding the spindle to intermittently slow down and suggested that I return the spindle controller board. He is going to write up a full report with images of the waveforms later and I will post it here.

We also tried to reverse the default spindle direction by switching 2 of the U,V,W wires going to the spindle. This was unsuccessful and resulted in what he called a phase locked spindle. The spindle would not turn although it would track the hall effect sensor as it was rotated by hand. From this he determined it was likely that two of the wires on the Hall effect sensor also needed to be switched because the phase order needed to be rectified with the changed spindle wires. We tried to do this but could not release the pin clips from the Hall effect sensor wires without damaging the wires so we left it alone for now.

I also sent the axial power supply board back to Mikini.

SWATH
07-03-2011, 08:35 PM
I also yanked out the spindle control board and am sending it back Tuesday. It could be nothing but it seems there is a resistor that might be burnt and discolored. It looks different than all the other ones. We'll see what Phil says when he tests it. Hopefully that identifies the problem and I can get this thing finally running.

mcphill
07-03-2011, 10:15 PM
Fingers and toes crossed for you!

ROCKYMTN
07-04-2011, 09:29 AM
I also yanked out the spindle control board and am sending it back Tuesday. It could be nothing but it seems there is a resistor that might be burnt and discolored. It looks different than all the other ones. We'll see what Phil says when he tests it. Hopefully that identifies the problem and I can get this thing finally running.

Just curious, was it this resistor? (red arrow pointing) This one got very hot on my board when it faulted.

http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc481/longs-view/spindle_control.jpg

SWATH
07-04-2011, 11:05 AM
Just curious, was it this resistor? (red arrow pointing) This one got very hot on my board when it faults.

Yep, that's the one. It looks just like that, kind of brown and discolored.

ROCKYMTN
07-04-2011, 12:12 PM
Yep, that's the one. It looks just like that, kind of brown and discolored.

Looks like our machines might have similar issues. When I got my repaired spindle board back, it worked fine the day of the install. The only issue that it had was a slight droop in spindle speed (100 -200 rpm) after the spindle had come up to speed. After this one speed droop, the rpm tracked correctly. This one speed droop would always happen when a new speed was commanded. System never did this before....

I was going to use my scope and troubleshoot this (take some measurements for Phil) but board died again the very next day on power-up. Same issue, hot circuits - dead..... the transformer in the upper left corner became VERY hot too as if a short is occurring.

After communicating with Phil, we decided to send the spindle motor and spindle board back for repair/replacement. Phil is going to have that board analyzed by engineering to determine fault/cause.

I doubt this is related to high input voltage as 1 month prior to first spindle board crash, I installed a transformer to lower input voltage from 248 VAC (highest measured) to 235 VAC. Machine was happily running off of this for some time.....

My components are back at Mikini now and hopefully they can find an answer.

slowtwitch
07-05-2011, 05:34 AM
It looks like Phil's test bench is getting crowded, I sent my controller and motor in also :)

pete

SWATH
07-05-2011, 10:41 AM
Here is the report verbatim from the engineer who looked at my machine, please comment:


I thought about switching two motor coils on the way home from your house and was still fairly sure that two of the the Hall effect sensor leads need to be swapped as well, but it was 4:00 AM and my brain was in la la land, so I checked online. Yep. I added the emphasis to the quote below.

brushless dc motor motor drive Hall Effect Motor Control | Implementing a 3-Phase Brushless Direct Current Motor Drive (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4169939/Implementing-a-3-Phase-Brushless-Direct-Current-Motor-Drive)

The 3-phase switching voltage forms the rotating magnetic field. Figure 1 illustrates the stator fields after phase-switching events. The six events (Event 1 " Event 6) mark the phase-switching moments. This figure shows clock-wise rotation marked by an arched arrow. To rotate the rotor counter clock-wise, the reverse phase-switching order is used and can be achieved by exchanging the switching order of any two motor coils. The polling order of the Hall sensors should be reversed as well.



I'm still worried that your 220 VAC is going to drift above 250 V and fry the new electronics. We saw 248 VAC and that's awfully close to the 250 VAC upper limit. There's a good chance that when the power line is lightly loaded, it'll drift above 250 VAC. My 220 VAC is actually 244 VAC, which is a little high, but I doubt I'm in danger of exceeding 250 VAC. If the Mikini can be damaged by 250 VAC (probably should be more robust than that), I'd give up on your power company and put in a step down transformer. Here's one that's close:

Gomi Multi-Tap T-1 Transformer YT-236 1.5 KVA __AA21.1 | eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/400061591884)

You might be able to put your 248-250 VAC into the 110 VAC primary and pull 223-225 VAC out of the 100 VAC secondary. It's also possible that the secondary is only good for 100 V with a small safety margin on the insulation and it'd short out. You also need something in the 2500-3000 VA (2.5-3.0 KVA) class, so this particular transformer would burn out if you started hogging out a lot of steel. Keep looking and you should find one on eBay.

Here's a new transformer that should work:

C1F003WES Products (http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Power_Products_%28Electrical%29/Power_Transformers/Encapsulated_Transformers_%28NEMA_Rated%29/277-z-240-z-208-z-120_VAC_to_240x120_VAC/C1F003WES)

Put 245-250 VAC into the 270 VAC tap and you should be able to pull 221-226 VAC out the 240 VAC tap. It's 86 pounds, but there may be room to mount it inside the base of the Mikini, up off the floor.

Before buying a multi-tap transformer, be sure to check that the the Mikini doesn't have one already. Many machines are built that way to accommodate voltage standards in different countries, as well as various possibilities with industrial and residential voltages.



Here are the various waveforms that you can forward to the tech support people at Mikini.

Hall Effect input, one phase to +5V (red wire on the same connector), measured at the PCB. Other two phases were identical (other than leading or lagging by 120 degrees, obviously). I didn't measure to ground because it was adjacent to the signal I was measuring and I didn't want to short them together, and that's why we see negative pulses.
http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/4586/halleffect1.png




Output waveforms to spindle motor, one phase to the test loop terminal (ground?) on the spindle drive PCB. The other two phases were identical (other than leading or lagging by 120 degrees, obviously). Individual pulses are shown at various stages during the brushless DC servo motor phase commutation. Lower voltages and narrower (shorter duration) pulses would be at the beginning or end of the train of pulses for that motor phase commutation.

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/9317/spindlephasetopcbtestpo.png

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/9317/spindlephasetopcbtestpo.png

http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/9317/spindlephasetopcbtestpo.png

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/9317/spindlephasetopcbtestpo.png



Change time scale 1000X faster to show multiple phase bursts of PWM servo motor control for one phase.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9317/spindlephasetopcbtestpo.png


If there was any difference to the quality of the signals when the spindle motor was dropping in RPM, I missed it. To me, it looked like the Hall Effect signals (as observed on the oscilloscope and on the blinky red LED lights on the spindle drive PCB) accurately reflected the spindle RPM and the spindle drive controller suddenly dropped to about half speed and gradually caught up to the proper speed over the course of several seconds. Sometimes, the spindle speed would drop, start to increase, then drop to an even lower speed (half again?) before gradually speeding up to the commanded speed. If I had to guess, I'd say there might be a phase locked loop that is intended to reject noise and lock onto the fundamental frequency of the Hall Effect sensors, and every now and then, it locks onto every other pulse, rejecting every other pulse as noisy data.

Whatever it is, the servo drive output switches gears, jumping to a lower speed, about half, even though the commanded speed never changes, and the spindle speed that's displayed on the LED readout at the top of the spindle motor drive board stays relatively constant. Presumably, this is the actual speed. When the commanded speed is 500 RPM, the readout on the PCB jumps between 495 RPM and 500 RPM, when the spindle motor is operating properly, when the speed is about half, and the entire time the speed is ramping back up. Maybe there's a frequency to voltage converter on the PCB that measures spindle speed, and it has a fault that's causing this problem.

I wish we had made a video of what we observed to pass along to Mikini technical support. You can still make the video without the oscilloscope. Basically, what we saw was the spindle speed DRO on the front panel (commanded speed) steady at 500 RPM, the spindle speed DRO at the top of the spindle drive PCB (actual speed) toggling between 495 RPM and 500 RPM, and the spindle running at 500 RPM for a minute or two with the Hall Effect sensor LEDs and oscilloscope traces consistent with that 500 RPM speed, then suddenly the spindle drive PCB would send motor signals that slowed the spindle motor to about half speed (the oscilloscope burst patterns would approximately double in period) and the Hall Effect sensor data confirmed the rapid change in spindle speed. The commanded speed on the front panel would remain at 500 RPM and the "actual" speed on the spindle drive PCB would stay at 495 or 500 RPM.

Phase progression of the Hall Effect sensor signals was apparently as it should be (A, AB, B, BC, C, CA, A....). TTL level signals were clean and surprisingly free of noise considering the sensor cable was routed in the same conduit as the high current motor leads. I didn't check if the motor cable was shielded, but the shield on the Hall Effect cable was not connected on either end. It's a good practice to ground the shields on one side, usually in the control panel.

The Mikini control software thinks the spindle motor is running forward when it's running in reverse. It was wired this way from the factory. That's a good way to shred a bunch of carbide inserts on a big shell cutter. The hardware fix is to swap any two of the three wires on the spindle motor leads AND any of the two wires on the spindle Hall Effect sensor leads. The motor leads are easy to swap, but the sensor side of the Hall Effect leads are potted in hot glue to prevent vibration fatigue, and inside the panel the Hall Effect leads are terminated on a connector that will require a pin puller to rewire. Is it possible to flip the spindle direction on the Mikini controller? This is often a bit in the software that prevents any need for rewiring. That would be much easier.

Other than these bothersome startup issues, I like the Mikini. The design seems very good for the money (although the price list on the website price sheet is $500 higher than the home page, and the home page says the 4th axis is $999 and the price sheet shows it as $2000.

If a Mikini technician would like to discuss this with me, have them call at any time. Just make sure they know I don't have access to the machine.

mcphill
07-05-2011, 11:36 AM
Here is the report verbatim from the engineer who looked at my machine, please comment:

I hope Phil calls him. Keep us updated!

mechie
07-05-2011, 05:53 PM
I too had problems with my spindle. It ran forward in manual mode and backwards in Mach3 (cnc mode). My machine is using the Smooth stepper breakout board (it kept having problems when I ran without it). Phil sent me the Mach3 configuration code for use with the Smooth stepper board, and that cleared everything up except the spindle running backwards part. This is how Phil said to solve that in Mach3:

One more way you may be able to change the output of the spindle signal is
in the Config menu > ports and pins > motor outputs under spindle.

If you click "dir low active" and change state (standard is checked green,
changed state would be red X), it may change the output of the smooth
stepper, depending on the way the plugin works.

This worked, and I have been spindle-problem-free for the last 8 months.

mechie
07-05-2011, 06:08 PM
Mine did the same thing too and I would need to stop spindle and reissue the new speed. I'm quite sure that's a mach issue. It's on my research list to look at later.


This is a Mach3 issue. You have to issue the command to stop the spindle (M5) then enter M3 (or M4) and the new speed in the G-code. Otherwise, Mach3 will mess up the speed. FYI, the feed override in the lockdown version of Mach3 doesn't work either. It works in the beta version of Mach3, but that version didn't jibe well with my machine so I went back to the lockdown version.

allenj20
07-06-2011, 12:32 PM
Personally I think the power issue is a red herring.

Here's why there are only a handful of us on this forum that have Mikini 1610Ls and yet there are three people at least right now with a busted spindle drive. I have had my spindle die 4 times. We can't all have dodgy 240V circuits. It's very unlikely.

My power measures around 243 to 244V well within spec and is constant and steady. I also put it on a commercial grade 240V surge suppressor line filter after the first time the spindle died 2 years ago and Phil said it might be input power related.

Also as I have said in my video I have a Grizzly G0667x in my shop which is a high precision variable speed 9x48 manual mill. It has a VFD and 3hp spindle. I run that on the same 220V circuit (not at the same time). And it has always worked fine since the day I got it never a days trouble. To my thinking while that VFD is not the same tech as the BLDC it is just as complex and it works fine. As does all the other stuff in my shop running of the same power. If there were serious power issues it would show up elsewhere likely.

If it is a power related issue then I would say the Mikni is hyper sensitive when it comes to input power variations. And that in and of itself is a design issue. But again I don't really think it is a power issue I think it is a fundamental design problem with the spindle drive that's the Occam's razor hypothesis for sure.

Also even though my spindle is working now I am pretty sure it is going to die again. Why? Well there are currently 3 dead 2.0 spindles right now. The version 2.0 spindle was supposed to be the cure all for me. Also when I first start mine up there is usually a weird sound it makes while warming up a clunk is how I would describe it. It only does it like once and after the spindle is warmed up it does not do it again. But I have heard that sound before and it has made that sound when the spindle dips like Swaths. So that makes me think I am not out of the woods yet. Though to be fair with the experience I have had with the spindle so far I doubt I will ever really trust it.

That's my .02

Cheers, Allen

SWATH
07-06-2011, 02:29 PM
My spindle direction issues are in the manual setting. When I first power the machine on the LCD says "FOR" but when you press spindle start it goes CCW. That is what I am trying to rectify. I want it to spin CW when it reads "FOR".

As far as the power issue I don't know what to think. Nothing else in my house has any problems with the power. If there are large transients I would think my computers and microwave and TV, and even my computerized washer and dryer (which are 240v 30A) would be damaged, but they are not. Also everyone I talk to about the issue who is knowledgeable about electricity scoffs and says any thing designed for 220/240 will not be hurt by 250v. So if the machine is damaged by supply power that is within spec (my state code goes up to 252v) then it definitely needs to be made more robust and not just conform to the California code. Especially considering this machine is marketed to single phase residential users, which I take it may or may not have power as clean as commercial power. The EE from above had suspicions about the board being damaged by my high line voltage but was also curious why it wasn't made more robust to handle it. He is still thinking it may be a design issue with the board or perhaps a faulty component.

SWATH
07-06-2011, 02:34 PM
I too had problems with my spindle. It ran forward in manual mode and backwards in Mach3 (cnc mode). My machine is using the Smooth stepper breakout board (it kept having problems when I ran without it). Phil sent me the Mach3 configuration code for use with the Smooth stepper board, and that cleared everything up except the spindle running backwards part.

What problems were you having without the smooth stepper board? I contemplated getting that on purchase but I didn't really know what it was for and was told I probably didn't need it because it was for computers that didn't have a parallel port.

SWATH
07-06-2011, 02:45 PM
Also the EE commented on how he appreciated that it had a BLDC servo instead of a VFD. I asked if the the BLDC was better and he said emphatically "oh yeah, absolutely". I didn't really get the explanation why it is theoretically better. Can someone explain it to me, I'm curious. All I know is that the brushless motor version of my impact driver was way more expensive than the brushed version and it is much smoother in operation with better battery life and more power.

SWATH
07-06-2011, 03:12 PM
Just got word from Phil on my axial power supply board here is what he said:


We have received and completed inspection and repair of your power module
for the axial drives. The bridge rectifier on your board was damaged and
replaced. The board is now operating properly and has completed both
burn-in test and load tests, and is ready to be returned. This would be
the expected failure mode when exposed to high voltage or transients (or
in your case likely both).

billm01830
07-06-2011, 03:20 PM
I need help with programming helical tool paths on an Okuma. I use master cam X5. The machine alarms out when I try this type of tool path. I've tried many diffrent types of lead in and out paths with no luck.
Thanks
Bill m

allenj20
07-06-2011, 04:13 PM
Well I can try and explain it....


Brushless linear DC drive is a system that uses permanent magnets and a fixed armature and hall effect sensors and a microprocessor controller to switch the phase of the windings. It is considered linear because it develops maximum torque while stationary and has linearly decreasing torque with increasing speed. The controller uses firmware and feedback from the hall effect sensors to decide which windings to energize next and uses a PWM signal to the motor to energize the windings.

The advantages over brushed DC motors are there is no mechanical contact between brushes and a rotating armature and so a lot less maintenance is required. The also have more torque per pound than brushed DC and less noise and in theory more reliability. The downside is more complex control electronics. Our spindle controllers are really big microprocessor controlled DC chopper PWM speed controllers. This technology is the same as on a brushless RC car motor only ours are lot bigger and the speed controllers are a lot bigger and more complex. Likely it is the speed controller that is the weak link here.

AC motors and VFDs are a system that uses 3 phase induction motors with a solid state microprocessor based controller that also sends PWM signal to vary the voltage to the windings of the AC induction motor. The VFD takes in line AC voltage and rectifies it using a full wave rectifier in to DC voltage it then uses an inverter switching circuit to convert the DC back to a semi sinusoidal PWM wave that varies the voltage to control the motor speed. One upshot is you can use 240v single phase AC line to power a 240v 3 phase induction motor. When using a single phase connection the system must be derated power wise because the rectifier is only carrying part of the load. I think when I looked at it for a 5HP three phase motor you would get like 3HP running it on single phase. The AC induction motor requires more current and current losses to achieve power than the DC brushless. However the AC induction motor is very simple in design and very reliable and with a decent VFD is variable speed as well.

In theory the BLDC should be better linear torque curve wide range of available speeds reliable and quiet. The reality though is that the speed controller is fairly complex and in our case prone to breaking.

The reason I am considering a switch to AC and VFD is that I can get a Hitachi Sensor-less Vector VFD and AC induction motor pretty easily and it would be a system that is well tested and proven reliable.

You should probably ask your EE friend I am a geek but not the EE level of geek :rainfro:

SWATH
07-06-2011, 04:21 PM
Thanks Allen,
That clarifies it somewhat. So does the VFD have an inverse sloping torque curve where it dramatically loses torque as the rpm increases?

allenj20
07-06-2011, 05:12 PM
Depends on the drive there are voltage per hertz drives that are variable torque. They have a constant torque up to their base speed at which point field weakening kicks in and torque drops off eh picture is worth a thousand words. Here ya go this is for voltage per frequency VFD

http://www.hacksbot.com/storage/Screen%20shot%202011-07-06%20at%203.03.51%20PM.png

Sensorless Vector VFD drives are different and have a curve similar to DC drives with max torque near zero speed and a more or less linear response. I can't find a good curve for one though. Naturally sensor-less vector VFD costs more money.

ROCKYMTN
07-06-2011, 05:28 PM
Well I can try and explain it....


You should probably ask your EE friend I am a geek but not the EE level of geek :rainfro:

I'm a EE and you did a fine job of explaining!

The BLDC uses powerful rare earth magnets in the rotor so the magnetic field is already there whereas in a AC induction motor, that field needs to be generated by the rotating stator field. This makes the BLDC more powerful pound for pound and allows for a lighter motor to be installed on the z axis. Also, a BLDC has better torque at low speeds as compared to a VFD/3phase motor setup.

As you said, the electronics are much more complicated for the BLDC.

mechie
07-06-2011, 05:41 PM
What problems were you having without the smooth stepper board? I contemplated getting that on purchase but I didn't really know what it was for and was told I probably didn't need it because it was for computers that didn't have a parallel port.

I don't quite know what the smooth stepper is for; it came with my machine (I bought the integrated computer, which has a serial port and usb). Without it my steppers would jump whenever I switched from CNC mode to manual. Phil said I may not have a clean ground, but once I was able to use the smooth stepper again my problems went away.

allenj20
07-06-2011, 05:56 PM
The smooth stepper is a USB motion control device for Mach3. It takes data from mach via USB and turns it in to a a steady pulse train for stepper and servo motors. It can perform the function of two parallel ports for mach and offloads the pulse generation from the host CPU. It can generate a high quality high speed pulse stream. And you don't need a parallel port on your controller.

I like mine though I don't think it is strictly necessary.

ROCKYMTN
07-06-2011, 06:03 PM
This is a Mach3 issue. You have to issue the command to stop the spindle (M5) then enter M3 (or M4) and the new speed in the G-code. Otherwise, Mach3 will mess up the speed. FYI, the feed override in the lockdown version of Mach3 doesn't work either. It works in the beta version of Mach3, but that version didn't jibe well with my machine so I went back to the lockdown version.


Thanks for the confirmation !

mcphill
07-06-2011, 08:56 PM
I agree with most everything you said, but the fact that your computers are fine is irrelevant. They run off DC, created by the AC/DC power supply (the first thing the AC line runs in to), which has it's own built in surge suppression. I doubt anything in your house (except maybe your other shop equipment) uses "raw" 220/240 for anything close to critical. Your clothes dryer uses 240 for the heating elements, that would probably take 300V and be fine...

Again, I do think it is a Mikini issue, and it should be able to take "approved max" limits for any region at least in the USA. That means peaks of 254 V or even higher. To "put the burden" on the end user to make up for any variation in an incoming utility over which they have no control makes no sense to me...

allenj20
07-06-2011, 09:46 PM
I'm a EE and you did a fine job of explaining!

The BLDC uses powerful rare earth magnets in the rotor so the magnetic field is already there whereas in a AC induction motor, that field needs to be generated by the rotating stator field. This makes the BLDC more powerful pound for pound and allows for a lighter motor to be installed on the z axis. Also, a BLDC has better torque at low speeds as compared to a VFD/3phase motor setup.

As you said, the electronics are much more complicated for the BLDC.

Thanks I have to admit though even after reading the description of how a sensor-less vector drive works I have decided the principle is just FM (fricking magic) :o

SWATH
07-22-2011, 01:03 PM
Has anybody got their spindle problems fixed yet?

slowtwitch
07-22-2011, 01:33 PM
Has anybody got their spindle problems fixed yet?

Currently, my spindle motor and controller are at Mikini. Monday, I sent my front panel for testing :(

SWATH
07-22-2011, 02:56 PM
Me too still waiting.

SWATH
07-25-2011, 11:03 PM
I just got word that my spindle drive board finished testing and that no problems were discovered with it. They want me to send back the spindle motor now, so I took it off and am sending it back tomorrow.

slowtwitch
07-26-2011, 06:13 AM
Good luck. When my controller, spindle motor and front panel come back from Mikini and things still aren't working, i'm going to look at installing an AC motor and vector drive. It's just taking to much time to get these things sorted out and my start up/retirement business is on the brinks, thanks to no product that the mill was suppose to make :(

I've done everything possible on this end, I had my grounds and voltages checked out and all looked good. I also was lucky enough to aquire a 7.5kva isolation transformer( a freebie!!!!!) and had it installed...and as per Phil, had an equipment protection device installed. These things are expensive !!!! After the transformer and EPD install, i had everything load tested. Again no problems.

The only positive thing to come out of this is that I was able to work on my CNC lathe and it's just about done and it runs :) Here's the link if your interested..

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/vertical_mill_lathe_project_log/125045-emco_120p_rebuild.html

pete

SWATH
07-26-2011, 09:10 AM
I was kind of surprised that they said the drive is working properly because the EE tested the motor and deemed it ok. If they say the motor is working fine I don't know what to do at that point. It clearly does not work properly at my house and the EE tested my power and determined it to be ok so I'm not sure what to do about it. Nice lathe, I imagine I'll need one of those before too long, but first I need a functioning mill or like you I'm dead in the water.

SWATH
07-26-2011, 09:49 AM
By the way does anyone who has shipped their spindle motor back remember how much it weighs?

dirtridn2010
07-26-2011, 11:16 AM
By the way does anyone who has shipped their spindle motor back remember how much it weighs?

Just out of interest.
I wonder how many people have actually had to return the their spindles?

I placed an order for a machine quite a while ago now and as yet I still do not have a delivery (release date). The last time I spoke to Phil, he said it was going to it's last stage of QC in a day or so and then about 2 days at that stage, then release. That was well over a week ago. And still nothing. So i'm kinda thinking that maybe they are not releasing machines until they solve the problem. A major problem for me is that fact that I will have my machine in AUSTRALIA. So if I have major problems like the spindle etc. it would cost me a lot for transport costs etc. I took the extended warranty on both the machine and the 4th axis, but that doesn't cover transport (returned parts for testing, replacing and so on). Good luck:)

SWATH
07-26-2011, 12:09 PM
I don't know, according to them they don't have a problem, we do, and honestly I don't know what to believe. I don't think your wait is an indication of them fixing a spindle problem. When I ordered I asked about the lead time and was told something like 3 to 5 weeks. I said I had heard horror stories of it being like 3 months, and he said "oh no, not that long". Well mine took just shy of 4 months for delivery. For reference, the spindle motor weighs approximately 20lbs.

slowtwitch
07-26-2011, 02:06 PM
By the way does anyone who has shipped their spindle motor back remember how much it weighs?

When i shipped back two spindle motors and a controller, the total weight was 45 lbs.

pete

Ron Dunn
07-26-2011, 06:29 PM
A major problem for me is that fact that I will have my machine in AUSTRALIA.

I'm considering an upgrade between a Tormach and a Mikini. Like you, I'm in Australia, and I don't want to deal with sending heavy lumps of equipment to and from the US. This thread is having a major influence on my decision.

Ron.

MichaelHenry
07-26-2011, 06:49 PM
I'm considering an upgrade between a Tormach and a Mikini. Like you, I'm in Australia, and I don't want to deal with sending heavy lumps of equipment to and from the US. This thread is having a major influence on my decision.

Ron.

There's a guy in Norway with a Tormach and it seems like he didn't have any problem with delivery. I'd think that delivery to Australia might be at least as easy. Is it just delivery from the US that concerns you or is it something about one of the two vendors?

Mike

Ron Dunn
07-26-2011, 06:57 PM
Michael, the reliability of the Mikini is my concern from this thread. That, plus the fact that parts need to be sent to the manufacturer.

I'll have ONE machine. I don't want it to be out of action for months at a time.

MichaelHenry
07-26-2011, 08:57 PM
I've never even seen a Mikini up close, but it seems like a good machine from reports here and assuming the spindle drive problem gets resolved satisfactorily. Do they normally stock most parts?

I've been pleased with the support from Tormach though. Any parts I've needed have been delivered within 2 days (usually one) of ordering and I believe that they usually have most everything in stock, including replacement spindles. I fried my main control board and they had a new one to me from stock. I'm just a hobbyist right now so that's a convenience more than anything else, but that kind of service would be a lot more important if paying jobs depending on mill availability.

Mike

ROCKYMTN
07-27-2011, 02:30 PM
I just received my spindle driver and motor back from Mikini. I have not had time to install yet and wont until Friday at the earliest but I'll post updates. No issues with my motor found.

SWATH
07-27-2011, 04:03 PM
I just received my spindle driver and motor back from Mikini. I have not had time to install yet and wont until Friday at the earliest but I'll post updates. No issues with my motor found.

So what did they find? Was the board damaged or not working properly? I somehow doubt there is anything wrong with my motor and they said nothing was wrong with the board. If there is nothing wrong with the motor I'm not sure what to do next.

ROCKYMTN
07-27-2011, 09:23 PM
So what did they find? Was the board damaged or not working properly? I somehow doubt there is anything wrong with my motor and they said nothing was wrong with the board. If there is nothing wrong with the motor I'm not sure what to do next.

Same issue for the second failure, a shorted capacitor caused too much current draw which overheated that small transformer in the upper left corner. They replaced the cap the second time and it tested ok. However, Phil decided to send a new controller board out this time.

I doubt these issues are related to the motor unless the Hall sensors are indeed bad. However, you had yours looked at so I'm thinking it is something else.

SWATH
08-01-2011, 03:40 PM
I just received my spindle driver and motor back from Mikini. I have not had time to install yet and wont until Friday at the earliest but I'll post updates. No issues with my motor found.

Are you up and running yet?

GeoffH
08-02-2011, 12:27 AM
Hi Ron - I have ordered a Mikini 1610L and it is currently in production. Like you I deliberated long and hard about which machine to buy.
The thing that really impressed me was the attention to detail and the much more substantial specification on the machine. I have a Chinese milling machine and while it is good and serves the purpose for which I bought it - when upgrading I took a look at the weight of the machine - the overall construction and the fact that this is not a tabletop model. The base is a cast meehanite base, the axis motion is all linear guides and the spindle power is twice that of the Tormach. So is the weight incidentally.
I have been appointed an agent for these machines so I will eventually carry a small stock of spares for them and will bring them into Australia in small consignments.
The first machine will be here in about a month or so and will be available for people wanting to look at it. Here is a good comparison sheet if you haven't seen it already.

www.mikinimech.com/dare%20to%20compare%20mikini.pdf

Rgds

Geoff

ROCKYMTN
08-02-2011, 01:58 PM
Are you up and running yet?

Not yet, I had to travel out of town on a surprise business trip and just got back. It now looks like next week before I have some quiet time to install.

SWATH
08-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Quick question. Do you guys automatically tune the axis motors steps per revolution in mach or do you rely on the supplied default tuning?

ROCKYMTN
08-09-2011, 02:22 PM
Update:

Installed motor and new driver board and everything works. I did some simple "machine in air" operations and spindle sounds good. No speed droops and speeds tracked fine. I'll do some real machining over the next few days and see what happens.

SWATH
08-09-2011, 02:33 PM
Update:

Installed motor and new driver board and everything works. I did some simple "machine in air" operations and spindle sounds good. No speed droops and speeds tracked fine. I'll do some real machining over the next few days and see what happens.

Awesome, that is great news! What was the final diagnosis?

ROCKYMTN
08-11-2011, 12:46 PM
Awesome, that is great news! What was the final diagnosis?

Not sure, the previous driver board continued to short out (somewhere in the load sensor area I"m guessing) Phil replaced with a new driver board and OK so far. Did you get your electronics back yet?

SWATH
08-11-2011, 12:53 PM
No I'm still waiting to hear how my spindle motor tested. Glad you're back up.

SWATH
08-12-2011, 10:21 PM
Well the testing isn't quite done yet on my spindle motor but they are reporting no problems so far.

SWATH
08-25-2011, 12:17 AM
With the exception of a damaged and repaired axial power supply board, they said all my components tested ok and are shipping them back. We'll see how they work but I expect them to behave the same. I now need to somehow alter my supply power with a transformer/conditioner/filter device to make it work.

SWATH
08-26-2011, 10:51 AM
I ordered a 20amp double pole GFCI breaker for $110, man those things are expensive. Just looking at transformers they appear to be around $500 new.

I was looking at this one, I'm assuming I need a 5kVA:
C1F005WES Products (http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Power_Products_%28Electrical%29/Power_Transformers/Encapsulated_Transformers_%28NEMA_Rated%29/277-z-240-z-208-z-120_VAC_to_240x120_VAC/C1F005WES)

There are cheaper one on ebay but I don't quite know if they are the same.

I still don't know exactly what I need. I cannot get a commercial electrician out here period, I can't even get one to return my phone calls. The power company will not lower the voltage anymore. The residential electricians I've had out don't seem to know anything outside of residential issues, and my EE friend is very busy and unavailable. Does anyone know of a 240v 20amp surge protector? Will a transformer behave as a surge suppressor? Sorry for the stupid questions, I just didn't know I would have to be an electrician to power this machine.

Essentially I need to:
A. lower the voltage by about 10v
B. provide protection from transient spikes
C. provide surge protection

Then if I still have a problem, look into what I can do with the ground

slowtwitch
08-26-2011, 12:04 PM
Swath, Where are you located???

pete

SWATH
08-26-2011, 12:07 PM
Swath, Where are you located???

pete

Northern Kentucky

allenj20
08-30-2011, 10:57 PM
Double post

allenj20
08-30-2011, 10:58 PM
I have a 240v 20amp Nema 6R surge suppressor filter I bought from electronic specialists inc. However they appear to be no more. What about these encapsulated transformers from automation direct.

500 Error (http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Overview/Catalog/Power_Products_(Electrical)/Power_Transformers/Encapsulated_Transformers_(NEMA_Rated))

Also here is a really expensive UPS option

http://www.antarespro.com/48514-item-TRIPP_LITE-SU3000RTXL3UHV--037332118035-+Tripp+Lite+SU3000RTXL3UHV.aspx?sgd=330d312d317d313d308

chipmiser
08-30-2011, 11:47 PM
I ordered a 20amp double pole GFCI breaker for $110, man those things are expensive. Just looking at transformers they appear to be around $500 new.

I was looking at this one, I'm assuming I need a 5kVA:
C1F005WES Products (http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Power_Products_%28Electrical%29/Power_Transformers/Encapsulated_Transformers_%28NEMA_Rated%29/277-z-240-z-208-z-120_VAC_to_240x120_VAC/C1F005WES)

There are cheaper one on ebay but I don't quite know if they are the same.

I still don't know exactly what I need. I cannot get a commercial electrician out here period, I can't even get one to return my phone calls. The power company will not lower the voltage anymore. The residential electricians I've had out don't seem to know anything outside of residential issues, and my EE friend is very busy and unavailable. Does anyone know of a 240v 20amp surge protector? Will a transformer behave as a surge suppressor? Sorry for the stupid questions, I just didn't know I would have to be an electrician to power this machine.

Essentially I need to:
A. lower the voltage by about 10v
B. provide protection from transient spikes
C. provide surge protection

Then if I still have a problem, look into what I can do with the ground
SWATH,

I am new to CNCZONE. I started looking around after having problems with my mikini 1610L spindle speed control. I believe the spindle problem is TOOL issue several owners are having and I don’t think there is a fix for the problem. I have chased the same line voltage, line imbalance, floating ground issues. My line voltage is well within spec and I have run dedicated ground lines with no resolution.
Has anyone had a problem with spindle RPM drop and found a solution?

SWATH
08-31-2011, 02:02 PM
SWATH,

I am new to CNCZONE. I started looking around after having problems with my mikini 1610L spindle speed control. I believe the spindle problem is TOOL issue several owners are having and I don’t think there is a fix for the problem. I have chased the same line voltage, line imbalance, floating ground issues. My line voltage is well within spec and I have run dedicated ground lines with no resolution.
Has anyone had a problem with spindle RPM drop and found a solution?

Very interesting. Please give us more info on what exactly you are experiencing with the spindle. How old is the machine, what are your recorded voltages, etc.? As much info as you can think of might be useful.

chipmiser
08-31-2011, 10:03 PM
I first noticed the spindle problem when drilling at ~ 1000RPM. The spindle stalled and overloaded the Z drive. I then did some checking and found that when running no load and less than 1000RPM, the spindle speed will drop by about 200rpm then recover. This happens at about 1 minute intervals.
I did the hall effect timing procedure first and have been chasing the floating ground ghost ever since.
My line voltage is between 235 and 241VAC. I have added a dedicated ground cable to a ground stake, and measured for transient voltages between the house ground and the separate shop ground and see no more than 10mv.
Another spindle behavior that I notice is during startup. Run-up from 0 to say 4000RPM, the spindle surges about 10 times before stabilizing at the set RPM. Once there, as long as it is above 1000, I have not seen any problems with RPM drop under load. With Al and a 3/8” cutter I usually run 300-400SFM and 1 to 4 mil chip load.
I believe I am seeing the same behavior that SIMEYFACE is: Mikini Spindle problem - YouTube (http://youtu.be/RYsX8V0YUlc)

SWATH
09-01-2011, 09:49 AM
Thanks for the details. BTW I'm Simeyface (or that was my dog Simon). Yup your issues sound identical to mine. So in your estimation you think this is a spindle motor issue or a spindle driver board issue and not related to your power supply or ground?

How can we fix this problem? It's weird not everyone seems to have the rpm dropping issue. What does Mikini say about it?

I installed the GFCI breaker in the panel last night and tested to make sure it trips when I press the button, so that is all set. Just waiting on my components to arrive.

SWATH
09-01-2011, 10:16 PM
I got my components back from Mikini today. Unfortunately they included none of the little things like coolant nozzles and fuses and whatnot that they said they were going to send out but at least I got my stuff back. I won't have time to put it all back together before I head out of town but I'll be back next week to dive into into it. First thing I need to do is make a backup image of the harddrive in case my computer gets corrupted again.

As far as the GFCI breaker goes, I got the wrong one. I got one for personal protection that trips at 5Ma fluctuation instead of the Equipment Protection Device that trips at 30Ma. I don't know if I can use the one I have currently as I think it would probably trip all the time, which sucks because the 30Ma one is almost $200 (and that's the cheapest)! I mean seriously?!?...$740 for a breaker: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9AKveTz_KD4J:www.platt.com/product.aspx%253Fzpid%253D203801+gfep220&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.
I may give the one I have now a shot and see if it trips.

chipmiser
09-02-2011, 12:47 AM
Yes, I believe it is either a spindle or controller issue. I am going to do some research on the ground topic to put that to rest, then ask for some hard parts.

Acronis is a great disk imaging software for ~$40. I put a USB WD passort drive in the electronics cabinet, works great for security.

SWATH
09-02-2011, 08:56 AM
Yes, I believe it is either a spindle or controller issue. I am going to do some research on the ground topic to put that to rest, then ask for some hard parts.

Acronis is a great disk imaging software for ~$40. I put a USB WD passort drive in the electronics cabinet, works great for security.

I actually have Acronis and that is what I am going to use. Let us know what you find out, I have been unable to find any issues with my ground, and when I say I, I mean 3 different electricians and an electrical engineer with an oscilloscope. I also had a ground test done and it showed that is was fine. They just shrug their shoulders and say "I don't know what to do for you, we don't see a problem here".

slowtwitch
09-02-2011, 09:03 AM
Hello folks, I was going to post this under my own thread, but, felt that Swath's thread has gained a somewhat catch all status for Mikini problems, so here we go.

My journey began the second day I owned my mill. First of all let me state the I did buy the mill used. I was told it was in working order and trusted the sellers claims. Hey, it's a Mikini right.....

The spindle ran great the first day. It did seem to have a delayed start of about 10 seconds before the spindle would move at start up. I emailed Phil about this and was told that the hall sensors may need adjustment. After making some adjustments, the motor ran smoothly. But, after a few moments, i would start having issues again. Now the spindle will only run in reverse. Again, I contact Phil. I was told that i have electrical problems and that they would need to be checked out.

In the mean time, Phil suggested that I send the motor and driver back to Mikini for testing. I will say that Phil does try his best. He has given me some warranty, as if I was the original owner. The bench time and repairs where all done at no cost to me.

Before I go further, I want you to know that in another life, I was in the electric motor repair business (Westinghouse Electric Repair) for close to 20 years and some of the things I've heard from Mikini and seen here are full of bull.

After receiving the motor and driver, mikini did some testing. They told me that the driver tested good, but, the motor had a broken lead. This was odd, as the motor ran good, but, only in one direction. I queried Phil about this and was told that the lead may have broken when I removed the motor from the mill, or in transport. they also told me that my hall sensor had a broken lead.

Let me say something here, has anyone ever seen the inside of an electrical motor??? This things are tied in with cord and varnished dipped and in some cases vacuumed impregnated, then baked. They are somewhat rock hard. Anyway, the lead in question was broken where the cable is brazed to the winding and tied in, dipped and baked. I don't know how many small motors I carried by the leads and never once broke a connection at the winding.

Phil tells me that I need a new motor. Almost $1000 for a new one, but, he does have a used one for over $500. I take the used one. I also ask for the old motor back. I also needed a new hall sensor ring, as the old one also had a broken lead..another $100.

When the package arrived, I was excited. I open the box containing the newer motor and very quickly my excitement dampened. As I removed the motor, i noticed the pulley on the shaft wasn't seated properly. the shafts on these motors have a step in them. when the pulley is installed, it should rest against the shoulder. My pulley still needed to go about .1875" to meet this shoulder. I also noticed this.....

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f109/slowtwitch/DSCN3643.jpg

It appears that someone used a ball-peen hammer to install the pulley. This was a pristine pulley before Mikini got a hold of it. The problem here is that these pulleys have to be heated very nicely, as these are shrink fit setups. no set screws. The amount of force needed to bang on one of these things can mess up the bearing....and you guessed it. The bearing in my newer motor was really rough.

Fortunately, I had asked for my old motor back and being that they where the same, I decided to switch rotors. One thing I failed to mention, the pulley was also installed cocked. It took a ton of pressure and heat to remove it on my press and it looked like the shaft was scoured, hence, me switching the rotor.

After switching the rotor, installing the hall sensor ring, I started the motor. The motor ran like silk. My hopes were short lived. after a few moments, i started having the start up problems and then the motor would only run in reverse...again.

I contacted Phil...again. I told him about the reverse only issue and again mentioned to him that I feel that there is a problem with the driver or panel. He still insists that i have transient ground currents, or some other voltage problem. He recommended that I get an EPD (equipment protection device), have my electrical system checked out by a more competent person, etc, etc, etc. I also told him about the pulley and the shoddy install, causing the bearing to be bad. He told me that he would look into it and definitely correct thier pulley install procedure.

Phil also offered me a new motor, i guess he felt bad about the bearing thing. When the motor arrived, i couldn't get it to run at all.

This time Phil asked me to ship both motors back, the driver and the front panel for testing.

After a week or two, I finally heard from Phil and was told that the motor that i switched the rotors (he called it the hybrid) was faulty due to the rotor swap. It apparently failed a load test. I had this motor running in both directions, however short, but it did run with plenty of power. Phil was suggesting that the rotors are somehow custom made and matched for each stator...bullcrap. These things are mass produced at one place and the stators are wound in another and some poor soul just takes what ever rotor is in line and shoves it into a stator core.

Phil also told me that they found an intermittent problem with both the driver and front panel. He told me that this was a rare occurrence, that two boards have an issue at the same time. He gave me a couple of options, I can have the front panel repaired or i can buy a new one, so that i could get my parts back quicker. I decide on the repair, the new front panel would have cost $1400. They also made some repairs to the driver board.

Yesterday, my parts finally arrived. I actually wasn't to excited. hell, I just went through a couple months of this and the results have been the same...bad. I'm on the verge of losing my small start up business, for which I bought this mill, due to all theses delays. Anyway, i open the box containing the motor and sure enough, the pulley was banged on again. I have a brand new motor with a bad bearing.

You can hear it here...

DSCN3760 - YouTube

Some observations about my parts. Phil told me that they replaced the keypad on the front panel and made repairs to the board. The front panel I sent Phil was marked and tagged showing where all the connectors go, the panel I received didn't have any markings. I also noticed the lpt2 connector on the panel has a broken bit on it...you can see it in the video. the panel i sent Phil wasn't. Also, the driver board appears to be a diffrent board. I don't understand why tell me that you repaired my boards, but, send me different ones????

Lastly, i've made a dicision to not deal with Mikini any more. I've lost so much valuable time and I can't afford to lose anymore. I may have found an AC\vector drive to replace the 2.2kw motor that came on the Mikini. I will also replace all the proprietary electronic nonsence and replace them with products I can buy for a ton less and get them so much quicker. My projected cost for the AC motor, vector drive and breakout boards will be far less than the price of a Mikini front panel and will probably be more reliable.

My advice to Mikini is start listening to your customers and stop blaming them for Mikin's issues. There must be a reason why it's near impossible to find a 2.2kw BLDC motor and drive for sale or that the other makers of these hobby mills are going a different direction. Yes Mikini, your mill is a hobby mill and don't think otherwise. It has the foundation of being a great hobby mill, but, you do have issues. A hobby mill does not require an electrical engineer, epd, transformers, etc, etc, etc as a prerequisite for install. I can see if it was a Haas or some other big name machine, with its own operating system and such. But, your using Mach3, it's not rocket science.

Before getting this mill, i've never seen a CNC machine. In the months that i have owned it, i've picked up on G-code, taught myself to use a cad program. I've even rebuilt and converted an EMCO 120p lathe to run on Mach3. I've installed all new electronics and have started to cut air and boy how sweet it runs.

Sorry for the long post, i guess its just frustration setting in. I hope that all of you who are having problems, have them resolved in a quick manner.

Good Luck

pete

SWATH
09-02-2011, 09:22 AM
Thanks for sharing your story Pete. I have a question for you. If you run your new motor for say 5-10min at low RPM <1000, do you experience any RPM fluctuation? More specifically do you see or hear any sudden dips in RPM whereupon it immediately attempts to recover over about 5-10sec.?

Brian L
09-02-2011, 09:45 AM
Pete, and everybody else....

Nice to see somebody not drinking the Mikini koolaid and buying into all the "your power is corrupt, your ground is bad.... it's not Mikini's fault, it's yours". I was (was being the operative word) very interested in one of these machines as the size and enclosure would work well for me. After emailing back and forth with Phil and getting the "we won't show you that part, or tell you this" treatment (I am in a wheelchair and wondered what the chassis/stand looked like underneath for knee clearance at the machine, i.e. how close can I tuck myself in there to reach inside the machine) I started having a bad feeling.

This forum (thank goodness it exists) has brought to light some major issues with the machine and more specifically with the lack of support and the uncalled for "blame game". I feel terrible for those of you that are basing your possible income on these machines, having fooled with them for months and in some cases years and yet to have a profitable and reliable piece of equipment. All I can say is thank you for saving others the same grief.

Phil (Mikini) should abandon the whole drive/motor system and move forward, this alone will most likely kill the machine and make you all owners of orphans.

SWATH
09-02-2011, 09:57 AM
Hi Brian,
I would be happy to send you pics and measurements of anything you want to know but I assume you are much less interested now. The new Series III Tormach looks good.

Brian L
09-02-2011, 10:21 AM
Swath,

Thanks for the offer, but with the help of this group, I was able to see pictures of the base, I think in Phil's delivery pictures and somebody else posted pics.... so my questions there were answered. I have since decided to go with an old machine (looking for a Shizuoka AN-S) and retrofit to Mach 3 or EMC if required. I used to have a couple of the Shiz's back in my machine shop, so know the iron pretty well.

I designed and now make some of my own product and the Mikini is too small for it. I need 24" x 16" of XY for this particular part... although currently I have a friend with a Haas VF-3 that is running them cheaply enough for me that it would take a lot of them to pay for my own machine.... although it forces me to run the parts in larger batches than I would like, and they have some hefty material costs... so a rather large investment for each batch.

I just went down a similar road about 10 years ago with a piece of woodworking equipment, they decided to offer a VFD to drive the machine from single phase 220 and the engineers specified a 2.2kw (3hp) VFD to drive a 5hp motor (which needs more like 4kw). On paper the VFD has a short time frame allowance of an overage for amp draw... in reality, that's measured in microseconds and every time I would make the slightest bit taxing of a cut, the VFD would think it was overloaded and go into protection mode and shut down.

I went through the whole, "it's your fault, you don't know what you are doing, you are using the wrong blade, your power isn't right", and on and on... Until I contact the motor manufacturer and the VFD builder and proved that the VFD supplied wouldn't drive the motor. Which forced the manufacturer of the machines to end up removing and replacing something on the order of 250 VFD's... a very costly ooops, I'm sure.

So, needless to say, I feel for you guys and I hope you can get it all worked out.... the basic design of the Mikini has a lot of promise, if the components would just hold up... probably the strong point of the Tormach mills, anything on them can be replaced with pretty much off the shelf parts from anywhere.

mcphill
09-02-2011, 11:30 AM
Hello folks, I was going to post this under my own thread, but, felt that Swath's thread has gained a somewhat catch all status for Mikini problems, so here we go.

I for one think it would be much more valuable if you could start your own thread. Having "all the issues" in one thread doesn't make sense to me.

If you make progress on your AC drive "up"grade, I am sure MANY of use will be interested, so please keep us posted!

SWATH
09-02-2011, 06:14 PM
Alright I actually got a chance to put some or the components back in. The preliminary result is that the axis drives now once again move, which is great. The problem is now the spindle won't start or do anything. Everything is hooked up like it was before and nothing. I measure voltage going into the board at 243v but I can't measure coming off the board yet without someones help because if I try to manually start the spindle nothing happens for about 3 sec. then the spindle halt alarm comes on. I tried to adjust the hall effect sensor all around but it didn't help. I'll to double check everything tonight if I get time.