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widgitmaster
08-11-2005, 09:45 PM
I have set my Gecko & stepper & Breakout board up and wired them carefully, but no matter what motor I use, I can NOT get the steppers to spin in both directions!
The motor jogs smoothly, and I'm convinced its a Mach2 software setting!

Step is using pin 2 and active HI
Direction is using pin 3 and active LOW

Please help me!

ger21
08-11-2005, 09:55 PM
Are you using Mach2 or Mach3? In the other thread, I said to increase the direction pulse width. In Mach2 it's called direction prechange. both are in the motor tuning.

widgitmaster
08-11-2005, 10:37 PM
Hi Gerry,

Using Mach2 software.
I tried changing that setting, it just made my motor start really fast then slow to current jog percentage of 50% it had no effect on the rotation direction.
Eric

ViperTX
08-11-2005, 11:31 PM
If they really don't go in the opposite direction then I would suspect that your direction signal is not properly connected...or you're using the wrong pin.

PoppaBear10
08-12-2005, 05:15 AM
need to set your outputs both to active low.

ger21
08-12-2005, 07:33 AM
Hi Gerry,

Using Mach2 software.
I tried changing that setting, it just made my motor start really fast then slow to current jog percentage of 50% it had no effect on the rotation direction.
Eric


Changing the direction prechange shouldn't do that at all. What did you set it at?

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 09:28 AM
ViperTX: both Mach2 & the Bidirectional Breakout board are using the same pins.
-------------
PoppaBear10: I have set both outputs to Active LOW
-------------
Ger21: Your right, I was confused with the Acceleration & Velocity.
When I set the Direction Precharge to 3, the motor ran smooth in one direction, and vibrated without spinning in the other.

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 09:31 AM
I noticed that CNC2PC.com has two boards:
a: Bidirectional Breakout Board
b: Parallel Port Interface Card

I have the Bidirectional Breakout Board, did I get the right one?

ger21
08-12-2005, 10:54 AM
Just make sure it's set for pins 2-9 to be output.

Try increasing the direction prechange to 5,10,15,20,25 and see if it makes a difference.

ViperTX
08-12-2005, 11:22 AM
The bidirectional board should work. Does it have a jumper to make it look like a plain parallel port?

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 11:54 AM
Q: The bidirectional board should work. Does it have a jumper to make it look like a plain parallel port?

No

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 11:56 AM
Question,
Are the Step & Direction line Output only?
Eric

ViperTX
08-12-2005, 12:21 PM
Question,
Are the Step & Direction line Output only?
Eric

Yes, only output.

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 12:47 PM
Is anybody else using the Gecko 201 & CNC2PC's Bidirectional Breakout Board with Mach2 software?

They don't seem to be a good match!

ger21
08-12-2005, 12:54 PM
Just make sure it's set for pins 2-9 to be output.


There should be a jumper to set 2-9 for output. Make sure this is set correctly. Then set the direction prechange like I said in my previous post.

Viper. The board has a jumper to set pins 2-9 as output, or input. When set to output it acts like a regular board. When set to input you get many more inputs, but no outputs.

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 01:02 PM
The jumper is set Gerry, which is why I have rotation, when set for input there is no rotation.

I adjusted the precharge setting several time up to #30 and still no change in rotation direction.

ger21
08-12-2005, 01:03 PM
I noticed that CNC2PC.com has two boards:
a: Bidirectional Breakout Board
b: Parallel Port Interface Card

I have the Bidirectional Breakout Board, did I get the right one?

As long as you set the jumper for pins 2-9 as output (position1 according to the manual), the bidirectional board functions the same as the other one.

ger21
08-12-2005, 01:04 PM
Then, like I said, try using larger dir. prechange settings.

ger21
08-12-2005, 01:26 PM
In the other thread you said you had the step pin set to active high. The Mach2 manual says it should be active low. did you try changing the step to active low?

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 02:24 PM
Yes, it is set to LOW
Hi made the rotation very jerky!

ViperTX
08-12-2005, 03:12 PM
ger21...Okay, now I see what you were saying...thought you were referring to setting Mach2.

PoppaBear10
08-12-2005, 04:45 PM
Hmmmm, Check your Encoder, and start with its wiring hook up for good connections, if you have another Encoder, swap the one you currently have with a nother one, in case your Encoder is bad.

On Your Geckos: Hit the Reset button, and try things again, if that doesnt work, check your Trim pots on your geckos for sensitivity, etc. (you can down load a copy of the manual for them from the gecko website). To me, if you are turning ok in one direction, but not the other, it sounds like a hardware problem. re-check your pin outs and configuration in Mach as well. Do all axis do this, or just the one?

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 05:55 PM
PoppaBear10: Geko 201's do not support steppers with encoders, nor do they have reset buttons!

widgitmaster
08-12-2005, 06:05 PM
I have tried all combinations of Stepper Motor types and 4-Gecko's, along with various settings in Mach2. Nothing generates a reverse rotation! Because I have tried using different pinout pairs in Mach2 & on the Breakout board, and seen no change, I am convinced its the Mach2 software! It's manual is so cluttered with usless information for Servo Motors, that I find it difficult to locate specific information for Steppers!

I envy all those who have actually gotten this stuff to work, as I have made the mistake of building a entire machine first, hoping to install the electronics later! I should have concured the electronics first, I probably wouldn't have invested so much time and money in building a machine, had I known the electronics would prove to be impossible!

Frustrated!

OCNC
08-12-2005, 06:31 PM
Definately NOT worth the $149 if your a beginner with no engeneering degree in electronics! I envy all those who have actually gotten this stuff to work, as I have made the mistake of building a entire machine first, hoping to install the electronics later! I should have concured the electronics first, I probably wouldn't have invested so much time and money in building a machine, had I known the electronics would prove to be impossible!

Frustrated!

If you're certain that the software is at fault it seems like the next logical step would be to try different software. There must be a demo version of something that is simpler to configure than Mach2. This would at least confirm the area at fault. I wouldn't give up though. You're to close to success! :boxing:

gmfoster
08-12-2005, 07:17 PM
I have tried all combinations of Stepper Motor types and 4-Gecko's, along with various settings in Mach2. Nothing generates a reverse rotation! Because I have tried using different pinout pairs in Mach2 & on the Breakout board, and seen no change, I am convinced its the Mach2 software! It's manual is so cluttered with usless information for Servo Motors, that I find it difficult to locate specific information for Steppers!

Definately NOT worth the $149 if your a beginner with no engeneering degree in electronics! I envy all those who have actually gotten this stuff to work, as I have made the mistake of building a entire machine first, hoping to install the electronics later! I should have concured the electronics first, I probably wouldn't have invested so much time and money in building a machine, had I known the electronics would prove to be impossible!

Frustrated!


Well in the first place go to the support list for MachII, there is nothing wrong with it. And Art will be glad to help you out. You seem to be flailing.. Some of the advice you have been given here has been good and not so good. When you manually reverse the direvction pin your motors reversed or so you told Marris. So it would seem that all you need to do is get your direction pin set up and out to your driver. A simple led test light is all you need to trace this function.

Garry

PoppaBear10
08-13-2005, 03:23 AM
Opps sorry about the 201 thing.......I use 320's for servo's.....my mistake.

buscht
08-15-2005, 09:15 AM
widgitmaster, You have made a great looking machine. I too went through many difficult attempts at the electronics. But after, its done. I said to myself. "That wasn't so difficult, why did I get so frustrated?"

My main problems were that I didn't understand the terminology well enough to follow directions properly. and I couldn't troubleshoot things because I didn't have a clue as to what caused any specific action.

I'm not using Geckos, but I can offer moral support and a few simple suggestions.

1. Work on one motor only. Once this works, its a simple matter to build upon your success.
2. I seriously doubt if there is a problem with MACH2. I agree totally that the instructions are confusing to a novice. There might be a problem with your install, but I'm sure the software is good.
3. You need a multimeter to be able to track down problems.
4. I would suggest you check continuity and voltages coming out of the PC. You are looking for 5VDC out of the correct pins, on and off with the proper signals etc,etc.
5. Go slow and eliminate each potential problem out of the control loop.
6. I don't think that you said where you live. There may be someone close to you that would be willing to drop by and help out in person.
7. Take some digital photos of your set up and electrical connections. Post them on this forum. Sometimes, people can spot your problem by seeing an obvious mistake that you are overlooking.
Good luck an don't give up.

widgitmaster
08-15-2005, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the inspirational help!
So many things hit me at one time, I'm sorry I posted such a negative statement about Mach2 software!
On Aug 7th my house was struck by lightning, it took out everything, including 3 of the 4 Gecko's and two of my laptops! I have been pulling my hair out (only the grays :confused: ), trying to find the funds to replace it all! The only stuff to survive was that which was plugged into UPS's! BIG lesson there!
I tryed to retract my negative statement toward Mach2, but it was Quoted several times by other members... Oops!

I have ordered another Breakout board, and picked up a better DB-25 cable at CompUSA. Hopefully the signal noise will be eliminated, as I have been hearing radio stations or some other voices coming from the steppers! I thought I was hearing things!
I will keep trying, as this project has been on my mind for over ten years! I'm glad I finally got a "Round-2-It" (sounds like a neet engraving idea) Most of the money I have spent was for the Bridgeport clone, lathe, bandsaw, and other shop equiptment needed to create my project (no room in my garage for a car now!) :D
Someone mentioned the use of an LED for diagnostics, could you please expand on that?

Sincerely Stressed,
Eric

buscht
08-15-2005, 10:52 AM
Eric, I don't want to state the obvious, but this is something that caused me considerable problems until I found out.

On your DB-25 cable, make sure its a straight, pass through extension cable, otherwise they wire them up with swapped wires, 3 and 4 I think. I can't remember the exact details, but if computers output on 3 and input on 4, then the crossed wires are designed so that whatever you send on 3 (output) is received on 4(input). This is great for computer to computer communication, but messes up CNC applications.

widgitmaster
08-15-2005, 09:03 PM
Yes, both the DB25 cables are straight through wiring!

After searching Google for an hour, I located a Parallel Breakout board that looks like it was designed for the Mach2 software, and designed by someone who uses Gecho's too! It has LED's for all the pins, and has its own power supply!

http://www.campbelldesigns.com/breakout-board.php

It didn't take much to convince me to buy one, after I read the online manual! Diagnosing the Gecho - Mach2 connection should be much easier with all those led's!

gmfoster
08-15-2005, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the inspirational help!

Someone mentioned the use of an LED for diagnostics, could you please expand on that?

Sincerely Stressed,
Eric

Get a led (almost any led will do. Then take a 200 ohm resistor and hook it in serries with the led. Set it up so you have a test clip , a piece of wire the 220 ohm resistor , the led, another piece of wire and a test clip.

insulate the connection points in any way you chose. Now hook one clip up to ground and the other clip up to your +5 volt supply. If it lights you have it right, if not reverse the two clips. Once you have it where it lights mark the clip that is grounded. From now on you can use this to check the state of output pins on you port. It will only work well on pins that are steady state but works fine for direction and enable outputs. And as someone said only worry about getting one motor to work at a time. The leds on your new breakout board will tell you the same thing.

The other thing is don't flail but don't hesitate to try another demo package, TurboCNC under dos and it must be "DOS" not a dos window. Kelly CNC runs under windows and there is a demo I think.

But the main tihing is slow down and get one thing at a time working then move on.

One other thing is you need some sort of load on your steppers as they can tend to give problems with a zero load condition.

And for Mach Problems go to Arts support page, there are many experts over there.

Garry

Parameter
08-31-2005, 04:04 PM
As previously mentioned, get FreeDOS on a 486, install TurboCNC and test. This is about as simple as it can be and a no cost alternative to debug your setup. Takes a bit of setup time but when it works, it works...

Very nice machine btw, love the craftsmanship

Para

rally.sport
12-15-2006, 06:12 PM
so ive read this page as ive got the same issue
i think its down to my parallel port only putting out 3.3v on the high and not switching the card to change direction
what happened in the end for you?
james

widgitmaster
12-15-2006, 08:00 PM
If my memory is correct, the breakout board was the fault, and a new board from Bob Campbell solved all my problems!

rally.sport
12-15-2006, 08:08 PM
ok thanks for the reply