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  1. #1
    Member DarianS's Avatar
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    Smile CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Hi All.


    I am completely new here and just wanted to know if I could get some help please?

    I have had my CNC machine for ages and so far its been all self taught (for better or for worse). I run MACH3 and have recently changed my PC that runs it and have had a few issues setting up the new pc. I thought his would be a great opportunity to maybe engage some help from some one to make sure I do this step properly to get the most out of my machine. So far i have bumbled my way through it with work arounds' and possible bad habits ( but i don't know any different) I live in Avondale Auckland and was wondering is there anyone out there that would be keen to help, happy to pay for this assistants or work out a help each other out ether way no stress.

    The Machine is running but its just not perfect and i think it has the potential to run a lot better and more accurately. I seem to get a lot of G40,G42,G2 errors at the moment and my Gecko controller seems to go in to protect mode.
    Anyway thought id put it out there and ask.

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    Member he1957's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Welcome!

    What sort of machine? Mill, Router?

    What sort of problems do you have?

    Some photos might help to understand the machine a bit better along with a description of its construction.

    Have you tried this guide? https://www.geckodrive.com/support/s...eshooting.html

    What sort of accuracy do you expect? What did you have with the old PC and what's the difference now?

    What materials do you work with?

    Nothing like questions when all we want is answers :-)



  3. #3
    Member DarianS's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Hello

    Thank you for reply!

    1: Machine is a Router
    2: Sometimes the machine just stops which can be a soft limit thing or the Gecko Drive red light comes on. I think this is user error not so much the machine. Im also not sure if i have set the acceleration curves for the motors correct (again just trial and error). I set feed rates in AlphaCam and sometimes i cant increase feed rates while the machine is running. If sitting there doing nothing but on sometimes it makes like a shutter sound (rarely)
    3: I will take some pics tonight and post but heres a link to what it looks like almost exact Creation Technology (H.K.)
    4: Accuracy is not so bad, but i have set it up manually using mach 3 Move 50mm then measure how much it moved and then it recalculates. I think the reason for inaccuracy is the gantry momentum coming to a stop as such (if that makes sense) I would be happy with .25 of a mm
    5: I cut Wood, Ply, MDF, native timber
    Does that help?


    thanks very much

    Darian



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    Member he1957's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by DarianS View Post
    Hello

    Thank you for reply!

    1: Machine is a Router
    2: Sometimes the machine just stops which can be a soft limit thing or the Gecko Drive red light comes on. I think this is user error not so much the machine. Im also not sure if i have set the acceleration curves for the motors correct (again just trial and error). I set feed rates in AlphaCam and sometimes i cant increase feed rates while the machine is running. If sitting there doing nothing but on sometimes it makes like a shutter sound (rarely)
    3: I will take some pics tonight and post but heres a link to what it looks like almost exact Creation Technology (H.K.)
    4: Accuracy is not so bad, but i have set it up manually using mach 3 Move 50mm then measure how much it moved and then it recalculates. I think the reason for inaccuracy is the gantry momentum coming to a stop as such (if that makes sense) I would be happy with .25 of a mm
    5: I cut Wood, Ply, MDF, native timber
    Does that help?


    thanks very much

    Darian
    That looks like a fairly substantial machine. Didn't it come with a manual describing the setup configuration? Perhaps there is one you can find on-line.

    I'm not familiar with AlphaCam - Is this the design software?

    The machine page you reference for the machine shows it has a DSP controller - is this what you have? What model?

    The stalling you see might be the acceleration/decelerating values are too aggressive so you can try lower those and test. Generally folks "tune" these to give good response without stalling then back off a bit. If doing short/sharp work, ths may need additional lowering of the values.

    As far as linear measurement, the method you chose is OK, how did you measure it? A set of digital linear scales or a set of calipers can be used with a few jigs. If the machine is as big as illustrated, a longer length measurement would be better, but you should also be able to calculate[1] the pulsing needed based on its mechanical construction.

    Have a search for setting pulses per revolution for leadscrew twist formulas and micro-stepping (if steppers).

    [1] You could also use the drawing a box/triange method. Draw a 1000 mm line on one side in the middle of the table. Measure a square of 1000 mm using that line and use diagonals of 1414.2 mm to verify the square is in fact square. Move the spindle nose (with a pointy thing in it) to one corner and set origin 0, 0. Move the X or Y axis 1000 mm and see if it matches. This can also tell you if the gantry is square. Repeat as necessary. Adjust pulses per values to get accuracy. A bit kludgy but it will work and it might be fun to do something different!



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    Member DarianS's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Hello

    Thanks for reply and suggestions

    The Machine came with nothing and didn't work as such, i have removed the internal controllers and replaced with Gecko Drive and a PC running Mach3. The Controller was in another language and redundant as soon as i swapped out the internals.
    Alphacam and cad/cam software i use.


    Main issues with the new computer that is stopping me all together right now is machine just stopping and the gecko drive red light coming on. I looked at the trouble shooting sheet you sent through last night and followed it, but still have the problem.
    Other issue is the G40/G41 and G42 errors when trying to convert a file into NC to send to the machine.

    Ill try the Drawing thing tonight or tomorrow (most likely tomorrow) and let you know the results...

    Again thanks

    D



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    Member DarianS's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Hello
    I haven't had a chance to play with the machine as yet. I have tried to export NC code from Alphacam but i keep getting the G40/G1 or G42 errors! Ill try this weekend.

    thank you
    Darian



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    Member he1957's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Post a screenshot of the "errors" you see along with the G-code you have.

    Those Gnumbers are related to cutter compensation. Sounds like the machine controls do not understand them.

    Edit out the offending lines and try the code again (using air cuts and watch the behavior).

    Also, you didn't mention if the "stalling" is random or if it occurs around particular spindle positions on the table and/or whether it's just one or more axes that do it or if it occurs if only one or more axis is moving siultaneously.



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    Member DarianS's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Hi

    More issues over the weekend that have set me back...

    Lost control of the CNC machine. The New PC has a PIC Parallel port card (5volt) its address is 0xD050 which when i enter that into Mach3 it doesn't want to even work. messed around for a few hours last night as well and cant even control the machine anymore. I have looked in the BIOS , Card is active and set to EPP....
    The address of 0x378 is used by the PCI slot itself (i think) When i plug my old machine back in, as slow as it is it all works!

    Anyway back to the drawing board, ill keep you posted.

    thank you for your help

    Darian



  9. #9
    Activation process peteeng's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Home Hobbyest - Help Please

    Hi darian - What are the amps of the motors and how many do you have ie do you have 3 motors? or 4 with one being a slave? I used a G540 on my first machine and it tripped out regularly. They have 3A per axis max as the spec BUT if you put 4x3A motors on it will trip out. They have corrected this in the latest version I think. I fixed this by putting limiting resistors on the axes (even though the manual says it is not required) and they sent me instructions on how to modify the motherboard to make it less sensitive. The usual guideline for the current is to add up the total amps of the motor and x0.75 that's what you need for the controller, If your conservative the controller has to have same capacity as the total motor capacity. If your (guessing) 4 motors have over 12A cap (or close) then you need to put on limiting resistors first then see how it goes. Cheers Peter S



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