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    Default Just Starting!

    Hi to all, and thanks for any help you will be able to give me!
    I purchased a FLA Saturn 2, 4x4 with NEMA 23 steppers from Nate about 18 months ago. I bought the controller through Nate but its from CNC Router Parts. I am running Mach 3, and am using cut 2d to generate code. I attached the photo just in case that helps.
    Once I got the machine, I connected all the cables, and moved the axes, but that's where I stopped; had 2 kids, got busy at work, etc...
    Anyways I would now like to finish setting it up, so I can begin cutting.
    I am so new at this most assuredly my questions will be laughable.
    Here's where I am so far. I bought and installed limit switches from Nate, they sometimes work and sometimes do not.

    • So that's my first question, any thoughts on why the limit switches only work intermittently.
    • Second question: should I worry about hard limits, or set up soft limits, and only use those?
    • Third question: I need to square the x to y axis, is the best way to do this to follow the CNC Router Parts video?
    • Last question: it's very rare, but twice now, when I moved the Y axis (along the parallel rails) there has been a "click". Do you know what this is and how concerning it may be.

    Thanks for any and all help.
    Lance

    Just Starting!-img-7870-jpg

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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Nice looking machine, Lance!

    1. Are the cables shielded to the sensors? Are they sensing steel or aluminum? When you say they didn't work did you go past them and into the physical stop on the machine?
    2. All I am using is sensors. Of course, there are hard mechanical stops (bumpers) if the sensors don't work.
    3. I haven't watched the video you referenced. I squared mine by using a V-bit and cutting into the spoilboard at each corner for the largest rectangle I could fit on the machine (our machine is a 2x4) and then measuring the diagonals. I kept making adjustments until the diagonals were identical.
    4. Mechanical click? Electrical? If you happen to shoot a video do it widescreen and post so we can see/hear it. With power off are you able to freely move the gantry along the Y axis?

    That's all I have (for now).

    David

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    Default Just Starting!

    Nice build Lance. I can only really chime in about #4, and I certainly hope it’s not the same problem that I had that was causing the click.
    Mine was because the Y axis rails were out of parallel a bit, compounded with the problem that the tubing that the rails were mounted to were bent inward, causing the gantry not to travel the same distance when under power. The “click” was the rack & pinion actually skipping a tooth because one side couldn’t keep up and racking the gantry as it moved up. When the R&P wasn’t engaged, it felt like it moved fine. I posted a bit about that on my build thread.
    I really hope for your case that your problem is not similar and much simpler for a solution. I ended up having to drive back to Lebanon from Toronto to exchange the entire unit. Worked out in the end but was still not super convenient.


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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Looks nice, good job on the table. Before assuming the worst and there are people like David and I have no real issues with FLA. There is one user who will stop in I'm sure and tell you the world is ending. Start with the basics. Go to CNC Router Parts / Avid and download the setting up the Pro series router, because that's what you have. They also have the correct Mach3 files as the ones from FLA may not be right. Get the motion of the axis for Y, X and Z setup right and tested. Use the software and setup instructions as above. Then adjust your switches.

    The limit or proximity switches have LED lights inside that let you see when they are adjusted to trip. I had to modify one block on the X axis.

    CNC Software Setup Guide [Mach3] | Avid CNC

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default Just Starting!

    Lol. Naw.... the world is not ending ... today anyway.
    I’m looking back and I think the tone of my reply came off wrong. I was more meaning to point out my own issue with my first Saturn2 so that with about 10 minutes with a decent tape measure could eliminate that possibility all together.
    I spent much longer on mine trying to figure it out than I should’ve because it didn’t occur to me that could be an issue.
    My second Saturn2, although not perfect, does not click like the first. Long road to get here but, I’m happy with it for now as it sits.

    Anyway. No thread highjacking. Suggest just taking a peek at those things and eliminate the possibility.

    Your first question I’m not sure. You got the electronics kit so I’m assuming that at least the stepper cables are shielded properly. I’ve only seen pics of the kit but I build my own.

    Your second question I can only answer from preference. I do personally use the soft limits in Mach3. I like them there as a safety when jogging especially as it ramps down movement speed when you get close to one. Without it, it would trip the estop and you have to reset it. Minor but a pain. Also, when running the simulation in Mach3, it’ll let you know then if you’re drawing outside the lines. Not sure if it does that with soft limits disabled.

    Hope my limited knowledge and opinion can help. Once you get it up and running tip top, it’s an amazing tool. I started with very limited knowledge and asked a lot of questions on here.

    Love to see a video of it up and running very soon.

    Cheers

    Leon


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    Last edited by wackocrash5150; 02-10-2020 at 09:29 PM.


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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Nah, its not you Wacko. I do not use soft limits but his hard limits need to be set up to work 100% and mine do. The trigger blocks might need adjustment or mods.

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default

    The limits are a PIA(for me anyhow) the way Nate went to the glide over instead of leaving them on the bumper, They might be able to be crushed in the bumper, but they are WAY simpler to adjust.

    Are the blocks on your machine in the right spot?

    Mine were installed so far off they are not usable and I need re drill and move them. If the sensors were fixed in the bumpers(I may just go back to that) it's a matter of turning a screw. Now that they they move in the gantry one thing to look at is to see if your blocks are right in the cusp of usability in their current location. Possibly they are at the max distance and sometimes they don't register.

    In short see if those metal trigger blocks need to be moved.

    I guess I just prefer the fixed sensor moving trigger(steel or aluminum block in our case) verse the moving sensor fixed trigger. I really just wish the metal trigger blocks on my machine were in the right spot and I wouldn't even be mentioning this, but it's worth a look.

    As far as a click that can be way too many things. Where is the click coming from? I know it's tough to tell but try running a file with no Z movement and the router off to figure it out.

    My machine is two trigger blocks short, anyone know where I can get matching ones other than Fineline?

    Last edited by dovetail65; 02-11-2020 at 10:37 AM.


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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Guys, thanks for all your help thus far!!
    I email CNC router parts about the limit switches, and they are sending me a jumper that should fix the problem. The email I got back, made it appear like the intermittent working of the limit switches are somewhat common for the control box I have.
    I am curious, do you know how far the limit switches should be adjusted off the glide blocks? I would like to check mine.
    I also got a new error message, twice last night. This was the message: “the ethernet smooth stepper has failed to communicate properly for an extended period of time. Etc….”
    Ever gotten this before? Anyone know the most likely cause?
    As far as the click goes, I haven’t got it to repeat. I ran a simulation of a cut, and couldn’t hear anything.
    Thanks again for all your help.





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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Quote Originally Posted by lwyse View Post
    As far as the click goes, I haven’t got it to repeat. I ran a simulation of a cut, and couldn’t hear anything.
    Thanks again for all your help.

    I am glad to hear this.



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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Quote Originally Posted by lwyse View Post
    I also got a new error message, twice last night. This was the message: “the ethernet smooth stepper has failed to communicate properly for an extended period of time. Etc….”
    Ever gotten this before? Anyone know the most likely cause?
    Yes, many, many times. In the old build of Mach4 I got that every time my computer would go into the lock screen. I never got it while I was running a job but after running, if I let the computer/CNC idle for more than the 30 minutes I have it set for, I would get that message. I just installed a new build of Mach4 and it doesn't do that.

    To fix it all I did was to open the ESS configure screen, hit 'Ok', and that would bring it back online so it wasn't a big deal.

    David

    David
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    CurlyWoodShop - www.etsy.com/shop/CurlyWoodShop
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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Quote Originally Posted by lwyse View Post
    I also got a new error message, twice last night. This was the message: “the ethernet smooth stepper has failed to communicate properly for an extended period of time. Etc….”
    Ever gotten this before? Anyone know the most likely cause?
    As far as the click goes, I haven’t got it to repeat. I ran a simulation of a cut, and couldn’t hear anything.
    Thanks again for all your help.

    That first thing I would look at in your case would be the power management settings in the device manager for the Ethernet card. Make sure that the “allow windows to turn off this device blah blah blah” is unchecked. From there I would disable or uninstall whatever virus scanner you have running to test. Some AV apps put kind of a virtual network driver in line with the one for the physical one to act as sort of a buffer for virus. I’ve seen those mess up network connectivity in general before. (No internet) No reason to assume it couldn’t do the the same thing to an ESS for communication.


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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    I was able to the get the axes squared. With this done, I now have some more questions.

    When I cut over a 36” distance the y axis is measuring 1/64” short, and the x axis is measuring a 1/16” short of the full 36” cut length. What is the best way to calibrate distance?

    The y axis was a bit squeaky at times tonight. How often should I be greasing the bearings? I don’t have a grease gun (yet) so is this even the most probable cause?

    What’s the proper (best) to shut the router down?
    Do I need to home it before turning it off? Or can I simply turn off the control box? Turn off Mach, first before turning off router?

    What is the best option for a dust shoe?
    Make one, or buy one?

    Thanks for all your help!
    All of you been incredibly helpful!!



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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Quote Originally Posted by lwyse View Post
    I was able to the get the axes squared. With this done, I now have some more questions.

    When I cut over a 36” distance the y axis is measuring 1/64” short, and the x axis is measuring a 1/16” short of the full 36” cut length.

    What is the best way to calibrate distance? Mach3 has a calibration wizard, I would start there.

    The y axis was a bit squeaky at times tonight.

    How often should I be greasing the bearings? I don’t have a grease gun (yet) so is this even the most probable cause? I grease mine often, probably 6 times each year with #2 grease.

    What’s the proper (best) to shut the router down?
    Do I need to home it before turning it off? Or can I simply turn off the control box? Turn off Mach, first before turning off router? I move my gantry almost to the extent of the Y axis in case I need/want to set something on the spoilboard when I'm not running the CNC. I shut Mach4 down first and then the control box. If I shut the control box down first then the message from ESS pops up saying it has lost connection. It won't really matter if I am shutting Mach4 down anyway but that's the order I use.

    What is the best option for a dust shoe? Make one, or buy one? I made my own because I was learning how to use Fusion 360 and wanted the challenge. I made it out of 1/2" MDF as a test two years ago and figured I would make one out of acrylic later. I'm still using the MDF one because it's still working!

    Thanks for all your help!
    All of you been incredibly helpful!!
    Hope this helps.
    David

    David
    Romans 3:23
    CurlyWoodShop - www.etsy.com/shop/CurlyWoodShop
    David Falkner - www.youtube.com/user/difalkner
    difalkner - www.instagram.com/difalkner


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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    I think I only have six blocks I will check when I go out later. Yes buy a grease gun! I purchased the correct grease from a vender on eBay but the bearings are NOT greased when you get the machine!
    Any computer your using Must Have All the power saving features turned off. Be aware the USB and other Ports can be set to sleep.

    You might need to relocate some of the blocks, one I had to saw some material off for clearance. The Proximity sensors have a LED that lights when tripped use that when testing. I have 7 blocks on my machine.

    This was the approved grease > https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gadus-S2-V1...72.m2749.l2649

    Last edited by wmgeorge; 02-17-2020 at 11:48 AM.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default

    This was the approved grease > https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gadus-S2-V1...72.m2749.l2649[/QUOTE]

    The eBay link isn’t opening for me. Could you possibly send again? Thanks so much!!



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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    Quote Originally Posted by lwyse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lwyse View Post
    The eBay link isn’t opening for me. Could you possibly send again? Thanks so much!!

    This is the product Gadus S2 V100 NLGI-2 [14.1-oz. Tube] 550027712 some greases have a lot of tackiness this does not.

    Last edited by difalkner; 02-17-2020 at 04:53 PM. Reason: fixed quote
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    This is the product Gadus S2 V100 NLGI-2 [14.1-oz. Tube] 550027712 some greases have a lot of tackiness this does not.
    Do I put the same grease on the ball screw for the Z axis?
    Thanks!



  18. #18
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    Default Re: Just Starting!

    I use the same #2 grease on the entire machine.

    David

    David
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