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Re: Steppers missing steps in Mach 3

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  • J.R.
    Peter, what version of mach are you running? i am also having issues with losing steps. is your problem on more than one axis? J.R. -- In
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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      Peter, what version of mach are you running? i am also having issues
      with losing steps. is your problem on more than one axis? J.R.

      -- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stenabaugh"
      <pstenabaugh@...> wrote:
      >
      > This may be a bit of a long post so I apologize now if it is.
      >
      > I have been using Mach 3 with my cnc router for about 1-1/2 years,
      > and I recently converted my mill to cnc with steppers and a 1Kw
      home
      > made power supply. The power supply design came from a friend who
      > has made many on them in the past, and all without any problems
      like
      > I am about to mention.
      >
      > After finishing the mill, I got it up and running and did some
      basic
      > machining with it including some basic engraving with some name
      tags
      > and so on. I have machined some circuit boards with hundreds of
      holes
      > as well, all this without any issues, so I know the machine is
      > basically working fine.
      >
      > Recently a few weeks back I tried to do some litho engraving in
      > corian, when I try to do this type of machining where there are
      > thousands of short rapid movements, my steppers start to skip and
      > obviously loose position. The sounds they make are identical to the
      > clunk they make if I hit the e-stop, or a limit switch or the stop
      > button in mach. I think that what they are doing is momemtarily
      > stopping, as if a stop command had been issued, then they continue
      > along. Some times they will go frantic and miss a lot of steps
      > putting themselves out of position by 1/4" or so.
      >
      > I originally chalked this problem up to the fact that perhaps Mach
      is
      > sending too much information out the parallel port. The breakout
      > board I was using was a home made one (not by me) but it had no
      > intelligence on it and it was not much more than having the wires
      > twisted together, so it was only a mechanical connection point
      > between the gecko 202's and the parallel cable.
      >
      > I purchased and installed a cnc4pc breakout board (the C11). I
      have
      > had many emails back and forth with Arturo Duncan the designer
      about
      > this as well. Since the incorporation of the C11 board, I now have
      > the mill back and running, however the issue with the steppers is
      > still exactly the same, and I also cannot get my limit switches to
      > work the way they are supposed to by using the board, so there are
      > two problems, although the limit switches are secondary, I have to
      > get the steppers running smoothly first.
      >
      > I have spent countless hours trying to resolve this situation, by
      > playing with configurations within Mach, and I cannot seem to find
      > the problem. I thought perhaps it might be unshield cables,
      although
      > I dont think this is the issue as the only power running is the
      power
      > supply and the mill. If I have to, I suppose I could wrap the
      > stepper wires with aluminum foil and ground them to provide
      > shielding, as a temporary measure, but I have not tried this yet,
      > that would be about my last resort as I am now out of ideas and
      > patience.
      >
      > I would appreciate a response from anyone who has ideas, or maybe
      > someone has had similar isses with their machine.
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > Peter Stenabaugh
      > Calgary.
      >
    • Peter Stenabaugh
      J.R. I am running 2.0.022, but I think this same problem existed with the last version as well, although I am not positive. I have even tried setting the read
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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        J.R. I am running 2.0.022, but I think this same problem existed with
        the last version as well, although I am not positive.

        I have even tried setting the read ahead to 1 line, and there was no
        difference.

        This machine is using a 1KW power supply at 75VDC. The steppers are
        1780 oz in motors, so they have lots of torque. I have played with
        feed rates, accelerations and so on, all with no success. I am
        totally out of ideas and patience.

        This machine seems to run ok with regular machining files where there
        is not a lot of data movement, for arcs, long cuts etc, but it seems
        to fall down with the engraving files with thousands of short rapid
        movements.

        Somehow there is a problem with the data transfer to the gecko's.

        Thanks,

        Pete.


        --- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com, "J.R." <jr_hatcher@...> wrote:
        >
        > Peter, what version of mach are you running? i am also having
        issues
        > with losing steps. is your problem on more than one axis? J.R.
        >
        > -- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stenabaugh"
        > <pstenabaugh@> wrote:
        > >
        > > This may be a bit of a long post so I apologize now if it is.
        > >
        > > I have been using Mach 3 with my cnc router for about 1-1/2
        years,
        > > and I recently converted my mill to cnc with steppers and a 1Kw
        > home
        > > made power supply. The power supply design came from a friend
        who
        > > has made many on them in the past, and all without any problems
        > like
        > > I am about to mention.
        > >
        > > After finishing the mill, I got it up and running and did some
        > basic
        > > machining with it including some basic engraving with some name
        > tags
        > > and so on. I have machined some circuit boards with hundreds of
        > holes
        > > as well, all this without any issues, so I know the machine is
        > > basically working fine.
        > >
        > > Recently a few weeks back I tried to do some litho engraving in
        > > corian, when I try to do this type of machining where there are
        > > thousands of short rapid movements, my steppers start to skip and
        > > obviously loose position. The sounds they make are identical to
        the
        > > clunk they make if I hit the e-stop, or a limit switch or the
        stop
        > > button in mach. I think that what they are doing is momemtarily
        > > stopping, as if a stop command had been issued, then they
        continue
        > > along. Some times they will go frantic and miss a lot of steps
        > > putting themselves out of position by 1/4" or so.
        > >
        > > I originally chalked this problem up to the fact that perhaps
        Mach
        > is
        > > sending too much information out the parallel port. The breakout
        > > board I was using was a home made one (not by me) but it had no
        > > intelligence on it and it was not much more than having the wires
        > > twisted together, so it was only a mechanical connection point
        > > between the gecko 202's and the parallel cable.
        > >
        > > I purchased and installed a cnc4pc breakout board (the C11). I
        > have
        > > had many emails back and forth with Arturo Duncan the designer
        > about
        > > this as well. Since the incorporation of the C11 board, I now
        have
        > > the mill back and running, however the issue with the steppers is
        > > still exactly the same, and I also cannot get my limit switches
        to
        > > work the way they are supposed to by using the board, so there
        are
        > > two problems, although the limit switches are secondary, I have
        to
        > > get the steppers running smoothly first.
        > >
        > > I have spent countless hours trying to resolve this situation, by
        > > playing with configurations within Mach, and I cannot seem to
        find
        > > the problem. I thought perhaps it might be unshield cables,
        > although
        > > I dont think this is the issue as the only power running is the
        > power
        > > supply and the mill. If I have to, I suppose I could wrap the
        > > stepper wires with aluminum foil and ground them to provide
        > > shielding, as a temporary measure, but I have not tried this yet,
        > > that would be about my last resort as I am now out of ideas and
        > > patience.
        > >
        > > I would appreciate a response from anyone who has ideas, or maybe
        > > someone has had similar isses with their machine.
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > >
        > > Peter Stenabaugh
        > > Calgary.
        > >
        >
      • Brian Barker
        I worked on a system like that one time :( in the end we got on of the PMDX all in one boards (I think it is the 131). After that the mill has been running
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 1, 2007
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          I worked on a system like that one time :( in the end we got on of the
          PMDX all in one boards (I think it is the 131). After that the mill has
          been running great... Wish I knew what the problem was but I do know
          that fixed it ;)

          Brian

          Peter Stenabaugh wrote:
          >
          > J.R. I am running 2.0.022, but I think this same problem existed with
          > the last version as well, although I am not positive.
          >
          > I have even tried setting the read ahead to 1 line, and there was no
          > difference.
          >
          > This machine is using a 1KW power supply at 75VDC. The steppers are
          > 1780 oz in motors, so they have lots of torque. I have played with
          > feed rates, accelerations and so on, all with no success. I am
          > totally out of ideas and patience.
          >
          > This machine seems to run ok with regular machining files where there
          > is not a lot of data movement, for arcs, long cuts etc, but it seems
          > to fall down with the engraving files with thousands of short rapid
          > movements.
          >
          > Somehow there is a problem with the data transfer to the gecko's.
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Pete.
          >
          > --- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
          > <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>, "J.R." <jr_hatcher@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Peter, what version of mach are you running? i am also having
          > issues
          > > with losing steps. is your problem on more than one axis? J.R.
          > >
          > > -- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com
          > <mailto:mach1mach2cnc%40yahoogroups.com>, "Peter Stenabaugh"
          > > <pstenabaugh@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > This may be a bit of a long post so I apologize now if it is.
          > > >
          > > > I have been using Mach 3 with my cnc router for about 1-1/2
          > years,
          > > > and I recently converted my mill to cnc with steppers and a 1Kw
          > > home
          > > > made power supply. The power supply design came from a friend
          > who
          > > > has made many on them in the past, and all without any problems
          > > like
          > > > I am about to mention.
          > > >
          > > > After finishing the mill, I got it up and running and did some
          > > basic
          > > > machining with it including some basic engraving with some name
          > > tags
          > > > and so on. I have machined some circuit boards with hundreds of
          > > holes
          > > > as well, all this without any issues, so I know the machine is
          > > > basically working fine.
          > > >
          > > > Recently a few weeks back I tried to do some litho engraving in
          > > > corian, when I try to do this type of machining where there are
          > > > thousands of short rapid movements, my steppers start to skip and
          > > > obviously loose position. The sounds they make are identical to
          > the
          > > > clunk they make if I hit the e-stop, or a limit switch or the
          > stop
          > > > button in mach. I think that what they are doing is momemtarily
          > > > stopping, as if a stop command had been issued, then they
          > continue
          > > > along. Some times they will go frantic and miss a lot of steps
          > > > putting themselves out of position by 1/4" or so.
          > > >
          > > > I originally chalked this problem up to the fact that perhaps
          > Mach
          > > is
          > > > sending too much information out the parallel port. The breakout
          > > > board I was using was a home made one (not by me) but it had no
          > > > intelligence on it and it was not much more than having the wires
          > > > twisted together, so it was only a mechanical connection point
          > > > between the gecko 202's and the parallel cable.
          > > >
          > > > I purchased and installed a cnc4pc breakout board (the C11). I
          > > have
          > > > had many emails back and forth with Arturo Duncan the designer
          > > about
          > > > this as well. Since the incorporation of the C11 board, I now
          > have
          > > > the mill back and running, however the issue with the steppers is
          > > > still exactly the same, and I also cannot get my limit switches
          > to
          > > > work the way they are supposed to by using the board, so there
          > are
          > > > two problems, although the limit switches are secondary, I have
          > to
          > > > get the steppers running smoothly first.
          > > >
          > > > I have spent countless hours trying to resolve this situation, by
          > > > playing with configurations within Mach, and I cannot seem to
          > find
          > > > the problem. I thought perhaps it might be unshield cables,
          > > although
          > > > I dont think this is the issue as the only power running is the
          > > power
          > > > supply and the mill. If I have to, I suppose I could wrap the
          > > > stepper wires with aluminum foil and ground them to provide
          > > > shielding, as a temporary measure, but I have not tried this yet,
          > > > that would be about my last resort as I am now out of ideas and
          > > > patience.
          > > >
          > > > I would appreciate a response from anyone who has ideas, or maybe
          > > > someone has had similar isses with their machine.
          > > >
          > > > Thanks,
          > > >
          > > > Peter Stenabaugh
          > > > Calgary.
          > > >
          > >
          >
          >
        • jehancocy
          do you have backlash enabled? My steppers hang on successive small (
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 2, 2007
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            do you have backlash enabled? My steppers hang on successive small
            (<.001) movements with backlash enabled. My servo system runs
            fine. It has something to do with acceleration.

            --- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stenabaugh"
            <pstenabaugh@...> wrote:
            >
            > This may be a bit of a long post so I apologize now if it is.
            >
            > I have been using Mach 3 with my cnc router for about 1-1/2 years,
            > and I recently converted my mill to cnc with steppers and a 1Kw
            home
            > made power supply. The power supply design came from a friend who
            > has made many on them in the past, and all without any problems
            like
            > I am about to mention.
            >
            > After finishing the mill, I got it up and running and did some
            basic
            > machining with it including some basic engraving with some name
            tags
            > and so on. I have machined some circuit boards with hundreds of
            holes
            > as well, all this without any issues, so I know the machine is
            > basically working fine.
            >
            > Recently a few weeks back I tried to do some litho engraving in
            > corian, when I try to do this type of machining where there are
            > thousands of short rapid movements, my steppers start to skip and
            > obviously loose position. The sounds they make are identical to
            the
            > clunk they make if I hit the e-stop, or a limit switch or the stop
            > button in mach. I think that what they are doing is momemtarily
            > stopping, as if a stop command had been issued, then they continue
            > along. Some times they will go frantic and miss a lot of steps
            > putting themselves out of position by 1/4" or so.
            >
            > I originally chalked this problem up to the fact that perhaps Mach
            is
            > sending too much information out the parallel port. The breakout
            > board I was using was a home made one (not by me) but it had no
            > intelligence on it and it was not much more than having the wires
            > twisted together, so it was only a mechanical connection point
            > between the gecko 202's and the parallel cable.
            >
            > I purchased and installed a cnc4pc breakout board (the C11). I
            have
            > had many emails back and forth with Arturo Duncan the designer
            about
            > this as well. Since the incorporation of the C11 board, I now
            have
            > the mill back and running, however the issue with the steppers is
            > still exactly the same, and I also cannot get my limit switches to
            > work the way they are supposed to by using the board, so there are
            > two problems, although the limit switches are secondary, I have to
            > get the steppers running smoothly first.
            >
            > I have spent countless hours trying to resolve this situation, by
            > playing with configurations within Mach, and I cannot seem to find
            > the problem. I thought perhaps it might be unshield cables,
            although
            > I dont think this is the issue as the only power running is the
            power
            > supply and the mill. If I have to, I suppose I could wrap the
            > stepper wires with aluminum foil and ground them to provide
            > shielding, as a temporary measure, but I have not tried this yet,
            > that would be about my last resort as I am now out of ideas and
            > patience.
            >
            > I would appreciate a response from anyone who has ideas, or maybe
            > someone has had similar isses with their machine.
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Peter Stenabaugh
            > Calgary.
            >
          • Peter Stenabaugh
            I do have backlash enabled, but I only have a setting for Z axis, and nothing set for the X and y, due to the ball screws. I can always try it with it turned
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 2, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              I do have backlash enabled, but I only have a setting for Z axis, and
              nothing set for the X and y, due to the ball screws. I can always
              try it with it turned off though.

              I just spent another night of testing. The problem of the
              steppers 'bumping' or worse only seems to happen on files that have
              been generated from Vcarve. In one file I tried (many times)
              tonight, I get a 'bump' from the X motor at exactly the same line
              every time I run it, and this happens in many places, but I only
              really watched one, over and over. There is nothing wrong with the
              file, it is only x y coordinates.

              It is not just this file, I get the same problem on other files, yet
              I have some files, that are regular machining files that do not give
              me any issues. For example I ran the Mach 3 sample 'roadrunner' file
              tonight, about 1/2 way through with no problem at all. Go figure.

              I am out of ideas now, I think perhaps it is time to look for a new
              off the shelf power supply / controller. Anyone got any suggestions?

              Thanks, Pete.

              --- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com, "jehancocy" <jehancoc@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > do you have backlash enabled? My steppers hang on successive small
              > (<.001) movements with backlash enabled. My servo system runs
              > fine. It has something to do with acceleration.
              >
              > --- In mach1mach2cnc@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stenabaugh"
              > <pstenabaugh@> wrote:
              > >
              > > This may be a bit of a long post so I apologize now if it is.
              > >
              > > I have been using Mach 3 with my cnc router for about 1-1/2
              years,
              > > and I recently converted my mill to cnc with steppers and a 1Kw
              > home
              > > made power supply. The power supply design came from a friend
              who
              > > has made many on them in the past, and all without any problems
              > like
              > > I am about to mention.
              > >
              > > After finishing the mill, I got it up and running and did some
              > basic
              > > machining with it including some basic engraving with some name
              > tags
              > > and so on. I have machined some circuit boards with hundreds of
              > holes
              > > as well, all this without any issues, so I know the machine is
              > > basically working fine.
              > >
              > > Recently a few weeks back I tried to do some litho engraving in
              > > corian, when I try to do this type of machining where there are
              > > thousands of short rapid movements, my steppers start to skip and
              > > obviously loose position. The sounds they make are identical to
              > the
              > > clunk they make if I hit the e-stop, or a limit switch or the
              stop
              > > button in mach. I think that what they are doing is momemtarily
              > > stopping, as if a stop command had been issued, then they
              continue
              > > along. Some times they will go frantic and miss a lot of steps
              > > putting themselves out of position by 1/4" or so.
              > >
              > > I originally chalked this problem up to the fact that perhaps
              Mach
              > is
              > > sending too much information out the parallel port. The breakout
              > > board I was using was a home made one (not by me) but it had no
              > > intelligence on it and it was not much more than having the wires
              > > twisted together, so it was only a mechanical connection point
              > > between the gecko 202's and the parallel cable.
              > >
              > > I purchased and installed a cnc4pc breakout board (the C11). I
              > have
              > > had many emails back and forth with Arturo Duncan the designer
              > about
              > > this as well. Since the incorporation of the C11 board, I now
              > have
              > > the mill back and running, however the issue with the steppers is
              > > still exactly the same, and I also cannot get my limit switches
              to
              > > work the way they are supposed to by using the board, so there
              are
              > > two problems, although the limit switches are secondary, I have
              to
              > > get the steppers running smoothly first.
              > >
              > > I have spent countless hours trying to resolve this situation, by
              > > playing with configurations within Mach, and I cannot seem to
              find
              > > the problem. I thought perhaps it might be unshield cables,
              > although
              > > I dont think this is the issue as the only power running is the
              > power
              > > supply and the mill. If I have to, I suppose I could wrap the
              > > stepper wires with aluminum foil and ground them to provide
              > > shielding, as a temporary measure, but I have not tried this yet,
              > > that would be about my last resort as I am now out of ideas and
              > > patience.
              > >
              > > I would appreciate a response from anyone who has ideas, or maybe
              > > someone has had similar isses with their machine.
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > >
              > > Peter Stenabaugh
              > > Calgary.
              > >
              >
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