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bruce_miranda
08-09-2008, 02:07 PM
I've been converting a Super X1 micro mill in the UK to CNC and have run into a few problems.

I'm using Motion Control Stepper Motors and Drivers and Mach3 to run them but am not getting smooth running of the motors at all.

I have a 40V 10A PSU and the Motors are wired as Bipolar Parallel to the Drivers.

Motors being used http://www.motioncontrolproducts.co.uk/pdf/FL57STH76-2808B.pdf

Drivers being used
http://www.motioncontrolproducts.com/c2/uploads/msd542%20datasheet.pdf

Driver is currently set as 2 Microsteps.

This is how it moves and sounds and although I'm not an expert at all that metal grinding doesn't sound right

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzgFNBwLoCk

Driver is set to 4.2A and 2 Microstep.
Mach3 is set as 80 Step per mm.
Velocity and Acceleration are set as 2500.

Robin Hewitt
08-09-2008, 03:50 PM
Sounds ghastly, a coil wired back to front perhaps?

Steppers do howl a bit, sounds something like this...

http://www.robinhewitt.net/mill.wmv

Lee Roberts
08-09-2008, 04:17 PM
What wire are you using on the motors, also have you made sure you wired them correctly ?

bruce_miranda
08-09-2008, 04:27 PM
The motors came with long enough wires to reach the drivers directly so used them itself.

They are wired as per the Motion Control wiring diagram.

Blue+Red to A+
Blue/White + Red/White to A-
Green+Black to B+
Green/White + Black/White to B-

Is there a way I can figure out if the wiring is indeed correct or not ?

bruce_miranda
08-09-2008, 09:25 PM
Anything I should try?

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 01:11 AM
This is how the motor looks spinning at 500 Velocity and Acceleration.

Note its still jerking and not moving smoothly even at such a slow speed. Also there are brief moments when it seems like the table just glides smooth but then the grinding returns.

I held it in my hand for a bit and that I've put it on the table to show how noisy it is.

http://www.youtube.com/v/4gkLBOmZqJU

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 02:31 AM
Wiring a Motion Control Stepper to a Motion Control Driver to get smooth rotations.

Can someone please tell me how can I get a smooth running motor. What settings do I need and how will the wiring be for bipolar parallel.

I have a 40V 10A PSU and the Motors are wired as Bipolar Parallel to the Drivers.

Motors being used http://www.motioncontrolproducts.co....TH76-2808B.pdf (http://www.motioncontrolproducts.co.uk/pdf/FL57STH76-2808B.pdf)

Drivers being used
http://www.motioncontrolproducts.com...0datasheet.pdf (http://www.motioncontrolproducts.com/c2/uploads/msd542%20datasheet.pdf)

Driver is currently set as 2 Microsteps.

They are wired as per the Motion Control wiring diagram.

Blue+Red to A+
Blue/White + Red/White to A-
Green+Black to B+
Green/White + Black/White to B-

But is this correct because someone else said that I have it wrong.

Currently the motor is running jerky like http://www.youtube.com/v/4gkLBOmZqJU

Do I need to change any of the jumper settings inside? Because at the moment its left as they arrived.

The DIP switches are set as
SW1 SW2 SW3 SW4 SW5 SW6 SW7 SW8 -> Off Off Off Off Off On On On

Robin Hewitt
09-09-2008, 11:22 AM
Anything I should try?

The wiring diagram for the motor is missing information. The colour coding shows A and A again rather than A and A'. About as useful as a chocolate teapot.

If the table is in sequence A,A',B,B' etc and the coils are shown the right way round then you are wired cackamamie.

I suggest you halve the current then disconnect one coil on either side.

If it vibrates forwards/backwards you're only driving one side. If it purrs around you had one or more of the disconnected coils in backwards.

When you have it purring, reconnect the other two coils by trial and error so it still purrs :D

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 01:18 PM
Aiming for Parallel and don't know what the wiring should be. So any help with be nice here.

Gary from Motion told me that the SW4 was meant only for dropping current down to half after a phase but I'm so lost now I'll try anything.

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 01:22 PM
If I'm aiming for a parallel connection what should the wire colours connected to the driver look like.

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 01:41 PM
Try a DMM and then wire them one way or the other...not both!

Attached is a wiring diagram I sent someone else here.....hth


Isn't this the Series connection? What I want is a parellel connection so how will that look like?

Lee Roberts
09-09-2008, 02:13 PM
Bruce, have a look at this mate:

http://www.mycncuk.com/pdf/wiring.pdf

That should help you out with the wiring of the bob, check you'v got all that right and then tonight ill give this a bit more time and work out what you need to do.

Lee

Lee Roberts
09-09-2008, 02:25 PM
Bruce, check your wiring to this:

http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/photoplog/images/2/large/1_wiresteppermotor.jpg

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 03:46 PM
I've wired this exactly like the diagram. I'm going for a parallel connection so I've done.

Blue+Red to A+
Blue/White + Red/White to A-
Green+Black to B+
Green/White + Black/White to B-

But someone else told me that it should be as

Blue+Red to A-
Blue/White + Red/White to A+
Green+Black to B-
Green/White + Black/White to B+

I've tried that too and nothing. No improvement.

This is happening on all 3 axises. I cannot get the motors to rotate smoothly, they are rotating in jerks.

Gary
09-09-2008, 06:23 PM
Wiring looks fine, and the current is set to 4.2 A so that should be ok also.
The problem that you are seeing is a typical noise or low signal problem, or possibly both.
These are the points you need to address:

1) Use Shielded cable for all signal cables
2) Shield the motor phase cables.
3) keep signal and power / phase cables apart, and if they need to cross, they should cross perpendicular.


Also check the signals from the pc, the voltage should be about 5V, it it is low the driver can miss pulses and you can get the stuttering you are seeing.

Gary
09-09-2008, 06:31 PM
I just had an email from Bruce, and it apears that his clock pulse is about 3.3V, and he is using a laptop.
This is most definately the problems, and is actually quite common when a laptop is used.
The solution would be to use either another laptop with higher voltage outputs, or a desktop PC with a parallel port.

Bruce,
Try this and give us your results.

Thanks

Gary


Aiming for Parallel and don't know what the wiring should be. So any help with be nice here.

Gary from Motion told me that the SW4 was meant only for dropping current down to half after a phase but I'm so lost now I'll try anything.

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 06:58 PM
OK going to try and get my hand on a 'full' PC and see how things go.

Does anyone know of a supplier for a buffered Breakout Board similar to the ones CNC4PC do but in the UK? Hopefully that will give me a full 5V signal and I can use my laptops again.

irving2008
09-09-2008, 07:01 PM
I just had an email from Bruce, and it apears that his clock pulse is about 3.3V, and he is using a laptop.
This is most definately the problems, and is actually quite common when a laptop is used.
The solution would be to use either another laptop with higher voltage outputs, or a desktop PC with a parallel port.

Bruce,
Try this and give us your results.

Thanks

GaryWhat breakout board is he using? The MDS drivers are optisolated so dont really need a sophisticated BOB and are pretty immune to cross-over noise on the signal lines due to the low impedance 'on' drive. Unless he has a very long cable from PC to BOB or the BOB is a old design with TTL rather than CMOS logic I'd be suprised that the use of a laptop was an issue.

irving2008
09-09-2008, 07:03 PM
OK going to try and get my hand on a 'full' PC and see how things go.

Does anyone know of a supplier for a buffered Breakout Board similar to the ones CNC4PC do but in the UK? Hopefully that will give me a full 5V signal and I can use my laptops again.
Bruce - how are your drivers wired to the PC? The MDS series are opto-isolated. Unless there is some strange wiring issue a higher output voltage wont make any difference as they are active low drive.

m_c
09-09-2008, 07:22 PM
Model Engineers Digital Workshop have a couple of the CNC4PC cards in stock here (http://medw.co.uk/wiki/index.php?page=BreakoutBoard).

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 08:26 PM
Bruce - how are your drivers wired to the PC? The MDS series are opto-isolated. Unless there is some strange wiring issue a higher output voltage wont make any difference as they are active low drive.

I'm going to give Gary the benefit of the doubt here because he obviously knows his products better than I. So I've bought the only CNC4PC C1G breakboard board that was in stock. Hopefully this will solve my problem. If not then I'm back to the drawing board. Having said that the MSD542 manual does says that its looking for 4-5V for Active High and 0-0.5V for Active Low and since my laptop is giving 3.33V it may not be enought to kick the driver properly

Lee Roberts
09-09-2008, 08:26 PM
Maybe you should strip everything back and set one up at a time and see if you can find the problem that way, i noticed kip said somthing about your SW's being set wrong on the other post.

I'v just merged this thread with the other one you started Bruce as they see to be about the same thing, be nice to see a new thread on the conversion of your mill after you hash these issues out.

Lee

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 08:37 PM
I'll be doing a full write up of my entire set-up once things start working fine because I'm sure that are many like me who are complete novices and everything out there assumes you know something of CNC, plus there are very few UK only people who have a full write-up.

I was a bit too over confident and set-up everything into the box. If with the new BOB things don't start to work well then I'll have no other option but to start again.

Lee Roberts
09-09-2008, 08:41 PM
I was a bit too over confident and set-up everything into the box. If with the new BOB things don't start to work well then I'll have no other option but to start again.

Gary has already suggested its an issue with low power laptops didnt he?



I just had an email from Bruce, and it apears that his clock pulse is about 3.3V, and he is using a laptop.

This is most definately the problems, and is actually quite common when a laptop is used.

The solution would be to use either another laptop with higher voltage outputs, or a desktop PC with a parallel port.

Bruce,

Try this and give us your results.
Thanks
Gary

Gary
09-09-2008, 08:49 PM
Mot sure about the Bob, but The measured voltage was 3.3V, which is on the border line of working for the optos.
I have found that most support calls that end with the signal voltages being too low were on laptops.



What breakout board is he using? The MDS drivers are optisolated so dont really need a sophisticated BOB and are pretty immune to cross-over noise on the signal lines due to the low impedance 'on' drive. Unless he has a very long cable from PC to BOB or the BOB is a old design with TTL rather than CMOS logic I'd be suprised that the use of a laptop was an issue.

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 09:48 PM
Mot sure about the Bob, but The measured voltage was 3.3V, which is on the border line of working for the optos.
I have found that most support calls that end with the signal voltages being too low were on laptops.

Don't say that after I've just spent 33 on a BOB! Not to mention having already spent 10 for the previous BOB which won't be used.

I'll update this thread the moment I find something else worth reporting.

Anyone else here using a CNC Fusion kit? I've had alignment issues with the Z axis in particular. Is it right that the entire weight of the Z axis is taken by the collar supplied in your kit? Also why is there so little space made around the LoveJoys? The Orange sticker peeled out on a couple - just shows how close they are to the walls.

Lee Roberts
09-09-2008, 10:06 PM
Bruce, post your questions about the f-kit as a new one so people notice it other wise it could go un noticed mate. I'v also sent you a PM about the BOB you no longer will be using.

Gary
09-09-2008, 11:32 PM
When we initially talked i presumed you were using our Bob, and this is a straight through bob with no components but two connectors.
What bob are you using?






Don't say that after I've just spent 33 on a BOB! Not to mention having already spent 10 for the previous BOB which won't be used.

I'll update this thread the moment I find something else worth reporting.

Anyone else here using a CNC Fusion kit? I've had alignment issues with the Z axis in particular. Is it right that the entire weight of the Z axis is taken by the collar supplied in your kit? Also why is there so little space made around the LoveJoys? The Orange sticker peeled out on a couple - just shows how close they are to the walls.

bruce_miranda
09-09-2008, 11:37 PM
I am using a similar BOB but was half the price and made by a CNC user, the board is milled on a CNC machine itself and comes with 4 PCB stand-offs.

http://www.cncdoctor.co.uk/ParallelPortBreakoutBoard(P.004).pdf

irving2008
10-09-2008, 12:28 AM
I am using a similar BOB but was half the price and made by a CNC user, the board is milled on a CNC machine itself and comes with 4 PCB stand-offs.

http://www.cncdoctor.co.uk/ParallelPortBreakoutBoard(P.004).pdfBruce. That BOB MUST be used driving the opto's in ACTIVE LOW configuration. Its half the price because it has no active drive components, its just a connector. The PC on its own will not have enough output drive to drive the optos in active high mode. The signals on the MDSxxx are labeled thus Step+, Step- and Dir+, Dir- The - connections need to go to your driving signals and the + connections to a source of +3.3 or +5v power. This can be got off a USB connector, off a spare disc power connector inside the PC or via a cheap 5v regulated wall-wart. See pic.

irving2008
10-09-2008, 12:35 AM
I am using a similar BOB but was half the price and made by a CNC user, the board is milled on a CNC machine itself and comes with 4 PCB stand-offs.

http://www.cncdoctor.co.uk/ParallelPortBreakoutBoard(P.004).pdfBruce. That BOB MUST be used driving the opto's in ACTIVE LOW configuration. It will not have enough output drive to drive the optos in active high mode. The signals on the MDSxxx are labeled thus Step+, Step- and Dir+, Dir- The - connectoins neednto go to your driving signals and the + connections to a source of +3.3 or +5v power. This can be got off a USB connector, off a spare disc power connector inside the PC or via a cheap 5v regulated wall-wart.

bruce_miranda
10-09-2008, 12:36 AM
So the ACTIVE LOW configuration needs to be done in Mach3 for the Motor Outputs correct?

irving2008
10-09-2008, 12:40 AM
So the ACTIVE LOW configuration needs to be done in Mach3 for the Motor Outputs correct?Yes you will need to tell the software which way up the signal is... The MDSxxx series of drivers recognise the rising edge of the signal so the PC must pulse the output LOW to cause the required motion.

bruce_miranda
10-09-2008, 12:41 AM
Do I need to change anything in the Driver i.e. Jumpers or anything or can I leave them as default?

Gary
10-09-2008, 12:56 AM
No the drive does not need to be changed for sinking inputs.

bruce_miranda
10-09-2008, 01:03 AM
This seems like an easy solution. I just hope that I can cancel the order on that BOB I just bought if this works.

Oh my half price comment was related to the BOB I bought as compared to that sold by Motion Control - but its not as nice looking as the MC one.

Gary
10-09-2008, 01:17 AM
It does the same as the one we do, so 10 was a good deal.
We are designing a new motherboard that lets you plug up to four MSD542/556 directly into the board and on the other side it will have the connectors for the motors and a 25 way connector for the parallel port or smooth stepper.
This will eliminate the wiring from the bob to the drivers.


This seems like an easy solution. I just hope that I can cancel the order on that BOB I just bought if this works.

Oh my half price comment was related to the BOB I bought as compared to that sold by Motion Control - but its not as nice looking as the MC one.

bruce_miranda
15-09-2008, 12:16 AM
I have GOOD news to report, my motors are now spinning very well. I used the USB to supply 5V to the drivers and everything suddenly started to work.
Thanks a lot irving2008.

Oh in the meanwhile I also rebuilt my laptop and then reconfigured things using these instructions here and everything works quite well. http://pminmo.com/PMinMOwiki/index.php5?title=Laptops

I have now an issue where if I jog the axis suddenly at no certain point the motors will stall but if I release the key and jog again it continues just fine. Jogging slower the motors stick less often but still stick about once per end to end travel. How do I resolve that issue.

Gary
15-09-2008, 12:37 AM
At what speed are they stalling?
Is it happening between a specific speed range?

bruce_miranda
15-09-2008, 09:40 AM
They seem to stalling at all speeds and even without any load connected i.e. motors not connected to machine. Also it happens only when I continously jog from one end to another.

Gary
15-09-2008, 06:31 PM
OK are the spped you running at between 70 and 100 steps a second? if so the problem could be resonance.
Try it with load and see if the the problem is still there.

bruce_miranda
15-09-2008, 07:29 PM
So I've finally got my motors running smoothly on the Mach 3 but I've hit yet another problem.

Every so often the motors will stall for no apparent reason. I first thought the lead screws where getting jammed but I've even tried the motors without any load and they still stall.

When the motors stall even if I try to help it to move forward it won't. But the moment I release the jog key and start jogging again it works fine.

Jog at slower speeds causes it to stall less but it does stall. Also when jogging at slow speeds I can hear the motor sometimes hesitate.

See the video or a fast and slow jogging X axis without it being connected.

e1wQHubSqFY

P.S> I don't know what's the BBCode to embed YouTube Videos in this forum.

bruce_miranda
15-09-2008, 08:32 PM
At the moment Mach3 is set to 1000 Steps per mm. The problem is both with and without load.

Smiler
15-09-2008, 10:37 PM
I've gone through exactly the same process as you Bruce. I have the MDS 542 drives, 3nm motors and PSU's from Zapp

I bought a laptop to use with Mach3, had nightmare issues with missed steps and stalling even while the motors were on the bench at very low speeds. I got in touch with Pminmo who was extremely helpful and got me at least working. Running on the bench was much better, in fact I was pushed to make the motors stall. Putting them on my machine however, I had to run at very low speeds to get smooth motion. I could jog the X maybe 150mm before it would miss or stall, jog again and it would be fine for maybe 500mm before missing or stalling, jog again and it might instantly stall, no set pattern.

In desparation I ordered a SmoothStepper (http://www.warp9td.com/) from the states and what a transformation. Before, the best I could get from my Ballscrew X axis was 1000mm/min, now I'm up at 3000mm/Min and it could go faster comfortably but it seems fast enough for me to leave it set at. My rack and pinion Y axis, whose motor turns slowly, would stutter randomly, that is all gone now, smooth in all three axes. Just running Mach3 with the SS attached and no machine, the toolpath display seems smoother running.

I know this doesn't help you solve your problem but this little board has transformed my laptop controlled system and I'd bet it would do the same for you if you cannot cure your problem. At the end of the day Mach3 and Laptops have an uneasy relationship and even if you get yours optimised to the Nth degree, I feel it will always be marginal. Cost me 130 total with all taxes but worth every penny. I know I could buy a S/H desktop for the same money and probably have zero troubles but I don't have the option of using one, I simply HAD to use a laptop because a desktop could not survive for long where it would be living.

Worth thinking about.

Gary
15-09-2008, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the comment,
I have been talking to them about distributing the smooth stepper, but held back till it had some in the field and all the bugs had been ironed out.
Bruce, If you decide to go down that route, keep me informed with the results





I've gone through exactly the same process as you Bruce. I have the MDS 542 drives, 3nm motors and PSU's from Zapp

I bought a laptop to use with Mach3, had nightmare issues with missed steps and stalling even while the motors were on the bench at very low speeds. I got in touch with Pminmo who was extremely helpful and got me at least working. Running on the bench was much better, in fact I was pushed to make the motors stall. Putting them on my machine however, I had to run at very low speeds to get smooth motion. I could jog the X maybe 150mm before it would miss or stall, jog again and it would be fine for maybe 500mm before missing or stalling, jog again and it might instantly stall, no set pattern.

In desparation I ordered a SmoothStepper (http://www.warp9td.com/) from the states and what a transformation. Before, the best I could get from my Ballscrew X axis was 1000mm/min, now I'm up at 3000mm/Min and it could go faster comfortably but it seems fast enough for me to leave it set at. My rack and pinion Y axis, whose motor turns slowly, would stutter randomly, that is all gone now, smooth in all three axes. Just running Mach3 with the SS attached and no machine, the toolpath display seems smoother running.

I know this doesn't help you solve your problem but this little board has transformed my laptop controlled system and I'd bet it would do the same for you if you cannot cure your problem. At the end of the day Mach3 and Laptops have an uneasy relationship and even if you get yours optimised to the Nth degree, I feel it will always be marginal. Cost me 130 total with all taxes but worth every penny. I know I could buy a S/H desktop for the same money and probably have zero troubles but I don't have the option of using one, I simply HAD to use a laptop because a desktop could not survive for long where it would be living.

Worth thinking about.

Gary
15-09-2008, 11:47 PM
You are set to 1000 steps per mm, but between what linear speeds are you seeing the problem?
Also what resolution are you set to on the driver, are you still set to half step? try changing the resolution?


At the moment Mach3 is set to 1000 Steps per mm. The problem is both with and without load.

bruce_miranda
15-09-2008, 11:52 PM
How do I figure out what the linear speed is, as mentioned I'm seeing this both at slow jog (i.e 35%) and full jog.
My resolution is still set at half step i.e. 2

Gary
16-09-2008, 08:37 AM
I dont use Mach 3, but if it is set to 1000 steps per mm and you run at 35% of full speed, you need to work back from that.
the motor is set to 400 steps per rev.
If you are set to 35%, what is you max speed set to?

bruce_miranda
16-09-2008, 10:20 AM
This is what Mach3 is set at 1000 step per mm for the x and y axis at 600mm/min and acc of 200

bruce_miranda
16-09-2008, 01:50 PM
Anyone with any other help? I'm really getting desperate to get this machine going.

bruce_miranda
17-09-2008, 12:03 AM
If I lower the Velocity I get no stalling but if you listen carefully every 10 secs or so you will notice a slight motor hesitation noise.

XmsZw6C_dm0

Gary
17-09-2008, 12:13 AM
Disconnect the direction cable and try again and see if the 10 second noise goes?
do you have access to a scope?

Lee Roberts
17-09-2008, 12:18 AM
Bruce, read this: http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=290

bruce_miranda
17-09-2008, 06:56 PM
The only problem I'm really facing now is this hesitation once about every 8-9 seconds. At slower velocity the motors do not stall. I've even disconnected the Direction Pulse to see if that helps but nothing helps. I don't have access to a Desktop machine and so am keen to get this laptop working.

Gary
17-09-2008, 07:48 PM
Is this problem the same with both axis? IF so it is definately the signals from the laptop.
Have you got anything running in the background on the laptop? close all non essential processes down.
What is the spec of the laptop?


The only problem I'm really facing now is this hesitation once about every 8-9 seconds. At slower velocity the motors do not stall. I've even disconnected the Direction Pulse to see if that helps but nothing helps. I don't have access to a Desktop machine and so am keen to get this laptop working.

Smiler
17-09-2008, 08:01 PM
The only problem I'm really facing now is this hesitation once about every 8-9 seconds. At slower velocity the motors do not stall. I've even disconnected the Direction Pulse to see if that helps but nothing helps. I don't have access to a Desktop machine and so am keen to get this laptop working.

Bruce, I see you've asked the question in the Mach3 Yahoo group and they are giving the same answer I gave you earlier. Laptops have serious issues with MACH3. I got reasonable results by doing the optimization dance and running RMClock and demoting my laptop to Win2000 but you are running on a knife edge all the time.

I had the exact same problem as you. After all my tweaking, I still had this annoying little twitch every few seconds, like a little "tick" and I had to run my machine at a crazy 500mm/min to avoid missed steps and stalls. IMO, the problem lies solely in the laptop. If it is an Intel CPU, disable SmartStep or whatever it is called in the BIOS, put Win2000 on it set up as a Standard PC, No desktop backgrounds etc, turn off all power management and install RMClock, set it to "MAXIMAL PERFORMANCE" (keep an eye on your temp levels!) and make sure the "Run HLT" box in management is ticked. You might be lucky and have a usable sytem at that point, I did but it was touch and go and my CPU temps were getting to meltdown point. You could also install a free program called SpeedFan to automatically control your laptops fans to keep things cool, not perfect but it works.

Seriously Bruce, in my honest opinion you have two options, desktop or something to take the strain off the laptops parallel port, i.e. a SmoothStepper.

My Dell C640 laptop before the SmoothStepper had to be stripped to the bones to run Mach3 with any smoothness and then only slowly. Now it is back to XP Pro, my CAD/CAM software can run at the same time as Mach3 and my CPU doesn't get above 47 degrees.

I'll probably get shot down for this but that's my opinion, having had almost identical problems to you and having to solve them myself. Take it for what it's worth. Good luck anyway.

bruce_miranda
17-09-2008, 08:36 PM
I can now confirm that this is definately a problem with the laptop (i know i know - you've been saying this all along).
How have I confirmed this? You know the regular 'tick' that happens every 8-9 seconds is so regular that if I jog for about 4 secs then don't jog for 2 seconds and then jog again I get the tick at the 3rd sec i.e. similar timing to jogging continuously.
This tick does not vanish even with different microstep values.

Smiler
17-09-2008, 10:44 PM
I can now confirm that this is definately a problem with the laptop (i know i know - you've been saying this all along).
How have I confirmed this? You know the regular 'tick' that happens every 8-9 seconds is so regular that if I jog for about 4 secs then don't jog for 2 seconds and then jog again I get the tick at the 3rd sec i.e. similar timing to jogging continuously.
This tick does not vanish even with different microstep values.

Have a look in your BIOS for SpeedStep if it is an Intel CPU, that is what is causing the interupt most likely. If you can disable it then do so but be aware that your CPU might default to the lowest speed (mine dropped to 1.2Ghz from 2.4) once you boot back into windows.

Can you go with a desktop Bruce or are you stuck with the laptop like me?

I have to use one because a desktop would be dead in a week or so in the damp atmosphere we live in, at least I can bring the laptop and control enclosure indoors after using my machine.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

bruce_miranda
17-09-2008, 11:10 PM
Even with SpeedStep Disabled and the the Computer configured as a Standard PC I get this annoying tick once every 8-9 seconds.

A laptop is also what I can only use because the mill is installed in the garage.

Robin Hewitt
18-09-2008, 02:39 AM
I know very little about commercial CNC software, but is this running under Windows? Windows will occasionally go off and do something else for a while suspending all other programs.

Under XP you can latch on to a regular interrupt set at 1000 per second but you can't mess with the timer settings.

bruce_miranda
18-09-2008, 12:14 PM
Went and installed a clean version to Windows 2000. But the darn 8-9 sec hesitation is still there. This is with the Intel SpeedStep disabled in the BIOS. So there is something in the laptop that is doing something every 8-9 secs. I've tried all the 3 parallel port modes too, no difference. I've forced the parallel port to use IRQ7 and still nothing.

Now the key thing for me is to decide if I should invest in the SmoothStepper or a mini-ITX computer.

Smiler
18-09-2008, 08:07 PM
If you look at the CNCZone site and do a search on ITX, you will see it is just as much a minefield as the situation with laptops. Some have no problems, some just don't work. MAybe it's being unfair to say it is as bad a the laptop situation but it is not all plain sailing if you go that route. The thing to do is to ask for recommended boards, ones in actual daily use and go for that.

If you were local to me, i'd bring my smoothstepper over for you to try, it would confirm once and for all where the problem lies and a fix for it.

bruce_miranda
18-09-2008, 09:52 PM
I've now gone and done it. Bought myself a SmoothStepper!

bruce_miranda
20-09-2008, 09:30 PM
You guys are not going to believe this. I managed to get the machine working. Now wait for the fun part.

1. Its a laptop.
2. It doesn't have a parallel port on it.
3. I'm using a docking station.
4. I've loaded Windows XP on it.
5. I've not made ANY changes to the set-up, its still working on ACPI mode.
6. All services and start-ups are running etc.
7. Not loaded the RM Clock utility
8. Not done any optimization at all.

AND IT STILL WORKS FINE. Motors are running smoothly and faster than the machine can handle and there is no hesitation at all.

Sod's law that I got my SmoothStepper today too. Infact I rebuilt this laptop to use with the SmoothStepper and previously I'd tried this same laptop with all the 'recommended' changes and my motors didn't even move!

The only difference is that I'm now using the Development version of Mach3 instead of the lock-down version because that is what SmoothStepper needs.

I'll try this set-up for a few days and if things work then I may have a Brand New SmoothStepper for sale in the UK :-)

Lee Roberts
20-09-2008, 11:27 PM
:), maybe worth asking the guys over at Artsoft what the diffrences could be with both software versions so we can pin point what the problem was ?

Smiler
21-09-2008, 11:44 AM
:), maybe worth asking the guys over at Artsoft what the diffrences could be with both software versions so we can pin point what the problem was ?

Still think it's the laptop. I'm running the exact same version as Bruce and without the Smoothstepper, I get the ten-second-tick. This is on a Dell C640 2.4GHz P4 Moblile with 1 gig of ram.

I'm curious as to whether it is the same laptop Bruce is using or if it is a different one, I know he said he had several. Either way, I'd keep the Smoothstepper with a laptop.

What make/model of laptop are you using Bruce?

Lee Roberts
21-09-2008, 08:10 PM
Bruce, can you just confirm why you cant have a full blow PC setup in the garage?

bruce_miranda
21-09-2008, 11:19 PM
The laptop that has the inbuilt parallel port is the Dell D800 and that has a P4 M 1.7Ghz CPU - that has this 10 sec tick still on it even with Win2K.

The laptop that now works is an HP nc4400 but that has a Centrino Dual Core 2.0GHz CPU. This is the one I have no problems with.

The reason I don't want a full blown set-up is the garage is
.a. my garage is not heated and gets quite damp, that not good for the PC
.b. its not attached to the house and was recently broken into.

bruce_miranda
22-09-2008, 12:35 PM
:), maybe worth asking the guys over at Artsoft what the diffrences could be with both software versions so we can pin point what the problem was ?

The guys at Artsoft too can't explain why things are working now when previously they didn't.

captainresonator
16-10-2008, 12:56 AM
The motor connections you have mentioned are a bit confusing but corrected. I use these motors myself and have had them running in both parallel and series modes. The problem may lie with the stepper driver units. Try using finner steps, 8 or 16 microstep to see if it improves things.

bruce_miranda
16-10-2008, 03:43 PM
There was no problem with the Drivers or the Motors. The problems were first in the fact that my parallel port was not outputting 5V DC. Once I resolved that using the USB power then it was a case of the laptop misbehaving. Now I have everything running fine on a laptop without needed to tweak it in any way at all.

I have the drivers set to 10 microsteps and that made tuning calculations on my Metric machine very easy. Now I have the machine set to run at the highest Velocity possible and things are still running absolutely fine. I know I could use the SmoothStepper and get even more speed but I consider that unnecessary for my applicable and so would rather sell the SmoothStepper off Brand new.

cncezee
27-08-2009, 10:40 AM
What PC are you driving it with? is it your normal desktop machine or one dedicated to running mach3 or simular.
I had a simular problem where nomatter how i connected the motor i could not stop it jumping around, it turnd out to be somthing with the isa paralell port in that the pulses were not all of the same time and thus made the motor jump in all directions.
I have lernt never to test stepper motors with a random machine running Mach3.
Roger