View Full Version : Ooooooo Smoothstepper nasty

11-12-2008, 08:03 PM
Hi all,

Very worrying messages on the Mach 3 forum. Can't believe the Smoothstepper guys missed this one, it is a killer.



Think I'll not be running my machine until a fix is released :eek:

Regards Jeff.

11-12-2008, 10:21 PM
that's bad to have missed that basic early power up test... who didn't think up their test plan beforehand?

Lee Roberts
12-12-2008, 03:03 PM
Very unsafe !, here is the movie from gumbyrulesyou on the mach forums :)


Greg from Warp9TD said:

Hi all,

I have replied to this in the Warp9TD forum. It is a problem that I will address tomorrow. If the SS loses communications with the PC it should stop jogging, but it doesn't. Even if it doesn't lose communications, the current implementation could be a problem if a jog-off command were swallowed. Motion from gcode and step jogs will stop as soon as the SS runs out of data, but continuous jog movement is generated on-board.


12-12-2008, 06:17 PM
Thanks for linking the video Lee,

That is so unsafe. Apparently, if you power the SS solely from the USB port, that fault cannot happen, it is only occurring on externally powered SS's like mine but I will switch back over to USB and mothball my MPG if there is no fix in the next week. Greg is usually pretty fast at fixing things, just hope he's thorough too!

It's certainly taken the shine off my glowing opinion of it anyway :(

Lee Roberts
12-12-2008, 11:24 PM
No problem mate, i did want to pop it on the mach forums for the others but i cant find the post button on the said topic, i think i may need to post in other places or conform to some sort of other rules with regards to using the mach forums, i dont know as i'v not looked maybe if you can post or send a link to the "gumbyrulesyou" guy you could pass on the youtube link to him or point him here so he can point others onto it. Dont know, may help him out !

Yea i would defo USB it for now, i wouldnt be to disheartened its still a nice bit of kit to have. Things like this will hopfully bring a new and better product perhaps, we are just glad we never stocked up on the current Smoothstepper models.

I sent an email to warp9 not so long ago about advertising, the reply i got back suggested to me that they hadn't even read my email properly, so i didn't even reply back, hopfully Greg "steps" up and delivers this time.


13-12-2008, 01:52 PM
As far as I know, the current boards are the only ones that will be developed. The board is given its firmware on powerup every time. This is supposed to be advantageous in that fixes can be applied easily and if power or comms to the SS are lost, the firmware gets wiped and the board (and hopefully the machine) shuts down. It doesn't happen if the SS is powered externally.

I was under the impression that the charge pump in my DIYCNC BOB received its signal from Mach 3 via the SS through some sort of opto coupling however, what looks to be happening is that the SS is generating the chargepump signal itself, independently of Mach (which it must as it is on the USB port) and the chargepump signal keeps going even if comms to the SS are lost (think I've understood it).

Part of the problem is the poor documentation available on the SS. It seems it is "all in Greg's head" and nothing is down in print. I'm willing to bet that if the docs were as good as some of the ones I've had for my BOB's, people like Lee or Irving would have been able to spot this before anyone discovered it the hard way. I think this has come as a massive shock to Greg, such a fundamental flaw. At least with the downloadable firmware, a fix is (should be) relatively easy and permanent.

Regards all, Jeff.

Robin Hewitt
13-12-2008, 08:22 PM
All seems quite reaonable to me :confused:

If you are driving your car down the motorway then have a heart attack and die unexpectedly, you can't really blame the car manufacturer if there's a crash :confused:

When I wrote my jog it just aimed to put the tool 6 feet in the appropriate direction and then assumed something would tell it to stop before disaster struck.

If no dead man's handle was specified in the product and it was sold at a "No dead man's handle" price, I don't see how you can complain when the unadvertised feature doesn't work :confused: