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lateAtNight
31-05-2015, 08:26 PM
Hi everyone,
I've got a problem with my small KX1 mill that has a USB controller in it. I've had the mill for a while now, but due to circumstances I won't get into I haven't really used it until recently.

Basically I set myself up to make my first part today. I split the various operations into different gcode files so I could have a bit more control over things. Everything was going well except in-between ops I jogged one of the axes in Mach but there was no actual machine movement. I didn't think much of it, thought I might have nudged the cable from laptop to machine or something, so just started again.

Half way through the second try the emergency stop got tripped but not by me. Ever since it stopped mid cut I have been unable to get it to reset. There was no reason for the stop in the first place. None of the limits have been hit etc (which I have verified by going to the diagnostics panel). The only one lit up is the Estop.

Things I have tried:

Thought the switch might be faulty so bridged the wires and checked diagnostics.... nothing.
Went into pins & config and turned off the estop, which does actually get Mach out of reset, but when jogging the machine, nothing actually happens. Maybe the controller card still thinks there is a problem and won't actually allow any movement.

I'm totally stumped and would appreciate any help / suggestions.
Thanks,
David.

Jess
31-05-2015, 11:33 PM
Maybe the controller card still thinks there is a problem and won't actually allow any movement.
Could be; at least the geckodrive controller I have in my machine (not a KX1, sadly) won't power up unless the e-stop terminal is connected to ground (either via a wire or estop button).

Given that the estop being closed in normal operation isn't necessarily the obvious thing, when you say that you've tested the estop; does that mean that you've got continuity across the estop switch?

bobby
31-05-2015, 11:46 PM
Hiya, I am unable to help but can I ask what is your opinion of the KX1?

Has anyone had a KX1 and a Boxford type machine? How do they compare?

Was the KX1 expensive? (or is it a KX1s?? whats the difference?)


ANy information would be appreciated! :)

lateAtNight
31-05-2015, 11:54 PM
Jess, thanks for the reply. You're right, NC isn't obvious at first but it makes sense when you start thinking about the safety aspect of it.

I didn't get the multi meter out to test the switch itself in the end. I did think about it, but instead I tried running a wire between the two estop wires (not the switch) to close the connection (which would be like a functioning estop button) and it did nothing to reset the estop (through the diagnostics panel on mach). So I assumed it wasn't the button... The mystery goes on... Might be being pessimistic, but I think there might be a problem with either the controller card or the breakoutboard... neither of which I have seen because they came with the internals of the machine!

lateAtNight
01-06-2015, 12:09 AM
Bobby, maybe I should get back to you when (if?) I've sorted the problem... Because I'm pretty unhappy that a machine thats only done a few cuts isn't working as expected... But then again it could easily be my own fault / ineptitude. If I went on a rant... well, that'd just be unfair to Sieg + an egg on face situation for myself :). I will say that for the money I don't think you could do better... but I'm no expert + I haven't really used the machine yet! Price is on arc (http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Machines-Accessories/CNC-Milling-Machines)

I'll probably blog or something about it when I get a proper feel for the machine.

bobby
01-06-2015, 12:19 AM
Sounds good, Hope you get it sorted soon :)

Jess
01-06-2015, 12:22 AM
There's not a handy manual detailing the internal wiring; any diagnostic lights and so forth? I'd be somewhat surprised if there was nothing at all that indicated a board thinking the e-stop had been pushed.

If you bought the machine from Arc, then definitely ask them for help; after all, support is one of the major reasons that you'd fork out for a commercial machine!

lateAtNight
01-06-2015, 12:42 PM
No diagram unfortunately... would probably be in Chinese if there was! Haven't looked on the inside of the machine except for the spindle head (which is where the estop button is located). I am going to take out the multi meter and check if there is continuity on the circuit... should have done it in the first place.

I did contact Arc in the end even though they don't offer support for the machines themselves... its through another website, but long story short Arc did get back to me very quickly and assured me that someone who knows their stuff will be in contact today or tomorrow to try and sort out the problem. Fingers crossed...

[Edit] Ooops, stand corrected, there is a diagram in the manual!

lateAtNight
01-06-2015, 05:02 PM
Right, so little update. Got a call from smallcncsuport.com. Said I'd need 15 or mins or so to setup. So I got outside, run the power extension out to my shed etc, plug in and jog and the f'ing thing works just as expected! So yeh... egg on face situation kind of. But I will swear on my life I did everything reasonable to convince that machine to come out of estop yesterday... Cycled power on the machine, restarted laptop, changed usb ports (not that that should matter, but gave it a go), exited Mach about 10 times and nothing... but today different story.

However, he did say that there is a common problem with the plastic guard cover. Its like a little door that covers the cutting tool. It has a switch on the same circuit as the estop apparently. I completely forgot about mine because I removed the plastic cover when i first got the machine... but the circuit that opens and closes with the cover is still there. So I (we) think the estop was being tripped by the guard switch circuit possibly for no reason... I'll see how it goes in the future... if I get any more random estops I might just take the circuit out completely. I don't really know why its there. The guard itself makes sense but having the door on the same circuit as the estop is a little over the top.

Anyway, I hate wasting peoples time, so I felt like a right noob when I got the call back and had to say the machine was working. But I'm trying to tell myself that I did everything I could yesterday... and that the guard switch is the root of the problem which I wasn't to know about.

Interestingly though by my reading of the circuit diagram there is only one switch on the estop circuit... but then again I am a noob... and the manual appears to be for the old version of the machine with a parallel port.

ptjw7uk
02-06-2015, 12:29 AM
Just a quick question, should you be using a laptop with mach - Arc recommend a PC.

peter

lateAtNight
02-06-2015, 06:52 PM
Sadly it wasn't the end of this little saga. Today I went out to use the machine. Was able to jog etc so setup and let mach do its thing, but it only managed the smallest of cuts before going into estop and woulden't come out again. Just waiting on a circuit diagram and then will attempt a diagnostic.

ptjw7uk: I will eventually use a pc, but I have to say I don't think any of the reasons listed on the Arc website would affect me... the laptop meets the recommended specs no bother, and when the laptop is plugged in (which it always is when I'm CNCing) the OS has the same power settings as a PC. I think theres a little bit of a thing against laptops in the CNC world which comes from the problems you used to get with parallel ports on them... I think they had a lower voltage and slight light different protocol. But when your using a well spec'ed laptop & a usb controller card I'm not sure theres an issue. Or at least thats my thinking on it...

JAZZCNC
02-06-2015, 07:26 PM
Your correct about being able to use a Laptop with an external Motion controller BUT you still need to set it up so the Energy saving features are turned off.

This could be your problem.? Laptops are some times setup to turn off USB ports off when not used. To be Honest I hate USB, more so than Parallel port because it's always dropping out or fluctuating power which causes problems like this.

Personally after checking all wire connections for loose or broken wires I would turn off all power saving and Virus checkers etc on laptop. Then for good measure make a Backup of your XML file then re-install Mach3 and the Motion controller Plug-in.

Lee Roberts
05-06-2015, 03:24 AM
lateAtNight, have you implemented a solution to the problems your having, if so, what did you choose to do? if not, what are you likely to do next?

.Me

lateAtNight
05-06-2015, 11:05 PM
Ahhhh, guys. I must admit I haven't been keeping track of this thread... and I'm sorry I haven't :calm:. I assumed it would be dead and I was waiting until I actually had a proper update on the problem.

Lol. Soooo... I was considering bridging out the estop on the control board. I ran a multimeter to check for continuity at the guard switch and at the estop... all seemed fine. Before I bridged the circuit I wanted to eliminate a few other things.

On Wednesday I plugged in w/laptop and it wouldn't come out of estop, so I went to considerable effort to lug my f'in huge workstation style PC out to the shed to settle the possibility it could be the laptop. I also switched out the USB cable and on the recommendation of the smallcncsuport guy (John Stevenson... maybe its John S who kicks around these parts?) I added a 400ms debounce to the input signals in Mach. I also replaced the guard cover.

It came out of estop straight away, and I was already to eat my own words regarding the laptop but sadly my happiness was short lived when the same thing happened on the PC... half way through-ish a small op the machine went into estop and wouldn't come out. It just about broke me and then I almost went nuclear. So I just packed up and went inside. Didn't get a chance to try the bridging thing.

I was already to try this evening when I plugged in and once again all was fine... I thought I'd give it one more chance to make it all the way through a small part and it did. So I have my first part (ish...). Only then I went on to realise a much different problem... I wanted to do a little drilling on said small part and relaised that two of the MT2 ER16 collet chucks I have don't fit my machine! Wrong thread. Just can't win.

I went back to have a look on eBay to check and the listing now says "These chucks are threaded for drawbar but unfortunately we cannot confirm the threading size or pitch because each batch might be different." I was well aware my machine has an M10 thread so I am dubious it said that when I bought them (it was back in the spring), but I guess I'll never know now.

I'm still concerned the estop is a problem and worried about doing a bigger part. Only time will tell I guess.

For anyone interested here is a shot of the internals of my machine showing the controller card:

http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=15459&stc=1

It appears to be this one: http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com/products-page/breakout-boards/3-axis-cnc-usb-card-mach3-200khz-breakout-board. Known as an AKZ250 or Xulifeng. Looks like an FPGA at the heart and some kind on Atmel SAM (i.e. ARM) based device for usb coms.

I never did get rid of my Galil card (its in my workstation style PC which I am planning on switching to a smaller case at some point) so it could be a potential replacement if the card if its at fault (its PCI BTW so I can't wage in on the usb / ethernet war :D ). It would be a massive job and one I shouldn't have to do!

JAZZCNC
06-06-2015, 12:59 AM
Hi LAN,

Yes John Stevenson is John S and that's who I was going to call on your behalf. If you speak to him again Mention Jazz was Kicking off again he'll laugh and call me not nice names which I can't say or they will be deemed OFFENSIVE . . LOL.!!

If you have a Galil card then I'd swap it in a heart beat as Galil is industrial strength Controller and will knock the spots of that AKZ250. Yes I agree you shouldn't have too but sometimes it's just easier to bite the bullet and get cutting reliably. Esp if you have such a quality Card already.!

The next best thing is sort the noise causing the issue. Debounce is a bodge to get you going. Removing the noise is the cure and easy enough done.
For a start check all the Grounds are correct with a Star setup and separate signal wires from Power wires. Often this will cure the problem if it doesn't then you'll maybe after look at other ways. Like Caps across the inputs. Thou to be honest I've never found them to work very well if noise is bad.

To test if it's noise thru the switch then just remove the E-stop and put a jumper across the inputs. If it does it again you'll know it's not the E-stop as it can't be noise on the e-stop line.
Personally I prefer 24V to run trhu my E-stop and controlling a Relay which shuts the machine down. The 5v input signal is then just run thru Relay contacts to inform Mach3 E-stop occured and with a very short wire run you'll never get noise on that input.

Jess
06-06-2015, 01:12 AM
[
It just about broke me and then I almost went nuclear. So I just packed up and went inside.
Know the feeling! I'd suggest a nice calming cup of tea but, in the past, I've just ended up angrily drinking tea.


I'm still concerned the estop is a problem and worried about doing a bigger part. Only time will tell I guess.
I'm not sure if it's just how you've explained it, but (ignoring the initial problem which we can probably attribute to the guard switch) there seems to be a pattern:

The machine is running, but then gets itself jammed in e-stop, so you turn everything off, leave it for a bit, then when you come back, it's working again. If so, that sounds suspiciously like it could be an EMI (interference) problem.

The prime suspect for EMI (as always) is the spindle drive board and spindle, so it's probably worth checking if you can reliably get through the motions of a job with the spindle off/driver board disconnected, but not with it running. That I can't see a shielded cable between the spindle driver and the breakout/motion controller does make me particularly suspicious.

If disconnecting the spindle board doesn't fix things up, you'd move on to checking if it was the stepper motors and so forth. It's probably better just to link http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCCNCNoise.html at this point; although, some of it's recommendations are more practical for people making machines from scratch.

BTW, I think your link suggests that your motion control board is powered from your PC, so if it does get in a huff, it's only going to get power cycled when the USB port loses power. There's a tendency for PCs and laptops to sleep, rather than switch off and they often leave their USB ports powered for your convenience during sleep so you can charge your 'phone. (This might explain why it seems to fix itself overnight, because you unplug everything when you give up.)


It would be a massive job and one I shouldn't have to do!
Agreed. You should have been able to unpack it, maybe tram it up a bit, and then be making chips. The attraction of buying a commercial mill is not having to do any of this.

Lee Roberts
06-06-2015, 01:32 AM
late,

I noticed you said "shed", what kind of setup would that be? If the "standard" shed is the scenario I'm wondering if there is a possibility of an intermittent damp/moisture/humidity thing going on?

How close are those power lines (red&black, running cross the top of the picture) to the blue wires at the back of the picture, wondering if there is a noise issue in that area of the box, that PSU is right there to, humming away, sorry can't offer anything more :(.

.Me

Lee Roberts
06-06-2015, 01:39 AM
Sorry Jess hadn't refreshed before posting, RE: EMI.

.Me

JAZZCNC
06-06-2015, 01:47 AM
Cut those bloody tie raps off as well I hate to see unshielded wires bound together, esp if 5V signal wires.

lateAtNight
06-06-2015, 02:25 AM
Guys, I appreciate your comments. Its nice just to be able to post, talk it over, get comments / recommendations. Not many (any?) CNC'ers / machinists around these parts that I know of.

JAZZ, Two things stop me with the Galil... first I really like the fact that, bar the laptop / pc, the mill is self contained and the Galil has a massive breakout box (see attached pic) that I'd have to clumsily fit on the side or something... and then I really would need a PC + monitor. And it would all have to camp out in the shed because a laptop I can handle moving every time but all that lot... no way. Rewiring wouldn't be easy. Over time I could definitely do it. Its just not something I can tackle right now... Got so many little projects I want to finish off. A few of which require parts to be made with the machine! Go back to work on the other side of the country soon...

Jess, Noise from the spindle getting on the the estop line does seem to be one of the major suspects. Esp. when its cutting I can imagine the extra power going through the spindle creates a lot of noise. The estop and the spindle power are of course on separate cables but they run together from the head into guts of the machine. I could be wrong but I don't think either cable is shielded. But surely that would be a major design flaw... and they must have made thousands of these machines?!

Lee... your right about the shed. Its aluminium (had I known more about the thermal dynamics of a metal shed when I bought I would have gone with wood) and its a giant moisture trap at certain times. However given that I have so much of my hard earned in there, I have gone to significant lengths to keep the machine dry & insulated. Trust me, the shed itself is rubbish, but that machine is bone dry... except for all the oil its covered in of course :). Just another reason I don't want a computer / monitor out there. How I envy people with basements!

If anyone does have a shed / moisture problem I can thoroughly recommend Unibonds Aero 360 thingies. Surprisingly effective at sucking the moisture out of the air... reviews on amazon say they are equivalent to having a de humidifier. That and a million layers seem to be keeping the machine well enough.

lateAtNight
06-06-2015, 02:38 AM
Guys, I appreciate your comments. Its nice just to be able to post, talk it over, get comments / recommendations. Not many (any?) CNC'ers / machinists around these parts that I know of.

JAZZ, Two things stop me with the Galil... first I really like the fact that, bar the laptop / pc, the mill is self contained and the Galil has a massive breakout box (see attached pic) that I'd have to clumsily fit on the side or something... and then I really would need a PC + monitor. And it would all have to camp out in the shed because a laptop I can handle moving every time but all that lot... no way. Rewiring wouldn't be easy. Over time I could definitely do it. Its just not something I can tackle right now... Got so many little projects I want to finish off. A few of which require parts to be made with the machine! Go back to work on the other side of the country soon...

Jess, Noise from the spindle getting on the the estop line does seem to be one of the major suspects. Esp. when its cutting I can imagine the extra power going through the spindle creates a lot of noise. The estop and the spindle power are of course on separate cables but they run together from the head into guts of the machine. I could be wrong but I don't think either cable is shielded. But surely that would be a major design flaw... and they must have made thousands of these machines?!

Lee... your right about the shed. Its aluminium (had I known more about the thermal dynamics of a metal shed when I bought I would have gone with wood) and its a giant moisture trap at certain times. However given that I have so much of my hard earned in there, I have gone to significant lengths to keep the machine dry & insulated. Trust me, the shed itself is rubbish, but that machine is bone dry... except for all the oil its covered in of course :). Just another reason I don't want a computer / monitor out there. How I envy people with basements!

If anyone does have a shed / moisture problem I can thoroughly recommend Unibonds Aero 360 thingies. Surprisingly effective at sucking the moisture out of the air... reviews on amazon say they are equivalent to having a de humidifier. That and a million layers seem to be keeping the machine well enough.

JAZZCNC
06-06-2015, 09:12 AM
JAZZ, Two things stop me with the Galil... first I really like the fact that, bar the laptop / pc, the mill is self contained and the Galil has a massive breakout box (see attached pic) that I'd have to clumsily fit on the side or something... and then I really would need a PC + monitor. And it would all have to camp out in the shed because a laptop I can handle moving every time but all that lot... no way. Rewiring wouldn't be easy. Over time I could definitely do it.

Yes I under stand and you shouldn't have to do it I agree completely. But like I say sometimes you have change to cure for your own sanity.!
Last night I Remembered out of the all the cards I've ever tried or used this was the only USB card that came with ferrite rings on the cable. Which didn't bold well.!! Also I remember it was John S who brought this card to my attention and why I tried it.

The card was actually fitted in a machine and run straight away rather than tested on a bench or in machine of my own. It did what lots of Other USB cards do as in work fine then dropout occasionally for no apparent reason that is obvious. Not E-stop or Limit switch triggers but lost communication thru Locking up.
I can't remember if I used a external 5V supply or not as I seem to think it didn't have the option but I could be wrong. If it did then I would have definatly used separate 5v source as USB is terrible at giving a stable reliable 5v. (Jessy don't even go there.!!)

The card is still in the machine and working. I believe it still does the occasional dropout thing but other than this it's worked ok. The guy who owns machine isn't electrical minded or machine savy so any faults or strange happenings he would call me. It does run from a Desktop machine but last I knew he was talking about getting a Laptop so could take in house. I will ring him later and see if any issues I'm unaware of.!!

As mentioned lower down I don't use 5v thru my limits or home switches as it's too prone to EMF. I also don't rely on the Controller for E-stop and Shut things down thru relays.
So if your machine is wired using 5v direct from board thru long wire run for E-stop and/or limits then I'd look at getting 24V supply and putting a resistor on the input. Or changing to a much safer Relay driven setup.

Again shouldn't have to but hey it's got problems and they need curing. Just because Sieg is a big concern and charges the earth doesn't mean they don't penny pinch or cut corners.!! . . . The lack of shielding clearly shows they do.!!! . .
( If it's any consolation I recently converted both Denford and Boxford machines and they where the same.!! . . .Very poor. Only thing in there favor was they used quality electronics, bespoke and tied to there software but quality and they didn't rely on controller for E-stop)

Jess
06-06-2015, 02:12 PM
The estop and the spindle power are of course on separate cables but they run together from the head into guts of the machine. I could be wrong but I don't think either cable is shielded. But surely that would be a major design flaw... and they must have made thousands of these machines?!
That they're next to each other is suspicious. Shielded wires should be fairly obvious - they'd look like little coax cables, and there'd be a screen connected to the ground point.

Regarding it being a design flaw, it's likely an issue of margins and tolerances. Of course, the design should take account of that! There doesn't seem to be a slew of complaints, so, presumably, other Seig KX1s don't have this problem. (Cold comfort I know when your machine is the one that's faulty.)

Now, whilst I love to see the forum fix this, it does strike me that Arc should be the ones fixing this at their expense (or replacing it or refunding your money). Your contract is for a working mill, so they're legally obligated to supply said working mill or otherwise 'make you whole'.

The next thing I'd do is try to come up with a scenario that reliably causes the problem. I know the last thing you want to see right now is probably for your machine to go into e-stop, but this will at least allow you to tell if you've fixed it - or at least if you're seeing an improvement. (Alternatively, if you are putting the problem onto Arc, then you can show them that it doesn't work and easily test if they've fixed it.)

I'd avoid making major changes to the wiring right now, at least if you're hoping Arc might provide some remedy. Whilst JAZZCNC's wiring suggestions - star ground, separating cables etc., - are perfectly good, once you start cutting cable ties and rewiring things you're modifying the machine.

lateAtNight
06-06-2015, 05:15 PM
t Arc should be the ones fixing this at their expense (or replacing it or refunding your money). Your contract is for a working mill, so they're legally obligated to supply said working mill or otherwise 'make you whole'.


I have considered asking Arc to make it right. Like I say I've had the mill for a while but only really got down to putting it to use over the last few weeks. I was concerned that they'd use that somehow against me. That and they aren't the ones providing the support. I am covered under UK law for a year right? Worth considering I suppose... I'm planning to do a few parts tomorrow and we'll see how that goes.

I'll check for shielding on the wiring as well.

Jess
06-06-2015, 09:05 PM
So, this is my understanding of the law as a layperson; I'm not a lawyer. When I've had trouble, mentioning 'The Sale of Goods Act' and 'Trading Standards' has usually helped, albeit we were talking about significantly less money. I'm also talking strictly as a consumer; if you bought it as a business - or with the appearance that you were a business - different rules apply.

Obviously, if do have trouble with Arc then you may want to speak to someone like Citizen's Advice etc.,


I have considered asking Arc to make it right. Like I say I've had the mill for a while but only really got down to putting it to use over the last few weeks. I was concerned that they'd use that somehow against me.
Certainly, it's easier when it's a recent purchase. There's a period of time where the seller is responsible for showing that the buyer broke it; and after that the onus moves to the buyer. However, given its just been sat on a bench, it seems fairly obvious that you didn't break it. Definitely get in contact ASAP to say that you're still having trouble.


That and they aren't the ones providing the support.
Your contract for a working mill is with Arc. They've just asked you to speak with their subcontractor for support. Even if the subcontractor messes up, liability - as far as you're concerned - remains with Arc. (Arc may be ab


I am covered under UK law for a year right? Worth considering I suppose...
UK law doesn't state a period here; just that to be of satisfactory quality, the goods must last for a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable depends on the goods; a reasonable life for a bio might be a few weeks whilst a washing machine might be 6 years. Seems a >3000 CNC machine.

Jess
06-06-2015, 09:05 PM
So, this is my understanding of the law as a layperson; I'm not a lawyer. When I've had trouble, mentioning 'The Sale of Goods Act' and 'Trading Standards' has usually helped, albeit we were talking about significantly less money. I'm also talking strictly as a consumer; if you bought it as a business - or with the appearance that you were a business - different rules apply.

Obviously, if do have trouble with Arc then you may want to speak to someone like Citizen's Advice etc.,


I have considered asking Arc to make it right. Like I say I've had the mill for a while but only really got down to putting it to use over the last few weeks. I was concerned that they'd use that somehow against me.
Certainly, it's easier when it's a recent purchase. There's a period of time where the seller is responsible for showing that the buyer broke it; and after that the onus moves to the buyer. However, given its just been sat on a bench, it seems fairly obvious that you didn't break it. Definitely get in contact ASAP to say that you're still having trouble.


That and they aren't the ones providing the support.
Your contract for a working mill is with Arc. They've just asked you to speak with their subcontractor for support. Even if the subcontractor messes up, liability - as far as you're concerned - remains with Arc. (Arc may be ab


I am covered under UK law for a year right? Worth considering I suppose...
UK law doesn't state a period here; just that to be of satisfactory quality, the goods must last for a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable depends on the goods; a reasonable life for a bio might be a few weeks whilst a washing machine might be 6 years. Seems a >3000 CNC machine

If you don't like the computery bit as much as the making chips bit, look away now:


Have you read up on the error-checking and packet resending features of the Ethernet Protocol?
I'm well aware that Ethernet does error checking and it's fairly weak in terms of detecting errors. However, the problem a realtime environment specifically faces is the missing deadlines due to latency. You can resend data all you like, but it's no good knowing what you should have recieved after you needed it!

Some processes will be quite happy with the latency that Ethernet alone can provide of course, but as standard hardware and software can typically achieve that, they are outside of the realm of what's typically considered 'realtime'. Some problems only need accurate synchronisation, so you can work around Ethernet's unsuitability by using something like IEEE1588 for to create a common time reference and then queuing up commands. However, if you want to do, say, synchronized spindle and axis motion via a feedback loop, which you'd need to do something like rigid tapping on a mill, Ethernet simply isn't fast enough to do read the spindle speed and update the axis motion based on that speed. The workaround here, is that we move all the realtime stuff into a box that sits on the 'side' of the machine, outputing step-dir signals, telling things to move over CAN etc., based on, say, G-code-like commands - but Ethernet is no longer involved in the 'realtime' stuff.

The common thread is that Ethernet is unsuitable for realtime stuff: we either have to:

Formulate the problem so we can exempt Ethernet from realtime demands
Move the control part somewhere so it's not using Ethernet for realtime demands
Call it Ethernet for marketing reasons but exempt your solution from actually being Ethernet.



Where routers are involved information can travel several different routes and still be resolved at the destination, this is why the images which you view in your internet browser show so few errors.
That's nothing to do with Ethernet.

The appearance of (near) error-free, in-order, non-duplicated transmission in my web browser is a service provided by TCP - a couple of protocol layers up. It's done by numbering the packets and resending packets that are missing or have checksum errors (with TCP Ethernet's checksums are redundant) as well as dropping duplicated packets.

And routers don't even need to be involved either! Multiple routes can occur with any medium (including ethernet!) that allows for more than one path or the alteration of paths due to link failure.

cropwell
07-06-2015, 02:10 AM
These may be stupid questions but:- a. was the machine purchased new from Arc and b. has it always had this e-stop problem ?


Another stupid idea - Is your workshop power properly earthed ?

Jess
07-06-2015, 04:21 AM
Another stupid idea - Is your workshop power properly earthed ?
Good questions; I vaguely remember an extension lead being mentioned?

Come to think of it - I seem to remember warnings about extension leads being a great way to produce lots of EMI with welding equipment. Obviously, an arc welder is a beast for producing EMI, but presumably a mill could also see an effect?

m_c
07-06-2015, 12:16 PM
How about you back to basics.

Do you have a multimeter?
If so, work out what input on the controller is the E-stop. Then measure the voltage with the E-stop circuit complete (all buttons out and guards in place), and with the E-stop circuit broken (hit an e-stop button). Make a note of the values, then when the fault happens again, measure the voltage at the input. That will tell you if it's a switch/sensor/wiring fault, or a controller fault.

The fact Mach is still communicating with the board and not locking up, tells me it's not an interference problem on the USB side.

lateAtNight
07-06-2015, 10:02 PM
Cropwell: Yup from Arc new. Bought in October but although I unboxed and played around, it basically went into storage not long after. I never actually set Mach to run a part until recently and thats when I found the problem and its done it at some point every day I've gone out to use it.

I don't think the power to shed is the problem. I can't discount it though.. wouldn't really know how to. There is a fairly large capacitor inside the mill, but that might be for the output of the transformer... not the input.

It locked up on me again today. Pretty much as soon as it went into the material, so I got to work trying to diagnose... Disconnected the estop circuit from the control board and tried various things on the estop wires with a multimeter. All seemed fine... continuity on guard switch, estop button, wires etc etc. So tried bridging the the estop pin on the board with +5v which to my surprise DIDN'T work... still refused to come out of estop. Which was interesting. Went away and had dinner and decided that as there was plenty of free inputs, I should just try moving the estop onto a different pin. The machine came out of estop straight away and I was able to do another small part. I don't want to get to presumptuous... I have been at this stage before. Again only time will tell but my instinct tells me this might be it... maybe a dodgy / intermittent opto isolator on the control board. Decided to end on a high while there was still plenty of daylight so I didn't do anything else. Guess I'll find out tomorrow if I'm onto a winner.

Oh, and I was wrong... there is shielding on the signal cables.

m_c
08-06-2015, 12:14 AM
Checking the voltages at the board is far simpler than testing each switch individually.
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If the fault re-occurs, measuring to see if the correct voltage is present at the BOB is the easiest and most accurate way to establish if there's a fault in the E-stop circuit. It could be a faulty input on the BOB, but unless you can confirm there is 5V across the relevant pins when the fault occurs, then you're only guessing where the fault is. It could just as easily be a lose connection somewhere.

lateAtNight
18-06-2015, 10:52 PM
Small update to this one... Its now semi solved.

I realised a few days back that my original attempt at bridging out the estop circuit was a bit flawed. I was using the LEDs on the controller board as an indication of whether the signals were active or not. When I first tried I assumed that the estop would get its power from the machine, but it doesn't. Its powered by usb, unlike the homing and limit switches which are on a 24v power source. The result being that when I bridged, turned on the power at the machine, saw LEDs for the homing / limits but not for the estop I assumed this was still this random estop problem, but it wasn't... it was the fact that I didn't have the usb plugged in.

I got sent a wiring diagram and realised the mistake... Bridged out the circuit and plugged in and have been milling parts the last few days. It has however STILL estopped on me mid cut, which is a little worrying as there is only a tiny bit of cable bridging the circuit. But just the once and I was able to immediately reset and continue.

I wouldn't say its solved by any means... For one I have no estop now. I'm dubious that the control card is paying attention to Mach's setting for debounce... I'll have a think / seek advice about trying to rewire to use the 24v power source for the estop and / or add a small capacitor onto the estop circuit to do a bit of debounce the physical way. All things which I'm aware you mentioned ages ago JAZZ :whistle:.

Thanks for your help everyone!

JAZZCNC
19-06-2015, 07:37 PM
All things which I'm aware you mentioned ages ago JAZZ :whistle:.

I can't remember yesterday so any advice I gave as well left my puny brain.!! . . . . . . . But I'd be very worried if you have shorted the E-stop and your still losing Motion.!!. . . . . . Wonder what it could be.?????