View Full Version : More Problems with Chinese 6040

07-02-2016, 04:39 PM
Hey all,

Not so long ago my 6040 developed a screeching noise on its Y axis. After a little tinkering, the problem seemed to have cleared up. Been cutting fine since. However, a couple of days ago my machine stopped while cutting. The SMC4-4-16A16B control unit (I don't use Mach 3 but it has similar setup and control features) prompted me to 'reset'. From there on every time I moved the Y axis, the machine stopped and prompted me to reset again. Switched everything off and slowly moved the X and Y by hand for a while and, after doing this a few times, the machine started cutting again when I switched on; successfully finishing the job.

Started cutting today and it seems my Y axis is now losing steps. I tried cutting a circle and it was misshaped. The Y has also started shunting and pausing a little when it first starts moving.

I've switched the stepper motor around and the problem persists on the Y.

Advice appreciated. Thanks,


07-02-2016, 07:45 PM
Losing steps will occur due to mechanical issue, electrical issue or both.
From what you describe, I would have a look at the cables inside the box with the drives of your 6040. There is no feedback between the motors and your controllers so the triping is caused by either cables being loose in sockets or generally bad cable installation.
Have you swapped all the cables with good shielded ones and made ground star point? Have a look at the couplers between the motors and the screws, under vibration they can come loose and slip.

By the way, that little controller looks cute from what I saw on youtube.

07-02-2016, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the reply Komatias. The couplers are nice and tight, so they're not slipping. Though it does need re-wiring. So I'm probably best starting there. Can you recommend a good supplier for the cabling - and maybe someone in the Sheffield region who could sort it if it's too bigger job for me?

And yes, I love that little controller. Really easy to operate: set the start point, load the code from SDcard and hit run. I really should go the Mach 3 route though :)

09-02-2016, 02:40 PM
Instead of just attempting a re-wire, I'm thinking I'm best putting together a new box entirely with better parts. Would a Gecko G540 be sufficient or overkill. Also, would it be best to replace my current stepper motors (57 two-phase 3A 150N.cm) for something a little better. And if so, what? I'm not interested in crazy fast cutting speeds. Just need to be able to cut wood, acrylic, ACM and aluminium reasonably well with the 6040 frame(until I can get something better built.) I also want to keep using the SMC4-4-16A16B - and maybe add some sort of switch to an external parallel to connect to a PC if need be. What would you recommend?

09-02-2016, 07:59 PM

Unless you get a used G540 in the UK then it will be cheaper to get individual drives and a breakout board. I like my g540 and have used it on my 3040 cnc ever since I found that the original drive sucked.

What you refer to as an external parallel port is in fact called a motion controller. These do a bit more than just replicate the parallel port. Whichever brand you do go for, we generally agree that the ethernet type is more reliable.

As for the motors, don't bother, with the right drives they will do just fine.

09-02-2016, 11:06 PM
Hi Komatias. Yes. That's what I meant. Be good to have the option to use the SMC or to connect to a PC via a motion controller. After having a chat with Jazz though, I'm not going to bother with a new box. I'll just try get it working again without spending much and save for a more robust machine. Be best in the long-run. Cheers for the help and reply though. It's appreciated mate. Thanks.

04-12-2017, 04:15 AM
Hi, I was wondering if the members of this thread might be able to advise me about the smc4-4-16a16b "standalone controller", please?
I have hooked it up to a home built (MDF kit) router and would like to know which Profile to use in my CAM software? Does the smc4-4-16a16b
"look like" a eg. Fanuc to the software?
I hope I have explained properly? I do the Drawing in CAD make the DFX then go to my Dolphin CAM software to do the tool paths and make the G-code.
But it needs to make the G-Code according to the target machine?
Hope you can advise me, many thanks.

05-12-2017, 01:08 AM
Hey transistor, I've only used V-Carve software and my experience with anything beyond that is limited or next to zero. That said, with V-Carve I just export the g-code using a standard or generic profile that's not machine specific: g-code (mm).tap

05-12-2017, 08:27 AM
As Rye suggests, use a fairly basic post-proc and you will probably be fine. Fanuc and some of the more sophisticated controllers are more likely to use their own gcode extensions. Stick to a generic post-proc, like Mach3 or EMC/LinuxCNC, and you will just be generating "standard" gcode (whatever that is!). I would start with something like "Mach3 mm arcs", or "Mach3 mm arcs ATC" if your controller can handle M6 tool change commands and you are using different tools on one job.

06-12-2017, 11:26 PM
Hi Rye and Neale, many thanks for the replies, I was probably worrying about it un-necessarily.
I'm still trying to get up to speed on the CAM, so want to keep it simple to minimise my mistakes...
thanks again, Roger.

06-12-2017, 11:54 PM
You are probably right to try to keep it simple! I started around 5 years ago and tried to use freeware CAM packages. They might well have improved in that time, but I did find them limited and problematic to use. I did some useful work with them, but was always fighting rather than working with them. I moved to Vectric VCarve and never looked back. It's not cheap, but Vectric have worked hard at making the interface and the options as easy to use as reasonably possible. A lot of people recommend Cambam, but I haven't used it myself. Good luck with Dolphin - again, not one that I have used. The trouble with CAM is that there are usually a lot of options and parameters to tweak, until you eventually figure out the ones that you can ignore and leave as default, while you just change the ones that matter. Good luck!

07-12-2017, 01:13 AM
Fanuc and some of the more sophisticated controllers are more likely to use their own gcode extensions.

Isn't Mach3 essentially a basic Fanuc controller?


Scroll down to find that Newfangled solutions recommend a basic Fanuc POST should work if you don't have a CAM specific post processor, this was the case when Art Fennerty still ran the show so it's not just smoke from the slackers who bought him out and broke the product ;-)
I so bet Art is crying and laughing his socks off at the same time, the Chinese stand alone controllers are giving MACH4 What For and look like being a better bet! :D