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View Full Version : Machine consistently pausing briefly, after 15-20min in to a job?



charlieuk
09-06-2016, 11:33 AM
I have been using my machine prity successfully for over a year now however it has slowly seamed to have developed what I call a brain fart. It seams fairly consistent normally within about 15-20min after running a cut the machine will suddenly stop all x y and z movement for a second and then carry on going, I think it's only ever happened once per use of the machine. It has done it a good number of times now without causing any problems so kinda ignored it until yesterday when it messed a pice of work up. I'm just trying to figure out what could cause it? Could it be static or something? Everything was earthed when I built it.

magicniner
09-06-2016, 11:52 AM
When you say it stops then carries on you don't say if code continued to run and moves were lost or if the code stopped running?
Assuming the code didn't stop running then your problem could be a PSU which isn't coping any more and is cutting out briefly with thermal overload, but don't assume and don't guess, test it under load with a meter.

P.S. never ignore un-programmed behaviour in a CNC system, if it's doing something other than exactly what it's instructed to do then something is broken and needs fixing!

A_Camera
09-06-2016, 11:54 AM
I think it is your PC locking suddenly up the computer. Perhaps it is trying to get some automatic updates or something similar. Perhaps your PC is simply "tired" and needs a clean installation. Describe how your installation looks like. May be easier to analyze the issue. Are you using the PC for something else at the same time?

I don't think it is static or earthing problem. That should generate a total stop not just a short pause. Sounds like the PC is busy with something else.

magicniner
09-06-2016, 12:17 PM
That's a good point but his PC shouldn't have internet access, at least whilst running CNC and should have updates turned off, if it has anti-virus this should be stopped whilst running CNC.
If something grabs enough resources to stop Mach3 running it throws an error, stops and requires reset, don't ask how I know! ;-)

charlieuk
09-06-2016, 12:47 PM
I don't have the PC connected to the Internet at all the only thing I use it for is the cnc. I had the virus scanner problem at the start so that should be still off. The only link to any other computers is via loading g code through a memory stick. The fault does not creat a e stop just ether a very sudden stop which I notice mostly on the X axis as I run it quite fast which I worrey about it loosing position as its on a rack and pinion or it pauses for a second and then carries on

phill05
09-06-2016, 01:12 PM
Check you have adequate cooling to your driver cards, I had a similar problem adding a 2nd cooling fan sorted it.
Check your computer cooling fan is working too.

Phill

magicniner
09-06-2016, 04:00 PM
So Mach3 is pausing briefly?

charlieuk
09-06-2016, 04:16 PM
possibly, I ran the same file today I did not have any problems

A_Camera
09-06-2016, 06:03 PM
possibly, I ran the same file today I did not have any problems
I still think it is the PC grabbing resources. Mach3 may not be able to detect it if it is halted by the OS. Another thing I thought about is the look ahead buffer. I have a weak memory that I had similar issues a long time ago while I used the parallel port of a Windows XP computer. After I changed to USB the problem was gone. My current laptop has Windows 10 and anti virus on, it has Internet connection as well and don't seem to have problems. Is your computer still running under XP? Is it old? Are you using the parallel port?

lucan07
09-06-2016, 07:07 PM
The Mach3 software tends to operate at a low level and on older machines its biggest competitior for resources can be the graphics especially with onboard or lower spec GPU that can grab memory fo compensate. I have seen similar problems and sorted them by simply reducing graphics overheads you don't need full 32bit graphics for mach3 and reducing graphics overheads can free a large amount of resources on older machines, but worst offender is if you enable Mach3 hi res screens options it will then draw screens twice to remove pixelation.

charlieuk
09-06-2016, 07:16 PM
it was a new pc about for the machine maybe just over a year and a half ago running windows 8.1 64 bit I think. the machine is connected via Ethernet cable to a csmio motion controller

I guess if there is anything I can turn off or get rid of on the pc its worth it to rule it out? (im not much of a computer person though)

lucan07
09-06-2016, 07:48 PM
Running via ethernet on a 64bit machine its unlikely to be overheads as Mach3 will not be running the parallel driver to generate pulse the pulse generation is I believe carried out entirely by the CSMIO controller, apart from virus software or windows itself maybe starting housekeeping or attempting to enter power saving mode I cannot think of much that would likely affect it in that way. Turn of any virus software if running and disable power saving and screen savers not much more you can do PC wise. If it occurs after that you may have to look elsewhere for the problem, I haven't used the CSMIO although have one ordered so cannot really advise regarding the controller I would just double check earthing and maybe add EMI / RFI filter if not already fitted.

JAZZCNC
09-06-2016, 10:23 PM
Sounds very much like PC related rather than machine. Make sure everything like Updates, Screen savers, Energy saving etc is turned off.
Have you installed any software lately that's trying to phone home.?

It's more likely be something silly like this than PSU going down but like been said could be anything so don't trust it and find it before using again.

JAZZCNC
09-06-2016, 10:43 PM
Lucan07 your wrong about mach3 not needing much graphics power. Infact it's one of the main reasons people have trouble with mach3 when using PP or lower spec PC's. Just clicking in toolpath screen would lock mach up on some PC's with poor or low graphics. This Big area where mach4 as improved.
While External controllers do take lot of the work load off Mach3 it can and does still happen with them. Even the Cslabs do it albeit to much lesser degree.

Charlie While I think it's more PC related just for precautions sake I'd go over the wiring and check for lose connections or any nipped cables etc.

lucan07
09-06-2016, 11:02 PM
Lucan07 your wrong about mach3 not needing much graphics power

Not what I said read post it does not need 32bit or High Res option to be pretty if your short on resources.

JAZZCNC
10-06-2016, 01:10 AM
Not what I said read post it does not need 32bit or High Res option to be pretty if your short on resources.

Sorry it read like you ment M3 didn't need Graphics power which it really does but on reading again I see what you meant.! . . . My apology.

A_Camera
10-06-2016, 08:14 AM
it was a new pc about for the machine maybe just over a year and a half ago running windows 8.1 64 bit I think. the machine is connected via Ethernet cable to a csmio motion controller

I guess if there is anything I can turn off or get rid of on the pc its worth it to rule it out? (im not much of a computer person though)
If you still running under Windows 8 then the first thing I'd do is get rid of that, download Windows 10 free of charge (the free offer ends on the 29th July). Mach3 works fine under Windows 10 and if you are not using the parallel port than it should not be a problem at all, unless the dll is a crappy one. Windows 10 is much better than Windows 8 or anything else before, the only possible "disadvantage" is that it no longer supports the parallel port.

charlieuk
10-06-2016, 08:45 AM
ok many thanks every one i will have to start looking and checking those things though its going to be tricky to know with it being a little intermittent

m_c
10-06-2016, 12:20 PM
via loading g code through a memory stick.

Just to clarify, are you running code from the memory stick, or copying it to the PC before running?
I have heard of a few times where running from memory stick/external drives that has caused problems.
There are settings where USB will go into a low energy/power saving mode after a set time of inactivity, and if it does, it takes a little bit longer for Mach to read the next chunk of code, which can cause it to stall briefly. Copying the file to PC should eliminate that issue though.

Also, as Jazz mentions, ensure all the power settings are set so the PC is always on. On modern PCs, you usually have to create a new power plan with everything set to always on (Control Panel -> Power Options)

A_Camera
10-06-2016, 01:21 PM
Just to clarify, are you running code from the memory stick, or copying it to the PC before running?
I have heard of a few times where running from memory stick/external drives that has caused problems.
There are settings where USB will go into a low energy/power saving mode after a set time of inactivity, and if it does, it takes a little bit longer for Mach to read the next chunk of code, which can cause it to stall briefly. Copying the file to PC should eliminate that issue though.

A very good observation... Running code from USB memory is not a very good idea, I didn't think anyone would do that. I use memory sticks to transfer files only, not to run anything from.


Also, as Jazz mentions, ensure all the power settings are set so the PC is always on. On modern PCs, you usually have to create a new power plan with everything set to always on (Control Panel -> Power Options)

Under Advanced settings you can change how the USB is handled but in any case, I'd not run any code from a memory stick.

The other thing I think may cause issue is the "Look ahead" buffer size in Mach3 or the network card setting. He is using Ethernet to communicate so if the card is allowed to sleep it may cause issues.

Lee Roberts
10-06-2016, 07:56 PM
Hiya,

I've stepped in to moderate this thread, now split, the off topic portion of this discussion can be found and continued here: Windows 10, is it better than the rest? (http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/9944-Windows-10-is-it-better-than-the-rest).

Sorry for any inconvenience, please feel free to continue this discussion.

.Me

charlieuk
13-06-2016, 09:18 PM
Just to clarify, are you running code from the memory stick, or copying it to the PC before running?
I have heard of a few times where running from memory stick/external drives that has caused problems.
There are settings where USB will go into a low energy/power saving mode after a set time of inactivity, and if it does, it takes a little bit longer for Mach to read the next chunk of code, which can cause it to stall briefly. Copying the file to PC should eliminate that issue though.

Also, as Jazz mentions, ensure all the power settings are set so the PC is always on. On modern PCs, you usually have to create a new power plan with everything set to always on (Control Panel -> Power Options)

Im not to sure how mach 3 works? i have been loading the file from the memory card in to mach3, i kinda assumed it was then in mach3 and not still reading from the stick. could this be the problem!

i obviously missed a bit of chat on if i should upgrade to windows 10 but not knowing much about pc's its a little hard to understand it all the pros and cons. at the moment I'm thinking if its working and probably not the problem maybe leave it as is.

m_c
13-06-2016, 10:36 PM
I'm not sure of the exact workings, but Mach will certainly read the entire file when you load it to check for errors and generate the tool path, however I doubt the file will be cached anywhere, as the memory requirements for large files would be too high (probably not by modern PC standards, but certainly for PC standards when Mach3 was originally written!)

I suspect after the initial run through of the file, the trajectory planner will then re-read the file as required to create the necessary motion buffer. It'll be the continual opening/reading/closing of the file that could cause issues, if the USB device was to enter low power mode.

If this is your issue, it should be easy to test. Simply copy the files to your hard disk, and try running them from there. If everything starts working smoothly with no glitches, then you've most likely found the problem.

magicniner
14-06-2016, 12:00 AM
I copy all G-Code to a folder on the desktop and run from there, if I have a file open in Mach3 and try to copy a new version into the desktop folder the copy fails reporting the file I have open in Mach3 as being in use by an application.

- Nick