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  1. I read your description of your e-stop, etc, wiring with interest. Always good to see someone else's approach. Couple of questions come to mind.

    Did you consider use of a safety relay? I managed to pick up one cheap on eBay, partly because it lets me switch a number of circuits from the e-stop switch, convenient way to configure "momentary contact" standby switch, etc. Does your e-stop connect to a latching relay or similar?

    You mention limit switch triggering as equivalent to e-stop. I can see why you might want to do this, but will it give problems in separating limit and home switch operation? I use drive fault from my digital drives to trigger e-stop but limit/home switches go direct to CSMIO (similar argument to yours re dedicated firmware - no PC involvement).

  2. Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    Did you consider use of a safety relay? I managed to pick up one cheap on eBay, partly because it lets me switch a number of circuits from the e-stop switch, convenient way to configure "momentary contact" standby switch, etc. Does your e-stop connect to a latching relay or similar?
    Technically to meet the latest regs, I should use a proper E-stop relay, however it's something I've not bothered with yet, and as I'll be the only person using the machine, I technically don't need to conform to any regulations.
    However, the main reason is I'd need to add an enable button, and the control panel is still a sketch in a notepad at the moment. It's something I will likely add at a later date, once I have fully functional control panel.
    The real benefit of a E-stop relay is the contact monitoring, whereby should a contact stick/weld shut, it won't enable.

    You mention limit switch triggering as equivalent to e-stop. I can see why you might want to do this, but will it give problems in separating limit and home switch operation? I use drive fault from my digital drives to trigger e-stop but limit/home switches go direct to CSMIO (similar argument to yours re dedicated firmware - no PC involvement).
    I always use separate home switches, so homing is not a problem. I personally think it's a waste of inputs wiring the limits directly to the controller, as there is little benefit. If you can't tell what switch you've just ran into, you're doing something wrong!
    What I do have though, is all the limit switches and everything else in the E-stop circuit, pass through a row of DIN rail terminal blocks, so should something fail, 30 seconds with a multimeter lets me know where the problem is. I do take the Drive fault signals to the controller, as it lets me know what drive has failed, for the reason I need to turn the cabinet power of before I can open the cabinet at which point the drives get reset.

    As always, there are several ways to achieve this. The main thing to consider with any system, is what would happen in the worst case scenario, should any/multiple parts of the system fail.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  3. #13
    I don't class Limits as Emergency stop condition. They are positional errors which if talking directly to Controller and not relying on software can be handled by controller/drives safely with out any need to kill power. Soon becomes pain in the arse reseting if when approaching travel limits you accidentally trip limit.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    I don't class Limits as Emergency stop condition. They are positional errors which if talking directly to Controller and not relying on software can be handled by controller/drives safely with out any need to kill power. Soon becomes pain in the arse reseting if when approaching travel limits you accidentally trip limit.
    You can argue both ways, but Denfords have the limit switches as part of the E-stop circuit as standard, and I don't see any point in changing it.
    Provided you have soft limits working correctly, you should never hit a limit switch anyway, so if you do, it's because something has gone wrong.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    You can argue both ways, but Denfords have the limit switches as part of the E-stop circuit as standard, and I don't see any point in changing it.
    Provided you have soft limits working correctly, you should never hit a limit switch anyway, so if you do, it's because something has gone wrong.
    Yes you can and for long time I did it your way but changed my thinking over time. However don't fully agree on the softlimits point.?

    Softlimits are only useful provided machine was homed first and sadly most control Software will allow you to do that. If someone forgets to home then they are completely useless.
    Cslabs have nice feature where if soflimits are on then machine can't be Jogged when controller first switched on. This much safer and how it should be done IMO even without Soflimits.

  6. #16
    Soft limits are a great idea but as Jazz has said they need a reference point. All of our newer industrial machines at work require a reference before you can do anything with them. The machines cant even be jogged around. Obviously this is because once referenced all of the soft limits for table positions and dimensions and limits are taken from the reference point. The machine still has limit switches at the ends of the track and between tables.

  7. Ignoring the soft limit debate for now, which I will revisit when I get onto configuring the KFlop, I'll do a little bit more on wiring.

    Now that the new home switches are installed, I had to wire them into the controller.
    The original wiring for the 2 wire home switches, had two of the sensors common wires doubled up, and everything else on separate pins in the main machine connector, so the original sensors used a total of 5 pins.
    For the new 3 wire sensors, I needed 2 power wires, and 3 signal wires, so the same number of wires were needed.

    One thing I hate is connecting multiple wires into single terminals. Although it will work, it makes future replacement and testing harder. Luckily the Triac has an extra enclosure on the rear of the machine for the pneumatics, which originally looked like this -


    After sliding the solenoid block along, and extending some of the tubing, we end up with plenty room for some terminal blocks-


    The two double height blocks provide a GND and 24V supply for on the machine, which the new home switches use. It also gives a convenient connection point for future additions that need 24V.
    The extra two blocks are for the X-axis limit switch connections, so all the X-axis cable connections are in the same place.

    And now I've found a picture, here's the original X-axis switch setup-

    Unfortunately I never took a picture of the new setup, but the only difference is a new proximity sensor, and the two way terminal block swapped to a three way. I could of used the existing setup just by soldering the limit switch common wires together, but why do that when you can make life even more awkward and fiddly for yourself?

    Which while I'm on wiring, brings me to bootlace ferrules.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    One thing that often results in untidy wiring, are stray wire strands at connectors. Especially once a wire has been removed and put back in a couple times, the problem usually gets worse.
    A bootlace ferrule, not only keeps things tidier, it also provides support for the wire, and makes inserting wiring into terminals easier.
    On thin wiring, such as is normally found on sensors, this makes a big difference, as you'll often find once a thin wire has been removed and reinserted a couple times, several of the strands will get broken, so you have to cut back the wire. Using a ferrule pretty much eliminates that problem.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

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  9. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    .
    .
    Now as I mentioned earlier about theory and real world, using a reasonably accurate multimeter, I get around 52VDC at the capacitor. That's a good 14% higher than our calculated figure. This will drop under load, but it may also rise above that under hard deceleration of motors, which is why you should always allow a reasonable safety margin between your power supply voltage and the maximum allowable stepper driver voltage.
    Your driver EM806 has operating voltage up to +80 VDC so why 52VDC satisfy you?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Tom J View Post
    Your driver EM806 has operating voltage up to +80 VDC so why 52VDC satisfy you?
    Because theoretically the x and y motors are only good for 57V, and running them higher could result in overheating them.
    Off course you could avoid motor overheating by reducing current, but then you reduce torque at all speeds, which is counter productive to getting the best performance.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  11. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    Rather than have this thread as just another "look at what I got/done" thread, I'm wanting to explain some of the reasoning behind the choices.
    .
    Denford use pretty industrial type setups for their electrics, so all the control electrics in this machine already run 24V, which I'll be sticking with, as 24V controls pretty much eliminates all noise problems. (If there is demand I'll go into the details of the why higher voltage is better)
    This particular machine is a VMC version (basically means it comes with inbuilt computer/display/keyboard), running stepper motors courtesy of a parker SD rack.
    .
    Here's a few pics.
    Original control cabinet setup-

    .
    It powers up!

    Check the whopping 1024kb of memory and 33MHz clock speed :-)
    .
    I love old school tech-

    .
    Now that's how it came. Cutting edge technology for the early nineties, and would likely still work if I could be bothered finding a working floppy disk drive to create a new floppy disk. But I need this machine working, not stuck running archaic software/hardware.
    .
    In an ideal situation, I'd install servos, however I don't have the budget or time to rework everything to fit servos.
    Instead, I'm going to stick with the original steppers for now, and using modern drivers.
    I've opted for Leadshine EM806s. A lower end drive would also of worked, but I want to make this machine as reliable as possible, so the stall-detection of the EM drives gives an extra bit protection should something go wrong.
    Hi, Do you still have the motion control card (electronics) you stripped off the machine. Precisely, I need a working “baldor D281 motion control card for a TRIAC P. C., red 7-segment LED display type".

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