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  1. Quote Originally Posted by sfallan View Post
    Morning all,

    I have a multi meter to hand and guidance on what i need test and how to test it would be apprecaited.

    With regards the cable, there are 2, one connected to the PCB then one connected to that, an extension cable. This is due to the configuration of the box. I can try connecting direct without the extension.

    How would I test the cable as being 1:1, I purchased the one suggested by a member here however the one in the box was already there (found it when I opened up)
    To test the cable, use the multimeter on its continuity setting (so it beeps when the probes are touched together) to confirm that pin1 at one end is connected to pin1 at the other... pin2 -> pin2,etc...

  2. #42

    I've tested both cables for continuity and they are fine, beeping 1 on 1, 2 on 2 etc.

    I also tried puting the values for STEP and DIRECTION on the X not the Y and the Y still moved, I assume that means the figures are starting the Y motor no matter if X, Y or Z has the value.

  3. #43
    It's starting to point to the board as the problem, but wonder if it is worth checking the output from the PC parallel port.

    Can anyone tell me if sfallan is OK to try the following (without damage!):
    Disconnect the parallel cable from the control board, and use a multimeter to check the state of the pins on the end of the parallel cable (other end connected to the PC). Place one of the probes on an earth pin, and the other on the pin you want to check.

    For the direction pins set the multimeter to DC on a range of at least 5V. I think these will change between 0 and 5V or so when you use the keyboard to move that axis. For example left might be 0V and right 5V.

    This is the one I'm less sure of - for the step pins set the multimeter to AC on a range of at least 5V. I think this will change between 0V when not moving an axis and some other RMS value of the pulse train when you use the keyboard to move that axis. For example not moving that axis would be 0V and moving that axis would be say 2V RMS. I don't know what this value would be other than probably not 0V. Values will depend upon your 'steps per . . ' setting and 'velocity' setting in Mach3.

    If you can show that the PC outputs are OK, and you document this, it may give you some recourse with the original supplier.

    If you want to then check the board and you have access to a function generator which can create a 5V square of varying frequency you can connect this to a step pin on the board and operate the motors directly. Appreciate not everyone has one of these.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  4. #44

    Something of interest, well maybe.

    Having the suggestion of testing the parallel port on my PC I downloaded Parallel Port Viewer and installed, so I dont know what the pins do or mean my a couple of point of interest.

    Without selecting anything and with Mach3 running I pressed the X+ key (left arrow) to see pin 1 change to on and off when X- (right arrow) was selected. So I thought this was giving an actual account of what the pins were doing.

    Also when C5 was selected in the PPV screen (screenshot shown) then all the motors buzzed louder, engaged type noise. I dont know it this is significant. Also with C5 (1) C3 (0) C2 (1) C1 (0) and C0 (1) all 6 LEDs i on the board were lite. Again I dont know the significance of the LED's.Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #45
    been down this road myself not so long ago, you might need to change your pin XYZ settings in motor outputs try them on X 2-3, Y4-5, Z6-7 if they dont work reverse them X 3-2, Y 5-4, Z 7-6.
    Red cross all outputs for now.
    Inputs all red other than E-stop green port 1 pin 0 for now.
    motor tuning to start with try from left to right 1200, 200, 20. this is slow so you should not get into trouble, step pulse/dir pulse both 0 after try 1-1 up to 5-5

    Try it let us know how it goes


  6. #46
    forgot to say when you have tried this go into Diagnostics you should see three green leds on Port 1 pins current state, and no red output signals.


  7. #47
    Suceess at last!

    Further to some comments/advice about the possibility that my Parallel Port may not be sending the correct signals and testing it via the Parallel Port Viewer I borrowed an old, simply machine from my father in-law as a test.

    Plugged it in, loaded the software, entered the values as suggested and movement! A little slow and jerky but all axis move as requested by the key board and test g-code.

    A big thank you to everyone.

    A couple of things now come to mind. My machine was a very high spec 10 years ago with fire wire, 1mb or ram etc, the machine was built for rendering back then, a specific build for me, also the machine has a trial version of Mach3 installed before I got the router. My thought are now that I must have a conflict somewhere in the system which is preventing Mach3 working. The first thing I will now do is format the machine, install Mach3 and test with the settings I am currently using, if this still fails then a PCI Parallel Port maybe required as an option.

    The next thing is now to improve the movements and replace the lead screw that seems to be bent as the x-axis when moving is causing the gantry to bump along. How easy is it to replace?

  8. #48
    Hi sfallan,

    Great news, well done. A fresh windows install, followed by only adding vital software is never a bad thing where Mach3 is concerned.

    If the leadscrews are ballscrews then you need a piece of tube to roll the ballnut onto when you remove the thread, otherwise the ball bearings will fall out. If they are ACME threads with nuts (e.g. Delrin) then you are OK. To remove these you just need some basic tools, and from post #1 it looks straightforward. When you buy the new leadscrew, the end will need machining to match the bearings and motor coupling. You'll see this when you remove the old one.

    If you are not sure, strip the leadscrew out and post a photo.
    Last edited by routercnc; 09-09-2010 at 06:36 AM.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  9. #49
    Morning gents,

    I tried my old PC again with fresh windows install, mach3 only but still didnt work so I've reverted to my father-in-laws PC. Everything is powers and movement. Waiting on the new lead screw to arrive and everything should be fine.

    Whilst this is being made for me, can anyone advise on router cutters/bits?

    The collet in the router is 1/4inch and I read a thread about 'cutweltools' as a supplier. I am looking to do some test cuts etc. I have sourced some 12mm MDF and 3mm mirrored di-bond for cutting. At this point I have no cutters and would like to order some for delivery.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

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